'UN GRAND MAGASIN POUR UN GRAND PALAIS' A big shop for a big palace. So screamed the signs at the Chanel show and that was about right. An entire Chanel supermarket was installed in this monolithic venue, with models pushing shopping trolleys playing possibly the best dressed shoppers ever witnessed.
Guests sat on packing crates surrounding aisles of shelves piled high with merchandise. Some was fresh - fruit and veg, cheese - more was branded. This iconic French name had specially created 500 new brands from sweets to detergent and from Jambon Cambon to Tweed Coca Light. It is well known that Karl Lagerfeld consumes more than his fair share of the real thing.
'Women don't go shopping in stilettos,' says Karl Lagerfeld - Getty
More signs read 20 percent 'UP', as opposed to the usual 'DOWN'. For all its pop cultural status, Chanel is ultimately about luxury after all and for all their 'real' tendencies, clothes were as upscale as any sartorially discerning woman might wish for.
The Chanel suit looked light and youthful in pale tweeds and with a sweet bouncing skirt in raspberry. Some had 'ice' appliqued onto their surfaces: madame had spent too much time browsing the freezer section, clearly. Coats shot through with metal equally riffed on this theme: they were like the most high end cold packs imaginable.
M Lagerfeld brought back the corsets he showed in January for Chanel Haute Couture but this time they had zip fastenings so they could be loosened should those wearing them like to eat, say. They allowed for lovely volumes: a narrow waist contrasting with a broad, rounded shoulder and beautiful balloon sleeves. Chanel trainers were here again too and laced knee-high boots with tweed uppers. All of them were flat. 'Women don't go shopping in stilettos,' M Lagerfeld said. Not that he himself has had much hands-on experience of that pass time. 'I never shop, not since people started using mobile phones.'
This was a great collection. Twinkling pink leggings and sweatshirts were worn with oversized blanket coats. Lobster net Twenties line cocktail dresses were trimmed with silk petals in candy floss pink and rose. As for accessories, the Chanel 2.55 bag was vacuum packed, there were milk carton purses for day, egg box clutches for evening silver chain belts and jewellery in spades.
Supermarket sweep accessories - Catwalking
To sum up this scenario?
'Last time it was a supermarket of art and this time it is a real supermarket!' M Lagerfeld said. Et voila.