The State of California raised an imposing sign with the letters of Hollywood in the hills of Los Angeles in 1923 , becoming a symbol of the film industry. Almost ninety-seven years later, Chanel revives all the glamor and magic of old Hollywood inside the Grand Palais in Paris, with a majestic installation that recreates the classic advertisement.
“I was thinking about actresses at the photocall, on the red carpet, that moment when they’re being called to by the photographers: their faces a little distracted, their attitude a little out of sync with the outfits they’re wearing. And then there are the fans waiting for them behind the barriers, this very lively side to cinema that happens beyond cinema, that’s what I like,” explains Virginie Viard, “This collection is a tribute to the muses of the House. Some of them are far away, it’s been a long time since we saw them. Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld dressed so many actresses in films and in real life. I was thinking about them who make us dream so much. But without wanting to replicate. Without falling into a vintage citation. I wanted it to be very joyful, colourful, and very vibrant too.”
For the press kit of the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2021 Ready-to-Wear collection imagined by Virginie Viard, the Dutch photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin have shot a series of photographs and videos, inspired by the House’s privileged relationship with actresses, both on and off-screen.
In three different decors, the models Rianne Van Rompaey, Mica Argañaraz and Louise de Chevigny play four recurring cinematic situations. On the telephone, gazing out of the window, sitting on a bed, and walking through the heart of Paris, they embody the natural elegance and the photogenicity of the silhouettes imagined by the Artistic Director.
“Playing on the idea of repetition, the women all enact the same gestures,” confide Inez & Vinoodh. “They are each clearly in their own world but together represent what we feel is Chanel’s way of fitting into the lives of every woman with a cool and easy allure."
So, alongside the ecru and black tweed suits, are jeans in fluorescent colours, fluid dresses and t-shirts printed with the letters of CHANEL like neon-lights, pale pink capri pants, long dresses printed with little flowers in black and white, or in an ultra-fine tweed, outfits embroidered with sequins, bermuda short suits and layers of asymmetry…
The silhouettes, staged in the collection press kit by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, are embodied by Rianne Van Rompaey, Mica Argañaraz and Louise de Chevigny, each one of them in four recurring cinematic situations: on the telephone, looking out of the window, sitting on a bed or walking down the street, just like scenes from a film. An evocation of the Nouvelle Vague, of Italian cinema and of Hollywood. “Because the world of Chanel evokes so many images, a whole unconscious that’s linked to cinema,” concludes Virginie Viard.