My pre-Christmas present: “Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto” 

It was more than perfect. It was wonderful. It was a lifetime experience. Of course, I am talking about seeing the “Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto” exhibition in London, at V&A Museum. My pre-Christmas present: “Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto”.

First thing first…

I think there is nothing nicer to do in a Friday afternoon in London than going to a museum. And I truly think there is nothing more exciting than to go to not to a ordinary museum, but to a fashion exhibition, especially when the subject is the amazing, talented, goddess of fashion style, Gabrielle Chanel. In other words, I just wanna say that I had the privilege and the joy to see “Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto” exhibition in London, at V&A Museum. And, after Paris (and now London) I hope that this exhibition will travel in other parts of the world, so that all the fashion lovers could see it (yes, unfortunately, there are no more tickets in London). 

Victoria & Albert Museum –
Chanel –
For a special Chanel exhibition experience – on @alinaaliman Instagram. 

About the exhibition…

“Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto” is an exhibition presented in partnership with Palais Galliera, Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, Paris Musées, with the support of CHANEL (thank you for all the help!)  (Based upon the Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto exhibition organised by the Palais Galliera, Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, the exhibition is re-imagined by the V&A, with over 100 new objects including 60 new looks.) Featuring almost 200 looks seen together for the first time, as well as accessories, perfumes and jewellery, the exhibition explores Chanel’s pioneering approach to fashion design, which paved the way for a new elegance and continues to influence the way women dress today. 

Highlights include one of the earliest surviving Chanel garments from 1916; original costumes designed by Chanel for the Ballets Russes production of Le Train Bleu in 1924; outfits created for Hollywood stars Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich; an early example of Chanel’s ground-breaking evening trousers and ensembles from Chanel’s final collection of 1971. 

Across 10 sections, Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto showcases the exquisite skill and innovation from the founder of the House of CHANEL: 

Towards A New Elegance offers an introduction to the beginning of Gabrielle Chanel’s career as a milliner, opening her first boutique on the rue Cambon in Paris in 1910, and further boutiques in the fashionable coastal resorts of Deauville and Biarritz. 

The Emergence of a Style focuses on how Chanel developed an immediately identifiable signature style in the 1920s and 1930s. With clean lines, fluid materials and a simplistic colour palette, her understated designs were radical in their practicality yet displayed a refined elegance.

The Invisible Accessory showcases the creation and impact of Gabrielle Chanel’s debut perfume N°5 which became the world’s best-selling fragrance. 

Luxury and Line focuses on how Chanel’s eveningwear demonstrated a refined mix of inventiveness and classicism which subtly accentuated the female form.. This section will also look at “Bijoux de Diamants”, her first and only 1932 collection of fine jewellery commissioned by the International Diamond Corporation of London. 

Closing the House will outline the impact of the outbreak of war in 1939 on her personal and professional life. The exhibition will continue with Chanel’s official Return to Fashion on 5 February 1954, with the relaunch of her couture house at the age of seventy-one.

The Suit will spotlight the defining garment of Gabrielle Chanel’s post-war contribution to fashion, with over fifty ensembles in a range of colours on display across two levels. Described by Vogue in 1964 as “the world’s prettiest uniform”, the Chanel suit, which has since become a timeless classic, remains a staple reference for fashion today. 

Chanel Codes will focus on how accessories were fundamental to Chanel’s conception of a harmonious silhouette. Since the 1950s, the Chanel 2.55 handbag and two-tone slingback shoes have become two of the most enduring accessories in the world of fashion. 

Into the Evening showcases eveningwear as an important part of Chanel’s couture collections in the latter part of her career. From the late 1950s onwards, she adapted her suits to include a range to be worn into the evening.

Costume Jewellery will explore this essential part of Gabrielle Chanel’s distinct style. From the beginning of the 1920s, Chanel’s boutiques offered a dazzling range of costume jewellery to wear with her sleek fashionable garments.

A Timeless Allure – the exhibition finale – celebrates the evening dress as Chanel’s exercise in style with looks displayed on a recreation of the iconic mirrored staircase based on the designer’s atelier.

Photography: (C) CHANEL, courtesy of V&A Museum.