In the UK, it’s usually London that holds the title of most fashionable city – but luxury fashion house Chanel turned this theory on its head last night by choosing to hold its 2023/24 runway show in the streets of Manchester. Here’s everything you might have missed from the show.
Chanel In Manchester: The 2023/24 Métiers d’Art Collection
As it stands, the UK is spending a lot of time with luxury label Chanel this year. In the last few months, the brand has announced plans to expand its London HQ and even taken over the V&A with a landmark exhibition about its founder – and now, it’s set its sights further afield (or rather, further north) by staging its hotly anticipated 2023/24 Métiers d’Art Collection in Manchester.
Taking over Thomas Street in the city’s Norther Quarter, Chanel staged its show to a soundtrack of Mancunian bands – including The Fall and New Order – with a collection dedicated to the ‘ideas of Great Britain’.
Why Did Chanel Choose Manchester?
Let’s be honest: Manchester isn’t the first city that comes to mind when we think of high fashion. The luxury brand is known for taking over more upscale venues, having previously staged shows in Paris, New York, Rome, Dakar, Salzburg and Dallas – with its last UK show taking place in Linlithgow Palace in Scotland back in 2012.
In terms of style, Manchester is more grunge than sophistication, rockstar rather than socialite, biker jacket instead of Chanel suit. But that didn’t seem to phase Chanel in the slightest. Bruno Pavlovsky, the brand’s president, told the BBC that they were drawn in by Manchester’s ‘creative energy’ and musical history, citing that ‘too many things happen in London and we wanted to be in the UK and out of London.’
‘We decided to come to Manchester because it was the most inspiring for Virginie [Viard],’ he continued. ‘She was inspired by the music and art that she sees here in Manchester, and we’ve had a warm welcome.’
‘For me, Manchester is the city of music,’ added Virginie Viard, Chanel’s Creative Director, in the collection notes. ‘It incites creation.’
What Was The Collection About?
For its 2023/24 Métiers d’Art Collection, Chanel dived into its archives – more specifically, the House’s relationship with the UK. Combining this angle with a love letter to vintage Chanel, the collection took shape in classic tweed suits, wraparound skirts and coatdresses, splashed in vibrant colours as a nod to the sixties.
‘Tweed is central to this collection,’ confirmed Viard. ‘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.’
Chanel’s Creative Director stressed the importance of the show taking place at dusk to really make these colours stand out, highlighting the shades of salmon pink, apple green, mustard, sky blue, red and rust that dip below the horizon – only to once again become backlit by the night sky as the collection takes on the very same colour palette.
Some House codes still persist, such as the chains stitched to the bottom of jackets, contrasting inner fabrics and topstitched panels for freedom of movement – design tricks made famous by Gabrielle Chanel herself – but these are offset by fun touches like teapots, vinyl records, flowers and bejewelled Mary Janes.
It’s perhaps this nuanced take on tradition that urged the luxury label to set up shop in Manchester, a city that embodies a melting pot of new and old across its music, architecture and fashion scenes.
In fact, there were even a few nods to the city (and its footie prowess) itself, with models walking the runway in Chanel’s version of a Manchester City shirt and scarves in Manchester United colours.
Famous Faces: Who Was At The Show?
Over 600 people were in attendance at last night’s show. As is to be expected of Chanel, a number of famous faces made an appearances on the front row. Some notable names included actors Kristen Stewart, Hugh Grant and Tilda Swinton, as well as Priscilla director Sofia Coppola. There was even an appearance from the Gallagher family (although probably not the generation you’re used to), with Liam’s sons Gene and Lennon and Noel’s daughter Anais taking seats at the show.
Can You Stream The Show?
Yes, you can watch Chanel’s 2023/24 show online via the House’s YouTube channel. We’ve popped the video below so you can watch it here:
Images courtesy of Chanel