In the big scheme of avid Chanel fans, only a handful get to experience the art of a Karl Lagerfeld fashion show. At this years Paris Fashion Week, Lagerfeld decided that a normal runway was just too “normal,” so he set the stage for his production in a Chanel designed grocery store. (Because who doesn’t want to buy cereal in Chanel)
The models weren’t the only things “branded” in this production. They were accompanied by Chanel designed sodas, posters, and canned foods. Everything was wearing Chanel. The guests who attended didn’t just sit and watch a show, they watched a well-orchestrated story. The high-end brand evolved into something borderline pedestrian while managing to maintain its expensive appeal, somehow, and it quickly became the talk of the fashion industry.
The followers of the fashion world who didn’t get to experience the show quickly found out about what I believe is the most expensive grocery store of all time. Pictures surfaced first, and then came the video of the collection. As we know, the fashion industry is all about innovation, and this may have been the epitome of innovation in this years fashion week scene. Keeping up with trends means keeping up with designers as they debut their latest work. While we know we can’t wear straight off the runway collections, as they are designed for display more than street wear, but as fashion followers we HAVE to know what’s happening next. Chanel not only connected to the attendees of the show, who most likely can afford to wear it, but it connected to the group that would see it on the internet.
The industry of fashion is changing with the growth of new media. As I have talked about in previous posts, fashion bloggers are now responsible for sharing the exclusive “inside scoop” of what happens at these high-end events. And we follow it, because we wish we were there. I am not afraid to hide my envy, but I can be cordial thank them for sharing what they see. I think this change in delivery of “news” in this industry not only affects how we, as bystanders, view it, but it changes how designers present their work. In this case, the normal somewhat pompous air of Chanel is not evident in this grocery-shopping story, and the normal-salary-making population can see themselves either wearing the actual product that fits into their daily lives or something that resembles it (which still comes back to branding Chanel, who doesn’t love the knock-off industry) The sense of urgency and the importance of this video goes beyond what we want to see as followers and becomes the image Chanel is trying to sell. The delivery of the collection goes straight to the subscribers of fashion blogs, twitters, facebooks, and every form of social media, because that is the audience that will share the “news” to the group that believes it matters. (us, and it definitely does matter)
We all grocery shop, and I would hope we all love Chanel. While this relatable story of tweed and sneakers is a work of art, it is ultimately an advertisement. Fashion bloggers are free advertisers for these designers, and while they may not be selling an actual product, they are selling a look and aesthetic. We not only follow the blogs, but we follow the trends. This technique is smart, because it is subtle. The models in this show are also very well known, like Victoria’s Secret model Cara Delevigne and reality star Kendall Jenner, who have millions of followers on their own social media sites. This only enhances how this information is passed down from the elite to the rest of us. I believe it is all strategic to get the word out, and why shouldn’t it be? Many of us do enjoy just looking at the amazing work Lagerfeld has created that has changed the fashion show experience. Yet deep down, this viral video in the fashion blogosphere will make us think twice about how we get dressed in the morning. Even to go grocery shopping.