As Miami’s Art Basel summit powered into the weekend, Chanel tied a camelia-capped bow on its multi-day series of events, all of which served to underscore a major anniversary at the house: the 100th birthday of the fragrance Chanel N°5 (alongside a brand new boutique opening).
On December 1, Chanel’s double-C monogram took to the night sky above Miami Beach’s Faena Hotel in the form of an illuminated drone show. The machines morphed into a visual narrative that depicted the perfume’s legacy, blending with the stars above South Beach.
The next evening, Chanel hosted a cocktail party to toast the opening of its newest Peter Marino-designed store, located in Miami’s thriving Design District. At 7,600 square feet over two floors, the boutique sees Marino’s signature sleek-chic aesthetic transformed into an arty tropical aerie, which features works by such names as Vera Lutter and Gregor Hildebrandt. The gathering also honored Marino’s new book, titled The Architecture of Chanel.
The main event occurred on Friday: A swanky dinner party and performance to celebrate Chanel’s big Basel commission, a synesthetic mega-sculpture conceived by the artist and stage designer Es Devlin dubbed Five Echoes. Devlin’s work, also on view in the Design District, features a sort of angled and labyrinthine disk, meant to catalyze a “constant feedback loop between our designs, the geometry of humans, and organic geometry,” said the artist in a video interview conducted by the house.
“In 1921,” Devlin also noted, “fragrances were available in single note roses or jasmines. I believe that Coco Chanel didn’t think that was any longer appropriate.” Chanel herself would end up selecting N°5 because, in it, she smelled “daily life.” It became the first commercial fragrance made by a woman, and it remains a bestseller a century later. This modernity and interplay are what Devlin captures in Five Echoes, with its futurist curves alongside its botanical splendor. One important note: the myriad trees and plants seen in the piece will, upon the exhibition’s conclusion, be reforested around Miami.
At the soirée, guests included Pharrell Williams (in a dapper pink tweed Chanel coat), Gossip Girl’s Whitney Peak, Maluma, Venus Williams (side note: if you haven’t yet seen King Richard, make it a priority this weekend, it’s excellent!), Isabela and David Grutman, Joe Jonas, Camila Mendes, and more. The night came to a zenith when Rosalía emerged on Five Echoes’ central platform, clad in a black Chanel jacket and jodhpurs, to sing for the crowd.
Five Echos By Es Devlin is open to the public until Dec 21. Tickets here: https://www.chanel.com/us/fiveechoes/