Fashion weeks come and go, but we will always have Chanel. Harrods are reminding us of that irrefutable fact this month with their Chanel pop-up shop and promenade experience. Unfortunately, there are just a few days left of the collaboration but if you are in need of some Chanel soothing then Harrods must be your first port of call.
|Mlle. Chanel (Image from greciavalgon.blogspot.com)|
|Images courtesy of Chanel|
On the ground floor, 23 windows have been taken over to showcase the AW11 collection. Then inside is an ephemeral boutique- I love the frenchified phrase they have chosen for what is effectively a pop-up shop.
|The classic Harrods bag has had a Chanel makeover, and can be yours for £1,830|
And then to Harrod's third floor where a space of 350 square metres has been dedicated to taking customers through a subliminal Chanel experience which transports one between a miniature recreation of the set of the AW11 show, a film sequence showing the making a 2.55 bag and Karl's library, amongst others. The promenade experience offers complete immersion in the Chanel brand, its history and many facets.
The House of Chanel has many recurring symbols and motifs which can be be traced right through its archives. One of the most prominent is the camellia which is found not only in Chanel clothes and accessories but also 'in her salon, they glittered as crystals from her chandelier, and were carved into her Coromandel screens'. Picardie traces Chanel's camellia obsession back to the effect which Alexandre Dumas' novel La Dame aux camélias had upon a young Chanel when she went to see a performance of the work at the age of 13. The camelia's odourless quality seems to have captured Chanel's fascination, especially given that she was quite obsessed with cleanliness and lack of dirt; the flower could transcend life and death because there is no palpable transition to be made.
|Harrods bears with Chanel AW11 capes|
|Chanel clad bears take refusge in a mini recreation of Rue Cambon|
Chanel's legendary mirrored Rue Cambon salon is recreated complete with mannequins in Chanel Couture.
|Oh to open one of these boxes for oneself...|
|Karl in his bibliotheque|
So I cannot recommend enough a visit to Harrods to soak up the final days of the promenade, followed by immersing yourself in Picardie's epic, entertaining and brilliant account of Chanel's life.
N.B All quotes taken from Picardie's biography of Chanel. Images, unless otherwise indicated, Fashion Junior at Large.