Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Chanel Question


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Currently for bedtime reading, I’ve been enjoying a biography of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel by Lisa Chaney. The book gives an excellent, detailed insight into the life of Chanel and I feel even more fascinated by her through reading it. Touching on all aspects of French history too at the time of Chanel’s life, it has been a hugely interesting book for me to read, not only as a fashion obsessee but also as a French student. 
But through all my reading, it got me wondering…would Coco herself approve of Chanel today?
There’s no doubt about it, Karl Lagerfeld has helped move one of the fashion world’s most iconic houses into modern times since he took over in the 80s, whilst mostly keeping what was signature for the brand.
Looking at his Fall-Winter 2013/14 Pre-Collection, I’m in love. The golden metal chain bracelet with white pearls (anyone got a spare £700 handy?), chequered tweed jacket complete with velvet collar and cuffs and various quilted flap bags in both tweed and lambskin are just a few of my favourites to mention. 

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And speaking of tweed, it seems to be Lagerfeld’s material of the season. It’s the basis of his jackets, dresses and bags as well, inspiring me to incorporate the luxurious fabric into my own wardrobe this winter. 
However, all is not impressive to me. With the revival of punk being displayed on catwalks worldwide, I understand that Chanel had to get on board with the grunge trend of the season…but really so much?
First came the ad campaign that didn’t attract me too much…the greasy blunt hairstyles, the choker necklaces and PVC effect thigh high boots but after all, the punk grunge trend is all the rave at the minute so I must allow a little leeway for the creations at one of the most classically beautiful houses in fashion. 
But then came Cara Delevingne’s recent post on Instagram. A simple shot of her legs and of her feet placed in a pair of the most hideous boots I have ever laid eyes upon. And yes, worse than the creeper. 
Hash-tagged with Chanel RIO Brazil, I was genuinely horrified after seeing the post. The boots. Again, the shiny PVC effect had been incorporated on what could have been a nice pair of ankle boots. But instead, laiden with chains draping up past the ankle, the back of the boot had been expanded yet the front was cut out, using a strap detail instead. 
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For all my love of Chanel, I don’t think I could ever disown the brand completely. But these recent ugly stunts just seem a bit too excessive for me. Nod to the punk trend yes. But this much? Is it really necessary?
So Karl, to you I say, rid yourself of the PVC and the chains and keep working on the tweed coats. Because with them, you have me all the way.
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