TiskTisk. Chanel’s Supermarket + The Consumer Apocalypse

Chanel's Supermarket

‘And you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?’

-From Allen Ginsberg’s, A Supermarket in California




Yesterday Chanel’s F/W2014 took place in a supermarket. No-No. Not just any supermarket, but a Grand Palais, Chanel Shopping Center supermarket lined with brilliant stacks of cans.

Not only could you have the newest $4,300 Chanel bag, but a Choco Chanel biscuit to go with it and seal your cult status in the brand/consumer-zombie apocalypse?

As the show ended an announcement floated above the hungry crowd:

“Dear Valued Shopper, please be advised the Chanel Shopping Center will soon be closing. Please be sure to take your complimentary fruits and vegetables and candy and proceed to the exit. Thank you, please come again.”

I love Chanel. The brand is really quite fabulous and forward thinking.

Chanel, under Lagerfeld, has done an excellent job of keeping the brand Now. Both those double C’s, and him, are sharply playing their part as one of the largest fashion labels (grossing $4.4 billion in sales per year) and like a hamster on an electrically charged wheel, keeping us always wanting more.

But what founder Coco Chanel birthed, represented and revolutionized was simple style with ultra sophistication. Individuality without yelling.

The little black dress, Chanel No. 5 and the Chanel suit.

Her contemporary almighty-glove-wearing Lagerfeld is far from his classy predecessor — but then again, so are our times.

I wish I could have been inside the psyche of Lagerfeld as the idea for his latest runway SHOW sprouted.

Some of us thought we might have known for a moment in S/S ’13 when he lined the runway with wind turbines and slapped solar panel imitations on the floor. But far from our ecogically-minded, hopeful and half-baked sentiments all he wanted was ‘fresh air.’ “I started to sketch in St. Tropez over the summer and it was so hot I wanted some fresh air,” Lagerfeld pompously commented after the show.

In a Black Friday-like frenzy, top editors and celebrities flooded the set after what most heard as, ‘Take whatever you want. Yes, We Love You too.’ Or was it Monkey-See Monkey-Do?

There is a difference between desire and obsession, and the former can easy slip into the latter.

A Chanel handbag is so much more that a quality handbag — it is a symbol, a marking, a fence. And so were all the items on yesterday’s shelves.

What was so psychologically brilliant is Lagerfeld cut the fine line open as his fashion victim puppeteers effortlessly played out his consumer-greed scene by looting the set — taking more than they were given.

The show mocked the Haves; they are not so different from the Have Nots.

In the end, embarrassment set in as show-goers were accosted by Chanel norm-core security in the ‘check-out’ lines; if you helped yourself to a five-finger discount of more than just the fruit, vegetables and candy offered, no one, not Them were privileged to get away with it.

I guess we only hear what we want to hear.

Yes, we are laughing. But, the joke is on Us.



image: style.com + chanel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.