March 14, 2014

at the chanel marché.

I really don't know how Karl does it, like I'm amazed he still has ideas for Chanel left. Season after season, he always comes up with something new to set the tone for the collection and because it's never predictable {from a larger-than-life Chanel farm to most recently a faux art gallery full of Chanel signatures}, he keeps the fashion world guessing what his next elaborate idea for Chanel would be, and it never gets boring. For Fall 2014, Karl Lagerfeld outdid himself yet again - the prestigious Grand Palais venue was converted into a full-blown French supermarket.

 But of course it's not just any grocery store, it was the Chanel Shopping Centre and it was filled to the brim with everyday things, just renamed in Chanel-speak and embossed with nothing less than the interlocking Cs : doormats inspired by Coco Chanel's studio door with "Mademoiselle Privé", Eau de Chanel mineral water, Coco Pops cereal, bâtonnets élégants black cotton buds, Chanel little black tea, Les Chagrins de Gabrielle hankerchiefs, Risotto rice a la Venere Elsa, Boy cleaning mousse, "Lait de Coco" coconut milk, legs of Jambon Cambon, Chateau Gabrielle white wine, Les Confitures de Tante-Adrienne - jams named after her aunt, and these were just some of the glorious 500 or so designer groceries on display. Like kids in a candy store, editors and bloggers were ooh-ing and aah-ing at everything they laid they're eyes on, wandering around the aisles and just being utterly entranced by the spectacle that was the supermarket. 

As the show started to unfold, models shopwalked down the aisles like fabulous shoppers dressed only in the finest {and latest} Chanel with their brightly coloured trolleys and baskets, filling them with fresh produce and household items along the way while chatting together in small groups and helping each other pick up groceries. Like the Spring 2014 show, the clothes shown were casual and sporty with almost no cinching of the waist, and each one of them were paired with none other than the trainers that we have come to know during the Couture season and love. Karl thought that going to the supermarket in stilettos were ridiculous, so lacing the trainers up knee high he sent the models down in sneaker-boot lookalikes, giving the collection a lively, constantly on-the-move feel that perfectly complimented both the feminine dresses and the more masculine pants. Colour was also extremely prominent, in the opening looks with burnt hues of copper and aubergine, in the bright pops of lemon, leaf green and orange of the asymmetrical coats, in the colourful art-inspired geometric prints, in the girly sugar pink finale looks, in the iridescent knits and the glimmering lamé fabric.

Silhouettes were loose yet lean, matching sports with couture elegance in a range of skinny sweatpants, oversized tweed jackets, turtleneck crop tops paired with slender leggings, ruffled dresses, fitted blazers and braided coats in bouclé wool. Black vinyl pants were made to look like trash bags and the jewels used were actually candy-wrapper lookalikes. Like every Chanel collection, the fabrics were extremely rich in their textures. The shiny lurex leggings, metallic tweeds, feathered cotton, heavily quilted jackets and fur trims were just some of the fabrics that made a feast for the eyes. Staying true to ready-to-wear, the looks were extremely wearable're{if you had a few thousand euros to spare that is}, and whether you're a street style rebel {cue Cara Delevingne's hole-ly opening look} or attending a futuristic-themed party {the shimmering pants/dresses anyone?} or simply just doing your weekly shopping , there was a little something for everyone to fall in love with.

Karl Lagerfeld has always loved to inject fun and humour into the collections, and this season was no different, in fact the accessories were more unique and fun than ever before. Take the bag that would no doubt be this season's most talked about : a Chanel 2.55 covered in cling wrap placed in a styrofoam tray, vacuum-packed like a leg of lamb chop with nothing less than a "100% Agneau" and a "Chanel 31 Rue Cambon" sticker on two of the corners. The iconic Chanel quilted bag was made into a pink plastic bag meant for grocery shopping only, and even the wire basket that was a supermarket essential were added with Chanel chains and the double-C logo. The black quilted bag was also transformed into an air stewardess-worthy wheelie. The most unique bags I felt were the bags that were shaped into egg and milk cartons, perfect for the fashionista-mum on a trip to the market. When was grocery shopping ever this chic?



At the end of the show, the show attendees were scrambling to lay their hands on the exclusive designer groceries, only to find out that the fruit and vegetables were up for grabs. Even with their gorgeous wrappers, it was a huge shame that most of the products were empty inside. This really reminded me of how Chanel was to most of the world : accessible enough to be touched and felt, but at the same time exclusive to only the well-heeled. Back to the show, this collection was yet another reminder of how Karl Lagerfeld is one of the most innovative designers in the fashion world, the fact that he constantly modernises luxury and constantly recreates the Chanel woman and the elegance of the things around her makes him undeniably creative in both his collections and how he transforms Chanel into a house that's unparalleled to any other in the world. Every look was different yet they were marvelous, making Chanel one of the most fun and one of the best shows of Paris Fashion Week.

What do you think of this collection?

Images from Style , The Sartorialist and Style Bubble

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