From 4pm to 6pm, Kevin Lyons will be customizing Chanel handbags at the CHANEL-COLETTE ephemeral boutique, 336 - 340, rue Saint-Honoré, Paris.

Kevin Lyons is a 1992 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in the USA where he received a degree in film.
Typographer, Art Director, designer and teacher, he was named as one of “The Top Forty Designers Under Thirty” by I.D. Magazine. His work has been published worldwide from Thrasher to The Face, to Lowdown to Anthem and Refill. He has shown worldwide including solo shows in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Paris.



From March 1st to 10th, two legendary Fashion addresses – Chanel 31 rue Cambon and Colette 213 rue Saint-Honoré – will be blending their creative talent to open an ephemeral boutique at 336-340 rue Saint-Honoré. Stretching over 200 m², the boutique is set in the industrial surroundings of a former garage turned into a giant living display space.

This spontaneous installation will combine fashion, visual arts and musical performances, resulting in a fun-fuelled, creative mix and match by Chanel and Colette with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe.

The headlining creations from the Chanel 2011 Spring-Summer collection will arouse curiosity when juxtaposed with a selection of pieces from young designers chosen by Colette. Legendary Chanel bags and this season’s designs, including a Mademoiselle bag in the famous Colette colour, will be originally customised by various artists such as Kevin Lyons, Soledad, André, Fafi and SO-ME.

Even more playful and unusual surprises await in the form of a collector’s doll by Karl Lagerfeld, bag charms, helmets, and cameras. Amongst these must have items, Colette compilation CDs and scented candles are not forgotten.

Other aesthetic and delectable treats include the Colette nail bar and a cupcake bar.

A special playlist created by Michel Gaubert is also available to all boutique customers.


Friends of Chanel are special guests to be discovered as in house DJs, and five artists invited by Colette will be customising Chanel bags, upon request.

March 1: Kevin Lyons, designer and illustrator, will be customizing bags, 4pm - 6pm
March 2: Camellia demonstration by a Lemarié craftsman, 3pm - 6pm
March 3: The illustrator Soledad will be customizing bags, 4pm - 6pm
March 4: Harpsichord performance by the pianist and composer Maxence Cyrin, from 5pm
March 5: Graffiti artist André will be customizing bags, 3pm - 6pm
March 7: Graffiti artist Fafi will be customizing bags, 4pm - 6pm
March 8: Chanel nail bar, 3pm - 6pm
March 9: SO-ME, graphic artist and illustrator, will be customizing bags, 4pm - 6pm
March 10: Chanel nail bar, 3pm - 6pm

Chanel and Colette: Meet in rue Saint-Honoré
336 - 340, rue Saint-Honoré, Paris 1st
From March 1st to 10th 2011
Hours: Monday-Saturday from 11am to 7pm



Dating back to the 18th century, rue Cambon was named after a famous French revolutionary elected to the National Convention, whose father was a fabric manufacturer.

The streets in this part of Paris were built after the French Revolution. In order to make way for them, the buildings of the Couvent de la Conception convent were demolished, leaving only the Notre Dame de l’Assomption church, which still stands to this day. The edifices erected subsequently were influenced by classicism, an architectural style characterized by purity of line, rigorous proportions, symmetry and horizontal divisions. They present smooth façades and a unified sense of volume.

In 1910, Gabrielle Chanel opened her hat shop, “Chanel Modes”, at Number 21 rue Cambon, in the center of Paris, only a stone's throw from Place Vendôme and rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in the heart of a very fashionable part of town.

19th century writers such as Stendhal and Chateaubriand occasionally dwelled on rue Cambon, where Chanel would brush shoulders with renowned caricaturist George Goursat, also known as “SEM”. He created the first artistic rendering of perfume N°5.

As she quickly gained recognition for her talents as a hat-maker, Gabrielle decided that she needed larger premises. In 1918, she acquired the entire building at Number 31. It was here that she invented the concept of the modern boutique: in 1921, she began displaying fashion accessories and her first perfume (N°5) to wear with her garments and hats. Later, she added jewelry and beauty products.

