Due to the bitch that is COVID-19, in-person fashion shows are on hold for now, which means that brands like Chanel are unable to show their resort collections in person this summer. Instead, Chanel has opted to do a lookbook video, with accompanying photographs of the 51 looks. The collection pulls inspiration from the island of Capri, where the collection was supposed to be shown and consists of easy and comfortable garments mixed with Chanel’s signature tweed and suiting elements.
Many critics agree that Virginie Viard’s Chanel lacks the oomph that Karl Lagerfeld’s did and this resort collection is no exception. While there are some looks that stand out, overall this collection is pretty lackluster. It seems just a bit too commercial for Chanel. Resort collections are usually pretty casual, to begin with, it seems like the fashion industry is weary to take risks right now due to the implications of COVID. However, a resort collection seems like the perfect chance to play around with how to make casual and sellable garments visually interesting, instead, it seems like Chanel just wanted to play it safe.
The first thing that caught my eye was the more youthful silhouettes such as halter tops, bandeaus, and flowy off the shoulder tops. I think the concept was really nice and a way to branch Chanel into a younger demographic but the execution wasn’t always there. The first look featured on Vogue.com gave me “cool mom that’s trying too hard” vibes with a black and white striped bandeau paired under a black tweed suit which is sinched in with a rope belt. The look is finished off with some awful Chanel cuff bracelets and some average looking sandals. The fun bandeau gets lost under all that tweed and the pants could have been a lot stronger with a better hem. If I could change just one thing about this collection I think it would be having better-tailored pants. Some of these outfits are definitely lost causes but properly fitting pants could take these looks from sloppy to chic instantly.
While that one missed the mark, another jacket look nailed it. This look featured a white jacket with black leather detailing, a bandeau, and leather shorts. The classic jacket instantly lets you know it’s a Chanel outfit, but the leather and the shorts give it a modern, youthful spin.
I was also really excited to see some denim in this collection but was a little let down when the bellbottoms used in a few looks featured a Chanel logo and camellia side panel. This panel just seemed like overkill and I would have preferred a well-constructed pair of bellbottoms that you *know* are Chanel instead. I did love the denim jacket that was paired with these pants though. Viard is known for her open jackets and using the denim gave it a refreshing makeover. This, like the white jacket look, is something I can definitely see a Gen-Z A-Lister rocking on a red carpet
Overall my favorite looks were the two pink suits. I think they were some chicest and best-tailored pieces in the entire collection. They captured the “Chanel but make it youthful” vibe perfectly. The more formal of the suits was a coral, double-breasted, two-button jacket paired with matching shorts. This is the perfect look for a resort collection because it’s casual enough for a dinner by the water but can be dressed up for a much more formal affair. The second suit is a lighter pink and almost resembles pajamas. The jacket is short, cuffed sleeves with a notched collar. It has a loose, boxy feel that comes in ever so slightly at the waist for some definition. While I don’t think this suit is as formal as the previous one, the accessories used will be able to dictate if this is for loungewear or a going out.
Inspired by the comfort-chic of Coronavirus, the flowy garments are perfect for being quarantined in your beach house, but ultimately this collection feels very Zara to me. The direction isn’t very clear and dare I say some of the looks even feel a little dated? Those cropped jeans with the pink tweed SCREAM Paris Hilton circa The Simple Life. I did really see the intent of trying to go for a more youthful look, but the execution fell flat. I do think this could potentially be a really great direction for Chanel to go in and I hope future collections learn from these mistakes.
All photos from Vogue's Runway Report
You can find more of Raegan's work on her Instagram, @raegarific.
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