When someone like late Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld dies, the shoes they leave behind to fill are not only big, but absurdly fashionable.
This week on the Chanel runway, freshly minted creative director and Lagerfeld’s successor, Virginie Viard, decided to replace those shoes with a daintier pair. Viard’s first Chanel runway show was a Cruise collection, a line of warm weather clothes designed for winter vacations to milder climes, which falls in between the typical Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collections. The creative director decided to go classic Chanel on this one, with some colorful 80s power suit jackets and logo-patterned pants, camelia appliqués and the requisite tweed. But the looks also lean towards the feminine: strategically-placed giant bows, flowing ruffled dresses, and a lot of pastels.
Viard’s debut appears strategic, deliberately muted, even. It seems that Chanel’s new leader wants to dip a toe in the water before diving in, continue Lagerfeld’s legacy and follow his teachings. Whether Viard will choose to step outside the double-C stamped box and begin to make her own distinctive mark on the brand, is something that everyone in the fashion world will need to wait until June to find out.