The Cruise 2021-22 collection by Virginie Viard for Chanel was a hymn to the friendship between the couturière and Jean Cocteau. Surrealist symbols and a punk-style rebellion spirit transpire through the entire collection, a not at all strange sentiment to Coco’s avant-garde spirit.
Before the presentation, we were virtually welcomed in the apartment of Chanel in Rue de Cambon no.31. These precious rooms served as the antechamber to the actual collection. The main character of this preview is Lola Nicon. The model was surrounded by a baroque atmosphere made of precious objects, and the bestiary; from this, the couturière used to take inspiration for her collections. It was in these baroque living rooms that Chanel hosted his friends, including the poet and playwright Jean Cocteau.
In the majestic Carrières de Lumières in the village of Baux-de-provence, Viard unveiled the Cruise 2021-22 collection. The choice of this place is not at all random; it is here, in fact, that Cocteau filmed The Testament of Orpheus in the ’60s. The movie included the director himself, Pablo Picasso and Yul Brynner as starring actors.
«The simplicity, precision and poetry of Cocteau’s film made me want to create a very clean collection with two tones, composed of bright white and deep black» said Viard. Of great inspiration to the collection was also the surrealist narrative of the film.
This surrealist trait- highlighted by the prints, the squared and angular silhouettes, laces and jewels made of pendants, large pearls and chains – accompanied the most aggressive and revolutionary side. Punk reminiscences are clear.
Not surprisingly, another inspiration for the collection was the supermodel Stella Tennant. Her outsider spirit is clearly perceptible in the hairstyles (mullets and heavy fringes), printed shirts, fishnets, shorts and low-rise skirts in tartan or leather.
References to Cocteau echo as well in the blue sleeveless tweed dress, a reference to the artist’s ceramics; also in the doves, embroidered on sweaters and tops.