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When CHANEL rocked “effervescent” Manchester with mind-blowing fashion show

Why CHANEL chose Manchester to host their prestigious fashion show and how the event put the international spotlight on the city
Manchester fashion

From the romantic setting of Rome to the iconic streets of Manchester, CHANEL landed in Manchester this week with their iconic Métiers d’Art show, unveiling their 2023/24 collection.

The Métiers d’Art Chanel show, also known as the Chanel Métiers d’Art collection, is an annual fashion presentation by the iconic French luxury fashion house Chanel.

This event is distinct from the regular fashion weeks, such as Paris Fashion Week or Milan Fashion Week, and it holds a special place in Chanel’s calendar.

Chanel’s first show in England for over a decade

The 2023/24 collection – a celebration of the savoir-faire of Chanel’s metiers d’art – brought the city to a standstill on Thursday 7th, 2023.

The event was a celebration of the exquisite craftsmanship that defines Chanel’s Métiers d’Art, and the choice of Manchester as the host city adds a unique and intriguing dimension to this fashion extravaganza.

The show took place on Thomas Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, with an outdoor runway protected by a Perspex roof.

The atmosphere was a blend of Chanel’s sophistication and Manchester’s gritty vibe

The Métiers d’Art collection is an opportunity for Chanel to showcase and celebrate the exceptional craftsmanship and artisanal skills of the various ateliers and artisans (known as “Métiers d’Art”) that work with the fashion house.

These ateliers specialise in various crafts like embroidery, feather-work, shoemaking, and more.

Seemingly selected for its storied heritage in the textile industry, Manchester, formerly hailed as ‘Cottonopolis’, showcased one of the most prestigious fashion events in the history of the United Kingdom.

While Manchester has long been a hub for the fashion industry, the landing of the Chanel show solidifies its stature as a key player on the global fashion stage.

With previous editions held in fashion capitals like Paris and Shanghai, this event stands as a testament to Manchester’s cultural resurgence in recent years.

So, why did Chanel choose Manchester?

Known as the birthplace of both rave culture and Brit-pop, Manchester has been a guiding force shaping Britain’s style DNA for generations.

It’s a city that has continually redefined the fashion landscape.

The city is also currently buzzing with the arrival of Factory International, aka Aviva Studios, a multi-million-pound arts destination that currently houses the largest-ever immersive environment created by the iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known for her celebrated collaboration with Louis Vuitton.

It has been an incredible year for the city.

Chanel declared they chose to present the 2023/24 Métiers d’art show in Manchester because our city is ‘one of the most effervescent cities of pop culture and an avant-garde one, whose bands, spanning all genres, have changed the history of music.’

Virginie Viard, Chanel’s creative director, emphasised Manchester as a city of music.

Peter Saville, known for his work with Factory Records in Manchester, designed the show’s branding.

Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel, spoke about finding inspiration in Manchester’s energy.

Coco Chanel’s connection with Britain was highlighted, as she borrowed tweed jackets from Eaton Hall, Cheshire, the family seat of her lover, the Duke of Westminster.

Who came to the event?

Hollywood star Kristen Stewart, actor Hugh Grant and his wife, Anna Elisabet Eberstein, model and presenter Alexa Chung, actress Jenna Coleman, British rappers Bugzy Malone and Aitch, director Sofia Coppola, and Liam Gallagher’s children Gene and Lennon were among the attendees.

The styles on show

Models showcased pastel tweed suits, reflecting Chanel’s historical connection with Britain.

The tweeds were paired with items like baker boy caps, Mary Jane shoes, cross-body bags, and scarves.

The show aimed to bridge the gap between Chanel’s elegance and Manchester’s music and football culture.

A top secret event

The secrecy surrounding the Chanel event extends to businesses involved, many of whom have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs).

Some local establishments are compensated for disruptions, with one bar reportedly receiving £47,000 to close for a few weeks.

An international stage in the Northern Quarter

The Chanel Métiers d’Art took place on Thomas Street and High Street in the Northern Quarter.

Once named ‘one of the coolest neighbourhoods on earth‘ by Time Out, the Manchester show featured a unique sheltered structure erected along these streets of the Northern Quarter.

Many have led the calls to leave the structure in place as a ‘present to Manchester’, given the city’s penchant for rainy days.

It could reinvent the area completely.

Positive impact on Manchester’s economy

In 2023, the city welcomed the announcement of esteemed venues such as Soho House, The W Hotel, and Sexy Fish, further establishing itself as a magnet for visitors and high-net-worth residents alike.

The arrival of the Chanel show adds yet another layer to Manchester’s burgeoning luxury scene, affirming its position as a rising star in the realm of opulence and cultural prominence.

This prestigious show will no doubt have an enormously positive impact on the city’s economy, not just during the event but, for decades to come.

What’s the theme?

Chanel’s Métiers d’Art shows are known for their grandeur and have been held in various international locations, from palaces in Austria to temples in Rome.

The choice of location often ties into the theme of the collection.

This year’s edition in Manchester showcased a ‘shimmering pop palette, with a dash of the sixties, the collection imagined by Virginie Viard.

“The show celebrated the CHANEL art of tailoring and tweed, while wraparound skirts, miniskirts with godets and Bermuda shorts highlight the British accents of the silhouettes.”

These shows typically feature a fusion of art, fashion, and culture, with a diverse audience that includes celebrities, fashion influencers, and industry insiders.

Each Métiers d’Art collection is often inspired by a specific historical or cultural theme.

The collections have taken inspiration from various places and periods, including Scotland, Byzantine art, the 1960s, and even Ancient Egypt.

The official Chanel after-party

The Grade-II listed Victoria Baths hosted an ultra-exclusive after-party for the Chanel Métiers d’Art show. 

Scot-rockers Primal Scream played the gig, no doubt delighting revellers with their incredible music.

Primal Scream added a touch of rock and roll to proceedings with a surprise performance at Chanel’s after-party at Victoria Baths last night.

The Scottish rock band, known for hits Rocks, Kowalski, and Country Girl, took to the stage at the historic venue which was hosting guests from Chanel’s esteemed Métiers d’Art show.

Luxury hotels in the city were fully booked out, and we imagine there are a few sore heads this morning.

The economic impact for Manchester

Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council reflects on the economic impact for Manchester of hosting CHANEL’s Métiers d’Art 2023 – 2024 show.

“The impact of the decision by CHANEL to hold its prestigious Métiers d’Art show here in Manchester is something that is already resonating with people around the globe and is going to continue to be felt by the city for quite some time.

“It speaks volumes about the regard in which Manchester is already held across the world, but more importantly it also sends a clear signal to international businesses and the international visitor economy that Manchester is the place to be.

“It’s impossible at this stage to even begin to quantify the economic impact hosting the event has had on the city, or to put a figure on it.

“The true impact will involve not just the direct spending and income generated within the city over these last few weeks leading up to and during the event, but also the longer-term benefits that will come from the massive boost to Manchester’s profile that CHANEL has given the city, that in turn translates into more visitors coming to see what Manchester has to offer, and more businesses choosing to invest here.

“It has been without doubt quite a moment for Manchester, not least coming as it does off the back of many other significant moments for the city this year, that together place Manchester in absolute pole position on the world’s stage for the years ahead.”

Check out Chanel’s website by clicking here

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