French fashion house Chanel gave a rare insight into their brand last month at the Mademoiselle Privé exhibition. Held at the Saatchi Gallery, the exhibition explained the story behind the iconic brand, from where it started with founder Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel to what the brand has become today – a much desired fashion label headed by Karl Lagerfeld.
First to be seen was the staircase from the original Chanel building in Paris. The perfectly angled mirrored walls allowed Coco to see what was happening on all four floors from just one powerful spot. During fittings on the ground floor store the mirrors also allowed garments to be displayed in their entirety as models walk down the stairs.
Fans were then lead to a sketch replica of the first Chanel hat store opened in 1910, where hats were created under the name ‘Chanel Modes’.
Diamond was the next room, which showed why it was Coco’s favourite stone. Described as the ‘Symbol of light, the diamond is the king of stones’, the room displayed a giant 360 view of the constellation necklace – the necklace radiated and lights shone through, representing symbols of liberty.
The totems of Chanel were created by Coco to be staples of the brand and they have continued to be used by Karl Lagerfeld throughout all past and present collections. They are; The black line, the colour red, the camellia, the pearl, the wheat and the lucky numbers.
Fabrics are very important to the Chanel brand, from the iconic tweed to the leather threaded chain, which can be seen across all Chanel collections. They are instantly recognisable and associated directly with the brand making it more identifiable, not just relying on the classic CC logo.
The Haute Couture room displayed the spirit of Chanel. Tradition is aimed to be maintained throughout, as well as very keen attention to detail, ensuring exceptional quality and perfection. Chanel describes it as a thriving laboratory of ideas and creativity, giving no limits, and is the ultimate union between craftsmanship and innovation.
The final room displayed the Bijous De Diamants collection. The jewellery collection is based on the one and only jewellery collection created by Mademoiselle Chanel herself in 1932. The jewellery was paired with haute couture pieces designed by Karl Lagerfeld, exclusive to the exhibition, and portraits of celebrities wearing the pieces. Jewels also tiled the walls.
The exhibition was a must for all Chanel fans. It shared the true essence of the brand and showed how it has become such an important part of the fashion world today.