“There has always been an unswerving link between Chanel and sport.
Gabrielle Chanel had, before anyone else, an intuition for the sporting influence on fashion.
A visionary, who advocated a svelte and sporty silhouette free of any clutter, thanks to the simple and easy-to-wear clothes she designed as early as 1924, outfits whose fluidity was as much suited to sport as travelling and everyday life. From then on, the world of sport was forever entwined with that of Chanel.
Karl Lagerfeld regularly integrates it into his ready-to-wear designs and haute couture collections, never hesitating to transgress the code or shake up the conventions, and thus redefining the vocabulary of sportswear.
Chanel Australia is proud to support the Australian Open during their 2017 season.”
~ Exert from the Chanel invite
In true Chanel style, Mr. Mochi and I had the opportunity to watch a clash of Tennis legends at the 2017 Australian Open Women’s Final. With that also came the incredible experience of sitting courtside mere meters away from the players! Sit back and get comfortable for a somewhat lengthy post.
As with literally every Chanel event I have ever been invited to, I didn’t decide on my outfit until basically 20 minutes before needing to leave! It’s always this manic frenzy and even when I try my best to be organized, for some reason it always ends with the same outcome - numerous clothes strewn inside out all over my bed/sofa and a sea of shoes on the floor!
In the end I opted for a safe bet American Apparel skirt, (which I wore to the 2016 Australian Open Men’s Final hosted by Chanel last year), my faithful Chloe wedge sneakers, my Chanel Cuba cutout sweater and Chanel No.5 clear perfume minaudière from Cruise Singapore 2014 . Even still, I wasn’t digging the look completely as I felt like it needed the touch of some long sporty socks, which of course I didn’t own. So in our time-limited state (thanks to me), I coerced Mr. Mochi into driving us to the closest sock vendor (which happened to be a supermarket), where I found a pair that would do. Moral of the story – have a sock repertoire to prevent such emergencies!
Leaving the drama filled sock ordeal behind us (you guys want to hear about the good stuff right?), with a few taps of Mr. M’s smartphone we were on our way in an Uber Black to Rod Laver Arena (RLA).
“Enter via the hospitality entrance” we were told by Chanel. For some reason I had envisioned this to be some really seedy side entrance where the workers came and went discretely. In my mind I thought we would have to flash our Chanel invites like they were the tickets into some secret society, and then from there we would be ushered into the magical realm of Chanel. Alas though, the entrance was far from mysterious. It opened into a grass-paved area, which headed us towards a sun-drenched indoor reception where we announced our presence to Chanel’s PR.
The lovely PR girls guided us to the “Green Room” where Chanel was waiting. It was situated under RLA, so to get there we had to navigate through scaffolding, spare seats, equipment, lighting and lots of behind the scenes type stuff. In the midst of it all, the Green Room door certainly blended into its industrial surrounds! Apart from a small plaque innocuously stating “Green Room” on the front, there was nothing luxe at all to suggest that Chanel had set up camp inside. Another lesson - never judge a room by it's door!
Inside, the decor was white, black and silver, with some cute nods to recurring Chanel motifs. A larger than life disco chain suspended from the ceiling was undoubtedly the pièce de résistance, but we also spied a beautiful arrangement of Chanel No. 5 bottles near the bar. In here we lounged for some time with the Chanel head honchos of Australia, other clients and staff, eating yummy food as we eagerly waited for the match to start.
Our Green Room passes also granted us access to the corridor between doors 2 & 3, thus enabling us to get an up close glimpse of the 2 finalists as they made the famous “Walk of Champions” lap before entering onto the court. It was an exciting snippet of what was yet to come! Any of you who follow me on Instagram would have been sure to see this on my stories.
Now for the most exciting leg of the adventure!! Chanel had organized front row courtside seating! The downside was that they had only purchased 1 seat, so between invited guests we had to play musical chairs, thus missing vital parts of the game. Nonetheless the experience was still an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity as the Williams sisters may never face off in a final again.
