New Paris Boutique for Chanel
June 7, 2012
Chanel’s lavish new Paris boutique is the luxury giant’s second address on the prestigious Avenue Montaigne and the brand’s most beautiful shop to date. With gleaming lacquered walls, pearl-studded silk curtains, skylights, balconies and miles of tasteful gilding, the 6,500-square-foot space gave New York-based architect Peter Marino a rare opportunity to take a retail space and run with it. Inspired by Coco Chanel’s legendary rue Cambon apartment, the architect obviously enjoyed embedding clever references to her legacy throughout the space, the most obvious being artist Jean-Michel Othoniel’s monumental double-strand glass “pearls” cascading down the stairwell and pooling over a pristine white marble floor. The French jeweler Goossens created the splendid gilded-bronze and quartz chandeliers, alluding to Chanel’s 1950s heyday, when she hired the company to reinterpret Byzantine and Egyptian jewelry, famously playing on the ambiguity between the real and the fake.
Commissioned works from a dozen international artists punctuate the new two-floor space—bags, small leather goods, scarves, watches, shoes and sunglasses are showcased on the ground floor and ready-to-wear upstairs. To house the precious accessories and métiers d’art collections, Marino designed the store’s pièce de résistance: a double-height room done up floor-to-ceiling in gold tweed wall covering, with a gold-flecked carpet and burnished gold ceiling. Throughout the store, an army of smiling salespeople, speaking dozens of languages, usher VIP clients through discreet mirrored and lacquered doors to private chambers hidden behind.
51 ave Montaigne, 8th, 01.44.50.73.00. www.chanel.com
Originally published in the May 2012 issue of France Today
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