A sense of girly frivolousness filled the space when the first models entered the runway for the Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2024 show. “Chanel brings out emotions that I use for inspiration, collection after collection. My mission is to find new ways to tell its most beautiful stories,” Virginie Viard explained.
Cover image: courtesy of Chanel
Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2024
The beautiful stories Viard referred to were centered around buttons. Because, as she reasons, women could rid themselves of everything that had prevented them from moving freely thanks to buttons. Gabrielle Chanel treated buttons with the utmost respect. Like a jewel, it adds a touch of daring and sparkle to the unique allure of which she was both a theorist and artisan. A quintessential symbol of emancipation, one could argue. For the Chanel Haute Couture spring 2024 collection, Viard translated the button into the ballet world. “I often think about dance,” Viard explained further. “It’s an important theme at Chanel. The House is close to its institutions, to its choreographers and dancers, and we create costumes for the ballet. I have tried to bring together the power and finesse of bodies and clothes in a very ethereal collection composed of tulle, ruffles, pleats, and lace.” The collection’s timing isn’t a coincidence; it was presented a century after Gabrielle Chanel’s first designs for ballet.
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Margaret Qualley opened the show (while smiling!) in a look that was an undisputed ode to the work of Gabrielle Chanel herself. A cream tweed jacket, a double-layered skirt, classic Chanel heeled sandals, and —the pink elephant in the room—white tights. While white leggings and tights were long put in the dark corner, Viard shows how to make them look great. The problem wasn’t about the white leggings and tights themselves; it was about everyone’s inability to combine them well. Qualley starred in a film that was projected pre-show—a fairytale about a missing Chanel button, made in collaboration with Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free, who were sitting front-row.
All images courtesy of CHANEL
A younger Carrie Bradshaw
Then there were some Carrie Bradshaw-approved looks, including the return of the white tights and the bra-over-long sleeve aesthetic. Virginie Viard must have concluded it was about time to bring back some severe dose of layering. Carrie’s ballet core aesthetic shone through her love for tutus, infusing whimsy into her eclectic way of dressing. Where Bradshaw’s fashion alchemy embraced the unexpected, Viard opted for a safer version with her Haute Couture collection. Whatever may have been on Viard’s mood boards, the Chanel Haute Couture spring 2024 collection’s handwork was inexpressible. Each look is made with outstanding techniques, from the excessive collars to classic tweed jackets, tulle skirts, and layered ensembles – all centered around bodily movement. “For me, dance evokes all these stories and emotions that are close to my heart and that I take such pleasure in handing down and recounting,” Viard concluded.
All images courtesy of CHANEL