Anyone wanting to host a fashion show in a remote Scottish roofless ruin of a castle on a freezing December day, should be deemed absolutely insane. But when it’sChanel hosting their annual Métiers d’Art show in the beautiful and historic Linlithgow Palace, you hop on a plane, layer up, put your boots on, have a sip of whiskey, sit back and enjoy every minute of what was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
The Métiers d’Art collections (this one being the 10th edition) were conceived to highlight some of the incredible arts and crafts that go into making Chanel what it is. The company owns a number of workshops and factories around the world, nurturing artisans and nearly-forgotten skills. So when Chanel acquired Barrie Knitwear earlier this year, saving almost 180 jobs, the choice for Scotland as the location for the next Métiers d’Art show seemed inevitable (Brad Pitt pun intended). Cashmere has always been a huge part of Chanel’s history, combined with their passion for tweed and Coco Chanel’s well-known love affair with Scotland, made the choice of having the show in the area an obvious one.
The excitement around the show was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. As 400 guests made their way to the palace in a cascade of especially imported black cars, shutting down the little village completely in process, locals lined the streets in excitement. It was headline news on the radio, rumours were swirling around about possible A-listers attending, the ruin of Linlithgow Palace had been transformed into a spectacular venue, ready to play host to another great event of its 600-year history. Lit by candles and roaring fires, we were sat in the roofless courtyard as snow started falling, whilst whiskey replaced champagne as the drink du jour to keep the cold at bay – the scene was both romantic and dramatic – just like the collection.
As the palace was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, the collection played tribute to her style, clashing tartans with heavy tweed, feathers, argyle socks – even the appearance of Chanel hipflasks – finishing with a series of spectacular white gowns, which seemed eerily ghostly considering the setting. The Paris – Edimbourg collection stayed faithful to Chanel’s Parisian haute couture roots, mixed in with Scottish skills and traditions. It was the perfect combination of Chanel’s heritage and its modern, contemporary visions.
The show was followed by a spectacular dinner afterwards (which I will cover in a separate post!), which made the night even more unforgettable than it already was. I want to extend a huge thank you and congratulations to the team at Chanel who made the organisation and this unique experience seem absolutely flawless. With 400 international guests attending, hotels, restaurants, flights, cars, a remote ruin of a palace and unpredicatble weather to deal with, no one would have blamed them for a small hiccup, but it was simply perfection. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it!