COCO CHANEL was inarguably fashion’s original provocateur. Her first stroke of genius was in upending the suffocating, corseted silhouette of her day. She freed women from the constraints of immobility and the artificial, romanticized visage prevalent at the turn of the century. She presented a modern wardrobe with a vision of the future, a future where women could be strong, comfortable, powerful, and chic without the trappings of fantastical artifice. CHANEL created an iconic, timeless vocabulary of style symbols that live in black and ivory, cut for ease and movement, adorned only with the essentials. The CHANEL accessory endures, as relevant and coveted as the day she shattered the rules by mixing real jewels with faux. CHANEL was a fashion brand before there were fashion brands. She created an esthetic that was as pure as her signature fragrance, CHANEL No. 5. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was a tough broad, a woman of choice words with a spine of steel. But her determination for women’s liberation through style was as right as rain.
Hot pants get Haute at CHANEL.
For over 110 years, the name CHANEL has been synonymous with luxury, refinement, and extraordinary style. Today VIRGINIE VIARD carries the torch as Artistic Director for the brand. As a woman designer at the helm of one of the most powerful fashion houses in the world, and dare we point out how rare that actually is, VIARD’s vision is decidedly her own as she quietly and confidently settles into her role following the passing of KARL LAGERFELD in 2019. Like the brand’s founder, VIARD is a strong woman with a passion for quality, beauty, and luxury. Because she is a woman she understands what it’s like to wear, move, and live in the clothes. Like her predecessor, she remains faithful to the house codes, interpreting CHANEL for women who live in the digital age but perhaps long for a bit of those good old analog vibes.
CHANEL’s Spring suits are perfect for a bridal luncheon.
Speaking of analog vibes, VIARD’s runway concept for Spring 2022 took us back to the glory days of the 1980s when supermodels paraded joyfully, spinning mid-catwalk, hamming it up for the photographers who surrounded the runway on all sides. As the world slowly lifts the pandemic veil, it’s apparent that we are all a little nostalgic for humanity, connection, and the revelation that the show must go on. Instead of emotionless runway robots, the CHANEL girls were full of joy, smiling, posing, and truly living in the fashion moment.
The spring 2022 collection is as vibrant as the catwalk show. With 71 looks ranging from sassy black and white swim (perfect honeymoon attire) to CHANEL’s timeless tweeds cut in sexy mini-skirted shades of pink, lavender, yellow, and cream to a feminine finale of butterfly wing chiffons destined for your dream romantic get-away, this collection is the pretty, free-spirited, wearable moment we all need. And after a few seasons sans accessories, jewelry, handbags, bows, and camellias made a welcome appearance once again.
Working those beautiful chiffons for a strong CHANEL finale.
Juli Alvarez is a highly experienced fashion consultant specializing in digital and print media, e-commerce content, fashion copywriting, and fashion image creation for fashion, accessory, wedding, and editorial brands. Juli has worked closely with clients to elevate and expand their brand imagery, content, and product. “I enjoy working on projects that range in scope from creative direction to styling to show casting to writing.”
Illustration by ERI WAKIYAMA