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90s Nostalgia – Chanel SS22 Ready to Wear Collection

Chanel’s SS22 collection greets us with a burst of vibrant nostalgia for the 1990s. The fashion houses artistic director, Virgine Viard, decided to cast her mind back to Karl Lagerfeld’s iconic and scandalous designs from his early 90s shows. 

Viard longed to replicate the glamour and intrigue of the fashion shows within this decade. With the abundance of flashbulb cameras and the dulcet tones from George Michael’s ‘Freedom’ coming alive in the background, Viard’s latest collection veered away from the traditional CHANEL shows which are typically contained and demure. 

Rather than present the spring line at the Grand Palais, Viard opted for the Les Invalides, a large complex of buildings which have their home in the 7th arrondissement(district)  of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France. 

Mirroring the controversial designs featured in Lagerfeld’s 1993 Chanel show, where he presented models wearing underwear as outerwear, Viard had the opening look as a white bodysuit, paired with monochromatic accessories including the classic flap bag, a chic tote and an array of gold chained jewels.

Chanel SS22
Picture credit: Vogue

Claudia Schiffer Chanel 1995 
Picture credit: Vogue

Viard’s collection has paid homage to the beautiful pastel tweed suits worn by models such as Naomi Campbell in their 1994 and 1995 collections. Viard has even confessed of her love hate relationship with the classic pink tweed looks of the 90s which Karl popularised (think Claudia Schiffer in the Spring/Summer 1995 collection)

Chanel SS22
Picture credti: Vogue
Naomi Campbell Chanel 1996
Picture credit: Glamour

The campaign accompanying Chanel’s latest collection is supplemented by photography by Inez and Vindooh, who, in an innovative and interesting way, captured photos of the fashion house’s brand ambassadors, (including Lily Rose Depp and Jennie), photographing the photographers with their own cameras. ‘It’s a magical object and a sexy gesture, which evokes so many memories. I used to love the sound of flashbulbs going off at the shows in the eighties when the models were on a raised runway. I wanted to recapture that emotion.’ (Viard) 

Lily-Rose Depp SS22 CHANEL
Picture credit: ELLE

Viard expands upon the traditions laid out by Lagerfeld, moving from the monochromatic looks to enrich Chanel’s oeuvre with a vibrant array of pastel coloured coordinate sets which remain faithful to the classic silhouette established by Coco Chanel in he 1930s. A white and pink box-fit tweed jacket is paired with a multi-coloured thread checked mini dress, a miniature quilted purse and a classic chanel tote bag. Bursts of fuschia and coral pink emerge through an array of shorts and sweater sets, layered with double CC lock necklaces and chain belts (hinting at Lagerfeld’s 90s chain belts) and the prettiest fuschia pink tweed dress with exaggerated pockets and a unique Chanel No.5 purse on a chain.

We see Viard’s homage to Lagerfeld through the purple tweed skirt and jacket co ord with black checks (a similar look is worn by Naomi Campbell) and the yellow double breasted tweed co-ord is reminiscent of one worn in the 1995 spring collection by Nadja Auermann (think Cher Horowitz in Clueless.) 

Chanel SS22 
Picture credit: Vogue
Nadja Auermann Chanel 1995
Picture credit: Vogue
Cher Horowtiz Clueless
Picture credit: Whowhatwear

Fruzsina Vida is the Arts & Culture Editor at The Yorker. If you have any questions or queries, please contact her at arts@theyorker.co.uk.