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ABOUT THE BRAND
Designer, visionary, artist, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel reinvented fashion by transcending its conventions, creating an uncomplicated luxury that changed women’s lives forever. She followed no rules, epitomising the very modern values of freedom, passion and feminine elegance.
– Haute Couture
CHANEL is the oldest of the Haute Couture houses in operation, a guardian of exceptional know-how skills.
In 1918, Gabrielle Chanel established her brands definitively at number 31 rue Cambon, which remained devoted to Haute Couture throughout the designer's life.
Karl Lagerfeld, the artistic director of the House of CHANEL since 1983, attributes his highly detailed sketches to the two different ateliers.
The head seamstresses interpret his sketches that in turn become cotton toiles, the first version of the garment shown to the designer.
An extraordinary creative individual, Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the brand’s codes created by Gabrielle Chanel: the CHANEL jacket and suit, the little black dress, the precious tweeds, the two-tone shoes, the quilted handbags, the pearls and costume jewelry. Regarding Gabrielle Chanel, he said, “My job is not to do what she did, but what she would have done. The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things.”
The House shows two Haute Couture collections per year, made up of day and evening wear. Two designated “flou” ateliers focus on the treatment of delicate materials like tulle, organza, chiffon and lace to create the dresses and blouses in the collection.
Two “tailoring” ateliers are dedicated to jackets, skirts, trousers and coats in other thicker fabrics like tweeds. The collection contains between 60 and 80 made-to-measure outfits, produced by hand in the Parisian ateliers. Embroiders, feather workers, creasers… The craftsmen of CHANEL’s Maisons d’art are at the heart of the Haute Couture collections.
On average, it takes more than 200 hours of work to make a bespoke suit and up to 1500 hours to create a dress. The day after the show clients are received by appointmentonly in the Couture Salons at 31, rue Cambon. Every Haute Couture client of the House has a wooden bust adjusted to her exact measurements. The collection is then presented to private clients at exclusive events.
"CHANEL is above all a style. Fashion passes, style remains." – Gabrielle Chanel