Início Tech Chanel Fall 2024 Couture Runway, Fashion Show & Collection Review: The Beat...

Chanel Fall 2024 Couture Runway, Fashion Show & Collection Review: The Beat Goes On


At the Chanel haute couture show on Tuesday, its first since the shock departure of designer Virginie Viard earlier this month, there were few outward signs that anything was different than usual.

Celebrities including Keira Knightley, Michelle Williams, Olivia Dean and Sadie Sink arrived at the Paris Opera bright and early for the first show at 10 a.m. Despite the rising temperatures, clients donned their tweed suits and quilted handbags to see the collection prepared by a studio team while the brand searches for its new creative director.

The collection also telegraphed continuity with taffeta capes, crystal-embroidered evening gowns and a plethora of knee-length dresses and skirt suits, though its focus on sophisticated elegance could signal the house is righting its course after courting the youth vote with an athletic-inspired cruise collection that was roundly criticized online.

But the question on everyone’s lips was: what happened for the house to split so suddenly with Viard, who had been with Chanel for 37 years, including five years at the design helm? The decision was particularly surprising since only weeks earlier, global chief executive officer Leena Nair sang the designer’s praises while reporting record 2023 results.

On Tuesday, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion and president of Chanel SAS, credited Viard for successfully steering the brand through the aftermath of the death of its longtime creative director Karl Lagerfeld in 2019.

“She did a truly remarkable job. Having said that, sometimes you reach the end of a cycle,” he told WWD in an interview before the show. “I thank Virginie from the bottom of my heart for all the work she has done at Chanel, but at the same time, I think the brand is ready for its next chapter.”

He offered no explanation for the decision, which saw Viard exit abruptly in the midst of preparations for the couture show, one of the high points in Chanel’s calendar.

“I won’t dwell on the reason why we parted ways,” he demurred. “There’s no controversy. If it happened like that, it’s for a good reason, and now we have to look at the future.”

Pavlovsky said the brand would take its time in picking a successor. “There’s nobody waiting in the wings,” he said. “Things will happen simply and gradually in the coming weeks and months.”

Among the names circulating as possible contenders are Hedi Slimane, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Sarah Burton and Jeremy Scott. Asked when Chanel plans to name a successor, Pavlovsky said: “I have no idea. What I do know is that the brand is strong.”

Indeed, industry observers said that Chanel, the world’s second-largest luxury brand with revenues of $19.7 billion last year, is powerful enough to weather a prolonged handover. The brand’s collection notes underscored that there are 150 people working in six workshops in its couture division alone.

Tuesday’s show built on the house’s longstanding partnership with the opera. A patron of the dance season opening gala since 2018, Chanel has designed tutus and tiaras for its Étoiles dancers and supported the creation of the institution’s junior ballet.

“It’s always been a bit of a dream to show at the opera,” Pavlovsky said of the display, held in the corridors surrounding the auditorium, where French director Christophe Honoré set up red velvet opera seats.

After all, opera is a spectator sport in more ways than one, with guests parading for each other. This collection was rooted in classic Chanel codes, with streamlined tailoring, lavish embellishment and a preponderance of black.

Evening options included a trio of frothy black ballerina dresses embellished with crystal cabochons; a trim black coat studded with 3D gold ribbons, and taffeta capes in ivory, fuchsia or black that split open to show off bare or stockinged legs.  

There was an ‘80s feel to looks like a pale pink ruffled jumpsuit and the sweeping ivory bridal gown, which brought to mind Princess Diana’s wedding gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel.

And despite the formal glamor of the models, whose hair was slicked back into low ponytails secured with oversized black moiré bows, there was a relaxed feel to looks such as T-shirt tops and dresses, chenille tweed jackets, and jersey pants inspired by founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s costumes for “Le Train Bleu” in 1924.

The studio team indulged in a little experimentation, courtesy of a lacquered jersey that was used to varying degrees of success, most convincingly on a sweeping beige slip dress with a crystallized bodice trimmed with white ostrich feathers.

Overall, it was a solid effort that confirmed the brand is stronger than any individual designer. “What matters is Chanel,” Pavlovsky said. “We have strong, competent teams that have a very deep understanding of the brand. That allows us to take the time to make the right choice, even if we want it to be relatively quick.”

For more couture fall 2024 reviews, click here.



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