Watch: Chanel ’21/22 Metiers d’art Collection Runway Show
Images by Gary Schermann
Chanel has never made a secret of the importance of its artisan craftspeople to the ongoing and ultimate quality of everything they produce. And to honor that, they had directors Sofia and Roman Coppola go behind the scenes at 31 rue Cambon last summer, so that the world could better understand just what kind of magic they put into everything that carries the hallowed double C logo.
Now, with live events decisively back on the calendar, the exalted French fashion house went and organized a spectacular show for the 2021/22 Metiers d’Art collection, which spotlights the contributions of those very same craftspeople. It was staged and filmed appropriately at Le19m – in Paris’ 19th arrondissement – which was unveiled in 2019 as the place where on a daily basis the embroiderers Lesage and Atelier Montex, the goldsmith Goossens, the hatter Maison Michel, the feather worker Lemarié, the pleater Lognon, and the shoemaker Massaro would carry out their ineffable tasks.
At 270,000 square feet and designed by Rudy Ricciotti – the “Grand Prix national de l’architecture” winning architect – it is a breathtaking structure to behold. Indeed, its facade is composed of what could only be described as “threads of concrete,” which are meant to make reference to the intricacies of the construction of Chanel haute couture.
Creative Director Virginie Viard describes it as, “A vast, very open space, with a façade adorned with threads of white concrete, a garden, beautiful walkways, and a large gallery where exhibitions will also be held.”
An 11:21 accompanying film captures the dazzling runway show itself, with new Chanel graphics taking center stage, and many of the gorgeous embroideries actually referring directly back to the Le19m building – for instance, the silver sequined graphics by Montex. So there is a kind of synergistic exchange, if you will, between space and presentation.
Viard describes the 2021/22 Metiers d’art collection itself as, “Very metropolitan yet sophisticated, 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.”
A second, shorter film is decidedly more conceptual, focusing on the aesthetic interplay between the architecture and the clothes themselves. But ultimately, this is all about paying homage to those incomparable artisans without whom nothing we love most about Chanel would actually even be possible.