Set against the bright limestone walls of the Carrières de Lumières, Chanel's latest Cruise 2021/22 collection blends the chic French sensibilities with the hardened sense of the punk movement—a theme Virginie Viard also highlighted in the brand's Spring/Summer 2021 show. Prior to the collection's official debut, Chanel set the mood for its upcoming collection by releasing a short film directed by Inez & Vinoodh which features model Lola Nicon embodying the traditional punk look as she wanders around Coco Chanel's home at 31 Rue Cambon. With her well-coiffed mullet and smokey eyes, she inhabits the popular trend of the '60s and '70s.
The collection itself maintains the same theme, if not wavering, at moments, into an appropriate vacation vibe. Models emerge from a dark hallway with white hand-drawn stars shining against the backdrop. Using the Maison's established code of tweed and an almost exclusive color palette of decidedly Chanel hues like black, white, neutrals, pink, and a dash of purple, the collection frays its own bourgeois identity with a grunge edge.
Rather than the iconic punk trend of button-fettered denim jackets, tweed suit fronts are scattered with gold pins. Leather garments and accessories feature gold studs. Fringe and netted pieces add dimension to various looks. Hand-drawn geometric shapes and imagery are referenced throughout. Other looks heavily lean into the "resort" aspect of the collection, such as breezy caftans, matching printed sets, and white dresses.
For the show's au revoir, models marched back to the stone stairs they descended from before releasing a flock of doves, bidding the season one final adieu.