The Chanel “Metiers d’Art”-collection, also called Pre-Fall collection, serves to show the art of handcraft, Chanel occupies. It’s presented towards the end of autumn and ready to be sold half a year later, in early summer. Accessories and buttons are crafted at Desrues, flowers are stitched together at Guillet, plissier is pleated in various patterns at Lognon and leather is tanned at Bodin-Joyeux by Chanel – exclusively for this show.
Lagerfeld always lets the surroundings and scenery be an important, varying part of presentation – especially for the “Metiers d’Art”-collection: He started those collections for Chanel in 2002 with the intention to establish an annual collection, which deals with the places, Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel had a connection to. He tells us a story through vivid designs, embedded in a historical surrounding, letting us dive into the time of Coco’s life: Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, Rome, Salzburg and many others.
This year the story takes place in Hamburg, but with this place Lagerfeld wants to refer to his own background, rather than Coco Chanel’s. Hamburg is his country of birth and childhood.
We were there. It was classic. It was luxurious. It was magnificently staged down to the detail.
Evening, the 6th December 2018, Nikolaus. Everyone had found his or her assigned seat in the big concert hall during the early evening hour. When the orchestra whispered its first “hamburgisch” sounds everyone was focusing their mini opera glasses, Chanel placed on every seat, towards the first model entering from the top. 89 Looks glided past the numerous hallways and stairs all around the widespread auditorium of the Elbphilharmonie, always followed by the glimpse of the attentive, but wistful crowd. Bearded seamen wandered in chunky knitted sweaters, holding a pipe in one, carrying a big bag in the other hand. Elbsegler, turtleneck sweaters, mariner collars, wooly cuffs, long leather coats, protecting you from even the harshest wind and rain refined with applicated bows and bags reminding of accordions.
Hamburgisch’ flair from head to toe. The room wasn’t extremely decorated, as Karl Lagerfeld determined the Elbphilharmonie to be strong enough on its own. After all models were lined up amongst the orchestra, Karl shortly kept company infront of the built-up parade. Wether us, as “Hamburger”, the Asian upper class, best customers, journalists or stars in the frontrow – the crowd let go of their opera glasses and roaring applause echoed through the transformed concert hall. The reporters and photographers were released to finally take their chance on interviewing Tilda Swinton, Lily-Rose Depp, Kristen Steward and who else was there.
At 10pm we were arriving at the Fischauktionshalle, the resting silence of the Elbe undermined the voices of the singing, swaying mariners, who placed themselves on the wooden stairs above the audience. We were surrounded by the vivid harbour-living of the 30s. The staff was hectically running around in fisherman aprons, spreading the soothing smell of backed fish and truffle risotto by serving the six course dinner. Later on we got cocktails served in “Weck”-glasses and were surrounded by good old 80-vibes of music. Walking past, we spotted Elbsegler creeping around, finding the head of the models hidden underneath. Everything was so epic and high-end – the secret lies in the detail.