Presented at the Château de Chenonceau (Indre-et-Loire, France), Virginie Viard’s second Métiers d’Art collection, which also served as Chanel’s Pre-Fall line, drew on Gabrielle Chanel’s admiration of renaissance women, notably Diane de Poitiers, the influential mistress of King Henry II, and her rival, Catherine de Medici, the king’s Italian-born, taste-making wife.
‘’She so admired renaissance women’’, said Viaird. ‘’Her taste for lace ruffs and the aesthetic of certain pieces of her jewellery come from there. Deep down, this place is a part of Chanel’s history’’.
Filmed in the castle’s ballroom, the audience was whittled down, because of the renewed COVID-19 restrictions in France, to just one sole member: the brand ambassador Kristen Stewart.
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For the Métiers d’Art 2020/2021 collection, Virginie Viard wanted to showcase the exceptional workmanship of the 38 various Maison d’Art suppliers that Chanel has acquired through recent years in order to preserve their skills, from Desrues (paruriers), Lemarié (feathermakers), to Maison Michel (milliners), Lesage and Atelier Montex (embroiderers), Massaro (shoemakers), Goossens (goldsmiths), Causse Gantier (glovemakers) and Lognon (pleaters) – 11 of these crafts houses will be consolidated in the brand’s new 19M hub, opening soon in the north of Paris.
Specific references to Medici can be found in a luxe black long coat and other all-black ensembles-which was the only color the queen was seen in after her husband’s passing-and in floral embroidery inspired by those of the queen’s garden. These details crafted by Chanel artisans: the embroidery maison Lesage created embellishments of flowers, inspired by the château’s gardens and trellisworks of ribbon; Goossens recreated renaissance jewellery while Lemarie, famed for their feather and artificial flower work, were responsible for the trellis of black ribbons laid over translucent organza that evoked Chenonceau-era court dress with a light 2020 touch.
‘’Because I like everything to be mixed up, all the different eras, between the renaissance and romanticism, between rock and something very girly, it is all very Chanel’’, Viard relayed.
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