Clearly, there is the new direction that the luxury fashion house has taken Virginia Viard, who worked at the company for 30 years (and quite closely with his predecessor, Karl Lagerfeld). But it goes deeper than just having another person – and a woman – at the helm.
“It’s a different feeling,” de Maigret tells me in Miami, where Chanel had has just re-staged its Cruise 2023 collection to an audience of customers, VIPs, press and friends of the Maison, like herself. “I think it’s very feminine. The silhouettes have changed. The proportions have changed. There’s a sexiness that I love, but still very chic and elegant. I think Virginie loves movement – it was interesting because there was very windy [at the Replica show], and the clothes took all their interest in going on vacation. Some of the dresses took the wind, like: ‘Yes. I want to be that drama queen.’ It’s so cool.”
That Spring 2023 ready-to-wear was her favorite, she says: “There is something very alive in it [Viard’s] occupation. I wear it a lot, so I feel the difference.’
De Maigret had already seen Cruise at the Monte Carlo debut back in May. But seeing it again, this time in Miami Beach, “worked really well,” she says. “It was sporty, it was fun, it was fresh – that’s how I see Miami. We had the chance to have the sea behind… It was different from Monaco because it carried Chanel’s history: Gabrielle Chanel used to go there, Karl Lagerfeld lived there before. It was just very fresh here.”
She’s been to her fair share of Chanel shows since becoming a brand ambassador in 2013 (and walking the runway before that). What she appreciates about acting is that it’s not really about a trend, but more about a feeling.
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“I always feel that poetry when I see a Chanel show,” she says. “There’s something that’s always a bit intellectual. It’s really a special house because there’s a kindness, a faithfulness to the house that I think I can find by looking at the clothes. There’s something very respectful about the whole the work, the respect they have for the people who work. to the house.”
When she sees something on a Chanel runway, de Maigret explains, she knows it’s something “extraordinary” and “made to last forever.”
“When you buy a piece of Chanel, you have it for life.” she says. “You pass it on to your children.”
De Maigret knows this intimately: One of her favorite pieces in what I can only imagine is an extensive personal Chanel archive is a little black tweed jacket that Lagerfeld designed for her, which she still wears: “It works 24 hours – I wear it with jeans, I wear it with a nightgown. It either dresses it up or drags it down.”
For a weekend in Miami, however, she stuck to classics: white pants (which she wore to the show), tank tops, T-shirts. It’s all about “pieces that are really good to mix and match” – just like what we might see in a Cruise collection. Then there’s the trifecta of Chanel beauty products she knows she can trust.
“I always take the mascara – I like it the revolution one; it is a bit heavy but i like it thick because i like to attract people to my eyes. The foundation is so thin; it’s a great cover and it catches the light really well. And I love the eyeliner, because I’m not a very good makeup artist and it’s really easy. I like to do a little cateye – especially in Miami. It’s kind of glamorous.”
Disclosure: Chanel paid for Fashionista’s travel and accommodation to attend the Cruise 2023 Replica show.