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Chanel revisits Deauville roots as Ghesquiere fetes 10 years at Louis Vuitton in Paris

PARIS (AP) — In a cinematic homage blurring fashion and film, Chanel transported its audience at Paris Fashion Week to a fictional Deauville for its latest showcase.
A model wears a creation as part of the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2024-2025 ready-to-wear collection presented Tuesday, March 5, 2024 in Paris. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

PARIS (AP) — In a cinematic homage blurring fashion and film, Chanel transported its audience at Paris Fashion Week to a fictional Deauville for its latest showcase.

The black and white film of the Normandy seaside town, starring Brad Pitt and front-row observer Penélope Cruz, evoked Chanel’s roots.

Fusing the 1920s heyday of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel with the drama of the ’70s, designer Virginie Viard recreated the founder’s gender-fluid wardrobe from the “winter sojourns by the sea.” Deauville changed the course of Chanel and arguably the Paris fashion industry.

Here are some highlights of fall-winter 2024 ready-to-wear shows, including the latest spectacle from Louis Vuitton's designer Nicolas Ghesquière who Tuesday celebrated 10 years since his first collection:


Pitt and Cruz, depicted as lovers in the idyllic town, captivated guests who watched the romance unfold on giant plasma screens, with scenes of beach frolics and bonding over an order of medium-rare Chateaubriand steaks.

Deauville, which influenced Viard’s fall aesthetic with its floppy beach hats, played a pivotal role in Chanel's journey from licensed milliner to revolutionary designer.

“Deauville is where everything started for the house,” Viard said. It’s where Chanel drew inspiration from the world around her: the salty and striped uniforms of the fishermen, the speed of horses at the racetrack, the chic madames sunning on the sands.

“For this collection, we recreated the Deauville boardwalk,” Viard said, with chunky sailor sweaters, dressing gown-style belted coats and strong-shoulder peacoats. The colors evoked the hues of the town’s romantic skies with pinks, pale blue and oranges.

Despite the poetical musing and finely proportioned coats, the penchant for accessories sometimes distracted from the garments and, at times, muddied the clarity of Viard’s vision.

The setting evoked memories of a past spectacle by Karl Lagerfeld, her flamboyant predecessor, known for transforming the Grand Palais into a real beach with actual water. Some attendees felt the decor, and the clothes, this time lacked vibrancy by comparison.


Ghesquière spoke of the collection in emotional terms.

“This is a particular evening, a meaningful evening. Ten years ago… I remember the feeling of ‘beginning,’ the immense joy I felt to be among you,” Ghesquière said.

It marked the anniversary of his much talked about tenure at Louis Vuitton, arguably the world’s richest luxury house.

Amid a giant futuristic iridescent spiked ball and inside the oldest courtyard of the Louvre, Ghesquière unveiled an ambitious collection fusing seasonal trends which yet also bore “witness to a decade of fashion.”

The collection's theme seemed to be collapsed time. The result was a display with some standout moments, which occasionally seemed to lack a clear thematic direction. The fusion of ideas sometimes seemed to dilute the overall narrative.

In his signature time-traveling style — Ghesquière is renowned for his ability to blend historical references with futuristic visions — silver space-age eye banding met sporty takes on Elizabethan ruffles while opulent fur garments came as surreal, hairy mittens.

The collection grew in confidence, and focus, as it progressed. Structured decorative jackets were exquisite with their gleaming colors evoking Asiatic attire. Some were worn with hipster brogues, showcasing Ghesquière’s talent for mixing couture with streetwise sensibility.

There were moments of pure fun, such as a structured “pastiche” minidress bearing the Louis Vuitton monogram bag design that had fashion insiders snapping their cameras. Some misses, like a series of pale blue looks, could have benefited from a color contrast to avoid them looking washed out.

The best looks had an ’80s punk dynamic. Ballooning hems in voluminous skirts swooshed when the models walked in men’s shoes, in a trademark Ghesquière feat of subverting femininity.


Miu Miu’s fall collection took a playful jab at the transition from childhood to adulthood. Miuccia Prada’s tongue-in-cheek little sister brand once again addressed profound themes through the lens of frivolity.

Cropped sleeves, rounded-toe shoes, and pajamas with outerwear amid exaggeratedly shrunken proportions evoked the Tom Hanks movie “Big." Adulthood was seen as gloves and handbags, brooches and tailoring.

The pioneering designer seemed to say the human condition was sometimes a fusion of both. Sometimes, designs were fused in the collection, such as sweaters, cardigans in silk and cashmere, and poplin skirts with knit, while shearling was treated to imitate precious fur.

Miu Miu’s creations consistently embody a youthful spirit, merging elegance with playful defiance. This is evident in unexpected styling choices like pairing sometimes clashing classic pieces with undergarments or athletic wear, challenging traditional fashion norms.

Thomas Adamson, The Associated Press