This autumn in London, Karl Lagerfeld and CHANEL will present an enchanted journey through the House’s creativity. Held at the Saatchi Gallery, the “Mademoiselle Privé” exhibition will highlight the Haute Couture, the re-editions of the High Jewellery “Bijoux de Diamants” collection created in 1932 and CHANEL No5. Opening the doors to reveal a dazzling experience and immersion into the origins of CHANEL’s creations, “Mademoiselle Privé” will capture the charismatic personality and irreverent spirit of Mademoiselle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld.
“Mademoiselle Privé” will begin outside the gallery with a contemporary English garden, imagined by British landscape designers Harry and David Rich. Using autumnal gold, burnt oak and silver granite in the composition, the garden is an homage to Gabrielle Chanel’s life. Visitors will walk through three parts of the garden: ‘Liberty’ evoking her desire for freedom; ‘Boy Capel’ the love of her life; and ‘Leo’ her astrological star sign and a symbol of her strength.
The garden leads into the gallery where visitors enter the very heart of CHANEL, with a space reminiscent of Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment, lined with Coromandel screens. Curated in the style of an incredible journey, “Mademoiselle Privé” will twist and turn throughout and offers elements of surprise. The first of the five rooms on the gallery’s ground floor sweeps through Gabrielle Chanel’s most symbolic places, such as 31 rue Cambon and the Place Vendôme in Paris, her first boutique in Deauville and the trips to Venice, England and Scotland that influenced her eye. The next room celebrates Gabrielle Chanel’s favourite gem, the diamond, dazzling with a brilliant, stark whiteness and the power of the precious gemstone. The adventure continues with totems which evoke the CHANEL codes, symbols and icons created by Gabrielle Chanel and continued by Karl Lagerfeld. Visitors are then immersed in a sensory experience around the inimitable craftsmanship of Haute Couture. In the fifth room, the N°5 laboratory experiments with the alchemy of the revolutionary and mysterious composition of CHANEL N°5, the first fragrance to ever wear the name of a fashion designer.
On the first floor, “Mademoiselle Privé” combines the magic and allure of the complete re-editions of the original 1932 “Bijoux de Diamants” High Jewellery collection with the savoir-faire of CHANEL Haute Couture pieces designed by Karl Lagerfeld especially for this exhibition. Gabrielle Chanel’s one and only High Jewellery collection was first due to be exhibited in London in December 1932, but was stopped by the stringent British Custom’s regulations. Eighty-three years later the collection will finally be unveiled at
Saatchi Gallery in London. Eternally contemporary in style, the diamond pieces capture Gabrielle Chanel’s elegance and audacity. Karl Lagerfeld’s unique Haute Couture pieces work in perfect tandem with the diamond collection. They create the ideal fashion partnership: two avant-gardists that never met yet have designed CHANEL with the same vision and irreverence. The portrait gallery of seventeen actresses, models and friends of the house, from Julianne Moore to Lily-Rose Depp, further enhances the relationship between the two designers. Photographed by the Karl Lagerfeld in Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment, each woman wears Haute Couture and jewels from the “Bijoux de Diamants” collection.
The “Mademoiselle Privé” exhibition ends with a ‘Jardin à la Française’. The 18th century garden is inspired by the interlocking C’s that Mademoiselle first saw in the stained-glass windows at Aubazine, the orphanage where she lived as a child. The intertwined C motif has now become an integral part of the iconography of the House. This garden combines the symbols of Mademoiselle’s childhood, the enigma and the mystery of her years at the orphanage, with Karl Lagerfeld’s knowledge and passion for the French 18th century garden.
The second floor of the gallery reveals exclusive workshops highlighting the craftsmanship and savoir-faire of the House, providing an educational programme for visitors of all ages.
The inaugural “Mademoiselle Privé” exhibition at Saatchi Gallery will be an enticing adventure and will bring to mind the House’s essential elements: audacity, freedom and innovation, whether it is the history of Gabrielle Chanel’s inspirations or Karl Lagerfeld’s inimitable take on CHANEL’s codes, symbols and icons.
