Thursday, 15 September 2011

Bizarro World of Chanel at Harrods

With some time to kill on Tuesday before meeting up at Drink, Shop & Do, I decided to see the Chanel installations at Harrods, "Une Promenade".

Though I was sad they took away the antiques shop for this event area, I was excited to see this much space devoted entirely to Chanel. I remember quite clearly my grandmother taking me into Chanel when I was 9 and it forever became the epitome of style for me.

Walking into Une Promenade, we were greeted and moved through a beaded curtain of oversized pearls to step into a Wonderland-esque all white french garden in a circular room, featuring a Karl Lagerfield designed gold Camilla tree, where I found out quite quickly there were no photos allowed. The ultra calm, wintry-feeling room had Chanel wellies and quilted black leather handled gardening tools.
Don't I wish this was my 2.55 bag!
It's actually a vintage knockoff produced by Bloomingdale's

Someone must have slipped me a vial of "Drink This to Make you Smaller" potion because the next room to the left had me walking into the inside of a classic black 2.55 shoulder bag, completely leather quilted with an over-sized zipper pocket wall. Featuring videos of how the bags are made, I found this room very fascinating to see all the craft work that goes into each individual bag.

Through to the next room, which was a little (or big) girls dream of Chanel-clothed bears coming out of an advent calendar and a Chanel dollhouse.

My favorite part is the "Haute couture" room, featuring some Chanel couture dresses and the gigantic boxes in which the dresses are delivered to the lucky few able to afford to wear such beautiful pieces of art.

There were truly throwaway rooms: the No.5 with huge bottles and an endless reel of the current commercial and the tweed room, with wall panels of Chanel tweed. Nothing really exciting in these.

The library featured some nice furniture and a voice over from Mr. Lagerfeld, but my favorite part was the larger-than-life Karl light. Can I have one, please?

I was a bit disappointed the walls in here were covered in wallpaper and not real books, as to make it easier to pretend I was in Karl's actual library.

The final room before the exit was the giant jacket and 2.55 bag covered in pins (badges), placed inexplicably in a poker theme. Knowing that it is supposed to be an homage, it still comes out a bit on the tacky side.

Overall, I found the installation entertaining, but found some parts, especially the last room to not fit in with Chanel's ideal of: 
"luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity. Vulgarity is the ugliest word in our language. I stay in the game to fight it."
However, I do feel I want to see this again before it closes the week of 26 September to fully soak in everything and see the gorgeous Haute Couture room again.

Have you seen the Chanel installation at Harrods? What do you think?


  1. See, this is AWESOME! I had to read about it and then before I met you hunt down a London blogger that went to the event. HAHAHA It was a Chanel takeover!!! I did a post on this and didn't even go! LOL I found out about it through the Harrods Facebook page and my eyes nearly popped out in excitement! SO I can definitely understand why you want to see it again. I'm laughing at your Alice in Wonderland comment. I would never want to leave!!! Those Chanel boxes were to die for. Feel free to take pics form my blog. The girl said it was ok to do. (((HUG))) Danielle!!! You're awesome girl!

    SassyUptownChic xoxo Kim

  2. Thanks Kim! The photos on your post were great!

    I think I was just disappointed that it wasn't bigger. I left feeling like it wasn't enough!