“To me, Monaco is a matter of feelings above all. That’s Karl, Caroline, Charlotte,” says Chanel creative director Virginie Viard. “From very early on, I knew we would hold a show there, and more precisely at the Beach Hotel. Besides, Karl was dreaming about it. From this magnificent venue, one can glimpse his villa, La Vigie. I will never forget the times I spent there: terraces and balconies, big umbrellas, baskets of flowers — so much beauty.”
From the first Chanel cruise 2023 look — walked right onto the water’s edge surrounding Monte-Carlo Beach — there was an obvious homage to Monaco. A red tweed boiler suit (quintessentially Chanel in every way) resembling that of Formula 1 drivers’ overalls, worn over a sequinned swimsuit and topped off with a tweed cap embroidered with ‘Chanel’ and ‘Monaco’. It represented the kind of cosmopolitan lifestyle that the city-state is known for: glamour, speed, and luxury.
But more than just the racing motifs peppered throughout, the Chanel cruise 2023 collection incorporated sporty elements in ways that felt somewhat at home for the luxury fashion house. There was an overall sense of sportiness, especially in the way that running-inspired sneakers made an appearance in the middle portion of the line-up. While it’s not exactly something that’s completely new to Chanel, the inclusion of sneakers (and really athletic-looking ones at that) heightened the idea that the cruise 2023 collection is not exactly meant for slow-living.
Bags too took on sportier forms. The larger iterations might not be visible from the static runway images, but leather tennis racket-shaped bags (looks 33, 36 and 37) exemplify the typical Chanel brand of whimsy that’s often employed when tackling such thematic collections.
At the heart of the Chanel cruise 2023 collection is the Karl Lagerfeld homage. Shirt dresses designed with white high collars were a brilliant tribute without looking terribly obvious. Look 55 specifically, felt like a beautiful nod but one that would’ve been able to exist on its own merit anyway — a clever rendition of a shirt dress that’s also kaftan-like in silhouette.
Viard may be constantly revisiting Chanel’s history (especially with regards to her mentor), but it’s often done with such reverence and clever manipulations that they hardly ever seem completely stripped from the archive. And for a collection that’s an homage to Chanel’s varied history with Monaco, there’s quite a lot of freshness for it to remain relevant and contemporary.
View the full Chanel cruise 2023 collection in the gallery below.