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For the finale of their Spring 2015 show, Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel did something incredibly brilliant. From the balconies to the dormer windows, the puddles dotting the runway to the guardrails protecting the front row, the Grand Palais was transformed into a recreation of a Paris boulevard. Creating a scene both extravagant and relevant, Chanel’s usual runway show was replaced this year with a feminist protest through the streets of a faux Paris boulevard.
Led by Cara Delevigne, an army of models hit the runway singing, shouting and waving signs with slogans such as “Boys should get pregnant too” and “History is her story” and “Women’s rights are more than alright”. Addressing one of this years most eagerly debated topics Chanel has done it again, proving fashion isn’t so out of touch with the realities of the world as maybe some believe, Karl himself claiming it all simply felt “right for the moment”.
And, if that wasn’t exciting enough, Karl even sent one lone man down the runway too with his own ‘He For She’ sign, a nod of support for Emma Watson’s recent UN campaign, a solidarity movement for gender equality, bringing together both halves of humanity in support of the other.
However, the show has had mixed reviews and despite telling Elle UK that he took inspiration for this collection from his mother who was “a great admirer of a certain feminist of the 19th century”, many find Karl Lagerfeld to be an all too unlikely supporter of feminism. Especially when in recent years he has dismissed concerns over size zero models as the worries of “fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps” and often insulted female leaders of the world and celebrities, famously calling the talented singer Adele “a little too fat”.
Although Chanel is unlikely to cause a revolution then and might even be dismissed as a clever marketing ploy to sell clothes, it’s got people talking, started a welcome conversation about where feminism and fashion stand beside each other and lets face it, is a nice change from Karl’s usual nasty jokes!