Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2021
For Chanel’s 2021 haute couture, Virgine Viard married house codes to the charmed folksiness of a countryside wedding.
Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard has channeled her own ballads of community and togetherness, giving pause to our clime otherwise disjointed in distance, obstructed in “phygital,” and stretched far beyond the catwalk. For 2021’s couture, Viard deployed some 30 models in her very own orchestration of Camellia-bloomed nuptials on the rue Cambon, a celebration with dynasty and ancestry, a deep, lived in lineage less stuffed and far less suited than one may expect of the Parisian house.
This was something otherwise neighborly, with the folksiness of stripped midriffs, micro tweed coat dresses, apron-laced, tiered ruffles, netted tights, and a gilded stitch. It’s “more bohemian style—more a wedding or a family celebration in a village than at the Ritz,” Viard tells Vogue’s Hamish Bowles.
While it’s something less formulaic, less heavy and less heavily styled, not all can be a break with Chanel’s corseted house ethos. Amidst the pale, ballerina flounced crêpe georgette and the strapped-on Mary Jane soles, there are hand-painted lace stitches adorning Viard’s designs, while faux garlands by Lemarie and embroideries by the houses of Cecile Henri, Montex, Emanuelle Vernoux, Hurel, and Lesage turn every day wears into some very much haute couture.
Leaning into the countryside motifs the Grand Palais took charmed, idyllic shapes – a recession when compared to its past iterations under the direction of Karl Lagerfeld. As some outsized hems, and tweed pipestems carried minute-sized cardigans and laced lapels to their unveiling, the mise-en-scène cleanly picked up a story of the family forged at Chanel.
It’s “the mother and the aunt, [and] the 15-year-old girl dressing up for the first time” Viard continues. “I love big family reunions, when the generations all come together. It’s so warm. There’s this spirit at Chanel today. Because Chanel is also like a family.”
Explore the entire collection below.