Quilted leather, logos, the little black dress, camellias, and tweed suits, plus the first fragrance to use synthetic ingredients (Chanel No.5) – all of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s signatures are part of our fashion vocabulary today. But at the time, they caused waves when Coco launched them in the era of couturier Paul Poiret’s maximalist dramatic designs. And now, a new fashion exhibit at the newly renovated Palais Galliera – Musee de la Mode in Paris will feature the work of the fearless iconic designer from October 1 to March 14, 2021. “Gabrielle Chanel. A Fashion Manifesto” will highlight more than 350 pieces from Chanel’s archives, the museum’s own collection and loans from private collectors and museums around the globe.
Our Fleurs hearts love Coco’s personal favourite flower – the simple white camellia which she first pinned to a dress in 1923. It blooms in winter making it a season ahead of most other flowers – apropos for a design leader. Since the 20s, Chanel reimagined the camellia in satin, denim, tweed, and feathers as an accessory or fabric print. We love it most today as a tribute toCoco, rendered in diamonds and onyx dotted around the petals to shimmer like dew.
“A Fashion Manifesto” will chart Chanel’s style revolution by devoting space to her ground-breaking ideas. Chanel launched her career making hats. But it was her relaxed radical style that took off with the design of a simple jersey sailor blouse in 1916. The exhibit presents her work from the 1910s up to her passing in 1971 at the age of 87, well before Karl Lagerfeld took the creative reigns in 1983 and launched her signatures into the stratosphere.
Once the exhibit wraps, a new permanent space devoted to Chanel, and called “Gabrielle Chanel Rooms” will continue to stay open to the public year round and showcase the history of fashion from the 18th century to present day.
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