Live from Paris: Everything you need to know about the Chanel Métiers d’Art 2020 show


By Joan Kong

Live from Paris: Everything you need to know about the Chanel Métiers d’Art 2020 show

I remember someone asked me what’s my dream show when I first started out in the industry, and I will always, without a doubt, answer “Chanel’s”. Fast forward six years later, I’m here in Paris for my first Chanel show, and to be able to be here for the Métiers d’Art 2020 collection—one where they celebrate the works of its craftsmanship—is truly the icing on the cake. After presenting in Hamburg, Germany (where the late Karl Lagerfeld was from) in 2017 and in New York (at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) last year, the French Maison is back in the City of Light with a show at its usual spot—the Grand Palais. With one of the biggest strikes happening on the initial date on December 5, the show was rescheduled a day earlier to ensure smooth arrivals, and after the intruder incident back in October, security was tight (we had to register digitally to get our unique QR code, on top of ID checks at two separate checkpoints). But all these aside, here’s everything to know (and love) about the Chanel Métiers d’Art 2020 collection:

The set

Guests were greeted with trees adorned with Camellia flowers as they entered the Grand Palais, before stepping into the warmly lit rooms that were recreated based on Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment at 31 Rue Cambon which is currently undergoing major refurbishment. Co-designed by Virginie Viard with longtime friend of the brand, Sofia Coppola (did you know she interned with the brand when she was 15 years old?), the “apartment” featured bookcases, folding screens on top of little details including framed photographs of the founder, bouquets of wheat (which were also gifted to us in our hotel rooms) and small gilded lion heads. The main showspace continued to mirror the home of Gabrielle Chanel, as beige carpets were laid on the floor and large glass panels plastered the walls. And of course, the set won’t be complete without an emblem of the famous staircase, where models appeared from.

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The stars

A stellar front row is expected at a Chanel show, and although there are no K-pop stars on the list this round, the long list of international celebrities definitely made up for it. Ambassadors Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Lily-Rose Depp, Vanessa Paradis, Liu Wen, Kristen Stewart, Caroline de Maigret were all present on the FROW, alongside actresses Victoria Song, Yara Shahidi, Margaret Qualley, Ayami Nakajo and other French artists.

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The looks

The Métiers d’Art 2020 show marked Virginie Viard’s first for the brand, and to start afresh, the designer took us all back to where it started—31 Rue Cambon. As mentioned, the address was where Gabrielle Chanel used to stay until her death in 1971, and it’s where the Chanel boutique in Paris is still located ’til today. Speaking of her inspiration for the collection, Virginie Viard said: “There is a form of simplicity… to Chanel’s ABC. We don’t need to do too much. I didn’t want the usual long distance travelling of the Métiers d’Art collections. I wanted to stay in Paris. So we had to think of a new way of doing things… the codes invented by Gabrielle Chanel and rendered sublime by Karl Lagerfeld… I like mixing them up.”

The collection kick-started with a series of looks in its signature black and white hues that let the intricacy of the garments take centre stage, from full-on shimmer to embroidered tweeds and silks and camellia-print feathers. The creative director took a seemingly softer approach to the designs, with fluid pieces—in ombré, no less—that swayed oh-so-beautifully with every step, oversized pink co-ords, and embellished see-through dresses that flaunt a hint of peekaboo skin. Accessories-wise, I love the statement jewels that adorned the models’ bare décolletage (with some cinched around the bare waist), and the birdcage bag is, hands down, the cutest of the lot. The collection truly combined the best of Gabrielle Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard’s visions, and we can’t wait to see how she continues to inject her eye for wearability with Chanel’s couture-level craft moving forward.

Here are my top 10 looks from the collection:

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Watch the show below:

The after-party

After cocktails at the venue after the finale, we were transported to La Coupole, a famous brasserie established in 1927 that was the inspiration behind the Maison’s Autumn 2015 show-set. At dinner, we mingled and enjoyed the rest of the night before Belgian singer-songwriter Angèle took the stage for a special performance.

Watch our recap video below:

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