At first sight, the feathery, embroidered Look 85 from the Chanel Métiers d'art 2017/18 Paris-Hamburg collection is a picture of girlish refinement. Upon closer inspection, its intricacies reveal the hand-assembled specialties attributed to the maison’s ateliers.

The look worn by Kaia Gerber at the Métiers d'art 2017/18 Paris-Hamburg draws the best of both cities, taking the former’s playful girlishness and the latter’s nautical theme in stride. The resulting look is an androgynous look with a seafaring casualness. Extracted from a chapter of Coco Chanel’s illustrious heritage, Karl Lagerfeld, set out to tell another tale of style, starring the maison’s revered savoir-faire.

 “There is always such creative dynamic between the studio and the expertise of the Chanel and maisons d’art ateliers,” marvelled Karl, who initiates the collection at the drawing board. “The silhouettes evolve, the embroideries, the details and the finishes take on a new dimension.”

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Tying the knots

The making takes place at the Montex ateliers, where they set to work on the braids. Embroidered on silver tulle by needle, they require 1,630 metallic tubes and 1,085 stones to achieve the look’s piano key pattern. This requires 102 hours of work, stringing together the details that would embellish the blouse, skirt, and cap.

Ahoy, sailor!

Over at the Lemarié ateliers, the outfit’s organza are applied with white feathers, then hand-painted with the trademark horizontal sailor’s stripes. A special Indian ink is used for the patternmaking that takes 77 hours to complete.

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Smooth faring

Finally, the different pieces come together at the Chanel Ready-to-Wear ateliers. Seamstresses add final touches, assembling the outfit and applying the embroidered braids along the neckline and hemlines. Then, it’s off to the final leg of its journey.

Karl’s stamp of approval

Look 85 is completed with an embroidered wool cap by Maison Michel, a brooche, earrings, and grosgrain brogues made by Massaro. The final approval by Karl is given the day before the Métiers d'art show, where it takes pride of place among 86 other looks at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall of Hamburg. 

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Calling at Chanel ephemeral KLCC

Now, the collection’s nomadic spirit has docked in Kuala Lumpur: It is yours to experience at the Chanel ephemeral boutique, KLCC, where a semblance of the port of Hamburg will whisk you on a unique shopping voyage.

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