The House of Chanel has had a long love affair with Scotland that dates back to the time of Coco Chanel in 1920s when she loved the über wealthy Duke of Westminster and spent much time at his varied estates in the Sutherland region of the Scottish Highlands in between her shows in Paris.
She was influenced by the Shetland wools, tartans, fair isle patterns and tweeds of the Scots and incorporated many into her designs. In fact, it was her interest in the tweeds woven in the Scottish Highlands that led the Chanel house to develop their own signature tweed. This love affair has continued to the modern day with Karl Lagerfeld's continued use of tweeds, tartans and fair isles in his collections.
|From Chanel's Fall 2013 Couture Collection|
In October 2012, Karl Lagerfeld and the House of Chanel saved close to 200 jobs when they purchased the prestigious cashmere manufacturer, Barrie Knitwear located in Hawick, Scotland. This continued the tradition that Chanel started in 2002 when it launched its strategy to protect -- and if necessary, purchase -- their most valuable suppliers.
This acquisition means Chanel now has 10 artisan manufacturers under the Paraffection (for love) umbrella - as well as Barrie Knitwear there is embroidery firm Montex, the embroider Maison Lesage (who created those eyebrows for Chanel's autumn/winter 2012 show), gold and silversmith Goossens, shoemaker Massaro, hat maker Miason Michel, feather house Lemarié, button specialist Desrues, flower house Guillet and glovemakers Causse who joined the group earlier this month. All of them continue to supply both Chanel and its rival couture houses. (Telegraph.co.uk, October 16, 2012)Every year since 2002, Karl Lagerfeld/Chanel has held a Métiers D'Art (translated "Arts and Crafts") show, which highlights the incredible craftsmanship of the artisans under the Chanel umbrella.
I thought that he could never top the show that was held in the Palais Royal in 2011...
Until Chanel decided to hold last year's 2012 show in Scotland at Linlithgow Palace, the birth of Mary Queen of Scots...
I have been pouring over this images in the last several weeks, and find myself very inspired by the combinations of Scottish tweeds, argyles, tartans and plaids.
This inspired my desire to have an Embroiderers' Travel Journal so that I could capture all of the colors, textures and cloth that I experience while I am there.
So that I can play with the combinations of patterns and textures when I return home.
You can see the entire Scotland collection here.
And the 2013 Métiers D'Art is coming to the United States and will be held in Dallas, Texas.
Until next time...