Ahead of the showing of Chanel’s SS23 haute couture collection, a number of images were leaked that clearly revealed what was in store: tweed – and corgis.
Whether this was a tribute to the recently deceased Queen Elizabeth is unclear, but tweed, floppy hats, midi dresses and stubby little Corgies automatically conjure up thoughts of the British upper class in general and the royal family in particular. It is a well known fact that Coco Chanel herself was very enthusiastic about British style – she fell in love with a british aristocrat and, of course tweed. Thus it become a signature for the fashion house and has been ever since, even now with Virginie Viard at the helm of the house.
The collection was shown during Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week this month. Many of the ensembles, the suits in particular borrows its codes from the female uniforms of parades and spectacles. Top hat, bow tie, white gloves, laced boots, satin cape, pleated skirt, jackets double-breasted or with tails, tuxedo shirt, sequins, short shorts, petticoats: it is in the poetry of majorettes that Virginie Viard also finds her
inspiration. Dresses and jumpsuits all in lightness and refinement, superpositions, transparencies, flounces, pleats, fine straps and repainted laces, are crafted in silk tulle, taffeta, organza, georgette crepe and chantilly lace.
The small, neat tweed suits with skirts and shorts were embroidered with motifs from the animal kingdom: rabbits, corgis, cats and swallows – a homage to the many animal motifs that are repeated in the objects in Coco Chanel’s well-preserved apartment at 31, Rue Cambon. The models walked among huge animal sculptures created by the artist Xavier Veilhan, which gave a surreal touch to the display. And of course the finale closed with a fairy bride wearing a rather sixties-inspired mini dress worn with a long, full-covering veil and golden go go-boots.
All photos: Xavier Veilhan and Ola Rindal