The Saatchi Gallery has hosted several Chanel events in the past, 2012’s Little Black Jacket exhibition to support the launch of the coffee table book was a huge success. This year Karl Lagerfeld and his team were back, giving visitors an in-depth journey through the origins of CHANEL’s creations by capturing the charismatic personality and irreverent spirit of Mademoiselle Chanel. Installed on all three floors of the Gallery, I was guided through highlights of Haute Couture, the re-editions of the High Jewellery “Bijoux de Diamants” collection created in 1932 and, of course, CHANEL N°5. For those of you who couldn’t make it, I mean it was only on for two weeks, I have created a little reel of footage for a quick glimpse of Madamoiselle Privé.
Coco Chanel had more than a few strict style rules. This is how I would apply some for today.
1. “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” A strong statement by Madamoiselle Chanel, but how can we deny the success of Chanel No.5? With rose and jasmine base notes that are ramped up with orris-root and natural musks. I’m pretty sure she’ll give her seal of approval on these sensual scents: L to R: THE BEAUTIFUL MIND SERIES Volume 1 – Intelligence & Fantasy £95; MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN Eau de Parfum – À La Rose £145; DIPTYQUE Eau de Toilette – Lychee, Rose & White Musk £65. All available at www.net-a-porter.com
2. “If you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack. Men hate women who weep.” Without Coco Chanel, would we ever have had that neat little tube of lipstick nestling in our handbags? In 1924 Coco decided she wanted go-anywhere colour, and so, for portability, she created a small brass and ivory case with a super-clever, swivel-up mechanism into which to slip her signature deep red lipstick. Channel Coco’s pout with these shades: L to R: Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Satin Lip Colour in Pirate. £26, www.boots.com – MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo. £15.50, www.maccosmetics.co.uk – Rimmel Kate Lipstick in #1. £5.49, www.superdrug.com
3. “Scheherazade is easy; a little black dress is difficult.” Referring to the opposing style of a flamboyant Arabic queen, Chanel was all about having the woman make an impact rather than what she is wearing. Let’s all remember that black doesn’t have to be boring! L to R: GIVENCHY Flocked-brocade velvet dress £3,795; SANDRO Long-sleeved lace dress £260; SELF-PORTRAIT Evie semi-sheer dress £260. All available at www.selfridges.com
4. “Costume jewelry is not made to give women an aura of wealth, but to make them beautiful” Pearls (no matter if they were fake or real), chains and Camellias were Coco’s go to when it came to accessorizing her designs. L to R: JENNIFER BEHR CREAM PEARL VOILETTE SKINNY SILK HEADBAND £215; ANNOUSHKA ROSE GOLD SMALL PEARL NECKLACE £895; MAISON MARGIELA GOLD-TONE FAUX PEARL SIGNET RING £180. Available at www.liberty.co.uk
5. “Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.” This one is for you Anna Dello Russo.