Chanel x Harrods = DooCoco

Doo-Coco.  That's the Chanelified version of doolally by the way, which is certainly what popped into my head after I had done a whirlwind tour of Chanel's extravagant takeover of Harrods in Knightsbridge.  It's kind of contradicting that the language that peppers Chanel's official press releases regarding their pop-up tenure at Harrods is quite restrained – they've simply termed it "Chanel at Harrods" and they've dubbed the special exhibition they've curated as "Chanel: Une Promenade".  All very fine and dainty but not exactly indicative of the gargantuum amount of work and money that has gone into what to me is WAY more than just another pop-up.   

Chanel have bagged 23 windows of Harrods' facade and they've piled on the intricate props, a heap of taxidermy and an ultra stylised version of the A/W 11-12 collection where a gazillion shades of grey has never looked so delectable.  Sadly with the full on daylight, pictures of the window would have got you reflections of my mug.  I'd advise anybody in London to go take a gander and I'm sure another diligent blogger will wait until nightfall to pounce picture-wise.

Windows aside, Chanel has gone to town with a temporary fashion boutique on the ground floor that follows a dark forest theme with red, blue and red rooms housing all the sort of stuff that I can't even enquire price-tag wise for fear of embarrassing myself…


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Most people will score something at Chanel's beauty boutique where items such as giant bottles of Chanel No.5, Coco Mademoiselle and Chance are available.  If I was super fash-one, I'd use them as lux book ends…



Chanel have created the 'Knightsbirdge Collection' comprising of three shades of lipstick (Kensington, Hyde Park and Belgravia – what plummy posh shade of pink are you?), a a vivid lip gloss named Chelsea and a Brompton Road blush powder type thing that is supposed to 'enhance the radiance of the complexion'. 


Lotions and potions make me sneeze so I escaped to the accompanying photo booth where the intention is that you go in post Chanel-makeover and come out with a set of BEUUUUUUtiful pics that are NOT passport-standard.  Instead, I made the wrong move and pressed the wind machine button and got a set of pics that will be stashed along with my other passport photo duffs…


If the pocket change fo Chanel slap is still too much, then looking is for freeeeeeeeeee and upstairs on the 3rd floor, a veritable Chanel wonderland awaits you.  Alex Loves says this was Chanel in Disneyland form and she is spot on.  We begin our 'Promenade' through a curtain of heavy pearls and enter a garden that is like the miniature set of the S/S 11 show, inspired by Jean Cocteau's film Beauty and the Beast.



Not that this garden needs a spade or an actual watering can but Chanel have come up with their own logoed, quilted versions should the urge arise in someone to start doing some impromptu gardening…



From there on end, it's a rabbit warren of rooms, each dedicated to a certain Chanel-i-o aspect.  First up, the 2.55 bag where you're a) encased in a room covered with that famous burgandy leather lining and b) faced with video screens illustrating the 'savoir faire' of the 2.55 bag.



The childsplay is ramped up in the Chanel version of a children's bedroom dotted with those Coco Bearbricks and doll's houses both large and small stuffed with Coco rag dolls…



You'd think these Chanel interpretations of the Harrods bear would be available to buy but noooooo… they're just for looking.  I imagine many a whining child will pass through begging mummy and daddy to get them one… perhaps someone might even offer staff obscene amounts of money for one…


This Chanel take on a famous Harrods souvenir IS however available…



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For the grown-ups, the couture room is a breathtaking sweep of archive Chanel couture that has been both framed and displayed on mannequins.  The famous Rue Cambon mirrored walls have been replicated here along with Coco's preference for Coromandel screens.  I also love the gigantic boxes on display used to deliver the real Chanel couture shebang to clients. 





As always, it's always thrilling to get this close to Chanel couture to admire the excruciating handiwork…





The tweed room appeals to my touchy feely sensibilities as each wall is panelled with the tweeds that make up the famous jackets.  I think my favourite has to be the waffle tweed…



King Karl of course has to preside over part of the proceedings and here is a mini replica of his photographic Studio 7L with its gigantic library. 



Then comes the real Disney moment.  Instead of Mickey though, it's a giant 2.55 bag, not dissimilar to the ones seen at Chanel's Mobile Art exhibition that toured a few years ago.  It's the natural photo opp that will have people pawing all over this bag over the next three weeks….




I loved this installation where a montage of all of Chanel No.5's ads were shown encased in a giant No.5 bottle.  Still guff at the Nicole Kidman ad but it did make me YouTube all the older ones…




This is me having experienced the doo-coco effect…

(Photos of silly me by Shini of Park & Cube)

A 2.55 quilted bag souvenir of the day would be some sort of insane rich bitch scenario but a book of beautiful pop-ups illustrated by Julien Colombier is just as good….



27 Replies to “Chanel x Harrods = DooCoco”

  1. I so agree with you how expensive and luxe everything look – not just how much Chanel usually costs but also how much time and money they put into this for this “pop up”. Everything looks super amazing. Someone should really design a Fashion theme park stat.

  2. I’m kind of glad I don’t have access to such a place (or do I?), I’m most likely to pocket something from being highly overwhelmed and wanting a piece of all that CHANEL! And then I’ll get blacklisted for eternity from everywhere… Did I just list myself as a potential criminal? I KID! I KID! I won’t steal anything I swear! Promise!

  3. Brilliant observations, thanks for taking me one of thee best places to visit! I live in San Francisco, California.
    Without your post, I truly would have missed a real must see.
    Thank you.

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