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5 Facts We’ll Bet You Didn’t Know About Chanel’s Metiers d’Art Collection

For starters, Chanel is the only fashion house in the world to do it. Get to know the incredible ateliers that make the seasonal spectacle tick. In partnership with Chanel.

Chanel is in a league of its own when it comes to many things: show sets, show themes, presentation spaces and clothing craftsmanship, just to name a few. In fact, so dedicated is the storied French label to its technical craft that it has a collection created solely for and around it. This is the Metiers d’Art collection, an annual affair where Chanel places its artisans and experts and their unparalleled skills at the core of the pieces of the season, whether it’s a carefully sculpted fabric flower, a dress covered entirely in feathers or the complicated beadwork on a blouse and a matching hat.

In an extra special collaboration with Chanel, we highlight five things you probably didn’t know about the Metiers d’Art collections below and give you a sneak peek at what goes on behind the scenes at the key ateliers above. Get ready, it’s fashion education time – Chanel style.


#1: It Isn’t A Pre-Fall Collection

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t. It is not to be confused with the cruise season either, which shows in May. Taking place typically in December, Chanel’s Metiers d’Art collection is called as such because it zooms in on the craftsmanship and pristine expertise of their artisans and ateliers. Basically, it really is all about the fine details. Like couture, but for ready-to-wear. A different city is picked every season with the pieces making references to its host. Chanel’s travelogue includes Scotland, India, Salzburg, Dallas, the Ritz in Paris and most recently, Hamburg.


#2: In Fact, Chanel’s The Only One To Do It

There isn’t another brand out there to create a collection that, for one, specifically highlights the skills of its ateliers, and for two, falls outside of the traditional fashion show calendar. Simply put, it’s extra special. “It’s made in an artisan way, in the very best sense of that word, because in artisan there is ‘art’,” says Karl Lagerfeld. The first Chanel Metiers d’Art collection made its debut in 2002.


#3: More Than One Atelier Is Involved

There is a whole network: 22 ateliers in total, with 10 for Metiers d’Art and 12 for production. The five key ateliers are Lemarié, Lesage, Lognon, Maison Michel – yup, that Maison Michel that makes hats – and Massaro.


#4: There Is An Atelier For The Signature Tweeds

That’s Lesage. Founded in 1924, the French atelier has been the mind and hands behind Chanel’s famous tweeds and embroidered work since 2002. Thirty kilograms of beads and a whopping one hundred million sequins go through its doors every year. Imagine visiting the atelier for a day, eh?


#5: And, Another Just For Flowers And Feathers

When you see the delicate feathers and floral appliqués in a collection, be it Metiers d’Art or haute couture, that’s Lemarié. Back in 1960s when Gabrielle Chanel sought to create her version of the camellia, she went straight to Lemarié, where they crafted the iconic flower with metal moulds, curling irons and sixteen fabric petals. Today, the company makes as many as 40,000 flowers every year. The final three key ateliers Lognon, Maison Michel and Massaro are Chanel’s pleating, hat and shoe experts respectively.


What To Read Next: Room Diaries: Gabrielle Chanel’s Apartment Is Legitimate Goals, The Story of Chanel’s Cruise Collections and 15 Things You May Have Missed From Chanel’s Metiers d’Art in Hamburg | Images: Courtesy of Chanel

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