June 9th, 2016
It all starts when Karl Lagerfeld sketches his collection. The drawings are then made up, creating ongoing discussions between the Studio, the ateliers and the Maisons d'Art.
The Lemarié Atelier
Using a sample approved by the Studio, the design is created on tracing paper. Flowers and leaves are cut from leather and little squares from tweed and lace. These are then arranged, sewn in place and embellished with rhinestones.
The Chanel Ateliers
The embroidered lace is sent back to rue Cambon to be assembled. The cape and the dress are tried on a wooden tailor's dummy to check that the proportions and the silhouette are in line with Karl Lagerfeld's original vision.
Karl Lagerfeld's Studio
The cape and the dress are then accessorised. Finally, the look is subject to approval by Karl Lagerfeld during the final fitting a few days before the show.
The Paris in Rome Métiers d'Art collection is available in boutiques.
© Anne Combaz
June 8th, 2016
The feathers on the skirt were reworked before being appliqued onto the crepe georgette, while those on the top were painted to resemble marble then re-cut and sewn onto the organza in the Lemarié ateliers.
For the silhouette of this piece from the Paris in Rome 2015/16 Métiers d'Art collection, Karl Lagerfeld played with contrasts, combining the lightness of black feathers with a powerful visual effect of white veined marble.
© Anne Combaz
June 7th, 2016
"About a month and half before the collection I give the first sketches to the ateliers. The people with whom I work know exactly how to interpret my sketches. A design is never discordant with what I have asked for… but sometimes, when it comes to the fittings, I change my mind, I have new ideas, so we make changes and we start again. There is always a creative dynamic between the Studio and the expertise of the artisans and the Chanel ateliers who work on my collections. Gradually the silhouette evolves, the embroideries, the details, the finishes and the flowers take on a new dimension", Karl Lagerfeld.
© Anne Combaz
May 30th, 2016
The american singer and producer visited Chanel's Maisons d'Art in Pantin last March, a few days after the Fall-Winter Ready-to-Wear show at the Grand Palais.
He discovered the traditional craft skills of the Maison Lesage ateliers, featherworkers and flower specialists Lemarié, pleating experts Lognon, shoemakers Massaro, and milliners Maison Michel. During his tour of the workshops, Pharrell Williams watched pieces being made for the Paris in Rome 2015/16 collection.
March 15th, 2016
January 29th, 2016
January 24th, 2016
The ESSEC and the Château de Versailles signed a partnership agreement last Friday to launch the Savoir-Faire d’Exception ("Exceptional Savoir-Faire") Chair with the support of the Maison Chanel and other key players in the luxury goods sector.
As part of an effort to foster French excellence, this agreement will create student internships at the Château de Versailles. Specific modules will also be organized to develop careers in the field of culture and art management. Furthermore, the promotion of French expertise will be expanded in the Asia‑Pacific region thanks to the existing campus based in Singapore. The creation of this new Chair will include approximately twenty students and begin with the 2016 academic year .
For Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion Activities at Chanel: "Chanel’s commitment to preserving the master crafts, and the craftsman who are our historical partners, with their unique cultural and artistic heritage (...) has made it possible to sustain and transfer the exceptional know-how of the different ateliers while also stimulating creation and innovation." "It is essential for us to continue developing and enhancing this patrimony", he added.
© Anne Combaz
January 15th, 2016
Robert Goossens (1927‑2016), goldsmith and jeweler, was a master craftsman with a rare talent and a genuine passion for his art.
When Gabrielle Chanel met Goossens in 1953, she was enchanted by his Baroque-style creations inspired by ancient jewelry in particular Byzantine and Egyptian.
When he revealed his creations influenced by Barbarian, Visigoth, and Etruscan jewelry, her immediate response was, "They are magnificent - if people ask where they came from we will say the excavations at rue Cambon!" She went on to commission furniture, chandeliers and mirrors from Goossens for her Paris apartment at 31 rue Cambon.
Robert Goossens produced for all the major fashion designers and could work wonders with any material, from metal, stone, and leather to rock crystal, ivory, tortoiseshell, enamel and wood.
