Chanel: a cinematic Spring-Summer 2023 show

The Chanel house presented its spring-summer 2023 collection on October 4, in the middle of Paris fashion week. A show in a setting inspired by the film by Alain Resnais released in 1961, 'Last year in Marienbad'.

  Chanel: a cinematic Spring-Summer 2023 show

While Paris fashion week is about to end, Chanel presented his spring-summer 2023 collection in front of a crowd of prestigious guests at the Grand Palais Ephémère. A parade teased by the actress Kristen Stewart , shot in black and white by photographers Inez & Vinoodh in the metro or in front of the Le Champo arthouse cinema in the V th Parisian district. This cinematographic atmosphere announced a show which had as a setting a video inspired by the film Last year in Marienbad . The work of Alain Resnais , released in 1961, has a curious synopsis: one evening, in a palace, a man tries to convince a woman that they had an affair last year. For Virginie Viard , artistic director of the Chanel house since 2019, this very New Wave story materializes in pastel tones, muted hues, black and white, of course. Transparencies and short dresses, leathers and slit skirts, pearls and robes in tweed, the Chanel Spring-Summer 2023 show tells a sensual romance. And seeks to define the look of the season in ' exploring women's freedom - of movement and expression - '

The Chanel Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2022-2023 show

Celebrities were numerous at the parade Chanel haute couture fall-winter 2022-2023 Tuesday, July 5. While Fashion week in full swing, Clémence Poésy, Abd al Malik, Julie Gayet, Karidja Touré or even Ines de la Fressange found the time to attend this exceptional show. Among the sources of inspiration for this collection, the creations of Coco Chanel in the 1930s, the jewels of the first high jewelry line signed Chanel released in 1932 but also those close to the house, the artist Xavier Veilhan, the musician Sébastien Tellier, the model Vivienne Rohner, the singer Pharrell Williams or the brand ambassador Charlotte Casiraghi. The latter, who opened the previous haute couture show on horseback, moreover inspired the cowgirl boots that wear the models of the show. In fact, this collection, feminine and delicate, was a technical demonstration. Here, tweed bomber jackets with a perfect fit, there embroidered flower tops, or even a long transparent dress that will cause a sensation on the red carpet. ' The clothes are light, feminine, designed to be worn ', Explain Virginie Viard, the artistic director of the house about the collection. All is said.

What is the history of the house of Chanel?

From Gabrielle Chasnel to Coco Chanel

Portrait of the young Gabrielle Chanel

Behind Chanel hides a founding personality: Gabrielle Chasnel, also known as Coco Chanel . Born on August 19, 1883 in Saumur, she was abandoned at the age of 12 by her father at the Aubazine orphanage after her mother died of tuberculosis. For nine years she wore the black smock there, an outfit that would inspire one of her most famous creations, the famous little black dress . From odd jobs to odd jobs, the one who was a saleswoman and then a singer in a café-concert in Vichy (it was at this time that she earned her nickname 'Coco', because her flagship song was, according to legend, ' Who saw coco on the Trocadero '), meet Etienne Balsan . This young officer introduced him to social life and financed his first creations. Then comes a certain Arthur 'Boy' Capel, who will become her lover and her great love. In 1910, thanks to his financial support, she opened a hat shop in Paris. Named Chanel Modes, it is located at 21 rue Cambon . In 1913, it was Deauville then in Biarritz in 1915 that the milliner inaugurates stores where she sells alongside her hats stylish sportswear popular with wealthy clients who stay at these resorts. A lover of outdoor physical activities, she confided to the writer Paul Morand about her first creations: ' I invented the sports suit for me; not because the other women played sports, but because I did. I didn't go out because I needed to be in fashion, I was in fashion precisely because I was going out, because I was the first to live the life of the century .'


It was in Biarritz that Chanel really launched herself as a seamstress: she imagined, designed and created her first pieces there. But history gets involved and the First World War leads to a fabric shortage , forcing the designer to trade her favorite materials for jersey , hitherto used more for making underwear. Customers love it and Chanel makes a name for itself by developing a universe where the garment no longer hinders the woman . On the contrary, he accompanies him in his days and becomes his helper. In full ascent, Coco however experiences a tragedy: in 1919, her love Boy Capel dies in a road accident.

Diane Kruger in petite robe noire Chanel version 2008

...and visionary

A true business woman, in 1921, Coco Chanel had a vision. That of associate your fashion with a perfume, which allows him to become the first designer to imagine a fragrance . Helped by perfumer Ernest Beaux in the design, as well as investments by Théophile Bader, co-founder of Galeries Lafayette and Pierre Wertheimer, co-owner of Bourjois, she gave birth to Chanel N°5. Followed in 1922 by Chanel N°22, then two years later by a first make-up collection (powders and lipsticks) and finally a skincare line. For the young milliner, 1926 was also a prosperous year which saw the birth of many of the house's emblematic outfits.
Gabrielle Chanel thus imposes the 'little black dress' . In total contradiction with the fashion of the time, it seduces with its simplicity. First conquered: reviews from the American magazine Vogue who see in her 'the uniform of the modern woman' . The little black dress is even named 'Chanel's Ford' , in reference to the American flagship of the automobile. It was also in 1926 that Chanel introduced into its collections the raincoat and the jacket with golden buttons . Little by little, the codes of the house are put in place. Success was not long in coming and in 1929, Mademoiselle incorporated an accessories boutique into her fashion house. the total look Chanel was born and is exported to the United States. Always ahead of the trend, in 1932, Coco Chanel also presented a High Jewelry collection entitled Diamond Jewelry at a time when jewelery and couture were two very distinct activities.

