Karl Lagerfeld Keeping Chanel’s Future Bright
Dresses made of living peacock feathers, that respond to the wearer’s thoughts (cold? fluff those feathers!); smart ensembles that change colors*: we may not be there yet, but we feel pretty certain of one thing: Chanel will be.
Or at least, that seemed to be the message behind Karl Lagerfeld‘s Fall-Winter 2017 collection, which seemed to explore the future of fashion, but — we think — looked to accomplish something a bit more subtle: branding Chanel as the brand of tomorrow, as synonymous with “now” as Apple.
Chanel as synonymous with “now” as Apple.
The future may be cold and metallic (or at least that’s the way it’s usually portrayed), but that doesn’t mean the future of fashion has to be. The collection made plenty use of metallics, but largely held onto organic warmth in its signature bouclé yarn jackets, and even a little tartan. It kept its brand identity intact, even as it took bold steps forward: a difficult balancing act, but one not beyond the ken of a master like Lagerfeld.
We were also thrilled to see some menswear on the runway, even as we wait breathlessly for a true Chanel Homme line, with or without the very estimable Hedi Slimane. What man in his right mind wouldn’t want a Chanel bag of his own, even if the word “purse” might still be difficult for many guys to stomach. (That’s okay. I’m a guy. I get it.)
What man wouldn’t want a Chanel bag of his own?
The future of fashion, we hope, is long and filled with endless possibilities.
But when all the technology is said and done, we’ll still need style.
And whether we’re “3D printing” clothes at home, from custom programs designed by top labels, and with “cartridges” of premium materials, we know one thing for sure.
The most style-obsessed of us will still be looking to Chanel.
(*Look for more crazy stuff like this in my new novel, RNWY, coming to print in September 2025. Or not. We’ll see.)