CHANEL: SS22 READY-TO-WEAR
Back in the supermodel era of the eighties and early nineties, runways were raised high, putting the models on a literal pedestal. These elevated beauties would bound down the catwalk, smiling and twirling for the photographers who lined the whole length of the runway. Nowhere was this relationship between photographer and catwalk model more vital than at Karl Largerfeld’s Chanel, where Linda, Christy and Naomi camped and vamped their way into fashion legend.
For SS22, Virginie Viard joyfully recreated this vintage runway scene, “I used to love the sound of flashbulbs going off at the shows in the eighties, when the models were on a raised runway. I wanted to recapture that emotion,” she said. Her favourite photographers Inez and Vinoodh were stationed at the end of the runway and the rest of the photographers corps (usually confined to a pit) lined the full length of the catwalk. Viard instructed her 21st-century supers to walk like 90s girls and took her styling queues from that era, too.
She kicked off the show with a sassy monochrome swimsuit section and piled on the double-C accessories. (Chains, belts, bangles, cuffs and pendants shaped like golden No5 bottles and the classic flap bag with a super chunky chain strap.) Then she segued into sweetie-coloured crop tops and tweed shorts under matching thigh-length jackets for a nineties-meets-now redux on the classic Chanel tweed suit. Flirty little skirt suits were styled after tailcoats, in a homage to Karl Lagerfeld and little denim tunic dresses came in bold deckchair stripes.
The show closed with smiling models, twirling in vivid butterfly print denim and fluttering chiffon to a version of George Michael’s Freedom. The girls looked gorgeous and animated – clearly enjoying their retro-supermodel moment, knowing that their beauty was amplified by being up high on a catwalk pedestal. The clothes too had a colourful, youthful energy. Black Pink’s Jennie, dressed to doll-like perfection in the front row, lapped it up. We all revelled in the unabashed nineties nostalgia, but this show also did a good job of communicating the joie-de-vivre of fashion to a new Chanel generation.
Photography courtesy of Chanel.