colette x Chanel = Pop Up Fun

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A pop-up love-in between a French house like Chanel and Parisian boutique colette might sound like an odd mish-mash but colette's creative director Sarah Lerfel can be relied upon for being pretty much spot on when it comes to gauging synergies and collaborations hence why there's always SOMETHING interesting going down at colette during fashion week (remember Rodarte's curated in-store shop?) and hence why in general, there's always a horde of people gathered in and around the eponymous boutique.

Nip across the road and you have yourself a much more ambitious beast than an in-store curated space and in a disused garage, a bit of an anomoly on the poshy rue Saint Honore in Paris, houses a great deal of Chanel product but presented and merchandised under the wizardry of the colette spin.  If it overturns your pre-conceived notions of Chanel products then I suppose that's an objective achieved as you enter to immediately find those famous Chanel jackets from the S/S 11 collection draped over pieces of Rodarte, Carven, Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou (both currently inhabiting the colette main window), artisanal knitwear, loud prints, neon and a sparkly lampshade skirt all blasting noise next to the recognisable tweed jackets that form the perfect juxtaposition point.  Pleasingly, it's all styled in the way that I'd imagine I'd wear a Chanel tweed jacket should I ever be fortunate to own one seeing as head to toe tweed is never going to be me and "throwing" one on with jeans has become a banality in itself when it's quoted so often (I love the riche talk of "throwing on" a ¬£5k Chanel jacket). 

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The love-in has resulted in a space filled with the sort of attention-diverting kitschenalia that colette has become known for such as Bearbricks carrying sheeny shiny patent quilted bags…

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…a bakery truck provided by cool Parisian patisserie Chez Bogato (not that cakes need to be cool to be delish..)…

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…complete with camelia and colette-insignia branded cupcakes…

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A photo booth (for a bargainous EUR2 – it's 4 quid to get some boring passport pics done in the UK…) will also get people to linger on a bit in the way that colette seem to have a knack of getting people to do…

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I'm not sure whether these dolls are for sale or not but who knew the colette dot would look so good on a mini Coco Chanel…

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Products created exclusively for the pop-up love-in are par for the course and so Maison Michel (owned by Chanel) have created a dotty version of their lace veil headband…

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Yazbukey, creators of the famous Karl Lagerfeld acrylic brooch seen above were also enlisted to create this Chanel No.5 brooch, one of the more affordable trinkets available from the pop-up and of course it's enticingly placed next to the S/S 11 black/gold chain necklace…

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The majority of products are still Chanel ones though, but placed in a context where Kevin Lyons' illustrations grace the concrete walls sprayed with flashes of fluoro pink, suddenly there's an accessibility and touchability to the clothes that even makes me have the gall to go up and try a few jackets on, something I've never been able to do in a Chanel store because I feel like I'm going to muddy their plush cream carpeted surroundings with my stench of "Eau de Too-Poor-For-Chanel".

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These flats are right up my street with their 'Barbie lame' finishing… DSC_0114

The brevity of the pop-up (it's open until 10th March only so it's definitely geared towards the fashion week crowd…) means that colette and Chanel have crammed in events and happenings throughout the week to ensure effective crowd-drawing.  Today, it kicked off with Keith Lyons, who did the wall illustrations, customising Chanel bags for people…

I'll probably never hear the end of outcries going "Sacre Bleu!  One must NEVER deface a CLASSIC Chanel bag.  One polishes it with a soft cloth and then prays to its calfskin exterior twice a day!"  Well, seeing as this is all sanctioned by Chanel themselves, I guess whoever wants it can go right ahead and have their bag doodled.  I suspect it might be those that have these bags in multiple quantities but who's checking…

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The schedule has an interesting mix that has a similar juxtaposition to the way the Chanel pieces are styled in-store fusing new and old.  Harpsichord playing mixed with DJ sets by The Misshapes is the music clash equivalent.  I'll personally be keen to see a camelia flower making demonstrationg by Maison Lemari√©, the Chanel-owned plumassiers atelier as well as further bag customisation sessions with the likes of Andr√© and Fafi.  Go on, Chanel-bag owning peeps who will be in Paris… I dare you to get some scribbles on that quilted leather.

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28 Replies to “colette x Chanel = Pop Up Fun”

  1. I kind of agree with you about the implied excessive $$ craziness of people who a) want their chanel bags doodled on and b) “throw on” their chanel jackets… ahhh I always say this but if i had that kind of money I like to think I would be a little more imaginative with it far out!! Not to be offensive but how many tweed chanel coats can you have?! It is actually quite interesting seeing Chanel alongside Katrantzou, Kane and Rodarte. to me it really shows off how imaginative and interesting the younger designer’s stuff is compared to the same chanel tweed jackets that have been on the runways for 1000 years
    xx
    http://winnsomesmile.blogspot.com/
    p.s. on that general rant it was so nice to see florence welch and cate blanchett upping the ante at the academy awards – they both know how to use their $$ and their brain at the same time

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  3. Ahhh Bearbricks!! I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t immediately want one of the blue bears when I saw the photo. I’m a good little consumer like that.
    I definitely experience cognitive disconnect whenever I read about the “throwing on” of Chanel anything. Also I can’t help but imagine that people who get their Chanel bag doodled on probably already have spares at home.

  4. chanel and colette – a match made in heaven. good thing i’m not anywhere close to paris! (not that i would be able to buy a 5K chanel jacket, but i’m sure they’ve got other extremely expensive stuff one doesn’t necessarily need but buy only out of excitement)

  5. This shops appears to me as a literal dream/heaven; i adore the quirky/unexpected collaboration that has been done here, hence the love for all brands featured in the store; the lamp-shade skirts looks a-m-a-z-i-n-g(so glad i haven’t spelled that wrong because it would’ve looked soo bad-in fact, i don’t even know why i am writing this down…also, another little feature which i was enticed, as all repelled considering my unfortuness at purchasing, are the blue bears which were adorned lavishly with a chanel bag; i mean, it’s mournful to believe that a non-animate creature is wearing a somewhat ¬£2K chanel bag…what has our world evolved into? Before i blabber on irrelevantly for much more longer, i am going to end this on a self-concious note regarding the luckyness of these bears…X Neda X
    http://stylemontage-neda.blogspot.com/

  6. Beautiful post, it feels like I’m there! I love the mixture of the brands, I think it works perfectly, updating the classic Chanel with youthful innovation. Truly is a once in a lifetime experience for you lucky Paris Fashion Week-ers!

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