THE PRIVATE VIEW OF THE GRANDE DAME

Off the tube at Sloane Square and I smile as I step into the street. Chelsea in all its monied glory bustles like a Hollywood film set, the stretched cheeks of a society woman grasping for the diamonds on her ears.

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     Pillbox hat and jacket bought from Camden Lock; headscarf from Pop Boutique, Liverpool

A shimmer of gold and I give a smiling compliment, a lady tells me her three piece set is by a Mediterranean sounding designer.

  One of the society ladies in Coco’s salon

On my Cuban heels go as I clip clip across the fabled pavements of the King’s Road, admiring the shop fronts and the reflection looking back.

And there she is.

A sketch of the supreme priestess of la mode, Coco.


She has her hand tucked into her two-piece, as though being casual comes as easy to her as being an icon, decades after her death.

I chat to the lady at the information desk – did you know Cara was here yesterday? And that one from Hannibal! – and she shows me how to work the exhibition app. I remark how high tech Coco must be, thanking her for her help.

I join the queue, smiling at bemused on-looking fashionistas who whiled the hours away so the grande-dame would approve of them in her Rue Cambon atélier in the sky.

 Gloves from Oxfam, Liverpool; shoes from Portobello Road; cigarette holder from Davidoff, Mayfair

A few joyful words are exchanged with the security, their shiny shoes matching their shiny foreheads – no cynicism here, just observation!

 

Up the stairs we go, single file, single file, and the inner sanctum awaits.

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