Models wear creations for the Chanel fashion collection during Women's fashion week Fall/Winter 2020/21 presented in Paris, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Chanel hosts pared-down show as virus keeps many VIPs away

March 03, 2020 - 11:38 am

PARIS (AP) — Chanel staged a comparatively low-key affair for Paris Fashion Week as the coronavirus outbreak kept many of the regular VIPs and fashion editors away. The stalwart Parisian design house streamed its show online. Some of the guests who came to see Chanel's fall collection up close Tuesday wore CC-branded face masks.

Artistic director Virginie Viard channeled restraint in the collection, a marked departure from her predecessor and mentor, the late Karl Lagerfeld. Although the show took place at the Grand Palais exhibition hall on the Champs-Elysees, simplicity was the Chanel “mot du jour, from the set of tiered white steps to the pared-down aesthetic of the monochrome display.

Here are some highlights on the last day of Paris Fashion Week for fall-winter 2020 ready-to-wear.

CHANEL

“A very simple, very pure momentum. Romanticism, but without any flourishes," is how Vivard described the collection. said Viard.

Evoking French film director Claude Chabrol's 1968 film “The Does,” a drama about seduction that focuses on bisexual lovers, female models walked the runway together and chatted like intimates for the first looks. The models wore stylish retro black leather boots, ones with a brandy bell-shaped collar at the mid-calf that turned out to be the collection's leitmotif.

Viard's simplest designs were the most effective: A black silk bodice dress with the top lobbed off and dropped Juliette sleeves. Modeled by Cindy Crawford's daughter, Kaia Gerber, it had guests clicking their cameras. Voluminous studded jodhpurs opened up at the bottom cut a beautiful silhouette .

This design, Viard said, was an homage to Lagerfeld's personal style. A loose wool jacket in Chanel's emblematic pink with a soft-spiky collar was also a high point.

The one drawback of the tasteful showing were some of the overly flashy jewelry that often distracted the eye from the show's central aesthetic.

MIU MIU

There has been renewed focus on Miuccia Prada after she announced during Milan Fashion Week that she had hired Belgian designer Raf Simons as co-creative director of the family house that she directed to icon status.

The first show since then for Prada's little sister brand, Miu Miu, did not disappoint creatively. The “intellectual” fashion display was a pastiche of itself.

Bright color, intentionally contrasting checks, faux animal fur and sumptuous shimmering silk gowns merged divergent references for disruptive and quirky effect.

Old school glamour came in a emerald green crinkled silk column dress modeled with 1930s-style wavy hair that looked like it had been left in curlers a little too long.

As expected from Miu Miu, the fun vibe was everywhere to be seen: from the patterned runway that confused the eye when a model in a plaid split-leg dress walked it to the knit Cetacean blue bathing suit sweater and bright red furry heels worn by Bella Hadid.

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