An evening with Coco Chanel’s Style
(Reading: 5 Minutes) / Photography: Andrea Ochoa
Hi loves! Paris Fashion Week is over, but we cannot deny that it was exceptional. As every year, one of the most anticipated events was Chanel’s catwalk: a mixture of models between sixties inspiration and space touches inside the Grand Palais. However, this time I want to talk something different. During my Parisian days, I must say that I became obsessed with the style of one of the most enigmatic designers – always my favorite – Gabrielle Chanel, better known as Coco Chanel. Within that obsession, and trying to understand her story and what inspired her to create one of the most prestigious fashion houses, I decided to visit some of Coco’s favorite places: to spend an afternoon with Chanel’s style. Take note my dears!
Place Vendome was the ideal place to begin my day. Why? Hotel Ritz is located in this square, where Coco Chanel lived for more than 30 years in the famous suite overlooking the place. It is currently known for its luxurious shops, including Chanel jewelry. It is a real must to visit it.
Rue Cambon 21
Just a few blocks from the Hotel Ritz there’s the number 31 at Rue Cambon. This site was where the true story began: before moving to the Ritz, Coco Chanel lived in one of these apartments. Subsequently, she decided to buy the entire building to open her first fashion store.
Chanel began her design career selling straw hats to high society women in Paris. Her business grew quite soon and expanded for clothing, jewelry, and fragrances.
Currently, the first floor of the building houses an haute couture studio, while the second and last floors retain the original pieces of her apartment. Although it is closed to the public, it is possible to do private tours. It is a must to visit the Chanel store located on the ground floor.
From Rue Cambon, you can easily walk to one of Chanel’s favorite spots: Angelina. This famous tea room on the rue de Rivoli is famous for its high-quality pastries and hot chocolate with the recipe “à l’ancienne l’Africain”. I recommend you try the Flore cake: a vanilla mousse flower, with red berries and chocolate, delicious!
Musée de la Mode et du Textile
After enjoying the chocolate and various desserts in Angelina, I visited the Musée de la Mode et du Textile, next to the Jardin des Tuileries. This museum is part of the Musee de Les Arts Décoratifs, a special section of the Louvre Museum. Its collection of more than 5,000 items includes pieces by renowned French designers such as Christian Dior, Paul Poiret and, of course, Coco Chanel. This museum is definitely a must for fashion and Chanel lovers. I had the opportunity to see the collection “Tenue correcte exigée, quand le vêtement fait scandale” (“The dress code before the garment scandal”), in which they wore Coco Chanel suits from 1928. Such a great experience!
Walking towards Avenue Champs Elysees, I couldn’t miss another key place. When it comes to Chanel catwalks, the Grand Palais is the par excellence headquarter of this fashion show during Paris Fashion Week. Just a week ago, Karl Lagerfeld managed to transform that venue into an intergalactic journey: the models wore shiny sets and metal boots, while a rocket set in the center of the splace was launched into the air for the grand finale.
But the Grand Palais is not only the headquarters of Fashion Week, but a museum that houses different temporary exhibition halls. The huge glass roof that covers most of the structure is worthy of admiration, making it a must to see.
Theater Champs Elysees
In order to finish my evening, I couldn’t miss the las place: the theater. Coco Chanel was not only a fashion lover: she was an art lover. The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées located on Avenue Montaigne is one of the most visited places for concerts, comedies and ballet pieces.
Chanel even came to design the costumes for the ballet “Le Train Bleu”, which was premiered there. I had the opportunity to see “Giselle” from the Ballet Saint-Pétersbourg, simply amazing!
I hope you enjoyed the tour! So, now you know: when in Paris, all those lovers of fashion and Chanel, cannot miss the favorite places of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.