CHANEL – Lagerfeld, Feminists and Feminism in Paris

Ten hours ago, models in slouchy tweed and washed out watercolour prints staged a surprising feminist march, chanting into branded megaphones and holding placards high with Karl Lagerfeld leading the way, but he really does know how to bang out a good finale. He was following up last year’s grocery-themed, consumer-driven line with high topped sneakers and unique accessories.

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For Spring Summer 2015, Chanel via Lagerfeld resurrected no less than the insurrectionary spirit of the May 1968 student protests – “albeit with a modern, feminist touch”. For the lucky invitees, it is said the show invitation promised a ticket to “Boulevard Chanel”.  Grand Palais was transformed into a wide Parisian street like the ones that saw student rioters battling police in 1968, two short years after wee HauteAngel was born. But the real meaning behind the reference only became clear when Cara Delevingne led the walk-out with a speakerphone, shouting “Come on!” like a call to battle.

Fellow AW14 campaign star Binx Walton followed with the rest of the models, armed with placards unveiling Chanel’s political intentions behind Spring Summer 2015′ theme: “Make Fashion Not War”, “Ladies First”, “Feministe Mais Feminine” (“Feminist But Feminine”) and “Be Your Own Stylist”. Various, roaming photographers moved swiftly from the sidelines and onto the runway to snap Karl’s freedom “fashionista” fighters.

Even second-wave feminism got a look-in: one model waved a sign reading “History is Herstory”. And Karl didn’t forget feminism is also for the guys as a lone male model in military khakis carried a “He For She” protest sign, perhaps in a nod to Emma Watson’s HeForShe UN campaign for gender equality.

The line consisted of pretty white blouses, signature Chanel pearls, tweeds, jackets, some pinstriped with rhinestones (which I adore!), gorgeous Broadway Baby gold spectator flats, pretty watercolor prints (thank God, after Hermes’, some color), a lot of Sixties looks as we saw with some of Louis Vuitton’s looks today with the pretty little shift dress, long wavy hair, clean makeup, long lashes, pouty lips, the long military blouse, the long, slouchy purses, and just exciting touches all over the place.

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Last season’s AW13 supermarket sweep show raised the roof on expectations for Lagerfeld’s follow-up, but nobody expected him to position Chanel as the latest word in protest chic. But then again, it does make sense – who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned fashion riot? And what lady doesn’t love Chanel. Are you reading this honey? Love, HauteAngel