Highlights Of The Chanel 2023/2024 Métiers d’art Collection Show by Virginie Viard

Virginie Viard celebrated women in bright tweeds and British checks Chanel 2023/2024 Métiers d’art Collection Show.

Coco Chanel, the epitome of Parisian elegance, took to the vibrant streets of Manchester, a post-industrial metropolis nestled 160 miles north of London. The creative force behind this unconventional choice was Virginie Viard, Chanel’s artistic director, who unveiled a personal connection to the proud, multi-layered working-class culture of this English town.

Viard’s affinity for small towns, in contrast to the bustling London and Paris, found roots in her family’s history. Her grandfather and grand-uncle managed a football team in Lyons, her provincial hometown, while her grandparents were involved in fabric manufacturing. The ties between her roots and the French luxury house became even more fascinating when considering Coco Chanel’s own fondness for English-made tweeds during her time with the Duke of Westminster, spent at Eaton Hall near Manchester.

The immersion into Northern culture commenced with a pre-show invitation to a Manchester United vs. Chelsea football match, where guests donned personalized No. 5 (a nod to Chanel No. 5) Man U red football jerseys. The home team’s victory, with a score of 2-1 against Chelsea, set the tone for a show that blended luxury with the grit and energy characteristic of Manchester.

As rain, another emblem of Manchester, poured down for the Métiers d’Art show, international guests armed with umbrellas filled pub-style outdoor seats along Thomas Street. The red-brick neighborhood strip, adorned with bars, record shops, tattoo parlors, and independent businesses, transformed into a Chanel-ified runway covered for the night.

Viard’s Northern-girl interpretation paid homage to working-class pop culture from the ’60s to the ’80s. Models strutted with side-flicked fringes and bare legs, embodying the renowned defiance of Manchester locals against the cold. Demonstrating her knack for injecting youthfulness into Chanel, Viard showcased variations of tweed suits, knee-length to A-line minis, cycle shorts under coats, Beatle caps, and chain belts. The New Wave club girls took center stage, clad in black patent leather or baby-doll dresses with bodices adorned with double-C safety-pin or vinyl-record jet embroidery.

The Métiers d’Art shows, initiated by Karl Lagerfeld, highlight the craftsmanship of couture supply houses owned by Chanel. Viard embraced this tradition with Lesage’s intricate embroidery, Goossens’s exquisite jewelry, Lemarie’s delicate featherwork, Montex’s elaborate embroideries, and Barrie’s luxurious Scottish cashmere knits. The show incorporated a playful touch with souvenir slogan-sweaters, beanies, and scarves inspired by football terraces and club flyer graphics.

While the setting and themes embraced the spirit of Manchester, the essence of Chanel remained unmistakable. Viard skillfully balanced the Parisian brand’s classic elements with a nod to the smartness standards of Manchester women and girls. Despite economic challenges, the city’s tradition of dressing well and looking one’s best for a night out resonated throughout the show.

Chanel’s Northern adventure in Manchester was more than a runway spectacle; it was a celebration of cross-cultural connections and a testament to the universal appeal of fashion. Viard successfully wove together the threads of her personal history, Coco Chanel’s legacy, and Manchester’s rich cultural tapestry into a show that not only did justice to the city but also added a new chapter to Chanel’s storied narrative. The streets of Manchester, once dominated by the clatter of textile mills, echoed with the footsteps of models adorned in Chanel’s creations, marking a momentous intersection of high fashion and working-class heritage.

A Closer Look At The Chanel 2023/2024 Métiers d’art Collection Show by Virginie Viard Images By Vogue Runway

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