Chanel and The Epiphany of Monaco

The time is a little after 3pm on May 6, Place Vendôme. Using a motorcycle, an armed gang breaks down the front door of the Chanel Joaillerie store. This type of robbery is rare in France. Police often track down the track, most of the time the robbers are busted and we find that these strong heads have only received a small portion of the loot. Armed robbery is one of the most sanctioned crimes.

It turns out that this May 6th in particular was Chanel. In fact, at 12 the same day, Chanel showed off its Cruise 2022 collection in Monaco. I was one of the guests. In the afternoon, we only talked about the gap between the sweet mood of the show and this burglary.

The successor to the ad

Monaco. As I took a walk in the city, and unfamiliar with this city a little above the ground, I stared in amazement at the street filled with cars so shiny and new that you would have thought you were in a metavers. I listened distracted, in shops where I protected myself from a fine rain, these people covered in dough who spoke in mysterious languages, came from all countries of the world, and came right here, in Monaco, to live glued-squeezed into buildings facing the sea, with their money. With all their money.

In a shop (large Italian brand), the price of a pleated skirt revealed by a clerk: € 2,600. And she: “We do not put the prices directly on the parts, it is more user-friendly”. She was adorable, Italian. I went without a skirt, tail low. Like a thief, in a way.

Monte-Carlo atmosphere for Chanel cruise show (Chanel photo)
Monte-Carlo atmosphere for Chanel cruise show (Chanel photo)

France and the luxury market

Why am I telling you this? Because the whole issue of “cruise” fashion shows (these off-season collections, easy to wear and which are the ones selling the most in the big houses) is there today. We take hand-picked guests to dream or mythical destinations, we show them beautiful things that cost a fortune. These lucky ones make pictures, posts, stories, scrolls. The house itself conveys its “content”. A message is spreading all over the world.

And the world is responding.

The successor to the ad

On my Instagram account, some people are surprised that we still get people to travel alone to see new clothes. In the case of Chanel, which will also be a couple of other “cruise” shows in the coming weeks, there is a significant effort to just not go to the ends of the earth. This year it’s not Seoul, Cuba, it’s Monaco.

A few other people just ask me what the rhyme is, all that. I urge them to watch the excellent documentary by Stéphane Bégoin and Flore Kosinetz, “The Invention of French Luxury” at Arte. They will learn that from Louis XIV France wanted and achieved this amazing economic power in the luxury market. It did not come easily, it even took two centuries of investigation, determination, unsolvable riddles and ingenious solutions. Today, no one is able to compete with France in this market. And we are very lucky that it is so. To deprive yourself of this would be stupidity.

“The invention of French luxury”, thus fashion was born

An even turn

“There are many ways to acquire luxury”. Chanel cruise collection model (Chanel)

And finally, other people are asking who it’s talking to, these clothes, “because we can not afford them”.

That’s why I started the robbery.

The successor to the ad

There are many ways to acquire luxury, the most catastrophic is theft. But there is another, which is to take what luxury actually provides for free, and which is indefinable.

I started my professional life in the 80’s when Karl Lagerfeld’s muse, Ines de la Fressange, made everyone want to wear Chanel again. I had offered myself something from No. 5 (a soap), by joining in with everything Ines represented. I had also picked up a chain belt, not Chanel (but she was the joke), and my Agnès B schnapps cardigan looked like a little black jacket.

Later, on a birthday, some friends made a pot to offer me real Chanel ballerinas. And meanwhile, fascinated by the house, I learned so much about Coco Chanel that I plan to put up a chair at the Collège de France. This interest in the Chanel style determined my way of staying, my relationship with accessories, my taste for sophistication, for black and white, for small shoulders, for cotton fabrics with a loose weave, and even my vision of social ascent.

For in reality I also committed a robbery, but only by my imagination that I did it. I, too, like the gloomy boys of the beginning, took everything I could take from Chanel. But otherwise and without harming anything. I have also served myself.

the sporting Monaco in the Grand Prix (Chanel photo)
the sporting Monaco in the Grand Prix (Chanel photo)

And here I am sitting at the Beach Club and the show begins.

