If there’s one thing you do this month, it has got to be to visit Madamoiselle Privé at the Saatchi gallery. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what to expect from the day, but since Chanel is a stunning luxury brand I decided to experience the “enchanted journey” that they had promised; showcasing the history of Chanel. In order to do this Chanel has procured three floors of the Saatchi gallery to bring to members of the public – Madamoiselle Privé.
As expected there was a queue to get into the gallery. and once you pass through the initial gateway the beauty already begins. Winners of the Chelsea flower show were commissioned to create a beautiful oasis of tranquility comprising of three parts as an homage to Gabrielle Chanel’s life. You can probably already see before even entering the exhibition that 3 is a special number and numerology was of great importance to Chanel. The garden reflects three themes; ‘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.
As you walk into the gallery the first few rooms give us glimpses of Chanel’s early years. The places she visited and was influenced by and even a breathtaking display of her favourite gem – the diamond. We get to see Chanel’s codes and symbols brought to life by grand totems all laid out across the ground floor. Literally all the rooms and pieces are so simple yet so detailed.
The entire exhibition was exciting in every sense, literally, all your senses are tantalised throughout the exhibition and the next room we were led into reinforced just that. A clinical white laboratory that invades your olfactory senses in the best way possible. As you walk in, huge vats that almost resemble compact mirrors flash words associated with Chanel whilst they let out smoke and fill the room with the unmistakable fragrance of No 5.
I loved being able to see Chanel’s pieces be it jewellery or clothing up close. The installations of diamond jewellery were heavily guarded by men in black but what was even better was that they didn’t stick them behind glass cabinets. It was all there to be seen and admired in all it’s glory, however if you do get too close, high tech invisible lasers do go off, so be sure not to get tooo close.
You can even book yourself into a workshop where you can learn to embroider by hand courtesy of Chanel’s good friends Lesage and Lemarié.
I absolutely loved seeing Karl Lagerfeld go head to head with Gabrielle Chanel. I think if you know a little bit about Chanel and where the brand comes from, it’s a lot easier to have an udnerstanding of the exhibition. With it being 3 floors, (well 2 really) visitors can forget that it’s infact a series of isntallation for a gallery and is not a museum. That being said I would absolutely love a Chanel museum with an actual tour guide who could explain the meaning behind the codes, numerology, etc. Chanel clearly have put a lot of thought and effort into the installations and it’s great to see that Mr Lagerfeld does actually have a sense of humour.
Admission to the exhibition is free and all visitors are gifted with a tote bag and poster from the exhibition. All in all this would be the first time I’ve ever been to such an innovative immersive experience at an art gallery. A definite must-see.