PARIS — Chanel took guests, including Venus Williams, on a journey of discovery inside the Pop-up Grand Palais on Tuesday to the landscapes and colors of the Scottish countryside. On the final day of Paris Fashion Week, the runway saw an ode to tweed – an exploration of the history and appeal of the fabric now synonymous with the Parisian mainstay.
Brilliant styles evoked the colors of the River Tweed which flows east through the border region in Scotland and northern England, a river that gave the legendary fabric its name and inspired the founder of the Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel house.
Here are the highlights from Tuesday’s Fall/Winter 2022 shows:
CHANEL’S JOURNEY TO THE FRONTIERS
“We followed in the footsteps of Gabrielle Chanel along the Tweed River, to imagine tweeds in the colors of this landscape,” Viard said of the collection. Thus the designer, who replaced Karl Lagerfeld after his death in 2019, continued her creative journey through the life and inspirations of the founder of the house. In previous seasons, this included a collection dedicated to the orphanage Chanel grew up in.
Tuesday was a chapter chronicling the fashion icon’s final years, when she lived and sojourned in Scotland, and ‘picked ferns and bouquets of flowers to inspire local artisans for the tones she wanted’ .
The house’s signature skirt suits and wool-wrapped styles come in muted tones of pinks, burgundy, blues and purples. They were mottled, like the hues of nature, thanks to the unique weaving of the textured and irregular weft of the fabric. Guests sat on tweed-covered seats, clutching invitations in matching pink fabric.
The show was also a history lesson: Chanel lived in Scotland when she was mistress to the Duke of Westminster in the 1920s, and she wore his jackets. Cut with masculine elements – boxy flat jackets with loose proportions and large retro pockets.
But for all its storytelling, this salable collection lacked vibrancy. Somehow, he didn’t seem bold enough in terms of his silhouette, which played him it safe. It also lacked Lagerfeld’s tongue-in-cheek attitude — despite the designer’s attempt to feel fake with flourishes such as chained flasks or black rubber boots adorned with a shiny logo. Maybe the ironic couturier, for whom humor came naturally, set the bar too high, or maybe Viard just doesn’t want to shake things up.
THE ORIGIN OF TWEED
Experts say tweed fabric, tartan’s less flashy cousin, actually got its name by accident in the 19th century, when a London merchant misinterpreted the woolen name “tweel” (the Scottish name for “twill “, a textile weave) and confused with the River Tweed in Scotland.
So the river lent its name to the fabric – in 1826 in Hawick – but it was only by mistake.
The material originated in Scotland and Ireland and, far from the upper Paris trail, was commonly worn by farmers.
THE RETURN OF THE MIU MIU MICRO MINI
Miuccia Prada’s more eccentric little sister – Miu Miu – was in a typical mood of contrasts this season, accented with accessories to create visual kinesis in a rare mixed show.
Belts, long ’70s scarves, socks, suspenders, badges and stripes — all in a slew of colors — gave the styles a random feel. In other unexpected moments, a fly jacket, normally crafted in tan leather, arrived in python. And a preppy vibe – in patent leather shoes, wool knee-high socks – contrasting with “grown-up” looks, including a handsome gray men’s coat.
But the star of the show was surely the Miu Miu micro mini. It also appeared last season and has since become a viral hit gracing red carpets everywhere. This cropped mini – with its waist dropped significantly – appeared on several Tuesday looks with a frayed deconstructed hemline. Sometimes it looked like a tennis skirt, other times like a gladiator costume. But it was still fabulous.
This style pollinated the body down to the cropped tops in a smart fashion moment typical of the Italian billionaire and fashion icon.
DEPRESSED RICH CHILDREN
An air of languid bourgeoisie emanated from Enfants Riches Deprimes – French for “Depressed Rich Children” – overseen by house founder Henri Alexander Levy.
The purpose of the brand – famous for its $1,000 and $95,000 t-shirts and jackets – is elitism and a postmodern commentary on the nature of money itself.
So Tuesday was, by the standards of the house founder, who also courted controversy by selling a $7,000 cashmere noose, a tame collection.
Trendy V-shapes featured on a black dress with a white shirt, alongside a minimalist long black coat without lapels.
Striped loose silk pajamas evoking a rich kid who doesn’t care to do a job with great style, and reveal great humor alongside elbow-length crinkly rubber gloves that looked ready for bed – or the washing up.