Aside from the Saint Tropez pop-up, it is rather unusual for Chanel to incorporate a garden into its retail space. But then this is Australia, and a rooftop event space was central to the brief presented to acclaimed architect Peter Marino. The stucco, arched exterior on Flinders Lane, the city’s most renowned shopping laneway, emulates an elegant Parisian maison, Marino having enlarged the windows and added balconettes to the first and second storeys. He also added an additional floor, along with the rooftop garden, and a central atrium staircase that links the departments.
Inside, the 620 sq m boutique transplants Karl Lagerfeld’s Parisian savoir faire - from ready-to-wear to handbags, shoes, fine jewellery, timepieces and fragrance - right into the heart of Melbourne. Following a traditional Chanel palette of black, white, gold and beige, the salons maintain a residential feel, alluding to the luxuriously layered interior of Coco Chanel’s rue Cambon apartment with tweed sofas and a 19th-century antique fireplace. Specially commissioned artworks include ‘Karlangu’ by Indigenous artist Dorothy Napangardi, ‘Gather’ by Liza Lou and ‘Pearls’ by Peter Dayton.