Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Inside Chanel's Apartment

Every morning we wake up to NPR, usually getting about 10 seconds of news in between pushes to the snooze button. Today, when we heard the name, "Coco Chanel" we immediately perked up and listened to the story.

The interview was with Odile Babin, a Chanel archivist (How do we get that job?!?), who has a charming French accent we could wake up to everyday. She took listeners on a tour of 31 Rue Cambon, Chanel's apartment. Among the chicest deets:
• Chanel would watch presentations of her new collections from the 5th step of her curved, beige carpeted staircase.
• "Mademoiselle Chanel hated doors," Babin said. "She hoped that by placing them [Chinese screens]in front of the door, her guests might not remember to leave."
• Among Chanel's prized possessions were three elongated octagon-shaped cigarette boxes for her Gitanes, a gift from one her lovers, the Duke of Westminster, that are engraved with the duke's coat of arms. The boxes are silver on the outside and gold on the inside — a luxury hidden from view, said Babin. 
• Chanel never slept at her apartment. Her nights were spent at the Ritz, a five-minute walk away.
• Before she would walk over to 31 Rue Cambon, Chanel would call to alert her staff that she was on her way so they could spritz the apartment with Chanel No. 5.

Read on for a virtual tour of Chanel's apartment and to listen to the broadcast.

Want to experience Paris for yourself? Check out the Coco Chanel tour.

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