The Château de Chenonceau, located in the Loire Valley in France has been a splendid and sumptuous setting for the Chanel Métiers d’art 2020/21 collection.
The Chenonceau was also called “Le Château des Dames”, because it has been the home to some of the most famous women in French and European history, from Katherine Briçonnet to Diana of Poitiers, from Caterina de’ Medici to Louise de Lorraine, Gabrielle d’Estrées and Louise Dupin.
It is precisely one of these, Caterina de’ Medici, that was the primary source of inspiration for Virginie Viard, in the wake of Gabrielle Chanel’s deep fascination for one of the most illustrious women of European Renaissance.
The bond between Caterina and Coco is not only evident from their troubled childhood, being both orphaned and educated in a convent, but it can also be found in the shared passion for esotericism and the arts, up to the unwavering love for black.
It is black indeed, the predominant colour in Chanel fashion shows and especially in this latest collection, embellished with pearl and gold details. The motif of the intertwined C’s returns, also a symbol that Coco Chanel has in common with Caterina de’ Medici, of whom one can read the initial at the front of the Château.
Contrary to popular belief, black in the Renaissance was not only the color for mourning but it was also the symbol of absolute elegance and rigour.
This year’s Métiers collection emphasizes this concept, bringing it into the contemporary world as only Chanel could do.
In the light of the wonderful creations presented, one thing is certain: Caterina de’ Medici would surely have dressed herself in Chanel.