This Filipina Girl Boss Shares Her Experience At The Chanel Haute Couture Show
In all honesty, after Karl Lagerfeld’s passing, I find myself still trying to grasp the idea that the fashion house I have loved since I was little is now under someone else’s creative supervision. Virginie Viard who has a big shoes to fill took over, and launched her first collection last season, for Chanel Cruise 2020.
This time, for Paris Couture Week, I have been invited yet again to witness her first haute couture collection for the iconic fashion house. Join me here as I share my experience, and my verdict as a loyal Chanel client.
My Couture Week Experience
On the day before the show, a very select set of guests from around the globe were treated to dinner. The invitation came along with Chanel makeup sets as per usual. On the day of the show, since only very few special clients were given the chance to witness her haute couture collection, the crowd was divided into two. One show started at 10 AM and the other half, on the original Chanel show time—12:00 NN.
On the day of the show, the brand sent me a hairdresser and a make up artist, both of whom were French. Wanting to stay true to how I normally look, I had my own glam team on standby to do my retouch and additional finishing touches. Suzette Riego, a Paris-based make up artist did my makeup. My go-to photographer Macky Bautista was also present to capture all the special moments in photos.
At around 11:20, my chauffeur was already at the entrance of my hotel and by 11:30 we were off to the Grand Palais. When I stepped out of the car, paparazzi surrounded the place, taking photos of famous and fashionable people, as expected.
Once you step inside the Palais, in true Chanel fashion, the venue was transformed into something else—this time, it was made to look like Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel's library at her daytime apartment along Rue Cambon, as well as Librarie Galignani, a famed bookstore in Paris. Karl Lagerfeld is said to be one of its regular clients. Also included in the library references is the one of Karl Lagerfeld's that is said to house over 300,000 books.
I was quite surprised to see the collection, what with the thought that haute couture equals over-the-top and usually not wearable. This collection’s pieces were beautiful and very feminine but also very, very wearable.
Most of the pieces were made of chiffon, silk, crepe silk, and yes—signature Chanel tweed. Intricate details were visible on a few key pieces, such as feathers, beads, sequins, flower appliqués to name a few. Even the footwear the models wore on the runway were made-to-order. Hues of lavender, navy blue, black, purple and with a splash of brights were on some pieces, like red, orange and green.
Virginie Viard made an appearance after the show, coming out of a secret door among the walls of books from upstairs. It was brief just like the last time.
After the show, I had the privilege of taking snaps of the models wearing the collection, and yes, I wouldn't pass on the chance to get a photo op with my favorite Parisienne Marion Cotillard who was then being interviewed by the press about the collection. I am still over the moon by the fact that she obliged to take a selfie. I also happened to come across some Asian superstars.
Aimee with Marion Cotillard. Photo: @itsaimeehashim
My verdict? I must say I truly loved it! The pieces were feminine, flowy and wearable which is very important to fans and loyal buyers of the house. The show was superb and flawless as always and left me in awe of the details of the venue, to the models, and the pieces themselves. I felt that indeed, it was an intimate gathering of the brand’s most loyal clientele and lifelong friends and ambassadors. Virginie designed a beautiful collection, simply put. Much was expected of her after inheriting a legend's position but she did not fail to deliver.