As we walk up the mirrored staircase where Coco Chanel once sat to observe her own shows, here, at Rue Cambon, Paris, we’re about to get as close to Mademoiselle Coco as possible, entering her secluded world.
With a flagship Chanel boutique newly opened in Vancouver, evoking the legendary residence, we had the privilege of seeing where it all began. As the door to the apartment opens, the beauty is almost overwhelming. Exquisite objects are everywhere: Chinese screens, a legacy of Coco’s partner, Arthur “Boy” Capel; the crystal chandelier; and an amazing collection of books, to name a few. There is a hint of the eclectic, too — albeit in organized symmetry. The couturiere, we’re told, was highly superstitious, surrounding herself with favoured elements: stars; lions, for her Leo sign; wheat. All found a place in her home and within her collections.
Chanel mythic symbols inspire to this day. At the brand’s ateliers, we see diamond camelia stalks woven into precious metals, and the new Monsieur de CHANEL watch. Both are part of the House’s latest exceptionally crafted masterpieces. In the power of these elements, Gabrielle Chanel’s remarkable spirit lives on.
Abundance, prosperity, fortune — all things that Earth’s gift of wheat symbolized to Gabrielle Chanel. For the first time ever, the golden grain that has held a cherished place in Gabrielle’s memories and home since childhood emerges in wearable masterpieces. The “Les Blés de CHANEL” collection is the pinnacle of High Jewelry; 62 unforgettable pieces envisioning wheat’s life cycle. Woven with delicate stalks and braided bunches, yellow sapphires, multicoloured diamonds, and warm gold, the jewellery brings to mind fields basked in late summer’s sun; nature’s treasure made artfully precious.
Monsieur de CHANEL
The First Timepiece For Men
With five years of research behind it, Monsieur de CHANEL, CHANEL’s first foray into men’s watches, delivers a timeless debut. Beyond the understated beige gold case, a nod to Gabrielle’s trademark hue, lies a mechanical marvel: Chanel’s premiere in-house movement, Calibre 1, powering a double complication. With the House’s signature simplicity, the design pays homage to Coco’s symbolic details: the octagonal Place Vendôme shape framing the jumping hour display, a lion etched on the crown, and stylized digital numerals representing her favoured numbers. In a testament to restrained, masculine elegance, a classic is born.
It may not quite rival a trip to Paris, but setting foot in Vancouver’s newly re-opened flagship Chanel boutique is a treat all on its own. Beyond the lacquered screens embossed with gold camellias, the 470-square-metre space filled with richly diverse styles, textures, and art is a tribute to Mademoiselle Chanel’s opulent Rue Cambon residence. In the fashion gallery, Karl Lagerfeld’s Ready-to-Wear collection takes the spotlight in two decadently intimate salons alongside an elegant shoe and handbag gallery. The adjacent space houses Canada’s very first Chanel Watches and Fine Jewellery showcase, a vision swathed in bespoke golden silk, like a jewellery box revealing a treasure within.
Text by Kate Missine Translated by Rui Chen Produced and Styled by Many Ngom