My Chanel Collection

An exhibition of hand-stitched recycled plastic sequin artworks and drawings by Takako Osawa, a former fashion illustrator at Chanel Paris.


Opening: Wednesday 27 February, 6:30pm to 8pm.
Artist talk: Saturday 2nd March, 2:30pm to 3:30pm.

Alliance Française Eildon Gallery
51 Grey Street, ST KILDA
Free admission

Fashion fades, but style never (La mode se demode, le style jamais) according to Coco Chanel "the high priestess of twentieth-century fashion."*

In this hand-made work, Takako Osawa references the qualities of 'innovation' and 'forever' that mark a signature style to painstakingly recreate five Chanel icons together with two quotes, one from Coco Chanel and the other from Karl Lagerfeld. After a decade as an illustrator for Chanel in Paris, Takako Osawa gave Karl Lagerfeld, the Artistic Director of Chanel, a farewell gift: an embroidered portrait made from hand-made recycled sequins. "Yes!" Karl took off his sunglasses, saying "C'est joli!" (That's beautiful!) He took several photos with his iphone, repeating "C'est joli!" and smiled at her.

Her home village of Kitagata, Japan - a village in the mountains where farmers make traditional art and crafts at home to survive a five-month winter - has inspired Takako’s work.

During winter in Melbourne, Takako Osawa has punched and hand-stitched thousands and thousands of plastic sequins from local packaging, whilst thinking of Chanel and her family and neighbours in Japan.

This recycling aspect of her work is not an easy fit with the consumption associated with the world of high fashion. Influenced by her mother’s words: “take care of what you use” and “live with what you have”, Takako created 'luxury' art with everyday materials using what she had and what was around her. That is her 'style'.

*Rhonda K Garelick in her book, Mademoiselle Coco Chanel and the pulse of history, 2014, PI 

Takako Osawa, Fashion Artwork #001 (21 x 30 cm)

Takako Osawa, Le 2.55 (61 x 45 cm)

About the artist 

Takako Osawa is a Japanese artist who graduated as a fashion designer from Studio Berçot in Paris and later studied at l’Atelier Beaux-Arts Mairie de Paris.

After starting her career in marketing, Takako worked for Chanel in Paris as a Prêt à Porter Collection designer for more than nine years. She then decided to move to Melbourne and began teaching art to children in 2014.

Since moving to Australia, she shared her work with the public through three exhibitions, one at Domain Brasserie in 2016 and two at the Victorian Artists Society in May and June/July 2018.

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St Kilda branch:
51 Grey Street, ST KILDA
Tel : 03 9525 3463

St Kilda - Summer holiday opening hours:

The St Kilda branch will reopen on Thursday 3 January 2019.
Summer holiday from 3 to 25 January included.

Mon - Fri: 9am to 12.30pm & 1.30pm to 7pm
Closed on Saturdays and Sundays

City branch:
Level 13, 55 Swanston St, Melbourne
VIC, Australia, 3000
Tel : 03 9525 3463

City branch - Summer holiday opening hours:

The City branch will reopen on Monday 7 January 2019.
Summer holiday from 7 to 25 January included.

Mon - Thur: 9am to 12.30pm & 1.30pm to 6.30pm
Friday: 9am to 12.30pm & 1.30pm to 6.00pm
Closed on Saturdays and Sundays