After being closed for two years, the Palais Galliera, Paris’ fashion museum, reopens with twice the exhibitions space previously available and an important new exhibition – Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto – the first Parisian retrospective dedicated to the singular fashion designer.
Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel (1883-1971) changed fashion and the fashion industry with her little black dress, famous Chanel suit and iconic perfumes, such as Chanel N°5 (first created in 1921, almost 100 years ago!).
The Palais Galliera pays homage to Coco with a vast exhibition that makes the most of the museum’s newly opened spaces on the garden level (almost 1,500m² in all) presenting her work in ten sections, each sporting a different portrait of her at its entrance.
A dizzying 350 pieces are on display, with exhibits kindly loaned by the London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, the San Francisco De Young Museum, the Museo de la Moda in Santiago du Chili, the MoMu in Antwerp and others.
You’ll see how Chanel practically defined the style of the années folles, created the 2.55 handbag (eat that, Birkin), refined her elegant dresses in the 1930s and made a resounding comeback in the 1950s.
Chanel was already a legend in her time, and this retrospective is the first ever organised in Paris. While much has been written about her work, the exhibition will give you a global view of her incredible creativity and longevity, and well as her incredible legacy.
And for those who want to learn more about Coco Chanel, the exhibition catalogue is available in English (304 pages, 200 illustrations, 45€ here at amazon).