Chanel to me, is symbolic of elegance, simplicity and demure. Upon hearing that the Saatchi Gallery (King’s Road, Chelsea, London) was hosting an exhibition highlighting the journey of the creation of Chanel through the eyes of both Mademoiselle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, I quite literally jumped at the opportunity to view such an exquisite spectacle.
It really is hard to put down in words how incredible the exhibition was, from the visuals, to the sounds and the imminent buzz in the atmosphere, but I shall write for those who did not get an opportunity to visit the exhibition.
Upon entering, visitors were advised to download the Mademoiselle Privé app to their smartphone or android, to gain from the digital experience. This app unlocked more of the exhibition than I had anticipated. The images below will help to display this visually. For example, to the naked eye, in front of me was a door. However, with the use of the app, the door opened and inside was Gabrielle Chanel herself, stitching away.
Each room of the exhibition was dedicated to a specific thing, one being perfumery, thus symbolising the significance of Chanel No.5, another looking at the Haute Couture, embodying the spirit of Chanel as well as a room dedicated to the Jewellery and the outdoors. The Jardin à la francaise, an 18th century garden was presented as an inspiration to the intertwined C motif that Gabrielle Chanel first saw in the stained glass windows at the orphanage, where she lived as a child.
The pieces displayed in the exhibition optimised everything great about Chanel. It is important to remember how modern Chanel herself was for her time. A lady of courage: she broke boundaries; she channelled trousers during a time in which women were draped from head to toe in lace gowns. She very famously quoted “simplicity is the keynote of all elegance” and advocated through her designs that silhouette and structure should be the focus of clothing. Growing up in a convent, a lot of her inspiration came from the clothing of the nuns, picking up on the colour black she so famously designed the LBD (little black dress). In amongst women dressed in white and pink, she did not care of the opinion of others – something that makes her extremely admirable.
Overall, I was overwhelmed and amazed by the exhibition. The admission was free and all visitors were gifted with a poster and a canvas bag. It was both inspiring and educational. I will always be a fan of Gabrielle Chanel; she is the embodiment of class and drive. I also resonate with the fact that her star sign is a Leo, just like me!
Annie Shah x