Leave it to longtime Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld to put on a runway show that people are going to be talking about for a long time.
Invites to Chanel’s Fall 2014 show, held today in Paris, hinted at a shopping mall theme, but guests likely didn’t realize the extent to which the theme was going to play out until they arrived at the Grand Palais to find a full-on Chanel themed grocery store, featuring everything from Coco Flakes, to Croustilles (potato chips) Gabrielle, to No. H20 Eau Minerale water. There were even baskets of fruit and vegetables, smoked salmon, and liquor in “rare” vintages commemorating Chanel’s special Metiers d’Art runway shows.
As for the clothes, Lagerfeld took cues from his Spring 2014 haute couture collection when conceptualizing this show. Think tweed suits layered over lurex pants, dresses with corsets in Op Art prints, oversized wide leg leather pants, pink fur boleros, and chiffon layered dresses. If there are two trend takeaways it is layering and texture.
It’s really the accessories, though, that are going to sell (and sell like hotcakes). Versions of the Chanel sneakers that hit the haute couture runway in January were a major trend in this collection too, along with versions that come in a boot. The difference is, unlike the Chanel haute couture sneakers which require buying the whole look to own (therefore likely costing $20,000 and up), these are Chanel sneakers that are going to be available to the masses. Call your Chanel store to get on the wait list now, it is going to be that kind of an “it” item.
There were also plastic wrapped Chanel purses, shopping basket bags made with Chanel’s classic leather chain links, and padlock chain necklaces, on the runway.
As if the clothes and set weren’t buzzy enough, reality star and model Kendall Jenner, who’s walked in major shows this season like Marc Jacobs and Givenchy, landed a coveted spot as a model on the runway. Time will tell if Jenner’s “it” model status will stick, but regardless, this is a major coup for one of the youngest in the Kardashian clan.
What exactly was Lagerfeld trying to say with the theme? Perhaps he was making a statement about the rising cost of luxury goods considering there were signs on the walls posting not discounts, but price hikes of “+30 percent” and “+50 percent.” Chanel frequent shoppers know that price increases are commonplace for the brand, sometimes by as much as 20 percent a year, but that doesn’t seem to have slowed down the world’s appetite for all things Chanel. That these clothes are easily digestible, will only reinforce that.
After the final walk, an announcement was made that the Chanel store was about to close, urging guests to shop the aisles. Front rower Rihanna was spotted with Cara Delevingne (who had walked in the show) pushing around a shopping cart (Teen Vogue’s Jane Keltner deValle joked about their being carbs available.)
We’re guessing it is only a matter of time before Chanel branded cereal and water lands on eBay.