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Corgis, top hats, and bow ties — Chanel Haute Couture SS23 finds its playful side

Chanel Haute Couture, SS23 (imaxtree)
Chanel Haute Couture, SS23 (imaxtree)

Drum majorettes opened a Chanel Haute Couture show in Paris this morning that was inspired by an old-fashioned circus, with animal tamers and drummers in attendance.

Roger Federer, Anna Wintour, and Baz Luhrmann were among the famous faces in the front row for the show, the first of two set to take place today, at the Grand Palais Ephemere. The show set was created by artist Xavier Veilhan, with whom creative director Virginie Viard regularly collaborates, and featured giant wooden horses, mice, elephant,s and mythological creatures made from wood.

Chanel HC S23 (imaxtree)
Chanel HC S23 (imaxtree)

The pair had been inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment on 31 Rue Cambon, and the animal motifs it contains throughout came embroidered on the clothes — from kittens to swallows, rabbits, and stags.

“The whole embroidery universe of the collection is turned towards the animal world,” said Viard, whose most striking piece was the twinkling Corgi beaded on the breastplate of a brown bouclé tweed skirt suit.

“I like it when the marvellous arises and the course of events is interrupted,” she continued.

The collection offered a more quotidian couture wardrobe than that offered by the likes of Schiaparelli and Giambattista Valli yesterday, with tweed short suits, A-line coat dresses, and bouclé kilts worn with lace-up white patent boots a central focus.

Chanel HC S23 (imaxtree)
Chanel HC S23 (imaxtree)

For eveningwear, Viard gave her Chanel customer beaded maxi dresses and semi-sheer floral jumpsuits, as well as delicate georgette crêpe and chantilly lace dresses that hinted at summer parties on the Riviera. Albeit more casual ones, where gowns are thrown over gold boots rather than stilettos.

The circus theme continued with top hats, white gloves, and bow ties accessorising throughout.

The show closed, as is tradition, with a Chanel wedding dress, and this season it came diaphanous and embroidered with swallows.