Gabrielle Chanel’s love for the arts is an inextricable part of the house’s history. As a friend and patron of Serge Diaghilev, the founder of the Ballets Russes company, she had always believed in the ability of classical dance to transform into a well-rounded and modern power that could combine different sorts of expression into one. Music, visual arts and dance are all particles of a greater aesthetic force, the source of original inspiration. Karl Lagerfeld’s love for ballet too, along with his collaborations with emblematic choreographers as a costume designer are indicative of the brand’s dedication to the ideals and cultural significance of dance.
Being one of the most prestigious and exciting events chic and arty Parisians tend to look forward to, this year’s Paris Opera Ballet Gala came as a bummer to many due to its digital nature. Yet, even in the darkest of times, art finds the way to bring people together in awe-inspiring moments, no matter the medium and the proximity. For the Grand Pas Classique, a dance invented by choreographer Victor Gsovsky, Virginie Viard came up with two magnificent designs, crafted in an intricate fashion that creates the illusion of a dark night sky. Rich textures, a velvet blue leotard and a tutu embroidered with stars and constellations by Maison Lesage, infused the act with a sense of luxurious practicality that graced the dancers’ moves with plasticity and elegance.
Dance and couture, two separate forms of creativity that intertwine to prove that true magic lies in carefully curated mixtures. Let us all “dance” our worries away à la manière de CHANEL.
CHANEL’s Spring 2021 Couture Collection feels like a promise from Virginie Viard to all of us. Somehow, through her dreamy designs, the house’s creative director channels a vision of optimism and happiness, the blissful and carefree version of reality we all wish to enjoy once the pandemic is over. It is no coincidence that the -adjusted to the inescapably restrictive situation- minimalist concept of the show employed the rustic wedding motif, alluding to an occasion of pure joy and beauty.
Sleeveless vests, bohemian silhouettes, high-waisted pants, tweed coat dresses and romantic frocks emit a feeling of easygoing comfort that attests to a midday celebration. Meanwhile, impressive ballgowns, glam rock sequin dresses and marvelously embroidered pieces -both everyday and more “ceremonial” ones- create a luscious mood of fashion grandeur, the kind that every style-savvy person has missed dearly during the past year.
Virginie Viard playfully blends the conventional with the unconventional in a fashion exploration that results in a collection that feels fresh while at the same time carrying a plethora of classic attributes.