This morning, Karl Lagerfeld took us to an all-branded Chanel supermarché. Rubber gloves, bleach, eggs, ketchup, dusters, gin and soda – you name it, all your daily essentials were there, complete with interlocking Cs. Models walked the aisles dressed in Stepford-wife tweed, swigging from Chanel cognac and popping products in their Chanel chain baskets. So far, so surreal.
Then the show finished and the seductive voice of a French man rang through the intercom: “Dear valued Chanel customers, the shopping centre is now closing…” And consumer chaos erupted in aisles one, two, three, four and five! Like ravenous animals, members of the front row clambered over displays, shoveling souvenirs into their handbags and chomping on raw carrots. Editors were spotted stashing onions in their quilted clutches.
An astute social commentator – often to hilarious effect – Lagerfeld had unwittingly orchestrated a parody of the somewhat grotesque nature of consumer culture and our insatiable want for freebies wherever possible. Signs read "50% up" rather than "50% off" – have you ever bought something expensive because of the status that extortionate mark-up gave you? Held aloft above the riot of once-demure Chanel-ladies were the ever-present smartphones, recording the moments in selfies and Instagram videos. As with the SS14 Chanel art gallery, Lagerfeld succeeded in plastering his brand across the web as we consumed ourselves with sharing the moment.