One of the most admired fashion brands in the world, legendary haute couture house Chanel has brought its newest exhibition to Seoul. It's a reopening of Mademoiselle Privé which was showcased at London's Saatchi Gallery back in 2015. High-profile Korean celebrities like G-Dragon and CL were present on its opening night at D-Museum, making it clear that this is one exhibit that will generate rave response from not only industry professionals but also pop-culture enthusiasts and the general public. There's one thing to keep in mind before you head yourself to Hannam-dong: make sure to install Mademoiselle Privé mobile phone application. It will function as your electronic docent and a platform for you to make an online reservation to see the exhibition.
The pleasantly futuristic exhibitions commences with a black and white "caricature-ized" representation of Gabrielle’s first shop in Deauville. Unfortunately, the line drawings of the room, as well as the white chapeaus in display, don’t seem to carry much meaning to someone who's not already aware of the orientation and history of the boutique. Perhaps if you watched the clip about the boutique (directed by Karl Lagerfeld himself) within the mobile application before coming to the show, the room may have a more imaginary impact.
Further down is the room dedicated for the Chanel N°5 fragrance with an interactive spaceship-like entrance. Walking in, you will be immediately overwhelmed with an olfactory sensation. The special ingredients that make up the legendary perfume can be tested individually, although any non-expert may have to try quite hard to single out the scent from the overall smell filling the room. The experience overall, however, is extremely uplifting as it offers a chance for you to feel truly one with the scent (as corny as it sounds, you won't know until you try).
The second floor of Mademoiselle Privé is a more current representation of the brand. It begins with an augmented reality welcome to ‘Mademoiselle’s Studio’. What follows is a wide-open hall filled with creative endeavors of Karl Lagerfeld as well as re-editions of Gabrielle Chanel’s haute joaillerie collection. The stunning pieces of Lagerfeld’s previous haute couture collections are held by brightly lit white fluorescent tubes while the scintillating diamonds of Gabrielle’s ‘Bijoux de Diamants’ series are kept in glass structures—the hall is probably worth millions right now.
The end, however, is a little less grand than what is expected of the fashion powerhouse, especially from being over-satisfied by each progressing room in this wonderland. Unfortunately, a simple room with pictures of global celebrities in Chanel clothing and accessories isn’t all that interactive and awe-inspiring. Overall, Mademoiselle Privé is on par with its brand value—although one could have expected a little more drama, especially à la fin.