Duke Of York’s HQ
London SW3 4RY
October 13th – November 1st, 2015
Opening hours: from 10AM to 6PM, 7 days a week (Wednesday until 10PM)
The ‘Mademoiselle Privé’ exhibition captures the charismatic creativeness and daring innovativeness of Mademoiselle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld. An extraordinary journey, Mademoiselle Privé will run along three floors and offers a complete immersion into the creative origins of CHANEL. The first floor, defining the core of ‘Mademoiselle Privé,’ will highlight the versatility and savoir-faire of CHANEL’s Haute Couture, the re-editions of the ‘Bijoux de Diamants’ High Jewellery collection created by Mademoiselle Chanel in 1932 and the portrait gallery of actresses, models and friends of the house ranging from Julianne Moore to Lily-Rose Depp, photographed by Karl Lagerfeld in the apartment of Gabrielle Chanel.
One room via an installation of twelve Haute Couture dresses illustrates the timeless and inimitable approach of Karl Lagerfeld and the house of CHANEL’s ateliers flou. Layers of flawless technique are apparent such as embroidery from the House of Lesage or feather work from the House of Lemarié yet there remains an astounding lightness. Each style is an accomplishment since it emphasises the contrast between the delicate fragility of the fabrics used and the invisible strength of savoir-faire. A chiffon and organza floor-length gold embroidered evening gown from the Spring-Summer 1996 Haute Couture collection took Lesage 1200 hours to achieve. Yet, due to the deft-handed expertise, the geometric floral embellishment has a contemporary airiness. Transparency is notoriously difficult to perfect yet two dresses exemplify Haute Couture’s subtle masterfulness. An evening gown in silk tulle from the Fall-Winter 2013/14 Haute Couture collection is covered with Lesage’s embroidered patches but brings to mind fluid and sylph-like. While a long lace dress from the Spring-Summer 2013 Haute Couture collection haunts by its hand-lacquered technique that implies strategically placed shadowing. A short organza cocktail dress from the Spring-Summer 2007 Haute Couture collection manages to be vertically and horizontally entwined by Lemarié with satin ribbon and strands of rolled-edge organza as well as particular ostrich feather work. It both enchants and impresses with its dense detail that required 890 hours. A layered evening gown in navy chiffon from the Fall-Winter 2011/12 Haute Couture collection defines weightless in spite of an underdress of pleated chiffon by Lognon and feather work by Lemarié.
The other room showcasing the sixteen different outfits created in 2015 especially by Karl Lagerfeld and worn by the likes of Kristen Stewart, Julianne Moore, Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose Depp, Geraldine Chaplin, Lily Collins, Isabelle Huppert and Stella Tennant prove that the house of CHANEL suits every type of style and personality. When designing each look, Karl Lagerfeld was inspired by the person’s character as well as their choice of jewellery from the ‘Bijoux de Diamants’ collection. Both varied and enticing, it ranged from Vanessa Paradis wearing a CHANEL Fine Jewellery yellow diamond ‘Soleil’ brooch with her CHANEL Haute Couture beige-gold satin pyjamas to Kristen Stewart sporting a CHANEL Haute Couture black velvet pants suit holding her the CHANEL Fine Jewellery diamond cigarette case to Julianne Moore teaming the CHANEL Fine Jewellery ‘Comète’ diamond necklace with a CHANEL Haute Couture long-sleeved green velvet gown to Lily-Rose Depp topping off her
CHANEL Haute Couture black satin and velvet bustier dress with a the CHANEL Fine Jewellery ‘Comète’ diamond headpiece to Geraldine Chaplin attired in a CHANEL Haute Couture long black evening dress with the CHANEL Fine Jewellery ‘Franges’ necklace, bracelet and combs to Stella Tennant donning a CHANEL Haute Couture burgundy velvet dress with the CHANEL Fine Jewellery ‘Constellation’ necklace and ‘Comète’ star brooch.