From state of the art to uncreative snooze-fest, has Chanel entered its flop era? – Screen Shot
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From state of the art to uncreative snooze-fest, has Chanel entered its flop era?

Chanel has always represented the classic, aspirational, and sophisticated French brand. To be a Chanel mademoiselle is to be subtle but sexy, classy but cute. Past Chanel muses have included Cara Delevingne, Lily-Rose Depp, and Margot Robbie. All women who, while known for oozing style and grace, also share three other common denominators: they’re white, skinny, and absolutely minted.

 

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According to Sotheby’s, despite the current cost of living crisis, Chanel has ramped up its prices by an extortionate amount in the last year. With increases of 16 per cent, the Classic Chanel flap bag (which a younger, more naive version of myself desperately would have sold her entire being for) now has a whopping $10,000 price tag.

This isn’t to say that Chanel doesn’t have value, rather it’s over-selling itself. Most luxury brands create the majority of their revenue through smaller leather goods. Compared to ready-to-wear clothing, handbags have greater longevity and, let’s face it, are easier to wear. So, are the prices justified? To put it simply, no.

With the Y2K trend dominating fashion, the vintage designer resale market has seen an influx in demand for 90s and early 00s Chanel. Sotheby’s sells vintage bags that, while initially retailing for $1,200 in the 90s, now go for well over $6,000. The threat of the resale market could hopefully prompt the luxury French label to confront its overpriced, snooze-fest collections and, who knows, perhaps even encourage it to produce something a bit more radical.

 

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The latest Chanel Cruise show was ripped to shreds on social media last week, and for good reason. Taking inspiration from Los Angeles and Hollywood film culture, the collection was a mismatch of 80s fitness video attire and skater-girl in crisis. Chaos ensued as 2014 Tumblr ombré and clashing galaxy prints went down the runway. Even Robbie’s front row look reconfirmed to absolutely everyone online that she needed to be immediately released from her shackled infamous Chanel contract. Overall, it was giving off the impression that Chanel was in the midst of a full mid-life crisis, and in desperate need of change.

 

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With the Met Gala dominating our feeds and FYPs earlier this month, all eyes were on Chanel. While a couple of looks stunned the iconic steps—Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, I’m looking at you—others were nothing short of boring. Was it their own fault or was their creativity held back by Chanel’s reluctance to move away from its classically minimal aesthetic?

 

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We get it, Chanel wants to honour the legacy of its past (albeit controversial) creative directors, Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld. But there’s a difference in paying tribute and sending the same looks down the runway every single season. Case in point: the freaking Chanel tweed suit.

Initially, the fashion house founder’s suit design was game changing. Chanel herself once said: “I really care about women, and I wanted to dress them in clothes that make them feel at ease, clothes they can wear to drive a car, but that still emphasised femininity.” And so, in 1925, it was out with the corset, and in with the corporate girlie suit.

To our despair, we’re almost a century later and the suit still hasn’t seen much evolution. Yet Chanel continues to shove it down our throats. At its SS08 show in Paris, a giant model of a tweed jacket even took centre stage at the Grand Palais.

I’m not saying scrap the suit altogether, but it would be nice to see a 2023 version, one that better accurately reflects the needs and desires of modern day women. As Anne Hathaway took to the Met Gala steps in a Versace tweed gown this year, Donatella Versace proved that you can play with traditional Chanel motifs while keeping it current.

 

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Like the Chanel suit, Dior has its iconic New Look. The revolutionary silhouette emphasised and celebrated the female form, while also providing a template for all future designers. Now, Dior continues to employ the intention of the 1950s New Look but with a modern twist. Chanel, please take notes.

 

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The fashion house’s late designer, Lagerfeld was infamous for being fatphobic, racist, and misogynistic, and this infiltrated itself into the brand’s collections, campaigns and catwalks. Even now that the German designer is not around anymore, season after season, Chanel shows remain overwhelmingly white, and when they do include some diversity, it is so minimal that it comes across as tokenism.

Since Virginie Viard took over after Lagerfeld’s death in 2019, the brand has seen minimal change. Could it be that a new creative director is needed? Someone with a younger take? Duh. It would be sad to see such a pinnacle brand in fashion get lost in the abyss of exhausted designers. But as things stand, it’s unrealistic, not to mention selfish, to demand such obscene prices without providing us with innovation and diversity. Your move, Chanel.

How much does it cost to attend the Met Gala 2023?

