Never has the lowly, class-neutralizing supermarket been quite the mecca of fashion that it was today. What is usually a symbol of the everyman (or perhaps everywoman), has been elevated from the ordinary to the extraordinary by none other than Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. The fashion house’s Paris Fashion Week show this morning arranged an all-star model cast within a stylized supermarket installation, reiterating the motif in details including a meat-packaged Chanel bag and embellished grocery baskets. Models, including Cara Delevigne, Kendall Jenner and Lindsey Wixon, weaved through a maze of shelves stocked with colorful luxury food items, pushing carts and pausing to inspect custom house-branded packaging. With all of its tweed tracksuits, knee-high sneaker boots, finger-less leather gloves and knit-rimmed sunglasses, it was a can of anchovies that has become the overruling object of desire among the fashion elite.
For those versed in Chanel lore, the blending of high and low is to be expected. Coco Chanel began her career making high end women’s ready-to-wear using jersey, a fabric commonly associated with men’s underwear. During his residency at the fashion house, Lagerfeld has also experimented with risky materials including denim, a collection that was met with mixed critical response but ultimately inspired a swell of appropriated denim on the runways. The current Fall/Winter 2014 show touched on a variety of themes anchored in that very ethos; the ubiquity of temptation mixed with a twinge of wealth-shaming. Lagerfeld, after his show, was quoted as saying, “If you are lucky enough that you can buy those things, buy them, but don’t wear them to show people how rich you are.”