He also taught his craft to his children. Patrick creates jewelry, while Martine specializes in decorative art pieces and all their work is hand-made.
© All Rights Reserved. Maison Goossens, 1990
December 9th, 2015
Off the northern tip of Scotland, the cliffs of Fair Isle (7.68 square kilometers) rise up between the Orkney and Shetland islands. One of the most remote spots in the United Kingdom, it has preserved a tradition of producing unique bespoke knitwears.
The knits made by Mati Ventrillon reflect this heritage which goes back to the times when the islanders sailed the world, between America and Europe, while at home their spouses filled the hours inventing new and ever more original patterns.
Using only traditional designs from the 19th and 20th centuries, each garment is handcrafted in Shetland wool, faithfully reproducing the main themes.
Chanel’s Métiers d’Art collections pay tribute to the skills and heritage of traditional crafts, which they thus help to preserve.
© Patrick Dieudonne / robertharding
December 7th, 2015
Picture an entire Parisian street scene – complete with bar, restaurant, baker, grocer, florist, Metro station and cinema – and recreate it in the heart of the legendary Roman film studios, Cinecittà, and you have the cinematic setting for Chanel’s 2015 Métiers d’Art show – the collection which every December settles in a different city and celebrates the artisans of Chanel’s specialist ateliers.
Held in Teatro number 5 (of course) - the studio where Federico Fellini filmed his 1960s masterpiece "La Dolce Vita" - Karl Lagerfeld reconstructed the set for "Paris à Rome" in spectacular, meticulous detail. Built entirely in black and white, it not only recalled Italy’s moviemaking heyday with the silver patina of old projector film stock but also the era when Coco Chanel dressed its greatest stars, Jeanne Moreau, Monica Vitti, Anouk Aimée and Romy Schneider for their performances in films directed by Italy’s movie maestros Visconti or Antonioni.
Karl Lagerfeld explained that his ulterior motive for the monochromatic set was that it should bring the clothes into sharp relief, since so many of them played on the classic Chanel palette of black, beige, cream, grey and navy blue. So when the show’s live music began (interpreted by Chistophe Chassol, playing the piano in a restored bandstand) and the models emerged from the set’s Metro station, the clothes were indeed more luminous than ever.
This was the moment, aside from the typical Parisian street scene, in which there was no doubt we were looking at a collection that could have only ever come out of France, steeped in all things quintessentially French, all things quintessentially Chanel. "That’s why Paris in Rome, that is important," stressed Karl Lagerfeld, "this house is French, the collection is made in France and by the most experienced, talented and best craftspeople in the world". So from the models’ Bardot-esque beehives down to their pearl-embellished mules – a first for this particular shoe shape at Chanel, said Karl Lagerfeld – and from the long tweed jackets draped around the shoulders of slim, saucy silhouettes that included everything from glinting metallic boucle dresses to black lacquered pencil skirts, little black dresses pleated to perfection and the new three-piece suit (a jacket, straight skirt and cigarette trousers), all worn with kinky lacy tights, the overarching mood was, at first, distinctly Parisian.
But the magic of the show, and collection, was how Karl Lagerfeld directed the development of his multi-faceted Paris in Rome plot. Just as the palette began to appear tinged with Rome’s famous golden light - ochre and orange through cappuccino and pink – so too did the fabrics became richer, embellished with everything from witty surface detail such as a leather pencil skirt that resembled tiny bows of "Farfalle" pasta to feathers that had been hand-painted to resemble marble. Dresses’ necklines grew into short papal capes and the most exquisite cashmere came overlaid with rosary-jewelled necklaces. One dress, a cocoon-like bubble constructed in petals of vibrant coral, seemed to hark back to a time when couture was centred in Rome as well as Paris.
But more than anything the collection showcased Chanel as the paradigm of French chic together with the breathtaking virtuosity of its artisans who know no bounds whichever city or culture the Métiers d’Art collections’ inspiration spring from. At the end of the show, the backdrop sprang to life – the doors of every establishment flung open to serve pasta, pizza and gelato – a fitting metaphor for the bustling existence of Chanel’s specialist ateliers and their transformative powers.
© Olivier Saillant - Teatro N°5 - Cinecittà Studios - Rome