Luxury fashion house Chanel chose the unexpected location of gritty Manchester to play host to its latest Métiers d’Art show, where the brand’s staple tweed and vintage-inspired skirt suits made their way down the city’s Thomas Street as night fell. The choice to display the line in the so-called ‘Warehouse City’ followed presentations in Tokyo and Dakar, with this latest event dedicated to the brand’s 2023/24 collection, designed and crafted by creative director Virginie Viard.
The Métiers d’Art concept has been established by Chanel to showcase both the skills of artisans and craftsmen, as well as the chosen city in which it resides. For Chanel, Manchester represented what it said was the “basis of a music culture that has changed the face of the world” and is today the meeting point for all those who identify with it. In the show’s notes, Viard added: “For me, Manchester is the city of music. It incites creation.”
Manchester ‘incites creation’
Such a mindset was reflected in some of the clothing, for which the typical “rock look” often associated with Manchester’s music scene was subtly swapped out for what was described to be “the poetry of emotions with a dash of the sixties”. With this in mind, Viard made the intentional choice of injecting bold colours into almost the entirety of the line, bringing in salmon pinks, apple greens and mustards that aimed to stand strong against the industrial backdrop.
The designer didn’t stray too far from the aesthetic of the UK, however, as evidenced in the use of Shetland knitwear, Bermuda shorts and wraparound skirts, reminiscent of post-war Britain. These were balanced out with “fun touches” of floral embroidery and teapots, as well as contrasting ensembles of jeans, leather and nighties that again stayed true to the streetstyle of the show’s base.
Naturally, the heritage and code’s of the house also remained prominent. Viard, who noted that she wanted to remain faithful to these signatures, elaborated: “Tweed is central to this collection. I thought a lot about Gabrielle Chanel but I didn’t want to recreate Coco’s look, when she was wearing the Duke of Westminster’s jackets. I took my cue from the Coco who brought colour to her tweeds. I added a vibrant, pop spirit to them.”