Hosted at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris, CHANEL’s Spring/Summer Haute Couture show was a collaboration between the house’s creative director, Virginie Viard and artist Xavier Veilhan. To get the ball rolling, Viard opened the doors to Gabrielle Chanel’s famed 31 Rue Cambon apartment for a closer look at her collection of objects, sculptures, and drawings featuring lions, dogs, stags, birds, and camels. “For his third participation, I asked him to reinterpret the apartment’s bestiary and incorporate his own,” she says. “The whole embroidery universe of the collection is turned towards the animal world.”
And so, Veilhan devised a set to look like a village preparing for a festive parade with giant animals made of wood, cardboard, and paper to hide models, and then open to let them emerge. “I like it when the marvellous bursts forth and the course of events is interrupted,” says Viard.
Naturally, the collection itself was equally striking. Short tweed suits and coat dresses embroidered with kittens, corgis, and rabbits while swallows take the stage with the dogs, stags or camellias symbolic of the iconic House. The runway’s suits got the majorettes treatment with top hats, bow ties, and white gloves, while satin capes, jackets with tails, and petticoats were inspired by parade uniforms. Dresses and jumpsuits had added lightness with flounces, pleats, and laces made in the finest silk tulle, organza, and Chantilly lace. The show closed like any beautiful fairy parade story with a stunning bride in a dress embroidered with swallows. Surely, they all lived happily ever after.
View the gallery for a look at our favourite looks from the CHANEL Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2023 collection.