The romantic rooftops of Paris served as a fitting look-out point for Virginie Viard to unveil her first ready-to-wear collection for Chanel.
Created in the Grand Palais with chimneys sourced from flea markets, the set was one in which a modern-day Mary Poppins would have looked perfectly at home. “The roofs of Paris remind me of the atmosphere of the Nouvelle Vague I saw silhouettes walking on the roofs” noted Viard, in her collection notes.
The collection was appropriately cinematic, with fluid silhouettes, jackets with flounce and masculine tailoring among the most photogenic looks.
Swinging black kilts worn with opaque tights, neat bouclé jackets, long-line coats and Chanel’s take on the pillbox hat created a new-look Chanel oozing with Gallic glamour. Stand-out pieces included an ivory puffball skirt worn by Kaia Gerber. Gigi Hadid was also on the catwalk in black micro shorts and embroidered jacket. Chanel has a new-found modernity and subtle femininity in Viard’s hands. But it has continuity too.
Her rise from long-standing Chanel employee and the right hand of Karl Lagerfeld up until his death from cancer earlier this year represents no sea change for the brand. As a result, Viard’s collections have a quiet confidence that can only stem from experience. Her success will depend on whether she can breathe her own spirit into this house.