Chanel celebrates craftsmanship and cardigans

PARIS – Few Chanel customers have probably already ventured into the industrial fringes of the 19th arrondissement north-east of Paris. ...


PARIS – Few Chanel customers have probably already ventured into the industrial fringes of the 19th arrondissement north-east of Paris. But on December 7, they found themselves blinking in the freezing December fog in Skanderberg Square, just outside the ring road, waiting for the brand’s annual Métiers d’Art show to begin.

Delivered by a fleet of Mercedes, dressed in new buckles and draped in pearls, many wore necklaces from which hung a small pair of gold scissors. They had come with the invitation: both a nod to founder Gabrielle Chanel’s habit of wearing scissors around a ribbon around her neck, and at the same time a peace offering for clients who complained. to have to travel 30 minutes from the center of Paris.

The reason: Le19M, the site of the show and the new home of the 11 specialist tailoring workshops that Chanel began to acquire in 1985. An imposing triangular-shaped building of approximately 275,000 square feet designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti, Le19M is filled with gold, feathers, sequins, rhinestones, silk, cashmere, leather and 600 artisans, busy transforming raw materials into magic, all presented on the podium.

But first, there was a tour of the workshops, led in part by Blanca Li, the Spanish choreographer. “Without love, we would not have the trades,” noted Ms. Li, by way of introduction to Maison Lesage, the embroidery specialist, turning on her varnished white heels.

Later, Inès de La Fressange, the former face of Chanel, appeared on the brand in a black Boucle Chanel jacket with gold chain trim on the pockets and a trendy 15-minute delay.

Covid-19 protocols (two shows limited to 300 people each; guests requested to take a PCR or antigen test within 24 hours of the show, wear masks, and prove their vaccine status) were not the only potential problem on the show. There was also the recent advent calendar related social media storm.

Still, Vanessa Paradis was there, catching up with Sofia Coppola. Singer Sébastien Tellier spoke with young Franco-Romanian actress Anamaria Vartolomei. And Pharrell Williams chatted with Charlotte Casiraghi.

At 2 degrees Celsius, it was too cold for the Champagne. Instead, mugs of hot mint tea from Mariages Frère, the French high-end tea company, were handed out as guests mingled in the tree-lined courtyard under outdoor heaters while Virginie Viard , Creative Director of Chanel, was taking a cigarette break before the show with some of the models. . Crowded by a tense producer, she replied: “No stress! I am a professional.

A low key to that. Finished the 18th century Salzburg Palace, the New York museums, the Scottish castles of the 15th century, shows of the Trades under the late designer Karl Lagerfeld.

Instead, the show took place in a long, glass-walled gallery with polished concrete floors and concrete benches overlooking the courtyard. Models flocked from the central courtyard, stopping in front of the automatic glass doors before descending the catwalk.

The drama came from the decor, loaded, 1980s style: no button left without jewelry, no waist missing a Chanel logo belt, no ear without luster, no neck without strings of necklaces dripping with pearls, pendants Byzantine and Coco- linked charms.

The house’s signature loopback jackets were relaxed fit, cut lengthwise to touch the knee or ankle. A black tweed bomber jacket with ribbed-knit cuffs was embroidered with the Chanel logo in a graffiti-style font, accented with tiny pearls and vibrant rainbow-colored rhinestones. A jacket partly obscured by a giant fluffy cardigan appeared to be made of metallic shards of glass, until you took a closer look and realized that it was embroidered with graphic sprays of sequins. Oh, and there was a pair of pale blue, acid wash elastic waist jeans with a little ruffle at the hem.

Cardigans were the star of the show, made supple and paired with densely crafted sequin-encrusted mini-dresses and tweed skirt suits. The Chanel logo was everywhere: hand-sewn onto knits, engraved on multi-row necklaces, hung from chain belts, rhinestone traced and draped over the cuffs, and embossed on pearl-embellished Mary Janes.

The looks lighten up towards the end, in the form of a black sheer tulle skirt studded with feathers and pearls and paired with a slim black cardigan, and a languid dress with a black and white curly top puffed up with a simple touch of crystals at the waist and cuffs. This was around the time that platinum-haired Korean-American model Soo Joo swapped the catwalk for a concrete platform, in order to better rock the crowd as Ether, her musical alter ego.

A dinner was planned for the evening at the Montparnasse La Coupole brasserie, once favorite of Man Ray and Joséphine Baker, but there would be no after-party. This week, France closed all nightclubs for four weeks, in response to the new Omicron variant. With hibernation the order of the day, couture-level cardigans suddenly seemed a lot more appropriate.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Chanel celebrates craftsmanship and cardigans
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