Chanel Dresses The Ladies' Castle

Chanel Dresses The Ladies' Castle

Chanel Dresses The Ladies' Castle

Watch Chanel bring an old castle back to life.

Watch Chanel bring an old castle back to life.

Text: Sophie Lee

What do we think of when we think Chanel? Tradition, tweed, timelessness. All three are exemplified in Chanel’s latest showing, the 2020/21 Métiers d’art collection, exhibited in the Château de Chenonceau.  Also known as “Le Château des Dames,” or “Ladies’ Castle” in English, the French building is storied and solid, much like the distinguished fashion house.

One by one, Chanel’s beauties draped in velvet and pearls walked through the opulent hallway. The collection, like many of Chanel’s offerings, was unabashedly feminine in fit and style. The audience? A solo Kristen Stewart, longtime house ambassador. She is also set to star in the campaign for the collection, as its stunning “muse.”

The Métiers d’art collection stuck to a color palette of mainly black, white, and pink, said to be inspired by the tasteful ladies of the mansion, as well as Coco Chanel herself. Creative director Virginie Viard told Vogue she was thinking of something “a little princess-y” for this particular outing.

The Château de Chenonceau is a testament to the style of Catherine de’ Medici, the former queen of France. In many parts of the castle a pair of interlocking Cs can be seen, an ode to Catherine, though remarkably similar to the modern Chanel logo.

“We don’t know if Coco was directly inspired by her, but it is highly likely because she so admired Renaissance women. Her taste for lace ruffs and the aesthetic of certain pieces of her jewelry come from there. Deep down, this place is a part of Chanel’s history,” said Viard.

Coco Chanel was known for her pared-back, minimalist style, and de’ Medici apparently always wore black. Today, and likely back then, a simple approach is a sign of refinement. Still, Viard made sure to add in her own sensibilities, and put to work the 38 specialized Métiers d’Art workshops in Chanel’s rotation, by honing in on finely crafted detailing.

A geometric, rhinestoned castle appeared as a belt, and again on a handbag. Heavy pieces of Chanel encrusted hardware swung from models’ necks and ears and off the tops of their heads. A cream, off-the-shoulder, tweed dress was quilted with the house’s interlocking Cs. Skirts were even made with a chequered motif, reminiscent of the floor on which the models walked.

“I like everything to be mixed up, all the different eras, between the Renaissance and romanticism, between rock and something very girly, it is all very Chanel,” explained Viard.

At closing, Stewart could be seen applauding a beaming Viard as she emerged from the depths of the celebrated house.

Watch the show yourself below.

Credits: Photos by Juergen Teller for Chanel.

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