Coco Chanel’s star sign marks the reopening of the flagship boutique at one of this city’s most exclusive addresses – the Peninsula Hotel.
In September this year, following extensive renovations, Chanel reopened its flagship boutique at The Peninsula Hong Kong. The French luxury brand and The Peninsula hotel have a long history of partnership. Chanel first opened at the hotel some 42 years ago, a testament also to the brand’s long-standing presence in the city. Its boutique at the legendary address also demonstrates its commitment to constant innovation, so as to provide the ultimate luxury retail experience.
As with all Chanel boutiques, the maison commissioned New York-based architect Peter Marino to redesign and upgrade the store. Marino did not disappoint, once again capturing Chanel’s allure and timeless contemporaneity by harnessing the luxury brand’s codes of unbridled creativity, savoir-faire and the celebration of exceptional materials.
Spanning three floors, the revamped 7,900-square-foot store is dedicated to all things Chanel, from ready-to-wear to handbags, shoes, costume jewellery and eyewear, along with a selection of fragrances and watches, as well as high and fine jewellery.
The revamped store embodies the archetypal Chanel aesthetic. White and black marble lines the hotel’s ground-floor corridor, where the accessories section is located. Here are showcased seasonal bags and small leather goods, along with a full display of shoes, including the emblematic two-tone slingbacks and ballerinas.
A white-marble carpeted staircase, visible from the facade window, connects the ground floor to the mezzanine and the basement. On the latter, more accessories and bags are on display – including special collector’s bags – while the mezzanine floor houses three ready-to-wear salons. Here, styled looks are matched with seasonal bags and shoes against a backdrop of hand-made wall finishes, bespoke silk, and wool carpets in beige and black that evoke Chanel’s famous tweed. The three ready-to-wear salons are furnished with Coromandel-style glass mirror walls, custom warm-toned tweed sofas and unique coffee tables in black and gold, by Belgian artist Fernand Dresse; two bronze sculptural table lamps in a patina gold finish by French artist Laurence Montano intensify this inviting ambience. The dressing rooms are decorated with gold-tone artworks by Italian artist Gianfranco Zappettini and Belgian artist Johan Creten.
From the ready-to-wear section a sweeping staircase, with an eye-catching balustrade of 22 sets of rock crystals and brass soaked in gold. and designed by the goldsmith Goossens Paris, leads up to the Watches and Fine Jewellery boutique. Here, a Fine Jewellery VIP Salon features antique furniture and modern artworks, all specially chosen for this location. This intimate space enables guests to enjoy utmost privacy while perusing fine- and high-jewellery pieces that include Les Signatures creations, a unique capsule collection designed and created specifically for the opening of The Peninsula Hong Kong flagship boutique.
The collection, which comprises five pieces, is inspired by the mighty lion, the astrological sign of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, whose birthday falls on August 19. Throughout her life, Gabrielle Chanel – a devotee of astrology – believed in horoscopes and predictions. As such, lions and celestial motifs featured prominently in her work. Buttons, embroidery, buckles and, of course, jewellery featuring the lion’s noble face and other cosmic motifs can be found in many of her creations, as well as in the brand’s modern collections to honour her.
One of the most significant pieces in this tribute collection is the Constellation of Leo emerald signet-style ring. Inspired by the bold rings worn by Gabrielle Chanel, it features a magnificent octagonal emerald that echoes Place Vendôme in Paris. Once home to Gabrielle Chanel and now to one of the brand’s boutiques, this famous square has always been a source of inspiration for the French luxury house.
The vibrant emerald is surrounded by diamonds, while baguette-cut emeralds line the side to evoke The Peninsula’s opulent facade. What makes this ring extraordinary is a secret detail – a frontal face of a lion – which is only visible through the emerald.
Another majestic piece is the Constellation of Leo malachite necklace with a central medallion featuring a lion’s face crafted from a profusion of diamonds with a pear-shaped diamond on its forehead. Surrounded by intense green malachites, the swirling patterns and distinctive colour of this gemstone contrast beautifully against the silhouette of the star-studded diamond encrusted chain. A round diamond embedded in a gold star anchors this piece, providing an exquisite finishing touch.
Besides the signet ring, another ring in the capsule collection features a central pear-cut diamond that sits atop a diamond-encrusted lion’s head that’s supported by dazzling malachites and tsavorites at the side. By adapting materials and techniques, Chanel shows a new facet to Gabrielle Chanel’s favourite beast.
An interesting piece in this collection is a pair of mismatched earrings. This unique asymmetric pair almost mirror each other yet differ just slightly through the shape of a hanging diamond. One features a 1-carat pear-shaped drop diamond, while the other has a smaller round shape diamond set within a gold star. Both hang below a cascade of seductive malachites and tsavorites to make this an obvious statement piece for the ears.