FRENCH LESSONS: Chanel, which has traveled as far afield as Shanghai, Edinburgh and Dallas for its annual Metiers d’Art show, is sticking closer to home this year.
WWD has learned that one of fashion’s original itinerant shows — highlighting links between the founder and various locations — is scheduled for Dec. 6 at the Ritz Paris in Place Vendôme.
The landmark luxury hotel, which reopened last June after four years of renovation, houses Chanel’s first signature spa, exalting historic ties: Gabrielle Chanel lived at the Ritz for more than three decades, and a suite in her name remains. Spread over more than 2,000 square feet and boasting spectacular views of the famous square, the Coco Chanel suite rents from 18,000 euros per night, according to the Ritz web site.
This will be the second year in a row that Karl Lagerfeld has paid tribute to Paris with his Metiers d’Art show, which also showcases the savoir faire of the specialty couture ateliers Chanel owns. Last December, the designer paraded a “Paris in Rome” collection and reprised the show in Beijing.
The Metiers d’Arts show, attended by top Chanel clients and international editors, should be a boon to Paris, still reeling from a series of terrorist strikes, the most recent being the Bastille Day attacks in Nice, France, that left 86 people dead.
The city of Paris stands to lose as much as $1.5 billion in tourist revenues this year, according to the Paris Regional Tourist Board, which last month reported a 6.4 percent drop in overnight visitors in the first half of the year. Floods and strikes have further tarnished the French capital’s image.
The Ritz renovation, originally scheduled to last two years and cost 140 million euros, ended up taking twice as long, with the budget ballooning to 400 million euros. Egyptian business magnate Mohamed Al-Fayed has owned the Ritz since 1979.
He gave architect Didier Beautemps and interior decorator Thierry Despont the green light to replace everything from the plumbing and electric to elevators and furnishing fabrics. Yet aficionados will find it essentially unchanged.