If you love fashion just a tiny bit, you’ve seen images from the Chanel Shopping Center a million times by now. And if you are like me, you just can’t get enough of it. This show was genius !
Let me tell you a little bit about it…
10.06 : In front of the Grand Palais. My invitation simply says “Chanel Shopping Center.” I haven’t had the time to imagine what the show was going to be. I know I’ll be surprised and I can’t wait, but I’m a little preoccupied – I have to meet the team from a Chinese magazine who are supposed to take my photo.
10.07 : They text me: “We are inside!” I answer: “Coming!!!”
10.08 : I text Erik, my photo assistant : “You can stay outside a little bit, meet me inside around 10.20.”
10.09 : Big crowd in front of Chanel. Security guards everywhere, but Chanel security guards : nice security guards.
10.12 : I’m inside the Grand Palais, my jaw drops.
10.12 : What I mean by that: I’m inside the Grand Palais, in shock, mouth open. WTF?
10.14 : I’m gasping, a slow gasp.
10.15 : Still gasping, slow-mo.
10.15 : Take out my weapon (my phone) text my troops (Erik):
“Drop everything and come inside. This is madness. PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING it’s crazy!”
10.16 : It’s INTENSE. I am in a huge Chanel supermarket. As huge as the Grand Palais. It’s beautiful! Each product has been thought out (there are more than 500, I’ve heard) each has sublime packaging. Each product has a funny caption or a hilarious pun. It doesn’t even look like a stage! There is rice in the rice boxes!
10.18 : This is a Chanel dream. I can’t stop myself from exploring the whole place, and more and more people are with me. We all look like kids on Christmas morning, eyes wide open and pink cheeks.
10.18 : No Internet #MillionChanelInstagrams.
10.19 : I’m laughing on my own, taking a million pictures, explaining the puns to my non-French speaking friends, for example:
- Shampoo : “For indecisive and unsubmisive hair” or for “Lame and uncolored hair”
- Water : “Eau De Chanel N°0”.
- Toast (biscottes in French) : “BisCOCOttes to devour”.
- Sardines (tiny boxed fish) : “Jersey” Sardines, “Tweed” Sardines, “Pearl” Sardines.
- Cereal : “COCOChoco”
This goes on for every box, and there are sooooo many!!! Each and every one of them is beautiful. My head is going to explode with genius, creativity, humor, and colors.
10.19 : Soundtrack? The same as in a chich supermarket.
10.20 : Text : “We can’t find you!” Crap, forgot my Chinese team.
10.25 : Taking pictures with them near the Chanel cheese, that totally smells like cheese. Woof!
10.40 : I’m in a Chanel shopping cart for my Chinese team, it makes people turn and take my picture, I have a second of doubt. Am I losing my chic?
10.40 : “At Chanel you don’t lose your chic, you find it,” Karl says to me. Or did I dream that ?
10.44 : Shooting done. I run into friends, they’re all like me, feeling like they’ve taken mushrooms and are on the Teletubbies, but in a supermarket. Too many things to see, do, take pictures of. I think I’m gonna need to sit.
10.50 : Okay I’m sitting. Not moving. Observing. Keira Knightley is here. Cute \!
10.53 : Cara Delevigne walks proudly, the shows starts.
10.56 : It’s beautiful ! Colors everywhere ! Ok, I don’t really see the clothes so much, I’m so fascinated by the decor. And the models that…
11.01 : Once the models are done going around the venue, instead of going back backstage, they stay in the shopping center. Grab a shopping cart, a ham, talk, compare products.
11.03 : Soundtrack : Mademoiselle Agnès and Loïc Prigent: “When the jambon (ham) is good, it’s the jambon Cambon!” and other jokes. Hilarious.
11.14 : Okay the show is over. Karl is here walking in front of me with Cara, he seems super happy.
11.15 : What’s happening? Rihanna is running through the venue (followed by her bodyguards and 200,000 photographers).
11.16 : Ah, Rihanna’s just shopping.
11.17 : Oh, everybody’s shopping, actually. Everybody wants a piece of the decor. Me too !!! I grab a paint bucket “Doré St Honoré” (of course)
11.18 : Scott grabs a ketchup bottle “Paris Dallas.” “Much more ironic,” he tells me.
11.20 : Wow, some are getting REALLY excited over this and are loading themselves with products.
11.21 : Some stands collapse. It’s starting too look like a post-Sandy New York Supermarket – you don’t really know if it’s funny, desperate or if it’s art, but I’m happy to report that the atmosphere is great.
11.21 : People are starting to go way overboard. Security guards ask (nicely) for people to stop dismanteling the decor, but kindness seems to have no effect on what’s starting to feel like hysteria.
11.21 : Three fashion editors are climbing the shelves to get their hands on the “Mademoiselle” doormat. One of them trips and falls down.
11.23 : All right, I’m out.
11.23 : And by that I mean, I’m checking out. Yes, there is a check out, where people are asked to put down everything they’ve been gathering. I say there should be a shrink right there people are so sad. But instead there are free candies. Piles of products are abandonned. Apparently the food will go to charities.
11.24 : I know someone who was able to sneak a Chanel Ketchup, but I won’t say who…
11.30 : Outside. I sit down to think about the meaning of life, while eating candies. And I mean : Chanel candies.
If this Chanel show was genius, it’s not only for everything I just narrated to you (and let’s not even start talking about the hours of work to achieve that) and for this celebration / critique of consumerism, but it’s also because, if right now, fashion shows are a communication event then this one must have exploded any standard. The number of tweets and Instagrams went litteraly crazy. Chanel Explosion N°128616. :)
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