Fashion fanatics assemble! A Chanel exhibition, ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto‘ has arrived at the V&A this month to celebrate the forward-thinking founder of one of the most successful fashion houses in existence.
This major exhibition features over 200 looks and spans the entirety of Chanel’s career. It covers the full breadth of her impact – from her first Parisian boutique in 1910 all the way to her very final collection in 1971.
Although it’s based on the exhibition created by the Palais Galliera in 2020, the London revamp features some significant changes. There are 122 new looks (some of which come from the V&A’s very own rarely-seen collection) and a greater focus on the designer’s love of Britain, which played a crucial part in the origin story of her legendary tweed suit.
Said Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A museum:
“We are delighted to be partnering with Chanel and the Palais Galliera on this exhibition, which provides us with the opportunity to explore the origins and elements of this enduring style and to display little-known historic Chanel garments from the V&A collection.”
The exhibition is split into sections that explore the evolution of her designs, the establishment of the House of Chanel, and her trail-blazing, revolutionary designs. Famously, her pieces prioritised freedom, independence and practicality over tradition. Gabrielle Chanel created clothes that she wanted to wear. That meant saying goodbye to corsets, and hello to power suits. And her legacy continues to influence the way we dress today.
So don your most iconic power suit, douse yourself in Chanel N°5, and get on down to the V&A. You won’t want to miss out on this fashion-filled fun.
Gabrielle Chanel Fashion Manifesto will run until February 25 2024. Plan your visit here.
📍 Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL. Nearest station is South Kensington.