Thank you so much for last night, Karl!!! Just kidding, I didn’t quite make it to the opening party of Mademoiselle Prive yesterday evening. Yet still thank you, Karl, for an incredible experience, even without being in your actual presence.
Going on the opening day of an exhibit is what I have found to be the most exciting thing to do. This is because the people who are attending opening are those who really care about the exhibit, who can’t wait for it, and who are willing to stand in line in the London cold. Best of all people dressed up, which made waiting in a queue much more interesting. I felt in the mood of Chanel right when I stepped in the Saatchi Gallery gates, with set up gardens and sounds, to make you feel that you are walking up to 31 Rue Cambon, Gabrielle Chanel’s most iconic locations.
The exhibit in whole was a dream. There were rooms the looked like they were sketched from Mademoiselle Prive’s memory. One of the best features was having the voice over as you walked through the exhibit. We all stand and stare at the writing on the walls at galleries, but rarely are we fully able to obtain it as we are looking at the actual art. Having Mademoiselle Prive tell you that she, “wanted to cover women in constellations”, as you walk into an observatory with a giant diamond necklace, make the experience magical.
Moving through the exhibit was to start, on the ground floor, in Prive’s mind and life, then to move through drapery of fabrics into the art of Chanel and the groundwork of couture that will never change for the band. Then up the stairs and into Karl Lagerfeld’s world, and the world of modern Chanel. This transition related to my absolute favorite part of the exhibition; the short film, by Lagerfeld, where Prive comes back from the dead to see her studio transformed by Lagerfeld and meets the man of the new Chanel himself. Now this was not a heartwarming embrace of each other, rather, it was a witty and stark confrontation between the two. Trying to bash and one up each other was cleaver, entertaining and informative. It is also great to see a legend, such as Lagerfeld, poke fun at himself, having Prive say that his studio was like, “Walking into a bank or a fridge.”
Mademoiselle Prive by Chanel is beyond interactive, with voice overs, workshops, and even an app you can download to 'enhance your experience' as you walk through the gallery. What is truly admirable about the whole experience though is that in remains artistic and authentic. Never do you feel that Chanel is selling out for hashtags and photos. While everything in the gallery can be photographed, and I took advantage of that, it was made to be appreciated there in the moment. I felt that I was looking at art much before I felt that I was looking at a Chanel product, and for that I have nothing but praise for this exhibit.