This season’s Chanel woman is well-read in more ways than one. Paying tribute to the French fashion house’s late creative director Karl Lagerfeld, his successor and close collaborator, Virginie Viard, made her solo couture-show debut amid a sprawling library set—inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s daytime apartment on the rue Cambon, as well as one of Lagerfeld’s most beloved bookstores, Galignani—in the Grand Palais. From the sharp tweed suiting to full-skirted velvet gowns, the silhouettes were smart yet sumptuous, and a similar dichotomy was reflected in the sleek updos sent down the runway.
“The inspiration was simply the set,” explained hairstylist Sam McKnight of the glossy low ponytails he crafted backstage, securing each with a simple satin ribbon in shades of gray, navy, black, and pink. But the detail that made the “strict” and “no-frills” updo most striking of all was the deep side part, which saw McKnight holding a sharp, steel pintail comb up to the end of the brow to find just the right angle to “open the face.” The severity of masculine parting was played up by boyish full brows, but the eyes, thinly flicked with onyx liner by makeup artist Lucia Pica, offered a classically feminine counterpoint.