Grocery shopping? In your gym clothes? It may seem entirely passé, but only Karl Lagerfeld’s infinite brand of creativity could conjure up such a spectacle for Chanel’s Fall 2014 collection.
I say brand because Chanel is a global brand, with a global reach that rivals that of many of its just as old competitors. They also have global money to play with, which meant that this season, the Grand Palais was converted into a Chanel grocery store. What could be better than showing a collection in a grocery store filled with Chanel branded products: Chanel pain grillé, Cambon Jambon and Coco Chocó biscuits (even Coco Carbone, a necessity for the most fashionable of drivers). Why limit yourself to clothes when you can have your Chanel carbs and eat them too?
But as always you can’t wear a set, and it’s just one facet in this gem of a Chanel collection. Beyond that was an interesting idea that toyed with grocery stores as a place to people watch, being a melting pot of rich and young, old and new, bright and dark, and commercial and exclusive. Commercial in the sense that this grocery store offered a lot of great ideas, exclusive in the sense that after all the pomp and circumstance, this is a Chanel show.
Chanel’s couture collections have a tendency to foreshadow their prêt-a-porter siblings. It was no surprise that the tightly corseted silhouette Lagerfeld showed back in January teamed with sports-couture sneakers resurfaced today. It made a lot of sense: women don’t shop for groceries in stilettos. It also seemed tactical, as sneakers are a super hot commodity in the world of street style.
It started with an array of après gym shoppers lead by Lagerfeld muse Cara Delevingne. Leggings worn with matching cropped tops and billowing 80s sleeved tweed jackets were accompanied by matching trainers. It set the pace for the rest of this 78 piece collection.
Next was the workingwoman, who wore a Carhartt inspired jumpsuit in a fantastical orange citrus tweed. Tightly nipped at the waist, the proportions were daring and fresh; a softer yet still powerful pink tweed suit that followed rivaled the practicality of that orange jumpsuit, however.
The futurist shopper wore oversized jackets with matching, heavily embroidered pants or holographic metallic leggings, offering a cool aspect to the show. Not to mention the new Chanel accessory du jour: shopping baskets iconically interlaced with leather clad chain links for the most discerning of shoppers.
The classical, preppy Chanel woman. Perfectly perched in her tan, dropped shoulder zip twin set with burgundy braid. Perhaps inspired by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that are just as iconic as Chanel. As for the prep, check out her sneaker boots.
The gallery girl modernist, with her abstractly colorful skirt with black line color blocking and a bright green jacket lined in a matching fabric, was the most modern and chic. Delicious is a word that comes to mind too, especially with regard to the faux candy necklace she was wearing.
The minimalist was the most striking aspect against all the excess: shown in quilted navy, the simpleness of a zippered shift dress and a swing top worn with a zip front skirt resonated as the most wearable aspect of the show.
Next, the woman who lunches, her driver carrying her Chanel shopping bags. The epitome of Parisian elegance in a matching Strawberry milkshake pink tweed suit, right down to the shoes. We’d get hungry too after the shopping spree she went on.
The gothic, music obsessed punk rocker, clad in a leather frock with red trim that riffed on the couture silhouette Lagerfeld showed back in January. Equally raunchy was a leather look paired with matching headphones, quietly poking fun at a pearl necklace from the spring 2014 collection that looked eerily similar to headphones.
And finally, the evening girl, off to a soiree with a lover, remembering that she inadvertently forgot a last minute necessity for her night out. Like liquid silver, one of her dresses flared out with a small mermaid hem, the other resembling pink chain link with an explosion of strawberry shortcake hued frills spraying out from the décolletage, pockets, and hem of her dress.
It was a lot to take in, but at the end of a very serious and often boring fashion month, it offered and lot of life and a lot of fun. Without the guilt!