Opulent and romantic with an edge, Chanel’s fall-winter 2020-2021 haute couture collection is a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld’s lavish world.

The 30 looks, which were presented virtually in Paris today, merge the house’s classic elegance with elements of rocker-chic: Tweed embellished with sequins, painted lace on bolero jackets and dramatic voluminous skirts. Pieces from the Chanel High Jewelry collections completed the glamour-inspired theme.

“I was thinking about a punk princess coming out of Le Palace at dawn,” said creative director Virginie Viard in a press release. “With a taffeta dress, big hair, feathers and lots of jewellery.” She adds that, “[Karl] would accompany these very sophisticated and very dressed up women, who were very eccentric too.”

For the collection, Chanel worked with all of its embroidery partners, including tweed makers Métiers d’art Lesage, and flowers and feathers experts Lemarié. Due to the pandemic, work on the collection was paused and resumed in mid-May, with some ateliers moving to a different space for physical distancing. The house has also put a hygiene and safety protocol in place.

Whereas the previous haute couture collection was influenced by the simplicity and severity of the Aubazine – the orphanage where Gabrielle Chanel was placed as a child – this season is decidedly extravagant and steeped in fantasy. “I like working like this, going in the opposite direction of what I did last time,” said Viard. “I wanted complexity, sophistication.”


Take a closer look at the collection in the below campaign video directed by Mikael Jansson.


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