Last Sunday I headed into London to visit the Saatchi Gallery on the King’s Road, as there is a Chanel exhibition on (Thank you Sadie for letting me know!).
Second Floor – The Private Apartment Of Mademoiselle Chanel is a photographic exhibition by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Exhibiting 34 photographs capturing the private rooms of Mademoiselle Chanel at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris.
I was excited by this, as it was only last year I visited this store in Paris when I went to see the No.5 exhibition, by Chanel. My expectations that morning was that I was going to see 34 images of the private apartments, so I could really nosey in on her decor and private style. It wasn’t like that.
Taylor-Johnson had photographed some rooms but had mainly concentrated on very close up imagery of personal artefacts like her crystal ball, her personalised chandelier that has her logo as well as the no. 5 incorporated into the design. Chanel’s astrology sign was Leo, and her love of lions showed; with several photos dedicated to her golden lions.
All the images were enlarged and then printed on watercolour paper producing a grainy effect – mounted on white within large black frames; I assume to be in-keeping with the monochromatic style of Chanel.
A new fact that I discovered about Chanel; is that she didn’t actually live within these private apartments, there was no bedroom or kitchen. The Ritz was her place of residence, so I assume these apartments were used daily to meet with friends and have a quiet space near her shop.
The most exciting photos were the ones of her mirrored staircase; iconic and divine.
Taylor-Johnson’s is quoted about this unique and exciting experience on the Saatchi website: “The essence of Chanel is firmly rooted there in all of her possessions and I truly believe that her spirit and soul still inhabits the second floor.” she goes on to say “The apartment is beautifully stylish. It feels like she had meticulously chosen every object.” You can read the full article here.
It’s a small exhibition, and I would really only recommend going if your close to London. The Second Floor: THE PRIVATE APARTMENT OF MADEMOISELLE CHANEL is on from 12 September – 4 October 2014 at the Saatchi Gallery, London.
All images were taken on my iPhone