Inspired by the iconic Parisian club scene as well as Karl Lagerfeld’s stories about the shows he put on back in the ‘70s, Virginie Viard chose Chez Castel, an emblematic Left Bank nightclub founded in the 1960s, to showcase CHANEL’s latest collection. The Mick Jagger vibes, the small and cozy space and the intimate atmosphere created a thrilling juxtaposition with the Grand Palais, the usual venue for CHANEL shows, now closed for renovations. “I imagined the models doing a show for themselves, going from room to room, crossing each other in staircases, piling their coats up in the cloakroom and going up to the next floor to get changed” said the creative director, in awe of the DIY feel a concept like this evokes.
Volumes and layers played an important part in this collection, where chiffons paired with tweeds and metallics paired with shearling create a sense of abundance and playfulness. Virginie combined winter pieces with party dresses in a sensual way and invested in the very visual antithesis that makes fashion interesting. Heavy coats and bare legs, faux fur boots and cropped jackets, and colorful knits with light shirts proved that style is a matter of ingenuity and not necessarily a result of strict abidance by rules and genres.
Ski style elements, vintage CHANEL references (Fall 1994 collection) and a nostalgic soundtrack by Diana Ross infused the show with the retro mood Virginie Viard was in during the creative process. Something about the lyrics Do You Know Where You’re Going To can be read as a sign of expectation from the future, and fashion has certainly its own special way to foresee it.
The pandemic took its toll on everyone, including Tom Ford and his business plans. Like the true creative mind he is, he did not let the situation bring him down, though. Despite the fact that his design studios are located in London and he currently resides in Los Angeles, he managed to “invent” a new narrative that gave his 2021 Ready to Wear collection a completely relevant and up to date tone.
Since the current state of things globally does not allow for an extravagant dress code or any kind of exciting social life whatsoever, Tom Ford decided to reinvent eccentricity and coolness through a deconstructive approach to high fashion. Oversized puffer jackets, bleached jeans, super mini shorts, lingerie, leggings, fitted blazers on bare skin and leather jackets convey a message of freedom, an attitude of improvised elegance with a twist. The designer achieves to mix raciness with a special sort of casual, as the bold combinations of fabrics and textures attest.
Whether it is with denim or with a mini white dress quirkily showing cleavage, Tom Ford knows that staying stylish has everything to do with staying inspired. At the end of the day, it all comes down to us being able to keep rediscovering ourselves.