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Virginie Viard Strips Chanel Down to Its Commercial Core for Fall 2020

No over-the-top sets, quirky handbags or flashy themes — just wearable clothes.
Kaia Gerber on Chanel's Fall 2020 runway.

Kaia Gerber on Chanel's Fall 2020 runway.

During Karl Lagerfeld's time at Chanel, he established the brand's runways as a moment of excess, with over-the-top sets featuring waterfalls or beaches to the flashy themes carried out down to the last handbag. But now, Virginie Viard is in charge. And she's ushering in her vision for the brand — one largely stripped of the fantasy to reveal its most commercial (read: wearable) core. 

The set for Chanel's Fall 2020 show comprised of simple, undulating benches in black and white. Models emerged from the middle, sometimes in groups of two or three, casually strolling through the scene. It felt tremendously casual, despite the presence of clothes that ring up in the thousands.

There was a lot to take in, from casual knits to more formal taffeta dresses. The shoe of the season was a practical folded boot, most often seen in black and brown, grounding everything from tear-away track pants (yes, believe it — joggers with snaps at Chanel!) to long tweed coats. On the accessories front, there was Byzantine jewelry, tights with tiny Chanel logos serving as polka dots and camellias and bows to hold back the hair.

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The trouble with it is that there's very little excitement to be found in commercialism. While Viard is great at making the stuff which would ultimately sell, she would do well to bring someone on the team who can add in that element of fun that makes Chanel so magical. Judging by the number of bags shaped like robots, milk cartons and shopping baskets spotted among the VIP portion of the audience, it's likely missed by both the fashion media and the clientele alike.

See every look from Chanel's Fall 2020 collection in the gallery below.

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