Chanel left nothing to chance – except perhaps the cold temps inside the Grand Palais – for its latest Métiers d’Art collection shown in Paris Wednesday. Entitled 31 Rue Cambon, of course, the location of Coco Chanel’s famous apartment above the design studios and shop, the effort was creative Director Virginie Viard’s first Métiers d’Art. A change of date and extra security measures were put into place due to Paris’ national “la grève” or strike affecting transportation and to avoid pranksters such as Marie S’infiltre.
It’s no wonder the Métiers d’Art show decided to stay close to home after taking the show on the road to locations abroad such as New York and Hamburg. The company recently unveiled Le 19M, the soon-to-open ateliers for the expert craftsman who execute specific couture arts such as Lesage embroideries; Lemarié feather and flowers; Maison Michel for hats and Goossens for costume jewelry among other skills. The eco-correct building design by lauded architect Rudy Ricciotti boldly pioneers the Porte d’Aubervilliers quartier in Paris 19eme and butts up against one of Paris’ largest tent cities.
Viard did not disappoint in the use of these Métiers – elaborate crystal beading on boy coat dresses and intricately quilted puffer jackets, feathered evening jackets, and halter dresses; marabou feathers trimming chiffon gowns and Vegas-worthy sequin-covered jumpsuit and skirt.
Overall the outing had a younger touch in the styling with a 90s mood in the silhouettes. Jackets without shirts underneath, belly-baring crop-tops and jackets; ombré Tie-dye effect treatments, double-breasted sleeveless tailored dresses, and a case was made for coral and slinky satins. Chain belts were back in full force and a charming birdcage bag played upon the apartment décor.
Immediately following the show guests enjoyed canapes and champagne while capturing selfies on the re-created grand staircase of 31 Rue Cambon that anchored the runway and lingered in the chilly salons recreating, if not piece-for-piece, the mood of Gabrielle Chanel’s infamous apartment there. One publication, Antidote based in Paris shot an editorial post-show using the models and the set, a win-win for both parties to make the most out of the production.
A novel addition was a film trailer directed by Guillaume Delaperriere and starring model Alma Jodorowsky, another asset created around the collection utilizing the grand set. The short showed Jodorwsky in a series of close-up shots, highlighting the Métiers d’Art techniques used in the clothes and accessories, slinking down the mirrored staircase set.
Sofia Coppola, no stranger to a Chanel marketing film herself, co-hosted the dinner and after-party at Paris’ infamous La Coupole restaurant which featured the Belgian singer Angele and later Christophe, an aging French pop singer and Sébastien Tellier en chanson around a grand piano. A mainly retro song DJ-set kicked off the dancing downstairs where Coppola made a beeline to the dance floor along with a bevy of show models and VIP guests and clients.
Despite its 10:30 PM start time, guests arriving for the party invite-only were met with another chilly reception by being asked to wait outside in the cold for another 30 minutes. Since her appointment as creative director, Viard has been subjected to a less-obvious chilly reception from the industry, with editors and buyers wondering ‘where has the magic gone?’ The Roxy Music song “To Turn You On” opened the show with a hint of irony, planned or otherwise. The collection and the evening were magical though, it just takes being open to a different point of view.