For this fashion cruise, Chanel becomes nostalgic and dreamy over the past voyages to Monaco and La Pausa. The place is «a matter of feelings above all»
Going back to the roots. This fashion cruise is about playful heritage
Navigating with no precise destination, doing it for pleasure and enjoyment. That’s what cruises suggest. Unpredictable outcomes, landing in different places, flowing with new, unexpected vibes. And still, what’s the outfit for a journey like that? For this year’s cruise collection, Chanel set the tone in Monegasque reds and whites. Luring the invitees into the racing and ballroom dancing heritage.
To host the effervescent catwalk was Monte Carlo Beach Hotel poolside, where guests lay seated on the sun chairs, bathing in the light of colorful, sea life-decorated Chanel jewelry. It’s an anthem made into a pop song going viral! At the Chanel Cruise 22/23, the privè mysterious atmosphere of Monaco’s imperial luxury becomes the story we all long to hear. The casino, the Formula One, the Rose Ball, and the Monte-Carlo Ballet – a spectacularly playful atmosphere.
A collaboration with Sofia Coppola transforms the show in a movie
Virginie Viard, the creative director of the Chanel Maison, collaborated with Sofia Coppola to transform the real-life scenery into a short movie depicting the show’s spirit. «The inspiration drew on collective memories», declares Viard, reminding how important the sense of community and value sharing remains for the french house.
Chanel Ambassadors such as Vanessa Paradiso, Kristen Stewart, and Tilda Swinton were present along with the Monte Carlo emblem and friends of the designer, Caroline de Honovre and Charlotte Casiraghi, the daughter and granddaughter of Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco. Hold on the fifth of May, the catwalk was contagious with the mythic number; five on the baseball caps, five on the casino coin bags, the lucky number remains a subject in Chanel’s vocabulary.
Drawing inspiration from the past, the cruise 22/234 collection was in touch with the whole universe of the city’s iridescent context. From the La Pausa house Mademoiselle Chanel used as a dancing escape to La Vige Villa, where Karl Lagerfeld went to breathe in the landscape, Monte Carlo is home to creation and liberation. After all, Virginie Viard confesses: «To me, Monaco is a matter of feelings above all».
Breaking the Cliches! Virginie Viard’s vision is daring but subtle
Long before Harry Styles’s appearance in flowery dresses and the androgyne Gucci-induced haze, Coco Chanel did something to disrupt the genre codes. She opened her lover’s closet and borrowed all the garment elements she could find. From suits to plain white shirts, the collars, the pockets.
She took all the freedom of menswear and offered it to the women of the time. With no intention of stealing their femininity. In the heart of speed mania and exclusive brunches, Vergine Viard masters the same aesthetic operation, dressing the Chanel woman in tracksuits and overalls, recalling the Formula One dress code.
Masculine uniforms turned glittery, adorned with sequins or the emblematic camellias draw from the archive and the 1935 evening ensemble. It’s an update of the girlfriend stealing her boyfriend’s hoodies. Produced in the 19M ateliers, the garments came in layers of emancipation with the funk signature note of the designer, who nonchalantly blends nightgowns with race gloves, golden bags with t-shirts, dropping in the fake flower bouquets made by the Lemarie ateliers.
The Chanel ethos is about having fun, not taking yourself too seriously, being the woman everyone wants to play with at the Casino, bringing luck with just a glance. Spirited and extroverted, the wardrobe becomes an attempt to play.
Totems, toys and souvenirs
Microscopic bags become rings or necklaces, wildflowers sparkle over nude fabrics, and Karl Lagerfeld’s night shirts metamorphosize into suave dresses. Pink and blue, the revisited tailors recall Coco Chanel’s designs for the Le Train Bleu Ballet, together with the tennis racquet and badminton bags hinting at the same imaginary.
Herself an ex-Formula One hostess, Vergine Viard reconstructs the red uniforms while playing with the black and white race flag leitmotif. Between tweed and muslin, the texture contrast is subtle and synchronized.
The lace and organza become a match made in heaven, while the glossy jumpers complement the trompe l’oeil effect. Gold is for winning, turquoise from the sea, gray is the racing platform, pink to add more fun, and red is the thirst for victory.
Coloring the cruise in all the hues of Monaco, the designer creates a postcard, only evoking the cliches before our eyes. Defined by Viard as «a sporty atmosphere», she inverts Mademoiselle Coco Chanel’s mantra.
While the latter fought to bring comfort and unaffected fabrics in couture, Virginie Viard infiltrated silk and sequins in the leisurewear language. The bags are imagination’s playground for Chanel Cruise 22/23 becoming a totem, a toy, a souvenir. Miniature helmets, jackpot machines – the accessories are suggestive and daring.
Monte Carlo – In the heart of Hollywood glamor and royalty legacy
To be a woman in a Chanel suit is the same as being a woman in Monte Carlo: respected and desired. When Coco Chanel took on the world of fashion in the 20′, she merely attempted to reformulate the clothing items taught by men.
She proved there is such a thing as modest extravaganza and austere chic, somehow democratizing the couture standards. To come at the brand’s helm twelve years later, in 1983, was Karl Lagerfeld. He used to escape to La Vigie in Monaco, where he would spend his days in the company of royal friends, a foster family of like-minded spirits.
The official decorator of the Rose Ball, Lagerfeld would be part of the principality’s life and events. His punk gloves, the white belt over his shirt, and the love for cotton sheets. Were all redesigned in the Cruise 22/23 collection. If Vogue wrote about Mademoiselle Chanel’s manner showing «her art of avoiding mistakes».
Virginie Viard, creative director since 2019, is more impulsive than cautious, her collection relishing a feeling of fresh recklessness towards fashion prejudice and snobbery.
I can’t see life without the vision of photography
Photography is part of the spring show inspiration, where Helmut Newton’s shots of Caroline de Monaco persuade the cruising feeling. Capturing an image was also part of the late designer’s ritual of observing and emulating beauty.
« I can’t see life without the vision of photography. I look at the world and at fashion with the eye of a camera». More than photographic, the catwalk is cinematic, alluring with mystery. Cruise collections were invented by Chanel in 1919 when she decided to showcase her line outside the Parisian fashion schedule.
She dedicated the glamorous leisurewear to the women who would spend their holidays at the Biarritz. Between cocktails and beach escapes, cruises are about running away and evading the routine. Are you all in, or will you fold?
French Designer, Businesswoman, and Director of Chanel’s Fashion Creation Studio from Dijon, France. She is popularly known as Karl Lagerfeld’s Successor in the Chanel Fashion Company. Earlier, she began her career as an intern for haute-couture embroidery at Chanel in 1987.