Chanel Resort 2024 Delivers Barbiecore & Clashing Prints
The Chanel Resort '24 Collection has received varied responses; let's look at the reasons why:
This week, I've seen very mixed and dramatic reactions on Twitter to the Chanel Resort 2024 collection. Since the death of Karl Lagerfeld in 2019, the creative director of Chanel has been Virginie Viard. Karl Lagerfeld led Chanel from 1983 to 2019 and successfully redefined and modernised the company while paying homage to Coco Chanel. This creates a great challenge for Viard as she needs to maintain the success and core of the company while applying her own stamp. Whilst some looks of the latest collection have been well received, there is also clearly room for improvement when it comes to responses. To illustrate this, I've shared a selection of varying opinions from fashion Twitter accounts below (click on a tweet for link to the post):
The collection is eclectic and clearly has numerous influences. Inspiration has been pulled from a number of decades with 1980's style leg warmers, a gold hooded top reminiscent of Yves Saint Laurent's 1992 gold hooded dress and 00's style belly chains all included.
The collection features numerous current trends with sheer materials, metallics, the hood, bold colours and barbiecore all featuring. With this inclusion of multiple trends Chanel seem to be embracing the current "widespread maximalist movement known as dopamine dressing". (Emma Childs, Marie Claire, March 2023) Whilst the mixing of influences and materials is interesting, the sheer quantity of styles within this collection creates a lack of cohesion. This explains why there are mixed Twitter responses as whilst there are desirable pieces, they are not presented to their full effect.
With actress Margot Robbie, star of 'Barbie', having attended the runway show it's hardly surprising that the collection incorporates #barbiecore. Barbiecore is currently a focus within fashion as 'Barbie' is set to be released in cinemas on 21st July 2023. Chanel have opted for a pastel approach to barbiecore. The barbieesque pieces in the Chanel Resort 2024 collection are some of the most successful; the choice of pastel shades (especially for tweed/bouclé suits) aligns with Chanel's history and differentiates them from the bright pink of Valentino.
The strong traits of barbiecore didn't go unnoticed amongst Twitter users:
Whilst the pastel pink barbie-style items are some of the more attractive in the collection, the above tweets don't convey a sense of excitement in response. It seems to have been viewed as a purely commercial move by Chanel rather than something with real inspiration and originality. The gold hooded top matched with a belly chain (shown above) is one of my favourite looks. I can't help thinking that the incorporation of more elements of old-school glamour would have elevated this collection. Also, this would have tied in strongly with the LA theme of the show. According to Fashionista, the show "presents a nostalgic, romanticized image of Los Angeles" and is "a cute escape from the cities everyday realities". (fashionista.com) However, with LA being home to Hollywood and beautiful beaches, and therefore globally associated with glamour, I think that Chanel could have taken this romantic imagery much further.
When viewing the collection for the first time, the 1980's style leg warmers are the first thing that stood out to me. With the 1980's not being a current trend, I couldn't understand why leg warmers had been included. However, the tweet by @andriana (included above) that links them to barbiecore makes perfect sense. Nevertheless, to me the black leg warmers teamed with a swimsuit (shown below) evoke 1983's 'Flash Dance' rather than a pastel and pink wearing workout Barbie. This highlights how the wide variety of colours, including black, pastels and metallics, may have contributed to a lack of clear vision.
Another feature of the collection, that further complicates its overall impression, is the mixing of prints. Mixed prints can look creative and vibrant, but when mixing patterned fabric there is a fine line between what works and what doesn't. The tights and socks in the two images below detract from the outfits due to their dark grey shade and overly elaborate pattern. They are unnecessary and give an Autumn/Winter feel to the looks.
Ultimately, whilst this collection does contain appealing pieces, there is a lack of balance. Less is often more and many of the outfits would have more appeal with particular features removed. In my opinion, the barbiecore and metallic elements of the collection are the most attractive. The next Chanel Resort collection would benefit greatly by incorporating less styles and prioritizing them in order to streamline the collection as a whole. Let me know in the comments what you think of this collection and of the opinions shared. Also, what is your take on clashing prints? Thank you for reading, Gina.
Article by Dhani Mau. May 10th 2023. Fashionista.
Article by Emma Childs. March 2023. Marie Claire. https://www.marieclaire.com/fashion/spring-2023-color-trends/#section-true-red
Article by Hamish Bowles. 24th November 2020. Vogue.
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