Chanel FW24: A Seaside Love Letter

Virginie Viard's latest Chanel collection was an education in elegant coastal looks.

Before things got underway at Chanel’s FW24 show, guests were treated to a short film depicting a romantic encounter between a couple who walk along an empty windswept beach, shooting one another smoldering looks across a dinner table. That the film starred Oscar winners Brad Pitt and Penélope Cruz (who is also a former Mastermind cover star) only made it more swoony.

Virginie Viard’s latest collection was another kind of romance: a love letter to the French seaside town Deauville. The runway became a boardwalk, down which women walked wearing wide-brimmed sunhats pinned back to reveal their faces, or newsboy caps to conceal them. Long coats shielded these figures from a sea breeze, which caught the sailor-style flap collar of others’ shirts. Their tweed sets glittered like a starry night. Many wore woolen pulls, dresses or skirts for warmth, including one top featuring birds silhouetted against a sun-streaked sky.

The collection’s historical references added to the sense that the audience was watching a wistful beachside romance scene from a classic film. (The opening short was an homage to A Man and a Woman by Claude LeLouch, who arrived at the show with Cruz.) As the models walked, Air’s swooning electronic “Sexy Boy” set the mood for love.

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