Of all the well-established design codes Gabrielle Chanel created for her brand, tweed is undoubtedly the best known. Sure, there is the quilting of the 2.55 bag, traditionally done in a textured black caviar leather. Or the many iterations of the camelia flower, found on everything from elaborate diamond-encrusted high jewelry to a simple satin lapel bloom. During her time building the label that would become one of modern fashion’s most important, Chanel also used elements of wheat (a symbol of wealth), the stars, and lions (the designer was a Leo) in her designs.
But for many, just the sight of tweed immediately calls to mind Chanel — even when the garment is not from the brand. On Tuesday, the French luxury brand mined this deeply-imbedded design code to its fullest example, with a fall ’22 ready-to-wear collection that was all about tweed.
“Devoting the entire collection to tweed is a tribute,” Chanel creative director Virginie Viard wrote in the brand’s fall ’22 show notes. “We followed the footsteps of Gabrielle Chanel along the River Tweed, to imagine tweeds in the colors of this landscape. Like that of a long pink coat mottled with blue and purple, or a burgundy suit with a delicate gold shimmer. This is what Gabrielle Chanel would do on her walks through the Scottish countryside: she would gather ferns and bouquets of flowers to inspire the local artisans for the tones she wanted.”
There were the usual skirt suits, which were done this time in slouchy jackets with mini skirts for a more Gen Z-friendly silhouette. The fabric showed up in the more traditional structured jackets and coats but also in the more casual sweaters, cardigans, ankle-length sweater coats and strapless tea-length gowns. It even appeared on nubby tights, for an ultra-cozy legwear moment.
In a nod to tweed’s Scottish and Irish origins, Viard paired the looks with a series of over-the-knee and knee-length, Wellington-style boots for a fully Anglo-Saxon look.