Welcome to the wonderful world of Chanel is exactly how this iconic luxury brand makes you feel as you step onto the grounds of Saatchi Gallery and venture through a garden designed by the Rich Brothers, gold winners of this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

And when you step into the first room with your Mademoiselle Privé visitors app open on your phone, you will find yourself standing in Gabrielle Chanel’s Rue Cambon apartment. You are transported in time and place as you are also greeted by the reconstruction of the mirrored staircase above Chanel’s salon.
Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

The Chanel story begins at the start of Gabrielle Chanel’s career as a milliner …
Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

… You also learn about her studio days. Mademoiselle Privé was the sign she hung on her atelier’s door. Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

But the exhibition that has taken over three floors of the Saatchi Gallery doesn’t stay in the past. It moves forward into the present day with a fabulous short film in which Karl Lagerfeld reminds Chanel’s ghost (played by Geraldine Chaplin) that he has to create eight collections a year whereas she only had to create two a year. It’s a humorous flick but it also has an interesting message that reminds us of the relevance of the Chanel brand: Gabrielle Chanel created the notes and Karl Lagerfeld makes the music. Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi GalleryGorgeous portraits adorn an entire room. Ironically last week I finally managed to frame my poster from the Little Black Jacket exhibition a few years ago, which I absolutely adore. It’s going up in my office as a daily dose of style inspiration. You’ll find the Vanessa Paradis portrait (below) at Mademoiselle Privé.
Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

And along with the displays on each floor, there are also workshops including one that explores the secrets of Chanel No. 5. These futuristic vats (below) contain each of the ingredients for Chanel’s signature scent. Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

On the first floor an inside garden of manicured hedges fills the air with fresh aroma, which you don’t expect from the first floor of an art gallery. Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

Couture displays and more give us the chance for an up close and personal look at the craftsmanship of Chanel. Not only can we appreciate the details on the outside of these gowns but the fluorescent rods on which they hang also give us an insight into the details inside each dress. Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

Since The Little Black Jacket exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, fashion houses have been using art spaces to show off the creativity of their brands more and more. Most recently and locally we’ve seen the fabulous McQueen exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum as well as the Hermès awe-inspiring Wanderland exhibition at Saatchi Gallery. I’d been wondering what Chanel were planning on doing next. How were they planning to keep up? But after a walk around Mademoiselle Privé, I can safely say that keeping up clearly wasn’t what they were going for. Staying ahead of the game? Yes, definitely.

To get the full experience of the exhibition, download the app on iTunes or Google Play

Mademoiselle Privé runs until 1st November 2015 and it’s free.

Chelsea Girl

With this week’s #Frifoto’s theme on Twitter being ‘urban’, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to indulge in some street photography around Chelsea. So yesterday, I pulled my camera out of my bag and snapped away as I went from A to B to C. And here’s what I captured …

Chelsea Street Photography

Stella McCartney’s Chelsea store

Chelsea Street Photography

The colourful houses off King’s Road

Chelsea Street Photography

More colourful homes.

Chelsea Street Photography

Something that caught my eye. I love the shamrocks.

Chelsea Street Photography

Royal Avenue with Royal Hospital Chelsea at the other end.

Chelsea Street Photography

Life on Sloane Square.

Chelsea Street Photography

Street art on King’s Road.

I loved stopping to look at the details around me. It reminds me that we can sometimes take our surroundings for granted. So be sure to check back for more snaps of local life. I’m keen to take many more. Chelsea Girl

The wonderful documentary Fabergé: A Life of its Own hits the cinemas for a general release around the world tonight.

If you have the slightest interest in the Fabergé brand, its renowned eggs or if you are keen to learn more about its rich history then you will certainly enjoy this film. I had the pleasure of previewing Patrick Mark’s documentary and from start to finish, I was enraptured by the Fabergé tale.

You can find out where Fabergé: A Life of its Own is being screened here. And if you are heading to Masterpiece before it ends on July 1st 2015, you may also want to visit the Fabergé Salon for a real life look at some of the world’s most exquisite gems.

Chelsea Girl

The Serpentine Gallery’s Summer Pavilion is now open and with such glorious weather over the weekend, I eagerly made a visit with the OH and Little Man.

Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015 Designed by Selgascano

This year’s installation was designed by José Selgas and Lucía Cano who together make up Selgascano. Established in Madrid where the majority of their buildings have been commissioned, these architects have created a vibrant and exciting structure for Kensington Gardens.

Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015 Designed by Selgascano

And with the pavilion being used for private events, especially for the fashion industry, I wasn’t surprised when I stumbled upon an impromptu photo shoot.
Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015 Designed by Selgascano

As well as feeding the photographer’s compulsion to snap away at every detail in sight, this structure is also a real joy to walk around. Little Man had a field day running around as did plenty of other kids, which was fantastic to see. Crossing Kensington Gardens, Little Man was keen to visit ‘the playground’ so when we arrived at the pavilion I explained that this was an architectural playground. And in a moment he ran off with OH running after him.
Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015 Designed by Selgascano

There is plenty for everyone to appreciate with this year’s pavilion. I think it has a lot to do with the myriad of shapes and colours.

Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015 Designed by Selgascano

Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015 Designed by Selgascano

There are also cafés inside and outside so if you want to linger around this psychedelic wonderland for a while longer you can.

Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015 Designed by Selgascano

I have generally been a fan of most summer installations at The Serpentine Gallery but this year’s pavilion feels particularly inspiring. It’s always great to see a burst of colour on the London landscape.

Chelsea Girl

This morning saw the unveiling of a very exciting visitor to Duke of York Square. Children and locals gathered around as press set up around them. Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

First there was some storytelling for the children. An excerpt from Travels to my Elephant which was penned by the late Mark Shand whose charity Elephant Family is the focus for all the Asian elephant love in Chelsea and around London at the moment.Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

You may have already seen the rickshaws around London. Their eye-catching flamboyance, the result of work by designers such as Caroline Herrera and Zandra Rhodes who designed The Capital Hotel’s rickshaw below.
Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

These rickshaws will be transporting passengers around London until the end of July after which they will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Elephant Family. After the auction they will be raced across to India. Some of the drivers already confirmed include Susan Sarandon, Yasmin and Amber Le Bon, TRH Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

This morning HRH Duchess of Cornwall arrived to unveil Tara.
Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

Here is Tara. Isn’t she lovely?

Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

HRH Duchess of Cornwall also spoke to local school children …
Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

… and stepped into one of the rickshaws herself.

Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

Beside Tara, there is Ella-phant and Maclaren are sponsoring a competition to find a design for this baby elephant, which children can enter by posting their designs into this post box below.Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

The hashtag for this wonderful campaign is #travelstomyelephant. So if you do visit Tara or if you see one of Elephant Family’s rickshaws around London, please use the hashtag to raise awareness of the plight of the Asian elephants. Because as the Elephant Family’s website informs us, “over the last 100 years, [the Asian elephant’s] population has plummeted by 90% and if current trends continue, Asian elephants will cease to exist in the wild by 2050′.

Chelsea Girl

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