Tuesday 24 October 2017

Coco Chanel’s intact Paris apartment to be revealed by Fifty Shades of Grey filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson

Linda Sharkey

Photographer and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson will provide a first ever glimpse into Coco Chanel’s historic 31 Rue Cambon apartment.

Straight after directing the highly-anticipated film Fifty Shades of Grey, The Turner Prize nominee has produced a set of 45 images of the Paris apartment that will be displayed at London’s Saatchi Gallery in September.

"Shooting at Coco Chanel's apartment was an unexpectedly absorbing experience," said Taylor-Johnson. "The essence of Chanel is firmly rooted there in all of her possessions, and I truly believe that her spirit and soul still inhabit the second floor."

The second floor apartment has been left as it was when Mademoiselle Chanel was alive. It welcomes special guests in sometimes, but it’s not open to the public, meaning that these pictures will give a glimpse into the fashion icon’s living space for the first time.

The only image revealed so far of the exhibition is the hallowed mirrored staircase leading up to the apartment, but the other 44 images capture the artfully objects and furniture that were treasured by Mademoiselle Chanel, including that white satin-covered bergère on which she was photographed by Horst in 1937.

The private flat is described to have Coromandel lacquered screens, rock-crystal chandeliers, pairs of animals, Venetian mirrors and a wall stacked with leather bound editions such as Shakespeare, Voltaire and Byron. The photographs are also thought to illustrate Chanel’s emblematic patterns and characters like number 5, double C and initials GW (Grabrielle and Westminster).

"The apartment is beautifully stylish. It feels like she had meticulously chosen every object, "says Taylor-Johnson.

Mademoiselle surrounded herself with treasured objects, but the world has never seen her precious ones, until now.

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