Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Resort 2013: Chanel
Karl Lagerfeld was exultant. Twelve months of planning for Chanel's 2013 Cruise presentation and, the week before the big day, current events conspired to completely recontextualize the show, injecting a delicious layer of irony into the time and place. His succinct summation—"Versailles in a Socialist France"—said it all. Up until last week's election, which restored a left-wing government to power, Lagerfeld's collection was a gleeful mash-up of hip-hop edge—à la his favorite Azealia Banks or M.I.A.—and Louis Quatorze's eighteenth-century court at Versailles, the focal point of a period that history recognizes as France's last Golden Age, with Louis the Sun King at its pinnacle. Soundmeister Michel Gaubert dubbed the hybrid "Ghetto royale." He obliged Karl with an M.I.A. track whose refrain, "Live fast, die young/Bad girls do it well," might have been Marie Antoinette's musical signature if she'd lived a couple centuries later. She might even have joined Alice Dellal and Karla Lagerfeldas, who played an exuberantly retro-punk set at the post-show cocktail.