Chanel Brings Tinsel Town to the Grand Palais

Paris, France October 06 A model walks the runway during the Chanel Womenswear Spring / Summer 2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 06, 2020 in Paris, France Photo by Dominique Charriauwireimage

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Lights, camera, Chanel. The Hollywood Hills came to Paris this morning as Chanel put her name in the spotlight for the house’s Spring / Summer show. Per Virginie Viard: “This collection is a tribute to the muses of the Maison Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld dressed so many actresses in films and in real life.” But Viard didn’t want to make direct references to vintage cuts or manicure knockoffs of characters seen on film, but instead sought to evoke the air of a celebrity.

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To accompany the show, Chanel enlisted the help of Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin to create a cinematic experience, showing images and a short film that are inspired by the house’s special relationship with the actresses, both at screen and off screen.

“I was thinking of the actresses at the photoshoot, on the red carpet, when they are called out by the photographers: their faces a little distracted, their attitude a little offbeat with the outfits they wear,” Viard explained. The collection draws on the relationship between an actress’ real life and the role she plays.

Paris, France Oct 06 A model walks the runway during the Chanel Womenswear Spring / Summer 2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 06, 2020 in Paris, France photo by stephane cardinale corbiscorbis via Getty Images

Stéphane Cardinale – CorbisGetty Images

Paris, France Oct 06 A model walks the runway during the Chanel Womenswear Spring / Summer 2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 06, 2020 in Paris, France photo by stephane cardinale corbiscorbis via Getty Images

Stéphane Cardinale – CorbisGetty Images

Paris, France Oct 06 A model walks the runway during the Chanel Womenswear Spring / Summer 2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 06, 2020 in Paris, France photo by stephane cardinale corbiscorbis via Getty Images

Stéphane Cardinale – CorbisGetty Images

References to the big screen ranged from subtle (a scarf hidden under a Grace Kelly-style coat) to obvious (a skirt printed with the words “Coco Chanel Presents”). But there was a youth injected everywhere, presented as pedal pushers or the rising hems of flippy skirts and dresses. A distant demeanor accompanied the ’80s shoulder fit. The after-party dresses suited Sunset Boulevard, and throughout the evening there was a healthy dose of saccharinity in the dress. Pretty in pink outfits that belong to a protagonist of the teenage queen. Molly Ringwald and Regina George would look natural in these bubblegum cardigans.

The boldness of this seventies-look collection was in the details. Jewelry in particular took a departure from strands of pearls and doubled the costume aspect; The flap bags were reinterpreted as massive pendants and gourmet chains emblazoned with the “forever” symbol on the brand’s iconic interlocking cs. I’m not sure how popular birdcage headbands will be next season, but Emily in Paris entered the chat.

Paris, France Oct 06, A model dress detail walks the runway during the Chanel Womenswear Spring / Summer 2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 06, 2020 in Paris, France photo by stephane cardinale corbiscorbis via Getty Images

Stéphane Cardinale – CorbisGetty Images

Chanel’s history with the Hollywood it-girls is well documented, and if the show’s frontline was any indication, it will continue forever. Dressed in white masks handed out at the event, attendees included Marion Cottillard, Jennie from Blackpink and Kristen Stewart.

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