Today I want to walk through the absolutely massive Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto exhibit. The exhibit is set in the recently renovated Palais Galliera, Paris’ permanent fashion museum. While Gabrielle Chanel remains an incredibly controversial person, there is no denying her remarkable talent as a designer.
Palais Galliera recently underwent a $10 million renovation. The goal was to expand the museum to the ground floors and double the exhibition space. They marked their reopening with the Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto exhibit.
Visiting the Exhibit
I went to Fashion Manifesto on opening day. As with most museums currently, it’s mandatory to book a ticket and a specific time slot in advance. I don’t mind this at all, it makes the museum experience so much more pleasant. Since I went on the opening day it was probably a little more crowded than it normally would be on a weekday, but still not crowded by normal Paris standards.
Palais Galliera has lockers which I think is a really nice feature. It was nice being able to leave my bag and coat instead of carrying them around the entire time. (They also have lockers at Musée Yves Saint Laurent).
The introduction to the exhibit did a really great job of summarizing Gabrielle Chanel’s work as a designer. I wanted to share that before the “walk” through the Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto exhibit begins.
Gabrielle Chanel as a Designer
One of the few fashion designers to wear her own creations, Gabrielle Chanel created first and foremost for herself. By designing clothes for an independent and active woman, she knew more than anyone how to anticipate and meet the expectations of the women of her time. This innovative way of approaching fashion and grounding clothes in reality allowed her to pave the way for a new feminine elegance.
For Gabrielle Chanel, haute couture was both an area of experimentation – she worked directly on her model’s body, – and a creative space fueled by her interactions with the artistic, intellectual, and literary circles of her time. The strength and timelessness of her creations were based on her ability to marry her incredible instinct to her search for an ideal, grounded in reality.
Casting aside the anecdotal and the narrative in a quest for harmony between function and form, her creations, through their simplicity and precision, were proof that comfort and naturalness were the keys to true elegance. Her designs were also the reflection of her masterful use of contrasts and oppositions. Her clothes combined the ordinary and the elegant, masculine and feminine, black and white. With impertinence and audacity, Mademoiselle Chanel gave costume jewelry a new status. She also made accessories an essential feature of the Chanel look.
To novelty, originality and contemporary trends, she stood in opposition with the constancy of her viewpoints throughout her career and the continual relevance of her aesthetic, thus revealing the flexibility and force of a singular style.
The timeless principles decreed by Mademoiselle Chanel continue to influence the ways we dress today.
A Walk Through the Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto Exhibit
I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. I was beyond blown away by the timelessness of everything (and had a very hard time narrowing down just what to share).
I hope you enjoyed this walk through the Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto exhibit! You can purchase tickets for the exhibit here.