Chanel Fall 2024 Couture | Runway
Fall 2024 Couture

Photo: Isidore Montag /

A change of scenery at Chanel. Today’s haute couture show was staged at the Palais Garnier. Though the Grand Palais—home of Chanel shows since the Karl Lagerfeld era—was recently refurbished, it’s now being prepped for the Olympics fencing competition, so a new venue was needed. The French director, Christophe Honoré, was hired to reimagine the opera house for the occasion, and his idea was to transport the red velvet boxes of the gilded theater to its hallways. Guests were encouraged to arrive early to walk the corridors the way operagoers have for the 150 years since its opening.

It’s been less than three weeks since news broke that Virginie Viard, who inherited the artistic director position after Lagerfeld’s passing in 2019, was exiting the house. But today’s collection, according to notes provided by the house, was the work of the Fashion Creation Studio.

The team took the show’s setting as a design cue. Vittoria Ceretti’s opening look was a sweeping opera cape in black taffeta, its ruff neckline framing her face and her hair pulled back by a grosgrain bow. At the end, Angelina Kendall played the bride in white taffeta cut along the voluminous lines of Princess Diana’s wedding dress. These pieces had whimsy and drama in equal measure. There was also a mint green taffeta trapeze dress suspended from black bows at the shoulders and worn over a little black knit romper.

In between, runway operatics were downplayed in favor of an embrace of house standards. The classic Chanel skirt suit was renewed in salt and pepper tweeds with tassel embroideries or fringing at the cuffs and hems, or else it was cut in vibrant jewel tones and embellished with colorful cabochon stones. A double-breasted duster coat was a fine canvas for showcasing a variegated tufted tweed with a touchable texture. Bows were a recurring motif, turning up on a bronze lace skirt and a black coatdress. To a lesser extent, feathers were also a recurring motif, embellishing an evening cape that comes down to the knee above a long pink lamé shirtdress.

Evening was more out of the box, with its emphasis on lacquered jersey used for the skirt of a long slip dress and the ruffled bodice of another number. In black on a button-front coat, it gleamed in the theater lights.

We are entr’acte at Chanel, with a new artistic director not yet named and no timeline given. Outside the Palais Garnier, it’s safe to say that every couture show this week is an audition for the coveted position. Inside the house, there were pretty pieces that will connect with clients. As the crowd emptied out into the street, editors priced out of the haute couture were whispering about the playful hair bows and crystal heel sandals.

This article was originally published on Vogue Runway. 

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