Friday, 6 November 2015


On a rainy October morning I found myself, umbrella clasped firmly in hand, queuing outside the ornate gates of the Saatchi Gallery, awaiting my turn to finally view the Mademoiselle Privé exhibition.

I'd left it rather late and so, as the exhibition was entering its final weekend I marched myself down there to see what all the fuss was about (never one to miss out on a hype).
I stepped through the incredible columned stone doorway of the Saatchi Gallery and gone was the overcrowded, wet dog-smelling tube and the inevitable irritation it produces. 
In its place were a faint smell of flowers wafting from somewhere near head height and exquisitely dressed French people greeting me at the desk.

After hurriedly downloading the app, of course I hadn't been organised enough to do it before, my Chanel experience began. 
I had of course read many reviews before going, some positive, some overwhelmingly negative but I wanted to make up my own mind on arguably one of the most awaited exhibitions since Alexander McQueen's Savage Beauty.

The Exhibition Unfolds

From discovering that Chanel started out designing hats, to realising that there were genuine meanings behind the symbols used throughout the Chanel collections from day one (the camellia and the colour red just a few examples), I was astounded at what I didn't know about a fashion house that is one of the first to spring to mind when someone yells 'fashun'.

Carrying on upstairs, through Karl Lagerfeld's mazed garden and past the No. 5 scent laboratory, into an aisle of gambling machines (albeit an odd addition), the journey wove through early 20th century France right up to Lagerfeld in his office today.

Chanel is both modern and classic at the same time and that is its beauty and its power.

The photography to end the exhibition, taken by none other than Lagerfeld himself, was beautiful. Simple black and white photographs printed on canvas and blown up to emphasise both the subjects beauty and that of the clothing and jewellery they were wearing.


As we left the exhibition, the queue snaked as far as the eye could see, fashionistas from all over the globe patiently waiting their turn to see inside the mind of one of fashion's geniuses.

With my free poster clutched tightly in my hand, I scrolled back through my photo album. It was of course impossible to capture the raw beauty of what the exhibition entailed but one quote stood out to me, that was revealed in the app:

"It's not fashion if it doesn't reach the streets. Fashion that stays in salons is of no more importance than a fancy dress party."

Judging by the size of the queue on the street outside, that was only growing longer by the second, she achieved her purpose.

Pics iPhone6

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