Virginie Viard and Sofia Coppola on fashion

Virginie Viard and Sofia Coppola on fashion, Chanel and the 19M

CHANEL’s latest “Métiers d’art” collection was launched at 19M, the new creation and transmission center in

the northeast of Paris, dedicated to luxury craftsmanship. Interview with its artistic director, Virginie

Viard and her friend and collaborator, Sofia Coppola. 

Vogue. Do you remember your first meeting? Virginie Viard. Sofia was an intern at the Chanel design studio

with Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980s. We saw each other several times after that, at all kinds of events and at

Chanel shows. I must say that I always loved his films. We started working together on “Mademoiselle Privé”,

the Chanel exhibition in Tokyo for which she made a video. This project started our friendship and a long

term collaboration with Chanel, including several short films.  Issa Hiphollywood Sofia, what is your earliest memory of Chanel? Do you remember your very first garment? Sofia Coppola. It goes

back to my teenage years in the 1980s, when I was looking at fashion photos, and then my internship, of course.

I wore a Chanel leather jacket with gold buttons. I was so proud of it. I thought it was so chic! My mom was actually

a bit of a hippie artist and it wasn’t really in my culture to wear that kind of clothing.  New Balance China Fake 991 Tweed coat with silver braid, wool jersey capri pants, jewel belt, CHANEL. White gold and diamond bracelets,

JOAILLERIE. Steel and diamond watch, CHANEL HORLOGERIE. Natural skin radiance enhanced with the second-skin finish

of CHANEL’s Les Beiges natural glow complexion.

Craig McDean 

How did the two of you come up with the idea to collaborate? I told Virginie that I was a fan of Chanel classics

and she asked me to design the sets for her shows.VV: I love the way Sofia wears Chanel. Everything fits her like

a glove, because you can tell she loves the house. She loves to change Chanel outfits in the course of a day: wear

an embroidered dress, then an haute couture, then a Métiers d’art dress… The more sophisticated the dress, the

happier Sofia is. She’s really too funny. toxolony Sofia Coppola wears a tweed jacket and skirt, CHANEL, white gold and diamond earrings, metal, glass beads,

rhinestone, resin and leather necklaces, CHANEL JOAILLERIE.

Craig McDean 

Virginie, how would you describe Sofia’s aesthetic universe? How does it resonate with your own? VV. Sofia

loves women, everything she creates says something about femininity. She knows the house very well. I love

the way she looks at Chanel, her vision of the brand. We are both fascinated by Gabrielle Chanel, and we keep

discovering new things about her. For the Métiers d’art 2022 show, for example, I wanted to pay homage to Chanel’s

historic store at 31 rue Cambon in Paris, and Sofia recreated the second floor of this place – Gabrielle Chanel’s

apartment and the haute couture salons – for the show’s decor at the Grand Palais. Then, we worked together

again in 2021 on the haute couture show at the Palais Galliera, for which she made short films with Margaret

Qualley. Leinster Rugby Kit 2019 Jacket and skirt in tulle embroidered with sequins, Mary-Janes shoes in shiny leather, CHANEL. White gold and diamond

earrings, white gold and diamond ring, CHANEL JOAILLERIE. Watch in steel and diamonds, CHANEL HORLOGERIE.

Craig McDean 

Sofia, you come from the world of cinema. What does this collaboration with a fashion house bring to you? It’s similar!

A film also requires working as a team to tell a story and create an atmosphere. Afterwards, I must admit that it

also allows me to break with my routine as a filmmaker and to explore my “fashion” side.

What appeals to you most about Virginie’s Chanel? She knows the history and codes of the house very well. And I love

the way she respects, appropriates and reinterprets this heritage and that of Karl to the taste of the day. Her creations

are just like her, elegant and comfortable, sophisticated and easy to wear, because she doesn’t just design them:

she wears them herself.

Cotton and alpaca sweater dress, wool jersey capri pants, leather and metal belt, sequined tweed ballerinas, CHANEL.

Gold and diamond earrings, gold bracelets, white gold and diamond bracelet, CHANEL JOAILLERIE. Gold and leather watch,

CHANEL HORLOGERIE.

Craig McDean 

The 19M, located in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, hosts exhibitions and art manufactures in residence and partners

with Chanel. Virginie, why did you embark on this project? Why bring your artisans together under one roof? VV. This

place is so inspiring. The 19M building was built around a wooded garden, and its facade is made of a weaving of

concrete threads imagined by Mucem architect Rudy Ricciotti. I love the contrast between the modern architecture

of the place and all the old tools it contains. I’ve been back there several times since it opened in January. Eleven

of Chanel’s partner art houses are now housed here. They include the embroiderers Lesage and Montex, the goldsmith

Goossens, the hatmaker Maison Michel, the feather worker Lemarié, the fold maker Lognon, the boot maker Massaro…

We have brought them together in the same place so that they can work in optimal conditions and maintain a fruitful

dialogue with our workshops.

The building designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti.

Craig McDean 

One of the studios.

Craig McDean 

What is the connection between the 19M and Chanel’s new “Métiers d’art” collection?VV. The crafts supported by Chanel

are old, but they are alive and well and carried by young talented artisans. The challenge of this collection was

to celebrate these skills with a contemporary approach. The silhouettes in the collection are therefore both sophisticated

and cosmopolitan. In particular, I asked the artisans to develop embroideries that echo the architecture of the 19M

and the light that seeps through the facade throughout the day. Montex created very graphic embroideries with silver

sequins, and Lesage made the pockets of a long coat and a small vest in burgundy and bronze tones with a gold thread

ribbon. This type of piece is worn with a chunky gray sweater. I love this kind of contrast. We also find in the collection

a top embroidered with small camellias inspired by a work of art present in the workshops Lemarié.

Wool and silk jacket and skirt, jewel belt, shiny leather babies with beads, CHANEL. Metal, glass and rhinestone

earrings, gold bracelets, white gold and diamond bracelets, CHANEL JOAILLERIE. Gold and leather watch, CHANEL

HORLOGERIE.

Craig McDean 

How would you describe the atmosphere at 19M? It’s a very lively, dynamic place. Different people come in

every day to work or to see the jobs in residence. You really feel like you’re on a campus or in college.

In fact, a large gallery houses our exhibitions. Right now, it’s hosting the 2021/2022 Arts and Crafts exhibit.

A Chanel artisan at work at 19M.

Craig McDean 

Sofia, you too have had the opportunity to visit this place …SC. I have so much respect for the artisans

at 19M. When you see the amount of work that goes into making a camellia or how each feather is hand-sewn…

You can’t help but be impressed. I was delighted to see that the residents and visitors were quite young.

The new generations are interested in luxury crafts. It’s an art form that’s clearly not dying out, and

one of the reasons for that is Chanel: they continue to fan the flames.

Credits: Photographer: Craig McDean Director: Dena Gianni Adaptation: Julie Ackermann 

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