“Gabrielle Chanel: Manifeste de Mode” Is the First Paris Retrospective for the Fashion Icon


The newly renovated Palais Galliera, The City of Paris Fashion Museum reopens Thursday with its exhibit “Gabrielle Chanel: Manifeste de Mode.” Spanning the label’s beginnings in the 1910s to Gabrielle Chanel’s final collection in 1971, the exhibit brings together 350 pieces from the museum’s own collection, the Patrimoine de Chanel, international museums, and private collections. It traces the establishment not only of one of the world’s biggest brands, but the incarnation of a new style code.

Separated into two parts, this exhibit traces Chanel’s work both chronologically and thematically, taking advantage of the Palais’s newly opened basement exhibition rooms. One room is devoted solely to the No. 5 perfume, highlighting the product that carried the house through the war before Chanel relaunched in 1954. Decorated with screens and mirrors to evoke the spirit of her apartment on Rue Cambon, the exhibit also features 10 portraits of Chanel, revealing how much Gabrielle herself was an embodiment of the house. Basement galleries explore the codes of the house of Chanel: the tweed suit, two-tone pumps, the 2.55 bag, the costume jewelry.

This marks the first Paris retrospective devoted to Gabrielle Chanel, and her presence is felt throughout. The exhibit is open until March 14, 2021.

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