The Met What? Lagerfeld Takes Chanel To Seoul

Celebrities that skipped the annual Met Gala in New York were busy as VIP guests of the latest Chanel Cruise Collection in Seoul. Alongside the likes of Carine Roitfeld, Kristen Stewart, Giselle Bunchen, and K-Pop superstars, guests gathered for a fashion extravaganza consisting of a futuristic, board game runway and the the latest in Chanel design. Korean styling was the quintessence, epitomised by the cartoon lashes and penciled eyebrows complimenting the candy stripes and geometric shapes of a playful theme.

Chanel cruise collection 2015-16 Runway. Photo Credit: Reuters
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Carine Roitfeld at Chanel cruise collection 2015-16. Photo Credit: NY Mag
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Giselle Bunchen at Chanel cruise collection 2015-16. Photo Credit: NY Mag


Karl Lagerfield was the mind behind the show staging. In direct reference to the Met Gala, he mused that “it’s funny that everyone takes inspiration from China, but not from Korea… I find that so interesting. So that’s why I did the show here.” Cruise collections have become an important way for a label to engage and charm customers, buyers and the press. The events are tailored to the environment they’re set in, allowing wealthy buyers to grab the latest in holiday fashion while bringing a full spotlight to a brand without the worry of competition.

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Looks from the Collection. Photo Credit: South China Morning Post


Lagerfield is well aware that just because you are a success today, doesn’t mean you’ll be a success tomorrow. Turning his attention to South Korean pop culture is an intelligent move: fans of K-Pop are feverishly loyal, and the movement has begun to receive international recognition for their unique and modernist perspective on style and design.

The 81-year-old designer used the show to reflect the young, trendy vibe he feels dominates South Korean streets, with blonde South Korean supermodel SooJoo Park featured prominently in the show. It all paves the way for a country, and a continent, Lagerfeld feels will eclipse the traditional capitals of fashion:

“I think the Asian world is better than the old European world now. Asia is much more about the future, unlike Europeans, especially the French.”

Lagerfield with SooJoo Park and a child model at Chanel’s cruise show in Seoul. Photo Credit: South China Morning Post


Now the third-largest market for luxury goods in Asia, South Korea is one of the fashion industry’s top targets and, as a result, is beginning to be courted by fashion’s greatest conglomerates. Given that Chanel was the first brand to do a Cruise Collection in 2005, Lagerfeld refers to these collections as “unique Chanel moments.” We know that other high fashion heads have jumped on the bandwagon, with Louis Vuitton having only just completed their cruise show in Palm Springs this week, and Dior projected to hold theirs in Cannes sometime soon.

But for Chanel, the collections always come first.

“Just to do a new show because the competition is doing it? I would question the content,” says the brand’s president of fashion Bruno Pavlovsky. “At Chanel, we find the best way to protect this moment.”