Mark Calvano, Bahya Oumlil-Murad, karen Tamblyn and Joel Goodrich
As we know, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel revolutionized the world of fashion in the early 20th century. She liberated women from corsets, long dresses and plumed hats by replacing them with modern looks like slacks, her unforgettable two-pieces suits, short hair and modern make-up.
Chanel Couture Piece 2009 Collection
Although she lived in a suite at the Ritz in Paris, she used her three room apartment at 31 Rue Cambon as a place to work and entertain. The four story building houses the Chanel store at the street level. The next floor is home to the stunning, modern, elegant and spacious haute couture dressing room where we were able to admire a few of the new couture pieces to be presented at the upcoming couture show.
Mirrored Spiral Staircase
18th Century Chinese Screen Featuring Camellias
17th Century Italian Mirror
(Shape of Chanel No 5 Bottle and Place Vendome)
Next, we went to the third floor using the famous spiral staircase. The mirrored staircase was designed specifically to provide Chanel a subtle means of monitoring everything on the floors below, including editors' reactions at fashion shows and the activities of her designers and staff. As we entered the apartment, we were surrounded by exquisite 18th century Chinese wooden screens featuring camellias, a Coco Chanel favorite. There is a famous Italian mirror that has exactly the same shape as the top of her famous Number 5 perfume bottle and Place Vendome, the location of the Ritz and Chanel's jewelry boutique.
Sitting Room (Same spot used by Coco Chanel)
Chandelier With Interlocking CC's and 5's
Olivia Decker, Karen Tamblyn and Bahya Oumlil-Murad
The apartment is elegant and luxurious, decorated with books and beautiful objects. She collected lions both because of her birth sign and that they are a traditional French sign of prosperity. She was born on August 19, 1883. The sitting room is beautifully enhanced by the chandelier that features interlocking CCs and 5s, as well as the famous couch where Coco Chanel would sit and talk to her friends. Only the most privileged guests were allowed to sit!
Opulent Dining Room
Mark Calvano, Gail Sanders, Bahya Oumlil-Murad and Joel Goodrich
Coco Chanel invented and revolutionized modern fashion for women at a time when conventional fashion was stuffy and uptight. She created a legend that will live on in history. Everyone who hears her story can't help but fall in love with the legend of Coco Chanel, the essence of "Chanel Couture". The clothes are not the story. It's perfect that the clothes wrap around the story and the legend, tying future generations to this towering fashion icon. The House of Chanel is much more than a collection of designers and garments but part of the history of fashion and elegance. Our entire group fell back in love with Chanel. There is some essence of Coco Chanel still lingering around the fabulous apartment, giving us further insight into a truly unique individual and renewed affection for Chanel.
At Place Vendome Chanel Jewelry Store
A Fabulous Chanel Diamond Necklace
Angela Dotson (wearing the diamond necklace)
We had an amazing day, courtesy of the House of Chanel. At the end of the journey, we had the privilege to attend the cocktail reception hosted at the Place Vendome Chanel Jewelry Boutique to celebrate once again the successful show that Karl Lagerfeld presented at the Grand Palais. The VIP list enjoyed a close-up review of the fabulous Chanel collection, with Champagne and caviar (of course!). San Francisco guests were greeted by top Chanel Executive Violaine Bouy, Angela Dotson, and others.