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Well, at least they’re ‘faithful to the house’ | Manolo for the Big Girl

Well, at least they’re ‘faithful to the house’

If you recall, I am not a huge fan of Chanel. What with with Nazi-conspirator angle and La Coco’s alleged suggestion to her seamstresses that they turn tricks to supplement their paltry wages and all. I admire her designs just as I admire Lagerfeld’s (another thoroughly unlikeable beastie) but let’s just put it out there: they all need a good old-fashioned trip to the woodhouse and no mistake.

Chanel C and D

Dear CHANEL,

Get over yourselves. Seriously. You haven’t had a truly interesting collection in YEARS. What have you done that’s really directional, in the past decade? Oh, what’s that? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you, is that ‘nothing’?

I’m glad you re-released the Exclusifs (you know, from back when you guys could make a perfume that smelled like something other than the waiting room of a Malibu free clinic) but I’m hard-pressed to think of anything, ANYTHING of any real artistic worth that has sailed under the Chanel flag in years. The ruble and the yen are keeping you alive and you know it.

Whatever Karl’s brilliance, and I’m not questioning that he is brilliant, he hasn’t put out anything for Chanel that  any number of our current designers couldn’t do smarter and better and with 300% fewer unattractive silver rings and insufferable liver-lipped proclamations about clothes being for slim people only.

Chanel as a house as a very specific look: peachy-pink, cream and black, pearls, collarless jackets, bouclé, piping, sportswear, camellias.  They’ve developed and refined that aesthetic over very nearly a century and guess what? When you’ve been doing more or less the same thing for a hundred years, it’s going to become part of the fashion vernacular.

To quote Mommie Dearest, “It’s a sword. It cuts both ways.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I would guess if I ran a company that has had record losses and had to lay off 200 people earlier this year while older and equally-venerable Hermés has shown double-digit gains  (oh btw Karl. Gaultier? Could kick your ass with one cone bra tied behind his back.) I wouldn’t be burning my bridges by issuing condescending, over-reaching, faux-cutesy litigious declarations.

I’m over you, Chanel, and you will not see one more penny from Miss Plumcake, so you and your lawyers “detest” away; I’ll be in my rope pearls (which you didn’t invent) at Hermés.

Sincerely,

Miss Plumcake

15 Responses to “Well, at least they’re ‘faithful to the house’”

  1. Margo July 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    Word. Fat-bashing, humourless, lost up their own camelias.

    I have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence that Chanel jewelery (legit stuff, not cheap plastic sunglasses with interlaced Cs from down t’market) falls to bits very quickly, and attempts to get them to fix their faulty product leads to very snotty customer non-service responses.

  2. LL July 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    This is off topic and I apologize, but do you have time in your busy schedule to give a class in smackdowns? Perhaps “Talking Smack 101 : How to get your point across without using the F-bomb.” This would, of course, be followed by “Southern Doublespeak : How to leave them wondering if you just paid them a compliment or insulted their mama.”

    Please? I’ll bring snacks!

  3. Plumcake July 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Margo, I have one piece of serious Chanel costume jewelry and I’ve never had problems with it, but the quality isn’t as high as I would have expected for what I’m sure it cost. I’m not saying they don’t make beautiful things, but what if Valentino got all stroppy when people started calling a particular shade of crimson “Valentino red”? It’s just ridiculous.

    LL, why just bless your heart!

  4. LL July 7, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    Aw, thanks!

    Wait…

    Damn, you’re good.

  5. Plumcake July 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    LL, once you master that –the cornerstone of all Southern doublespeak, we’ll move you on to “precious”.

  6. Pinky July 7, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    This is a joke, right? I’m not allowed to write Chanel-issime anymore?

  7. g-dog July 7, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    whether or not you like or dislike their products – they are taking an action they need to take to protect their trademark (theoretically worth $MM – not with this crowd, but..). If y’all are right – they may need this money since their products may be taking them down the crapster.

  8. Cat July 7, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    The only Chanel I own is from the make-up counter, and I have to say I’m not all that impressed with most of it. The blushes are very nice, except one of the compacts I have broke immediately and no longer stays closed. I’m really not too keen on the rest of their cosmetics. Their perfumes burn my skin, their lip products go all gloppy on me (and one of the glosses leaked all over the inside of my purse), their eyeliner is too soft and smeary, their mascara is too clumpy, and their eyeshadows don’t apply smoothly. So there.

  9. megaera July 8, 2009 at 4:15 am #

    Hermés has shown, not “has show”. (Just so that one day you don’t look back at your archives and cringe, knowing that after you correctly use the accent aigu your flying fingers on the keyboard missed one tiny n in your incandescent fury.)

  10. ChloeMireille July 8, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    I respect the Chanel legacy and its name, but that’s pretty much it. The Classic Suit is now only worn by Ladies Who Lunch. Their non-tacky jewelry is vastly overshadowed by the tripe that is the Chanel Logo jewelry, and the same goes for their purses with their giant, off-center logo on them. As for their cosmetics, no one’s going to buy any scent outside of No. 5 (and 22? or is it 23?), and the last must-have makeup item they had was Vamp back in the mid 90s.

  11. Twistie July 8, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    Can we say last gasp of a long-irrelevant giant?

  12. Nadia July 8, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    If they don’t take actions like this to protect their trademark they could loose the rights to it. If CHANEL became chanel and was used as a verb in the vernacular then anyone could take use of it and their brand would have no trademark anymore.

  13. EV July 9, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    There’s nothing wrong with protecting a trademark. The problem, like Plummy said, is that Chanel has a very particular look, and that look has been a major part of the fashion landscape for so long that telling people not to reference it in any way is pretty much locking the barn door after the horse has already escaped. Doing all that in a completely condescending and self-important tone is just the icing on the cake. I mean, does YSL run around threatening to sue everyone who makes a tuxedo-inspired jacket? Of course not.

  14. Maggiethecat July 10, 2009 at 5:17 am #

    *Rises up from chair* CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

    Also, sign me up for Talking Smack 101.

  15. ChloeMireille July 10, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    Oh, and have you seen their latest Couture show? YAWN.

    http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/F2009CTR-CHANEL