Chanel Delivers a Straightforward Fashion Show with Robots and Peppy Tweeds

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Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/Getty

A strong sense that the end is near pervaded the Chanel show on Tuesday morning. That is, the end of what feels like an extraordinarily long season, one with little room left for editors to compute yet another collection. Thankfully, Karl Lagerfeld was onto us, for he delivered a straightforward collection that was digestible in a few, uh, bytes.

Guests entering Paris's Grand Palais were treated to the experience of stepping inside an enormous, football-field sized computer server room, with rows upon rows of hardware, blinking lights, and colorful wires connecting everything together. This was the Chanel Data Center, two signs announced, but I wouldn't have been surprised to see the logo for Mr. Robot appear at any moment.

Instead, Lagerfeld started the show with an extended remix of "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer and what followed was largely a collection of super peppy tweeds and prints in the same neon or bright colors of the set's wiring. Two models in robot masks led the procession, which also included a number of sideways-worn ball caps that signified this was a more relaxed Chanel collection, with fewer dress-up options, perhaps, but plenty of signature looks for the diehard fans. Of particular interest will be a blurry neon collage print seen on a pair of eye-popping dresses.

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If there was a bigger commentary on society here, it might have been about our culture's complete immersion in technology, where every major brand, Chanel included, keeps track of its customers preferences, shopping habits, marital status, and probably our social security numbers too, as we so willingly give over that information to big retailers all the time. But that's probably a stretch of the imagination since all of that data today can be stored on a thumb drive the size of a Chanel button, not to mention a cloud.

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