The French fashion house draws inspiration from Jean Cocteau’s film Testament of Orpheus for its latest punk-infused collection.
Think of Chanel, and expect images of elevated monochrome offerings, tweed suits, and the exceptional tailoring synonymous with haute Parisian style to automatically spring to mind. But when Virginie Viard unveiled Chanel’s Cruise 2021/22 Collection on Tuesday, something much more daring and modern was unearthed.
Set against the earthy tones of Carrières de Lumières in the South of France, the show was a display of punk sensibilities. Infused with fishnet tights, pearl belly-chains, leather ‘fits, and smoky eyes, the collection paid homage to Gabrielle Chanel’s dear friend Jean Cocteau and his film Testament of Orpheus, all the while hacking references from 60s and 70s punk and rock ‘n’ roll. But, while the presence of a new grungy aesthetic was undeniable, true to form, we saw flashes of tweed and pearl which allowed for an infusion of classic Parisian style – giving the collection a two-tone aesthetic.
“Echoing the extreme modernity of Cocteau’s film, I wanted something quite rock,” explained Viard when speaking on her vision for the show. “Lots of fringes, in leather, beads and sequins, t-shirts bearing the face of the model Lola Nicon like a rock star, worn with tweed suits trimmed with wide braids, and pointed silver Mary-Janes. A look that recalls as much the modernity of the sixties as that of punk.”
The presence of this harsher aesthetic speaks to the needs of a generation of TikTokers, paving the way for a more eclectic aesthetic that is rooted in past eras of fashion. So, while this may be a very bold move for a brand usually steeped in traditional designs and silhouettes, this elevated take on the punk aesthetic means that the 2021/22 Cruise Collection is a delight for Gen Z fashion lovers and Chanel fans alike.