With the beginning of spring and the final folding and putting away of the Patagonias (I mean can we please) we leave behind March and my two favorite things, awards season and the four collective fashion weeks I’ll call fashion month. Aside from fashion tourist Rihanna dragging a mink around Paris, this season’s fashion month created conversation about a few other things, mainly the heavy emphasis on consumerism in shows across the world. Fashion house heavyweights Marc Jacobs, Moschino, and Chanel, and even newcomers Anya Hindmarch and Henry Holland posed a question, or perhaps offered an answer, about consumerism in fashion.
Before the first show even began, Marc Jacobs announced his Spring/Summer 2014 ad campaign would star Miley Cyrus who was fresh off of a controversial VMA performance with Robin Thicke. Jacobs’ decision to cast Cyrus came as no surprise as he’s known for provocative campaigns, consistently employing the most talked about celebrities to advertise his namesake brand. Jacobs’ Spring 2003 perfume ad saw Winona Ryder as its star and featured the actress surrounded by piles of new clothing, smiling into the camera and holding up a shirt with the tag still attached. Ryder had been arrested for shoplifting only a year prior. So, just as we were thinking Miley was Jacobs’ newest Winona, a marketing ploy to gain publicity, Jacobs sent Kendall Jenner down the runway at his show during New York Fashion Week. Jenner, of Kardashian relation fame, had recently garnered media attention for her alleged relationship with One Direction’s Harry Styles. With Cyrus as the face of Jacobs’ Spring/Summer campaign and Jenner modeling clothes for the fall, Jacobs prompted the idea that perhaps he wasn’t just chasing publicity and was instead using Cyrus and Jenner, both certainly not unfamiliar with material goods, as a means of commenting on consumerism.
A week later, Milan saw Jeremy Scott, creative director of fashion house Moschino, showing a capsule collection inspired by McDonald’s. Sweaters, tshirt dresses, backpacks, and leather quilted bags were emblazoned with the golden arches and the slogan “Moschino: Over 20 Billion Served.” The collection was titled “Fast Fashion – Next Day After The Runway,” with the looks online and available for purchase the day after the show.
In Paris, Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel brought fashion month to an end by offering up a final commentary on consumerism, reimagining its showspace into a Chanel Supermarket. Models walked aisles stocked with Chanel brand everything, from maple syrup to dish soap to chainsaws. Signs marked “Plus 30%” served as a reminder that you’ll pay extra for that Chanel kale leaf. Not one to be outdone, Lagerfeld took it one step further, announcing at the end of the show that guests should feel free to take whatever they wanted from the shelves. Panic ensued as editors, bloggers, photographers, and anyone with hands began to grab things off the shelves. Loaded down with tissue, laundry detergent, and soup cans, patrons of the show were quickly relieved of the items by security. After all, Karl knows that nothing is more exclusive than Chanel brand tuna.
With the Autumn/Winter 2014 season it seems as though fashion has posed a question and answered itself. Scott’s Moschino capsule collection is sold out at every retailer, now only available in limited sizes on Moschino’s official website. There are Instagram videos of fashion editors attempting to wheel Chanel brand bicycle wheels out of the showspace. I myself am personally holding out for the House of Holland knee-length shearling coat. So will you buy an $85 Moschino iPhone 5 case shaped like McDonald’s french fries? No, because they’re sold out.