I cried when I watched this show. About 11 minutes in my eyes started to well up with tears. By the end I was bawling. For once I was actually thankful that I was just watching the show on YouTube in bed because that would’ve been hella embarrassing to do that in person. I’m so happy. I finally feel something towards fashion again. This show has reignited my love for all things fashion and actually made me excited about it again. I now remember why I love all this shit in the first place. It sounds so dumb but I’ve been feeling so uninspired recently, especially in terms of fashion, and I just feel like this has reignited my desire to be involved in this industry and just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Fashion, to me, is about society. It does not exist in a vacuum and it is not just clothes. The mindset that I’ve had over the past few months is that it is just clothes and nothing more. I’ve found it all so dull and I’ve found clothes in general very boring. I felt so lost. Now I feel found. I cannot articulate myself very well right now because the matter is so personal to me and links back to things that happened years ago, but what I will say is that this is not the first Chanel show to save me when I needed it most. Fashion is no joke people.
To me, this show was about the separation between women and girls. That’s what it made me think about. How some females, regardless of age, will always be girls and how others will be women. What’s the difference and how do you make the transition? I feel a little bit like the main character in the movie 13 Going on 30 right now, in the flashback scenes when she is desperate to be “thirty, flirty, and thriving”. That’s how I feel in a way, because it means I’ll finally be a woman. I actually can’t wait to be a real adult and have real adult responsibilities again. This is something that I’ve really struggled to wrap my head around when coming back from working full time to attending college full time. Currently I’m just a student and nothing else and it’s very strange to me. It has given me so much time to think about things.
What made the difference between the women and the girls so pronounced to me was the age of some of the models. I wondered why there were 16 year olds walking in the show. This isn’t something that has ever bothered me before today but I just thought about it and I can’t make sense of it. If the target customer of Chanel is a mature adult, why would a teenager wear the clothes on the runway? A lot of the models, whilst beautiful and striking, looked a little bit like they were playing dress-up. It was funny to me. It just showed that the clothes were made for sophisticated women and not girls. With the whole Instagram age, I feel like people are girls for so much longer. It all comes down to the way we dress, and more importantly, the deformalisation of dress. Casual wear is king. I cannot count the number of women I see wearing leggings as pants or exercise gear just as a regular outfit. It makes sense given that athleisure is such a huge category now.
There is no such thing as turning a certain age and becoming a woman now. I think it 100% comes down to the way you carry yourself, and to me a huge part of that is the way you dress. I often find myself gravitating towards items that I know are too old for me. I’ve actually made a huge effort to dress younger since I’m back in college. It’s working, a little bit. I don’t want to ever look like I’m trying to be older than I am (although I do often forget how young I am). I would love to be regarded as a woman, however. I know that I won’t be. I know that when people look at me they will see a girl, which is why I know the Chanel collection isn’t really for me (well, the majority of it). Karl creates outfits that are made for an older consumer but puts them on young girls. Honestly, somethings actually look really great on the models. It all comes down to the way the model walks and how confident and comfortable she appears to be in the outfit. Liu Wen looked perfect, for example.
I had so much to say about this topic but most of it was just random incoherent ramblings. Honestly, I am so thankful for this show. It has made me think about more than clothes. For instance, the coming of age of women. I know I didn’t go into much detail about this but it is something that is on my mind. I’m considering actually writing a further post on this and exploring it in more depth if I can manage to articulate myself in a better way. My brain is all over the place at the moment because I’m just feeling so inspired at the moment. We shall see.
In terms of the actual clothing, I liked a lot of it. As I’ve said in previous posts, Chanel is very hit or miss for me. I often find it over-styled (similar to Prada) or too mature for my liking. When it comes to the pre-season collections, Karl seems to always hit it out the park. (Is that a real phrase?) I like how you see the work of all of the little ateliers that come together to create the collections. For example, the embellishments were really quite stunning. Lily-Rose Depp wore a fantastic look. Actually, both of the looks she wore were stunning. I loved the tulle straps on the black dress. It was very old Hollywood. Karl said this collection was inspired by the elegant women who visited the Ritz over the decades and for that reason you couldn’t put a set time frame on the clothes. I liked that. I honestly think that the clothes were so old Hollywood glamour that they didn’t look completely modern, but that was the appeal. I miss the old way of dressing. I often wish that I was alive during that time period just to have experienced the excitement of it all (minus all of the terrible events that happened like wars, disenfranchisement of women, minorities etc.). I guess at the time it wouldn’t have been exciting, just like ripped jeans aren’t exciting in this day and age. I wonder if in 75 years time people will wish they were alive in the 2010s?
Finally, the set of the show was a dream. It’s funny because normally for these shows Chanel travels to some far flung location and creates a collection based on that location, using it as an inspiration (sometimes veering into an appropriation level). This time, they stayed in Paris. Instead of being inspired by a specific location, Karl was inspired by the travelers who came from other locations around the world to Paris, specifically to the Ritz. Everyone knows that the Ritz is the epitome of style and luxury. When you’re getting glam and stylish, you’re “putting on the Ritz”. That’s exactly what this collection was about. 100%. Also, the dancing models and the level of audience interaction was so fun. It felt very much like an old salon style couture presentation mixed in with a Pat Cleveland style runway jaunt. I’m inspired. I’m happy. Thank you Karl for making me so happy again. I genuinely appreciate it.