As fashion month wraps up, and the adrenaline we’re all running on wears thin, showgoers are naturally a little more deflated. For many, the end of the schedule slot is not ideal for this very reason—a tired crowd is a tough one. And when you compound this with the unexpected heat (was I the only one who packed three coats that never left the hotel?) and the ungodly traffic and there’s not a lot that could pull us out of the end-of-week daze. But from the first look at Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection, the house breathed life into a weary room.
A breezy plunging tweed caftan with layers of jewels and black-and-gold chain-adored glasses opened the show. And speaking of things we weren’t prepared for, thongs. Simple and minimalist in black velvet with a silver interlocking ‘C’ logo.
Florals have always been a defining code for Chanel—the Fall/Winter 2023 show was actually based around the emblematic Camellia flower. But for Spring/Summer 2024, Virginie Viard reimagined the Grand Palais Éphémère as the gardens of Villa Noailles, a masterpiece of modernist architecture overlooking the town of Hyères in the south of France where checkerboard hedges and bright, tiled floors accessorise a serene structure. These features were referenced in the clothes, too, with a few checkerboard embroidered pieces and coral pink and blue tones making a splash throughout. At the venue, photos of model Rianne Van Rompaey captured by Inez & Vinoodh at the locale established the inspiration.
As Viard wrote in her show notes, the collection was “an ode to liberty and to movement, and tells a story that has its origins in the gardens of the villa Noailles.”
Free and feminine with a worldly sophistication, the collection offered a dynamic range of holiday-ready pieces. Bathing suits and organza babydoll shapes sit alongside evening gowns and double-breasted jackets. Zooming in, looks themselves were filled with contrasts, with prints and textures effortlessly mixed and matched.
“I tried to bring one thing and its opposite together in the coolest way possible,” wrote Viard. “The gardens and swimming pool of the Villa Noailles, that exceptional setting, lend themselves to that rather well.”
A beachy wardrobe with couture accents, this season channelled the summertime reverence of another time but executed with a more relaxed, modern sensibility.
In the realm of accessories, Mary Jane flats that’ll be an instant sell-out were spotted in white, prismatic evening bags and camera case crossbodies, as well as boots and slingbacks adorned with 3D floral motifs, were key takeaways.
As the curtains begin to close on fashion month, it’s moments like these that compel us to take it all a little less seriously—something Viard has managed to do while also evoking a deep respect for the intricacies and work that goes into Chanel. Buoyed by an ambience of joy, the elegantly carefree collection not only helped revive our depleted spirits, giving us strength to get through it but invited us to stop and enjoy it all.
This article originally appeared on Grazia International