FRANÇOIS KOLLAR. MANNEQUIN DESCENDANT L’ESCALIER DU 31 RUE CAMBON
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Carving a shape for future women: Palazzo Galliera’s retrospective on Chanel

Following a period of renewal and improvement of its structure and offer, Palazzo Galliera opens to the public again with a personale focused on the female fashion icon

Encased in Paris’ VIII arrondissement, Palazzo Galliera is a must-visit for all fashion enthusiasts: hosting a collection of almost 200.000 pieces, its collection offers a bird view of France’s clothing habits, from XVIII century to modern day. In order to meet an ever-increasing number of visitors, the museum is renewing itself, adding new exhibition spaces and opening a bookshop and an educational workshop. On 1 October 2020 preparations will be over and the palace will reopen its door, greeting the audience with a retrospective dedicated to Gabrielle Chanel, formerly Coco. A deep dive in Chanel’s work, Gabrielle Chanel Manifeste de Mode explores all the stylist’s creations, ranging from clothes to perfumes and jewelry. The exhibition will be split between Palazzo Galliera’s galleries, each one focused on a different facet of her work: Galerie Est will present N.5’s history, one of the most famous fragrances of the fashion world, while the Grande Galerie will focus on dresses and Galerie Ouest on the 1932 collection of bijoux, entirely made of diamonds mounted on platinum. Proceeding further, Galerie Courbe will be devoted to tailleurs and adornments, while Galerie d’Honeur will star parure and Galerie Sud the last part of Chanel’s production, from 1954 to 1972.

Schermata 2020 09 25 alle 15.21.22

PARFUM N° 5 1921 VERRE, CORDONNET EN COTON NOIR, CACHET DE CIRE NOIR, PAPIER IMPRIMÉ PARIS, PATRIMOINE DE CHANEL © JULIEN T. HAMON
Schermata 2020 09 25 alle 15.19.56
FRANÇOIS KOLLAR. MANNEQUIN DESCENDANT L’ESCALIER DU 31 RUE CAMBON. PHOTOGRAPHIE PUBLIÉE DANS HARPER’S BAZAAR, 15 SEPTEMBRE 1937. PHOTO MINISTÈRE DE LA CULTURE – MÉDIATHÈQUE DE L’ARCHITECTURE ET DU PATRIMOINE, DIST. RMN-GRAND PALAIS / FRANÇOIS KOLLAR

Coco is an icon in many ways, and her work and persona is still relevant for different reasons: minimalism, femininity and, most of all, coherence. While many stylists bow down to present trends, changing their vision from time to time and adapting it to the public’s expectations, Coco’s concept of fashion stayed the same for all her career, never faltering or flirting with her competitors. When the stylist presented her 1954 collection after a fourteen- year hiatus, most of the press was deluded by her dedication to her principles. Instead of offering a watered-down version of her previous work, Chanel choose only to reinvent herself between the boundaries her style, apparently repeating herself while silently setting a standard that became quickly iconic. Starting from a hat shop in 160 boulevard Malesherbes in Paris, Chanel’s history is a feminist one, the rise of a woman that refused to play an already-decided role in a men’s society. From her photos dressing a masculine coat and tie to the build of her clothes, minimal but comfortable for a feminine body, Coco’s existence was centered on the effort of carving a new shape for future women, one that we’ll admire in Palazzo Galliera’s retrospective.

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