In Full Bloom

In Full Bloom

The camellia takes the spotlight in CHANEL’s Fall/Winter 2023/24 Ready-to-Wear line.

By The Time Place Magazine


A giant, larger-than-life white camellia stood firmly in the middle of the runway set in the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris. Guests were welcomed with large screens featuring a black and white movie of Japanese actress and house ambassador Nana Komatsu by Inez & Vinoodh, posing with the camellia and riding on a merry-go-round. For CHANEL’s Fall/Winter 2023/24 Ready-to-Wear Collection, Virginie Viard imagined a line afloat with an asymmetrical silhouette in movement, a feminine-masculine spirit traversed by camellia motifs, an eternal code of CHANEL.

The Camellia, the favourite flower of Coco Chanel, can be found everywhere in the show. In addition to the giant camellia found front and centre, Viard also put playful touches on pockets, jackets and buttons, as well as romantic prints, and even had a real camellia placed on every guest’s seat. “The camellia is more than a theme, it’s an eternal code of the House,” she explained, “I find it reassuring and familiar, I like its softness and its strength.”

Viard wanted this collection to be delicate and in motion. “The energy of the merry-go-round of wooden horses that provides the setting for Inez & Vinoodh’s film, with actress Nana Komatsu as the heroine, gave me the idea for the Bermuda shorts suits and the asymmetries,” she revealed.

The colour palette of the show is dominated by a monochrome tone of black and white, with a hint of pink, red and maroon in several of the looks. A few of the tops and bottoms are adorned with polka dot-like motifs, but upon close inspection, they are, in fact, blooming camellias of varying sizes. The winter flower takes shape in many forms of embroidery, embellishments, fur and accessories. In other versions, viewers can also find houndstooth and plaid motifs.

The asymmetry of the coats, the slits in the dresses, the tilted front of the Bermuda shorts suits, the flounces, the revealing backs, the beads and sequins, the fantasy threads in the knitwear, all bear witness to the momentum carrying the collection.

A palette that is precise yet profound outlines the image of an eclectic woman. The masculine codes of peak lapels, floral coats like a dandy dressing gown and men’s jackets contribute to the bohemian spirit that animates the collection in a mix of formal hardness and gentleness. Most of the looks feature white lace tights, worn with high riding style boots to celebrate Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s famous looks. Sweaters embellished with camellias, bouclé suits, as well as the ever-present tweed. Embroidered maxi and mini-skirts and sequined trousers are paired with statement earrings and clutches.

“The faded colours, the dusky pink, the crafted pieces, the touches of 1960s and 70s, a certain English vibe, the comfortable, enveloping coats, the authentic materials, make the collections more real, and more charming too,” concluded Viard.

In addition to Komatsu, a few other CHANEL Ambassadors were seen attending the show dressed in their favourite Chanel ensembles, such as Penélope Cruz, Blackpink’s Jennie, FKA Twigs, Zoe Saldana, Whitney Peak, Dianna Agron, and many more.

Meanwhile, the teaser of the show was adapted from the film “Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?” (1966) by director and photographer William Klein, which chronicles a young American model living in Paris played onscreen by Dorothy McGowan. In front of the camera of Inez & Vinoodh, Nana Komatsu embodies the gentle subtlety of the camellia. In a mysterious play of shadows and contrasts tinged with surrealism, the grace of her gestures and the delicacy of her face resonate with the elegance of the House’s emblematic flower.

To watch the film of the CHANEL Fall/Winter 2023/24 Ready-to-Wear Show, visit chanel.com.


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