When I was invited to the Saatchi gallery for a Chanel exhibition, I said oui oui without any hesitation. The exhibition called Mademoiselle Prive (Private miss) details the life and career trajectory of the Matron Saint of tweed and pearls- Gabriella Coco Chanel.
I love Mademoiselle Chanel because she brought about a change. She did not like the clothes of the time, and so she changed it. Simple. No whining. No sitting around saying “Oh somebody needs to invent something that…” I admire that a lot.
All exhibitions at the Saatchi gallery are free, which explained the long lines. The queue to get in was quite long, similar to the queue at an amusement park, although not as frustrating. I finally got in and began the procession through the exhibition. There are about three floors (including the ground floor) and we could only go forward. It was a decent show, great value for my money (haha). There were lots of pearls, shadow animations depicting the dressmaking process, a beautiful indoor garden, display of exquisite dresses and a gallery of different stars from Vanessa Paradis to Lily collins (even Rita Ora). Speaking of Lily Collins, just how beautful is she?
A short movie starring a resurrected Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfield was played on a loop. In it, Chanel and Lagerfield disagree about the direction in which the brand is going. Chanel is dissapointed in Karl’s vision and the direction in which he has taken Chanel. Lagerfield tells her she did not leave him much to work with and that he is under more pressure than she was. It was interesting.
The absolutely best part of the day for me was the gift shop. I was not even planning on going in because I didn’t think I would like anything and I hadn’t planned on spending money. Boy was I wrong. I wanted everything in there. From paintings to wall art to artsy memo pads and journals to a whole bunch of other things. It was a challenge to control myself, I was contantly picking things and then putting them back. I ended up with a Basquiat, and a bunch of post cards, most of them of Salvador Dali (I adore this man!). I am still surprised at the 180 degree I have done regarding Basquiat’s work. I, who once refered to his work as juvenile and overrated, now squeals in excitement when I walk into a shop and see an affordable piece of his work. Even though the first impression may be that they are childish, I now find his work so beautiful. Basquait’s pieces are just so distinctive, no one else does/did art like he did.
There is a Mademoiselle Privé app which allows people to have a more interactive experience and to see things they would not be able to see without it. For example, there is a door pictured in the gallery which opens when viewed through the app. The app can be downloaded with the free wifi offered at the gallery. I did not download the app though because my battery was close to dying, so I just surreptiously watched through other people’s phones.
The Mademoiselle Privé exhibition runs till November 1st. If you are in London, check it out, and other exhibitions at the Saatchi gallery.