Chanel World Exhibit at Harrods London + fun Chanel Facts
21 September 2011

Chanel World Exhibit at Harrods London + fun Chanel Facts

Yesterday, I popped over to Harrods just to check out the Chanel World Exhibition. Well, okay, I’d be lying if that was my sole purpose, so yes, I went there to do some shopping as well. =P Anyway, the 3-week exhibition is called Chanel “Une Promenade”, and is a tribute to Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. The Chanel flags were flying at Harrods, with all its windows dedicated to Chanel.

The Chanel flags flying at Harrods

Here are some snapshots of the Chanel windows. I only took photos of these few windows you see below because firstly, those were the only windows with bags featured in them, while the rest were dedicated to Chanel’s Ready-to-Wear collections, and secondly, I found the windows too freaky and scary with stuffed animal heads on the mannequins, so yes.


The Chanel “Boy” bag



The Chanel pop-up store at Harrods




I wished I could post photos of the Chanel World exhibition, but photography was prohibited in the exhibit. The exhibit was split into different rooms that were connected by archways that were inspired by the archways at the orphanage that Coco grew up in. Upon entry, the first “room” was a garden, whose design was inspired by “Beauty & the Beast. Here, Chanel’s iconic camelia flower was the centerpiece. The camellia is significant to Maison Chanel because one of Coco’s lovers (who had died in a car crash — yep his name was Boy) used to always give her the flower, so it was something that she held very dearly, and from then on, incorporated the flower to almost all of her creations.

I opted for the guided tour of the exhibit, and there were so many rooms that I can’t remember the order of each. Anyway,  here are some facts that I had learnt (in random order) at the Chanel world exhibition:

  • The number 13, unlucky for many, was Coco Chanel’s lucky number
  • Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was a very superstitious woman
  • The lion’s head or the “Leo” is also significant because that was the year in which she was born
  • The Chanel No.5 perfume was called that because that was the fifth bottle – which she loved the most –  out of the 30 samples she had sniffed at the perfumery


  • Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was the first to use tweed as outerwear for her designs. Tweed was originally a material used for men’s underwear
  • Chanel created 2 pockets on the tweed jacket (one on each side) so that she could put her cigarettes on the left, and her sewing kit on the right pocket
  • Chanel also used chain link details (like those you see on the bag straps) at the bottom of the tweed jackets to weigh the jacket down so that its shape was maintained at all times even when it was being worn


  • The chain link straps on Chanel bags were inspired by the rosaries and the chain-like belts that the nuns wore at the orphanage in which she grew up
  • The interior of the Classic flap bags are lined with Burgundy leather to make it easier to retrieve things from the bag – it made things easier to find
  • The zippered pocket (that goes upwards) on the underside of the classic flap bags is called the “love pocket” so that she could carry around (and hide) love letters from her lovers
  • Most of the charms on Chanel bags were inspired by her lovers. The significance of a turtle charm was because one of her lovers, who was a fisherman, told her that turtles brought good luck (to fishermen) because it indicated that there were fish around the area.
  • The iconic interlocking “C” logo on Chanel bags weren’t part of the original design. It was Karl Lagerfeld who had incorporated it onto the bag, as a tribute to Coco Chanel.

Alrighty, that’s it! I gotta run now! Stay tuned for more London Fashion Week posts!

Stylicious Fashionista