The Cult of Chanel Returns to the Bay Area

Calling all San Francisco fashionistas! November 20, 2009 is a date you must program into your smart phones, as it marks the long-awaited reopening of 155 Maiden Lane’s Chanel Boutique.

This date is significant for Chanel as a company as well, according to President and CEO of Chanel, John Galantic, who deems this particular Peter Marino-designed boutique as “one of the most beautiful Chanel Boutiques in the world.”

The new store will debut the Cruise 2009-10 Collection (including two looks that will only be available in this boutique), in addition to putting a roof over oodles of Chanel goodies, from ready-to-wear to handbags, costume jewelry to watches, and, of course, shoes and fragrance.  The latest Cruise Collection conjures up Coco’s Venetian visions that Karl Lagerfeld has revived; a collection inspired by the art and travel of the waterfront Italian locale. Lagerfeld has followed the love of Ms. Chanel herself and her fascination with the city, a love that dates back to her first visit in 1919 when she was overwhelmed by the beauty enclosed in St. Mark’s Basilica.  Italian silent film goddesses serve as additional inspiration for the collection.

There are two entrances to the store, both of which meet under the glow of a 25 foot glass feature wall concocted out of black metal and glass, and lined with gold fabric and white lacquer—très Chanel.

Handbags populate one side, upon a setting of ivory cabuca stone flooring and hand plastered walls. Patrons can have a seat (and catch their breath) on the tweed-cushioned stools that are placed along a black lacquered bar-style counter and gaze at the quilted merchandise.

Bejeweled accessories are scattered throughout the store, with luxury watches to one side, and finely detailed clutches and costume jewelry at the other.  Additionally, another area exists to channel Chanel’s screens in her famed Rue Cambon apartment, decadently decorated with dazzling pearls and chains.
The next floor up houses the Ready-to-Wear, straight off of the Parisian runway.  A tweed sofa serves as a resting spot for the fatigued fashionista.  Woven slipper chairs are also on hand for trying on shoes.

So, November 19th, take a little while to indulge—not only in what Lagerfeld himself has created for you, but also in the breathtaking building that serves to encase all things Chanel.