September 06 2011
Any fan of Chanel (and who isn’t?) is in for a treat at Harrods over the next three weeks. Today, the store unveils the biggest project the Paris couture house has undertaken in the UK. It covers every aspect of its oeuvre, from fashion and accessories to beauty, stretches far beyond its usual dedicated areas within Harrods, and includes a host of specially designed and exclusive items. The idea is to create a taste of the Chanel world for everyone from new customers to seasoned aficionados.
The mood is set by every front window display, inspired by the exotic animals that fascinated Mlle Coco, and also by the dark fantasy forest set that formed the backdrop to Karl Lagerfeld’s current autumn ready-to-wear collection for the house. A ground-floor pop-up fashion boutique includes specially designed accessories in Harrods green – quilted flat biker boots and a patent shopper with gold CC logo and classic metal chain strap with tan leather work surprisingly well. There’s even a sprinkling of exclusive menswear.
Precious items from the watch and jewellery side include the unveiling of a baguette diamond high-jewellery model of the iconic Première watch costing more than £170,000 (pictured). For those on smaller budgets, the beauty pop-up on the same floor is a treasure-trove of hard-to-find and exclusive items. Make-up artist Peter Philips has designed a special range, entitled Knightsbridge and based on English rose pinks, with an illuminating powder, three Rouge Allure lipsticks and a gloss. There are also eight exclusive colourways of the sought-after nail polish; some are made for other markets abroad and available only at Harrods in the UK, others are re-edited hit colours remixed for the event. Best colours for autumn are the splendid crimson-brown Imperial and the true red Fire, all displayed in giant sweet jars. On September 15, nail artist Marian Newman is doing special “tweed” manicures in subtle colour mixes (call 020-7518 1314 for appointments). Both the Chanel No 5 and Mademoiselle Coco perfumes come in two different giant-sized crystal bottles for the occasion.
On the third floor, Chanel has built the Promenade, a series of room sets reflecting different aspects of Chanel’s heritage and entered through a pearl bead curtain, including a room from the Rue Cambon couture salon to show off exquisite haute couture dresses (and encourage customers to enter this rarefied world), and a “bag” room with a fascinating screen showing the making of a 2.55 bag. It’s all a wonderful way to lose yourself in the Chanel world. And the compensation for anyone who can’t make it is that this season’s special nail colours have arrived in top stores across the country – three metallic, mineral shades, of which the iridescent gold and green Peridot is particularly magnificent.