Chanel takes us to the seaside for AW24

chanel aw24
Chanel takes us to the seaside for AW24Marc Piasecki - Getty Images

Each season, we break down everything you need to know about the new collections in The Fashion Week Cheat Sheet. After speaking to the designers about their inspiration, their hero pieces, the faces on the catwalk and the names on the front row, we present your complete guide to autumn/winter 2024.

Chanel's collections are always somewhat inspired by the house's founder – and this season, Virginie Viard went back to where it all began, Coco Chanel's very first boutique, which she opened in the seaside town of Deauville.

"Deauville is where everything started for the house," Viard explains. "1912, the creation of her hat shop and then very quickly the first clothes with their visionary, radical style. It’s where it all began for Gabrielle Chanel. This story is very close to my heart."

The collection – and the show space – paid tribute to Deauville, to Chanel's trips there, to her early designs and to the other notable characters who have appeared along that famous boardwalk.

Theme and inspiration

"On the racecourse, on the seaside, at the gaming table, in restaurants and palaces, on the 'Planches' boardwalk: everything is about elegance and self-staging," the brand noted of Deauville, which served as the inspiration for the season. Viard drew on the femininity from Chanel's own wardrobe and the masculinity from "the subtle elegance of winter sojourns by the sea".

The house presented belted dressing gown coats, pleated skirts, culottes, cropped trousers, chunky sailor sweaters (some which featured prints inspired by the Deauville horizon), belted knitwear, flatcaps, jumpsuits and enormous wide-brimmed sun hats.

Meanwhile, Viard also nodded to the American Film Festival, which takes place in Deauville each year, and to Claude Lelouch’s A Man and a Woman, which is set there.

"The silhouette of David Bowie, the magnetism of film stars walking on the sand, like Anouk Aimée, a great friend of Gabrielle Chanel… this collection pays homage to these familiar figures."

Hero pieces

The statement hats stood out particularly for their unique silhouettes, while the collection was filled with cosy knitwear and excellent outerwear that will surely sell well. "It’s a very warm collection, with layers of materials, colours and volumes," said Viard. "It pays tribute to Deauville, the legendary place where Gabrielle Chanel’s destiny changed forever."

The setting

The show took place, as always, in the Grand Palais, but this time, it was recreated to look like the Deauville boardwalk. Models walked along wooden planks, while giant screens were erected behind them, which played images of long, romantic silhouettes strolling in the light from dawn to dusk.

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Marc Piasecki - Getty Images

Who was there?

Penelope Cruz, Naomi Campbell, Olivia Dean, Zazie Beetz, Zoey Deutch and Margaret Qualley all sat front row, while Gigi Hadid took to the catwalk.

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Pascal Le Segretain - Getty Images

Catch up on more from the autumn/winter 2024 show season here.

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