From the milk-carton clutch of autumn/winter 2014 to the hula-hoop bag of spring/summer 2013, Chanel has a long history of turning unexpected ideas into cult designs.
Now, to celebrate the 100th birthday of the world’s most iconic perfume, the house is planning what might be its most collectible launch to-date.
An homage to the unending appeal of No5, Chanel's Factory 5 comprises 17 limited-edition (read: stampede-inducing) products that present the inimitable fragrance in a new, unexpected way. Scented shower gel arrives in a paint can and body oil is dispensed from an oil tin, demonstrating that – while the silhouette of that faceted glass flacon might be iconic – it’s the scent itself that truly speaks to us.
The project is a nod to the very first iteration of Chanel No5, which was packaged in a simple laboratory bottle.
“By taking popular consumer items out of their context and dressing them up in the aesthetics of No5, we return to Chanel’s first creative gesture: that of transforming a functional object into a desirable luxury item,” says Thomas du Pré de Saint Maur, Chanel’s head of global creative resources, fragrance and beauty. “That’s what Chanel Factory 5 is all about: offering the experience of luxury in everyday life.”
With a nod to Pop Art and the work of Andy Warhol, Chanel’s Factory serves to subvert the function of everyday items, challenging the notion that luxury should be solely reserved for special occasions.
“Dressing these objects with the No5 identity, they become luxurious, iconic products, while keeping their own designs. Taking everyday products allows for a less intimidating approach and creates new opportunities for daily exposure to the absolute wonder that is No5. Whether it’s a tube of paint, a tea tin or a burette, all are universal, timeless objects that we have dressed in No5’s visual codes so as to transform them,” says Thomas du Pré de Saint Maur.
If you fancy your chances at taking home a can of No5 shower gel, or a paint tube of body cream, the collection will be available online at Chanel and Selfridges from 29 June. For the full immersive experience, the Factory will begin production at the Selfridges Corner Shop on 5 July, for four weeks only.
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