I’ve mentioned Chanel’s new exhibition Mademoiselle Privé at Saatchi Gallery earlier in my LV Series 3 post as an exhibition not to miss – after visiting, my opinion is definitely the same. It is a unique exhibition, or rather an experience that offers an insight into the classic yet glamorous world of Chanel, created by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, and transformed by Karl Lagerfeld.
The exhibition is similar to LV Series 3, in the sense that they both draw on dim lighting, digital technology and can be considered as “multimedia exhibitions” as they involve different forms of media such as audio, video, texts, animations and more. Also, they both greatly encourage visitor engagement.
In fact Mademoiselle Privé carries the use of digital technology & visitor engagement one step further, as there is an app of the same name specially made for the exhibition, in order to enhance the interaction between the exhibition and the visitors.
When you first enter the exhibition, a mirrored staircase greets you, which is the reconstruction of the original one in Chanel’s apartment, where she used to sit to observe fashion shows taking place downstairs, without being seen. So if you have downloaded the Mademoiselle Privé app and hold your phone to the staircase, you’ll be surprised to see Chanel’s apartment in Rue Cambon!
The first parts of the exhibition focuses more on Coco Chanel and the most important and symbolic places in her life. After the mirrored suitcase, you enter a room full with hats, boxes and amazing illustrations, that symbolizes the first ever shop of Coco Chanel in 21 Rue Cambon, where she used to sell the hats she made. The voice of Geraldine Chaplin (as Chanel) tells that she used to put the hats into cake boxes, and other interesting facts about her earlier experience in the fashion world continues to be heard as you walk around.
An enlarged version of one of the diamond pieces from Coco Chanel’s first and only jewellery collection “Bijoux de Diamants” in 1932 is displayed in a huge bird cage – making it appear even more charming.
One of the most interesting parts of the exhibition to me, is where Chanel’s most important totems such as lucky numbers, pearls and the color red are displayed in different forms and shapes.
Then there’s the futuristic and somewhat laboratory-like room of Chanel’s iconic N°5 perfume.
I really enjoyed the “Jardin à la Française”, the impressive model of a garden that seems like a small labyrinth, and the walls of which are inspired by Chanel’s symbol, opposing C’s.
Moving on to the Haute Couture section of the exhibition, where special pieces of Chanel’s jewellery collection are combined and displayed together with Karl Lagerfeld’s haute couture designs made for this exhibition. The portraits of celebrities such as Keira Knightley and Julian Moore , wearing the designers’ pieces and jewels are on the walls of the room, surrounding the mannequins.
Finally, on the third floor of the exhibition, there are three very interesting workshops which again show the interactive side of the exhibition, and allow the visitors to get a more in depth knowledge about different topics.
Chanel N°5 Olfactive Workshop is, as understood by the name, offers the secrets of this iconic perfume.
Lesage is a famous embroidery atelier that is one of Chanel’s artisan partners. The workshop under the same name gives an insight into craftsmanship, and is for the ones who want to learn more about embroidery from professionals.
Lemarié, the couture flower and feather maker is also a part of Chanel’s artisan team. It’s workshop is for people who want to know more about feathers and the creation of flowers, such as the iconic camellias of Chanel made by Lemarié.
I didn’t have a chance to join the workshops as I haven’t made a booking in advance, but I think that they all seem really interesting and informing, so I’d recommend you to try and join if you’d like to learn more about any of the specific topics.
I really enjoyed my visit to this exhibition, as in my opinion it was a unique experience with many special elements that are able to take you to a different atmosphere. The exhibition ends this Sunday, on the 1st of November, and admission is free.
Here is the link to Chanel’s official website for more detailed information on the exhibition.
I’d love to hear your opinions on the exhibition as well, hope you enjoyed this post!