At the close of WWII, the classic Chanel suit was born. More often than not it was meticulously constructed of hand-woven bespoke tweeds and featured high-quality couture details such as chain hand-stitched into the hem to add weight and ensure that it hung properly. The suits were and still are totally made by hand with construction techniques that utterly fascinate me. While that in itself has been the inspiration for countless books by professionals such as Claire Schaeffer, today I want to focus on the lovely tweed fabrics that the House of Chanel is recognized for.
Tweed in general refers to a fabric that is woven, often of a loose mixture of woolen, silk, or other components, or can be tightly woven. The very recognizable textures at Chanel may be woven from wool and other natural fibers interlaced with tulle, sequins, or even strips of ripped denim fabric creating fascinating texture interest. The making of a Lesage tweed:
Lesage, a Parisian subsidiary of Chanel, is most often responsible for their lovely tweeds and enbroideries. Still owned and operated by Francois Lesage, their renowned artisans continue to fascinate the fashion industry and are sought after not only by Chanel but other top haute couture houses as well.
Why am I so interested in woven tweeds by Chanel when I as a designer who works exclusively with knits?
I have an appreciation for anyone who is a skilled artisan and a true expert at their craft, especially if it has anything to do with fashion. I have always been drawn to textured fabrics, thus my priority in working with interesting textured cotton knits.
I have experimented with going a step further and actually stitching and weaving my knits into lovely embelliments for a special collection of 2020 Tina Eva Renee Couture pieces. Shown above is an example of what I will be doing.
I can hardly wait to share the big "reveal" later in the spring! Stay tuned!