Home Uncategorized Chanel Holds Fashion Week Show After Abrupt Departure Of Creative Director

Chanel Holds Fashion Week Show After Abrupt Departure Of Creative Director


Chanel Holds Fashion Week Show After Abrupt Departure Of Creative Director

Virginie Viard, 62, did not even get a swansong on Tuesday. (File)


Awkward! Chanel held its haute couture show on Tuesday just three weeks after the very abrupt departure of creative director Virginie Viard after almost 30 years with the brand.

Viard worked alongside the legendary Karl Lagerfeld for years before taking over at the helm after his death in 2019.

She oversaw record sales of nearly $20 billion last year.

But a crisis had been brewing for months, with sceptical pouts on the front row and murmurs that her shows were growing repetitive, and she was unceremoniously booted out in early June.

Viard, 62, did not even get a swansong on Tuesday.

There was no mention of her in the show notes, which said the latest collection was created by the 150 artisans of its workshop on Rue Cambon.

It was a typically sophisticated and theatrical collection, staged in the Opera Garnier, with mediaeval capes, evening dresses with puffed sleeves, matador outfits and a velvet tuxedo alongside the house’s classic tweeds — with a touch of Lagerfeld-ian vinyl thrown in.

Viard’s tenure looked doomed in May when a mid-season “cruise” show in Marseille failed to impress fans — not helped by the unseasonably cold weather on the Cote d’Azur.

A month later, her departure was announced in less than elegant form — revealed to the specialist press in the middle of the night.

Paris-based designer Lutz Huelle told AFP that replacing “one of the biggest and best-loved designers at the biggest brand in the world (was) a literally impossible task.”

Discreet presence

Viard’s takeover was seen as a temporary appointment at the time, although she was only the third creative director in Chanel’s 114-year history after Lagerfeld and its founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

Always dressed simply, in a T-shirt and black trousers, she was a far more discreet presence than “The Kaiser”, known for his provocative statements and her shows were less spectacular than Lagerfeld’s extravaganzas.

While critics sometimes derided her cuts, buyers still flocked to Chanel stores — ready-to-wear sales increased 23 percent during Viard’s tenure.

“It underscored the fact the brand is much stronger than the individual designer,” wrote Business of Fashion.

The fashion world now turns to its favourite pastime — speculation over who will succeed.

Hedi Slimane (Celine), Sarah Burton, Marine Serre and Simon Porte Jacquemus are all considered possible replacements.

Dita Von Teese

Discretion was not on offer at another show on Tuesday, as France’s Alexis Mabille invited fans for a glass of champagne in the home of burlesque, Lido 2 Paris.

It was a classic gala soiree wardrobe of sophisticated evening dresses, with lots of sequins, flowing gold and silver — some models swinging glasses of champagne on a string like a handbag.

And it culminated in the queen of striptease, Dita Von Teese, emerging from the ground inside a huge glass of champagne.

“The idea was to have a good time, have fun, forget for a few moments everything that is happening around us,” Mabille told AFP after the show.

In the audience was actor Jean-Christophe Bouvet, who plays a tormented couturier in Netflix hit “Emily in Paris”.

“I’ve seen about 50 shows in three years,” he told AFP, saying it “inspires me a lot” for his work on the series.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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