Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel’s apartment is as much of an icon today as Gabrielle Chanel herself. Much has been said, imagined and written about this glamorous space that only a select few have had the honour to experience.
Her first art exhibition in 5 years, Sam Taylor Johnson provides us with a peak into Gabrielle Chanel’s private world. The exhibition consists of 34 very intimate photographs of the apartment, captured in Parisian light, as described by Johnson; dark yet inviting.
The photographs taken by Johnson have been printed on handmade paper by Gerhard Steidl and hung on black frames, staying true to the classic black and white associated with Chanel. Printing on handmade paper gives each photograph a beautiful watercolour effect and I loved the bold black frames!
Gabrielle Chanel had several numbers, patterns, colours and animals that to her, symbolised success, prosperity and good luck and are still referred to and embedded in each and every Chanel collection to this day. Her apartment is an explosion of these elaborate symbols and the understated style the House of Chanel is known for.
Deeply into astrology (and astronomy), Gabrielle Chanel (a Leo) considered the lion as the spirit of Chanel. You will find this emblem featuring in several jewellery and fashion collections even today.
Their bodies are made by the assembling two human skull casts as Gómezbarros attempts to summon death in life
Interestingly, Gabrielle Chanel didn’t actually live in this apartment on 31 Rue Cambon – her life was spent across the street at the Ritz Hotel (where there is now a Coco Chanel Suite). Her apartment was her work space, where she drew her inspiration and where she entertained guests.
The Chanel Second Floor exbition is on at The Saatchi Gallery from 12th-22nd September and the closest tube station is Sloane Square. If you plan on visiting the gallery on a Saturday, don’t forget to head to the Duke of York Square Market held right outside that I wrote about here.
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