The DIY Elegance of Chanel's FW21 Show

The DIY Elegance of Chanel's FW21 Show

The DIY Elegance of Chanel's FW21 Show

The new collection modernizes ski clothing with a Parisian twist.

The new collection modernizes ski clothing with a Parisian twist.

Text: Siena Ballotta Garman

There's nothing casual about organizing a show for a fashion house as large as Chanel, but this year, creative director Virginie Viard wanted to try something different. Inspired by the earlier days of fashion shows, when models often dressed themselves and did their own makeup, the video for the Fall/Winter 2021 collection shows models doing just that. There is a feeling of warmth in this film, directed by Inez & Vinoodh, as we glimpse behind the scenes of an intimate fashion show at the Parisian club Castel.

Viard explains, "I like Castel so much for its many salons, the spiral staircase, its bar, the journey through this venue, its little house style, where the models can get changed, dressed and undressed, do their make-up together, and have fun like a girls night in. It’s very sensual." The models ready themselves to the soundtrack of Diana Ross's "Do You Know Where You're Going To?" The song was released in the '70s, a decade of fashion inspiration for the collection, and its question seems particularly apt right now – nobody is going anywhere at all. As the models step from the backstage area onto the runway, the film changes from nostalgic black-and-white into vibrant color, revealing a thoroughly modern collection that still retains an element of coziness.

The clothing merges the aesthetic of ski holidays with a certain Parisian chic, to stunning effect. Bright sweaters, quilted jackets, and boots with tufts of faux fur summon images of an upscale ski lodge, while tweed suits and sequined ballet flats are ideal for the streets of Paris. The contrast of sturdy tweed and delicate mesh takes inspiration from the late Chanel icon Stella Tennant.

Overalls exhibit winter practicality, but emblazoned with the Chanel logo, they become a glamorous standout look. Iridescent threads in winter caps and knitwear add shine to these pieces, reminiscent of snow-capped peaks, or of the glowing landscape in the City of Lights.

The new collection will become available in boutiques in September 2021.

Credits: Photos courtesy of Chanel

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