How Chanel Crafted A Collection In The Time of Coronavirus

Julien Martinez Leclerc

Chanel’s 2021 Cruise Collection was originally slated for May 2020. As the Coronavirus outbreak took hold around the world, it was a no-brainer that the runway show would be canceled. This season's show was scheduled to be held in Capri (other Métiers d’Art and Cruise locations include Cuba, Seoul, and Salzburg), and it would have been the second Cruise collection designed by new Creative Director, Virginie Viard.

Instead of canceling the show straight-out, the fashion house chose to push it back a month and design a virtual experience that would be unveiled across all social platforms. On Monday, June 8, Chanel released a seven-minute video by Julien Pujol that showed off the collection in an event that was called “Balade en Méditerranée” (a trip around the Mediterranean.).

The collection, which will be available in stores come November, will instantly transport you to those same Italian beaches. It takes cues from the 1960s and 1970s, with knit mini shorts, crochet sweater coats, silk midi dresses, and tweed crop top and bell-bottom sets — all in muted pink, white and black tones.

The pandemic didn't just impact the location of the show, it also had an influence on the design itself. Viard told Vogue she made sure “there are no evening dresses, no heavy things,” to accommodate life in quarantine, and she also made use of materials that wouldn’t stress her supply chain too much. The collection was crafted with “all the fabrics we had in stock—all the buttons, all the galons [braids]."

Julien Martinez Leclerc

Perhaps a runway show in Capri is in the cards for next year. But until now, you can transport yourself there though your computer screen, with a little help from Chanel. Watch the full video below.