Chanel Haute Couture Spring Summer 2023 “Puppies are the ultimate symbol of tenderness”. Story by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Photo Courtesy: CHANEL / Xavier Veilhan / Ola Rindal.
Wooden jigsaw artistry, Chanel craftsmanship, Lesage embroideries – this is a new story of Chanel for this summer. We also should add here puppies and cuteness as a description to this collection. Babies and puppies are a very old advertising strategy known since the 1950s. Chanel went for oldies but goodies. You never miss if you want to attract big public interest.
This season designers of Haute Couture presenting this season crafted animals. Chanel came with an artistic work of puzzles by Xavier Veilhan. From his Parisian studio to the Grand Palais Éphémère, artist Xavier Veilhan muses on the dreamlike animal sculptures that inhabit the Chanel Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture show decor.
For the press kit of the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection by Virginie Viard, artist Xavier Veilhan directs the model Vivienne Rohner in a film and a series of photos.
At 31 rue Cambon, Vivienne Rohner emerges from a sculpture representing a large bird created by Xavier Veilhan before entering Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment. The model opens one of the books in the salon and plunges into the artist’s imagination, populated by horses and puppies. “Puppies are the ultimate symbol of tenderness,” says Xavier Veilhan. “I want these images to provoke an immediate attachment, something that goes straight to the heart.” In this short film tinged with fantasy and light-hearted humour, the puppies travel aboard a hot air balloon and a cart before descending the steps of a miniature reconstruction of the Art Deco mirror staircase at 31 rue Cambon.
On the apartment’s sofa or on the steps of the staircase, Vivienne Rohner provides a first glimpse of the collection’s silhouettes: a tweed coatdress and a skirt embellished with tassels, worn with black loafers; a jacket and mini-shorts in blue tweed with hints of bronze accessorized with white gloves and lace-up boots; a jacket with a corgi embroidered plastron and a white tweed dress with gold stripes, both worn with top hats; a fully sequined flounced dress in smocked silk tulle and a white lace dress visible beneath a transparent apron embroidered with a golden stag’s head with a black bow tie completing the look.
The starting point of the Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection is Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment at 31, rue Cambon. It is the place where Virginie Viard took Xavier Veilhan at the very beginning of their work, and which includes a collection of objects, sculptures, drawings representing lions, does, stags, birds and camels. “For his third participation, I asked him to reinterpret the apartment’s bestiary and incorporate his own,” she says. “The whole embroidery universe of the collection is turned towards the animal world.”
Embroidered on short tweed suits and coat dresses, kittens, corgis, rabbits and swallows share the limelight with the does, stags or camellias emblematic of the House.
As if on a village square, a festive parade is being prepared and sets off. Eleven monumental animals made of wood, cardboard and paper created by Xavier Veilhan hide models, and then open to let them escape.”I like it when the marvellous bursts forth and the course of events is interrupted,” she continues.
The CHANEL suit borrows its codes from the female uniforms of parades and spectacles. Top hat, bow tie, white gloves, laced boots, satin cape, pleated skirt, jackets double-breasted or with tails, tuxedo shirt, sequins, short shorts, petticoats: it is in the poetry of majorettes that Virginie Viard also finds her inspiration.
Dresses and jumpsuits all in lightness and refinement, superpositions, transparencies, flounces, pleats, fine straps and repainted laces, are crafted in silk tulle, taffeta, organza, georgette crepe and chantilly lace.
And as in every beautiful story, the Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection, with its fairy parade, closes with the bride in a dress embroidered with swallows.