We can always count on Karl Lagerfeld for his showmanship. For his recent collection, he created an entire atmosphere to make his point. The show was an actual Chanel Shopping Center complete with hundreds of Chanel branded products from chainsaws outlined with the Chanel signature chain to detergent and potato chips. Whole Foods, it's time to up your game. Instagram exploded with photos of Chanel shopping baskets and candy necklaces, but the focus was on the incredible and over-the-top set rather than the actual clothes.
When I was curious enough to click through the actual clothing, I was left underwhelmed. It didn't hit the sweet spot for me. I could barely find one look that I would be excited to wear. But Karl (yes, we're on a first name basis) was doing a lot more than showcasing clothing for next season. He was making a loud statement about consumerism, feminism and democracy in fashion. It was about the convergence of luxury and real life. Every look was paired with sneakers in low and boot versions. "The flat shoe makes the woman equal of men. When they wear high shoes they play the part like a geisha, and they can't be expected to be taken seriously," Lagerfeld said (WWD). I love the intention behind his words as much as my feet love cushy flat footwear, but somehow the tweed sneakers didn't pull it off, but instead frumpified his looks.
As I thought about the collection more, I found myself harping on another great underlying concept. I've always had a theory about luxury fashion and how it is sometimes a little backwards logistically speaking. We tend to spend more money on the pieces in our closet that we wear the least. I've been making a conscious effort to invest in the everyday pieces rather than the one-time-wear pieces. I bought an amazing pair of Jil Sander double monk strap flats last year that I still wear at least 3 times a week, and I carry my Celine trapeze tote (that I purchased three years ago) almost every day. The cost-per-wear (bang-for-buck) ends up making sense in the end. Which is why, circling back to Chanel, I found it brilliant that Mr. Lagerfeld set his luxurious and expensive clothes in the context of an everyday activity - grocery shopping.