HOME ALONE: Come September, the artist, photographer and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson plans to unveil a set of 45 pictures taken in the private apartment of Coco Chanel at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris.
The exhibition is called “Second Floor,” and will run from September 12-22 at Saatchi Gallery in London.
The apartment has been kept as it was when Chanel was alive, and is not open to the public. According to Chanel, Taylor-Johnson was curious to see and to photograph it — but had no specific plans in mind.
“Shooting at Coco Chanel’s apartment was an unexpectedly absorbing experience,” said Taylor-Johnson. “The essence of Chanel is firmly rooted there in all of her possessions, and I truly believe that her spirit and soul still inhabit the second floor.”
The exhibition will include images of the white satin-covered bergère on which Chanel was photographed by Horst in 1937; the Coromandel lacquered screens; gilt Venetian mirrors; and walls stacked with leather-bound editions of works by authors including Shakespeare, Voltaire and Byron.
“The apartment is beautifully stylish. It feels like she had meticulously chosen every object,” said the photographer.
There are also pictures of the gilded lions that represented the designer’s star sign, Leo, and rock-crystal chandeliers, which on closer inspection reveal the blossoming of camellias, one of the fashion house’s enduring symbols.
A book entitled “Second Floor” will be published by 7L and be on sale at Saatchi Gallery and other stores. A limited-edition box set of 10 prints chosen by the artist will also be available.