Virginie Viard infuses a relaxed coastal charm into the heart of the French capital.
Chanel’s Spring 2024 was a celebration of the iconic brand’s timeless essence, with Creative Director Virginie Viard orchestrating a mesmerizing display of tweed and stripes. The show paid homage to the Villa Noailles, an architectural gem in Hyères, France, marking its centennial existence.
This season, Virginie Viard transported the radiant ambience of the seaside to the iconic Grand Palais, unveiling a collection inspired by a stunning modernist villa once owned by friends of Coco Chanel. In a delightful showcase of raffia bags, flip flops, swimsuits, robes, top-to-toe denim, and an array of vibrant prints, Viard curated a collection that exuded a laid-back, carefree spirit reminiscent of leisurely days by the shore.
“Facing south, the villa’s volumes and outdoor spaces – from its cubist chequered garden to its sunken flower beds – light up the SS24 collection with an intense vitality,” the show notes read. Viard’s poetic interpretation breathes life into the designs, capturing the exhilaration of light and colour. The profusion of geometric patterns and the play of contrasting asymmetries, patchworks, lines, checks, and stripes give rhythm to a collection that sets out its idea of elegance and insouciance, creating a visual symphony that echoes the spirit of the seaside holiday.
Viard showcased the versatility of Chanel’s staple fabric, tweed, in a variety of forms. From languid maxi dresses with deep V-necks to boxy jackets thrown over short sets and styled with jeans and skirt suits adorned with collars and sequined pockets—the collection breathed new life into the classic textile.
Stripes took centre stage, embodying the ease, effortlessness, and expected look of the Chanel spirit that Viard has meticulously crafted. The runway transformed into a visual feast of stripes in diverse proportions and widths, speaking volumes about the French aesthetic with a touch of laid-back sophistication.
The inspiration drawn from the Villa Noailles was evident in the simplicity and purity of the collection’s lines. Viard seamlessly translated the architectural finesse into everyday fashion. Robelike jackets worn over swimsuits, ballet flats and logo necklaces created an effortlessly chic summer vibe. Polo dresses and loose shirts underscored the emphasis on easy, wearable items.
“This collection is an ode to liberty and movement and tells a story that has its origins in the gardens of the Villa Noailles,” Viard said of Chanel SS24. The designer referenced the property – which was designed by the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens in 1923 for Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, friends of Coco Chanel’s – which sits up in the hills of Hyères in southern France.
While Viard stayed true to her commitment to wearability, she also ventured into experimental territory. A pink checkered blazer and matching skirt stood out with a square asymmetric hemline, an exaggerated chevron trim, and a floral placket—a testament to the designer’s bold creativity. Striped black-and-white sets exuded beach-ready charm, embracing a toned-down French aesthetic. Sheer black dresses added a touch of trendiness while staying rooted in Viard’s aesthetic vision.
“Sophistication and informality, the tweed throughout the collection, sportswear and lace: I tried to bring one thing and its opposite together in the coolest way possible,” Viard explained. “And the gardens and swimming pool of the villa Noailles, that exceptional setting, lend themselves to that rather well.”
Accessories played a pivotal role, with layered necklaces, mini flap bags, headbands, chunky logo earrings, and Deauville totes making a statement. Quilted bags with mock-leather camera lenses added a cheeky and playful touch to the collection.
In attendance were Paris Hilton, Brie Larson, Emilia Clarke, Usher, and Camille Morrone gracing the front row, with the added allure of Gigi Hadid strutting down the runway.
Chanel’s Spring 2024 show featured classic tweed and contemporary stripes, showcasing Viard’s ability to balance tradition with innovation. The Villa Noailles influence, evident in the architectural simplicity, added an extra layer of sophistication to the collection. From the runway to the streets, Chanel continues to define timeless elegance with a modern twist.