"It's completely out of touch. She says she never been to Capri, the collection is "inspired by Capri, or south of France, or whatever".

By Balthazar Malevolent


Luxury giant Chanel did something in the brand's history yesterday that has never been done before: presented the new collection without staging a fashion show. No space ships, no big malls, no re-created airports — just a few lookbook pictures and some images of Mediterranean landscapes published on Instagram.

Chanel's virtual Cruise collection.

This meant, for once, that the focus was on the clothes now, rather than on the massive spectacles and backdrops from previous big-budget shows. The Cruise 2021 collection, which was supposed to be shown on Capri Island last month, immediately drew some strong user opinions and reactions.

"Without the fanfare of a major runway show, one wonders: Is the Chanel Resort collection all that special?" writer Alexandra Mondalek posted on Twitter, sparking a (mostly one-sided) debate about the clothes designed by Virginie Viard, the creative director of Chanel.

Among the big offenders were the denim capris and cropped Look 29 cardigan and Look 9 high-waisted denim featuring tweed patchwork. The general atmosphere was relatively relaxed, and in the minds of many users, most people would like to forget a very particular period of the early 2000s.

Comparisons to pieces from ASOS and Topshop were a common point brought up, but several also noted how Viard's esthetic is beginning to depart even further from Karl Lagerfeld's artistic framework when he was in the helm.

Some also wondered who the target market was after seeing how different from Karl's creations the mood was. "People who have too much money and not enough taste," said Sarah Schijen, the editorial strategist and former BOF writer. "Which is why it's always going to sell. Chanel isn't here for the masses, not even the trendy select committee. They know their customer and are supplying them, you just need to look at the show attendees to see that."

The company has also made headlines today for doubling down the format of showing several times a year at a time when most designers are calling on the industry to cut its collection production to only two times a year. "You don't need to see this 6x a year," tweeted the collection's editor and influencer Chrissy Rutherford.

Vanessa Friedman, the New York Times fashion critic, even went as far as to call it a "multi-level disappointment," particularly since it seemed to ignore today's world contexts. "This was more like a return to the escapist shortcomings of the past in high fashion than a significant step into the future," she wrote.

Hoping that the upcoming big brands' virtual collections are going to live up to our expectations: looking forward to seeing Mugler, Courreges and Saint Laurent.

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