Chanel unveiled their new collection, christened “Balade en Méditerranée” or "A Trip around the Mediterranean’ on June 8, 2020 at 12pm Paris time on the brand's digital platforms.
Originally, the Parisian luxury house’s collection was to take place on 7th May in Capri, Italy, but instead revealed it as an online video shot in a Paris studio made to look like Capri, released on social media due to the ongoing health crisis. The show would have also marked the debut show outside of France by creative director Virginie Viard, who succeeded Karl Lagerfeld.
Likewise, a number of leading luxury brands including, Christian Dior, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Prada and Max Mara, have either delayed or cancelled the presentation of their Cruise 2021 shows which were originally scheduled to take place in May 2020.
Virginie Viard in a press release explained “Initially I had Capri in mind, where the show was supposed to take place, but didn’t happen in the end because of lockdown.”
“So we had to adapt: not only did we decide to use fabrics that we already had, but the collection, more generally, evolved towards a trip around the Mediterranean…The islands, the scent of the eucalyptus, the pink shades of the bougainvillea”.
Cruise collections traditionally showcase holiday wear for luxurious foreign travel, which will have to be foregone by many this year. With this in mind, Viard opted for highly practical summery looks, steering clear of evening dresses but including long skirts which become strapless dresses when pulled up.
The collection explores a number of Chanel’s signature styles with a romantic and youthful twist added by Viard, who drew inspiration from legendary actresses of the 1960s, relaxing along the Riviera with simple, light, chic and casual clothes.
The campaign features a seven minute video, shot by Julien Pujol and features models; Camille Hurel, Karly Loyce, Cris Herrmann and Mica Argañaraz. The virtual collection captures the Mediterranean coast, strolling on a luxury hotel terrace, the volcanic island’s cliffs, the Bay of Naples and the Emperor Tiberius’s ancient villa.
The video ends with the tagline: "available in boutiques from November 2020” meaning that Chanel maintains its cadence of six collections a year: two couture; two ready-to-wear; the Métiers d’Art show and cruise, rather than adopting a See Now Buy Now strategy.
By Natalie Reppas