Chanel made it again. Following “Little Black Jacket” (2012) and “N°5. Culture Chanel” (2013), the house of Chanel invites us to another journey to the core of the house: Mademoiselle Privé, the exhibition which started on 13th October at Saatchi Gallery in London’s Chelsea area. This time the house focused on three patrimonial elements among others such as high jewelry, haute couture and its iconic fragrance N°5. Why in London? In fact “Les Bijoux de Diamants”, the only one high jewelry collection of diamonds, created by Coco Chanel herself in 1932, was due to be unveiled in London at the time. Yet complicated custom regulation obliged her, even the extremely determined woman, to give up this idea and the presentation was held in Paris instead. Besides, thinking over her personal side, her love of life Boy Capel was a British gentleman. Another forgettable figure among her numerous romances was Duc of Windsor whose “British” men’s wear influence such as tweed, jersey, etc., became key elements for Coco Chanel’s fashion design.
This homage to British inspiration is hinted around the path leading us from the gate to the gallery entrance: A spread of golden leaves animated by birds’ song is the “English garden” designed by landscape designer Harry & David Rich. At the entrance this British mood is blown away and a black and gold Chinese “Coromandel” screen appears in a dim light. Then a change of decoration: Coco Chanel’s super minimalist color palette “black and white”, which was quite particular at her time, brings us to a real journey from one place and time to another. Now we go through emblematic places of Coco Chanel, represented by trompe-loeil drawing walls. What a playful start! Now we are already deep into Chanel’s DNA with much excitement. Following this, a Gulliver version of “Les Bijoux de Diamands” catches us: A giant imitation of diamond comet necklace in a giant bird cage. Before Marilyn Monroe sings that “Diamonds are girl’s best friend”, Coco Chanel described this ultimate stone in a more pragmatic and smart way: “the greatest value in the smallest volume". Yet Lagerfeld wittily reversed the quote of Coco Chanel. Now we know that the show is full of metaphor and Lagerfeld enjoys a dialogue with the ghost of Coco Chanel.
Mademoiselle Privé’s first session at London’s Saatch Gallery will fall curtain on the 1st November. Yet they say that it will pull curtain in another city in the near future. Specially designed mobile app is worth downloading before visiting the exhibition.