Coco Chanel (1883 – 1971) was the glamorous French fashion icon who influenced the world of design for the better part of a century.
Her former home and workplace in Paris was an epicenter for haute couture.
Located at 31 rue Cambon, Chanel’s time-capsule apartment and salons remain much the same today as they did in her heyday.
The main level features the shop and salons, and the second level contains Chanel’s personal living quarters.
There is an elegant mirrored staircase that winds through the center of it all.
Interestingly, each mirror was set at a different angle so when Coco Channel sat on the fifth step from the top (number five, of course!) as the models went past in the salon, she could inspect her designs from every angle.
During showings, she would reportedly witness her clients’ reactions (without being seen) as they sat downstairs. What an astute business woman she was!
Walking into Chanel’s flagship boutique is like stepping back in time to the Art Nouveau era.
Up the famed mirrored staircase, Chanel’s apartment remains almost exactly as she left it when she died in 1971.
Unfortunately, the apartment isn’t open to the public but there are many photographs of the grand space.
Chanel’s passion for Oriental style is clear throughout the flat.
Deeply superstitious, Chanel had lucky symbols such as a frog with its mouth open, pairs of Japanese deer and lions displayed throughout the apartment (Chanel was a Leo).
She also believed in the healing power of crystals, and had crystal chandeliers in every room.
The apartment has many exquisite pieces of art including a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, and a painting by Salvador Dali.
Chanel spent a lot of time in this Paris apartment and was photographed here often.
It is amazing that the dwelling has been kept up so perfectly as Chanel left it.
Reportedly, Karl Lagerfeld, fellow fashion designer, had a hand in preserving the space. It was at Lagerfeld’s insistence that the tangible reminders of Coco Chanel remain to inspire him when he set up offices on the floor above her apartment.
The elegant dining room:
Even Chanel’s table decorations featured lions…
Lions are everywhere in the famous Leo’s apartment:
Perhaps someday this space will be opened up as a public museum.
How thrilling would it be to wander around the home where Chanel created fashion magic?