An invite to the Met Gala has always been the most sought-after seal of approval in the fashion industry. And with this year’s event just days away, we thought we’d better give you all the rundown on everything you’ll need to know approaching the upcoming soirée. From who’s invited, who definitely isn’t and what the dress code will be, here’s SCREENSHOT’s official Met Gala 2023 cheat sheet.t

What’s the theme for the Met Gala 2023?

Each year, the Gala’s theme is carefully curated by top dogs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume institute, with a final green light, of course, from Vogue’s very own director and decider of taste, Anna Wintour.

Past themes have included ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’ and ‘Punk: Chaos to Couture’. Guests, in collaboration with designers, are expected to dress according to the theme—although some are often better than others. Boys, we’re looking at you…

The theme for 2023 is ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’, to honour the late designer’s legacy and his time at Chanel, Fendi, Chloé and Balmain.

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Lagerfeld died in 2019, and while his impact on the fashion universe was significant to say the least, it does tend to overshadow a flurry of problematic racist and fatphobic statements the iconic designer made throughout his time in the spotlight.

In a 2012 interview with Channel 4, the German designer stated: “There are less than one per cent of anorexic girls… The models are skinny, but they’re not that skinny.” When a man of such influence and power says things like this, the body positivity movement sadly stands no chance.

Lagerfeld also criticised singer-songwriter Adele, noting: “She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice.” In a moment of panic and damage control, the designer later claimed he was actually talking about Lana Del Rey… Is that supposed to make anyone feel better?

Lagerfeld also infamously condemned the #MeToo movement. The Chanel creative director infamously said, “If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model!” But of course, the designer is clearly the perfect person to celebrate at the biggest fashion event of the year.

Although it’s hard to predict how A-list celebrities will approach this year’s theme, we’d love to see them challenge Lagerfeld’s problematic views by challenging his own designs, something we can only guess he didn’t want. The Chanel Mademoiselle look is historically targeted at smaller frames, and the label’s runway shows are still overwhelmingly white to this day. Could this year’s Met Gala be an opportunity to explore Lagerfeld’s designs on a wider range of people and bodies?

Which celebrities are attending the Met Gala 2023?

In terms of this year’s Met Gala guest list, invitees are carefully selected by none other than Wintour herself. So, if you want to stand a chance at making it up those iconic steps, don’t get on her bad side or we could have another Miranda Priestly versus Andie Sachs situation on our hands (if you know, you know).

The Kardashian and Jenner sisters attended the event together for the first time in 2022, along with matriarch Kris Jenner. However, there’s been much speculation of them being shunned from this year’s Gala. The family has seemingly taken a step back from the public eye after controversies such as Astroworld, and, of course, anything and everything that comes out of Kanye West’s mouth. This had led many to question their relevance.

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Kim Kardashian, however, put any doubts regarding her attendance at ease last night, Wednesday 26 April, on Instagram. The reality star posed alongside Largerfeld’s recognisable cat, Choupette, while seeking inspiration from none other than the late designer’s personal office in Paris.

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A post shared by Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian)

In the past, the annual event has received some backlash for inviting influencers who’ve been considered not high fashion enough, and undeserving of an invitation to the prestigious evening.

This year, TikTok-famous, sorority sister and University of Miami student, Alix Ashley Earle is rumoured to attend. Earle’s make-up artist recently shared the news that she will be doing a celebrity’s glam for the Gala. Could it be the 22-year-old? Her 5.1 million TikTok followers certainly hope so.

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How much does it cost to attend the Met Gala?

So, what if you’re not a celebrity? Or your mum’s best friend isn’t Anna Wintour? How can you secure a ticket to one of the most exclusive fashion events of the year? Well, if you have an extra $50,000 lying about, you could potentially buy yourself a ticket, but without the high-end status or celebrity connections, your chances sadly remain slim.

Traditionally, designers will buy out a table for a whopping $250,000 to then fill with their celebrity collaborators. The guest list primarily remains top secret until the evening itself. However, confirmed so far, are co-chairs Dua Lipa, Michaela Coel, Penélope Cruz, and Roger Federer. An eclectic bunch, to say the least.

In 2021, Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton bought an entire table in order to showcase young Black designers. Hopefully, these kinds of changes and actions are beginning to mark the start of a much needed transformation for the Met Gala.

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The Met Gala officially kicks off on Monday 1 May at 18:30 EST (that’s 23:30 for us across the pond). I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely be staying up until the early hours of the morning purely in hopes of catching a glimpse of those much anticipated first shots on the steps. I wouldn’t also hate getting to sneak a peek at some of the paparazzi shots of my favourite celebrities drunkenly stumbling out of the after party. Just saying…