Chanel is another French house that has maintained a tradition of made-to-measure orders.
At its headquarters at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris, the private apartment of founder Gabrielle Chanel is so carefully preserved it feels like she could walk into the room at any moment, puffing on a Gauloise.
Here, too, the four rooms are open to a select clique: haute couture clients in town for a fitting, journalists writing about the history of the house and celebrities like Vanessa Paradis, who stars in advertisements for the house’s cosmetics and handbags.
But Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld and Peter Phillips, who conceives the house’s makeup, are constantly drawing inspiration from the iconic objects dotting the apartment: a coromandel screen, an Egyptian mask or a marble statue of Venus.
The house also owns a vast archive of works of art, documents, clothes and jewelry that belonged to or were designed by Mademoiselle Chanel, as she is still reverentially called.