Sunday, 9 March 2014

Karl, Consumerism and Caricature

Consumerism is a big thing in our time: we buy, we use, we throw away. Many try to lessen their guilt through recycling, charity shopping, donating their old to the needy and through this they can feel better about buying more. But now there is no need to worry because consumerism is Chanel.

As Lagerfeld has his girls march around his very own supermarch√© not only head to toe in Chanel but in a space where more than a hundred thousand items had been stacked onto shelves with the double-C plastered everywhere your eyes rested. More than five hundred items had been re-labelled to fit in with the Chanel language as garbage bags were anointed with the name "sac plus belle" (rather than sac poubelle). 

However, you can't help to wonder whether this is a parody or a pastiche of consumerism. Lagerfeld often makes light of the Chanel code, almost to the point of mockery, or a caricature if you like and it seemed so here. As shopping baskets were woven out of the Chanel chain, Chanel bags came flat-packed and produced was labelled with "50% more" you wonder whether Lagerfeld is having a private joke with the idolisation of Chanel by the world. 

The Wall Street Journal released how the Chanel quilted bag has in fact risen 70% in the past five years, proving how consumerism and inflation, is happening. However, Vogue stated how although Gucci, Mulberry and the LVMH fashion division has reported a slowdown in the past 12 months, Chanel is having no such problems, and that in fact "nothing will stop us buying Chanel bags".

The Fashion Law, one of my favourite journalistic sites, tweeted "Since when does the #Chanel woman: 1- Eat; and 2- Wear crop tops and leggings?" bringing to attention the fact that although there is the typical tweed suits and chains to be expected of any and all Chanel shows, Karl has infact bended the Chanel woman so much to his own will she is almost unrecognisable.

Last season we saw the Chanel woman turn into a teenager with the gorgeous graffiti rucksacks and pearly headphones but she has aged this season, become independent and started grocery shopping, turning to leggings and a beautiful boot-trainer hybrid for stylish and sporty comfort. And, although the Chanel girl may have changed, she is still completely elegant.

After a show full of surprises and excitement, Lagerfeld got the last laugh with an announcement of "Dear valued customer, the Chanel store is now closing. Please feel free to pick up your complimentary fruit and vegetables as you leave." However, the audience (including editors) scrambled to shoplift the rare Chanel supermarket goods, only to be prosecuted by security guards at the exit and the items to be promptly returned to their rightful place.


1 comment:

  1. Interesting to hear of the messages being communicated through fashion xx