The Fall-Winter 2023/24 Haute Couture collection by Virginie Viard, made of contrasts and balance, is the portrait of a sensitive yet bold Parisienne. Here, her singular and often indefinable charm lies precisely in her taste for subverting academicism and bringing together what is so often separated, classified and hierarchised for the sake of convenience.
“Playing with opposites and contrasts, with nonchalance and elegance, is like standing on a line between strength and delicacy, which, at CHANEL, is what we call allure,” she explains. What the Parisienne wears, what she reads and thinks, her very atitude to life, is closely inspected and studied. All over the world, by opposition or imitation, she sets an example that nourishes others. Through cinema, literature and music, her allure travels from collection to collection. Here, the assembly of tweeds, silk chiffons, organza and inlaid lace, the composition of floral and graphic motifs, testify to the effervescence of a rich and feminine creative universe.
“If we’re in Paris,” she adds, “and this time we’re in Paris itself, on the quayside. The street and the colourful paving stones call for both sophistication and simplicity.” To imagine an Haute Couture show on the banks of the Seine, with Vanessa Paradis as the embodiment of Parisienne allure, is like a journey through a world of images and emotions, of permanence and beauty.
A symbol of the creative energy that flows through the city, its river, romantic and tumultuous, open to the world, meanders around history of art’s hotspots. The fruit basket, a motif dear to the art of painting, echoes the wicker basket favoured by the Parisienne of the 1970s, while delicate flowers and wild fruit, strawberries and blackberries, blossom over the embroidery.
Long, masculine-inspired overcoats, diaphanous blouses belted over flat-pleated golden tweed skirts, precious vest tops, pin-striped trousers and men’s waistcoats, a long black chiffon dress of infinite lightness, painted eyewear and two-tone Mary-Janes: the collection plays with the codes of CHANEL, rigour and asymmetry, discreet colours and vibrant shades, assurance and discretion. “Handing down emotions, bringing the most unlikely elements together, doing things your own way, just dreaming.”