The incredible Chanel’s Métiers d’Art
Know-hows are one of the biggest strengths and one of the most competitive advantage for French fashion. France is excellent in precious craftsmanships which are making our fashion the most performing in the world. We can count on many ones to get gorgeous pieces such as dresses or shoes. It is also these skills which built the prestige of Haute Couture.
Last Chanel Métiers d’Art show, in Rome.
The so renowned French fashion house Chanel is doing great to valorize and preserve the country know-hows. It is positioning itself as the most high-end luxury brand in the world, thanks to its codes and creativity but also because of the exceptional know-hows they are exploiting when producing their collections. It is indeed with an idea of preservation and continuity that Chanel started it’s subsidiary « Paraffection » in 1985 with the acquisition of Desrues, a company making exceptional fineries.
This new entity was born in an unique mindset, make french finest fashion know-hows durable. They are related to Haute Couture and are called « Métiers d’Art » by Chanel, Art crafts in english. The interest is to keep the companies acquired by Paraffection profitable in order to make sure that the fashion house can use these exceptional knowledges. There is also a more fahion-lover approach, Parrafection know-hows benefits from the huge financial protection power and strategic abilities of the Chanel giant. Then, they are of course working for the fashion house but also for many others clients who needs their know-hows, such as Valentino, Louis Vuitton or Marie Katrantzou.
A Chanel Métiers d’Art dress, made from Lesage (Paraffection subsidiary) embroideries
Actually Chanel owns ten Art Crafts. It make them possible to acquire expertise fields such as for embroideries, feathers or gold smitheries for example. Since 2002, Chanel decided to expose and promote this know-hows in a special show and very special collection each year in December. The show is different from the two Haute Couture shows of the brands; even if the Art Crafts are originally used by these French fashion speciality which is Haute Couture. The Art Crafts collection only present creations made from the Paraffection subsidiaries know-hows. It is presented each year in a place which was important to Gabrielle Chanel’s heart; such as Rome. The next show will be hosted in the Ritz Palace, located Place Vendôme in Paris, which one was the « house » of Coco for the longest period of her life and until her death. This show and collection is a real boost for Chanel turnover but it also make the fashion house very unique because it is the only one to have such a show, which is of course presented outside of fashion weeks.
As I already talked about it on the blog in a previous article related to Chanel and its Art Craft, you know that fashion can still count on a lot of traditional know-hows. They are craftsmanships often protected by national and cultural incentives but also by big powerful groups, such as Chanel which bought Lesage in 2002. To make you understand how incredible are they, I’m today talking to you about Lesage, the Paraffection’s embroider.
Lesage, the finest embroider at the serve of fashion industry
The main asset of Lesage is their incredible archives, collected from more than a century and a half of work with so many fashion houses for Haute Couture. The company actually owned more than seventy thousands samples of embroideries that are true richness in order to work for big companies such as Dior, Schiaparelli or Vionnet. Lesage have a legitimacy and empiric experience to valorize in order to work on the highest Haute Couture creations of our days.
It is true because Lesage owns something more than their archives: their craftsmen. They have an exceptional and rare know-how of high-end embroidery, something which is difficult to acquire but also hardly imitable for competitors. It gives an indisputable competitive advantage and attractiveness to the Chanel’s embroider. Of course their « petites mains », as the french tradition call them, are great. They are trained in intern for 10 years before to become one of the best embroiders. It is why balancing the craftsman average age is so important for Lesage; to have enough experienced craftsmen but also young one to shape.
Valentino dress with Lesage embroideries
These embroiders are working with exceptional leathers, silks or pearls to create unbelievable creations. They first start by making a drawing of the emboidery, by respecting the brief of the brand’s Artistic Director they are working for, but also the codes of its fashion house. Since they have made this drawing, they have to adapt it on a pattern which will later be used as a tracing paper. In this way the craftsmanship is the most perfect and precise possible, showing to the embroiders where to put their pearls, for example, at the very exact millimeter. This give the memorable results that we have from Chanel Métiers d’Art shows or Valentino ones ; which work with Lesage for everyone of its embroideries.
It seems that Lesage and embroideries still have their best days ahead, we personnally can’t wait to see what they are reserving us!
November 16, 2016 I Thomas
November 15, 2016 I Thomas