Monday 27 January 2014

Party chez Chanel

Last week my daughters and I visited the exhibition 'Chanel, the legend' in The Hague on my elder daughter's birthday. Here she is, in her little black dress, living proof of the unremitting influence of Coco Chanel on today's fashion.

The exhibition included original Chanel designs of the 1920s and '30s, women's suits of the '60s and creations once worn by star clients like Marlene Dietrich.

1920 dress
In the information on the walls the colourful story of Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel and her fashion house was told, spiced up with quotes from the designer herself. Her revolutionary view on elegance and style, combined with freedom of movement, was highlighted by a story about fitting sessions in her salon in Paris. Women, whether or not they had a drivers licence, had to make steering movements in the fitting room in order to check the fit of shoulders and sleeves. Nice test, will copy that!

That was the one and only important reference to construction and fit I noticed. I would have prefered to see more technical information, however the museum showed no signs of other sewing nerds being around. It was just us, looking for a hint of a quilting line, hoping for a sneak peek of a lining and longing for mirrors to see the back of the garments.

Ensemble of coat, dress and hat
Some details of the same ensemble

And......yes! Study object!

Pocket inspiration :) I love the pockets on the right suit!

Lagerfeld taking over:

And of course we saw lots of jewellery, bags, the first bottle of Chanel no.5 and other Chanel memorabilia.

The museum bought two Chanel jackets on the internet and offered visitors the opportunity to have their picture taken, dressed in Chanel. So, what do you think? (Remark of their dad: "I've seen them better dressed. I prefer their own style!")

Chanel sisters


  1. What an amazing visit! Isn't it unusual that they allowed to take photos of the garments? All three of you deserve at least one Chanel jacket ;)

    1. Give me ten years and it will be done! No flash was the only restriction so we took tons of pictures. Being allowed to actually wear the jackets was something else. You don't want to know how dirty and shapeless the white one looks after being modelled by 80.000 women of all sizes and shapes!