Chanel’s Classic Hair Bow Goes Rock’n’Roll for Couture

Inspired by two nineteenth-century female artists—Berthe Morisot and Marie Laurencin—creative director Virginie Viard transformed rich, painterly markings into lush tweeds and delicately embroidered gowns for Chanel's haute couture fall/winter 2021 presentation.

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Chanel’s Classic Hair Bow Goes Rock’n’Roll for Couture

In terms of aesthetics, feminine norms were given an edge. Damien Boissinot fashioned hair into braided mohawks that folded gracefully over the models’ brows and were pulled back with large black bows (a house hallmark) that fluttered in the breeze behind them. It seemed powerful and a touch punk, yet with an underlying tenderness and delicacy.

“We were inspired by painters from the Belle Époque [a period of French and European history between 1871 and 1880],” Boissinot explains. “Virginie envisioned a lady that was strong and elegant, with a hint of rock courtesy of the braids. We maintained it Chanel-esque with the clipped-in bows.”

Keeping with Chanel’s classic hair bow theme, the Chanel bride—as embodied by actress Margaret Qualley—wore her hair pulled back beneath a black pillbox hat decorated with a white bow.

Besides Chanel’s classic hair bow, there was a rock’n’roll vibe to the makeup: a bold eye look included a deep blue undereye liner and a big, black wing on top. The skin was left matte and the lips were left neutral, refocusing attention on the eyes. While mask requirements are decreasing in various parts of the world, it appears as though the top half of the face continues to get attention.