“NEVER have so many women been so delighted to walk into a grocery store. Well, a Chanel Shopping Centre to be exact.” (Vogue.com)
NEVER have they thought about it better, to be honest! Who, but Karl Lagerfeld the genius(and obviously his PR team– another set of genius people), would have thought of creating the set of their catwalk as a supermarket? First it was sneakers at Haute Couture~ nobody knew what to think about that~ but publicity was everywhere, now a supermarket with everything from rice, to milk and to shampoo being Chanel branded content. It was pure Chanel paradise that generated more publicity than everything as it was so unbelievably different. This genius idea took fashion by storm when everybody was expecting less.
Let me begin with a short history of the house of Chanel.
Founded in 1909, it started as a millinery shop that reinvented hats, by making them a simpler version of the very pompous and highly decorated ones of that time. She soon got famous, through the people that she knew and the business expanded, up until 1913, when she started to first sell pret-a-porter. She opened her famous shop on 31, rue Cambon in 1914.
She was on every buyer’s list as everybody want to own a Chanel. All this success, led to her commissioning Ernest Beaux, to create a perfume for the House of Chanel and this is how Chanel No.5 appeared.
Nothing seemed to stop her, until World War II, when she closed parts of her business, had trouble with her perfumes, and was associated with Nazis. Still, the name of Chanel lived on, and she revived in a way after the war, revival that led to what Chanel is now.
She started creating the very famous strings of pearls, the Chanel 2 piece suit and the quilted handbags that would take different forms and shapes in the years to come. Coco Chanel dies in 1971, at age 87, and she is said to have designed clothes up to very very late, if not up until she dies.
Her next successor is Pierre Cardin, but he did not stay there for long and Karl Lagerfeld took helms of the brand in 1983, after being persuaded to end his contract at Chloé. He continued the Chanel legacy, by reinventing ways to use the materials she constantly did: tweed, gold accents, chains and jersées. Still, he did look towards other styles and brought novelty to bring the brand to the place it is in today.
And this is how we got to the Chanel we all know today!
Reinventing the classic Chanel looks has been something Karl Lagerfeld has been doing for several years now, and every year, in the Chanel collection, he succeeds to bring more and more novelty, and sometimes even quirkiness to the catwalk.
The same thing happened this season: his whole catwalk show was a supermarket, his two most recent muses, Keira Knightley and Rihanna were sitting front row, dressed in his latest collection, and Cara Delenvigne opens and closes the show. The whole setting combined with all these stars that were there, created a huge media frenzy and gained him gigantic amounts of publicity. Who does not want to get into a Chanel show? And who does not wish to snatch something from the Chanel supermarket?
However awesome was the Chanel supermarket, and however crazy it went after the end of the catwalk, people could not really walk out with all that stuff, they had to hand it in to the security guards at the exit(*sad*). Still, Karl got the attention of the whole PFW media and the huge array of fashionistas that were there took social media by storm to say how fantastic the show was. But, was it?
The collection itself, for me at least, fades in the face of the marketing and PR genius that was the supermarket. I was way too fascinated by that, to look closer to the collection. I did not find it Chanel in the very meaning of the word… You could see traces of that, quilted “2.55” handbags, tweed (everywhere) and some of the cuts resembled the Chanel reinvented idea of the designs. However, I feel that it has somehow drifted away from the whole Chanel perspective.
I do not love and do not hate the collection, I love many of the jackets, but there are parts that I do not understand how they could be Chanel in any way. The sneakers idea is great, giving women comfort, finally, after so many years, and the color combination was fabulous. Looking at it over and over again, I find many Chanel type of things in it, and it is true that Karl Lagerfeld is a creative genius in the way he keeps on adding novelty to all the catwalks, but sometimes he is very subtle and you have a love-hate relationship with his designs.
The new Chanel Look
The new craze in terms of handbags
Wonderfully made coloured dress
The Chanel tweed is everywhere
Let’s have a stroll through the Chanel supermarket
“Lait de Coco” édition limitée du maison Chanel
Chanel~ scout edition
Colourful, bright and very young, crazy Chanel
Did you finish buying everything on the list?
Shiny materials with lace- what could you ask for more?
Look on the inside! There is more…
Pick a color while you’re at it
Sporty Chanel anyone?
Feature image: gratisography.com
Photos: Vogue UK