This Travelling Chanel Exhibition Showcases Archival Pieces Designed By Coco Chanel

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Having been recently celebrated at a travelling exhibition in Dubai last month, MOJEH delves into the never-ending allure of Chanel

Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Virginie Viard —three world-class designers who have been the beating heart of French fashion house Chanel since its inception in 1910: the former who launched the Maison, the middle under whom Chanel grew into a global fashion titan and the latter who, today, champions a softer, more relaxed silhouette in response to the demands of real women’s lives.

It’s this trio of talent who incarnate the allure of Chanel, which just so happened to be the subject of the fascinating installation, Chanel — A Journey into the Allure, which was presented at Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue last month. The travelling exhibition will soon be making its way to other global cities around the world, presenting the iconic Maison’s history in a fascinating light.

Chanel – A Journey into the Allure shows the evolution of House codes through designs by Coco Chanel (right), Karl Lagerfeld (middle) and Virginie Viard (left)

The allure of Chanel is, of course, what makes it one of today’s most successful fashion Houses, and you can find it in the unique style codes and androgynous aesthetic that define the brand’s enduring appeal. Gabrielle Chanel’s early tweed suits, for example, which were inspired by time spent in Scotland and her decade-long love affair with Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster, are perhaps some of the House’s most coveted pieces, while various shades of the colour pink can be seen throughout numerous collections over the years. Be it tweedy fabrics woven in pastels, coral embellishments or a touch of intense fuchsia, Chanel has undeniably long been on the pink parade.

Then we have the reoccurring use of its bold interlaced ‘C’ logo designed back in 1925, gold lions (Gabrielle was a Leo), little black dresses and, of course, the 2.55 bag which originally launched in 1955 and has been reborn in numerous different iterations over the intervening years. Every one of these style codes have come to be reminiscent of the House of Chanel as we know it today. This allure is also evident in the House’s emblematic flower, the camellia, which is at the heart of Chanel’s most recent AW23 collection —one which featured heavily in Chanel — A Journey into the Allure alongside an itinerary of some 40 silhouettes including the suit, the black and white, the masculine-feminine and the evening gowns, all variations on the theme of allure.

The exhibition is both a time capsule and glimpse into the future

In its most recent reincarnation, camellias blossom in small touches on pockets, jackets, buttons and romantic prints, just like they did as early as 1924, when Gabrielle Chanel used camellias on tweed jackets, blouses, hats and necklaces. If you missed the exhibition when it came to Dubai, be sure to keep an eye on socials to see where it’s travelling to next. It’s most definitely worth the journey.

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