With museums in Paris shut down due to the government lockdown, visitors are missing The Palais Galliera’s exhibition of the season: Gabrielle Chanel. Manifeste de mode.
Its first major exhibition after two years of closure, the show retraces the journey to immortality of the icon-designer, who said: "I gave back to the woman's body her freedom.” It includes over 350 original pieces from the Chanel archives, the Palais Galliera and international museums such as the Victoria & Albert in London, the MoMu in Antwerp and the De Young in San Francisco, exhibited along more than 1,500 square meters.
What unfolds is the story of how the house of Chanel has been able to evolve, while remaining true to itself. Through the tides of war that dimmed fashion (so much so that only the store on rue Cambon remained open) and her disdain for Christian Dior's “New Look”, which gave her a resolve, at the age of 71, to put couture back on its pedestal.
“C'est la matière qui fait la robe, et non les ornements que l'on peut y ajouter", or "it is the fabric that makes a dress, not the trimmings that can be added to it", she famously responded to Dior. In her determination to reinvent dressing a woman, fabric became an idea, and is a remnant of revolution. She is the undisputed counter- current couturier, capable of subverting epochs and upsetting stylistic codes. Chanel knew who she was and who she wanted to be, and she always remained true to her vision. She consecrated herself as an icon of everlasting elegance, and, last but not least, resilience.
The Gabrielle Chanel. Manifeste de mode is projected to re-open on December 1 and stay until March 14, 2021.
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Unlucky exhibitions in Paris
Palais Galliera, Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, Paris, France