Gabrielle Chanel claimed rue Cambon as her territory and arranged her 18th century building to suit her needs. The boutique occupied the ground floor, while the large reception room on the first floor was used to present her collections and hold fittings for Haute Couture dresses and suits. A stairway lined with mirrors led to her second-floor apartment, which was an intimately private realm filled with treasures. The third floor housed the studio, where Karl Lagerfeld works today, together with light-flooded workshops nestled below the rooftops. All of her activities, which included workshops for making jewelry, hats and sportswear, were united in this building, whose configuration has remained unchanged.

During the 1920s, Chanel expanded up the street and by 1927 she occupied five buildings on rue Cambon (Numbers 23 to 31).



From as early as the 1930s, Gabrielle Chanel used a baroque decor with gilt wood paneling for her fashion shows at 31 rue Cambon. The two pilasters are 17th-century Italian sculpted caryatids, which today stand on both sides of the mirror in the dining area of Mademoiselle’s apartment.

By the 1960s, only a few traces of this theatrical decor remained, the overall style having disappeared. Its spirit nevertheless endures, as seen in the catwalk design for the Spring-Summer 2011 Haute Couture show, which clearly evoked the original decor and 18th-century mirrors of Coco Chanel’s apartment.

Photograph on the left by Roger Schall: fashion show at 31 rue Cambon in 1938

Photograph on the right by Olivier Saillant: Haute Couture show at the Pavillon Cambon Capucines in 2011



Haute Couture is woven from dreams, gold, hard work, and excellence. It is an ode to the artisans of luxury, a willed madness, a fabulous dinosaur, and a glittering Atlantis that dazzles us twice a year, bringing reassurance that in a globalized world of robotic manufacturing, a sanctuary still remains, a place where clothes are lovingly created by hand over hundreds, even thousands of hours.
The term "Haute Couture" may be legally restricted, but its poetic inspiration knows no bounds!
Today in France, Haute Couture continues to sustain artisans, workshops and suppliers who pass on their unique specialist skills to new generations. Chanel has acquired and fused several of these rare workshops together, such as embroidery from Lesage and feather work from Lemarié, ensuring that their knowledge is handed down and their artistic crafts survive.
Haute Couture is a French national treasure, yet it was invented by an Englishman, Charles Worth, at the time of Napoleon III. Barely a century after it had beheaded its king, France quickly understood that luxury could act as an inimitable ambassador for French expertise.
After Worth, couturiers such as Callot, Patou, Poiret, Vionnet and Lanvin continued to dress women beautifully, without always taking the shape of their bodies into account…
At that moment, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, known as Coco, arrived on the scene with her hands in her pockets and a cigarette between her lips. She was surrounded by an air of nonchalance, eternal allure and insane elegance in her wonderfully fluid jersey suits and dresses, which went on to represent a real liberation for women. It seemed a natural step but someone had to invent it, someone had to have the confidence and the talent to understand what women wanted, longed for, even before they knew it themselves. Was Chanel a revolutionary, a prophet? Absolutely!

The Chanel Spring-Summer 2011 Haute Couture collection has created a dazzling bridge between the 1920s and the 21st century.
Low waists, slender busts and delicate feet encased in ballerina shoes with transparent ribbons have been combined with the colors of clouds or pearls and waves of shimmering spangles, while embroidered shirts have been paired with Couture jeans that lengthen the legs to infinity... It is a younger look that is lighter than ever, rejecting any kind of bourgeois heaviness. The collection is characterized by total grace and luxurious materials that make their mark with skilled understatement, recapturing a style that came as second nature to Coco Chanel…

Photo: Benoît Peverelli

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Spring-Summer 2011 Haute Couture show, Pavillon Cambon Capucines, Paris

Photos: Delphine Achard


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