You Should Be Watching: Fashion, Craftsmanship and Luxury

In addition to the much-anticipated arrival of the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition this spring, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is also displaying an exhibition called What is Luxury?, in collaboration with the Crafts Council from April 25-September 27, 2015. The exhibition seeks to ‘interrogate how luxury is made and understood’ by displaying exceptional objects and exploring current attitudes towards, as well as the future of, luxury.

The Business of Fashion recently uploaded three videos to accompany their feature ‘How can traditional craftsmanship survive in the modern world?’, one of ‘7 Issues Facing Fashion Now’ named in a special print edition of the online publication. Paraffection, a subsidiary of Chanel, has acquired eleven traditional French maisons de métier since 1985, including embroiderers, milliners, shoemakers, pleaters and jewellers. An effort to preserve the knowledge and expert craftsmanship required to assemble an haute couture collection, Chanel however has no intention of monopolizing its acquisitions and hopes to see each company rebuild itself as a sustainable, independent business. Do you think there is a profitable future for traditional luxury craftsmanship in the fashion industry outside of haute couture, or has the fast-fashion model forever changed how people value fashion?

1. Inside Lognon, Pleater est. 1945

2. Inside Massaro, Shoemaker est. 1894

3. Inside Lesage, Embroiderer est. 1924

Further reading from The Business of Fashion:

Chanel, the Saviour of Savoir-Faire

Can Neuroscience Unlock the Luxury Mind?

And finally, a few extra videos of behind-the-scenes luxury craftsmanship that I could not resist including:

The Making of a Dior Couture Dress (Refinery 29 – featuring Lognon Pleaters)

Making of the Chanel Spring/Summer 2015 Haute Couture Collection (Chanel)

Hermès Bonstreet (British Vogue)

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