Chanel’s first virtual Cruise collection takes us to the Mediterranean.
Chanel‘s Cruise 2020/21 collection on 7th May was originally going to take place in the Italian island of Capri, a place known for la Dolce Vita and popular with the Italian jetset for obvious reasons. But when Covid-19 struck, both the fashion industry and international travel were disrupted. And while the realities of the lasting effects of the pandemic are not crystal clear, and we all grapple with the new normal, there is now space to fill with distraction, escape, momentary celebrations of creativity and desire, refinement, elegance and of course, a little bit of luxury.
Fashion at times reflects social change which will hopefully result in more diverse runways, magazines and corporate offices in the future. It has also served a purpose in bringing more beauty to dark times; liberating the imagination to offer glorious visual and mental escape. It’s no wonder Chanel looked to the legendary starlets and actresses of the 1960s holidaying on the Italian and the French Riviera for inspiration in Chanel’s Balade en Méditerranée collection, which can now be streamed online by fans around the world on 8th June.
Gorgeously soft, unlined tweed, light and lovely lamés, whilst nautical themes emerged in the colour palette nodding to Gabrielle Chanel’s original seafaring-inspired icons. A collection that takes you from beach to yacht to evening dinner along the most beautiful spots of the Mediterranean coastline. And when I call this collection a dream, it’s because it is for most of us right now. Just look at those sienna-tinted sunset images.
Instead of a glamorous Capri show with VIPs, editors and celebrities, Chanel went digital with its Cruise 2020/21 collection — a culmination of hard work from all it’s Parisian and French workshop staff and ateliers. This was, of course, all under the leadership of Virgine Viard, who took over after Karl Lagerfeld who passed away last year.
“Initially I had Capri in mind, where the show was supposed to take place, but didn’t happen in the end because of lockdown,” says Viard in a statement, “So we had to adapt: not only did we decide to use fabrics that we already had, but the collection, more generally, evolved towards a trip around the Mediterranean… The islands, the scent of the eucalyptus, the pink shades of the bougainvillea.”
The bougainvillea pink is a sumptuous pop of positive colour, and one that lasts through all seasons, one that gives us hope. This Cruise collection is a light, breezy, mix and match wardrobe (just look at all that sheer and chiffon) which is easy to pack into a suitcase on wheels. Long languid skirts transform into dreamy strapless dresses, showing us versatility, Chanel-style.