When Virginie Viard designs a destination wardrobe, ease is at the top of her agenda. Travelling light is something you’re always told to heed when packing for a tropical getaway. In theory, it sounds possible, but after your third pouch of skincare and four pairs of gauzy wide-legged pants (in different colours!), your carry-on is a few grams over on the scale.
Viard’s idea of such a wardrobe for Chanel’s resort 2021 collection came in the form of handkerchief skirts, longline cardigans, and cut-out swimsuits worn as bodysuits tucked into the most show-stopping trousers. And ease-dressing in its truest form? Matching sets—in salmon and blush-toned leather short suits, unlined tweed skirt suits in shades of bougainvillaea and orchid, and for a more utility-driven option, an all-white utility set that could pass off as the elevated sibling of a bathrobe.
“Initially I had Capri in mind, where the show was supposed to take place, but didn’t happen in the end because of lockdown,” Viard says. “So we had to adapt. Not only did we decide to use fabrics that we already had, but the collection, more generally, evolved towards a trip around the Mediterranean. The islands, the scent of the eucalyptus, the pink shades of the bougainvillaea.”
Some of the most compelling pieces are the most understated—light washed denim in ultra-roomy cuts make for a year-round wardrobe addition. The patchwork tweed and denim jeans were an instant favourite copped by Lily-Rose Depp, which she wore to the spring/summer 2021 show.
An unassuming styling story to emerge from this collection were the belly chains and skinny belts worn on bare midriffs, floating just above the waistband. These came in various logo-manic iterations: an encrusted Chanel logo on a ruched leather band, dainty baubles and dangly diamanté charms that spelt ‘Chanel’. One can only imagine the sensation of cool metal on summer skin through images. Mini bags were also part of the story—with the classic Chanel 19 shrunken and worn around the neck or hip.
From Anny Duperey to Brigitte Bardot, Viard took cues from what these ’60s actresses might have worn when they holidayed on the French Riviera, post-red carpet at Cannes Film Festival. With its chains, bling and tweed, this collection was a mirage of travel—and Viard certainly looked to tide us over.
Videographer: Nicolas Kengen
Photographer: Serge Leblon
Fashion: Daniela Paudice
Hair: Sebastien Richard
Make-up: Benjamin Puckey
Manicure: Cam Tran
Model: Meghan Roche / IMG Models
Fashion production: Michael McDowell
On-set assistance: Thomas Santos
Casting director: Piergiorgio Del Moro