Until 19 July 2017, Seoul’s D Museum plays host to Chanel’s latest Mademoiselle Privé exhibition. The themed rooms provide a visual journey through key details of founder Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s life, the brand’s celebrated haute couture designs and craftsmanship, and Karl Lagerfeld’s creative vision.
The first floor offers a glimpse into the world of Coco Chanel and the brand she founded with a series of installations. The graphic Deauville room, whose hat boxes and series of mini-films evoke her very first boutique in 1913, highlights the modernity of the brand she created. The next room celebrates the symbols – lucky charms, colours, patterns and figures – that were dear to her and are still used by Lagerfeld, including the camellia, Chanel’s favourite flower, re-imagined here by Korean artist Jiyong Lee.
The third room is dedicated to Chanel No 5, launched in 1921. Visitors can discover the raw ingredients that go into the iconic Chanel fragrance, and finish their journey of discovery in an airlock permeated with the scent of Chanel No 5 L’Eau. The first floor ends with a sensory room recalling the craftsmanship of Chanel’s haute couture workshops, with a canvas-wrapped and 3D-stitched staircase linking the downstairs rooms to the upstairs level.
Here a series of sophisticated installations first enlarge on Coco Chanel’s history, then showcase the innovative talent of Lagerfeld with 12 strikingly neon-lit haute couture dresses whose flawless craftsmanship is revealed in details such as embroidery by Lesage and feather work from Lemarié.
The next space contains Karl Lagerfeld’s portraits of 17 actresses, models and friends of Chanel, from Kristen Stewart to Lily-Rose Depp, wearing haute couture and re-editions from the Bijoux de Diamants collection, originally created in 1932. Glass columns provide a dramatic setting for the high jewellery pieces, while a giant rhinestone necklace celebrates Coco Chanel’s favourite gem, the diamond.
The exhibition ends on a high note with a screening of short movies directed by Karl Lagerfeld, including Visite Nocturne, an imaginary conversation between Lagerfeld and Chanel interpreted by Geraldine Chaplin.
D Museum, 5-6 Dokseodang-ro 29-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 04419, +82 (0)70 5097 0020