Chanel's 2017 Métiers d'Art Show Was an Elegant Tribute to Parisian Grandeur

Karl Lagerfeld drew inspiration from "the evening dresses that women used to wear to dine at the Ritz," where the show was set.
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The finale of Chanel's 2017 Métiers d’Art collection. Photo: Chanel

The finale of Chanel's 2017 Métiers d’Art collection. Photo: Chanel

Chanel has made a habit of traveling to such varied locations as Rome, Salzburg, Dallas, Edinburgh, Mumbai and New York to host its annual Métiers d’Art show. As with the house's other yearly runway shows — six in total in 2016, to be exact — no expense or detail is spared in the event's production. But for its 2017 Métiers d’Art presentation on Tuesday, Karl Lagerfeld kept a bit closer to home by holding it at the Ritz Paris.

In a release, Chanel stated that the hotel in all of its opulent, turn-of-the-century décor has long been cherished by the house, dating back to Coco Chanel herself in the ‘20s and ‘30s. For his part, Lagerfeld chose to spotlight the Ritz Paris — "which he considers to be 'the cosmopolitan spot par excellence'" — to reaffirm "his attachment to Paris," hence the collection's official title of "Paris Cosmopolite." And with built-in ornamentation and a presumably Paris-based audience to boot, the presentation as a whole appeared as natural for the house as the show location might suggest.

The finale of Chanel's 2017 Métiers d’Art collection. Photo: Chanel

The finale of Chanel's 2017 Métiers d’Art collection. Photo: Chanel

The clothing itself, very Parisian in silhouette and construction, followed suit. Lagerfeld noted that he was inspired by "the evening dresses that women used to wear to dine at the Ritz." This, in part, translated to newly femmed-up versions of the house's iconic bouclé jacket, now embellished with pearls, tweed roses, floral embroidery and Plexiglass buttons. Chanel modernized the jacket in a number of different ways, either by incorporating leather details like a triple waist belt or pairing it with Capri pants or tweed trousers, rather than the traditional straight-cut skirt. There was also a renewed focus on knitwear, seen in one sweater with embroidered epaulettes, or another backless jacket that was accented with cashmere.

We'd remarked on the event's runway cast shortly after the first of three shows took place on Tuesday, featuring such Instagirls as Cara Delevingne (in a brief respite from runway retirement), Sofia Richie and Lily-Rose Depp, the latter of whom opened the show and, of course, boasts French citizenship. Was Depp's place in the runway lineup a further tribute to the Parisian beau monde around which this show was built? Lagerfeld certainly leaves no stone unturned, so we'd gather to say yes.

See Chanel’s 2017 Métiers d’Art collection in the gallery below.