Featuring over 200 ensembles, presented together for the very first time, the exhibition also encompasses accessories, fragrances, and jewelry. It delves deep into Chanel’s pioneering approach to fashion design, which blazed a trail for a fresh elegance, leaving an indelible impact on contemporary women’s attire.
Originating from the acclaimed Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto exhibition hosted by the Palais Galliera, the Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, this showcase undergoes a visionary transformation under the auspices of the V&A. The exhibition weaves together scarcely glimpsed treasures from the V&A’s collection, interspersed with selections from Palais Galliera and the Patrimoine de CHANEL, the heritage collections of the Parisian fashion House.
Highlighted within are exceptional moments: an intact Chanel piece from as early as 1916; original ensembles conceived for the Ballets Russes production of Le Train Bleu in 1924; attire crafted for Hollywood luminaries like Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich; a groundbreaking prototype of Chanel’s evening trousers; and ensembles from her final 1971 collection.
Chanel, primarily her own muse, engineered clothing that mirrored an autonomous and dynamic lifestyle, anticipating the desires and requirements of the modern woman. Presented across ten thematic sections, this exhibition probes into Chanel’s revolutionary manipulation of fabric, silhouette, and construction. It charts how she erected an entirely novel framework for fashion within the 20th century.
Resplendent with an array of Chanel’s most remarkable designs amassed over her prolific six-decade career, this exhibition dissects her professional journey, her style’s inception and evolution, and her enduring contribution to the annals of fashion. Furthermore, the exhibition casts a spotlight on the British influences that shaped Chanel’s oeuvre, spotlighting her adoption of tweed, collaborations with British textile enterprises, and her textile factory based in Huddersfield.