Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Couture Magic

Carmen shared a link to this YouTube video with me after yesterday's post.  And for those of you who are not aware of this fabulous little film, I thought I would pass along this up close and personal look at what goes into creating the Chanel Couture 2004-05 Fall/Winter Collection.   (It is in French, but even with my extremely rusty high school French, it was incredibly enjoyable and understandable.)

There are sketches, muslins, and beading, quite a few pin pricks, a little blood, and a glimpse into how those incredible jacket trims are made.

I just love the day to day moments and all of the banter between employees.  And always in the background is Mr. Lagerfeld clicking his bejeweled fingers together.  

My favorite moments involve a woman who begins meticulously straightening the grain of some amazing platinum colored silk velvet.  She is later seen handstitching the side seams of the dress on a form.  When she is almost finished, Lagerfeld decides the color must be changed to white.  So she begins again . . . and in the middle of her work, once again receives a note that the color is now to be black.  How incredibly frustrating!  While she is watching the final runway show, you can hear her murmur that all of the aggravation disappears when she sees the finished product.  I think everyone can relate!

And I have to say that after watching it, I cannot wait to get into the sewing room.  It is amazing to see the time and effort involved from the first sketch to the final moment the garment appears on the runway.  Anyone who does not think couture is art needs to watch this! 

[Click on image for source]


  1. Thanks for this! Did you catch the Dutch coronation at all? The new queen's (Màxima) royal blue and aubergine dresses are amazing in their embroidery, which was apparently done in Paris at Lesage. I kept wanting the blue cape to come off so that I could see more. The aubergine was also covered up due to the cold. I'm sure if you search the net, you'll get an idea. I don't blog, you see, but most papers have photos.

  2. PS Puce is perhaps a better name for the colour than aubergine. It's a sort of purple and for a while the lovely lace detail at the back was visible.

  3. Hey thanks for the shout out! I am glad you liked it!

  4. There was a whole tv series of this - it's here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Signe-Chanel-Haute-Couture-Collection/dp/B000A6M9YY
    I work for an opera company, but I often think about those Chanel workrooms... if I were single and 20 years younger, I would go to Paris and sit on the doorstep of one of the couture houses until they gave me a job. (For what it's worth, one of my college tutors told me that in Galliano-era Dior, all the students he knew who'd done that DID actually end up getting jobs there....)

  5. Not even high school French here - but I did enjoy every minute of this. Very inspiring and motivating.

  6. My French is also v poor, and I tried using the YouTube button for translation subtitles, but you can tell it's still in beta testing as it made very little sense!!
    Amazing work to be seen, though... I also loved the straightening of the silk! So meticulous...

  7. My high school French was pathetic even back when! (Much to the chagrin to my poor mother who spoke and wrote fluent French), but this was amazing! I will watch again later, but I did enjoy. Thank you for posting and to your other reader who also posted it initially.