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Digital Cruise Collection Breaks New Ground

The future for fashion shows it seems, is indeed digital

In a pioneering move for the fashion industry, Chanel staged it’s signature ‘cruise collection’ via the web last night. The annual runway show was originally scheduled to take place in Capri this year but after the Covid-19 outbreak cancelled plans, creative director Virginie Viard decided to reimagine the runway and bring the magic of the Italian island through a digital experience on social media. 

The seven minute video shot by Julien Pujol features four models strolling through balmy Mediterranean summer scenes with backdrops of the Bay of Naples, villas and volcanic landscapes. Though shot entirely in a Pariesne photo studio the video embraces the classic elegance of the Capri coast and transports the viewers to a Viard’s world of understated elegance. 

The show features music by Sebastien Tellier & DJ Arca

Marking the first collection outside of France since the death of former creative director Karl Lagerfeld, the “Balade en Méditerranée” 20/21 hints at Virgine Viard’s younger, easier and contemporary style – bringing in a new life and fanbase to the French fashion house.  For this collection Viard drew inspiration from the “free, laid-back allure inspired by the legendary actresses of the 1960s” which popularized the Italian islands and the French Riviera. 

“Initially I had Capri in mind, where the show was supposed to take place, but didn’t happen in the end because of lockdown,” said Virginie Viard in a press statement, “So we had to adapt: not only did we decide to use fabrics that we already had, but the collection, more generally, evolved towards a trip around the Mediterranean…The islands, the scent of the eucalyptus, the pink shades of the bougainvillea.”

The show has been very well received by fans and fashion pundits alike with many questioning if this is the new norm for shows around the world. Traditionally, Chanel has created huge spectacular runway shows with theatrics, awe-inspiring sets and exotic locations – everywhere from the traditional Grand Palais in Paris to the streets of Havana, Cuba – making a virtual experience a significant departure for the brand. 

With other major brands including Saint Laurent and Gucci already dismissing the traditional fashion months perhaps this is a bold new step towards digital-only collections and shows. This week also marks the beginning of the first ever London Fashion Week to be hosted online. Combining menswear and womenswear this three day event will run from the 12th of June until the 14th on

NEXT: Prep your suitcases for the Hamptons this summer…