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Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto (touring)

Start Date 16 September 2023
End Date 25 February 2024
Venue V&A Museum
Location London, UK
Curator Oriole Cullen, Connie Karol Burks and Stephanie Wood
Gallery view showing a timeline on a curved grey wall. In the centre is a cream top in a display case. On the right-hand side are two photographs and a large label entitled 'Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto',
A gallery view showing eigh cream and beige Chanel embroidered and silk outfits.
A black gallery view showing jewellery in four cases. Two large labels entitled 'A Chanel Hallmark' and 'Creative Forces' sit in the centre.
Two rows of Chanel outfits, categorised by colours against softly lit white backgrounds.

Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto is the first UK exhibition dedicated to the work of French couturière, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, charting the evolution of her iconic design style and the establishment of the House of CHANEL, from the opening of her first millinery boutique in Paris in 1910 to the showing of her final collection in 1971.

Featuring almost 200 looks seen together for the first time, as well as accessories, perfumes and jewellery, the exhibition explores Chanel’s pioneering approach to fashion design, which paved the way for a new elegance and continues to influence the way women dress today.

Based upon the Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto exhibition organised by the Palais Galliera, Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, the exhibition is re-imagined by the V&A, with over 100 new objects including 60 new looks. It features rarely seen pieces from the V&A’s collection, alongside looks from Palais Galliera and the Patrimoine de CHANEL, the heritage
collections of the fashion House in Paris. Highlights include one of the earliest surviving Chanel garments from 1916; original costumes designed by Chanel for the Ballets Russes production of Le Train Bleu in 1924; outfits created for Hollywood stars Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich; an early example of Chanel’s ground-breaking evening trousers and ensembles from Chanel’s final collection of 1971.

Chanel designed first and foremost for herself. By creating clothes fit for an independent and active lifestyle, she anticipated the needs and wants of the modern woman. Through ten
themed sections, the exhibition explores Chanel’s innovative approach to fabric, silhouette and construction, and will examine how she drafted a new framework for fashion in the
twentieth century. Showcasing a stunning array of some of Chanel’s most notable designs from her sixty years in fashion, the exhibition analyses her professional career, the emergence
and the development of her style, and her contribution to the history of fashion. The exhibition also highlights Chanel’s British inspirations, such as her adoption of tweed, partnerships with British textile firms and textile factory in Huddersfield.