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18th December 2023


It’s been quite the year for Chanel. Of course there have been a whole host of beautiful couture and ready-to-wear shows, adding in cruise collections to add the finishing touch. September 2023 saw the launch of the Gabrielle Chanel Fashion Manifesto exhibition at the V&A South Kensington, displaying the designer’s complete artistic legacy including the history of the emblematic Chanel tweed suit as a starting point. For the luckiest of visitors who have already been, they have seen up-close some of Coco’s original designs, right down to the very first beauty products.

The Marinière Blouse by Chanel Spring/Summer 1916

Original Chanel Tweed Suit Autumn/Winter 1964

And so to Manchester. Chanel has the label’s jewel in the crown in its MÉTIERS D’ART collection. It is a true celebration of Artistic Director Virginie Viard, the ateliers at Rue Cambon, The Maisons D’Art at le19M, and marries artists, brand ambassadors, and cities and cultures that have become part of the Chanel legacy. This year this legendary house chose Manchester as its host. In the brands own words: “Manchester, one of the most effervescent cities of pop culture and an avant-garde one, whose bands, spanning all genres, has changed the history of music.” To be transparent at this point, we are just down the M62 in Liverpool. While there may be a huge amount of football rivalry, there is huge admiration from our musical city to theirs. And on a hugely personal note, watching some of the world’s top fashion names and models striding down a rainy Manchester Northern Quarter street along to the sound of New Order will live long in the memory, with some of the band enjoying a FROW view. And the looks? Of course, the tweed cap took centre stage in this very youthful collection, with a few sporty touches. The sixties-inspired mini dresses and flat Mary-Janes added a touch of Brit style. Touches of red brightened up pastel shades, and a beautiful vanilla tweed suit mirrored Gabrielle’s original design.

As for eyewear the label chose to show one iconic piece – a rectangular, red pair of sunglasses which also felt very Cool Britannia.

Eagle-eyed viewers will have spotted Liam and Gene Gallagher with their cousin Anais Gallagher in the audience – if the Oasis kids are uniting, could they be sowing the seeds for their dads to make peace in 2024? Here’s hoping!

Now that party season is here, it has been lovely to take inspiration from major A-listers who wear Chanel so well. They never fail to deliver classy and elegant dressed-up glamour, where nothing is overdone.

Penelope Cruz sparkles at Vanity Fair

Lupita Nyong’o looks majestic in tiered Chanel

Blake Lively does daytime Chanel tweed to perfection

2023 has been quite the year for Chanel Eyewear, too, and at Blankstone the final Chanel Festive Drop is now in the practice.

A label which has been with Blankstone since its own launch in 1992, it is one which remains a favourite with favourite clients and new inductees. And I am on that list. I am a huge believer that fashion should be an investment, and nothing holds its value in every sense better than Chanel.

How we started with Chanel – Claudia and Helena never go out of style…

And how we are going. The new-in Chanel 3458 – a beautiful, square, acetate frame with delicate chain detailing and double C logo.

The Chanel 5509 sunglasses in black or havana – wear the rectangular frame now. Just add a chunkier chain feature and signature logo.

Mark and everyone at the practice would like to wish all of you a very Happy Christmas, as well as thanking you for being a part of the Blankstone family in 2023. On a personal note, I would like to thank them for allowing me to report on fashion and eyewear during the year, too. It’s always wonderful to catch up with all of the catwalk coverage and to see how the very best designers incorporate the eyewear into their overall vision – if you pardon the pun! As we have already spied the S/S shows for next year, it’s going to be a colourful, bold and quietly luxurious season.

Have a very Chanel Christmas, and here’s to a chic 2024.

The Blankstone Chanel range can be found here:

This month’s Blankstone style blog is brought to you by our very own fashion reporter, Nancy-Buckland Kirk.


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The V&A Exhibition is still running in 2024 for more info visit:

Images courtesy of Vogue Runway/Chanel/Hannah Strafford Taylor/Anais Gallagher/Jam Stoker