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Courtesy Paris To Provence
Courtesy Paris To Provence
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Melbourne Set to Stage a Coco Chanel Exhibition at the Paris to Provence Festival

Picture of Monique La Terra
Updated: 10 October 2017
Last week Karl Lagerfeld unveiled Chanel’s latest collection at Paris Fashion Week in front of six towering waterfalls. The SS18 collection was unmistakably Chanel, with tweed bouclé jackets and boater hats; however, it felt less Coco and more Gabrielle – the real name of the brand’s founder. Coincidentally, Gabrielle is also the subject of a new exhibition set to arrive at Melbourne’s Como House and Garden next month.

The retrospective Coco at Como: Mademoiselle’s Life Story is a part of the historical establishment’s ninth annual Paris to Provence Festival. Curated by festival founder and director Laura Rancie, the exhibition is an intimate and interactive homage to Coco’s life and illustrious career, featuring more than 80 rare couture garments from her private collection as well as international runway shows. “Everyone knows Coco Chanel, but before there was Coco, there was Gabrielle,” said the house’s president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, before the recent show.

Courtesy Paris To Provence
Courtesy Paris To Provence

French tour guides—either blogger Caroline Vosse from Fren’Chic Touch or designer Caroline Rham from Étone Jewellery—will escort guests into the South Yarra property through to the boudoir which recreates Gabrielle’s childhood as an orphan. From here, guests cross the hallway festooned with Chanel’s early hat collection before following the sounds of live French jazz into the Grand Ballroom, transformed to resemble Chanel’s rue Cambon apartment, complete with 17th-to 19th-century French antiques courtesy of Anton Venoir Interiors. Tweed suits, couture gowns, the Little Black Dress, handbags and pearls pack the room, lavishly demonstrating Chanel’s prowess as a designer and prominence as a fashion icon. The journey continues into the billiards room, restyled as a French seamstress atelier, and concludes in a perfumed haze in the marble bathroom.

Courtesy Paris To Provence
Courtesy Paris To Provence

Coco at Como runs from Friday, November 24 to Sunday, November 26 with a maximum of 25 people per tour. Each 30-minute visit will be hosted by either Caroline Vosse or Caroline Rham. Please note online tickets are nearly exhausted; additional tickets will be available for every session from the INFO Marquee during the Mercedes-Benz Toorak Paris to Provence Festival. Festival entry is separate.