And given my adoration for all things Chanel, it was a given that a visit to the grand department store would go straight to the top of my Parisian ‘To Do’ list when I found myself in Paris the week after the unveiling of the windows.
And oh, what a fantastical vision these holiday windows are!
Some, such as those dedicated to Paris (where miniature Karl Lagerfelds swing from Parisian landmarks playing photographer extraodinaire) and Moscow (where tiny ballerinas leap and twirl and pirouette to the soundtrack of the Ballet Ruses) just invite passers-by to press their noses against the window to see the puppet show unfold. Others, like the Tokyo (Thunderbirds–esque puppets sailing past the Japanese skyscrapers in futuristic flying cars) and Los Angeles (where Pan Am pilots smooch the primping trolly dollies) will simply make you giggle out loud.
Each of the others were new manifestations of past collections, with some my favourite items brought back from the archives. There were treasures nestled beneath a giant red dragon in the Shanghai window (I could barely pull myself away from the sequinned Chanel takeaway noodle boxes, jade dragon brooches and China doll bags), an ode to glam rock Brittania (where bags were adorned with the Union Jack), Scandanavian deer merrily wearing jewels around their necks, and scenes from a grand Ventian ball (complete with fine china, glittering frog princes and a giant crystal chandelier).
So if I make one request of you all before the year is out, it is this: should you find yourself in Paris before Christmas (a happy thought in itself), then do go to Printemps, if only to press your nose against the magical Chanel windows!