Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery

Two Cs are always better than one, so Chanel is pretty much as good as it gets when it comes to haute couture.

Creating one icone after the other, all stamped with the brand’s double C logo, the French fashion house is one I’ve always been fascinated about.

So after watching hours of documentary and movies, there was no way on Earth I’d miss the Mademoiselle Privé exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

Early on Saturday morning, I met my friend Ilaria on Sloane Square.

Coffee in one hand and smartphone in the other, I was ready for a journey through the origins of Chanel‘s creations.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

My jaw dropped as we entered the building and pretty much stayed down there the whole time.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The enchanted journey through the house’s creativity first took us through a reconstitution of Coco Chanel‘s iconic apartment and shop of 21 rue Cambon.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

In the next room, black and white drawings give some insight into the brand’s first steps.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

From the world-famous logo combining two interlaced Cs and a wheat pattern…

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

…to Mademoiselle Coco’s inspiration for the sportive, casual chic clothing she was the first to make popular.

Quickly after this, the brand grew in popularity and turned towards high fashion, but Chanel’s influence quickly extended far beyond couture clothing.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

In 1920, Gabrielle Chanel commissioned the creation of a perfume to Russian-French chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

Mademoiselle Coco always had potent association for the number 5, so when presented with small glass vials containing sample scent compositions numbered 1 to 5 and 20 to 24 for her assessment, she chose the fifth vial and decided to let this sample number five keep the name it has already “for good luck”.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

Chanel no. 5 has been chosen as a signature scent by millions of modern, elegant women ever since.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

In 1932, Coco Chanel also designed her first and only jewellery collection, “Bijoux de Diamants“.

My favourite part of the Mademoiselle Privé exhibition though? The one focusing on the the House’s essential symbols.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The Camellia flower and the pearls.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The Venitian Moor.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The Black Line.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The Wheat.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The golden chain and, more recently, Greek pop.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

Just as iconic are Chanel’s signature ‘petite veste’ tweet and knowledge of tailoring.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

But the part all of London’s fashionista made a beeline for?

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The gorgeous gowns of course!

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

Rows after rows of sublime, black lace creations.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

With a bit of bling and feather here and there…

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

And how gorgeous is this hand-embroidered beauty? ?

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

It was only fitting we finished our visit by paying our respect to the very people who created that golden wonder; the Ateliers Lessage.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

We didn’t get to experience their know-how first hand but spend quite a while starring at those who did!

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

If you’re as interested in fashion and its history as I am, you absolutely MUST go see Mademoiselle Privé. It’ll be at the Saatchi gallery until November 1st and it’s every inch as classy and fabulous as it says on the box!

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery

My top packing tips (+ what I packed for 2 weeks in the US!)

I used to be that girl who carried suitcases bigger than me. Not that it’s a difficult thing to do since I’m so tiny, but still. I would carry 3 pairs of shoes everywhere (yes, even to school!), and about a billion other things along with it.

But it didn’t take me long to realise that carrying such big bags wasn’t really good for my back. And for what? Most of the time, I didn’t even used half of what I packed.

I’ve tried ever since to change my approach and turn into a minimalistic packer. Here are the top tips I’ve gathered along the way:

1. Pack just one or two pairs of trousers: I know it sounds crazy, but you hardly need more. I’m not a dress-and-skirt sort of girl, so I usually bring two pairs along (one in my suitcase and the other one, I wear on the plane).

2. Favour basic cuts and colours so you can mix-and-match easily: This one’s actually quite easy for me to implement since I hardly ever wear anything but black, navy, grey, white and nude pink. We all have a few colours we especially enjoy wearing: focus on those when packing, it’ll make your life easier!

3. Plan your outfits in advance: I try to plan about 2 outfits for every 3 days I’m going away and this really helps me not to overpack.Cake + Whisky | Travel | Packing tipsThis is more or less what I’ve packed for 2 weeks: one pair of black skinny jeans (which go with everything!🙌), one pair of denim shorts, 6 tops (basically all my favourites: a navy silk cami, a nude silk cami, the perfect black V neck T-shirt, this adorable striped/colourblock top I just bought, a scalloped black top (mine’s from Primark) and the cutest printed blouse), one thin grey cardigan, one Breton stripped shirt and a blazer.
It doesn’t look like much, but add to that underwear, pyjamas, a (very full) toiletry bag, tones of camera equipment and other knick-knacks and you’ll already have a fairly full bag (and I’d rather keep some room inthere to bring back all the peanut-buttery things I’ll be able to put my hands on!

4. Layer up for the flight!
Not only does it make you save up space in your suitcase, but it’ll also help you survive your flight without getting a cold! Cake + Whisky | Travel | Packing tipsI personally find jeans very comfortable (plus they’re amongst the bulkiest items!) so I’ll almost always wear those when I travel. I like to pick shoes that are easy to take off (it makes passing security checks that little bit easier!) but I will be packing a pair of warm socks in my hand luggage for the flight (because COLD!). A big scarf is an absolute must-have to win the battle against freezingly cold AC and if I’m going to wear a quite thin waterfall cardigan to travel, I’ll also carry a big hoodie.

5. Pack things that crease inbetween layers of dry-cleaning bags’ plastic: this helps to reduce friction, and ultimately, creases.

6. Pack your underwear in a washing bag: Two reasons: 1. it makes it much easier to find in your suitcase 2. if for some reason your bag was controlled by airport security, they would only touch the bag and not your underwear.

7. Don’t pack too many shoes: I know it’s tempting but from my experience, you never actually wear them all. I’m only bringing my beloved Repetto ballerinas this time, hopefully it will work out (otherwise, I suppose I’ll just have to go shopping 😜)!

What are your top tips to avoid overpacking? I’m still a minimalist packer newbie so would love to hear them! 

My top packing tips (+ what I packed for 2 weeks in the US!)