If you go down to Bond Street today, you're sure for a dose of luxe! Well, more than the usual anyway. Grazia Daily spent our Monday morning having a sneak preview of at Chanel's brand new flagship boutique in the heart of London, which is due to open to the public on Wednesday. But don't let the word 'boutique' fool you - it is, in fact, 12,600 square feet of sheer Chanelegance complete with a marble staircase and a rhinestone deer. Seriously. We could've spent the entire day swooshing through the three floors but before getting too carried away, we've managed to whittle down our favourite bits to these gems so you can have a coo too...
1. Accessories galore!
There's a wall dedicated to sunglasses, an entire shoe area, panels to showcase scarfs and belts... this was an utter dream for us magpies. The famous hangbags are on display - including THAT hula hoop number hanging off a mannequin - but there's also shoes, watches and costume jewellery plus many a pair of Karl-tastic gloves. We'll take one of everything please.
2. Chanel's Scottish style
The Metiers d'art Paris-Edinbough collection, first presented at Linlithgown Palace in Scotland back in December, takes centre stage. Check out the fabulous artisanal Scottish knits and tweeds - fabrics that Mademoiselle Chanel embraced throughout her career - worn by the likes of Cara Delevingne on the catwalk and modelled by Tilda Swinton in the campaign. Och aye!
3. The Beauty Parlour
Forget your average beauty counter and step inside a mini-boudoir adorned with every Chanel product you could possibly need. The fragrances are displayed in their very own cabinet with an oversized bottle of the signature No.5 scent being cradled in a pair of black mannequin hands. If only our bathroom cabinets could be so chic...
4. That Coco Touch
The entire boutique is oh-so-Coco, being inspired by Mademoiselle Chanel's famed apartment at 31 rue Cambon in Paris. The ribbon wall, created from gold fabric, is inspired by her collection of Coromandel screens and there's a ginormous marble staircase that recalls those iconic stairs. At the top, sits a black and white portrait of Coco watching over her wonderland.
An antique fireplace adds a homely feel as does the Chinese carpets so it really is like shopping in her very own townhouse. And did you know Coco was tres superstitious? Yes, the lady of the house collected symbols such as ears of corn as well as statues of lions (her starsign was Leo). Artist Liza Lou threaded gold-plated beads onto hundreds of individual stainless steel wires and bound them into 40 separate sheaves to make the shimmering creation below left.
5. A rhinestone deer, anyone?
As soon as you step inside the boutique, you're greeted by none other than this fella. Designed by Marc Swanson, this deer sculpture used nearly 200,000 silver rhinestones, each applied individually by hand. Phewf! So why's he there? Appaz, the selection was inspired by the bronze deer in Coco Chanel's Rue Cambon apartment. Naturallement.
6. Amazing architecture
While we're on an arty note, let's talk all things architecture. Peter Marino is the man behind the boutique and has worked his magic on Chanel stores around the world so certainly knows what he's doing. The New York-based architect embraced the exquisiteness of the French fashion house - decking out the walls in hand woven metallic white gold and lashings of marble. But there's also an intimate feel to the whole shebang...
Each floor is separated into small areas filled with antique furniture, bespoke artwork and super-chic but comfy tweed sofas in the spirit of Coco. Artworks by Richard Deacon and Liza Lou as well as Karl Lagerfeld himself adorn the walls, drawing on the tradition of Lady Chanel who cultivated visionary artists in her time. Each piece echoes the legendary Chanel signatures with references to black and white, the geometric intricacies of the Chanel tweed and new expressions of Coco's favourite flower, the camellia.
7. The pearly staircase
Recalling the classic strands of pearls that Coco made so famous, a giant twisting necklace sculpture no less than 11 meters high makes a magnificent centre piece. It was created by renowed French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel who chose to interlace glass beads in shades of grey, black and silver to create his largest hanging necklace sculpture to date. Can we have one in our house please?
For more from inside the store, check out the gallery below...