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3 months ago, by Voir Editorial Team Chanel Comes To Manchester: The Métiers D’Art Collection

3 months ago, by Voir Editorial Team

Chanel Comes To Manchester: The Métiers D’Art Collection

On the 7th of December, 2023, Chanel decided to showcase their 2023/34 Métier d’art collection in Manchester, marking the first major design house to show in the English city. The title Métier d’art translates to ‘the art profession’. The collection is art director, Virginie Viard’s ode to the small artisanal workshops that Chanel began buying in 1984 to preserve the skilled expertise and craftsmanship that is often associated with French luxury. The show has been previously hosted in places like the Huangpu River in Shanghai in 2009 and the Monaco Opera in Monte Carlo in 2007. While the announcement of the location was met with many memes and tweets, baffled at the selection, Chanel’s announcement video made it all clear.

“ ( Manchester)ALIVE WITH A VIBRANT POP SPIRIT BORN IN MANCHESTER AND KEPT ALIVE ACROSS THE DECADES, THE CHANEL 2023/34 MÉTIERS D’ART SHOW EMBRACES THE CREATIVE DIALOGUE BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND THE HOUSE, SO DEAR TO GABRIELLE CHANEL AND TODAY TO ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE FASHION COLLECTIONS, VIRGINIE VIARD.”

Chanel’s announcement statement – https://www.chanel.com/gb/fashion/collection/metiers-art-2023-24/

Manchester has been the birthplace of many revolutionary bands and musicians that have completely changed the British music scene. Manchester bands like The Hollies, The 1975, The Smiths and Oasis make it clear how culturally relevant the city is to popular culture and memory when it comes it art. The parts of the collection are undoubtedly inspired by the grunge music scene of the 80s that blossomed in the city while the others were a seamless marriage between Chanel’s signature tweed and the English’s love for it. Chanel manages to finally break through the banality it had made itself victim to. The pops of colour that remained consistent throughout the collection, brought vibrancy to the Northern Quarter of the city. The models walked on a covered catwalk set up along Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter. The show was attended by A-list celebrities like Kristen Stewart, who has been their brand ambassador since 2013, Hugh Grant, Tilda Swinton, Jenna Coleman and Alexa Chung.

“A TESTIMONY TO THE ARTISANAL PRECISION OF THE MÉTIERS D’ART, THE COLLECTION SHIMMERS AND SHINES WITH PLAYFUL NODS TO BRITISH MUSIC CULTURE AND CHANEL’S ART OF TAILORING”

Chanel’s statement from the announcement statement- https://www.chanel.com/gb/fashion/collection/metiers-art-2023-24/

Leading up to the show, Chanel used youths from Manchester to model the clothes from the collection for a photoshoot photographed by Jamie Hawksworth. The city was embraced by the design house in its entirety to bring the collection to life.

The Collection

While Jacquard tweed and Chanel are synonymous with each other, the collection brought colour back to the Chanel palette, far from the neutrals the brand had grown too comfortable with.  The incredible colours set across the backdrop of the historically industrial town created a visual contrast that elevated the staple Chanel suit into more than just the usual rehashed version of the house “uniform”. The accessories were classics of the house but, the play on the iconic Camellia brooch as it donned new colours, moving away from its original, virginal white.

The Tartan checks on tweed were a great way to convey the way Chanel was inspired by British creatives and artistry while designing the collection. There is a hint of Lee McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, more so her, as we head towards a grungier, punk look later in the collection. The Tartan checks are not alien to the British consumer, as a fabric that has been part of the culture memory since time immemorial. 

What Chanel does is adopt the Tartan and make it its own. The integration of the bright colours on the mellowing effect of the tweed fabric tailored to perfection into a mini skirt and coat is Viard’s genius. There is a break in monotony but, not tradition which is highly appreciated and expected of a brand like Chanel.

This part of the collection could possibly be seen as one of the most direct homages to the Manchester music scene. The feather-lined, suede jacket radiates rock chic; the quilted, leather coat atop a red and pink blouse resembling a military jacket which was popularised during the British music invasion by the Beatles in their album cover art for ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’. While the band is famously Liverpudlian, there is no question about the rock and roll influence it holds over the collection. There is a grunge, punk revival but it is ever so slight as to not distract from the eternal Chanel aesthetic. The sequined mini and darker colour palettes are very reminiscent of the silhouettes of 80’s rock chic.

The final part of the collection was the knits. While the design house has perfected the woollen, daywear suit, it was the patterned and monotone dresses that caught everyone’s eye. The silhouettes were simple however, the patterned knits with matching scarves were a huges hit. A break from the menagerie of colours, the pattern adopted earthy, autumnal tones of varying kinds. The pink bandeau dress enveloped the richness of the colour into the fold of the foundationally, elegant Chanel sensibility with much ease.

The collection was overall, a huge breath of fresh air not only for the UK’s second city but also, for the brand. The brand felt revitalised and young after many seasons of churning collections catering purely to an older generation. Viard has managed to capture the post-Covid need for colour and nostalgia with great artistry. The collection is exactly what Chanel needed.

Attendees

Kristen Stewart

Brand Ambassador, Kristen Stewart wore a quintessential, Jacquard tweed Chanel dress with a structured A-line silhouette to the show. Stewart’s stylist, Tara Swennen chose to accessorise her look with layered silver jewellery, a messy bun and a dark smokey eye.

Alexa Chung

https://www.instagram.com/p/C0kkL0-oj-Y/?hl=en&img_index=3

Model Alexa Chung was dressed in a grey and black blended, Chanel tweed trench coat dress. Chung styled the look with a very casual and cool English approach—opting for sheer tights, black leather black, patent leather boots, and a classic double flap Chanel handbag created by Karl Lagerfeld in 1983.

Laura Bailey

https://www.instagram.com/p/C0lkgdoM721/?hl=en&img_index=1

The English model, Laura Bailey embodied the Chanel clientele and ideal with the signature tweed suit in black. The suit was embellished at the pockets and cuffs. Bailey finished the look with a low ponytail, statement earrings and the Chanel mini flap bag.

Lily Rabe

American actress, Lily Rabe opted for a black, sheer Chanel dress with lace detailing across the body of the fabric. The maxi dress was finished with pink metallic Mary-Janes and a black mini bag.

Caroline De Maigret

The French model, Caroline de Maigret opted to go for nonchalant, French chic. The model was in a monochrome black outfit paired with a sued beige coat and black loafers. She completed the look with loose, shaggy, rocker hair and minimal makeup.

Words By Indra Gupta

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