Gabrielle Chanel’s timeless fashion at Palais Galliera

Elegance, comfort and simplicity. Three words that encapsulate Mademoiselle Chanel’s fashion style and the legacy she has created. 

After having been closed for just over two years for renovation works, the Palais Galliera, Paris’ fashion museum, has inaugurated its reopening in grand style with an exhibition dedicated to one of France’s most illustrious fashion designers: Gabrielle Chanel. 

Entering the luminous and splendid building of the Palais Galliera, the exhibition develops on two floors. With few photographs and apt descriptions, the exhibition displays some of Coco Chanel’s most iconic collection pieces, from simple, practical, almost masculine creations to glamorous and sophisticated evening dresses. The exhibition displays the collection chronologically, highlighting pieces that have become emblematic of the Maison Chanel, such as the tweed suits, the marinière, the perfume Chanel N°5, the 2.55 handbag, and the pearl and diamond jewellery. A marvel for the eye, each creation carries a piece of history, inducing us to think back in time and imagining a society from a different age.


Gabrielle Chanel expo tweed suit


The collection’s selection of colours is also striking, particularly Chanel’s signature colours: black, red, white, beige and gold. Gabrielle Chanel’s decisions concerning colour mark another stylistic principle and contribute to the elegance and timelessness of her universe. Creating clothes based on her own necessities, Gabrielle Chanel was inspired by menswear and produced pieces that would represent and allow feminine independence: she rejected tight and restricting corsets while favouring loose silhouettes and trousers. This style would allow greater comfort and movement and was a fashion statement that would combine practicality and elegance, establishing a legacy liberating women.


Gabrielle Chanel expo evening dresses


Mademoiselle Chanel also distinguished herself from designers of her time in terms of perfume. In line with her vision of elegance and style, her first perfume, the iconic Chanel N°5 created by Ernest Beaux, was an elaborate blend of some eighty ingredients to obtain a mysterious, indefinable perfume. Its increasing success rocketed when Marilyn Monroe talked about it, and it is still the most renowned perfume today. 


Perfume Chanel N°5 drawing


Chanel’s choice of accessories also followed precise rules, never overshadowing the dress but complimenting it. Seen as an essential part of the look, Gabrielle Chanel integrated accessories in her outfits, modernizing and transforming them along with the clothes.


Gabrielle Chanel expo accessories


“Chanel always. Not entirely different, not entirely the same.” Vogue Paris, September 1962.

The fashion principles set by Coco Chanel inspired the women of her time to wear practical clothes while still being fashionable, and such timeless principles still rule our sense of fashion today. With a minimalist style, Gabrielle Chanel’s revolutionised haute couture at her time and built an eternal legacy. 

If you wish to have an exceptional visit of this exhibition contact us for a private guided visit with our fashion expert.