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Now new photographs of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s Paris apartment reveal the space where all her ideas were born.
East-meets-west: Though the apartment was relatively traditional in style, there is a heavy Oriental influence, much of it chosen to signify love, luck and prosperity

  As intriguing as the woman who inhabited it, the images published on The Coveteur, show how the living quarters at 31 Rue Cambon remain exactly as the late designer left them.
 Radical design: Chanel herself designed the sofa in the salon at 31 Rue Cambon. It was important to her that it was comfortable, and she took the unusual decision to have it made in suede, rather than silk or velvet

  Homage: Today Karl Lagerfeld takes a large dose of inspiration from Chanel’s former apartment

 Unique decor: The Salon was where Chanel entertained guests including Elizabeth Taylor, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. She is said to have hated doors and obscured them with Chinese screens

 She believed in the healing power of crystal, hence the chandeliers in ever room, and lions also make a regular appearance, a reference to her Leo star sign.

 Mirrors were designed to be octagonal in shape – this too was significant. The Place Vendome is in the shape of an octagon, and so too was the shape of the stopper for the Chanel No. 5 perfume bottle.

 Seeing stars: A table is decorated with lions, which Chanel loved because they represent her zodiac sign

 All that glitters… The gold boxes on the coffee table were a gift from the Duke of Westminster, while the hand sculpture was made for Chanel by the Italian artist Alberto Giacometti

  Deeply superstitious, lucky symbols such as a pairs of Japanese deer and wheat motifs (a sign of prosperity) are scattered across the apartment.

  Modern tribute: A tiny birdcage was the inspiration for the 1992 Coco perfume campaign, starring Vanessa Paradis, that was set in the Chanel apartment on Rue Cambon

  Spiritual: The apartment houses many keepsakes that demonstrate Chanel’s superstitions. One photo shows how she placed a crystal inside the mouth of a sculpture of a frog, a symbol of love, luck, money and health

 Coco’s desk where she sketched at and her very own glasses.  Symbolic: The ornate Chinese screens and wall panels feature coromandel birds and camellia flowers, which came to be a signature for the Chanel fashion house that continues to be used to this day

  Vantage point: The designer would watch the reaction of front-row guests at her fashion shows from the stairway to her apartment, where she could see them, but they couldn’t see her
 Art Deco: The stairway is still covered with cream carpet, while the walls are lined with panels of mirrors

Fashion icon: Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel pictured at her Paris apartment in 1959
Fashion history: The apartment, situated above the flagship boutique on Rue Cambon, remains exactly as Chanel left it. Today, though, just the label’s VIPs are permitted access

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