Virginie Viard Presents Her First Collection for Chanel


After Karl Lagerfeld’s passing in February of 2019, the fashion world was left unsure of what would become of Chanel, the brand he had helmed for over 30 years. Lagerfeld’s appointment of the role in 1983 revived the brand from prior decline by aligning his visions with respect to the house codes while propelling the brand into modernity.

After taking the final bow for Lagerfeld due to sickness following Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2019 and subsequently finishing his Fall/Winter 2019 posthumous collection just weeks after his passing, Chanel veteran Virginie Viard was announced as the new Creative Director.

Viard has spent an impressive 30 years under Lagerfeld between Chloé, Chanel, and previously holding the role of director of Chanel’s studio. After three decades training waiting to assume the role of creative director, Viard presented her first full collection this morning at the Grand Palais for Chanel Resort 2020.

Before Lagerfeld passed away, he discussed with Viard the idea of a Beaux Arts-style train station. The idea was meticulously brought to life as a Saint Tropez platform complete with platforms and Le Riviera, an elegant “train car” café serving a light breakfast before the show commenced.

Various members of Chanel’s leading ladies spanning across the decades sat front-row including Keira Knightley, Claudia Schiffer, Ali MacGraw, and Lily Rose-Depp. The immersive experience had station porters ushering guests to their seats on benches lining the concrete runway, and with the strike of the giant station clock, the show began.

Victorian poplin blouses with starched collars, relaxed wide-legged pants, longline candy colored tweed jackets met with neutral toned trench coats, and printed leggings were all staple pieces apart of Viard’s inaugural collection. Brightly colored fingerless gloves were included as a nod to Lagerfeld’s signature look.

Spotlighted was the wide range of handbags Viard introduced this season. She played with classic elements of Chanel bags with modern takes, including a mini bag made entirely from Chanel’s iconic woven chain link straps, or a quilted water bottle carrier bag.

While Lagerfeld filled his time at Chanel creating avant-garde concepts developed from the house codes, Viard’s collection projects her image of the brand as a pared down version of Chanel that flows closely to the vision Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel once had for her eponymous brand. Above all, as the first woman to lead the brand since Chanel herself, the collection truly feels as if created by women for women, adapting firstly to her lifestyle, and secondly to the trends.


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