Aussie supermodel stuns in ‘virtual runway’
Supermodel Adut Akech has led Chanel's first-ever virtual presentation as part of a digitised Paris haute couture fashion week.
Australian Akech posed for the French fashion house, which - like Dior and Balmain, among others - unveiled its latest collection online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chanel creative director Virginie Viard said she was inspired by party girls and punk styling, as well as the club-fuelled social life of her late predecessor, Karl Lagerfeld.
Chanel's virtual presentation included a short film - spanning just under a minute-and-a-half - showcasing the luxury brand's fall/winter 2020-21 line.
Akech's latest high-end campaign came after she spent much of lockdown with her family in Melbourne, before jetting to Paris for the Chanel shoot. In it, she sported a two-piece grape-coloured suit, along with a demure sleeved black gown, and a tweed ra-ra dress.
In her design statement, Viard said she was inspired by "eccentric princesses" for her third collection at Chanel's helm.
"I was thinking about a punk princess coming out of Le Palace at dawn," Viard said, referring to a famous after-dark venue in Paris.
"With a taffeta dress, big hair, feathers and lots of jewellery. This collection is more inspired by Karl Lagerfeld than Gabrielle Chanel.
"I was thinking about eccentric princesses, the kind of women that Karl Lagerfeld liked to accompany at parties or at Le Palace.
"He would accompany these very sophisticated and very dressed up women, who were very eccentric too."
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Diamond-like braiding in flower motifs outlines the signature CHANEL silhouette — the Fall-Winter 2020/21 Haute Couture collection, photographed by Mikael Jansson. Featured with CHANEL High Jewelry. See all the looks on chanel.com #CHANELHauteCouture #CHANEL #CHANELHighJewelry @Le19M #Le19M @Lesage #Lesage @Massaro_Paris #Massaro @MikaelJansson @AdutAkech
Viard added that couture was "romantic by its very essence". "There is so much love in each one of these silhouettes," she said.
While Viard's previous collections for Chanel have been defined by their soberness and simplicity, this time she channelled "shimmering opulence" of the Paris nightclub scene in the late 1970s.
Paris couture week was forced online for the first time in its history by coronavirus, which meant runways shows were replaced by virtual catwalks and short films.
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Sophisticated eccentricity in the form of an embellished silver lace dress — the CHANEL Fall-Winter 2020/21 Haute Couture collection, photographed by Mikael Jansson. Featured with CHANEL High Jewelry. See all the looks on chanel.com #CHANELHauteCouture #CHANEL #CHANELHighJewelry @Le19M #Le19M @Massaro_Paris #Massaro @MikaelJansson @AdutAkech
The pandemic prompted, in part, a campaign by a coalition of designers dubbed "Rewiring Fashion", where brands including Isabel Marant, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler called for an overhaul of the outdated fashion calendar.
"We find ourselves facing a fashion system that is less and less conducive to genuine creativity and ultimately serves the interests of nobody: not designers, not retailers, not customers - and not even our planet," the designers said in a joint statement.
The group said the "fashion calendar is out of sync with the customer, unsustainable for industry professionals and damaging for sales. It's time to slow down."
- with AFP
Originally published as Aussie supermodel stuns in 'virtual runway'