Enter The World Of Chanel At Mademoiselle Prive Tokyo

After London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul, the fifth chapter of the travelling Mademoiselle Prive exhibition opened in Tokyo’s Shinagawa-Ku in October 2019. Ng Yi Lian paid a visit.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
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Haute couture pieces in the beige, white, red, black, and gold rooms. 

I had the privilege of experiencing Coco Chanel’s Mademoiselle Prive creative studio (also known as her apartment, though she’d never slept there) on the third floor at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris years ago.

The famed curved mirrored staircase, antique camellia-etched coromandel screens, Venetian gold lions, beige furnishing and carpeting – all signature Chanel design codes – are now replicated in the space of Tokyo’s B&C Hall until Dec 1. And it’s a visual marvel how Chanel has recreated the apartment.

As at Rue Cambon, it all starts with the iconic staircase. Except in Tokyo, Chanel’s creative team has recreated the stairwell such that it looks curved when you stand at a certain angle. 

“With No. 5, Chanel has, over all these decades, created a cultural product. The scent, the bottle and the packaging – everything about No. 5 is modern, even though it was first created in 1921.”
Thomas du Pre de Saint Maur, general marketing director at Chanel Parfums and Beaute 

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The Bijoux de Diamants collection with No. 5 parfum. 

My Reading Room

The reimagination of the famed mirrored staircase at Coco Chanel’s Paris studio. 

As you ascend to the second level, a door with the words “Mademoiselle Prive”, intricately embroidered by House of Lesage (a Chanel subsidiary), greets you.

Your journey takes you through five rooms, each featuring one of the five colours that represent the house of Chanel: beige, white, black, red and gold.

The exhibition showcases the three creative worlds of Chanel: haute couture, high jewellery and fragrance. Haute couture pieces designed by Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard are on display throughout each space, as well as re-editions of Coco’s one and only high jewellery collection in 1932 “Bijoux de Diamants”, and objects that tell the story of Chanel No. 5.

Mademoiselle Prive Tokyo is showing till Dec 1, 2019 at B&C Hall (2-1-3 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-Ku, Tokyo, Japan).