Linton’s H1804, a wool and mohair blend in ecru white, was Coco Chanel’s favourite tweed, as I was reading in the December issue of Vanity Fair On Couture. In the 1920s she was introduced to William Linton, who in 1912 had started Linton Mill in the Caldewgate area of Carlisle, Cumbria, close to the Scottish border. Linton provided the tweed Chanel used in her debut couture collection in 1928 and the fabric has been present in every Chanel collection since.
Three days ago Karl Lagerfeld presented his “Paris-Édimbourg” collection, the annual Métiers d’Art show designed to honour the Chanel ateliers, at Linlithgow Palace, Scotland. It celebrated tweed and knitwear. And what a celebration it was! Acknowledging the brand’s history but treating it with a dose of Karl’s specific “whimsical irreverence”.
Iconic Scottish styles, Chanel haute craftsmanship and the tragic-romantic life of Mary Queen of Scots, who was born at Linlithgow, were the base for the unforgettable “Paris-Edinburgh” collection and show. The historical venue was the perfect meeting point for the casual tweeds, tartans, argyle knits, plaid knickers and Fair Isle cardigans playing off against extraordinary period accents, like ruffled necklines, ballooning sleeves, feathered hats, Elizabethan hair styles and costume jewellery … and that grand finale of ivory gowns that left me speechless, for they embodied so breathtakingly the perfect symbiosis between Chanel and Scotland, which continue to make history together.
Have a great weekend!