Coco Chanel in the late 1930s

From Switzerland to the Ritz Suite

But history, once again, intervenes in the destiny of Chanel. In the 1930s, the fifty-year-old designer was at the height of her glory and knew how to impose sailor tops, jersey, pants , costume jewellery, tweed and the little black dress. In 1935, it distributed 28,000 models a year made by some 4,000 workers. Yet, on the eve of World War II, it closed four of its five stores. The seamstress, exiled in Switzerland, only sells perfumes and accessories. However, the war did not put an end to Chanel's activities: the arrival of American GIs established the notoriety of the house's flagship perfume, N°5, which soldiers bought in Paris for their wives who remained in the United States.
The post-war period was a decisive period for Coco Chanel. Upon her return to France, she discovered a France passionate about  'New Look'  of Christian Dior , a fashion that is the opposite of the feminine sobriety that Mademoiselle knew how to impose.
Then 71 years old, Gabrielle is preparing her comeback. In 1954, the fashion house on rue Cambon reopened and a new collection was born. Criticism is chilly but no matter, Chanel is back on track and restarts with a bang, since a year later, the designer imagines one of the best-sellers of her house: a quilted flap handbag surmounted by a golden chain, the 2.55 , named after its date of introduction.

Chanel tweed suit 2004 version revisited by Karl Lagerfeld

In 1956, another hit was born, the famous tailor and tweed , reinterpreted at will throughout the collections. And since success never comes alone, two-tone shoes , featuring beige leather to elongate the leg, and a black toe to make the foot appear smaller, hit stores soon after. For Coco, it's the year of the coronation: the 'the most influential creator of the XX th century' even receives a Fashion Oscar in Dallas! But on January 10, 1971, the so-called Mademoiselle Chanel died in the sumptuous suite she occupies at the Ritz. His latest collection, presented posthumously, is critically acclaimed.

Which artistic directors have served at Chanel?

On her death, Coco Chanel left behind her sixty-year career as well as a style that she knew how to forge and impose according to her 'likes and dislikes' personal.
Seven years after the disappearance of Mademoiselle, Phillippe Guibourgé is entrusted with the task of giving birth to the first line of ready-to-wear of the house, soberly baptized 'Chanel Boutique'. The first mesh outfits of Chanel then see the light of day.

Karl Lagerfeld at a parade finale in 1984

The Karl Lagerfeld years

After the death of Gabrielle Chanel, the brilliance of the house tarnished, until the arrival at the helm in 1983 of a certain Karl Lagerfeld . The designer cut his teeth at Balmain before collaborating from the 1960s with Fendi and especially Chloé. At Chanel, Lagerfeld imposes his paw while keeping the codes of the house so dear to Mademoiselle. In 1986, he received, for his autumn-winter collection, the Golden Dice , prize rewarding the most creative haute couture collection of the year. The House Chanel has found her heir and this is just the beginning of a long story! Also photographer Karl Lagerfeld signs in 1987 her first campaign for Chanel . He captures his muse at the time, the model Ines de la Fressange, also muse of the coconut perfume . In 2000, Karl Lagerfeld decided to bring up to date the Cruise collections by offering them a dedicated fashion show. An appointment that many brands are now particularly fond of, choosing exotic destinations to show their sunny collections in the middle of winter. In 2002, Chanel presented its first collection 'Crafts' . The opportunity to honor the craftsmanship and know-how that is omnipresent at Chanel. And for good reason, since 1985, the Chanel group has been buying houses that are on the verge of disappearing. The parurier Desrues, the lacemaker Lesage, the feather-maker Lemarié, the bootmaker Massaro... In all, there are now some forty factories and art houses that have joined the Chanel fold and contribute to the parades of the brand, as well as those of many other big houses. In September 2018, Chanel also decided to bring together eleven of them in a building of 25,000 square meters, the 19M , built by the brand at the Porte d'Aubervilliers. Finally in 2005, Karl Lagerfeld established a tradition that continues today. He organizes his very first parade at the Grand Palais during Spring/Summer 2006 Fashion Week in Paris. A spectacular show that quickly becomes the unmissable event of the fashion week Parisian. Under the mythical glass roof, Karl Lagerfeld gave free rein to all his craziest desires. Giant supermarket, demonstration, rocket taking off, Eiffel Tower...

