The Heartwarming Inspiration Behind Virginie Viard’s Chanel Haute Couture SS21 Collection

3 min read
Virginie Viard for Chanel Haute Couture
Photographed by Anton Corbijn

With its ethereal party dresses, embellished skirts and chic tweed suiting, the Chanel Haute Couture spring/summer 2021 collection is a celebration for all the family. MOJEH goes behind the scenes…

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s the importance of family – something Chanel creative director Virginie Viard holds close to her heart. Unsurprisingly, this sentiment was also echoed at her Haute Couture spring/summer 2021 presentation, which she dedicated to the eternally close bond that exists between the Maison, its atelier and its clients. Offering a brief respite from today’s pressures, at its heart was the idea of an intimate wedding reuniting family and friends. “I love big family reunions, where the generations come together. It’s so warm. There’s this spirit at Chanel today,” said Viard at the time. Models, long-time muses and friends of the House all gathered at 31 Rue Cambon for the celebration, appearing beneath arches of flowers in black and white videos shot by Anton Corbijin – mother-daughter duo Vanessa Paradis and Lily-Rose Depp included, alongside Penélope Cruz and Marion Cotillard, to name a few.

Virginie Viard for Chanel Haute Couture

Backstage Lily-Rose Depp showcased the collection’s penchant for velvet, feathers and tweed. Photographed by
Anton Corbijn

As the clothes soon appeared in technicolour, what was unveiled was the perfect harmony between ethereal romance and modern femininity, with models dressed like the attendees of exceptionally chic nuptials. Telling a story of freedom and garden parties through soft tweed sets inspired by men’s tailoring, party dresses adorned with tulle bustles, giant tiered skirts and embellished waistcoats, plus ruffled dresses like Chanel’s dégagé Spanish-inspired dance dresses from the 1930s, which are sure to be top of the wish-list for every wedding guest for seasons to come. An ode to dance and the freedom of summer fêtes, let’s not forget the return of the flower crown, an old festival favourite that will be with us for the foreseeable. What’s more, in true couture style, we saw embroideries by the expert ateliers of Lesage, macramé executed by Montex, intricate and extraordinary feather embellishments by Lemarié, jewelled buttons by Desrues, all expertly matched by the skills of Chanel’s ateliers.

Virginie Viard for Chanel Haute Couture

Photographed by Leila Smara

As with every Chanel haute couture show, there was a bride – this one making her grand entrance on a majestic horse. Taking inspiration from the ’20s, her long dress in ecru satin crépe with train was embroidered with strass and pearl butterflies by Lesage, plus wing collar and shirt cuffs, and was complemented by a delicate veil. If spring/summer 2021 is to be remembered for its alfresco parties filled with joyous dancing, twinkling lights, foliage in full bloom and fantastical fashion, then we’re 100 per cent here for it.

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