“The Art was an art supermarket, because art has become a product, no?” – Karl Lagerfeld, on Chanel’s Fall 2014 Collection
Lagerfeld is truly incomparable. What other man can be at the helm of Chanel, Fendi, and his own personal brand while infusing all three with a truly unique, refreshing aesthetic? And then he is a photographer, involved with art, constantly on the social scene…. and he makes funny jokes! I am in awe.
This collection has me in awe as well. It is both traditional and rebellious. I even believe that Lagerfeld is introducing a new silhouette to fashion. I am referring to this new look, previously introduced in Chanel’s Spring Couture 2014 Collection, which comprises of an extremely accentuated waist with a wider top and bottom. This may even include a corset. Very risqué, but curiously old-fashioned without being démodé. Lagerfeld obviously believes he has hit on something, because he is reintroducing it in the Fall 2014 collection.
Here, an example from Spring 2014 Couture:
For this collection, the runway became a supermarket aisle and the backdrop transformed into checkout counters and fully-stocked displays. The supermarket highlighted the concept of casual, even careless dressing. Because who dresses up when going grocery shopping? hint: maybe me
As Lagerfeld explained, “The whole thing is related to Pop Art”. This is clearly an allusion to Warhol’s interpretation of mass-market goods and advertising such as Campbell soup. It is easier to interpret the entire collection in this light.
So there are sweatpants, though obviously in luxe fabrics since this is Chanel. And even some in tweed! The opening look is the most extreme, featuring dingy moth holes, though it is all covered up with a beautiful coat. Perhaps, Lagerfeld is suggesting, even the most polished fashionistas have their own unfashionable secrets. You only have to look beneath the beautiful coat, and there you see:
There are also black vinyl pants resembling trash bags and beautiful leather purses shrink-wrapped in cardboard containers.
It is also very colorful, almost like the candy aisle in a supermarket. Like here:
And notice the return of the sneakers. It is already daring to pair sneakers with looks on the runway, but Lagerfeld could not stop there. He had to reinvent the concept of sneakers! And I dare say that he is succeeding. Here they are in a sort of boot / sneaker / sock hybrid:
There are also variants on this shoe in vibrant colors. I predict that we will be finding these all over magazines and especially street style in the future. And honestly, most New Yorkers at the show were probably inwardly swearing because Lagerfeld had not introduced these before the snowy, slushy NYFW a few weeks ago. No need to resort to awkwardly stumbling along in stilettos on slippery ice with these in the stores!
The pants and dress / tunic look is also back. Actually, cross that, layering is back.
The show ended with some beautiful evening wear in shades of pale pink, black, and red. And some in print of course. This dress will probably be seen on the red carpet by some of the more daring stars:
I love how the structure is classic, even 1920s, while the feathers, mesh, and sneakers completely modernize the look.
Honestly, I could go on and on analyzing this collection because there is so much happening. There are 78 looks after all! This also makes it a bit harder for me to review this collection because I can’t address every single issue in the clothing without boring you to tears. 😉
Some people responded to this collection by saying that Coco Chanel would be rolling in her grave. I can say with certainty that she would not. Chanel was all about challenging tradition, revolutionizing fashion, and empowering women. She succeeded in doing so, and ushered in a new era (sartorially speaking). Karl Lagerfeld is following in Chanel’s footsteps. He is not emulating her style and exact looks, but rather building on them to create something modern that befits, and challenges, our times. Chanel has never been conformist, and never will be. It is in this respect that Lagerfeld truly respects Chanel. Ironically, he would be disrespecting her legacy by merely reinventing her signature looks.
So I can say in all confidence: Coco would be proud.
p.s. What do you think? Don’t be scared of challenging me! I love debate. ❤