(MENAFN – Gulf Times) Chanel went back to the timeless glamour of black and white Hollywood movies while Louis Vuitton embraced a gender neutral future on the last day of Paris fashion week yesterday.
An army of the world’s top supermodels walked under a huge Hollywood-style sign spelling out Chanel’s name in its biggest catwalk spectacle since designer Virginie Viard took over the fabled French house from Karl Lagerfeld after his death last year.
They included the body positive pin-up, Jill Kortleve, the Dutch model who is a voluptuous size 16 (US size 12).
Coronavirus restrictions may have limited the number of fashionistas allowed into the immense Grand Palais in central Paris, but like the decor, Viard wrote her ambitions large.
Her collection was no less than a grand sweep through the long history of the label founded by Gabrielle ‘Coco Chanel, with a giant nod to Chanel’s time in Tinseltown in the 1930s when she dressed stars like Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich and Gloria Swanson.
‘I was thinking of actresses on the red carpet … some of whom we haven’t seen in a long time… their faces a little somewhere else as the photographers call out to them, Viard said afterwards.
The show dominated by black and white interspersed with splashes of bold colour coincides with the first-ever museum exhibition dedicated to Coco Chanel in the French capital, which opened last week to rave reviews.
Viard recreated and updated some of Coco’s most beloved looks, with a nod to her predecessor Lagerfeld’s more street fashion sensibility with logos a gogo.
‘Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld dressed so many actresses in their films and in their lives, Viard added. ‘They made us dream.
‘Without redoing clothes exactly and falling into vintage, I wanted it to be very joyous and colourful and full of life.
With Paris fashion week forced largely online by the coronavirus, Chanel streamed the show live for fashion fans.
While Chanel looked back, Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Louis Vuitton could not be more resolutely now, with the opening look a sweater emblazoned with ‘Vote, a rallying call for the liberal left in the upcoming US presidential election.
But that was as conventionally political as it got, with the highly-rated French designer insisting that his eyes were set firmly on the possibilities that gender fluid clothes might offer in the future.
‘What cut might dissolve the masculine and the feminine? he asked. ‘What wardrobe might make them come together in one?
Ghesquiere said he wanted to bring the world’s richest luxury label on a ‘voyage of exploration … to discover and abolish the last [gender] frontiers.
The bravura show was held in the long-closed La Samaritaine department store, which is due to reopen next year.
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