Ever since her childhood spent alone at the Aubazine orphanage, books had been a vital part of Gabrielle Chanel’s life. Her salon walls literally covered with books. The backdrop to every metamorphosis, this season the Grand Palais transforms into a grand circular library complete with walkways for the Chanel Fall 2019 Haute Couture runway show.
An eternal book lover, Virginie Viard brings it to life with her vision of the Chanel woman. Slender, she wears slippers and pumps with a satin bow or black patent leather loafers that reinvent the two-tone geometry of the House. Little glasses give her the look of a young woman eager for culture, poetry, novels.
“I dreamt about a woman with nonchalant elegance and a fluid and free silhouette; everything I like about the Chanel allure,” confided Virginie Viard, Artistic Director of Chanel Fashion collections. Contoured with a sophisticated 1930s line, her modernity shows in her coolness, hands thrust deep into pockets. A chic nonchalance enveloped in fluid volumes, loose and lithe, is highlighted with a belt or a bow, with curves and clean graphic panels. Black, white, navy blue, honey, plum and burgundy are traversed with flashes of pink, fuchsia, blue, green and orange, with streaks of silver and gold.
The savoir-faire of the Haute Couture ateliers is honored throughout for the Chanel Fall 2019 Haute Couture collection: purity sets off the bias and border cuts along the straight grain of duchess satins and double-sided fabrics. The tweeds and the wool crêpe find an exacting fluidity. The drop of velvets responds to the delicacy of georgette pleats, layers of chiffon and organza. The textured lace, multicoloured embroideries and feathers worked one by one reinvent flowers, whorls and palettes in a thousand shades. A sense of comfort emanates from the silhouettes, inciting us to take time to read in this beautiful library.
Tweed, velvet and wool crêpe swathe sinuous dresses and skirts, while lace and chiffon give them volume and lightness. Always belted, the long dresses outline an almost languorous attitude. In satin, backless or held with a bow, in velvet and embellished with a bow on the shoulder or with embroidered layered fabrics. On others a row of feathers escape from the hem, pleated flounces encircle the body, a bow is draped on the bust, flowers adorn a bustier or highlight a nude back.
Watch backstage at the Chanel Fall 2019 runway show as preparations for the runway show unfold and Chanel’s Bibliotequa is unveiled.