Giant icebergs. Underwater kingdoms. Drive-in movies. Interactive art galleries.
Karl definitely knows how to bring the wow factor, and it aint just about the clothes, far from it. Last night at the Chanel A/W 14 show the Grand Palais was transformed into the world’s most luxurious grocery store. It was an explosion of colour and bad acting on behalf of the models as they imagined what it’s like to browse a supermarket. I’m just playing, I have no idea what models get up to in their day to day lives.
The concept is undoubtedly creative, and Karl is a clever task-master. But behind the flashly lights, novelty props and Kendall Jenner have we forgotten what is actually the crux of this fashion show? Because not one report I have seen has mentioned the clothes themselves. If the collection was shot against a plain background as a lookbook what would the response be? Let’s see. Dad sneakers and knee high joggers? No thanks. A hot pink tracksuit littered with cut outs? Now I really do feel like I’m at the local supermarket. But hang on, it’s not all bad.
There are plenty of glimpses of the Chanel aesthetic, pieces that are lavish in detail, embroidery and design, but still paired with bulky trainers, and in sports-luxe silhouettes. In context, it works. “If you want to look really ridiculous, you go in stilettos in a supermarket” says Karl. With no disrespect to Karl, I sometimes enjoy going to the supermarket in heels but as always, I digress. I do question however, the extent to which the show is purely a creative endeavour or more so a publicity stunt. I dare say, the purpose was to be both. But does Chanel, one of the largest, most renown luxury brands there is need this kind of show to create publicity? The answer is no. This show in some way directs me towards the notion of the brand becoming increasingly commercialised and even somewhat comical. We must remember that what we see on the runways travels down into our high-street boutiques which means that before we know it, everyone will be wearing cut-out tracksuits.
In all the theatrics I feel we have lost sight of what really matters here and that is the integrity of the clothes. We are blinded by the big Chanel logo plastered across everything, because we are programmed to think when it says Chanel, it means its amazing. But in reality, a brand can sometimes become bigger than what it stands for, which means we lose sight of the actual product and focus too much on the projection.
The Tall & The Short
Image sources: cairoscene.com, The Guardian, Style.com, lonny.com