Part 3: Venue

Venue for the event of:  Paris Fashion Week 2014/2015
Autumn/Winter – Chanel

As previously noted in the concept, Chanel has a continuous booking for the Grand Palais for all of Paris seasonal Fashion Weeks. The Grand Palais “The Great Place” is located on Avenue Winston Churchill, a position that is well sought after for large production events not just fashion runways, because of its access to the Seine River, Champ Elysees, the Louvre Museum and its proximity “heart of Paris.”

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Chanel chose this prime location because of its grandeur and history. Originally built in 1901 for the World Expo, renown for its glass vaulted dome roof, innovative iron and steel framing and its luxurious taste for stone masonry and reinforced concrete through ornate intricate decorations.

Since its very beginning, the Grand Palais has been home to several art exhibitions, rigging competitions, meetings for congress, also became a military hospital during World War 1. The Grand Palais today features its own montage of history on its walls, has its own police headquarters for exhibition security and object storage, home to the Palais de la Decouverte and the Paris Science Museum.

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The Grand Palais has several areas to facilitate events:

The Grand Hall [Nef Sud, Nef Nord & Paddock] (hired by Chanel with 14150msq, 240m in length, and 56m in width. The paddock of 1200msq is also included within the hiring of the grand hall with a length of 60m and width of 20m), mezzanine, upper galleries, salon rooms with the South East Gallery and Salon d’Honneur to reopen in 2014 after extensive refurbishment.

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The Grand Palais is under operation of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, which provide additional assistance with staging, catering, licenses, accessibility requirements, citywide marketing and information reach along with additional security.

Why did Chanel choose the Grand Palais over any other location?

Chanel has utilized other locations for its smaller runway requirements, however the major seasonal runways according to Chanel require a larger venue, ability to draw attention and increase marketing for the brand. This also allows freedom to create amazing runways deemed impossible in other locations. The Grand Palais is close to the Seine and the Metro system, has several access points, and is located within the Paris Fashion District.

Chanel Previous and future locations/venues include:

Carrousel du Louvre – an exhibition hall adjoining the Louvre museum with 7125msq of floor space the structure is restricted (circular) and perfect for simple smaller runways that require natural lighting of the Louvre Pyramid. Operational hours are restricted due to its proximity to the high security artworks featured within its halls. This venue will be hosting Chanel’s Men’s Summer 2014 collection in February.

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Palais De Congress de Versailles – located near the prestigious Chateau de Versailles. The property is famous for its gardens and a building that exhibits elegance, originality, and serenity. The property is very flexible when floor space requirements need customizing. The building contains an auditorium, meeting rooms, multi-purpose space, bar/lounge, and gardens with fountains. Chanel has used this location for its Haute Couture and selected seasonal runways since 2008.

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Jardin des Tuileries’ Espace Ephémère – located within the Tuileries garden alongside the Place de la Concorde is a popular Fashion Week location that is adore with white marquees and tents that fill the 8100msq space. Very popular and reserved well in advance by other competitive designers trying to obtain the perfect proximity close to Place de la Concorde for Paris Fashion Week.

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Other venues under consideration for future use by Chanel include:

Garden of Musée RodinJardin du LuxembourgThéâtre National de Chaillot and Palais D’Iena.

Analysis and thoughts

Venues have their own feel and inspiration that contribute to an event, from temperature to ambiance, building inspirations, accessibility requirements, and the benefits of prime location. Without knowing the venue, this causes difficulties for already preconceived themes in the development stages for an event. Chanel ensures that a confirmed venue is accessible prior to the creative stages and development stages for the next event. This reduces time spent on re-organizing, redesigning, and ensuring the theme and runway requirements will satisfy without interruptions.

If the Grand Palais was not an available venue, the theme of “Parisian Life’ and the inspirations of Place de la Concorde may have been slightly varied but a challenge nonetheless to make an amazing Autumn/Winter runway regardless for Paris Fashion Week. Located nearby the Grand Palais is Fer a Chevral (garden walk-path in view of the Obelisk) would be a prime replacement, under a high dome modular tent, with transparent roof utilizing the natural décor of the location and implementing a Parisian touch with additional lampposts and rustic seating with iron fencing dividers.

As the Grand Palais is a secured venue, the theme has been strongly progressed and runway design calculated to meet the specifications of the grand hall, and backstage requirements. For such a large venue, the attendance number will be approximately 500 guests, and additional floor space reserved for a Peristyle reception within the grand hall for the arrival coffees and cocktails.

 In order to produce the event, Chanel’s production team and event team will be required to build the entire set, including staging, rigging, seating areas, prop design, additional bathroom facilities, backstage (Paddock) storage and dress rooms, security dividers, wall structures and additional lighting and water main infrastructure all temporary and require immediate pack down after the event closure.

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