Tweed is intrinsically woven into Chanel’s DNA. Therefore, it is no surprise creative director Virginie Viard created a tribute to the atelier’s trademark textile for the Chanel autumn/winter 2022 collection.
In typical showbiz flair, Paris Fashion Week came to a close at the Grand Palais Éphémère with one of its greatest hits: a Chanel display honouring the classic tweed suit. This was guaranteed success with the audience. Guests gathered on tweed-upholstered chairs, clutching the pink tweed squares sent out as invites, to see a pageant of tweed dresses, jackets, and suits. If the show were a song, there’s no doubt the audience would have known every word.
Virginie Viard was (of course) inspired by Coco Chanel, who borrowed her first tweed jacket from her lover, the Duke of Westminster, in 1924 and by 1925, Chanel had redefined the fabric for the fashion-conscious woman when she debuted a tweed skirt for her Paris collection. Since since, the French Maison has been innovating new ways to celebrate the apparently timeless tweed. As an homage to the French founder’s legacy, Chanel recognised their trademark material with an all-tweed collection.
Dazzling styles echoed the colours of the River Tweed, which runs east across the Border region of Scotland and northern England. This is the river that not only gave the fabric its name, btu also inspired Coco Chanel. It is here that she “would gather ferns and bouquets of flowers to inspire the local artisans for the tones she wanted.”
This season is a continuation of Viard’s creative journey through the founder’s history, which has previously shown itself as a collection devoted to Chanel’s childhood orphanage. While Viard’s collections and catwalks have been less dramatic than Karl Lagerfeld’s, her meticulous commitment to design and respect for Coco’s art is clear.
Nonetheless, Viard edged ever so slightly closer to Lagerfeld-era theatrics with this lighthearted performance, which included jokey details like chain-strapped mini hip flasks and double-C logo wellies and galoshes.
But, for all of its storytelling, this collection lacked vibrancy at times. It didn’t appear bold enough in terms of shape, which was played pretty safe. Is it that Lagerfeld set the bar too high, or does Viard just not want to rock the boat?
Watch the full Chanel AW22 Paris Fashion Week show below.