Chanel has set the fashion stage for the post-coronavirus world with the unveiling of the resort collection. Usually a grand affair with hundreds of guests invited to a faraway destination that informs the story behind the collection, the Chanel Cruise 2021 is a pared down wardrobe that echoes the true spirit of a resort collection — light, breezy and easy-to-pack essentials for a long holiday in mid-Winter.
“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 creative director Virginie Viard of the collection, which is named ‘Balade en Méditerranée’ (A trip around the Mediterranean).“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.” In addition, there’s a sense of a free, laid-back allure inspired by the legendary actresses of the 1960s when they would holiday on the Italian and the French Riviera.
Designed for jet-setters who travel light, the collection is “a wardrobe that can be carried in a little suitcase on wheels, a shopper and an embroidered handbag.” Easier said than done for a brand that’s synonymous with chunky materials like tweed. Chanel reworks its staple tweed outerwear by removing the lining to make it more fluid. Feather-light materials like chiffon, fine transparent lamé and crêpe come in forms that are convertible and multi-purpose: long skirts that can become strapless dresses or long chiffon jackets that can be worn by day over a triangle bikini, or by night with an embroidered bandeau top and jeans. Denims are bleached so light they perfectly match the colour of a Mediterranean sunset. Knit cardigans and jumpers are versatile enough for both during plane travel and cooler breeze during the night. The easy-breezy sensibility of the clothes is complimented by a collection of accessories that feel ethereally natural: wedge and woven straw boxy bags, chunky fabric hobo and even tweed classic in a palette that mimics the colours of resort towns in the Mediterranean.See the full collection here.
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