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Chanel tells how to dress for travel with optimism

Designer Virginie Viard's collection was all about swimwear, with models showcasing monochrome bikinis and cascading silver necklaces, pendants and talismans

A model presents a creation by Chanel during the Women's Spring-Summer 2022 Ready-to-Wear collection fashion show as part of Paris Fashion Week. (AFP)

Chanel brought Paris Fashion Week to its final day with a runway show that illustrated how designers and the people they dress want to look to the future with optimism.

It is said that fashion is a mirror of our times, and the spring-summer collections shown here were sexy, vibrant and joyful despite, or perhaps because of, the coronavirus pandemic.

Also read: Whimsy meets glamour at Lanvin Paris show inspired by old comics

The runway show was staged before a pared-down audience Tuesday in an annex by the Eiffel Tower, but the location had nothing to do with the pandemic. The normal venue, the Grand Palais, is being renovated for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

American actress Kristen Stewart rocked up late to the Parisian stalwart’s show wearing a pink Chanel skirt suit. French-American model-actress Lily-Rose Depp also showed up for Chanel.

Here are some highlights:


Appropriately enough for a paparazzi-themed show, a group of frenzied minders rushed Stewart in late to take her seat. Guests had to look twice to see who the tardy invitee was because the Twilight star looked almost unrecognizable. The actress, a Chanel ambassador, sported a chic blond beehive for her latest role as Princess Diana in Spencer, which was partly filmed in Paris and set for a November release.

Designer Virginie Viard was in raunchy mood for spring. The theme was the lens, and real photographers, including from The Associated Press, huddled around a red carpet podium freestyle instead of lining up in their normal scrum. Models posed theatrically, with inches of leg and midriff exposed. The scene prompted chuckles from Depp.

The collection was all about swimwear. Sporty monochrome bikinis were worn with cascading silver necklaces, pendants, and talismans. Bold black-white contrasts and big statement buttons offered a faint whiff of the 1980s.

Chanel's bread-and-butter skirt suits were colorfully jazzed up with stripes and patterns as if lifted straight from a Saint Tropez bikini. Yet this season, sadly, Viard did not seem to push the creative envelope.

The mood of beach-going and optimism at a time when the pandemic still has limited exotic vacations could be borne of a desire to project hope that the freedom to travel will soon return. Or was it about giving guests a chance to dream?

Also read: Stella McCartney channels mushrooms in trippy Paris show


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