Paris Haute Couture Week: Chanel unveils dramatic Fall 2024 collection at iconic Palais Garnier

Guests arrived not with standard invitations, but with chic opera glasses, a playful hint at the evening’s atmosphere
In frame: A piece from the collection donned by a model
In frame: A piece from the collection donned by a model

Forget the Grand Palais, for one season at least. Chanel’s Fall 2024 Haute Couture show unfolded not in its usual Parisian haunt, but within the opulent halls of the Palais Garnier opera house. This dramatic shift in venue set the tone for an equally dramatic collection, a collaboration between the house’s Fashion Creation Studio and the iconic setting itself.

In frame: A piece from the collection donned by a model
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Guests arrived not with standard invitations, but with chic opera glasses, a playful hint at the evening’s atmosphere. Inside the Palais Garnier, red velvet – a signature element of the theatre – spilt from the traditional boxes to line the hallways, inviting attendees to experience the venue like a true opera-goer.

This wasn’t just a change of scenery; it was a source of inspiration. The historic space infused the collection with its grandeur and theatricality. Feathered sleeves and floor-grazing capes added a level of drama befitting the stage. Rich embroidery added a romantic touch to classic Chanel codes like the tweed suit, reinvented in burgundy with white satin trim. The show notes described the collection as “evoking a modernized stage tradition and a certain science of pageantry.”

Fashion as performance took centre stage. A jet-black feathered cape shimmered with a golden fleck. Every model donned a dramatic black bow at the back of their head, mirroring the Chanel bride's elegant white version. This collection marked the first since Virginie Viard’s departure as artistic director. While Chanel’s signature elements – tweed, beading, and tulle – remained present, the silhouettes and shapes offered a sense of modernisation. This hinted at the French house’s potential trajectory without Viard at the helm.

In frame: A piece from the collection donned by a model
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The show culminated in a solo lap by the Chanel bride, a vision in an oversized white dress. Puff sleeves, a jewelled floral bodice, and a trailing tulle skirt paid homage to the ballerinas that graced the Palais Garnier stage for over a century. This nostalgic, 80s-inspired finale left many wondering what path Chanel will take in its next chapter. One thing is certain: the future of this esteemed brand is now a major topic of conversation throughout the couture world.

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