Stepping off the elevator onto the private fourth floor of Chanel’s boutique at 400 N. Rodeo Drive is like being transported into the exquisite Parisian couture salon in 1957’s Funny Face. The airy, 2,880-square-foot VIP penthouse suite — where Uma Thurman, Kate Bosworth and Diane Kruger come and go for red-carpet fittings — was designed to capture the modern, elegant sensibilities of Mademoiselle Coco Chanel’s legendary Paris apartment at 31 Rue Cambon: Luxurious silk-lined walls, a sitting area with plush Chanel-tweed upholstered sofas and mirrored display tables are set against a classic black-and-white backdrop. New York architect Peter Marino was commissioned to redesign the space in 2007.
“The fitting area is not only gorgeous, but it also has big open windows that give great light, which is perfect for fittings,” says stylist Penny Lovell, who works with Ginnifer Goodwin and Rose Byrne. “My clients love that they have everything on hand: the dresses, the most fantastic bags and accessories and a tailor.”
Breeze through the sitting area’s floor-to-ceiling glass doors, and you’ll find a contemporary terrace with camellia blossoms (Coco’s favorite) and an exterior facade emblazoned with the Chanel logo, where VIPs sip San Pellegrino while taking in the sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills and the iconic sign. For Oscar Week, Chanel had its entire spring Haute Couture collection — 66 breathtaking, hand-stitched gowns, cocktail dresses and jackets adorned with pearls, sequins and crystal paillettes — flown in from Paris along with its head couturier. “Over 10 million beads were used,” says designer Karl Lagerfeld, noting the craftsmanship, fine materials and hours spent on each piece (Michelle Williams donned one of the beaded columns on Oscar night). Emma Stone and stylist Petra Flannery were among an exclusive group of clients who were invited to view the luxe lineup — and while they were there, they also found the perfect embroidered lace dress for the Vanity Fair fete. “It’s every woman’s dream,” stylist Lovell says of being in Chanel’s VIP space. Not every celeb who walks into the store is whisked upstairs, but if you’re lucky enough to receive an invite or have a stylist with enough cachet to get you in for a fitting, you’ll leave awestruck.