Karl Lagerfeld took ‘supermarket chic’ to new heights by transforming Paris’ Grand Palais into a “Chanel Shopping Center” for the brand’s Fall/Winter 2014 runway show. Inspired by the increasingly casual tendencies of contemporary society, Lagerfeld defined the supermarket as a “thing of today’s life.”
As the show commenced, models strutted down makeshift grocery aisles, browsing shelves chalk full of Chanel-branded products, all redesigned to suit Lagerfeld's trademark wit. Tweed energy drinks, Coco Flakes, bottled water labeled “Eau de Chanel No. 0” and Camembert cheese renamed “Cambonay” – in reference to the brand’s 31 Rue Cambon flagship – all lined the seemingly endless rows of Chanel’s Pop-art Shopping Center.
When conceptualizing the show, Lagerfeld took cues from his fall/winter 2014 haute couture show, injecting the collection with a sense of everyday ease and high fashion comfort. Candy-colored tweed blazers were layered atop leather tracksuit trousers, while sporty, quilted cropped jackets were styled with the season’s trademark sneakers – some of which extended above the knee like shin guards – adding a sense of playfulness and kitsch to each look. Evening dresses bore colorful corsets and geometric patterns, while Memphis-inspired prints were the collection’s standout motifs. Even the most traditional Chanel silhouettes were given a sporty revival, modernized through casual layering atop distressed body stockings.
The season’s standout accessories were shopping baskets molded from Chanel’s iconic chain straps interfaced with black leather detailing, while the brand’s artful, post-modern handbags of the season simulated egg and milk cartons. Meanwhile, padlock necklaces and makeshift candy jewelry completed each look, while each model’s tight ponytails sported strips of colorful tweed ribbon.
The runway show was a simulation of what a Chanel supermarket experience would look like, complete with signage reading “Plus 30 Percent;” revealing Lagerfeld's intention to expose the power of branding and serving as a “modern statement for expensive things.”
As one of the brand’s most interactive presentations to date, attendee participation contributed to the youthfulness of the overall collection. The show concluded with a final announcement that the Chanel Supermark was about to close, urging guests to storm the aisles. As Rihanna shopped alongside model Cara Delevingne, fashion hungry onlookers swarmed the shelves, vying to get their hands on Chanel-branded products that are sure to be the brand’s must-have ephemera for many years to come.