Nobody does luxury and extravagance quite like Chanel, but this week the French fashion house excelled themselves with their most atmospheric fashion show to date.
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On the 2nd December Chanel travelled to Scotland to showcase their tenth Métiers d’Art collection, Paris-Edimbourg. The collection was shown at Linlithgow Palace, a derelict castle 15 miles outside of Edinburgh and the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.
As a convoy of black Mercedes dropped guests off at the palace gates, snow began to fall – as if on cue – from the blustery sky. ‘Walkers’ dressed in black tie escorted guests to their seats around a roofless courtyard, shrouded in mist and illuminated with flickering candles. Eerie and majestical, stepping inside Linlithgow’s crumbling walls was like stepping back in time to 15th century Scottish court. Waiters served hot toddies and whisky amongst the snow flurries, while tartan blankets embossed with Chanel’s interlocking double C logo were placed on each seat to keep you warm.
Coco Chanel first fell in love with Scotland when she met the Duke of Westminster in the 1920s. The country’s traditional wardrobe has provided the inspiration for her iconic tweed jackets, cardigans and knitwear ever since. Chanel’s 2013 Métiers d’Art collection paid homage to Scotland’s remarkable craftsmanship and skill. There were cashmere cardigans with lavish gold buttons, white billowing pussy bow shirts, ribbed tank tops, swathes of jewels and chunky walking boots perfect for tackling the snowy Scottish terrain. Tartan skirts were teamed with luxurious cashmere knits, while a green leather overcoat and double lined wool navy coat with red tartan lining were guaranteed to fly off the shelves.
i-D cover stars Cara Delevingne, Edie Campbell, Saskia de Braw and Stella Tennant were amongst those who brought Karl’s vision to life. With tartan scarves wrapped snugly around their necks and tartan berries perched neatly atop their heads they strode around the castle like aristocracy. Karl’s godson, 4-year-old Hudson Kroenig, also made a star appearance in tartan trousers with matching kilt, an embroidered black jacket and patent leather shoes with jeweled buckles.
The luxurious cashmeres were all hand-stitched by Barrie Knitwear in Hawick, a small factory nestled amongst the Scottish Highlands. Chanel have collaborated with Barrie for over 25 years, and rescued the cashmere factory from closure in August of this year. The acquisition is the latest artisanal workshop purchased by Chanel in a mission to save traditional fashion craftsmanship. They now own ten across Europe.
After dinner, guests made their way down the hill from the castle to the lake, where a series of spectacular glass domes had been constructed. Here we dined on Scottish delicacies including haggis, thick hearty soups, fresh seafood and meats, washed down with wine and whisky. As bagpipes played and 18-year-old singer/songwriter Jake Bugg performed for the crowd, we raised our glasses to toast a party of which Mary Queen of Scots would of no doubt be proud.
Text: Holly Shackleton
Images: Courtesy of Chanel