Chanel unveils the Métiers d’art 2021/22 Collection in the new Le 19M building at Place Skanderbeg

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News broke in December that the august Maison Chanel had appointed Leena Nair, a Unilever executive, as the new global CEO. In a move that underlines the true meaning of daring and experimentation, the British national will move from consumer goods to the helm of a French luxury icon, and indeed one of the most desirable brands in the world. . However, just before Nair’s appointment, an equally seismic moment occurred in the fashion world when Chanel showcased her Métiers d’Art collection – an ever-awaited showcase that celebrates the unparalleled craftsmanship for which the luxury house is known – in a whole new location: Le 19M.

For those who do not know the term, artistic careers means “crafts” and it is also the name of the annual collection of Chanel which highlights these small specialized trades using the language of style. Chanel began to buy these small specialized workshops one by one in the mid-1980s in order to retain their inimitable know-how, without which haute couture would not have dignified adornments and ornaments to survive and prosper.

Thus, the 19M is designed to house all artistic careers companies, creating a nucleus of extraordinary and rare art forms, each intrinsically connected to the world of haute couture and French style. Taking its name from several sources of inspiration, the digital element comes from the 19th arrondissement of Paris and the date of birth of the founder of the house Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, while the “M” stands for The fashion (fashion), the main (hand), house (fashion house) and manufacturing.

Occupying a vast 9,000 m² site in Aubervilliers in the north-east of Paris, the triangular Le 19M – which is about a year before being fully completed – was imagined by the house of Chanel and designed by Rudy Ricciotti, a Legion of honor – decorated French Algerian architect of Italian origin who studied engineering in Switzerland before moving on to architecture. Ricciotti’s CV is impressive, having designed the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations in Marseille, the Pavillon Noir in Aix-en-Provence and the Jean Cocteau Museum in Menton, among others.

“It is a vast, very open space, with a facade adorned with white concrete wires, a garden, beautiful paths and a large gallery where exhibitions will also be held”, specifies Virginie Viard, artistic director of Chanel. The lattice-reinforced concrete façade conceals interiors that will house the embroiderers Lesage and Atelier Montex, the goldsmith Goossens, the milliner Maison Michel, the plumassier and florist Lemarié, the plisseur Lognon and the shoemaker Massaro. When expected to fully open in a year, some 600 big fashion workers artistic careers the workshops will have a beautiful new home.

But back to the real point, Chanel’s Métiers d’Art collection is one of the most anticipated catwalks outside of the traditional fashion calendar, and for good reason. Those who have the privilege of having attended will appreciate the unparalleled craftsmanship in breathtaking creations that merge tradition and experimentation.

Among this year’s bright guests were Pharrell Williams, Carole Bouquet, Soo Joo Park and Sofia Coppola, who attended a parade of metropolitan and sophisticated looks – think tweed jackets with sweatshirt sleeves, graffiti-style embroidery in colored beads by Lesage and casual coats worn open. Guests then proceeded to the historic La Coupole restaurant in Paris for dinner, followed by a live performance by French artist MC Solaar joined by Bambi Cruz.

This article first appeared on December 20, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.


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