Black and white, like shadow and light, were the stars of Chanel’s Cruise Collection 2021/2022.
Inspired by letters exchanged between French poet Jean Cocteau and the fashion house’s Coco Chanel in their years of friendship, the collection connects ‘60s designs with 2000s punk-rock styling. Save for a few pieces with color, the pieces are all in black and white, heavily utilizing textures from crochet to sequins to tell a story.
The video starts off in Chanel’s Paris apartment (31 Rue Cambon) where models become moving portraits. The elegance and opulence of the Paris apartment, filled with architectural details and decorative pieces, was a heavy contrast to the limestone expanse of Carrières de Lumières in Provence. Home to Cocteau’s 1960 film The Testament of Orpheus, both the former quarry and the film were of great inspiration to Chanel’s Artistic Director Virginie Viard.
Other than signature Chanel tweed blazers and the Classic bag in black, the Cruise Collection drew inspiration from different decades. The ‘60s brought flared robes and flowy dresses in patterned fabrics. Flowing down the quarry, the looks swirl in complement to the limestones’ natural lines.
Viard also drew on more recent silhouettes, bringing back the low-waist jeans of the ‘90s and early ‘00s. Paired with heavy eyeliner, fishnets and strong jewelry, each piece was styled in a punk vibe.
An eye motif featured heavily, creating patterns in shirts and embroidered sequin accents on all-black jackets. Maxi dresses in a watercolor fabric added further dimension to the collection.
The Cruise Collection also made use of four eco-friendly tweeds, all first of their kind, reports WWD. Made by Lesage, the Italian yarn maker that Chanel acquired last year, 28 out of the 78 looks in the collection contained more than 70 percent sustainable threads.
While there’s been some tension surrounding Chanel’s iconic tweed suit, Viara brought them as the perfect splash of color to a largely monochromatic collection. A standout pink tweed suit rocked the former quarry in Les Baux-de-Provence. Paired with a graphic t-shirt and fishnet tights, the suit marries the collection’s punk-inspired styling with Chanel’s more classic silhouettes.
A final shot of the models divided by black and white, sun and shadow, was punctuated by a release of doves. A call back to Viara’s dove pattern in a statement Chanel jacket and a recurring print among the ‘70s-inspired silhouettes, the doves were released from the shadows into the sun. A metaphor for our lives post quarantine, perhaps?
Watch Chanel’s Cruise collection in the “place of shadow and light” below and see every look of the collection through Vogue.