The Chanel effect


The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag has clocked up 40,000 visitors in the opening month of its exhibition The Chanel Legend. The show tells the fascinating story of Coco Chanel and her renowned fashion house. Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel (1883-1971) revolutionised the way women dressed in the 20th century. Iconic designs like the ‘Little Black Dress’ and the Chanel suit became classics and still feature in today’s fashion scene.

Chanel for everyone

Now everyone can don an authentic black or white Chanel jacket and pose for a photo in the purpose-built studio within the exhibition space at the Gemeentemuseum. Like the Little Black Dress, the ‘little black jacket’ is a present-day fashion icon. But, rather than wear a whole Chanel outfit, today’s fashionista prefers to combine her classic bit of Chanel with something less formal – a pair of jeans, for example. Visitors who have their photos taken wearing the jackets and place them on the social media with the tag #chanelforeveryone may find themselves becoming part of the exhibition, as their pictures appear on the screen in the exhibition space. The associated children’s exhibition also gives kids the chance to dress up in Chanel style. There are pearl necklaces and jackets for them to put on and model on a catwalk.

Coco in the City!

The success of the Chanel event is also making itself felt outside the museum. From this November, the Chanel effect can be savoured in the city centre, where the Coco in the City! route links a string of The Hague’s retail and culinary ‘pearls’. Highlights include mouth-watering French goodies like macarons, hotel high teas and marvellous Chanel-style shop window displays. From 1 December, visitors to the exhibition will receive a free Coco in the City! Shopper, courtesy of the City of The Hague municipal authority. Coco Chanel inspired many other designers in the past and her influence lives on. In homage to her, two young designers have now designed little black dresses especially for the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Michael Barnaart van Bergen has designed a mini-dress with a jacquard motif incorporating a pearl necklace, while knitwear designer Jennifer de Bruyckère has created a plain black merino wool dress. A limited number of the two creations are for sale in the museum shop.