The Mediterranean coastline inspires Chanel’s Cruise collection

The Mediterranean coastline inspires Chanel’s Cruise collection

The collection features trousers cascading with ruffles, bouclé skirts which unbutton to the thigh, dresses in fine transparent lamé and shiny Bermuda shorts

From San Francisco to St Petersburg, Dubai to London, a host of cities were scheduled to play host to luxury labels’ extravagant Cruise show this spring. As Covid-19 caused global travel to cease, so brand’s halted their international fashion show plans. One such label was Chanel, which was scheduled to show its Resort 2021 show for the first time outside Paris since 2016, on the idyllic Italian island of Capri.

As the threat of lockdown pervaded, so creative director Virginie Viard expanded her horizons, nodding not just to Capri’s coastline, but other sparkling shorelines. ‘The collection, more generally, evolved towards a trip around the Mediterranean... The islands, the scent of the eucalyptus, the pink shades of the bougainvillea,’ she explains of an offering which also nods to the holiday wardrobes of Sixties actresses who favoured sunning themselves on the Italian and the French Riviera. Coco Chanel herself loved the Côte d’Azur. She chose to build her famed villa La Pausa in 1928 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Chanel’s 2019 high jewellery offering was also dedicated to its founder’s penchant for seafaring. ‘Flying Cloud’ nodded to the 1930s superyacht bestowed to her by the Duke of Westminster.

Chanel Cruise 2021

Chanel Cruise 2021. Photography: Karim Sadli

Fashion has the power to transport us to far off destinations, and there’s ample escapism in Viard’s offering. Based on the idea of a wardrobe carried in a ‘little suitcase on wheels’ (perfect for pulling from a ferry from Naples), the collection features trousers cascading with ruffles, bouclé skirts which unbutton to the thigh, dresses in fine transparent lamé and shiny Bermuda shorts. To accompany the collection, Chanel celebrated the Mediterrranean skyline with a series of atmospheric landscape images, capturing Capri’s famed Blue Grotto, a sky illuminated by sunset tones and the verdant tones of bougainvillea. Close your eyes and you might just be able to smell them. §

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