The pursuit of... Mademoiselle Prive (Chanel Exhibition - Saatchi Gallery London)

Well, hello there! :)

Last week I went to the Saatchi Gallery in London where they are housing the Mademoiselle Prive exhibition.
For those of you who have read other posts on my blog, you will know
how much I J'adore the story of Gabrielle Chanel, so as soon as I heard about this exhibition, I just knew I had to see it.

Spread across all 3 floors of the Saatchi, the exhibition takes us on an adventure into the creations of the house of Chanel and Karl Lagerfield's interpretation of Coco Chanel's legacy.

It is truly amazing.  A real spectacle for all the senses.

First of all though, as you can imagine, the interest in this exhibition was HUGE and the queues to get in zig zagged through the Duke of York's Square. I think I queued in total for 1hr 30 mins (!!) but it was well worth it and actually, strangely enough it didn't feel that long.

The journey starts at 31 Rue Cambon where we walk into a 'mock up' of the landmark Paris boutique (below).
The iconic spiralled mirrored staircase is the focus of this room (although you are not actually allowed on the stairs) and the audio piped into the room is from Geraldine Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin's daughter) who plays Coco Chanel in a mini film created by Karl Lagerfield called "The Return".

The next room we find ourselves on the imaginary inside of one of her boutiques where Chanel started out as a milliner.
Animated black and white sketches of women peering through the windows admiring the beautiful but simple hats that she had created flit across the walls.
This is one of my favourite things about the whole exhibition and the PR leading up to it.  The almost shadow-like puppet imagery and chic animated sketches of Coco Chanel that appeared on Instagram leading up to the opening also featured heavily in the exhibition.
It was very clever and surreal at the same time.

The story of Chanel No.5 room was simply fantastic.  It reminded me a bit of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  As soon as I walked in I was hit with the the very distinctive aroma and signature scent of Chanel No.5 (my absolute FAVOURITE scent in the world...J'adore by Christian Dior a close Number 2!). 
It was truly a sensory overload, with the lights flitting from bright to dark, huge pod like cauldrons on the floor that would open and close like oysters with dry ice pouring from it and a strange xylophone type music plonking away in the background.  It really did feel like one of the mysterious potion rooms of a weird and peculia Willy Wonka factory - I loved it! (below).

A clip of the film created by Karl Lagerfield is played in one of the rooms showing the depiction of Coco Chanel by Geraldine Chaplin. 

The Haute Couture rooms were also a feast for the eyes.
Heavily guarded with a strict enforcement of only 40 people at a time allowed in, due to real diamonds being on display, we were allowed to see up close the exquisite craftsmanship of the Chanel couture dresses.
A very dark room so as to see the diamonds twinkle in all their glory, I wasn't able to get some of the best pictures in here (apologies!).

One of the other great things about this FREE exhibition put on by Chanel were that that they were also offering FREE workshops...Yes I know!
The 3 workshops on offer were: Chanel No5 Olfactive Workshop, Lemarie, Feather and Flower Maker and Lesage Embroiderer.
Now, because of the limited spaces available for each workshop these were extremely hard to get on to.  Every day new spaces were released through the website, so imagine my delight when I managed to secure one for Chanel No.5 :) :) .... and then imagine my despair to receive an email a few days later advising that due to a technical error my workshop space had been cancelled :( :(

To be fair, the Chanel team did send me another follow up email apologising for the error and offered me a fast-track to the front of the queue to visit the exhibition again...however, as much as I loved the experience, it was the workshop I would've really liked to have experienced...never mind!

One of the workshop tables ready for those who had managed to secure a booking!

Karl Lagerfield's take on the magic numbers, codes and symbolisms of Chanel

We even got a free tote bag containing a full size poster of the exhibition!

There was sooo much to see that honestly if you haven't already, I hugely recommend that you pop down to London to see it for yourself.
You will have to be quick though as it ends today (1st November!!).

Don't forget you can follow me on Instagram (ThePursuitOfIvyGeorge) for daily updates of my pursuits and Bloglovin so you do not miss out on any posts :)

Love, Ivy George x

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