I've spoken before about how I feel that, under the influence of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel as a brand has shifted away from its original concept of modern, androgynous, anti-oppulent chic. While I don't pretend to be an expert in these things, the recent discussions I've been having in school regarding "branding" have made it all the more clear to me that Lagerfeld's actions constitute a blatant break from brand ethos. After all, Coco herself said that "luxury is the opposite of vulgarity"--I wonder what she'd have to say about the graffiti backpack, for example? Trendy? Yes. Fashion-forward? Perhaps... but chic, I'm afraid, it is not (personally, I see it as an insult to the consumer to sell for hundreds of dollars something that could easily be achieved on one's own with more individuality--and almost certainly, with more aesthetic appeal) But it doesn't stop there. Lately, Lagerfeld's shows have become more about spectacle than the clothes themselves. Texas hoedowns, kitty-cat inspired capsule collections, and a recently-cemented brand affiliation with the extended Kardashian Klan aren't helping. It's just all so gaudy. Suffice it to say, I'm not a fan... and I'd wager Chanel herself wouldn't have been, either (pure conjecture, obviously).
The exception to this general trend of degradation is the label's ad campaign for its line of luxury timepieces: L'Instant Chanel. Here at least, Chanel's own brand of understated elegance seems to be maintained. These ads are so simple, clever, classic--and, despite the fact that each of them depicts a certain time of day, truly timeless. Too bad watches are a thing of the past!