Celebrating Moynat at Chantilly Arts & Elegance at The Chantilly Estate, France
As a guest of Moynat I was invited to attend The Chantilly Arts & Elegance. A Councours d’Elegance Automobile with a collection of the ‘Art de Vivre à la Française’, Beaux Arts de la table, Art de Vivre, Fashion, and jewellery in partnership with some of the worlds most prestigious fashion houses. All the ingredients to create a unique rendezvous in an exceptional setting, a leisurely drive from the French capital (or in my case a 7am flight from London).
As I was collected before sunrise I arrived by mid-morning where over 10,000 guests and visitors had arrived for the Sunday concours. With categories ranging from ‘The untouched open cars from the inter war period’ to ‘The famous ladies cars’ vehicles owned by Brigitte Bardot, Ursula Andress, Raquel Welch and Madonna, ‘Open grand touring cars’, ‘Formula One cars from 1966 – 1972’ and tribute classes for Citroëon and Mercedes-Benz to name just a handful.
“I hope it’ll be the most admired car in the Concours, as I loved it very much,” Said Brigitte Bardot when she heard that her 1962 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Convertible II was entered this year.
Above, the view from the Moynat Pavillion
I arrived during the ‘Councours d’Elegance’ Manufacturers & Fashion Houses class. The steps were filling up as an age old tradition from the 20’s was celebrated. The Concours d’Elegance was the event at which coach builders showed their latest marvels enhanced by beautiful women wearing their latest collections from fashion houses. This year, seven concepts cars were presented, and 2 given their world premier.
Chantilly is not just an event devoted to motorcar obsessives (to which I thank them), celebrating the “Art de Vivre” for the whole family (and very patient girlfriends) on the Sunday is part and parcel of the day, and what a magical day it was. The Château houses some of the most important historic paintings after the Louvre, you could join in and play with the radio controlled boats, or take a boat ride on the lake. Take a flight in the hot air balloon or play with some forty old games laid out across the historic lawns.
I arrived in time for the Moynat Garden Party, a highlight of the Sunday programme. Presenting a collection of new and collected pieces, Moynat have a long standing history with the automotive industry.
Moynat was founded in 1849 during the great era of rail travel and the creation of the French railway network. The house received their first patent for a waterproof canvas in 1854, ensuring their trunks were completely water tight. During the 1900’s their first Limousine Trunk was created with a concave bottom that closely followed the rounded hood of a car, an iconic detail remaining in their current collections.
Above, The Pauline 24hr Bag, named after Pauline Moynat
The Limousine Travel Bag, a development of the original Limousine Trunk, for the modern day with a new train luggage tag, a development from the Pharrell Williams collaboration last year.
From the Ruban Collection, the Holdall Clutch & Limousine Briefcase above
With my Sac Mignon
A collection of Moynat Trunks
Above, Rejane from the Ruban Collection
A masterpiece, A Picnic Pavillion, complete with La Cornue gas stove
Some leatherwork that caught my eye during the day, above an Avions Voisin – C27 Grand Sport Cabriolet 1934 and below our friend Nicholas’s Porsche 911 2.0 from 1966.
The car clubs present at Chantilly, are the ambassadors to the heritage of the automobile, and our friends from Les Grands Ducs were in attendance.
Securing their own paddock with 20+ classic cars that I have come to know over this past year, we sandwiched ourselves in the middle for a wonderful lunch amongst friends. My Moynat clutch was duly passed around the ladies before I sent them straight to the Moynat Pavillion to discover their own…!
The Moynat Pavillion
The Winners are presented with their trophies, just as the rain managed to stay away…
A wonderful day, and a wonderful afternoon drive back to Paris in my favourite classic car, Jaguar XK120.
Photography by LWSY, Lucile Pillet & Moynat.