Puttin’ on the Ritz: Chanel Returns to Paris for Its Metiers d’Art Show

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For Pre-Fall 2017, Chanel returns to Paris at the newly renovated Ritz and brings home the brand’s Parisian genetic disposition.

As Pre-Fall 2017 collections that were shown to small press gatherings or distributed digitally begin to trickle in, Chanel’s annual Metiers d’Art collection is harder to nail down. It is neither a pre-fall collection (technically) nor a couture collection (also technically), yet it contains shades of both. Instead of trying to label the show according to industry standards, it is more accurate to note that Chanel’s Metiers d’Art event is a yearly celebration of the highest levels of craftsmanship, churned out by the brand’s legendary couture workshops like Lemarié and Lesage. The show highlights the pinnacle of Chanel’s abilities and typically takes place in a city that is historically significant to the brand.

From Dallas to Salzburg to Rome, Chanel has staged massive, opulent shows in order to cement the unique qualities of its Metiers d’Art. However, for Pre-Fall 2017, the brand returned to Paris at the newly renovated Ritz and brought home its Parisian genetic disposition. You can take Chanel out of Paris, but you can’t take Paris out of Chanel; they are inextricably linked.

Chanel Metiers D'Art 2017
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

You can take Chanel out of Paris, but you can’t take Paris out of Chanel.

“Paris Cosmopolite” was the theme of the show, but guests might have found that idea a bit redundant, as Paris, to everyone concerned, is the ultimate cosmopolitan center of the world, non? In the gilded interiors of the Ritz Paris, models wove their way around low tables thronging with industry insiders, VIPs, and editors. The collection, which harkened back to the heady days of Coco’s reign, made reference to the 1920s and 1930s via silhouettes that displayed midi lengths and modest tweeds. Chanel’s speciality ateliers were called upon to create beautiful 3D-textured trim, which lined every garment, as well as the collection’s ample plush tweeds, camellia hats, and glittering garments. Peel your eyes away from the dazzling clothes for just a second and you were treated to a glamorous line-up of celebrities, like Lily-Rose Depp, Cara Delevingne, and Pharrell Williams, shimmying their way down the runway and through the seated crowd of onlookers in exquisitely tailored Chanel creations.

Although intricate brocade, thick tweed, and lavish embellishment are part of Chanel’s DNA, it is the retro-outfitting paired with tomboyish elements like walking shorts and leather brogues that made this lofty collection look practical or, at the very least, wearable. A relaxed salon setting was the perfectly charming accompaniment to it all, making us forget, if only for a moment, the turmoil beyond the borders of the glamorous Ritz. Coco would have been proud.

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