IMAGE: ELEN WINATA FOR CHANEL
As we continue to celebrate Metiers d’Art, part 2 of this ongoing series in honouring the 9 ateliers continues with these 3 that make finished pieces most of us are more familiar with, pieces that we can slip into – gloves, hats and shoes. Each a dedicated atelier that creates exclusive pieces for Chanel as well as for their own clientele, you’re looking at over 300 years of fine craftsmanship between Causse, Maison Michel and Massaro.
Founded in 1892, Causse still produces over 25,000 pairs of gloves annually for all of Chanel’s shows, including Haute Couture and RTW collections. With over 40 employees, this speciality atelier continues to produce chic and cutting-edge gloves that are the perfect accompaniment to elevate the everyday outfit. Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s President of Fashion, was quoted back in 2012 when Causse joined the Paraffection (which happens to be the holding company the 9 ateliers fall under), ‘Maison Causse has rare traditional experience that we wanted to preserve. Through this acquisition, we are sustaining excellence in glove-making in France.’
A famed milliner founded in 1963, Maison Michel crafts almost everything your head would ever need, and that includes berets, bonnets, cloches, toques, turbans and even more recently, caps with cat ears. Over the years, Maison Michel has grown to be a fashion favourite and has a number of other signatures, including hats made out of stitched straw (first introduced by Maison Michel) that was all the rage in 1975. A time-consuming process that requires many hours by hand from working with the raw materials, shaping them and reshaping them before it’s finally set, they have their own stand-alone boutique near Chanel’s own rue Cambon flagship selling their iconic styles.
Another historied house founded in 1894, Massaro creates shoes that are in tune with the spirit of times blended with timeless shoe silhouettes. In its very small workshop, the craftsmen continue to make shoes by hand for both selected Haute Couture styles for Chanel, and their own customers who have their exact feet measurements crafted in wood which are kept for posterity. Continuing with its masterful creations till this day, Massaro has a made-to-measure service for both men and women that allows one to customise footwear (almost anything can be created so long as the heart desires) that will fit perfectly.
Image: Elen Winata for Chanel