Exclusive: Chanel Unveils Cruise 2021 Collection Virtually for the First Time Ever

Photograph courtesy of Chanel/Karim Sadli

Take a virtual trip to Capri, courtesy of Chanel.

Each year in May, some of the world’s most renowned fashion houses host elaborate shows in far-flung destinations to fête the launch of their newest Cruise collections. For Chanel, this year’s locale was going to be Capri – however due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the brand decided earlier this year to cancel plans for an in-person show for its Cruise 2021 collection. In a statement at the time, the house said it was “examining alternative ways of presenting its collection in Capri at a later date and in a different format.” Today, that format has been revealed.

In a brand first, Chanel has this morning unveiled its new collection to the world via its social media channels and its website.

Called Balade en Méditerranée (which means “a trip around the Mediterranean), the show notes explain that the collection was inspired by the allure of “the legendary actresses of the 1960s when they would holiday on the Italian and the French Riviera.” As such, the pieces were designed with transformational ease and cohesiveness in mind – midi skirts can be worn as dresses, whilst chiffon jackets are both beach club-ready (when worn over a bikini) and evening appropriate (when paired with jeans and jewelled accessories). It’s “a wardrobe that can be carried in a little suitcase on wheels, a shopper and an embroidered handbag,” says the brand.

Standout pieces in the lineup include leather suits in brilliant shades of pink inspired by the hues of the Bougainvillea flower, as well as tweed separates (unlined for fluidity) and wide-leg jeans that scream summer vacation. The jewelled belts and body chains are also timeless investment pieces that can be worn for endless summers to come.

Speaking of the collection (which was shot in a studio in Paris), Virginie Viard said, “Initially I had Capri in mind, where the show was supposed to take place, but didn’t happen in the end because of lockdown. 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.”

Press play on the video below to be transported to a summer oasis – no passport necessary.

The Chanel Cruise 2021 collection will be available in boutiques from November.

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