The Chanel Spring/Summer 2020 show was destined to go down in history as Virginie Viard took over the reigns of the historic French maison. Her inaugural ready-to-wear collection can be described in two simple words: youthful and practical. Set at the Grand Palais (obviously), the set mimicked Parisian rooftops, while the collection brought to life the core values of the luxury fashion label.
As brand ambassador Kristen Stewart aptly describes, “I genuinely would wear everything that I’ve put on to shoot the campaign – I could run around the block in them. You’re meant to do something in them, not just sit and look pretty. Those clothes are meant to be worn.” Chic, functional, and empowering clothing are the foundations on which Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel built her eponymous label. Freeing women from corsets and singlehandedly changing the way women dress, the designer revolutionized the fashion industry by creating clothes that were meant to make women feel free and comfortable.
Viard’s collection features an embodiment of this Coco Chanel philosophy, but reimagined for the 21st century. Tweed – which is as synonymous with Chanel as those interlocked Cs – was created for a new age of Chanel women, with her fresh take translating into a tweed jacket dress with a flared skirt, as well as sporty playsuits in different styles. Meanwhile, a cropped ‘Breton’ jacket and sweater paired with high-waisted denim was sent down the runway, clueing us into the inspiration behind the collection: the French New Wave film movement of the 50s and 60s. Not only did cinematic darling Jean Seberg make the striped sailor shirt famous, but she also happens to be the subject of Stewart’s upcoming biopic.
As for accessories, the ‘11.12’ bag made a comeback in tweed as well as satin crowned with sequins. With corsets long gone, Chanel is now liberating us from heeled sandals. The show saw models walking the ramp in flat ankle-strap sandals in solid and two-toned shades. Young, energetic, and free is the vibe projected by Chanel for its first spring/summer collection of the decade, and the campaign only echoes this energy as Stewart jumps on a trampoline for zero-gravity shots captured by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.