Last month saw the opening of Factory International – the UK’s most significant public investment in a cultural project since the Tate Modern – in the heart of Manchester. The landmark £211 million arts centre serves as the crescendo of a northern renaissance that has gradually been building momentum over the past few years. Back in November, Haider Ackermann debuted his collaboration with Fila in the Depot Mayfield and Chanel – the most prestigious of the Parisian fashion houses – has just announced that its upcoming Métiers d’Art show will also take place in Manchester on December 7.
Though perhaps a little less glamorous than Shanghai’s Huangpu River or the Rococo salons of an 18th-century palace in Salzburg, Manchester is the spiritual heartland of Britpop, Madchester, and the rave movement that once sprung from the Haçienda. It was also the centre of the cotton industry, which is no doubt something Chanel will make reference to, its Métiers d’Art collections being an excuse to showcase local and specialist craftsmanship. Last season, the brand transported fashion editors to the Palais de Justice in Senegal, where Virginie Viard collaborated with Dakar’s existing art scene.
The collection itself paid homage to the city in jewellery and bags emblazoned with the Senegalese lion, while tailoring drew inspiration from Congo’s Sapeur subculture. That means December’s outing will probably be festooned in uber-ornate brooches cast in the shape of bees (Manchester’s official mascot) while silhouettes are likely to skew wide in honour of the Baggy dance genre that surfaced in the 90s. Specific details on the venue and city-wide collaborations have yet to be announced but in the meantime, click through the gallery above to see highlights from Chanel’s previous Métiers d’Art proposal.