Tuesday 9th March

| BY Claudia Croft

Chanel: Ready-to-wear AW21

Who isn’t dreaming of dressing up, going out, dancing and having fun with friends? Virginie Viard tapped into this collective spirit of longing for her AW21 Chanel show. Filmed by Inez and Vinoodh, it followed a group of gorgeous Chanel muses on the ultimate girl’s night out.

Shot at the legendary Castel nightclub in Paris, where Françoise Hardy, Mick Jagger, Françoise Sagan, Serge Gainsbourg and Johnny Hallyday held court in the sixties and seventies, the Chanel girls discard their enveloping, tweed or apres-ski coats at the door and strut through the club in flimsy chiffon finery.

“I love contrasts, so for the more voluminous winter pieces, I wanted a small space. I don’t know if this is because of the times we live in, but I wanted something warm, lively. I imagined the models doing a show for themselves, going from room to room, crossing each other in staircases, piling their coats up in the cloakroom and going up to the next floor to get changed. And I thought of the shows that Karl would tell me about, back in the day, a long time ago, when the models would dress themselves and do their own make-up,” explained Viard, adding “it’s very sensual.”

Going ‘out out’ is very ‘in in’ and a lacy teddy and a big tweed coat is all a girl needs for a good night. Even the famous Chanel tweed suits were given an after-dark spin with sequins. Convention? Who needs it in 2021? When it came to attitude, Viard looked to a legendary Chanel muse for inspiration. “Today some of these silhouettes make me think of Stella Tennant’s allure, the way she wore certain pieces, it was so Chanel.”

A ski theme slalomed through the collection – Viard said she adores the ambience of ski holidays. Fake-fur yeti boots and Chanel beanie hats were worn throughout. She even remade the classic Chanel skirt suit in shaggy fake fur – a reference to similar looks from Karl Lagerfeld’s iconic AW 1994 collection. This was Viard’s most playful take yet on Chanel. And from the stone-wash jeans dotted with silver logo sequins, to the new, boxy, quilted bags and glittering crystal garters, there was plenty to bring joy.

Photography courtesy of Chanel.