CHANEL HAUTE COUTURE
AWithin the Grand Palais, transformed into the ruins of a theatre with views of a futuristic megapolis, Karl Lagerfeld presented a collection that was ultra-modern, a graphic statement ‘between yesterday and tomorrow’. Here, the making of Look 61.
f igment of Karl Lagerfeld’s imagination, Look 61 first materialised as a sketch, which the designer then passed to the head seamstress. The sketch was interpreted in the shape of a toile, with the silhouette and proportions as indicated by Lagerfeld. The toile was then reproduced in the chosen fabric, which in the case of Look 61, was silk tulle. All this was done within the Chanel ateliers.
At the Montex ateliers, sequins were embroidered onto the silk tulle using the centuries-old Luneville technique, which allowed for exquisite sequin embroidery using the Luneville crochet hook.
Over at the Lesage ateliers, the artisans worked on creating the embroidery from a sample validated by the studio. The model was created on tracing paper, following the pattern provided by the Chanel ateliers.
In this case, PVC discs pleated in an origami style were to be sewn onto the silk tulle. The delicate silk tulle was mounted onto an embroidery frame and the embroiderer used a technique called à l’aiguille to carefully apply the pleated PVC discs and crystals onto the fabric. The embroidered piece was then sent back to the Chanel ateliers to be assembled.
Proportions were checked on a wooden mannequin during the assembling to ensure that the dress adhered to Lagerfeld’s chosen silhouette. The final touches were added to the look, and for Look 61, it was a sparkling braid along the edges of the outfit.
After a total of 410 hours of work in the Montex ateliers and another 400 hours in the Lesage ateliers, the dress was finished and ready for a final fitting. This took place in the studio in Lagerfeld’s presence a day before the show, and was then presented at the Grand Palais the next day. Dramatic details are characteristic of Chanel Haute Couture Karl Lagerfeld backstage
An artisan at Lesage
The finished work, Look 61
Chanel Haute Couture Autumn/ Winter ’13