The successor to the ad

The Chanel show by Virginie Viard

Sometimes, like everyone else in my profession, I tell myself I could make the Chanel collections. We all have this little useless security because the strength of Chanel is to have been integrated by everyone. But in reality, only Virginie Viard is to date capable of holding the house’s many and subtle reins. It’s now a little over three years ago that this woman, who was Karl Lagerfeld’s right hand man for more than 30 years, replaced the world’s most famous designer at Chanel.

She did not have to come when she was there. And so at least, if we play on words, she has nothing of an upstart: she is a discreet person who did not mind, some time ago, to remain there dumb, deterred from the attacker by any highlight .

Chanel Cruise Fashion Show (Chanel photo)
Chanel Cruise Fashion Show (Chanel photo)

And then she likes it. Once again, in the glances that parade, a matter of course: the discreet disobedient a certain spirit of Charles’ hand. She tilts in italics a sartorial phrasing whose mission is constantly to drive the point home. She begins to embody Chanel. Truly incarnated because it gives flesh to this brand that performs miracles of softness also on the back of the garment, always taking into account the epidermis.

This time she wanted Monaco. The Chanel cruise collection does not appear for nothing in the mythical principality. Karl Lagerfeld, a close friend of Caroline of Monaco, was a resident there. In the 1980s, he rented La Vigie, a mythical house in Le Rocher. And he even shot countless photos, campaigns, etc. there. So Chanel is on its way here. In my father’s footsteps.

A white cardigan (Chanel)
A white cardigan (Chanel)

Because Virginie Viard grows between two giants. Let me introduce them to you: on the one hand Coco, known as “the old woman”, as only those who love her have the right to call her, and on the other hand Karl, the man too late but ahead . . Virginia does not have one DNA to manage, but two. With a kind of patience (it is so rare to have time in this subject), and as with tweed she weaves.

The successor to the ad

A fantasy with small broadcasts of “Friendly yours”

Fan of the 80s, she chose Monaco for obvious reasons, and her dream of a happy and show off Monaco from that era is so strong that I wonder if she sees them, the ugly buildings that grow, the polyglots that drips of wheat (but does not drip anything other than that), call girls. Or she sees Monaco, as Monegasque citizens see it, with calm eloquence and an inexhaustible sense of humor.

It’s time to go out in jacket, and that’s it!

Above all, I think Virginie Viard’s dream goes beyond reality to focus on a fantasy. In her mind, here’s a Monaco in red and white, the Grand Prix’s sporty Monaco and the big seesaw. A Monaco that has a bit of “Friendly yours” (in the jubilant teaser of the show directed by Sofia and Roman Coppola), a Monaco of aperitifs overlooking the sea, a Monaco with cap and rackets, a Monaco where the heels are higher than the stands, if you know how to take the picture, a Monaco like a hurricane.

A giant pink gingham parka (Chanel)
A giant pink gingham parka (Chanel)

Usually I hate to describe what one can so easily go and see in a picture, but here … red clothes, when red had more or less disappeared in fashion, red, as we will see everywhere, of consequence. Jumpsuits, as actress Tilda Swinton hurried to say she wanted one “right away”. Motorcycle gloves to live at one hundred kilometers per hour. Terry (if I saw right) because we’re going to the beach. Gold leather, but with the matte amber jacket to mark that here we know what we are doing, we are not in the flashy for the flashy.

-50% the first year with Google

By choosing this promotional subscription path, you accept the deposit of an analysis cookie from Google.

The dosage, always. A white water necklace that I would like to find Pantone. Dresses printed with Grand Prix flags and guess what, it works. A white vest with sequins, black collar. A nice silk skirt with tweed print (sublime). A parka in giant Malabar pink gingham reminds me of Stéphanie de Monaco who one day blew a bubble of this pink on an old picture. How must she have loved this Karl, to end her grief, for we understand that the grief is over, with such a hymn to carelessness …

The successor to the ad

Chanel has apparently never looked so good. I really want to wear it.

Fashion week: 12 days without instructions

Leave a Comment