Leave it to CHANEL to hone in on an embellishment so frequently taken for granted, the button, as the inspiration for their Spring-Summer 2024 Haute Couture collection. Virginie Viard, CHANEL’s Creative Director, decided to bring the button into the spotlight to feature its extensive history of both fashion and function. While buttons can take on a dazzling appearance to enhance the beauty of a garment, it also provides the wearer with mobility due to its ease of opening and closing.
Before the show began, a short film entitled The Button, was played which took the audience on a journey to trace a missing CHANEL button back to its source. The film, written and directed by Dave Free and scored by music superstar Kendrick Lamar, featured actress and trained ballerina, Margaret Qualley, with appearances by supermodel, Naomi Campbell, and actress, Anna Mouglalis. Once the film concluded, a large button displaying the iconic CHANEL logo descended from the ceiling and Qualley graced the runway to mark the show’s start. Viard dramatized the silhouettes for this collection with tutu-inspired voluminous skirts and shortened hemlines on the classic suit set, while experimenting in layering as looks featured sheer dresses over completed sets and intricate bra tops over long sleeve shirts. All of the looks exuded femininity with a dreamy pastel palette with bow, lace and floral detailing—which would fit in perfectly with any of house ambassador Sofia Coppola’s films.
In more recent times, ballet has been thrust into the spotlight once again, proving how the centuries old art form has long been a vessel to display the finest designs as the graceful and delicate nature lends itself to high fashion. Now, CHANEL reverses the roles and draws from the stage utilizing the classic materials and silhouettes that shaped the dance style. This ballet-inspired collection comes a decade after Coco Chanel first designed costumes for the theater. Viard reflects on this theme by stating, “I often think about dance, it’s an important theme at Chanel. The House is close to its institutions, to its choreographers and dancers, and we create costumes for the ballet. I have tried to bring together the power and finesse of bodies and clothes in a very ethereal collection, composed of tulle, ruffles, pleats and lace.”