Chanel inspired by Karl Lagerfeld for haute couture AW20/21

July 10, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

Chanel artistic director Virginie Viard took inspiration from Karl
Lagerfeld for her autumn/winter 2020-21 haute couture collection with a
“punk princess” vibe filled with ornate embellishments.

While Viard’s spring-summer 2020 Chanel haute couture collection was
influenced by the simplicity and rigour of the abbey at Aubazine, where
Gabrielle Chanel had been placed as a child, the thirty looks for the
autumn-winter 2020/21 collection focus on a desire for “shimmering opulence
and jewellery” taking inspiration from Karl Lagerfeld rather than Gabrielle

“I was thinking about a punk princess coming out of ‘Le Palace’ at
dawn,” explains Viard in the show notes. “With a taffeta dress, big hair,
feathers and lots of jewellery. This collection is more inspired by Karl
Lagerfeld than Gabrielle Chanel. Karl would go to ‘Le Palace’, he would
accompany these very sophisticated and very dressed up women, who were very
eccentric too.”

Viard added: “I like working like this, going in the opposite direction
of what I did last time. I wanted complexity, sophistication.”

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Simplicity is out, Chanel has presented an eccentric collection, with
touches of Eighties glamour alongside what the luxury fashion house is
calling “ultra rock romanticism”, with short party dresses with cinched
waists, added bling with tweeds layered with gold chains and pearls, as
well as jewels from the Chanel high jewellery collections and shimmering
metallic dresses.

The romanticism was also seen in the corolla skirts rustle alongside
long dresses that had a very Grand Siècle allure, as well as the painted
lace enriched bolero jackets and the diamond-like braiding adorning ink
black trouser suits.

Chanel goes “punk princess” with opulent haute couture collection

Highlights included tweeds made of silver streaked ribbon, a black
jumpsuit with side cutouts, a jacket with an entirely smocked waist worn
over tapered boot-trousers in black suede, a tweed dress embellished with
flowers, and a black debutant ballgown with a tiered skirt and jewelled
top, styled with Marie-Antoinette laced-up shoes.

“For me, Haute Couture is romantic by its very essence,” explained
Viard. “There is so much love in each one of these silhouettes.”

This was also an haute couture collection to highlight its
craftsmanship, with all pieces crafted during the coronavirus pandemic
lockdown, with all of Chanel’s embroidery partners, including Métiers d’art
Lesage and Montex, as well as Lemarié and Goossens contributing to the
tweeds embellished with sequins, precious stones, beads and pearls.

While others on the haute couture schedule have opted for big-budget
whimsical productions like , and Giambattista Valli showcasing his
magnificent tulle alongside shots of Paris, Chanel opted for a just 1
minute 22 seconds of the models showcasing the looks against a plain
backdrop with some awkward dancing. A little disappointing after the teaser
shot by Loïc Prigent captured black and white behind the scene glimpses of
the Chanel atelier.

Images: courtesy of Chanel – photographed and captured by Mikael Jansson