One of the most prominent members of the Comité Colbert, Chanel recently announced its participation in Flânerie Colbert, French Luxury in the 21st Century, taking place in Abu Dhabi from November 12 to December 14. The event will run alongside the marvelous exhibition “10,000 Years of Luxury” being shown at the Louvre Abu Dhabi by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs until February 18, 2020.
Guests were welcomed by two bell boys dressed in the Ritz Paris Uniform at Flânerie Colbert’s inaugural cocktail party. Joaquin Jiminez from Monnaie de Paris demonstrated how he created the image of Gabrielle Chanel for a coin using plaster, and artisans from one of Chanel’s Métiers d’art – House of Lesage – demonstrated Luneville crochet hook embroidery on an embroidery frame, followed by a second workshop where the atelier embroiderers created an oeuvre representing the architecture of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Hubert Barrère, the creative director of Maison Lasage was present at the event and demonstrated the making of the famous embroidery and Lesage tweeds. It was Barrère’s first visit to Abu Dhabi and the UAE. He said, “I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi before and to dream this place for me is the mix of sound, the sun, and the water and put it on the dome of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.”
While showcasing the craftsmanship, Hubert connected the material used in the embroidery to the reflection of the sun and the sound of water. What’s more, when asked about the total number of hours it takes to complete one outfit, the skilled corset maker said that it depends on one piece to another, but “it definitely takes a minimum of 1,000 hours from start to finish.” He added: “Approximately 20 hours are spent on drawing, followed by 60 hours on embroidery.”
The whole process from inception to finish starts with hand painting, which requires teamwork, and each and every person working on the project adding a unique quality to the work being done. The only important thing is for the final result to be uniform.
Hubert also spoke about how evolution during this millennial century plays a big role in the craft industry. He said, “There are two parts to this process – innovation and tradition.” Maison Lesage has worked with new technology like 3D printing while working with Chanel. It is incredibly important to intertwine modern techniques with innovation in today’s world.
When asked about the training of new millennials in the industry, Hubert shared, “Today’s world is more passionate about the craft of embroidery compared to before as previously, it was just a normal job for people.” He also mentioned that senior embroiders are always guiding the newcomers in the industry.
Moving towards the details of Maison Lesage and Chanel’s history, Barrère said, “21 years ago, I had a big chance to work with Mr. Lagerfeld.” He added, “Every time it was a challenge as Mr. Lagerfeld would always like to be surprised.” Chanel’s and Maison Lasage’s partnership goes way back and every single creation is different and extraordinary in its own way.
According to Barrère, the German creative director, fashion designer, artist, photographer, and caricaturist, Karl Lagerfeld was an extremely creative person who always looked for the pre-eminent. Maison Lesage works with many brands where the idea is usually open and there’s a possibility of going back to the archives to design a beautiful piece. But with Chanel, the artists are always working hard to go above and beyond possibility and create something brand new every single time.