When it comes to brands like CHANEL, spatial limitations are out of question. Parisian as it may be in its core and identity, the House cannot help but resonate with everyone, no matter who they are or where they live. Timeless luxury is a tricky thing: it might seem to be a few people’s business, but the truth is that it influences every aspect of fashion as well as every fashion aficionado (whether they know it or not). That been said, CHANEL’s decision to hold a show in Dubai to present its Resort 2022 collection once more, came naturally, as an organic result of the House’s international appeal.
Inspired by Jean Cocteau’s iconic movie The Testament of Orpheus, the collection is based on the antithetical forces of black and white and emits an impressive combination of boldness and simplicity. The contrast becomes even clearer through the references behind the clothes: rock, punk and mod silhouettes create a modern stylistic blend of mini-skirts, fishnet stockings, coats and leather harnesses while the ‘60s vibe intertwines with CHANEL’s trademark tweeds and coat dresses. Meanwhile, lace dresses with embellishments, wide-leg and high-waisted trousers, theatrical capes, embroideries by Maison Lesage and ankle boots reaffirm the plethoric and versatile elegance the house is known for.
CHANEL is never about the clothes only, but about the whole culture surrounding its aesthetic legacy. That is why the luminous and exciting atmosphere in the Dubai Creek Harbour district matched the collection so accurately: high fashion with a strong backstory can really fit anywhere.
Fashion is a very tangible affair. The vision and the aesthetic are of course crucially important, but everything would be merely theoretical if it weren’t for craftsmanship and the deep knowledge of fashion’s practical aspects. Every garment has a story to tell, every stitch and every cut have a special meaning and purpose. CHANEL knows a thing or two about details and quality, with Gabrielle’s legacy encompassing a body of work that serves as a constant reminder of all the little things that render an item of clothing iconic.
The CHANEL retrospective exhibition, soon to be available to the public at the National Gallery of Victoria is a touching tribute to Gabrielle’s most iconic silhouettes, coming straight from the CHANEL family collection, as well as private collections and the archive of the Palais Galliera. Lace and floral evening gowns, two-tone slingbacks and wool bouclé suits reminiscent of Grace Kelly’s and Jackie Kennedy’s style connect us to the glorious past in a fascinating way. A red silk velvet evening cape, a pale pink lace and tulle dress and a vast variety of skirt suits reflect the timeless spirit of the House’s fundamental codes, along with Gabrielle Chanel’s attention to the intricate features top-of-the-range fashion is known for. Take a closer look: from the design of the forms and the elaborate seams to the texture and very nature of the fabrics, the techniques used are simply impeccable.
CHANEL’s ongoing history encourages us to draw on the past in order to build an inspiring future. Nostalgia has never been so alluring.