Stitch by Stitch

Chanel show runner Karl Lagerfeld orchestrates an ode to his artisans with the unique Métiers d’Art collection. —Katie Smith

chanel metiers d'art 2015

Paris Salzburg embroidered-felt classic flap bag, $18,000, Chanel. / Photograph courtesy of Chanel

Chanel is synonymous with classic style and incomparable elegance. But what sets the house apart is its dedication to fine craftsmanship. Made with the help of 11 European ateliers—milliners, embroiderers, pleaters, and goldsmiths—Chanel pieces depend as much on the artisans as the designer.

Every year since 2002, Lagerfeld has paid homage to these craftspeople by holding a show dedicated to their meticulous work: He draws up designs, sends them to the ateliers, and then steps aside.

The show’s location changes from year to year, each place selected for its role in Chanel’s history. Last December, it was held in the Hotel Schloss Leopolds­kron in Salzburg—significant because Coco Chanel took inspiration from an Austrian hotel elevator boy’s four-pocket jacket. That design became known as the classic Chanel jacket.

Against the baroque 18th-­century palace, Lagerfeld presented an Austrian-inspired line of denim lederhosen, loden jackets, cascading ruffles, and intricate embroidery.

While we marvel at the collection’s imperial aesthetic as a whole, this blue felt bag, hand-
embroidered by Paris studio Maison Lesage, is our pick.

Pieces from the Métiers d’Art collection, including a clutch like the one above (each item is unique), will be available in the Boston boutique starting this June.

Chanel, 6 Newbury St., Boston, 617-859-0055,