Paris Fashion Week: Filmed shows go to otherwise closed museums, palaces, and clubs

PARIS —  Louis Vuitton paraded its fall collection in a virtual tour of the Louvre Museum last Wednesday, closing out Paris Fashion Week’s online shows by framing designs that echoed the sculptures on display.

Vuitton was among several luxury brands that paid homage to cultural institutions shut down by the pandemic, which has also put live runway shows on hold.

Christian Dior, which like Vuitton is owned by the LVMH conglomerate, had earlier in the week filmed its own show at the 17th century Palace of Versailles.

Vuitton’s parade of ruffled skirts and futuristic, oversized jackets was accompanied by  pumping Daft Punk soundtrack, just weeks after the celebrated French electronic music duo announced it was splitting.

Models wore boots with a cowboy edge to them, with zippers down the sides.


Vuitton’s signature monogrammed handbags featured images of Greco-Roman busts and lithographs inspired by the engravings of Italian artist Piero Fornasetti. Another bag took the shape of a Roman-style coin.

(To view the show, go to Women’s Fall-Winter 2021 Show LOUIS VUITTON ®)

Christian Dior gave Little Red Riding Hood an edgy makeover for its latest collection last week, as it filled the runway with hooded capes and recreated a moonlit scene under the glinting chandeliers of the Versailles palace’s Hall of Mirrors.

With restrictions on travel and gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LVMH-owned Dior skipped its traditional catwalk show for an online version filmed in the chateau outside Paris and called Disturbing Beauty.

The camera followed dancers performing at night in the mist-filled grounds, before zooming in on the looks paraded by models in the 17th century palace, as they strutted in and out of the shadows.

In Dior’s dark fairy tale, which featured black leather dresses with puff sleeves, princess-style tulle gowns and velvet coats among the winter styles, gone are the damsels in distress waiting to be rescued.

“I am not obsessed with the idea of a princess. Each woman wants to play (a) different character, with different clothes, to be one moment a soldier, then a princess,” designer Maria Grazia Chiuri said in an interview.

Ms. Chiuri —  who has sought to stamp an overt feminist stance on her designs —  said she had wanted to rethink the reading of tales as coming of age stories.

“These women are not waiting for a prince but more going to the world to realize themselves,” she said. “I think women are better when they build their life with their own hands and not to wait on someone to help them.”

Nods to the past in the collection ranged from the leopard print the brand’s founder Christian Dior introduced in 1947, to a vivid red color he used to give a look a kick and the iconic cannage motif on quilted jackets.

Other looks included trousers with golden thread paired with a short jacket in shearling, pinafore

dresses in broderie anglaise and aviator looks.

Dior virtually ushered viewers into Versailles’ most famous room at a time when France’s cultural institutions remain closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic. Versailles’ finances have suffered as ticket sales tumble.

In the sumptuous hall, the brand added mirrors covered in wax and prickly spines, designed by Italian artist Silvia Giambrone and adding to the edgy atmosphere.

To view the show, visit Winter 2021-2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection – DÉFILÉS PRÊT-À-PORTER – Women’s Fashion DIOR)

Ski lifts may be closed in France due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Chanel recreated a winter resort ambiance on Tuesday with a collection featuring quilted salopettes and faux fur boots fit for a night out after hitting the slopes.

The French luxury label, unable, like rivals, this season to present a catwalk show to a live audience for Paris Fashion Week due to the pandemic, unveiled its looks for next winter in a film.

Flitting between black and white sequences shot on the streets of Paris to bursts of color from the dance floor of Castel, a nightclub favored by the fashion crowd, Chanel presented an eclectic mix of styles and fabrics.

Designer Virginie Viard said in show notes she was inspired by contrasts, and the collection featured chunky coats paired with sheer dresses and bodysuits as well as bandeau tops in the brand’s traditional tweed.

The ski theme infused looks throughout, from knitted sweaters with snowflake motifs to the woollen beanie hats sported by some models, adorned with camellias, another Chanel emblem.

“This collection is a mix of two influences: the ambiance of ski holidays, which I adore, and a certain idea of cool Parisian chic, from the 1970s to now,” Ms. Viard said in a statement.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Castel became a go-to celebrity nightspot, attracting the likes of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger and actress Catherine Deneuve. Late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld also hosted parties at the club.

The Chanel models were filmed touching up their make-up and leaving their coats in the cloakroom in Castel’s narrow carpeted halls. Nightclubs and bars have been closed for months in France under coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions.

Other looks in the collection included shearling-style jackets and oversized trousers with a chevron pattern, while some styles were pimped up with sequins, including a pair of baggy jeans.

To view the show, go to Fall-Winter 2021/22 Ready-to-Wear Show CHANEL. —  Reuters