Chanel: sunbathing in Provence for the catwalk

For her spring-summer 2023 show, Virginie Viard transports us to the Villa Noailles in Paris. Here, she unveils a collection with a seaside feel, bursting with sunshine and color. Elegant yet nonchalant.

In the nave of the ephemeral Grand Palais, Maison Chanel unveiled a very summery, uninhibited show on Tuesday October 3 – the last day of Paris Fashion.

 

“This Spring-Summer 2024 ready-to-wear collection is an ode to freedom and movement, and tells a story that originates in the gardens of Villa Noailles”. With these words from the Maison’s artistic director, the press release for the collection opens.

 

The least we can say is that joie de vivre abounds throughout.

 

A villa in bloom as a model

 

Two days before the show, the Maison de la rue Cambon announced the color, or rather the contrast, with a black-and-white video shot in May in the gardens of the Villa Noailles, not far from the Mediterranean.

 

Directed by fashion duo Inez and Vinoodh, the video featured model Rianne Rompaey in a swimsuit in the gardens of the villa.

 

 

The villa is nestled in the heights of Hyères, a resort that hosts its eponymous Festival every year, one of France’s most important fashion design competitions, alongside Andam.

 

The modernist villa, designed by architect Robert Mallet Stevens in 1923, was the brainchild of art patrons Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, with its multiple terraced gardens surrounded by bays.

 

As Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at the luxury fashion house, reminded AFP, the villa is intimately linked to the history of Gabrielle Chanel. In the 1930s, the latter met Marie-Laure de Noailles. The two women were to herald a “new modernity” and “the avant-garde”, according to Maison Chanel.

Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles welcomed a host of celebrities, from Salvador Dali to Pablo Picasso, to their villa until the 1970s.

 

In 1986, the villa officially became a cultural mecca, hosting the annual Hyères Fashion, Photography and Accessories Festival. In 2015, Karl Lagerfeld, then president of the ceremony, presented a book of photographs dedicated to the eminent building.

 

Chanel’s new summer collection features a southern exposure, as well as inspiration from the villa’s volumes and outdoor spaces – its cubist checkerboard garden, its exuberant flowers below.

 

The garden, also known as the Jardin Triangulaire, serves as a common thread running through the models.

A veritable exaltation of light and color, the collection unfurls a profusion of geometric motifs, contrasts, asymmetries and patchwork patterns, as well as lines, checks and stripes, in shades of gray, white or red, and above all – a detail that will appeal to Asian customers – they play the horizontal card.

 

A couture spirit on the beach

 

A sea breeze permeates the collection, particularly in terms of materials, with terrycloth for striped jackets and neoprene for suits.

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Featured Photo: © Chanel

Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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