Photos Feature Coco Chanel Apartment

London -- Apparently it wasn't the catwalk that was the must see this London Fashion Week; but the opening at the Saatchi Gallery of an exhibition of 34 photographs that the artist and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson took of Coco Chanel's apartment in Paris.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network were on hand to view the stunning exhibition.

The photography is a departure for Taylor-Johnson. The artist is better known for more unorthodox portraits. Among them is the filmmaker's video of David Beckham sleeping, and 'the Crying Men series', in which Daniel Craig, Ray Winstone, Sean Penn among other other Hollywood stars were photographed in tears.

This latest series of photographs depict the private rooms of Mademoiselle Chanel at her iconic Parisian apartment at 31 Rue Cambon.

The subject matter of Taylor-Johnson's photographs are the interiors of the apartment preserved as a private memorial since Chanel's death more than 40 years ago.

"Shooting at Coco Chanel's apartment was an unexpectedly absorbing experience," says 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 inhabits the second floor."

Treasured Objects

Starting from the hallowed mirrored staircase leading up to the apartment, the Turner Prize nominee has captured this intimate world, artfully immortalizing objects and furniture that were so treasured by Mademoiselle Chanel.

The photographs illustrate the numbers, patterns, colors and emblematic animals that are synonymous with Mademoiselle Chanel's creative vocabulary

The photo collection begins with the the white satin-covered bergère on which Chanel was photographed by Horst in 1937. Shown are the Coromandel lacquered screens, gilt Venetian mirrors, and walls stacked with leather bound editions including Shakespeare, Voltaire, Byron and Bronte.

The viewer is further treated to the salon's rock-crystal chandeliers -- which on closer inspection reveal the blossoming of camellias not forgetting the number 5, the double C, and the initials G for Gabrielle and W for Westminster.

Every detail of this personal interior space has been brought to the fore.

Mademoiselle Chanel surrounded herself with treasured objects, like crystal balls, pairs of animals -- like terra-cotta camels, deers, and earthenware horses -- and, of course, her majestic and symbolic gilded lions that represented her star sign Leo. These valued talismans co-exist with the more austere lines of natural materials and muted colors.

Mademoiselle's apartment provides an atmosphere, which, is both personal and mysterious and is a testament to her modern style.

"The apartment is beautifully stylish. It feels like she had meticulously chosen every object," says Sam Taylor-Johnson.

To accompany the exhibition, a book entitled ‘Second Floor’ published by 7L will be available to buy from Saatchi Store at Saatchi Gallery as well as other book stores. A limited edition box set of ten prints chosen by the artist will also be available.

Today's Featured Art Video provides a walk-through of Coco Chanel's apartment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpinr4Uts-8&sns=em