Huge news for double-C devotees: Chanel has unveiled its newly renovated New York flagship, the label’s largest boutique in America. Measuring 14,000 square feet and expanded from three to five floors, the gleaming maison at 15 E. 57th St. carries everything from designer Karl Lagerfeld’s ready-to-wear, accessories, jewelry and beauty must-haves to an exclusive bag and scent created just for the opening. Short of a visit to Paris, it’s the best place to score trending looks from France’s fabled fashion house.
Designed by renowned architect and longtime collaborator Peter Marino, the interior is inspired by founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s much-photographed rue Cambon apartment and her iconic “codes,” like chic black-and-white pairings and art deco flourishes. The store features folding lacquer panels that call to mind the Coromandel Chinese screens that lined her home. Bronze and crystal chandeliers commissioned from goldsmith Maison d’art Goossens hang in the shoe salon and watch and fine jewelry room, echoing the gilded treasures displayed on her tables. Meanwhile, the boutique’s tailored tweed couches and chairs recall her women’s suits cut from the menswear fabric.
The store’s dazzling centerpiece is a larger-than-life version of one of her favorite accessories: A 60-foot-long, double-strand “pearl” necklace by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel cascades down the main staircase. Crafted of mirrored, stainless steel and gilded-glass beads, the sculpture summons Mademoiselle’s famous ropes and ropes of lustrous pearls.
That’s not the only masterwork on display. In line with Coco’s patronage of the arts, the store showcases photography by Robert Mapplethorpe and Jenny Holzer’s “I Touch Your Hair” installation, among other pieces.
The latest Cruise collection — a jaunty, nautical-themed line presented last May in the Grand Palais on a colossal cruise-ship set — is also on board. So are the limited-edition 2.55 handbag and wallet strewn with New York-centric charms like a yellow cab and a Broadway sign, both available only at this location. Other NYC exclusives include a special Code Coco watch and a musky fragrance by house perfumer Olivier Polge called “Les Exclusifs de Chanel 1957.” (For other beauty collectibles, head a couple of doors down to Le Rouge Chanel at 5 E. 57th St. The seasonal pop-up, open Dec. 7 to 24, carries limited-edition gifts like No. 5 perfume in a red Baccarat-crystal bottle.)
Shoppers will have to wait until May for Chanel’s latest Métiers d’Arts line, shown Dec. 4 at The Met. The collection celebrates the savoir-faire of Chanel’s embroiderers, flower makers, goldsmiths, milliners and other artisans of the exquisite.
As Coco herself once said: “Luxury means that the inside is just as beautiful as the outside.”
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