A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Before the end of the year, I wanted to visit the Coco Chanel Exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague – and this time I got in, finally! 😉
I was lucky to get the tickets, without having to stand in line for too long, and the exhibition was amazing! My advice: It is probably a good idea to go at lunchtime/noon, at about 12:00 pm on a Sunday. The long sleepers were still having breakfast and the short sleepers having lunch already 😉
Entering the exhibition rooms and sneaking a peek at the other rooms, my first thought was that I have never seen so many wonderful Chanel garments all at once.
Right at the entrance, three typical Chanel Lady’s suits in white were shown. Information boards acquainted me with Coco Chanel and the genesis of her fashion imperium. Following the path through the exhibition rooms, more dresses, costumes, bags and other parts of Chanel collections were exhibited, neatly arranged and described. I could also marvel at parts of her sumptuous jewelry collections, and of course her famous perfume Nr. 5 and its origins.
Most of the dresses presented in the exhibition were designed with a magical timelessness, never outdated and always modern. I could not even find a favorite garment! Every single piece of clothing had a marvelous uniqueness, which should always be seen in the context of the time in which Coco Chanel worked – her designs were revolutionary! Clothes from different eras and ages, wonderful patterns and colors – a journey to the past but nothing look old-fashioned.
Much information about Coco Chanel was presented, in Dutch and in English. Quotes of Coco Chanel or about her set the mood and provided insight into her life and the time she lived in.
A very good idea of the trustees was to give several samples of the material and textiles used for the Chanel garment. Feeling these pieces of material was a pleasant opportunity to get a sense of how the actual dresses might wear.
Another interesting concept to set the mood for a real fashion exhibition was a photo shooting, in which the visitors could dress up in dresses similar to Chanel fashion and a photographer took beautiful pictures of you! These photos are shown on screens on the walls and could be bought.
The exhibition is a must for everyone interested in fashion, Chanel´s historical background and the origin story of one of the most influential couturiers of her time. In my opinion, the highlights are probably the Chanel garments presented; amazing to get so close to these, sometimes very old, dresses.