Chanel Unveils 2023/24 Métiers d’Art Collection in Manchester: A Fusion of Fashion and History

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Chanel’s highly anticipated 2023/24 Métiers d’art collection unfolded on Thomas Street in the heart of Manchester’s northern district.

“One of the most effervescent cities of pop culture and an avant-garde one,” said the Chanel press release. Virginie Viard, the creative force behind Chanel, recognises the city’s historical significance and influence in shaping various cultural domains. Indeed, the city has produced musical icons like Oasis and Joy Division, activists like Emmeline Pankhurst, and brilliant minds such as mathematician Alan Turing.

Viard explained the geographical nuances, highlighting Eaton Hall as the residence of Gabrielle Chanel’s enduring paramour, the Duke of Westminster, strategically positioned an hour south of the city. This geographical proximity further justified Manchester as the perfect setting for the event.

The brand’s directors wanted its international guests to fully experience Manchester, arranging activities like watching a soccer match at Old Trafford and exploring local spots like the Salford Lads Club. The city, once at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, showcased its bustling energy and vibrant history through Factory International and inner-city walking tours.

Staying true to Chanel’s style, the collection celebrated modern elements with chains on jackets, contrasting fabrics, and stitched panels, paying homage to Gabrielle Chanel’s tailoring. Viard emphasised the centrality of tweed, drawing inspiration from Coco Chanel’s colourful approach. The collection featured hues like salmon pink, pumpkin orange, apple green, mustard, sky blue, red, and rust, echoing the spirit of the sixties.

Classic silhouettes, including wraparound skirts, miniskirts, Bermuda shorts, shirts, and coat-dresses, reflected the house codes in tweed, Shetland knitwear, and cashmere. The collection’s artistic touches included pleats, feathers, hats, and jewelled buttons, replacing the usual emphasis on embroidery.


Photographer Jamie Hawkesworth worked together with Sofia Coppola on the show teaser

Despite Manchester’s historical textile significance as ‘Cottonopolis,’ the collection didn’t delve into the city’s rich textile history. The show, however, embraced whimsical elements like teapots, vinyl records, and cute flowers. Bold choices like black Mary-Jane shoes, jeans, leather, knitwear, babydoll nighties, and strapless dresses completed the looks.

The star-studded event in Manchester’s Northern Quarter attracted A-listers like Kristen Stewart, Hugh Grant, Tilda Swinton, and film director and Chanel ambassador Sofia Coppola, who was commisioned a short film in anticipation of the show. The film captures Manchester’s vibrant rhythm and creative energy with a collage of images and videos set to New Order’s “Blue Monday.”

Meanwhile, renowned photographer Jamie Hawkesworth also contributed a series of images for the occasion with his distinctive raw style and soft lighting, showcasing Manchester’s youth dressed in Chanel.

Photographer Jamie Hawkesworth for Chanel

As the anticipation mounted with Viard’s mention of unveiling something distinct in Manchester, a subtle expectation of a deviation from the norm lingered. The revelation unfolded in her candid admission of being unfamiliar with any other path—a testament to the unwavering adherence to the classic Chanel aesthetic. Ultimately, the unveiling held true to the expected, leaving the realm of surprises untouched.

Nevertheless, infused with a vibrant sensitivity and a harmonious rhythm, the 2023/24 Métiers d’art collection orchestrated a narrative that resonated with the enduring love affair between CHANEL and Great Britain: a captivating odyssey has gracefully unfolded over a century.


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