Little did journalist Laetitia Cénac and illustrator Jean-Philippe Delhomme imagine, when they swanned into Chanel’s fabled 31 Rue Cambon atelier in 2018, that they were witnessing the making of Karl Lagerfeld’s final Ready-to-Wear collection – and quite possibly the last flush of fashion’s Golden Age. All the more reason to get your mitts on this glorious homage to the “Kaiser”.
Starting, fittingly, at the end, with the Grand Palais’s monumental Spring 2019 show – a larger-than-life replica of Deauville’s boardwalk, complete with rolling surf and tweed-clad models tiptoeing up the wave-lapped shore barefoot – Chanel: The Making of a Collection sweeps fashionistas on a heady backward journey, unravelling the threads of one of the world’s most-anticipated runways.
Weaving exclusive interviews with vibrant watercolours, the pair not only give the floor to the Maison’s movers and shakers but also illuminate the meticulous craftsmanship and painstaking work of the oft-overlooked petites mains: the phalanx of deft embroiderers, flower makers and haberdashers toiling away unnoticed to bring their fashionmeister’s theatrical vision to life. A dazzling (if unwitting) deep-dive into Chanel’s halcyon days.
Chanel: The Making of a Collection, text by Laetitia Cénac, illustrations by Jean-Philippe Delhomme, published by Abrams
From France Today magazine. For more France Today book reviews, click here
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