Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Last night the fashion world's beady eye cast its gaze towards a frosty Linlithgow, of all places, for the annual CHANEL Metiers d'Art show (Pre Fall 13). Yes, seriously, LINLITHGOW!

A location which might seem bizarrely random at first, begins to make sense with the revelation that, no, Mr Lagerfeld and his army of bony-elbowed muses didn't ACTUALLY descend upon the town hall (lovely though it is) but rather the stunning ruins of Linlithgow Palace - birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and James V.


Unlike the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer collections, the Metiers d'Art show, which has been going since 2002, is held one a year in a different location - Moscow, Bombay and Shanghai etc. It's aim is to not only show the Pre collection but to showcase specialist craftsmanship of CHANEL-owned ateliers. And seriously, though as quintessentially French as the Eiffel Tower and frogs' legs, CHANEL does have some genuine ties to Scotland.

Coco Chanel came here in 1925 with the Duke of Westminster and discovered a flourishing textiles industry, as well as fishing, hillwalking and haggis-hunting... Also, in October CHANEL saved 176 jobs in Scotland by purchasing cashmere business Barrie Knitwear. Based in Hawick, Barrie was formerly part of a once-mighty, 140 year old textiles conglomerate named Dawson's that went into administration earlier this year before CHANEL stepped in to secure its future. PLUS, not to mention the iconic CHANEL tweed suit jacket. Ain't nothing more Scottish than tweed, yo.

This Scottish-ness, combined with the romantic notion of Mary Queen of Scots and 16th/17th century royal court life, was the inspiration behind a RTW collection that managed to look both grungy and regal all at once...

Oh, and there was LOTS of tartan, obvs.

What a goofball. CAN I BE YOUR BEZZIE, CARA?

Stella Tennant, I love you!

Isn't it funny to see how others (Europeans, Americans, THE FRENCH) perceive us Scots? Karl has taken aww the stereotypes and CHANEL-ified them, and I love it! But not everyone did...

Several folk on Twitter boked at all the tartan outerwear, ghillie hats and kilts ("Karl clearly just watched Brave and Braveheart back to back!"), while others cringed at the Elizabethan-style ruffles and up-dos by Sam McKnight, straight out of Elizabeth. To be fair to those pointing out the obvious, every single cliche in the book was pulled out of the bag last night - I'm surprised they didn't walk round the runway to a rousing pipe band! But if they had, I'd have been LOVING IT.

I enjoy a bit of Scotland the Brave at the best of times, and SURE it was kind of obvious and maybe a little one dimentional - tartan and knits for winter is hardly groundbreaking, but it wasn't MEANT to be - but it was also utterly, utterly fabulous!

In particular the chunky Doc Marten style boots paired with slouchy jackets, scarves and patterned tights reminded me a WEE bit of the famous Steven Meisel shot from Vogue 92. This is the type of CHANEL I can relate to, not so much the prim, starched skirt suits and pearls... But there was glamour too with the finale of off-white gowns which wouldn't have looked out of place in the Palace of Linlithgow 600 years ago.

Overall it was VERY CHANEL - a little grunge, a little gaudy, chic, ostentatious, and exquisitely crafted and finished. Was it a bit pantomine? Yes, totes. Did I care? Not even a wee bit.

What did you guys think?! Opinion was quite divided last night...


eversojuliet said...

I loved it, having been pouring over the photos all morning!

I grew up in linlithgow so I'm full up of home town pride too. Love the palace, such a good choice! x

Claire - Miso Funky said...

Forget the tartan and aw that - I'm just glad the bubble hem is back! I just bought a bubble hem dress offa ebay, so I am now officially fashion forward.

Kirsty said...

Haha! Yussss for bubble hem, I completely agree!

Abigail. said...

It all looks FAB. Especially love the Elizabeth style-ee ruffles.

Boo to the haters.

Roisin Elizabeth Keats said...

I love it! I'm all over a wee bi of tartan, and, actually, I'm a bit disappointed they did stop short of a bag pipe rendition of Scotland the Brave for the music!

Mohammad Salauddin said...

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