Chanel’s Fall 2014 collection was a real treat both literally and figuratively, as Karl Lagerfeld transformed the Grand Palais into a giant 139,930-square-foot supermarket. The maze took each model (Joan Smalls, Kendall Jenner, Grace Mahary, Malaika Firth, and more among them) four and a half minutes to traverse and the aisles were stocked with over 500 products centering around the French fashion house and its founder Coco Chanel–from Jambon Cambon to The Little Black Tea. Wouldn’t it be nice if every supermarket were this chic?
The industry was immediately frenzied and thrilled by the spectacle, after a Fall season that didn’t hold too much in the way of runway shows of this magnitude. It was a total testament to the power and wealth of the brand, as well as the unparalleled creativity of Lagerfeld.
The statement Kaiser Karl was trying to make? Well simply that fashion is a part of everyday life and quite frankly, so is the supermarket. In order to grocery shop, a woman shouldn’t look as if she’s ready for a night out, thus the designs skewed on the casual, sporty side: the perfect meeting of the banal with Chanel’s exclusivity and sky-high price points.
After showing trainers on the brand’s Couture runway, the athletic styles returned here in low-top and boot renditions. They were crafted from exotic skins and classic Chanel tweeds, paired with chic shades, timeless tweed coats, legging-style trousers, leather opera gloves, and so much more.
The designs were still a bit fancy for the supermarket, but most were grounded in function: cropped tweed jackets layered over zip-front dresses in the same fabric, long grey double-breasted coats with a black leather quilted suitcase in tow, wearable quilted toppers, and baggy metallic trousers. Most looks were offset by chain link necklaces and mini shopping carts housing the French fashion house’s iconic handbags which added a whimsical, yet real-world edge.
The black leather trend continued on contrast-stitch frocks, the aforementioned roomy trousers, playsuits with drawstring waists, and a long coat that harked back to Neo’s famous style in The Matrix. One couldn’t help but think of the designs as a nod to garbage bags because of their sheen. There’s a very real chance that Lagerfeld is trying to make “garbage bag chic” happen and there’s an even realer chance that the globe’s “It” girls will be on board if he does.
As with every Chanel collection, there was a great deal to process, but I’m sure the brand’s fans including Rihanna, Naomie Harris, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Lupita Nyong’o will find a few things to sport in the coming months. Despite the sensory overload of the styles at hand, it was an amusing and captivating sartorial mix.
What do you think of Chanel’s Fall collection?