Mademoiselle Privé…

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An exhibition well worth going to at the minute is the Mademoiselle Privé exhibition on the life of Coco Chanel at the Saatchi Gallery – and if you don’t believe me, believe the queues of people waiting to be let in. After waiting about thirty minutes amongst hoardes of fashionable people, we eventually passed the threshold of the gallery. Known for its quirky exhibitions making excellent use of modern technology, the Saatchi Gallery made the exhibition a piece of art in itself due to its amazing presentation throughout. It featured a variety of amazing rooms, from a model of Coco’s Parisian apartment to a ‘hat room’ filled with beautiful white hats.


Maybe the most amazing part of the exhibition was the technology. If you download the app – also called “Mademoiselle Privé” – it allows you to unlock a lot of extra features that the exhibition has to offer, and extra information on the things you’re seeing. Kind of like a guided tour, in cyber space. One cool feature was a room where there was a door painted on the wall – but when you used the app’s camera to look at it, the door opened and there was an image of Coco at her sewing machine behind it!


In the exhibition, there was a great focus on diamonds. A whole room was dedicated to them – which had its own queue! This showcased designs, both clothing and jewellery, designed by Karl himself. And the walls were adorned with pictures of famous faces wearing Karl’s creations…

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The pieces in the exhibition were an eclectic mix of the traditional – Chanel’s classic midi skirts, and tones of lace and velvet – and the new, with a focus on power dressing and the current trend of the trouser suit, as seen on Rita Ora (above).

Another, sweetly smelling room was dedicated to the production of the famous Chanel No. 5 perfume: with giant tubs detailing some of the ingredients included in it, including ‘sandalwood’ (en français, bois de santal), as seen below.


One of the final rooms was a beautiful, neat French garden, with its fresh-scented real box hedges creating double C pathways across the wall – symbolic of the Chanel brand.


In the haute couture space, we see a variety of beautiful dresses brought to life, hung on poles of light, to showcase the delicate embroidery that goes into each piece. Prominent influences were black and gold – here are some of my favourites…

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The exhibition ended with a film screening between “Coco” and real-life Karl – arguing about how he’d twisted the Chanel brand and made it into something she disliked – something Karl himself has been quoted as saying before. It made for a playful and intriguing end to an unmissable exhibition.


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