AP/ AFP – The American actors who usually attend Chanel, the highlight of Paris Fashion Week, stayed away. But designer Virginie Viard dreamed of more glamorous times. She produced an optimistic collection channeling the Hollywood or Cannes movie star machine and its media circus.
It produced a diverse display of high-class glamour that mingled with the casual – in a collection notable for its shoulder shapes that were exaggeratedly round and wide, or diagonal and flat.
For the high-class, there were ecru and black tweed skirt suits – the house signature. The best was a stiff knit black number with giant round shoulders, uber-cinched waist, giant tubular arms and large white visible shirt cuffs and collar. It cut a beautiful silhouette against the pure-white illuminated runway.
Some of the casual looks, however let the collection down. Large prints in vibrant colour, such as a turtle-neck and cross-over dress, featured blown-up letters spelling the house name to evoke neon lights. But the colors clashed and it sometimes seemed as if the designer was trying too hard to be hip.
That said, there were plenty of stand-out moments. A shoulderless black mini dress was the definition of chic, with a sheer silk black overskirt that fluttered gently to the ankles to sensually reveal the legs. A loose black silk top had dramatic swooshes of white feathers across it like a sash.