found­ing spirit

Chanel of­fers a glitzy home­com­ing for its pre-fall 2017 Métiers d’art col­lec­tion in hon­our of founder Coco Chanel. Jus­tine Lee re­lives the show and par­ties in Paris

Hong Kong Tatler - - Contents -

Chanel of­fers a glitzy home­com­ing for its pre-fall 2017 Métiers d’art col­lec­tion in hon­our of founder Coco Chanel

rom Shang­hai to Salzburg to last year’s Ha­vana af­fair, Chanel’s Métiers d’art shows have taken place out­side the fash­ion sched­ule, at the world’s most ex­otic lo­ca­tions, to pay trib­ute to the ar­ti­sanal work­shops that the house works with to cre­ate its cou­ture. This year, Chanel brought cel­e­bra­tions closer to home—the Ho­tel Ritz Paris, to be ex­act. The prop­erty, which opened its doors in 1898, has been home to many cre­ative greats, in­clud­ing Mar­cel Proust, Ernest Hem­ing­way, F. Scott Fitzger­ald, Char­lie Chap­lin, and Coco Chanel her­self. In fact, the de­signer pre­ferred not to spend her nights at her apart­ment at 31 Rue Cam­bon, only us­ing it to en­ter­tain guests and clients. When it came time to turn in she headed to the Ritz, where she lived for more than three decades, in a suite she dec­o­rated with her own fur­ni­ture. Chanel felt so at home at the Ritz that she of­ten used the ho­tel’s staff en­trance on Rue Cam­bon, just steps away from her ate­lier.

The five-star ho­tel closed for ma­jor ren­o­va­tions in 2012 and, af­ter a mul­ti­mil­lion­dol­lar facelift, re­opened its doors in June last year, and the fash­ion show made skilled use of the new space, from the lobby to the bar and restau­rant on the ground level. The col­lec­tion, en­ti­tled “Paris Cos­mopo­lite,” re­flected the hey­days of the 1950s, in which the glitz and glam­our of Paris at­tracted world trav­ellers and marked an era of boom­ing busi­ness in the French cap­i­tal.

Karl Lager­feld, Chanel’s head de­signer, de­scribed the col­lec­tion as filled with “evening dresses that women used to wear to dine at the Ritz.” Ul­tra-fem­i­nine cuts and lux­u­ri­ous de­tails ap­peared on ev­ery look— think dresses with strong shoul­ders, de­fined waists and em­broi­dery wor­thy of roy­alty. The house’s codes were remixed and re­freshed: tweed jack­ets were rose-em­bel­lished (for­go­ing Coco’s clas­sic camel­lia) while quilting de­tails were given to raw denim jeans and sheared onto fur coats. Chanel’s eter­nally ad­ven­tur­ous and dar­ing spirit also came to life with trousers boldly cut right above the knees (yes, Chanel just made cy­cling shorts chic), raw hems and quilting on blue denim trench­coats, and a puffy down jacket matched with lace and tulle.

Fash­ion can some­times feel dis­tant, but there was an in­nately in­ti­mate feel­ing about the show, which ap­peared more like a party. Mod­els danced their way around the ta­bles, and Lager­feld made a sweep of the en­tire floor for his finale. A per­sonal note for a per­sonal show, at Coco Chanel’s home.

PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ Hair­styl­ist Sam Mck­night makes fi­nal ad­just­ments be­fore model Vit­to­ria Ceretti hits the run­way

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