July 12th, 2018
in savoir-faire. (Last updated: July 13th, 2018)


First, the sketch is interpreted as a pattern in cotton toile. During this first step of pattern making on a mannequin, the head seamstress recreates the silhouette in three dimensions, following Karl Lagerfeld’s directions, until the silhouette is as the designer imagined it in his sketch.

The pattern is then used to create a "toile" of the look. The placements of future embroideries and braided trim take shape. A model tries it on for Karl Lagerfeld’s approval. The toile is then reproduced in the fabric of his choice, an almond green wool.

Once embroidered by the Maisons d’art, the pieces are returned to the CHANEL ateliers so that the seamstresses can proceed with assembling the garment and placing the braided trim along zippers on the jacket and the dress. The designer named this look "High Profile": "You can open or close the sleeves on the sides. You can also splice open the skirt so the leg looks much prettier in profile — the legs look endless."

© Anne Combaz