The Paris – 31 rue Cambon 2019/20 Métiers d’art show took place earlier today in Paris, bringing together the creativity of Virginie Viard with the craftsmanship and savoir-faire of CHANEL’s Métiers d’art.
This Ready-to-Wear collection presented in December, outside the official show calendar, celebrates the skills of the artisans: embroiderers, feathermakers, paruriers, pleaters, shoemakers, milliners and glovemakers. The Métiers d’art collection has always had a destination as its theme – real or imagined – linked to the history or the present moment at CHANEL. After Hamburg and New York, the collection returned to Paris, to the Grand Palais, and echoed the very first Métiers d’art show of 2002, held in the salons at 31 rue Cambon.
“There is a sort of simplicity in going back to Chanel’s ABC. We don’t need to do too much,” confides Virginie Viard, “I didn’t want the usual long-distance travelling of the Métiers d’art collections, I wanted to stay in Paris. So, we had to think of a new way of doing things. And then there are the codes invented by Gabrielle Chanel and made sublime by Karl Lagerfeld, which I like mixing up too. I like the idea of a patchwork.”
This year’s collection highlighted jumpsuits made of tweed so fine it is as supple as knitwear; short suit jackets with rounded edges, worn with low waisted skirts; straight, double-breasted coats in black fine bouclé cashmere with belts in long embroidered chiffon ribbons, and a little black jacket that buttons up the side, a suit becomes a dress with an asymmetric décolletage and a long pointed train attached to one shoulder.
The collection included stunning references to the iconic Coco and her ever-lasting influence, such as long dress in white duchess satin with a pure line, worn with a cape, double-breasted black strapless dresses and a champagne-hued lace ensemble – inspired by the legendary portrait of Gabrielle Chanel photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1935 – of a sensual suppleness that swathes the body like a second skin.
While black and gold were very present, pink appeared as one of the key colours of the collection: soft pink, apricot, raspberry and even garnet on the tweed of both skirt and trousers suits. Silhouettes were accessorized with an accumulation of costume jewelry: cuff bracelets, plastron necklaces in pearls and strass from which sautoir necklaces and other pendants all seem to spark, chokers with white strass stars, while chain belts are embellished with rows of pearls, bows and camellias.
Behind the collection is the constant creative dialogue between Virginie Viard and the Métiers d’art that has lasted three decades and counting.