No other brand in all of fashion has the history and prestige to match the king of French fashion. Started by Coco Chanel in 1909 in France, the brand built it’s empire with boxy tweed suits and quilted leather bags. Coco was even the first designer to have a branded perfume and the label’s overlapping C logo is known and copied around the world. I don’t doubt or question these icon making events. My criticism is aimed at Chanel’s modern day incarnation.
Coco herself died in 1971 and the current head designer Karl Lagerfeld has been at the helm since 1983. Lagerfeld is considered by most to be a living genius and I’ve become a huge fan of his. What I realized is that I love Karl Lagerfeld the man not the designer. He’s a fan waiving white haired dandy who throws the most lavish over the top fashion shows. True story: In March 2010 for the Fall/Winter show, he had a 265 ton iceberg imported to from Sweden just for a runway presentation that lasted no longer then an hour. (The room was kept at 28 degrees to keep it from melting) That’s some epic shit right there! But lets get back to the clothes. Chanel wins on accessories like hand bags and watches, but is anyone buying the clothes? I did some unofficial research and discovered interesting results. If you wanted to buy a Chanel dress online, it’s almost impossible. I checked major luxury retailers like Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Sax Fifth Avenue and none sell Chanel clothing. Many sites sell the brand’s extremely successful make up line but no skirts, jackets, or pants to be found. The true test came when I looked past all the glitz and glamor to judge the actual pieces. As I went through each look, they ranged from pretty classics to odd 80’s old lady. For the most part though… Chanel is ugly. If there was a different label on the inside of these garments you would shriek in horror. Now if you need me, I’ll be in the fashion witness protection program for daring to ask the questions no one else will.