I will pause the story here for a little trivia to get you up to speed. This is the first time courtside seating has ever been offered at any Grand Slam tournament in the world. These 12 (yes only 12!) illustrious seats came with a price tag for a cool 15k AUD for the Women’s Final, while the Men’s Final set you back a touch more at 22.5k AUD. As a pale comparison, the most expensive, basic stadium seats were roughly $600 AUD.
Incorporated into the price of the on court seating is the “rock star treatment” – which includes exclusive access to “The Dressing Room”, a private escort, special purple holographic passes, as well as the finest food and drinks on offer in the venue. It is the epitome of all Grand Slam tennis experiences worldwide. “The Dressing Room” deserves a special mention - it is a small, backstage retreat inside the arena that is used by the likes of Pink and Madonna whilst they tour Australia. It boasts its own private bar and dining facilities as well as a luxe lounge and bathroom. The décor inside includes a rock suspended from the ceiling, which is a literal interpretation of the term “rockstar”.
Now Mr. Mochi and I unfortunately didn’t take the pro camera courtside or into “The Dressing Room” as we felt that having a Canon 5D Mark IV was sure to attract some trouble. That is why there are limited pictures of this section of the adventure, so you will have to rely mostly on your imagination using my words.
Now onto describing what courtside seating was like. Firstly, not only do the chairs boast the best view in the house, they are by far also the most comfortable in the stadium! Think of the luxury of gold class cinema seating but on a tennis court with two legends playing a few meters away from you as your big screen.
My personal experience sitting front row courtside at the Women’s Final was so surreal. I was literally meters away and could see the sweat drops dripping off Venus' and Serena's foreheads as they fought for the title. I was enthralled as I watched their movements and studied their facial expressions while they battled through the highs and lows of the match. Completely spellbound I forgot about the scores, just revelling in the joy of being meters away from two of the most amazing female athletes to ever grace the sport. It is definitely a very strange feeling and in those moments all I could focus on was the sequence of seemingly innate actions being performed with ease by two great athletes.
Venus was the one though who especially captivated me, as she is so graceful and delicate - she moves like a dancer on the court. She even looked the part with her dramatic black eyeliner and flowing pink skirt. Her sister Serena on the other hand instantly conjured up an image of a fierce lioness, due to her immense strength and power and that mane of beautiful thick hair. I also can attest that they both have the most amazing skin in real life and are stunning, stunning ladies. These girls have cheekbones for days!
When my time courtside came to a sad halt (why must good things come to an end?), I handed the reins over to Mr. M so that he too could experience this wonderful opportunity. I then returned back to my somewhat ordinary seat (by comparison) in row J where I watched the remainder of the match. My Chanel tennis lunch box was waiting for me up there, thoughtfully packed with some “Hydra Beauty Essence Mist”, a fan and some popcorn. It was definitely a nice touch.
Mr. M and I also had another unexpected moment courtside for the end of the Men’s Doubles Final, where we saw the Bryan brothers lose to Australia’s John Peers and his partner Henri Kontinen “Finnish Guy” (appropriately named by a rowdy guy squad seated behind us in row J). They had Mr. M cracking up with some of the remarks they were yelling out like "Finish him Finnish guy!" I on the other hand didn't much appreciate their "enthusiasm" towards the match and was glad to escape them when we moved courtside. While it was great seeing the doubles up close, in due respect it was nothing compared to seeing Venus and Serena play (sorry boys).
At the end of the night we were chauffeured home in a luxurious BMW M760Li organized by Chanel. Little Miss Mochi, who was quite grumbly that we had been gallivanting the night away, met us at the front door. She lectured us with a stern meow, but all was absolved once the kitty cat drugs (a.k.a biscuits) came out. I think she was upset that we made it onto TV and she missed out!
So that concludes our magical courtside adventure and tennis experience with Chanel. I hope you enjoyed the read. Though it was a very long one, experiences like this are sparse so I wanted to capture the night to make you feel as though you were a part of it as much as possible.
Adrianna is wearing
Adrianna styled her Australian Open outfit to suit the tennis theme. She is wearing a cut-out sweater from the Chanel Coco Cuba Collection, a classic American Apparel tennis skirt, Chloe wedge sneakers and a Chanel No.5 clear perfume minaudière from Cruise Singapore 2014.