The Chanel Resort 2021 presentation was supposed to happen in Capri but instead, in its first all-digital presentation ever, the whole thing was relegated to a faux sunset scene in a photo studio, complete with a calm ocean backdrop, yellow lighting, a perpetually sun-kissed Mica Argañaraz, and the works.
There is something particularly telling about situating an entire season’s wardrobe in a particular time of day. It reflects a philosophy of dressing up that anchors itself to a transient in-between, neither day nor night, not cocktail but not strict business either. It’s a markedly relaxed sense of haute leisure that ticks all those boxes in a not too complaisant manner.
It must be noted that Virginie Viard has officially completed a full fashion cycle as Chanel’s girl boss (Resort 2020 was her first outing sans Karl), a big deal considering that there are infinitely more seasons in planet Chanel.
Looking back at Viard’s Resort 2020, it wasn’t awful per se, but what it was was resolutely confusing. A trio of vaguely neon-tinged jackets in pink, purple, and green were styled with tight pants in a diagonal window-pane check pattern. Models were wearing black lipstick. It was more than 70 looks of too many things: imagine a Maraschino red calf-length cardigan walking down the same runway as tweed pedal pushers.
Resort 2021 visibly had the same motley vibrance stemming from resistance to repetitive and stringent codes, but in contrast, it is more subdued and, as a result, more directed. The rules: Your coziest sweater is to be worn with high-waisted, flared, faded jeans; the strapless shift dress is back; and those awkward culottes may be okay to wear again.
That sandwiched juncture of sunsetty pinks, salmons, and corals was a treat. Forget the somber closing looks in variations of diaphanous and ruffled black. We will be gazing attentively at the coming sunsets to pick out colors to wear after lockdown. —JG