Craftsmanship is the anchor of Chanel’s annual Métiers d’Art show. The collection is a celebration of the artisans who bead, feather, and stitch the iconic French fashion house’s most intricate pieces. Last season, the show decamped to a castle in the French countryside, but this time around the runway presentation was right where all the magic happens. For the 2021/2022 Métiers d’Art show, Chanel took over le19M, the new hub for the craft workers employed by the brand, located on the north side of Paris in the 19th arrondissement.
In addition to the classic runway show, Chanel chose to tap a number of creative partners this season to create a larger conversation on creativity and artistry. Remembers Studio created eight animated videos celebrating different maisons d’art housed within the le19M space. Chanel also asked eight writers to share their thoughts on the new building and its residents. “No matter how hard I try to understand the details, to note down the techniques, the names of the elements in my little red notebook like a diligent schoolgirl, I am thrown back years and I start to feel the weight and power of certain objects,” writes Clara Ysé.
According to the show notes, the collection itself takes inspiration from the architectural details of the new building, with an emphasis on embroidery and structure. The intricate collection leans heavily on the longstanding codes of Chanel, with a range of tweeds — in classic black and gray, but also with pops of pink and blue. “Very metropolitan yet sophisticated,” Viard explains in the notes. A selection of sheer black skirts, paired back to Mary-Jane pumps and loafers was a continuation of the demure and playful attitude Creative director Virginie Viard has imbued at the brand since taking over from Karl Lagerfeld.
As with other recent collections, Viard heavily references the ‘80s, sending models down the runway in oversized trouser jeans and structured jackets, leaning heavily on accessories — chunky belts, layered long necklaces, and colorful crossbody bags all included. While Chanel may never really fall into the category of casual, the intricacy and detail of the metiers d’art collection was balanced with design that felt easy — not just for a formal red carpet, but for a luxuriously-lived everyday life. And while it’s easy to pick up on the retro references within the collection, the choice of cropped knits and baggy trousers serves as a reminder that Viard is on top of current trends, simply giving them the Chanel seal of approval. So, if you’ve been debating whether or not to embrace the anti-skinny jean, let Chanel be what tips your opinion.