Inspiration comes from various places, often unexpected. For Gabrielle Chanel, art in every form could evolve into a trigger, an occasion where a new idea may be lying, waiting for someone to cultivate it and give it a certain form, or even turn it into a revolutionary concept. Dance was an important element of Gabrielle’s creative process, a fundamental part of her perception of the world.
As the ultimate expression of movement, dance seemed to Coco as a force of nature she had to incorporate into her designs. Clothes are meant to flow, radiate, bring out not only the qualities of their colors and textures, but also the qualities of the person wearing them. Gabrielle was so passionate about the art of dancing that she even took lessons with the legendary dancer Isadora Duncan. Her friendship with Serge Diaghilev, the visionary producer of the Ballets Russes, created a special bond between her and the classical ballet tradition. A new chapter in her artistic trajectory was about to begin. As a creative partner, costume designer and patron, Gabrielle Chanel started to support dance companies and choreographers, thus establishing a new-found connection between fashion and dance.
The rationale behind Gabrielle’s affinity for dance, an affinity that -later on- defined CHANEL’s aesthetic identity, is based on its very ability to give the body the freedom it longs for. A free woman is a woman who is not afraid to show her body and use motion to express her emotion. Garments that follow the ever-changing rhythm of life generate style that makes history.
Even though Ermanno Scervino had originally planned to show this collection at the Sporting d’été complex in Monte Carlo as guest of honor of its local fashion week, the recent pandemic proved that even the fashion industry, one of the most powerful in the world, is not beyond the disarming randomness that rules the world. Instead of Côte d’Azur, the collection was showcased in the botanical gardens of the brand’s creative director Ermanno Daeli’s Florentine villa, giving the clothes a natural earnestness as well as a blissful aura rendering them unique and alluring.
Featherweight dresses, intricate embroideries, floral motifs, lace intarsias, billowing blouses, animal prints, plisséd skirts, delicate knitwear, whimsical suits and airy blazers constitute a plethoric aesthetic suggestion that evokes the classic Ermanno Scervino code while infusing it with a great many other elements and references. “Examining” the resort looks one by one, leads seamlessly to the realization that this collection is about abundance and meeting every woman’s needs, in a casual, down to earth way (hence the herbal ambience). Romantic femininity intersects boho chic and stylistic boldness, resulting in a fashion playground of endless expressions.
Given the circumstances, the whole production process faced a massive challenge, since the brand’s artisan collaborators had to work from home. No matter the difficulties though, Ermanno Scervino delivered a solid collection one cannot help but relate to. In the time of the absolute streetwear reign, Ermanno Scervino manages to propose a viable alternative that feels intensely tempting.