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  • Written by Eli Jullo


Inspired by the static energy of the sun-capital of France, Virginie Viard took this season’s Cruise show to Marseille. With an exciting array of inspirations, from the Mediterranean aesthetic to the panoply of cultures enriching the city, the collection was highly anticipated. Although the sky was gray, the undeniably spectacular location of the runway made up for the disappointing Mediterranean weather. The show was held on the roof of Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse, built in the 50’s, which stands as a landmark of modernist architecture. Infused by a young and modern spirit, Viard promised a lighter, more modern take to her usual looks.

The collection showed the classic short hems, skirt suits and swimsuit in a rather sober color palette, mostly neutral although sometimes punctuated by the odd yellow neon, silver, sage green or turquoise blue. Of course there had to be tweed, Chanel’s classic, this time in multiple shapes and sizes evoking both comfort and sophistication.

Viard mentioned that she had been inspired by Marseille’s variety in style and adventurous spirit, so the collection was sportswear inspired. She turned suits into hooded attire, added bombers and dressed down the dresses by pairing them with flip-flops. The most modern twists to the collection were probably the layering and striking amount of beach themed jewelry. It isn't a cruise collection if there isn’t an obvious reference to the beach. Here, even the smallest details were calculated: from starfish to shells and fishnet swimwear, there really was an attempt to convey Marseille’s intertwined relationship with the sea.

As an ode to the city’s cultural significance, there was an entire cultural program orchestrated even days before the show. Starting with the teaser released on social media directed by Ladj Ly in which a giant white sailboat headed towards the historic port of Marseille and at the helm: Marion Barbeau who is the first dancer of the Paris Opera. She then danced with the National Ballet of Marseille to a choreography by La Horde troupe. Two more teasers followed, showing Caroline de Maigret and Lyna Khoudri exploring the city through the lens of Ladj Ly.

The teasers’ creative team was invited to talk on Chanel’s pop-up radio show hosted by Caroline de Maigret on the third level of the Cité Radieuse, a few hours before the show. They engaged in discussions on creativity, joined by 20 guest speakers, including Akhenaton, Lily-Rose Depp, Marion Cotillard and Sebastien Tellier.


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