“Because she was so ahead of her time. In her design, in how she thought, in the way she proposed to give more freedom to women. She could come alive now, and she would not be out of step.”
-Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s head of fashion
The Saatchi Gallery in London introduced Coco’s life and legacy in an exclusive exhibition last autumn. A lot is known about the French designer, but still she is a fashion figure never to be forgotten.
Coco Chanel continues to inspire through her remarkable brand, even after her death. It’s the past that affects the future, and Karl Lagerfeld is indeed familiar with this. Mademoiselle Privé was an exclusive feminine and beyond stylish presentation of Chanel’s life. The fashion house precisely hosted an awe-inspiring exhibition, which was a view of the past but with a sense of the present.
Everyone was filled with excitement about the up coming experience, while queuing along the exclusive custom-made English style gardens in front of the gallery. Once inside, the first thing to be seen was the representation of Coco’s famous Rue Gambon apartment.
Looking at the “apartment,” the shadow projections and the classic dress models, the visitors felt what it was like to be behind the scenes of this famous fashion brand. Whilst walking through the rooms, observing the definitive work by both Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, all visitors were enchanted by the exhibition which was a spectacle of lights and narration. It made you understand and think like Chanel. The creators definitely proved that the brand has no age limit.
The Saatchi Gallery also displayed Chanel’s diamond jewellery collection for the first time. The diamond bijouterie, which had been originally designed in 1932, was displayed together with some of Karl’s Haute Couture models. His inspiration could be seen in his photos in The Rue Gambon apartment. They included portraits of Vanessa Paradis, Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart and Lily Rose Depp, who had been part of Chanel’s summer Haute Couture show. There was also a room where visitors took a close look of some of his glorious red carpet gowns.
Next to it a tiny improvised cinema was screening a short movie representing a meeting between Chanel and Lagerfeld. Visitors enjoyed the five-minute film watching Coco, played by Geraldine Chaplin, waking up in her living room, and lighting her first cigarette in 50 years. The film emphasised on the previous public talk about Lagerfeld’s transformation of the brand. However, it confirmed Chanel’s well-known words: “Fashion changes, but style endures.”
Mademoiselle Privé exhibition showed beyond doubt, that the House of Chanel’s history and its contemporary work developed a crystal clear conception of a classic superior fashion brand.