The Chanel Spring/Summer 2021 ready-to-wear collection is an ode to the elegance of the big screen, with feather-dusted gowns, playful pops of colour and plenty of pearls
Before Virginie Viard even showed her Spring/Summer 2021 Chanel collection at the Grand Palais in Paris on the final day of fashion month last year, the scene was already set for a meeting of fashion and film, with the runway spelling out the House’s name in giant letters, reminiscent of the iconic Hollywood sign in the Santa Monica mountains. What followed was an energetic collection dedicated to actresses who are muses of the Maison, with Viard explaining, “Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld dressed so many actresses in films and in real life. I was thinking about those who make us dream so much, but without wanting to replicate, without falling into a vintage citation. I wanted it to be very joyful, colourful, and very vibrant too.”
Joyful it was, with jeans in fluorescent hues, fluid T-shirts printed with the letters of CHANEL like neon lights, pale pink capri pants, Bermuda short suits and long dresses covered with little monochrome flowers making their way down the runway. Indeed colour-pop denim was a surprising entry, with bubblegum-pink denim jackets, high-waisted jeans and quilted bags ensuring fun is firmly on the agenda for SS21.
This is Virginie Viard, after all, so, as would be expected, feather-dusted gowns and trailing plumes of chiffon also made a prompt appearance, capturing the cinematic mood of the collection while adding that classic, Chanel lady-like code into the mix. The same can be said for Coco Chanel’s favourite hue of black, which dominated in sheer chiffons that made it feel light and, when paired with pink, made for the season’s ultimate must-wear colour combination.
When it comes to accessories, micro-bags are back with a bang. Downsized to even dinkier proportions, they came worn crossbody, swinging from belts and even suspended from necklaces. The belt proved to the second most popular accessory of the season, with Viard dressing models in woven chain-and-leather designs, many with interlocking C-buckles.
Pearls are set to be worn everywhere with everything, too, and the collection’s multi-stranded pearl iterations are true works of art. While this season’s collection might have been filled with fun and frivolous pieces – most designers are painting an optimistic picture of 2021 right now, which is something we all desperately need – Chanel most certainly isn’t giving up on glamour either, and this is one style smorgasbord we can definitely get on board with.
Photography by Benoit Peverelli and Amit Israeli