Fashion house Chanel has brought a dazzling array of its history and influence on culture to the Guangzhou Opera House in an exhibit designed by Jean-Louis Froment, art director for Chanel. Opened this week, the display will remain open to the public every day until March 3.
“It’s very different from cheap marketing sponsorship which goes against art,” Froment said. The exhibit celebrates Chanel’s modern lifestyle and is inspired by Serge Diaghilev’s ballet “Le Train Bleu,” for which Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel designed costumes. The show incorporates a wide variety of art forms into its preservation of Chanel fashion history.
The straight and narrow layout, resembling a train, incorporates 400 pieces, including new and vintage Chanel apparel, jewelry, and personal photos of Chanel. Among these are sprinkled sketches from Pablo Picasso, Salvadore Dali, Amedeo Modigliani and manuscripts from Jean Cocteau and Max Jacob.
The entire display is set against a stage curtain created by Alexandre Schervashidze, who reproduced Picasso’s image of depicting two half-clothed women running against a blue sky for use by the Ballet Russe in the original production of “Le Train Bleu.”
The original ballet told the story of an early 20th-century train that arrived in Paris at night to carry the leisure class to the south of France, where sunbathing and outdoor sporting could be enjoyed. It makes a terrific setting for Chanel’s timeless designs, including various iterations of the tweed jacket throughout this century and the previous one, as well as bathing suits and sailor-inspired striped shirts.
“That is the perseverance of fashion,” said Froment. “What interests me is art as a platform for other forms of creativity.”
Froment previously designed biographical exhibits of Chanel for Beijing and Shanghai, as well as one in Moscow.
photo credit: chanel