How to Make a Chanel Jacket.

20 Dec

Back in September, I was exceptionally lucky to get the insider scoop from CHANEL on how their highly covetable and instantly recognisable tweed number is made. I once watched a documentary on the history channel, a subtitled French film based in the Paris atelier showing the creation of one of Karl’s genius collections from sketch to show. It also showed the remote farm on which an old woman creates the braiding for each and every jacket. Since then I’ve seen Lagerfeld Confidential and spied the man in person once or twice, but that Parisian atelier of women spending their days stitching by hand and machine has really stuck with me. And now, we reveal how that iconic tweed jacket is created in that sacred sewing zone. So this is a total treat. CHANELLO!     

First of all Karl’s drawings are brought into the sewing room. He has added notes to highlight the key features of the jacket. Then each panel of the jacket is cut in muslin pieces.     


Once the pieces are an absolutely perfect replica of Karl’s sketches, they are pinned onto a mannequin. The silhouette and the proportion of jacket suggested in Karl’s drawing is given the utmost importance. Ribbons are placed to mark the lines of cut.     


The muslin pieces are then penned over the fabric selected by Karl for the collection, and the seamstresses draw around the outline in chalk.     


The back, the small side and finally the sleeves are assembled.     




The workroom Premiere is called to check everything is perfect, before the label is sewn into the lining and the braids are added to the edges. The buttons are chosen by Karl, with a chain to match. Finally Karl attends a fitting in the studio, et voila: the jacket is ready for the catwalk!     


This has been the Chanel way since the beginning. So how did they turn out? Well take a look, why don’t you?     


Romy Schneider at Orly airport, 1962


Marie-Helène Arnaud - Vogue © Condenast, 1958


Marie Helène Arnaud, 1959



Stella Tennant, 1996


3 Responses to “How to Make a Chanel Jacket.”

  1. carrie September 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    wow that is so inspiring..what a scoop, thank you for this inside info on a fantastic designer… on my wish list, may have to wait an entire life time though…

  2. The Legologist September 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    LOVING this post. I’ve never forgotten the docu on the woman on the farm who makes the braid, it was Chanello mad. More how to posts like this please!

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