Last week, on a gloomy typical Parisian day, CHANEL unveiled its 20th Métiers d’Art Collection at le 19M, the new building which celebrates the virtuoso hands of fashion.
The annual show is traditionally presented in December and the collection arrives in the boutique in May. “Last year’s collection streamed online, held at Chateau de Chenonceau, was one of the most successful,” said Bruno Pavlovski, President of CHANEL’s Fashion Activities in a masterclass which 200 students attended the day after the show. “We never stopped talking to our customers during the last two years which have been particularly difficult, we tried to get them involved in our project and our new collection and it has worked,” he added.
Designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti -who signed the beautiful Mucem in Marseille- Le 19M makes reference to Coco Chanel’s birthdate, 19 august 1883, and to the 19th arrondissement where triangular 25,500 square meter innovative building is located. M is for Métiers d’arts or for the “petites mains”. “This building is a tribute to Chanel’s craftsmanship, it is designed for the glory of the people who work for Chanel,” said the architect during an interview last summer. Le 19M, home to 600 artisans, embroiderers, feather workers, paruriers, goldsmiths, pleaters, shoemakers, hatters, milliners, glove makers, tanners, leatherworkers has been imagined as a 24 meter high building sewn with braided threads of concrete. The feminine artistic signature of Rudy Ricciotti perfectly merges into Chanel’s aesthetics. A true symbiosis. The walkways echo the urban forest that has been planted directly on the soil. In the middle of the courtyard, a a veiled message: a giant camellia. The new building brings the Porte d’Aubervilliers, in the northeast of Paris, the new beautiful landscape and dynamic workplace that were missing to dynamize this area of Paris.
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Editors, customers and VIPs were invited to discover the workshop before the shows. Guests were split into different groups led by celebrities or ambassadors of the house like Pharrell Williams or Sofia Coppola and models wearing looks from the collection. While strolling in Atelier Montex, actress Ana Maria Vartolomei and model Lola Nicon introduced passionate young embroiderers who were stitching silver floral pangles on black velvet panels that would adorn the iconic bag. “This building embodies the future of the métiers d’arts,” said Bruno Pavlovksi.
Here, the old generation transmits their love and “savoir faire” to the new one to preserve the historic French culture. In the workshops, young people in their 20s and 30s work not only with traditional techniques but also in 3D printing and designs.
Embroiderers Atelier Montex or Lesage, goldsmith Goosens, shoemaker Massaro or milliner Maison Michel and the flou specialist Paloma are among the 11 métiers d’arts - on a total of 40- that have been brought to le 19M this year. These exceptional craftsmen are in direct contact with Chanel creation studio. But not only: le 19M is also the creative hub for the other fashion houses.
It is Gabrielle Chanel who initiated the fruitful conversation between Chanel and the Métiers d’Arts as she was already working with Massaro, Lemaire and Goosens. Then, in the early 1980s, Chanel started to acquire these métiers -bought via The Paraffection subsidiary- to ensure their durability, allow creative research, support their development and train new artisans. The Chanel métiers d'art show is the heritage of Karl Lagerfeld who decided in 2002 to present his first show to perpetuate and honor the uncommon craft expertise of these artisans.
For the 2oth Métiers d’art collection, Creative Director Virginie Viard brings together the street and luxury styles. In the show note, she describes the collection as “very metropolitan yet sophisticated, with tweed jackets with sweatshirt sleeves, graffiti-style embroidery in colored beads by Lesage, voluminous purple or royal blue knit bermuda short-outfits, and casual coats worn open”.
On the looks, details evoke the architectural facade of le 19M, like those on the long black coat accented by bright jeweled buttons and sequined patch pockets that opened the show.
A waistcoat beneath a knitted cardigan whose colors recall the autumn light reflecting in the building. Virginie Viard played with sizes and proportions. A multicolored checked ensemble is worn beneath a cape coat in fringed tweed.
There are of course double C logos like on a burgundy cashmere cardigan embroidered with a silver tinsel. Golden jewelry is worn in accumulation or two-tone cabochon stands alone. There are looks for everyone from young customers to more traditional ones.
Make up artists painted models’ eyes in exaggerated rock n’roll black liner balancing the peach tone of the lips and cheeks. Evoking the dramatic spirit of the show. A mirror of the coolness of the collection.
Ahead of the show, the invitation box included a collection of texts by writers and rappers recounting their vision of the maison d’arts. Dimitri Chambas choreographed the film presented before the show. For this preview -as the official opening will be next year- Chanel, creator of dreams, offered a true celebration of its exceptional savoir faire.
Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliapelloux/2021/12/13/for-its-annual-mtiers-dart-collection-chanelunveilsnew-building-le-19m/1747