The location for Chanel’s Métiers d’art shows are as important and strategic as the making of the looks themselves. This is because the locales often pay tribute to the workshops that provide the house with materials like buttons, lace, or embroidery work. Past shows have been held all around the world, from Dallas to Mumbai, with Chanel’s latest 2022/23 Métiers d’art collection taking place in Dakar, Senegal. This time the destination’s purpose was slightly different as Creative Director Virginie Viard hopes to build and foster lasting relationships with the creatives who live in Dakar.
“The choice of [this location] is the result of meetings three years ago with friends of the house who have lived there, who are carrying out artistic projects there, who are planning to do so, or who are simply interested in its creative effervescence,” read a press release. “Dakar is an influential artistic capital on the international scene, especially in all the fields that are dear to us such as fashion, cinema, dance, literature, contemporary art, and music.”
For the show, guests trickled into the spacious former Palais de Justice (Dakar’s newly renovated courthouse) to take in Viard’s latest creations. The event started with a performance from dancers at the École des Sables — an international training and creation center for traditional and contemporary African dances — before leading into Chanel’s ‘70s-inspired collection. The reference to the popsoul-funk-disco-punk decade was evident through Viard’s flared trousers in multicolored tweed, the pointed collars, and sky-high platform sandals. (If you couldn’t tell, the footwear will still be one of a must-have shoe in 2023.)
The house’s codes didn’t get lost in the theme either, as Viard thoughtfully made sure to highlight what Chanel’s known for: you can marvel at the intricate beaded embroidery work on an oversized sweatshirt, admire the delicate lace dresses, or fall in love with the camellia-adorned top styled with shimmery black trousers. (The flower is easily Chanel’s most recognized symbol, next to its interlocking Cs.) All the runway looks were created between the Chanel Creation Studio and le19M, located in Paris.
For that final touch to bring together and highlight Chanel’s budding friendship with artists in Dakar, Viard collaborated with filmmaker Ladj Ly and students from the Kourtrajmé school to produce a documentary series about the making of Chanel’s 2022/2023 Métiers d’art collection. (You can catch it online, and watch the runway show virtually if you didn’t see it in person.) As the house emphasized in a press release, the conversations between Chanel and Dakar that were started in this collection will give way to longer-term projects that’ll include “co-developing and supporting several entrepreneurial initiatives with Senegalese organizations and experts.”
As you wait to see what unfolds there, check out TZR’s favorite runway looks from the Métiers d’art show, below.