Wednesday 5 May 2021

Runway Rundown: CHANEL CRUISE 21/22


Yesterday (Tuesday 4th May 2021), Chanel showcased their anticipated Cruise 21/22 collection, filmed at the Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-des-Provence, South of France. Now whilst I have never had a frow seat, neither did anyone have one physically but here's when we're all thankful for social media and the Internet to gives us a virtual frow seat to the show. I've been completely encapsulated by the show, so here's my thoughts somewhat pieced together because I'm still in a daze. 


Let's begin with the theme...

Chanel is known for the beautiful femininity and whilst that continues its thread through the Cruise collection, creative director Virginie Viard has also laced in rock and edge. It feels very reminiscent of a punk-rock phase we've all had but modernised to a place where we could wear it separate from times before. There's energy in this show that speaks without words, but through the actions of the clothing, models and music. 

There's an overwhelming sense of an ode to Jean Cocteau, with whom Gabrielle Chanel had an "intense relationship". Viard has taken the beauty of their friendship, their letters, their work and has recaptured it in this collection.

Read the beautiful description on the Chanel website to truly transport you... 

                                                                                                        IMAGE CREDIT: ACIELLE/STYLE DU MONDE VIA VOGUE


It's all about the atmosphere...

Where a show is set always seems to have just as much significance as the rest of the show. Les Baux-des-Provence is a town in the South of France that was once part of the Roman empire and is located within the Alpilles Mountains. It's known for being a place where limestone was extracted with various quarries dotted around the area. The setting of Chanel's latest show, Carrières de Lumières happens to be one of those quarries, full of textured, broken limestone, that is now used for art and light shows. 

According to Chanel, the setting has more significance to the fashion house's founder, Gabrielle Chanel, as it links back to her friendship with French poet and filmmaker, Jean Cocteau, who used limestone quarries of the area for his 1959 film "Testament to Orpheus"

It's these details we always look past that bring more to a show and Viard has definitely taken on all the little things. 

The music of the show was a mixture of art house, with techno and classical undertones that sat just off beat with the steps of the models but effortlessly guided you through as you watched the show. There were even moments of spoken word in the music; the show beginning with a man saying "... cause it was like something, everything I had actually left behind, all rolled into one." I feel like this sentiment just encompasses the atmosphere; there's nostalgia, history but also the now rolled into this collection. 

This was emphasised further through the scene cuts from black and white close ups with star lights in a dark walkway - stars, which again, are a nod to Chanel & Cocteau's relationship through the words in their letters. Cocteau once wrote to Chanel, "a little absinthe star fallen from the sky of our friendship". This then contrasted with the pouring sunshine filling the limestone quarry was just beautiful. The barrenness of the setting in its simplicity, history and undone way allowed the clothes to speak. 


The moments I said "ahhh *heart eyes*...

There is never a Chanel show when I don't absolutely swoon over something and there were a few moments that took my breath away, starting with the super wide legged tweed trouser co-ord that I knew I immediately needed. It was the way the fabric flowed as the model strutted this down the catwalk, it caught my eye and I was hooked.

That was definitely something that kept me completely hooked; the movement of the fabrics. There was this juxtaposition between structure and fluidity in various looks that was so perfect to me, it spoke volumes. As did the clash of punk edginess with the classic of Chanel; did I think I would see fishnet stockings and CC lip rings? No I did not. But am I here for it? Hell. Yes. I've had a fake lip ring before and it comes out during my punk rock moments, but if I had a Chanel lip ring? Honey, I would wear it more than necessary.

Alongside all the beautiful signature tweed (which one day I will have in my wardrobe), I absolute adored the floaty pieces that were Summer in a nutshell. I also really loved the bold black and white Chanel prints with logos and Camellia flower details. 


                                                                                           IMAGE CREDIT: CHANEL

Prints, Textures & Details

I am not a fringe girl, but is it possible that Chanel may convert me? To be determined...

There were statement moments of fringe and feathers in this showcase, but for me what stood out were the beautiful flower embroideries in hues of purples, pinks and greens that added a touch of sweet femininity to the powerful rock edge. These embroideries placed on the white fabrics were divine.

The collection was very much monochrome with hints of pink, blue, greys in statement or undertone and what I love about this is that it gives the pieces versatility and energy. There's something for everyone with the simplicity of plain blacks and whites or the loudness of the prints. 

A trend that's making waves is capes and Viard brought that to this collection with a few cape moments towards the end in a knitted style that wasn't quintessential, making it seem that if one were to wear it in the future, you would just know it was from Chanel. 


With regards to accessories, there were all the classics such as chain belts, the iconic CC embellishments, long chains, pearls galore, which were combined with cuffs, cross motifs and stars to play into the theme of the collection. For me, the accessory of the show was the CC lip ring - can't get over it, won't get over it. As for the bags showcased, there were not as many but still classic pieces that we all love. 

White ankle boots dominated the footwear, but I could not ignore the shiny gold wedge heel pumps with a black pointed toe cap. They caught my eye instantly as an update on the classic Chanel shoe style.


Finally, I have to talk about the bridal look that crept its way in. The reason I use creep is because it was so simple in its effort that you would have missed it as a bridal piece. It's tiered skirt, one shoulder design is a perfect choice for a wedding on the Southern French coast... an actual dream. And the accessorising of the pearl spike headband and ear cuff is so cool, for lack of a better word. 

The Final Rundown...

Honestly, I always love a Chanel collection but I've never wanted to write about one faster than this Cruise 21/22 one. I mean Lagerfeld did absolutely everything right, always, and so when he sadly passed I wondered about who could take his place without a hiccup and I think Viard has done that. What I love so much about this show is the details, the story, that thread that weaves from Coco herself right down to the rest of us. It is things like that that remind me that fashion is not just about what you see on the surface, but every single thing that goes into it behind the scenes. If you haven't gathered, I'm in love with fashion, especially with Chanel. 

I hope you enjoyed this Runway Rundown! What do you think of me writing more fashion news pieces? I'm trying to put my journalism degree to more good use, so let me know what you think.

Lots of love, 

Emily xx


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