Karl Lagerfeld doesn't do things in halves. Which is why when his team at Chanel collaborated with Harrods, the results - unveiled today - were eye-popping to say the least. Not content with filling the entire stretch of window displays on the store's Brompton Road façade with powerful scenes of its A/W 2011 collection, featuring an enchanted bestiary and whimsical French fairy tale imagery, Chanel has put its stamp on the storefront like you would on a turreted castle, embellishing it with a series of branded flags. And that's just what you see on the outside.
Stepping inside the store, it's hard to know which part of Chanel's adventure requires attention first. On the ground floor, the brand has created a temporary 'misty garden' fashion boutique, lined with white and black walls embossed with lions' heads, and filled with every sartorial item imaginable - including the classic Harrods bag, which has been given a Chanel makeover.
Over in the beauty department, a pink make-up counter - complete with the pop-up photo booth seen in the A/W 2011 campaign and oversized Chanel perfume bottles - houses the Knightsbridge Collection, a limited-edition make-up range created by Peter Phillips, creative director of Chanel make-up.
Meanwhile, on the third floor, a dramatic 350 sq m installation, 'Une Promenade', is an Alice-in-Wonderland-style journey into the world of Coco Chanel. Visitors enter through a curtain of oversized white pearls into a monochrome camellia garden setting, where the exhibition revolves around six different rooms: the 2.55, where visitors walk into a padded creation of the brand's iconic bag to discover the production process of the bag; the tweed room, inspired by Chanel's jacket fabric of choice; an enchanted children's bedroom scene filled with dolls and toys; a Haute Couture room, reconstructed as Gabrielle Chanel's apartment at 31 rue Cambon; the library space in Lagerfeld's studio 7L, and finally a room dedicated to Chanel symbols, including its Number 5 perfume bottle.