After owning a small millinery store, Coco Chanel opened her first location in Deauville back in 1913. A few years later and after some successful endeavors, Maison Chanel was opened in 1919, at 31 rue Cambon in fashionable Paris. I am pretty sure that when Chanel herself was sending models down her famous mirrored spiral staircase during shows at her grand apartment, she could never have imagined that one day, the setup for one of her fashion shows would be a grocery store. And what do I think of it? I think it is just pure genius!
If you thought for one moment that the controversial and provocative Karl Lagerfeld would stop after introducing to the world Chanel Couture Sneakers , he proved you wrong — the creative director of Chanel would never stop in his mission. To present his Fall/Winter 2014 collection, Karl transformed the Grand Palais into a Chanel grocery store, with everything one could hope for to fill their “Chanel-branded baskets”: Chanel water, Chanel soda, Chanel soup, Chanel ham, Chanel eggs, Chanel loafs of bread, Chanel pasta, Chanel broom, Chanel doormat, Chanel washing powder … almost 500 products were repackaged and labeled. Welcome to Chanel Land!
To fit the theme of the show, models walked through doing their Chanel shopping while wearing leggings finished with holes or covered in glitter, loose tweed coats layered over zipped-front dresses, big sweaters, corseted suits paired with baggy pants, black vinyl and metallic pants, and of course lots of sneakers everywhere. Very sporty-casual mood meets high-fashion pieces at the most exclusive and expensive luxury brand. It might not be for you, but real fashion is not for everybody!
Lagerfeld always amazes me; his visions of fashion truly distinguish him from other designers, and that’s the difference. Of course it helps to have the financial strength to back his ideas. Who could forget when he took it to the next level when he presented us with the sublime fashion show at the Great Wall of China back in 2007 for Fendi? That fashion show was just beyond grand in every shape and fashion form.
A lot of people are giving mixed reviews of the grocery store show. After all, in the real world, Karl himself would never be caught dead in the grocery aisles picking vegetables or any other domestic product, so how can he assume the typical Chanel consumer will? Please … in Karl’s mind it is all about how women want to dress now in this busy world, and quite frankly, if I were a woman, that Chanel Shopping Center would be quite appealing. Nevertheless, it is also about giving women what they didn’t know they wanted; one might say it is a huge celebration of consumerism, but I would like to believe it is also an impressive class in branding. At the end of the show, guests were looping the shelves for the coveted souvenirs, although security only allowed guests to take out vegetables and fruits, as it was announced on the speakers to the “valuable Chanel costumers.”
Next stop? Who knows? Perhaps, a gas station…