Although we have seen photographs of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s Paris apartment many times, we never tire of catching new glimpses of the famed fashion designer’s space above the Chanel flagship boutique at 31 Rue Cambon. Housed on the second floor, the apartment is accessed by a grand, sweeping spiral Art Deco staircase surrounded by panels of mirrors.
To this day, the apartment remains exactly as Coco Chanel left it, with antique vases and sculptures, lacquered Chinese screens, Japanese deer and wheat motifs (a sign of prosperity), and chandeliers in every room. The apartment, curiously, has no bedroom, for it was used solely for work and entertaining. Chanel chose to sleep, instead, in a suite at The Ritz.
Visitors to Coco Chanel’s apartment at the time, included Elizabeth Taylor, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, and as such, the space also holds treasured gifts from Chanel’s famous friends, such as gold boxes from the Duke of Westminster, a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, an ancient Russian icon from Igor Stravinsky, and a painting by Salvador Dali.
Coco Chanel was born in poverty, but she managed to transform herself from an unknown Provincial singer to the owner of a huge fashion house, which still has a leading role in the industry today. The life of Coco Chanel teaches us never to give up, and constantly go toward our goal, despite any obstacles.
Photography by Brittany Ambridge