Chanel’s annual Métiers d’Art collection offers the opportunity for one of the world’s premier luxury brands to flex its muscle, to show off its design acumen par excellence. Simultaneously, it is a historic excursion, as the Maison pays homage to significant moments in its history. In 2014, Chanel presented ‘Back in Dallas’ to celebrate Coco Chanel’s 1954 comeback collection, which was supported by Neiman Marcus in Dallas. At the time, the retailer’s patronage helped save the legendary house from closure. In honoring cities – Salzburg, Shanghai, Mumbai – that are inextricably linked to the heritage of Chanel, the house has rooted itself in a global, cultural network.
However, there is no city more important to Chanel than Paris, where Mademoiselle Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel famously settled at 31 rue Cambon, hosting both her home and the Chanel flagship. Her apartment, with its gilded mirrors, lacquered Coromandel screens, and eccentric flourishes, is where she would exit to descend a legendary set of mirrored stairs into the optic white lobby of the haute couture salon below. Back in the day, as Chanel presentations swanned forth in front of buyers, clients, and media, Coco herself would sit on the stairs, quietly observing the proceedings.
For Chanel Métiers d’Art 2020, entitled ‘Paris – 31 rue Cambon’, Virginie Viard honored the house that Coco built. Inside the Grand Palais, the set was a sublime reconstruction of the famed address, replete with mirrored stairs from which models descended in Chanel finery. When Viard described the inspiration behind her Métiers d’Art collection, she said, “It was more of an attitude than a theme”, referring to the mood that took over at 31 rue Cambon during shows. Insouciant charm wove its way through the collection on feathered blazers, embroidered tweed suits, camellia-adorned suits, and sunburst dresses. Yet, as much as the Métiers d’Art show exists to exemplify Chanel codes, Viard’s youthful vision was at work, written in logo-ed shirts, tie-dye swirls, fluttering fringes, and cropped tops worn beneath sophisticated skirt suits.
Savoir Flair’s production honors the spirit and joie de vivre of the Chanel Métiers d’Art 2020 presentation. Shot on location at Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, film director Omar Aref lent his eye to the collection, which was all about attitude. Like their progenitor, the exquisite clothes and accessories demonstrated subtle defiance and disruption – tied off with truly elite craftsmanship – allowing the wearer to become the best version of themselves.
Editor-in-Chief Haleh Nia Fashion and Beauty Director Grace Gordon Head of Production Maria Popova Film Director Omar Aref Fashion Stylist Celia-Jane Ukwenya Makeup Artist Toni Malt Model Kristine @ MMG