Last night, Chanel presented its Cruise 23/24 collection in Los Angeles—a playful constellation of bright looks inspired by Creative Director Virginie Viard's appreciation for the House's cclose and enduring bond with Hollywood.
Chanel's connection to Los Angeles was born in 1931 when founder Coco Chanel was invited by film titan Samuel Goldwyn to travel from France to California and design costumes for his studio's films. The link was later strengthened by the brand’s other late visionary, Karl Lagerfeld, who brought a multitude of film stars into the Chanel fold, ensuring the House’s place on the red carpet for years to come.
Last night at Paramount Pictures Studios, Chanel presented the 23/24 Cruise collection before a front row studded with the film world’s brightest stars—including Kristen Stewart, Chloë Sevigny, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lily Collins, and Margot Robbie, who looked on as a host of dazzling pink looks (fit for the set of the actor's forthcoming film Barbie) made their way down the runway.
The collection centered the playful glamor of bygone times, with an array of cozy leg warmers, gem-studded bathing suits, and plenty of chic summer tweed. The glitzy display was a far cry from the understated, tailored silhouettes that Coco Chanel injected into Hollywood all those years ago.
Rather, the new collection resonates most powerfully with the revamped Chanel of the Lagerfeld era, a period honored earlier this month at the Met Gala, which served as a family reunion of sorts for the design milestones that marked the late designer's tenure at Chanel. It was Lagerfeld who first introduced the chunky jewelry and mini skirts that dotted the runway last night, but it was Viard's forward-facing vision that reimagined them for the House's new era.
If the reaction to last night's presentation is any indication, Viard's unique spin on the house codes has had something of a liberating effect on the brand's acolytes. The pink-drenched collection marks a departure from the strict black-and-white tones Lagerfeld religiously maintained. (The late designer is famously rumored to have said, “Think pink, but don’t wear it.”). With a maximalist resurgence in the air—and on the big screen—Viard's Chanel, which is putting down new roots in Los Angeles with its recently opened Beverly Hills flagship boutique, is poised for an exuberant new chapter.