PARIS: Ever wonder what Keira Knightley and Rihanna do when they just want to go to the grocers like average people? They go to Karl Lagerfeld’s luxury Chanel supermarket, of course.
Tuesday saw the fashion showman put on a “Chanel Shopping Center” fall-winter show that featured an audacious Walmart-sized reconstruction and saw the celebrity pair applaud vigorously from the front row. They clearly didn’t seem to mind sitting near the canned goods section.
However, events took a nosedive after the show when the rowdy fashion crowd looted the set.
The attention to detail at the show was astounding.
The entire supermarket was constructed across several hundred square meters of Paris’ Grand Palais.
Guests stared in disbelief at shelves bursting with consumable products especially made for the show: bottles of “Tweed cola,” wine branded “Maison Gabrielle,” and even grilled bread stamped “CC.”
This was clearly a fall-winter show like no other.
Chanel carts at the side led on to a tall pile of coconuts with sign reading “1 for the price of 2,” a fresh fruits and veg section and large banners advertising Chanel’s latest special offers. Instead of discounts, they read “50 percent mark up.”
“Luxury should be worn like you’re going to the supermarket. It’s the pop art of the 21st century,” the couturier said in high spirits.
It’s proof that Lagerfeld is fashion’s greatest showman.
Though the set was a universal hit, perhaps Monsieur Lagerfeld later had one regret: telling revelers they could help themselves to the produce.
It triggered a stealing-frenzy, with security guards having to swoop in as revelers stripped the shelves. At the exit, fashionistas’ bags were actually searched to remove stolen goods. One fashion editor succeeded in making off with a Chanel doormat.
Lebanese pop singer Nancy Ajram showed up, as did “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Keira Knightley. The actress rocked the front row alongside her husband, Klaxons singer James Righton whom she married last year.
They entered a cordoned-off area after the show alongside superstar Rihanna near the Chanel cooking oil.
It triggered a media frenzy, with a worried Knightley saying, “I think there’s a fight breaking out.”
Her husband, who watched from the sidelines, seemed puzzled by the luxury supermarket concept. “It’s my first Chanel show. It was fairly mad. Is this normal?”
Yes, at least in Lagerfeld’s world it is.
Just like a supermarket, Lagerfeld produced a collection that was so varied there was choice for everyone.
With attention given to large rounded shoulders, exaggerated upper torsos, cinched or exposed midriffs and lashings of tweed, Lagerfeld mixed and matched.
Stylish brown tweed was turned into a jumpsuit – with voluminous pockets on the bust.
A section that seemed to channel the designs of artist Vassily Kandinsky provided bursts of color on driving coats and a pair of bold blue and green leggings. It looked very young, but Lagerfeld quipped after the show: “Never young enough for today’s standard. The older the [women] are, the younger they want to look.”
For the fun factor, models carried large leather and silver-bound Chanel shopping baskets as they theatrically browsed the catwalk shelving.
If the show seemed to lack the focus of Lagerfeld’s best work, some fantastic single garments made up for it. One black three-quarter-length coat had a lovely fluidity with delicate diagonal ribs.