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Chanel Turns The Paris Grand Palais Into Supermaket Runway For Their 2014 Fall-Winter Show

The Chanel Supermarket with the delectable Cara Delvingne

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Chanel took over the whole of the enormous Grand Palais in Paris yesterday, in order to show their new 2014 Fall-Winter collection. And what a show it was too. While the clothes and the models were, as always, superb to look at, and superbly expensive too, it was the setting created for the occasion that made the biggest statement.

Whether you are really rich, or even not-quite-so-rich, all women go to the supermarket at some point, even the mega-mega-rich who have people who do it for them most of the time. Accordingly, for yesterday’s Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s creative Director created an elaborate Chanel supermarket filled with goods, every single one of which was branded Chanel just for the occasion, as a fitting background to display his new collection.

The Chanel Supermarket

The Chanel Supermarket – courtesy Chanel

This supermarket, bigger than a movie-set, was filled with regular aisles brimming with sodas, pastas, charcuterie, household cleaners, and indeed everything you would find in a regular supermarket. The attention to detail of the labels, the packaging of the products, and even the “Daily specials” signs, was extraordinary and indeed totally obsessive.

Extras for the day manned the checkouts and there even regular shopping carts, all branded Chanel for the day.

By allying his new clothes with daily life in this way Lagerfeld is making both a fashion statement about accessibility with each of the clothes that his models presented, and also, more subtly, one about design itself – almost taking Andy Warhol to the next level… yes there were boxes of detergents and bottles of coke too. Campbells soup cans I am more doubtful, though.

The Chanel Supermarket

The Chanel Supermarket – Rihanna joins the fun

And then the aisles became the lengthy fashion runways for the show, with the adoring audience looking on, scattered around the periphery. The biggest pun of the event was the presence of Jambon Cambon on the shelves, in a not-at-all-subtle reference to the location of the Chanel HQ on Rue Chambon. It was the same with the clothes, too, with lots of tweeds mixed up with more radical fare.

At the finale Karl Lagerfeld walked around taking his bow on the arm of favourite model Cara Delvingne. Then after it was all done a voice from the PA system informed the assembled guests that, alas, the store was closing but to enjoy the complimentary fruits and vegetables on the way out which triggered a mad dash by a number of people to grab everything they could – only to be dispossessed by security guards at the exits.

This writer is certainly no fashion expert, but just as a regular guy unless one is blind the clothes and the girls looked absolutely fabulous, so what more can one ask – certainly not the price. Having once been dragged headlong into a Chanel store, in Paris, by his then long time girl friend a few years ago, this writer was very lucky indeed to emerge afterwards without being a lot poorer than he went in.

The Chanel Supermarket

It is certainly not the first time Chanel has brushed with every day life either; a few years ago Chanel wellington boots were all the rage one can recall; they even had heels.

Having hired Karl Lagerfeld to take on the task of rejuvenating Chanel all the way back in 1982, the billionaire brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer who control the House of Chanel must be very pleased with how he has delivered for them consistently in all the years since.

According to Karl Lagerfeld, in fashion “the future is six months” – i.e. the time to the next collection. For the Wertheimer brothers the business of fashion continues to encompass a much larger timeframe.


The Chanel Supermarket – courtesy Chanel





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