The Chanel FW/23 RTW Campaign: Inspired by William Klein

Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?

The Chanel FW/23 RTW Campaign: Inspired by William Klein
Yaseen Dockrat

For its FW/23 collection, French luxury house, Chanel, and its creative director Virginie Viard called upon photographers Inez and Vinoodh to cast the collection through their lenses. The result is a beautiful film and a series of photos inspired by William Klein.


The film and its accompanying stills star Nana Komatsu, in a setting inspired by Klein’s Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? from 1966. The 1966 film follows a young American model living in Paris played by Dorothy McGowen. The set of Chanel’s RTW collection echoes the apartment that belongs to the film’s heroine. “It’s the idea of a Japanese woman in Paris, with a spirit of light-heartedness and freedom,” Inez and Vinoodh said. “In the way, she moves in the video, there is a sense of wonder, a sense of displacement and belonging.”

Camellias as a leitmotif

Throughout the collection, the film, and the show, the camelia had a strong presence. The flower could be seen embroidered and printed on different pieces throughout, from tops to dresses and even on a pair of shoes. “The camellia is more than a theme, it’s an eternal code of the house,” Virginie Viard said. “I find it reassuring and familiar; I like its softness and its strength.”



Using the wide lens effect, Inez & Vinoodh reinforced the idea of a small room that in turn added another dimension – a surreal one echoed in the rest of the film. Komatsu was dressed in an asymmetric tweed jacket with a large panel and embroidered black velvet shorts, or in a Bermuda shorts suit in black velvet, accompanied by the camellia motif. 

The show

At the show, Virginie Viard’s set was in the form of a symbolic white camellia, while every guest found one waiting on their seats. This year marks a century since Coco Chanel first pinned her camellia to a piece of clothing. 


The collection

If you have been following Virginie Viard at Chanel, you’ll know that she has brought a contemporary realness to the famed French fashion house. The creative director has brought her variations of a classic Chanel colour palette of black, white, and grey, to a collection that was slim on evening wear, but dominated by clothing that can be worn on the street.

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