Maison Chanel

In the world of fashion, designers traditionally sketched, draped, cut, sewed, presented and sold their collections all from one location. For French labels, they were based in homes, hence the term maison. Nowadays, most are a part of a conglomerate, encompassing several brands (and addresses). Very few have their own home. But, when one does, it becomes newsworthy.

Last November, Chanel opened a flagship boutique in downtown Toronto, within an original façade dating from a Village of Yorkville private residence constructed on the site in 1871. With an interior design conceived by world renowned architect Peter Marino, the codes of the House (black and white, gold touches, bespoke artwork and furnishings) blend yesterday and today in a cohesive space.

The boutique presents two salons dedicated to ready-to-wear collections as well as four accessories salons featuring a selection of shoes, handbags, small leather goods, eyewear and a selection of Chanel watches and fine jewellery.

Upon entering the boutique, clients are immersed into a gallery space, featuring a striking Goossens chandelier of rock crystal and polished bronze. This gallery transitions into the four salons on the main floor. To the right of the entrance, the first space is dedicated to costume jewellery and a selection of handbags. Steps away, the second salon is dedicated to footwear (a brass ‘Raindrops’ wall mirror by Curtis Jere acts as a conversation piece). A third salon is devoted to a range of eyewear, small leather goods and other accessories. Lastly, the fourth salon showcases a selection of bags, watches and fine jewellery (including the Gallery fine jewellery collection, recently launched in Paris). These spaces are accessorized with French Montano ‘ribbon’ chairs in blackened bronze.

An impressive eight meter, white and gold beaded 3-D pearl necklace that cascades though the main staircase was specially commissioned by Jean-Michel Othoniel. Known for his longstanding collaboration with the House of Chanel, the artist designed the piece to resemble one of Chanel’s classic accessories, and can be seen from the both the ground and upper floors.

The upper floor is dedicated solely to ready-to-wear. A set of three framed abstract photos of Mademoiselle Chanel by Louis Heilbronn can be found in the main area, while one of the two salons include a fireplace made of limestone juxtaposed by a gold-leaf resin Wendell Castle ‘Firebird’ chair. The three fitting rooms include artworks such as a pearl framed art piece by Shelter Serra, a gold and ivory camellia collage by Peter Dayton and a black and white graphic abstract artwork by Heinz Mack.

Designed as an elegant and sophisticated townhouse, this new boutique showcases Chanel’s creativity ensuring a continued and unforgettable shopping experience in Toronto. And with Chanel, a house is not a home; it’s a maison.

(Photos courtesy of Chanel)

About The Author

Steven Carver
International Editor

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