Runway Report: CHANEL Métiers d’Art PARIS COSMOPOLITE 2016/17 collection
Situated on the venerable Place Vendome, the Ritz Paris has a rich and storied history. One of the leading hotels of the world, it has long been synonymous with luxury, decadence, and downright opulence. Since first opening its doors in the 19th century, it has played host to some of the most notable names in the world. From the fashion, art, and literature world’s royalty, to actual members of the world’s royal families, they have all called the Ritz Paris home while in the city of lights. However, Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel actually called this famed hotel home for decades. Perfectly situated within walking distance of her rue Cambon boutique, she held court in a luxurious suite of rooms overlooking the Place Vendome. In these rooms, she created a space rich with elegance and refinement and peppered with symbols and totems that inspired her and continue to inspire the fashion house that she created.
With the rich and intertwined history between the House of CHANEL and the Ritz Paris, there couldn’t have been a more fitting venue for the most recent Métiers d’Art collection to be shown. After circling the globe and hosting this yearly presentation everywhere from Salzburg to Shanghai, Monsieur Lagerfeld has brought this very special show to Paris citing the location as “the cosmopolitan spot par excellence.” Held outside of the typical fashion week schedule, this show is a celebration of, and an homage to, the incredible ateliers that the house of CHANEL partners with. These ateliers have elevated each of their specialized spheres of design to a level of artistry that is not found outside of their workrooms. From the embroidery of Lesage to the button and jewelry making of Maison Desrues, to the millinery of Maison Michele and the house of Lemarié who craft the camellias that are so emblematic of CHANEL, these ateliers are truly invaluable to the world of fashion. Through their partnerships with these ateliers, CHANEL is not only creating spectacular garments and accessories but also helping to preserve these incredibly specialized methods of production.
Inspired by the elegant evening wear of the fashionable women who would dine at The Ritz during its storied history, Lagerfeld created a collection that is a celebration of Parisian sartorial sophistication perfectly representative of Mademoiselle Chanel’s enduring vision. With a color palette of mostly cream, black, navy, and white, there are also flashes of red and rich golden hues that beautifully highlight the embellishments that the Métiers d’Art partners are so renowned for. Intricate beading and embroidery are intertwined with feathers and pleating that has been elevated to an art form. A true standout within the collection is the highly feminine take on the classic CHANEL jacket. Adorned with braids crafted from pearls, tweed roses, floral embroidery, leather detailing or thoroughly modern plexiglass buttons, it was shown with a wrap-around skirt tastefully cut below the knee. As for the iconic CHANEL suit, it takes multiple modern shapes, even being done in the form of a double breasted tuxedo. Oversized yet not less elegant coats are a delightful foil against chic little capes for a delightful play on proportion while diaphanous skirts floated through the gilded rooms of The Ritz in tulle and sunray pleated Lurex. Knitwear also played a staring role in the Paris Cosmopolite collection with cashmere being delicately intertwined with embroidery and a sweater featuring the most sumptuous embroidered epaulettes. As always, evening wear is exquisitely represented in the form of dresses embellished with golden thread, satin and velvet bows, embroidered crystal mesh, and other decidedly luxe finishes.
As for accessories, I’ll be dedicating an entire post to these works of art that you won’t want to miss!