WHEN approaching the 2021/22 Métiers d’art collection, Virginie Viard decided to look beyond the interlocking C’s and into the savoir-faire of the seven artisans who play a part in creating the Chanel woman.
Inviting guests into the newly opened Le19M, designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti and conceived by Chanel, this immersive space is now the official home to embroiderers Lesage and Atelier Montex, milliner Maison Michel, feather master’s Lemarié, the jeweller Goossens, pleater Lognon and shoemaker Massaro.
Under one roof, the collective collaboration continues but within closer proximity. Chanel takes this step forward as the perfect opportunity to shine a light on their fellow craftsmen.
Within the pristine white concrete walls, vast garden space and a large gallery, the creative director showcased the pre-fall collection taking in the magic of what each House represents. In short, a decadent myriad of details.
Métiers d’art has always been a highlight for admirers of the brand and FW21 found the equilibrium once again between metropolitan and tradition.
The classic tweed jacket was rediscovered with sweatshirt sleeves and multi-coloured graffiti-like embroidery by Lesage, while Montex took the juxtaposing approach by crafting more monotoned but graphic patches onto pieces.
Relaxed tailored coats were styled open, overstitched exterior pockets were hideaways for hands and baggy cardigans replaced jackets.
Though the colour palette remained relatively muted with injections of bright hues popping up in detailing, the younger Chanel girl found plenty to want.
Midriffs are once again on display, knitted miniskirts and tapered lightly-faded jeans catered for daily wear and Maison Michel’s cowboy hats are instant must-haves – what is cooler than a Chanel cowboy hat?
As the collection progressed into evening-wear, the dazzling beauty of Lemarié’s feathers bounced down the runway and uniformed pleats of an enviable knee-length skirt by Lognon stole the show.
The famous two-toned beige and black Mary Janes by Massaro returned to the runway but this time with a heel with large pearls embossed on the top, while long opera leather gloves were paired with a mixture of layered fashion jewellery adding an urban edge to the French sophistication.
The Chanel woman this season is in no rush. She is comfortable, she is chic but most importantly, she is confident. She looks like she has all the time in the world and what a luxury that is.
by Imogen Clark