Dakar, Senegal clears up its monumental halls at the Palais de Justice to welcome Chanel’s Métiers d’Art collection 2023, as the first European luxury brand to have a runway show in Africa. Words: Gene Sibeko.
Chanel Creative Director Virginie Viard and friends of Chanel who have lived and experienced Senegal’s wonder spent three years meeting and planning what is now a historic moment for luxury fashion.
The House of Chanel decided on the beachside city of Dakar as its location for the Métiers d’Art collection (masters of art). Virginie Viard explains, “it’s an influential artistic capital on the international scene, particularly in fields dear to Chanel, such as fashion, cinema, dance, literature, contemporary art and music, Dakar marks the beginning of an ongoing exchange between the House and Senegal.”
Métiers d’Art is a celebration of the advanced skills of the master artisans who contribute to fashion. Since 2002, the inception of the specialised collections, the House works with ateliers who handcraft lace and fabrics from scratch, as well as buttons, sequencing and jewels. Chanel teamed up with local talent: film school founder and DJ Ladj Ly and photographer Malick Bodian to document the meticulous skills of the artistic directors from the House and artisans from Le19M. Le19M is a centre for preserving the skills that create haute art. This collaboration crafted the 2022 to 2023 Métiers d’Art Chanel – Dakar collection.
The three-day fashion affair celebrated Métiers d’Art’s 20th anniversary in the predominantly French-speaking country as it links to a relevant culture that Chanel appreciates and draws inspiration from. Vibrant and full of colour much like the collection which is an oud to the spirit of the 1970s and the savoir-faire of the ateliers.
The collection is envisaged by Virginie Viard of the lively ambience of the 1970s. Throughout the catwalk, there are flowing silhouettes, bright tweeds and mosaic-like designs and the glitz of a disco ball sequenced into the fabrics. Immaculate beading and textured accessories were some of the best works the House has produced.
A tremendous amount of support for the first luxury fashion show in Africa. Celebrities from around the world attended in numbers to witness the exclusive collection. Spotted in the seats was Whitney Peak, Naomi Campbell, Pharrell Williams, ABD Al Malik and Karidja Touré, to name a few.
From the vision of Virginie Viard and the production between the Chanel artisans and the Métiers d’Art of Le19M, we bring to you highlights from the show. Images from Chanel