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Gigi Hadid returns to catwalk at Chanel for Coastal Grandma collection in Paris

 (Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)
(Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Chanel opened the final day of Paris Fashion Week this morning with a love letter to Deauville, the Normandy seaside town where Gabrielle Chanel opened her first shop in 1911.

It felt poignant for Virginie Viard, artistic director since 2019 following Karl Lagerfeld’s death, to look back to the origins of the house at a time when its provenance is very much front and centre of a cultural evaluation — the V&A’s blockbuster exhibition will close on Sunday, while Juliette Binoche is currently portraying the designer in AppleTV+’s The New Look.

Over a hundred years later, Chanel is one of the world’s best known brands. Its financial results remain in rude health; in 2022 the company reported revenues of $17.2 billion, up 17 per cent on the previous year. This is in spite of, or perhaps because of its steady increase in prices; Amy Odell recently reported in her Back Row newsletter that a medium classic flap bag has increased 104 per cent since 2019 to around an eye watering $11,850.

Chanel’s original intention of opening in Deauville was to appeal to society holiday makers. She offered them her revolutionising marinière striped tops in jersey fabrics (one of her earliest incarnations is the first piece at the V&A’s show — its arresting power is that it looks entirely modern) teasing the upper classes with reimaginings of dress and material from the untethered hoi polloi.

Penélope Cruz attends the Chanel show (Getty Images)
Penélope Cruz attends the Chanel show (Getty Images)
Giant hatted models at Chanel (AFP via Getty Images)
Giant hatted models at Chanel (AFP via Getty Images)

Watching were the new high society — celebrities included Vanessa Paradis, Margaret Qualley, Riley Keough and Naomi Campbell.

On the boardwalk runway, backlit by a spherical screen the show opened with a film featuring Brad Pitt and Penélope Cruz (also present on the front row) on a romantic dinner, asking coquettishly at the end “do you have any rooms available.”

Against the following sunrise scenes from the shore, Viard sent out giant hatted models in tweed Bermuda shorts; printed pyjamas were paired with long tweed coats and those bags in pops of bright pinks. Furry over the knee boots were worn with gold lamé tweed suiting. Soft blue and camel striped cardigans were worn with loose blue jeans, while the classic marinière came in a black lace atop cream knitted tweed. For the country set sheepskin maxi coats were topped with nifty flat caps. Coats and knitwear were belted to pull in the silhouette, while jewellery took an 80s turn with statement gold earrings in the house motifs.

Having only been seen once this season, supermodel Gigi Hadid put in an appearance in a black knit look strewn with gold necklaces. Coastal Grandma does Chanel? Oui oui.

Chanel autumn winter 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Chanel autumn winter 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Chanel autumn winter 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Chanel autumn winter 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Chanel autumn winter 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Chanel autumn winter 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Chanel autumn winter 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Chanel autumn winter 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Chanel autumn winter 2024 (Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)
Chanel autumn winter 2024 (Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)