One rainy Wednesday, this little lady when strolling through the rain to take a little peak into the life and style of the infamous Gabrielle (aka Coco) Chanel.
I was meant to be putting up my dreamy Mykonos summer mini-break post this week but since the Mademoiselle Prive exhibition is finishing up on the 1st of November, I thought I would give you a little teaser to encourage you to go if you’re in London.
Although I’m not exactly a fashionista, what girl (or guy for that matter) can’t appreciate the Chanel brand and the woman behind it who was an undoubted pioneer of her time.
The Mademoiselle Prive exhibition is on at the beautiful Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square (reportedly where the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, use to shop away her afternoons!). You have to wander through the beautiful garden to get into the gallery and be prepared to line up (these stealthy English don’t even mind queuing in the pouring rain!).
Once you get out of the rain and the cold, you are welcomed into a day in Coco’s life. You get to walk through the entrance of her apartment, her dressing room and study where you can learn about her life and her inspiration for her brilliant designs.
Just around the corner, there is a diamond room which holds the largest diamond necklace I have ever seen in my life. This design of this diamond necklace was created by Coco in 1932 and the sparkle of a thousand lights represents a symbol of liberty and light.
If you can tear yourself away from the gorgeous diamonds, you can go through to the totems room where you can find some symbols and icons that have become associated with the Chanel brand such as the black line, the colour red, camellias, pearls and lucky numbers.
And of course, there is a whole room dedicated to the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume which was created by perfumer, Ernest Beaux in 1921, and is made up of an astonishing 80 components.
The perfume room changes colour and bubbles away while the little tanks open up to reveal swirling coloured perfume.
Upstairs you’ll find yourself in Jardin à la Francaise (the French Garden) which is inspired by the brand’s signature interlocking double C motif. Sitting in the garden you feel like you are in France and just need a parasol and a cup of tea to complete the idyllic scene.
And a Chanel exhibition would not be complete without a little Haute Couture. The last two rooms are filled with some of the magnificent dresses and jewels from the Chanel collection.
The gowns are quite simply exquisite and show the amazing craftsmanship and innovation which are associated with the Chanel brand. I really wanted to smuggle a gown home but alas, I don’t really have anywhere grand enough in my social calendar to warrant Chanel Haute Couture!
Across the hall there is also some more amazing diamond jewellery on show and also a beautiful collection of portraits which Karl Lagerfeld shot with some of my favourite actresses (I’m looking at you Julianne Moore!).
There are several workshops that run daily as part of the exhibition. If you fancy yourself as a seamstress, you can get out a needle and thread and do some embroidery fit for a haute couture gown or create a feather and flower masterpiece similar to a Chanel camellia. Or for those of you that don’t trust yourself with a needle, you can go to the perfume workshop which gives you an introduction into the story, key ingredients and complexity behind Chanel No. 5 perfume. If you want to go to attend one of these free workshops then you can download the app and book online, but you will have to be quick because they sell faster than hotcakes!
On my way out of the exhibition I met a lovely Italian lady who had been living in England since she was 9. We were both heading to the gallery’s restaurant and so we decided to sit together and have a laugh over lunch. It was such a beautiful way to end a fabulous day full of haute couture, history and new friendships!