The World of Chanel

Monday 19 September 2011
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I decided to suck it up and brave the crowds at Harrods to see the Chanel exhibition which is otherwise known as The World of Chanel. If possible, I avoid Harrods at all costs. Where do I start? The crushing crowds mostly made up of tourists (I have nothing against them seeing I was one many many years ago) being barked at by overzealous security guards. The rules! My goodness, do they have rules. Hold your rucksack (backpack), don't carry them on your back. Don't stand there, keep moving! You're not allowed to stand there. Don't bring your suitcase in (albeit a tiny trolley). No eating inside Harrods (said to a mom who had a child in the stroller nibbling on a cookie). Despite having been inside a handful of times, I still get lost navigating through the maze *ahem* claustrophobic windowless rooms. Give me Selfridges any day. On the flip side, the sales associates there are a delight.

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After asking for directions every 10 metres, I managed to arrive at Chanel's Une Promenade in one piece. The austere reception is manned by 4-5 representatives handing out brochures and sternly announced that no photography is allowed. The visually captivating exhibition filled with videos showcasing how a 2.55 handbag is made to magnificent dollhouses with exquisite details as as well as couture garments are a feast for the eyes. 

I was mesmerized by the TVs all showing different production stages of a 2.55 bag. Just then, a guide came through and explained to the visitors that the bag is 80% handmade and 20% machine-made.  Now correct me if I'm wrong, sir seeing that we're all watching the same thing. How odd. The entire bag was machine stitched other than when the atelier was lining up the different cuts of the leather and foam. Yes, a person had to turn the bag inside out and thread a strip of leather through the chain strap. Forgive my petty nit-picking. Nevertheless, I'm still in love with the taupe caviar 2.55 Maxi I saw at their pop up store at Harrods. On a side note, did you know that a lambskin Timeless clutch cost £825, its patent leather £805 and caviar version which in fact is the most durable and my favorite is the cheapest at £750?

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For those who want a luxurious 2.55 bag, what about one made of crocodile skin at an eye-watering price tag of £15,662.



  1. Wow, Harrod's sounds more like a prison then a department store (especially the no eating part- that poor child with the cookie?). But to see that Chanel exhibit must have been worth the hassle. Looks stunning! Thanks so much for the post :)

  2. I would have loved to see the exhibit & probably would have dealt with the nightmarish scene as well! I just love Chanel... thanks for sharing these pictures, xox.

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  3. This is such a really cool exhibit because it is about Chanel!

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog :)

  4. Thanks for the review! I am planning to visit it sometimes soon, but will try to go during the week. The crowds over the weekend are too much for me :)

  5. Chanel SAs in Harrod's are the best. On a slow day they will dress you up like a paper doll, they love their job!
    DH loves Harrod's, just let him in the CL cave and he will spend all day looking at the designs... He also loves Chanel, his dream is I have only Chanel suits in my wardrobe. *rolling my eyes* I think he has made a small mistake in marrying me, I'm not a Chanel girl. He has made me see both recent films on Coco I appreciate the designs and the quality, and of course the history, but it is not for me. Yet.

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  7. What fun- glad you made it out in one piece! I'm a big fan of the Timeless clutch, too and could really use one in beige. Uh-oh. :)

  8. I would love to see how a 2.55 bag is made (it's definitely on my list!)

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  9. Ahh I am so sad that I won't be in London for this - lucky you to be able to go! Agree that I normally avoid Harrods at all costs because of the crowds..

  10. Sharon, it was well worth the pain. Just this once :P

    Kat (Mary & Dyer), thank you for dropping by. The exhibition was exquisite.

    Nelah, thank you for your comment. I agree. Who can resist Chanel?

    Mona P, you'll have to go. It's really worth a look. Next to the bags, the couture garments are out of this world. I love the dollhouse. In fact, I'd love to have one but I think I'm too old!

    Lily, what??! Your hubby is amazing! If my hubby wants and can afford to dress me in Chanel, there's no way in hell, I'm going to turn down this golden opportunity.

    Fabrizia, thank you so much for the lovely compliment. I'm glad you like the blog.

    Lauraloo, I don't recall seeing a beige Timeless clutch. I've tried restoring a lambskin bag in beige. My goodness, it's a dirt/water magnet. However, a beige in caviar is certainly droolworthy.

    chic 'n cheap living, it's actually pretty incredible how the different machines work in unison to create the 2.55. I wish I was able to include a video of how it's made.

    Melissa Blake, thank you.

    Kat, I'm sure the exhibition will be on a traveling tour around the world. It's really quite unique.

  11. I wish I'd gotten to see the exhibit in person - sounds amazing!

    So, caviar is most durable... good to know in case I ever save up enough to splurge on another Chanel bag!

  12. The Blonde, you'd love it. There are temporary pop up stores on the ground floor too. In the past, I'd restored an abused caviar Medallion tote. By the time, I'd finished cleaning and polishing it, the tote looked brand new. As for the lambskin....I've made my fair share of mistakes. So I'm team caviar all the way.



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