Chanel Goes to Africa
This season, Chanel’s Métier d’Art 2023 fashion show has touched down in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, making Chanel the first European fashion house to stage a show in Sub-Saharan Africa. In attendance at the pre-fall 2023 show were longtime muses like Pharrell Williams and Naomi Cambell as well as performers Obree Daman and CKay. The full collection was revealed to the public in a video on Thursday, Dec. 8, on the fashion house’s YouTube channel.
“Dakar is an influential artistic capital on the international scene, particularly in areas held dear to the house, such as fashion, film, dance, music, literature and contemporary art,” Chanel said in a statement. “More than just a show, this event will be part of a three-day cultural program accompanied by concrete action in terms of creative dialogue, sustainable development and the transmission of savoir-faire.”
The location was first alluded to during Chanel’s Master Class that followed the cruise 2023 Replica show in Miami, where Chanel President of Fashion Bruno Pavlovsky spoke of a conversation between the late Karl Lagerfeld, Williams, and himself about the fashion house’s presence on the African continent. “When I first started working with Chanel, it had been a dream of mine,” Williams shared, noting it was years in the making. “I was intimidated to ask, because I don’t think a fashion house had been to that part of Africa before.”
When it comes to the designs itself, Creative Director Virginie Viard took all of the well-known Chanel house codes and gave them a modern, trend-conscious flair. Of course, there were the iconic boxy jackets, tweed materials, lace dresses, and collared shirts galore, but she also introduced peplum skirts, high-low dresses with side cutouts, and tunics layered over slim-flared pants.
The overall vibe was decidedly ’70s, with sleeveless suiting jackets, printed silk shirts, and buttoned-up pointed collar necklines in abundance. There were tops made of metal mesh layered underneath flared tweed suiting, oversize lapels covered in crystals, and boho lace dresses paired with longline cardigans and belted at the waist. Aside from a few slide sandals and classic capped-toe pumps, most of the footwear stuck to the chunky-platform sandal theme that was so iconic of the retro decade.
See photos below:
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