Virginie Viard, new artistic director

The February 19, 2019 , Karl Lagerfeld, a few weeks before Paris Fashion Week, dies in Paris. After many rumors (the name of the creator Hedi Slimane has long and often been whispered), it is Virginie Viard , began an internship in 1987 at Chanel's design studio, which was named to succeed him. A pure product of the house, she joined the haute couture studio in 1997, where she was in charge of coordinating embroidery before taking over as head of the ready-to-wear studio in 2007. le bras droit by Karl Lagerfeld , she presents a widely appreciated first Cruise show and goes on stage alone for her first show in July 2019. During this Chanel haute couture fall-winter 2019-2020 show at the Grand Palais, the artistic director delivers a very faithful interpretation of the sewing Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel by infusing its silhouettes a good dose of modernity . A new chapter opens for Chanel creations...

What are the most iconic Chanel pieces?

Among the Chanel pieces that have been dreaming for generations, there are them hand bags . Since 2.55, many models have become iconic, such as and Boy , the Gabrielle backpack , the Timeless , the handbag 19 … Ray shoes, the two-tone ballet flats , but also the slingbacks or the patent leather boots are among the hits of the house. Without counting les sneakers that the brand reinvents in an ultra chic version. Among the brand's legendary garments, there is the little black dress and jacket . The tailor and tweed is also one of the essentials of the house. For perfumery, in addition to Chanel N°5, the Chance or Mademoiselle fragrances are undeniable hits. For the man, the Blue and Allure by Chanel are real successes.

Where to buy Chanel signature pieces?

To afford one of these pieces, it is advisable to go to a boutique Chanel . More than 300 stores are open around the world, in the major fashion capitals, but also in the hippest resorts, from Saint-Tropez to Capri via Dubai. On the Internet, Chanel launched its e-commerce site in 2014 with beauty. It is also possible to acquire glasses online, but for the most part products signed with the double C, sell it online n'est pas possible in order to encourage customers to go to the store and live the Chanel experience. To buy parts Chanel vintage , known to be a particularly profitable investment, it is better to contact specialists. Stores dedicated to the seconde main de luxe , sites like Vestiaire Collective, Monogram or Collector Square, auction houses like Artcurial, who will know distinguish a fake from a real Chanel bag without being mistaken. 'Cause it's not just about relying on a logo double C on the lock, a quilting pattern, a serial number or a chain to know if this handbag is an authentic 2.55. Counterfeit experts are now succeeding in conjuring up disturbing patterns of likeness.

Who owns the Chanel brand today?

When Coco Chanel launched the Chanel N°5 perfume in 1921, she called on Théophile Bader, but above all on Pierre Wertheimer to support him financially. They had then together created a company named Chanel perfumes . Then, when the Parisian house was relaunched in 1954, Pierre Wertheimer bought Chanel. These are his grandsons, Alain et Gérard Wertheimer , who now own the brand, which places them in the top 5 of the largest French fortunes. The first owns 51% of the capital and the second 49, which makes Chanel an independent group which, in 2020, raised more than 10 billion dollars. As for the house's fashion activities, they are chaired since 1990 by the Frenchman Bruno Pavlovksy .

Who are the Chanel muses?

Coco Chanel has always rubbed shoulders with the elite . In 1928, she built a villa nicknamed La Pausa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, in the south of France. Jean Cocteau, Gala and Salvador Dali, the Duke of Westminster flocked there... In 1931, the designer set sail for Hollywood where she dressed actresses from the United Artists studio and created costumes for films Tonight or Never and The Greeks Had a Word for Them . A privileged link with artists and celebrities that the brand has kept over the years. The brand has called on many stars to play the role of muses. Vanessa Paradis, Kristen Stewart, Keira Knightley or more recently Angèle, Charlotte Casiraghi and Marion Cotillard have, for example, lent their faces to Chanel's ready-to-wear or perfumery collections. Another great friend of the brand, the American rapper Pharrell Williams who in 2019 even imagined a collection for the house with a few pieces Chanel for men . A real event, since the label almost never creates clothes for men.

Chanel and the exhibitions

For several decades, numerous exhibitions on Chanel take place all over the world. Among the most significant, the one which was held at the Met in New York in 2005 and returned to the incredible destiny of this Parisian house. 'Chanel Culture - Art as a Universe' was then presented at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. In 2012, the photo exhibition ' The Little Black Jacket ', which featured a myriad of celebrities shot by Karl Lagerfeld and styled by Carine Roitfeld wearing said black jacket, begins to travel to showrooms around the world.

In 2013, the Chanel N°5 perfume was honored at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. The same year, Gabrielle Chanel's apartment, located on the second floor of 31, rue Cambon, whose staircase with mirrors is famous, was classified as a historical monuments . Two years later, the Saatchi gallery in London hosts the 'Mademoiselle Privé' exhibition, which deciphers the most important creations of the house. In parallel with these events all over the world, the house of Chanel becomes a patron of two places of culture in the French capital. First, in 2017, from Palais Galliera, Parisian fashion museum , where the label has funded a new gallery. Then, in 2018 from Big palace , whose renovation Chanel supports. No wonder, therefore, that the reopening of the Palais Galliera on 1 is October 2020 was the occasion for a retrospective dedicated to the seamstress. Named 'Gabrielle Chanel, fashion manifesto', the exhibition celebrated the designer through nearly 350 archive pieces.