I was in Paris recently for the dream trip of any fashion lover: Paris Couture week. I indulged in the full couture experience, staying at Castille Paris—literally steps from the original Haute Couture house: Chanel Maison at 21 Rue Cambon. What now shelters the iconic brand began as Coco Chanel’s hat shop “Chanel Modes” in 1910, before the entire building 31was acquired for Chanel’s expanding boutique (a concept she pioneered). Coco utilized the first floor to present her collections and hold her now famous haute couture fittings, while the second floor was her private apartment, still filled with her treasures today. Though Chanel the brand now occupies five buildings on Rue Cambon, it is in 31 that Karl Lagerfeld still conducts his studio (on the 3rd floor). I understand that her home is now a private spot to entertain guests of Chanel and has been maintained in its original condition. The hotel as well is Chanel inspired, creating a beacon of 1930s glamour in the 1st Arrondissement.
Since I knew I would not be able to resist walking through the iconic doors of Chanel (and it was going to be warm in Paris), I packed this beautiful summer Chanel along for the trip. It is several years old now, purchased from Neiman Marcus. I had to wait for it to go on sale, and I believe that it made it to sale because it was not lined at all when I purchased it. Fine for the Kardashian/Jenner sisters, but not fine for most of us. I am not a prude, but I do have my limits. I could see that was the issue, so I snapped it up. My tailor popped in a simple lining (not full length but just enough to add coverage), and now it is one of my favorite dresses for summer. It is elegant but so light—like wearing nothing at all. The perfect piece for the hot Atlanta (or Paris) summer.
I actually had my tailor clean it up a bit last year, refitting the top of it, replacing a bent hook or two and otherwise making it fit perfectly again after a few years of wear. As you will hear me say many times, “Buy investment pieces, and you will only cry once.” I throughly enjoyed having it with me in Paris, and will enjoy it for many more years to come.
Let me know what your tried and true investment pieces are below, and stayed tuned for the rest of my Paris Fashion Week adventures!