Chanel Cruise collection inspired by Jean Cocteau
Photo: Chanel Cruise 2021 via Chanel

Chanel this week unveiled its annual cruise collection via a show instead of digital film. The location was the Carrières de Lumières in the South of France, the setting of the 1959 Jean Cocteau film Testament of Orpheus, which in context provided both a backdrop and inspiration for the collection.

“Because Gabrielle Chanel was close to Cocteau, and I love the film Testament of Orpheus,” Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard wrote in her show notes. “In particular this magnificent scene: a man with a black horse’s head descends into the Carrières de Lumières, his silhouette cut out against the very white walls.”

“Echoing the extreme modernity of Cocteau’s film, I wanted something quite rock. Lots of fringes, in leather, beads and sequins, T-shirts bearing the face of the model Lola Nicon like a rock star, worn with tweed suits trimmed with wide braids, and pointed silver Mary-Janes. A look that recalls as much the modernity of the sixties as that of punk.”

Evoking the simplicity and poetry of Cocteau’s film, the collection is suffused with the house’s signature palette of black and white, embodying a play of contrasts between the sixties, rock and punk in the soft light of Les Baux-de-Provence.

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Photo: Chanel Cruise 2021 via Chanel

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