Chanel’s corpse brides walked the runway in an orphanage garden

Images via Chanel
Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

Tim Burton-approved.

It’s often the case that the best fashion collections have a strong, well-translated story behind them.

If you had any doubt that this was a Chanel strong suit (pun intended), the label’s latest haute couture line might put your doubts to rest.

The monochromatic, occasionally dramatic collection harkens back to Coco Chanel’s childhood, honouring both the difficult period of her life and the influence it had on her very distinctive style.

Having been abandoned at a rural French orphanage by her father, Coco was raised in the presence of nuns and heavily religious architecture.

This collection, in particular, is the most obvious amalgamation of these influences – the black and white of nuns’ habits, the lines of stained glass windows, the crisp, innocent details of children’s uniforms.

Under the hand of current creative director Virginie Viard, the Spring/Summer line first leant heavily into monochromatic tweed two pieces, throwing in a neat schoolgirl collar or delicate capelet here and there.

Other designs featured large pastel florals, reminiscent of stained glass or geometric, paving-esque shades of grey.

And, because we’re talking about haute couture, there were also plenty of looks that turned the dial up on the ecclesiastical vibes.

Big, foofy skirts worthy of Communion and heavily detailed black lace were combined with simple white tights and loafers, giving the whole collection a real prep school meets Corpse Bride feel.

As well all know, lightly-creepy schoolgirls are best observed in the woods or at the very least an overgrown garden. Viard obviously agrees, having staged the couture runway in a recreation of the orphanage’s garden, surrounded by greenery and freshly washed linens.

Check out the entire collection via Chanel’s gallery here.


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