As the finishing touches (literally the ‘a’ and the ‘e’) were being meticulously placed on Chanel‘s new Melbourne residence recently, the design house kindly invited me inside their black iron gates. A decade in the making, our Chanel is no longer nestled amongst the Paris end of Collins Street. Instead the essence of 31 Rue Cambon lives on in grander scale at the corner of Flinders Lane and Russell Street via a building which was once a bank and a hub for Scientology.
It’s obvious Chanel revere Gabrielle Chanel’s rich legacy as the new space is layered with art and furnishings that resemble the label’s iconic tweed, camellias, wheat motifs (apparently a symbol of properity) and crystal balls and shards which play to Coco’s superstitious leanings. Architect Peter Marino designs all of Chanel’s black, white, beige and gold boutiques virtually from top to bottom; here he has included discreet valet parking, secret passages, a trio of change-rooms each playing a different fashion film and an intimate but lovely rooftop which is sure to be the scene for many private soirées in future. And so Chanel Melbourne is like a refined version of Coco’s Parisian apartment, which is apparently far more ostentatious and still provides inspiration for the collections that the house’s current commander Karl Lagerfeld concocts to this day.
Experience a little luxury at Chanel, 140 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.