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For Fall 2022, There's Tweed As Far As the Eye Can See at Chanel

But it might just prove there is such a thing as too much.

Virginie Viard's work at Chanel tends to shy away from the extreme themes favored by her predecessor, Karl Lagerfeld: no man-made beaches, no replica historical sites — just clothes.

So it's always a bit surprising when the creative director commits to a theme, as she did for Fall 2022. The latest Chanel collection is centered around tweed — "infinite tweed," to be more precise — the house's signature fabric used on everything from bags to skirt suits. The trouble with tweed, though, is that it can be bulky, especially when layered together, triply so when layered with thick knits. That seems to have tripped up Viard. 

Chanel has proven that tweed can be cool and even a little sexy, whether done up in pastel brights or mini-skirted sets. But that wasn't the move for Fall 2022. There are efforts at youthfulness, yes — denim shorts paired with those thigh-high socks and wellies hearkens back to Alexa Chung at Glastonbury circa 2008, and the thigh-high rain boots attempt playfulness, even if they are in unappealing colors. (This is so often a pitfall for Viard, who seems to be drawn to muddied, muted shades.) Low-slung tweed pencil skirts and strapless tweed dresses aim for cool but ultimately fall flat. Dowdy takes on micro-kitten heels don't help.

It's a shame, because there are truly great pieces in here. Despite the tweed theme, Viard does some great work with leather, especially in a trench style and a pair of chocolate brown cropped pants. (The same cannot be said of the shift dresses or a pair of pants cut loosely around the hips.) The robe coat that opens the show is gorgeous, a nod at the past that still feels very modern. The knits are fun, especially the oversized cardigans which will look even better broken up with a pair of jeans. And the blown-out, '90s style rich girl hair, often held back with a single barrette, is stunning.

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But overall, it was... frumpy. And frumpy can certainly work in a nod-wink sort of way, but there's no such fun to be had here. Whether it's an issue with styling or an issue with proportions, something needs to be tweaked at Chanel when it comes to ready-to-wear runways.

See the complete Chanel Fall 2022 collection in the gallery below:

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