CHANEL’s “Château des Dames” 2020/21 Métiers d’art collection gleaned inspiration from its regal scenography and the dignified women who inhabited it. Staged at the Château de Chenonceau, Virginie Viard was intrigued by the palace’s architectural beauty, as well as Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici, two Renaissance-era women who once lived within this sweeping compound. Viard notes how de’ Medici’s emblem was of two intertwined Cs, a predecessor to the iconic insignia of the storied French Maison. While founder Gabrielle Chanel may have never explicitly cited either of these two figures as influencing her sartorial endeavours, she has previously disclosed how she found women of the Renaissance “to be great, with a magnificent simplicity and a majesty imbued with onerous duties.”
The clothing showcased today can be viewed as a contemporary reimagining of an expansive wardrobe fit for these influential dignitaries. Whether recumbent on a carefree afternoon in leggings and ballet flats, or primed for an evening affair in a showstopping lace number, there was a sense of unity and progression to the proceedings. A black and white checkered motif appears on various garments throughout the 67-look collection, which directly complements the floor of the runway in the château’s grand gallery. Similarly, a warm-toned tweed cape recalls the draperies within the palace, while floral embroideries were a direct reference to the gardens once created by de Poitiers and de’ Medici.
As always, the savoir-faire of CHANEL’s artisans is on full display, as the handiwork of some of the world’s most skilled dressmakers is evident in the latticework punctuated with studs on a lace frock, or the hand-embroidered top of a damask dress. With each consecutive season, Viard is displaying a knack for creating a streamlined wardrobe for women who luxuriate in fine details and an artful pragmatism.
Discover the collection through the gallery below.