Chanel's Biker Helmets Are Fit for a Grand Prix

Chanel's Biker Helmets Are Fit for a Grand Prix

by Trishna Rikhy

When you think of Chanel, a biker aesthetic isn’t likely to be the first thing that comes to mind. But for Resort 2023, the French fashion house is swapping their hair ribbons for helmets and their pearl bracelets for driving gloves, and dipping their toes into a grunge-y, leather-clad racing look.

On the pebbled shores of the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel on May 5, Chanel showed an admittedly alternative look for the classically pristine and posh brand. The biker-chic look has been popping up all over the runway lately — brands like Diesel and Simone Rocha crafted biker jackets and leather looks for Fall 2022, toying with motor fashion — and seeped into the mainstream, with celebrities like Julia Fox and Timothée Chalamet wearing head-to-toe leather, biker-inspired looks to major fashion events.

Chanel is the latest major fashion house to jump on the bandwagon (or rather, the back of the motorcycle? The sidecar?), and, true to Chanel form, creative director Virginie Viard did so in the classiest way possible (who knew leather went so well with tweed?). The Resort 2023 collection is all gas with no brakes for the biker-chic, racing-core trend, culminating with actual helmets hanging from models’ wrists in lieu of a handbag.

Some looks had models clutching a true-to-size (and functional!) helmet in their hand as if about to put it on; others had miniature versions of biker helmets, swinging from dainty purse chains, as if your Chanel coin-purse was getting the NASCAR makeover. Fingerless baby pink driving gloves with the Chanel monogram completed the biker-chic looks; it’s straight from the runway to the racetrack for Resort season. (Formula 1 Miami is this weekend after all.)

Viard was inspired by the car racing culture of Monte Carlo for the collection, telling Vogue that “the casino, Helmut Newton’s girls, the car races” were influences she wanted to play with. The helmet purse accessories were the cherry on top for looks fit for a Grand Prix: mechanic overalls, biker uniforms, and a cheeky checker-print motif reminiscent of racing flags took biker chic to the next level.

Photos via Getty