Data Center Chanel: Luxury House Embraces Technology
Chanel is one of the most cherished fashion houses in the world, in part due to its continued respect for its own heritage and simultaneous ability to adapt in ingenious and sometimes unexpected ways. They're also pretty savvy with aesthetic, and the glossy editors and bloggers get as excited for the big reveal of the elaborate grandeur of their fashion week set designs as they do the collections themselves.
But for its Spring/Summer '17 show at Paris Fashion Week, under the helm of the fashion's answer to the Phantom of the Opera, Karl Lagerfeld, the house reimagined its most iconic designs with a futuristic twist. Complimented by a backdrop of supercomputers, models donned the catwalk in robot armour and the traditional tweed was reinvented to look like loose wire and software glitches.
The theme, "Data Center Chanel", alluded to the digital revolution that shapes modern culture, in consumerist, personal and social contexts. It was also somewhat metaphorical of the future of couture fashion itself, an acknowledgement that technology will change the entire commercial creative landscape as we know it.
Fashion's major players have until now been reluctant to embrace technology, because it threatens their core exclusivity. The only way a brand can imagine their future is to incorporate modern softwares for design, production, distribution, and marketing, that's just the way it is these days but 'smart' fabrics and wearables are making significant waves in all areas of retail. Data Center Chanel not only confirms Chanel's graduation into the 21st century (but bear in mind they're not an e-commerce, and trade online through retailers like Net-a-Porter), and opens the door for other brands to follow suit in reaping the benefits of sophisticated electronics, but also gives vital headway to the technology x fashion quandary.