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May 2, 2011

The seven ateliers of Chanel

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Wrote Charlotte Moss in Saturday's Wall Street Journal,

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"About a decade ago, when rumblings that couturiers trained in highly skilled arts like hand beading and embroidery were succumbing to the industry's increasing appetite for fast fashion and fading into fine-tulle oblivion, Chanel made its seemingly transgressive move.

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"Over a nine-year period, the company bought seven of the most specialized ateliers in Paris, many in operation for more than 150 years, ensuring both the survival of a dying industry and the continuation of the house's own couture techniques.

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"Chanel's commitment to the preservation of this craft is so strong that select other brands, like Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton, are still allowed to use the workshops.

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"To mark the occasion, Chanel launched Métiers d'Art in 2002—a luxurious collection, presented in a different international city each year. The line highlights the ateliers' remarkable skill, the kind typically reserved for the few haute-couture clients left in the world.

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"Here, a first-ever look inside the seven storied ateliers [Lesage, Goossens, Lemarie, Guillet, Massaro, Desrues and Michel] that have come to shape Chanel."

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Slide show here.

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Interactive feature here.

May 2, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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