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Walking into a Chanel show is like entering your chicest friend’s house that you haven’t been to in a while: there are instantly recognizable and familiar elements—the tweed, the suiting, the demure glamour—but the rest of it has totally changed. It was with this comforting sense of déjà vu that we treaded the sandy path to Chanel’s haute couture show earlier today, held in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne park.
For the second season in a row, Chanel worked with French installation artist Xavier Veilhan to construct a dreamy playground on the site of the Étrier de Paris equestrian center, complete with giant spinning pinwheels and baby pink marshmallow-y poufs. Inside the airy, loft-like venue, a trippy video featuring Pharrell on the drums and music by French artist Sébastian Teller opened the show.
“In this new collection, there are suits, long dresses like Mademoiselle Chanel imagined them in the 1930s: fitted to the body even though they have strong shoulders here, and pleated dresses like the wedding dress for instance,” Chanel creative director Virginie Viard said in a press release. “And lace too, inlaid, reworked, not embroidered, but repainted. The palette consists of bright green, khaki, beige, pink, lots of black and silver.”
The pieces the house sent down the runway paid homage to the equestrian center in which the show took place, with some models complementing the feminine attire with wide-brim hats and chunky cowboy boots. The first look, a bold kelly green jacket and skirt, set the decidedly casual tone for what followed, including a long metallic coat, office-ready co-ord sets, and capri-style pants.
As the parade of models continued, the clothes became more formal; a form-fitting floor-length pleated dress with two buttoned front pockets stood out, as did the final look: a white strapless wedding gown, worn by model Jill Kortleve and accessorized with a white head bow and a boho-chic embroidered shawl—the perfect ensemble for a rhinestone cowgirl wedding.
After the show wrapped, guests exited back through Veilhan’s geometric playground to where their cars were waiting. This time, the path was replaced entirely with fine, white sand that looked like it had been imported straight from the Maldives. As another journalist pointed out: If you looked closely, you could occasionally catch the Chanel-logo’d footprint of a well-heeled guest making their temporary mark on another couture season.
See all the looks from Chanel’s fall/winter 2022-2023 haute couture collection, below.
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