We have been hearing about this quite a lot and now it is finally here. As a CHANEL aficionado, brand ambassador, fashion icon and close friend of Karl Lagerfeld, Pharrell has always seemed like the ideal persona to bridge the gap between mainstream music and haute couture. Judging by his work for his CHANEL capsule collection, the goal has been achieved.
Multi-talented and design-savvy, Pharrell created a beautiful streetwear collection that combines the urban coolness with CHANEL’s timeless elegance. Colorful hoodies with stylish embroidery, relaxed jackets, jeans, funky t-shirts and neon sporty garments, along with modernized CHANEL bags and a plethora of accessories succeed in transmuting the brand’s legacy into a futuristic pop dream where everyone can express themselves in a minimal yet significant and fashionable way.
From the very beginning, CHANEL has been all about evolution and adaption. Besides, Gabrielle Chanel was the one who masterfully taught us that casual can easily turn into upscale and what is considered strictly male can easily apply to both sexes. Now it is Pharrell’s turn to break the rules, by making style accessible to all identities.
Filling Karl Lagerfeld’s shoes is quite a challenge but then again, Karl once found himself in the same position, when he had to prove that he was worthy of his predecessor, Gabrielle Chanel herself. Despite all the difficulties she faced as the new artistic director of CHANEL, Virginie Viard managed to deliver a solid result that to many seemed like a breath of fresh air, able to infuse the brand with a new, more contemporary vibe.
Set at the Grand Palais, the CHANEL Cruise 2020 Show employed a retro train station aesthetic in a more modest and low-key production context than usual, but no less impressive and meaningful. Viard’s take on fashion proved to be that of modern minimalism. Wide pants and gabardine jackets, chunky cardigans, girly miniskirt suits, bow-adorned dresses, vivid colors and streetwear items exhibited a plethoric mood full of freshness and diversity. Meanwhile, the core of the CHANEL DNA remained intact with tweed jackets and androgynous garments reminiscent of Gabrielle’s artistic heritage.
Trendy fanny packs, neon details and carefully used metallics, juxtaposed to a stage channeling Belle Epoque beauty are indicative of Virginie Viard’s intention to go forward with the best of what is in the past and the coolest of what is happening now. We cannot wait to see her vision unfold.