While many things are synonymous with luxury fashion house Chanel, from tweed skirt suits to Coco’s favourite camellia flower, you’d be forgiven if the streets of Manchester didn’t immediately spring to mind. Therefore many of us were left surprised when we discovered the city’s Northern Quarter would provide the backdrop for Chanel’s Métiers d’art collection when it was announced earlier this year.
“For me, Manchester is the city of music,” confides Chanel’s Creative Director, Virginie Viard, “It incites to creation.” And it’s this sense of creativity, vibrancy and musicality that played out on the makeshift catwalk on Manchester’s Thomas Street last night, proving just how harmonious the two worlds could be.
Watched on by celebrities including Lucy Boynton, Tilda Swinton and Kristen Stewart, the models took to the catwalk in fresh, colourful iterations of the iconic tweed tailoring Chanel is known for giving a whole new take on dopamine dressing.
“Tweed is central to this collection,” said Virginie, “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.”
Alongside a daring use of colour, Virginie also added fun touches to the collection inspired by Manchester’s music scene and the English countryside. Look closely and you’ll find an artistic spherical print, inspired by vinyl records, and cute teapot-shaped brooches, worn alongside sumptuous leather, punky checks and delicate sequins.
The collection felt fashion-forward and the casting—street-casting by Jamie Hawkesworth—felt fresh with new and interesting faces taking to the catwalk. The party ended late into the night, with Primal Scream playing a surprise gig. We're absolutely here for the Manchester version of Chanel.
Finished with nostalgic accessories in the shape of baker boy hats, top handle bags and Mary Jane flats, the collection stood as a love story between Chanel and Britain, etching Manchester as forever a part of the brand’s stylish history.
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Jazzria Harris is a freelance fashion and beauty journalist with over 8 years experience working in the industry. At just 4ft 11, she’s an expert in petite dressing and previously wrote the column Jazz’s Short Stories giving tips and advice on dressing for petite proportions. Her wardrobe staples are a great black blazer, a hardworking slip skirt and of course a great pair of heels (for the extra inches, of course). Jazz has written for publications including ELLE UK, heat magazine, Eliza, Women & Home and more.
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