Can a global fashion mega-brand cross-pollinate with music and film? Chanel has been there and done that, prefacing its SS24 couture show with a Dave Free-directed mini-movie, starring house face Margaret Qualley, (with a cameo from Naomi Campbell) and scored by the multi-talented Kendrick Lamar, who also soundtracked the show. It showed Qualley on a quest to find a missing button from her grandmother’s Chanel jacket, which took her from New York to Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment – (and cleverly underlined the point that a Chanel habit can be passed down through the generations). The film was projected onto the circular walls of the show space, and as it ended, Qualley emerged from the screen onto the catwalk, wearing a cream tweed miniskirted Chanel suit, her legs sheathed in white ballet tights. Young, coltish, quirky and girlishly gorgeous – in her couture suit, Qualley embodied a particular Chanel sweet spot.
Everything that followed was light, leggy and lovely. The collection didn’t get hung up on grandeur. Even when the craftsmanship reached virtuoso levels, (the embroideries are out of this world) it bounced along beautifully.
A ballet theme ran through the looks with designer Virginie Viard prescribing “lots of tulle, and legs, and lightness and summer”. Those white ballet tights were worn with everything from frothy tulle tutus to lace playsuits, sheer ribbon trimmed pencil skirts and playful sequin mini dresses trailed by luscious trains of cloud-like tulle. “There’s something magical about bodies in motion,” said Viard of her dance obsession, adding that she wanted “to bring together the power and finesse of bodies and clothes”. Couture is the crucible.
Photography courtesy of Chanel.