For Chanel’s digital autumn/winter 2021 showcase, Virginia Viard invited us out of the Grand Palais – the forever setting of the French house’s seasonal presentations – and into the Parisian nightclub, Castel. The short featurette, captured by Inez & Vinoodh, is quite possibly the chicest girls’ night out – or “sensual” night in, according to Viard – you will ever witness.
Models, including house favourites Jill Kortleve, Rianne Van Rompaey and Mica Argañaraz, sashay, while dripping in Chanel bouclé, through the bar’s labyrinth of salons after slinging their coats in one luxurious pile at the coat check. During a time when dance floors are a distant memory, these scenes of abandon will make you miss cloakroom queues, smoking-area conversations and spontaneous friendships sparked by bathroom mirror moments.
“I don’t know if this is because of the times we live in, but I wanted something warm, lively,” explained Viard. “I imagined the models doing a show for themselves, going from room to room, crossing each other in staircases, piling their coats up in the cloakroom and going up to the next floor to get changed. And I thought of the shows that Karl would tell me about, back in the day, a long time ago, when the models would dress themselves and do their own make-up.”
The fashion did not rely on nostalgia for its after-dark allure. Rather, it was chock-full of new Chanel tropes for Viard’s youthful customer. Think: beanies, spangled garters, crystal-choked coin holders and dungarees. Inspired by “the ambiance of ski holidays and a certain idea of cool Parisian chic”, this was French-girl styling done Viard’s way: for girls who are ready for anything.