Fashion can’t help a bit of navel-gazing sometimes, but in the case of Chanel’s Virginie Viard basing her Spring Summer ’22 offering on the brand’s prevailing 1980s/1990s aesthetic, we’ll not just allow it, but we’ll fully approve it. Indeed, as the proverbial curtain gets ready to close on the return to a physical Paris Fashion Week, Viard gave us an ode to the fashion show in all its original glory: models whose physiques resembled those of the era’s strong and beautiful powerhouses smiled and twirled down a raised runway (retro!) to a soundtrack that incorporated a nod to George Michael’s Freedom 90 and the exaggerated noise of camera flashbulbs immortalizing their image. (A symbolic sound that Viard says she’s always been a fan of.)
As for the fashion itself, it looked like it was plucked right from a moodboard of Chanel’s greatest hits. Swimsuits, leotards, branded undies, and athleisure accessorized to the nines opened the show, with the house’s iconic chain belts and chunky costume jewelry upping the ante on the most casual of looks. It was a lesson in precisely how to do the high-low dressing made famous by the casualness of the era, albeit the Chanel way: sequin boxer shorts paired with a tweed trophy jacket; bike shorts and heels; embellished sports bras; and gussied up takes on Breton stripes. After the youthful pastel knit and tweed co-ords that radiated joie de vivre, came floating chiffon numbers which took their inspiration from butterfly wings. Beyond their beauty at face value, the symbolism associated with the insect served as a particularly poignant nod to both the late George Michael’s lyrics and the rebirth that we’ve collectively gone through post-COVID.
And speaking of things that are sure to fly! We couldn’t leave you without a mention of the Chanel No. 5 perfume bottle- shaped necklace pendants and handbags. Who do we call to pre-order? J’obsessed…
See the full collection below: