Inspired by two women artists of the 19th century-Berthe Morisot and Marie Laurencin-for Chanel’s haute couture fall/winter 2021 show, creative director Virginie Viard translated rich, painterly marks into sumptuous tweeds and delicately embroidered dresses.

As for beauty, feminine codes were presented with an edge. Damien Boissinot styled hair into braided mohawks which folded elegantly over models’ foreheads and were tied at the back with big black bows (a house signature) which blew in the wind behind them. It felt strong and a little bit punk, but with a softness and femininity that ran through the entire collection.

“We were inspired by the artists from the Belle Époque [an era of French and European history, from 1871 to 1880],” says Boissinot. “Virginie wanted a woman who was strong and sophisticated, with a little bit of rock from the braids. We kept it very Chanel with the bows clipped in.”

Continuing on the theme of bows, the Chanel bride-personified by actor Margaret Qualley-wore her hair slicked back under a black pillbox hat adorned with a white bow.

For makeup, there was once again a sense of rock’n’roll: a strong eye look consisted of a deep-blue under eyeliner and a thick, black wing on top. Skin was left matte and lips were kept neutral, drawing your attention back up to the eyes. While mask requirements may be lessening in some parts of the world, it seems the top half of the face is still drawing focus.