If you listen closely, you can hear Karl Lagerfeld turning in his grave.
The Lucky Chance Diner is Chanel’s newest venture. Set to commemorate their eponymously named fragrance, Chance Eau Fraîche Eau de Parfum, the ‘Diner’ in Williamsburg, Brooklyn will be open from the 8th to the 10th of September.
Filled with the four iterations that make up Chanel’s fragrance line, guests have been invited to partake in a personalised fragrance journey. Contrastingly to the thick musk associated with a typical American Diner in the heart of a bustling city like Brooklyn, Chance is described as “a sparkling, floral, and woody fragrance. An intense surge of energy and vitality. An elegant composition with persistent freshness, resting on a deep, rich woody base.”. Open to the public for a limited amount of time, the site is complete with an outdoor garden that will be serving *light* refreshments, soft-serve ice-cream and nibbles. There will be categorically no greasy burgers or fries in the pastel influencer fortress, that is SO not Chanel. As Karl Largerfeld once said “I never touch sugar, cheese, bread… I only like what I’m allowed to like. I’m beyond temptation. There is no weakness… The idea doesn’t even enter my mind that a human being could put that into their mouth.” Chanel has set the precedent for The Ultimate Girl Dinner: a squirt of perfume.
The late Creative Director has been at the centre of controversy before for his remarks on diet culture and unhealthy relationship with food – he famously consumed nothing but 10 cans of Diet Coke a day at one point. It seems that Largerfeld’s legacy is continuously legitimised by the fashion house with stunts like this. The commodification of traditionally working-class spaces or associated items and bastardising their core concepts is not foreign to the luxury sector, Supreme and Balenciaga have been doing it for years with $30 for a single brick and $3000 high-vis jackets. Filling a diner with expensive perfume is akin to turning the Palace of Versailles into a massive Lidl (although that probably would be a rather triumphant move from the perspective of French revolutionaries).
Understandably, the modern consumer has raised eyebrows at Chanel’s first beauty pop-up which appears to be out of line with our modern perspective on body positivity. Inspecting beyond the surface-level ‘fun’ aesthetic of a retro, pastel diner, there appears to be a more sinister subtext which considering the infamous exposition of Coco Chanel herself, shouldn’t really come as a surprise.
Is it an innocent enterprise, or is this a not-so-subtle culture rebuttal?
By Rosa Macvicar