After last year’s stately production in the Loire Valley’s Château de Chenonceau, Chanel headed home to its breathtaking artisanship hub on the edge of Paris. Here’s everything you need to know about its latest celebration of craft.
It was staged at Le 19M
Chanel’s Métiers d’Art 2021/22 collections honour the work of its most treasured artisans – from sequin embroiderers to feather trimmers, master shoe-makers to milliners – but this season’s love letter to craft was set in the very heart of the action: Le 19M. The palatial Rudy Ricciotti-designed building in Aubervilliers was the perfect setting for the intimate expression of couture craft finessed over thousands of hours by the best in the business.
The métiers d’art lends itself well to cinema
While show guests witnessed the realities of what Chanel’s button HQ and pearl atelier look like in real life, fans watching online were treated to an exquisite short film created by the choreographer and dancer Dimitri Chamblas. Designed to show “the dazzling play of graphic textures and precious details” as models walked through the vast space, it gives a closer look at Lemarié’s iconic fabric camellias originally commissioned by Coco Chanel and her beloved two-tone Massaro Mary-Janes, which this season come speckled with pearls. Of course, it was always going to be a special production. Virginie Viard was Karl Lagerfeld’s direct liaison between the métiers and the creative director himself during his tenure. The film might be short, but it is steeped in history.
Tweed went street
In keeping with Viard’s youth-centric vision for the house, the collection might have been the most attitude-laden Métiers d’Art edit yet. It’s “very metropolitan yet sophisticated”, she said of her relaxed tweed jackets graffitied with Lesage’s fine beadwork. The slouchy knits with “sweatshirt sleeves”, too, were excellent, while the double-C dotted cardis will be catnip for the logomania obsessed. You can imagine Blackpink’s Jennie wearing them half undone with the same schoolgirlish charm and perfect eyeliner.
The jewellery was totally charming
Jewellery came layered to the max and mismatching – as is Viard’s haute rock‘n’roll way. Chock-full of meaningful house tropes, it would have taken days to uncover all the stories behind the heavy gems, but for fans looking to Chanel-ify their jewellery box in time for party season, the boldest way to do bijoux is by wearing two big bangles over leather opera gloves. Chanel jewellery has come a long way since the house acquired Desrues, its first métier purchase, in 1985.
And the bride wore sequins
Name a more devastatingly cool bride than Mica Argañaraz, who closed the show wearing pearlescent sequined separates with a jaunty black satin bow pulling the whole look together. Worn with one of the “casual coats worn open” that Viard name-checked in her notes, it wasn’t an obvious bridal look per se, but then Viard’s tenure is all about modernising house traditions with a dash of the unexpected.
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CreditLead Image: Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com