Warrior women in a ruined Scottish castle, colourful vintage cars in Havana, dressing in the spirit of Seoul, or performing at the concert hall in Hamburg… Chanel has been to many places over the last three decades.
But this season’s Spring/Summer 2020 couture show explored somewhere rarely mentioned: the childhood home of Gabriel Chanel – Aubazine, a Cistercian abbey in the Corrèze district of south-western France, where she and her sisters were sent in 1895 after their mother’s death. She was 12 years old.
Returning to source was the inspired idea of Virginie Viard, who had collaborated with Karl Lagerfeld during his more than 30 years at the helm of Chanel and is now Artistic Director.
Whereas Karl had used the world as his canvas, Virginie looked back to the often forgotten period when “Mademoiselle” was not only learning to sew by hand, but was also touched by the ancient abbey’s demand for rigorous purity.