Just like weather predictions at Glastonbury, Cheryl Cole’s love life, and the amount of time you spend on Instagram (varies between 7 and 11 hours a day), the tides of fashion are constantly changing. What was once more coveted than anything else in the world, something you’d sell your arm, leg, or family pet for, is now something you wouldn’t be seen dead in. Thanks to our click to buy culture we’ve been conditioned to consume everything in sight, and more quickly than ever before. Trends begin online or on the street, trickle onto the catwalk, and eventually end up in some half-price bin on the high street, while the rest of the world hungrily moves onto the next big thing. So, why then has Karl Lagerfeld’s swift shift from his supermarket themed catwalk show to his gym inspired ad campaign got the fashion world’s knickers in such a twist?
Earlier this year, Karl Lagerfeld’s supermarket sweep for autumn/winter 14 was all anyone could tweet about. From shelves piled high with hundreds of brightly coloured Chanel branded goods to hoards of dreamy models doing their daily shop, nobody had seen anything quite like it before. After uploading about a million photos on Instagram, bloggers crammed their bags with bottles upon bottles of Eau de Chanel, while Rihanna and Cara found time to lol about in a trolley with Joan Smalls. What followed next was an endless stream of thinkpieces about fast fashion and our hyper consumerist society, galvanised by Jeremy Scott who had just shown his fast food fashion fry up for Moschino the week before. However, by the end of the month, the fuss had died down, and before you knew it you’d moved up a level on Candycrush, Cara had broken up with Michelle, Kanye and Kim had made the cover of Vogue, and the Chanel Shopping Center had closed for the season.
“The new Chanel girl is cool, casual, and effortlessly stylish. She’s just going about her daily life, she’s been to the supermarket, got her groceries, and now it’s time to hit the gym.”
Five months later, a sneak peek of the official Chanel campaign for autumn/winter 14 has finally been revealed (thank you @caradelevingne) and the chatter has once again picked up. But this time, the reaction hasn’t been quite as positive, because instead of the souped up shopping basket extravaganza we’ve all been expecting, the new Chanel campaign sees us transported to the gym, where Binx and Cara have been pulling shapes and pumping iron. So far, Facebook is furious, Twitter is pretty pissed off, and, in the deepest depths of Isengard, Internet Orcs are rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of fresh meat to mindlessly troll. But, why are they so disgruntled? According to various online forums, this new concept of going to gym is ‘’totally random’’, and not nearly as good as the Chanel supermarket. Clearly, they’re missing the entire point.
It’s not random, it’s revolutionary, Karl has hit fast forward on the already frighteningly fast speed of fashion. Instead of waiting until next season to introduce a new concept, Karl has re-vamped, re-situated, and re-interpreted his collection for autumn/winter 14, only months after he showed it in Paris. By constantly changing things and moving forward, Karl has kept fashion’s grim reaper at bay. For him, supermarket chic is done, it was over as soon as it was Instagramed, and now it’s all about going to the gym. Think of it as updating the apps on your iPhone, it’s still the same Emoji keyboard, but the monkeys are cuter, the scream face screams louder and the dancing lady seems to move more elegantly.
It’s not random, it’s revolutionary, Karl has hit fast forward on the already frighteningly fast speed of fashion. He has re-vamped, re-situated, and re-interpreted his collection for autumn/winter 14, only months after he showed it in Paris.
Furthermore, the whole point of the supermarket was about exploring notions of the everyday, and that sense of daily routine, but in a high fashion way, which is exactly what Karl is doing with his latest campaign. Just like shopping for groceries, going to the gym is a part of our everyday life. Today, the modern woman spends more time in trainers than she does in high heels, and is more comfortable in casual wear than she is in a corset. Which is something Karl has also responded to (remember back in January when he sent trainers down the runway?). The new Chanel girl is cool, casual, and effortlessly stylish. She’s just going about her daily life, she’s been to the supermarket, got her groceries, and now it’s time for the gym!