Chanel wanted to end the year in style with an unprecedented parade. To show the world the Pre-Fall 23 collection Metiers d’Art, the ‘maison’ has left the center of Paris to move to the heart of the old Palace of Justice of Dakarin Senegal, where he has made history.
For Chanel, choosing to present her first show in Africa and, at the same time, the first show presented by a European or American house anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, It has been an ambitious move. Hours before the models went up the catwalk, the reason for this location was revealed and it is that, since Karl Lagerfeld created Metiers d’Art (artistic careers), the firm has shown the know-how of the artisans where the collection was presented, also inspiring the design of the garments.
Paris, Shanghai, New York, Tokyo and Monte Carlo are some of the places where the ‘maison’ has taken the Metiers d’Art and now it has been Senegal’s turn. “Presented each year in December, the Collection Metiers d’Arthas been offering a ‘prêt-à-porter’ collection since 2002 –outside the official calendar– for show the exceptional ‘savoir faire’ and the work of the artisans, including costume designer Desrues, plumber Lemarie, hatter Maison Michel, shoemaker Massaro, embroiderers Lesage and Montex, and glovemaker Causse”, the director Ladj Ly and Kourtrajme announced moments before the presentation.
This year the collection explore the culture and customs of the country African, being very present in the fabric of the collection itself. The lion motif that reappeared on jewelry and bags was a double reference to the emblem of Senegal and the symbol of Coco Chanel.
Virginie Viard also looked beyond Senegal. The shapes of the tailoring and menswear were inspired by the sartorial subculture of Congo sapeur, as well as thick-soled shoes. Almost invisible after long and complex fabric development processes, some of the bead materials and patterns originated from Africa.
On the other hand, the entire collection was imbued with the spirit of the 70s, with very marked patterns of that time. Bell-bottoms, earth colours, oversized shirt collars, vests, very long necklaces or turbans were the ‘leitmotif’ of this latest proposal by Chanel.
In design we have once again seen the reminiscences of the ‘maison’ left by Karl Lagerfeld in 2019 and that since Viard took over the creative reins of the firm, we had not come across anything like this until now. The clothes scream Chanel again and, although the ‘styling’ still needs to improve, it seems that the French designer is on the right track.
Of course, we could not avoid looking at Chanel’s proposals regarding the next season trends, where the great protagonists will be the prints. In addition to the seventies designs and the typical ‘tweed’ suits of the firm, the designer has opted for a mixture of prints, among which stripes, rhombuses, animal and, of course, squares stand out. Warm colors will be a ‘must’, with Viva Magenta making a timid appearance, the color of 2023 according to Pantone.
On the other hand, the denim fabric will remain with us for one more season in all its versions, but above all it will have more relevance in the pants (despite the fact that the French are stopping using it on Fridays). As for accessories, XL necklaces and turbans will find a place in our closet.
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