Chanel has been pulling out at all the stops for fall 2011 with two full color collections. The official fall 2011, Illusions d'Ombres de Chanel, now available at the counters and online, was joined by the more exclusive and runway-inspired Collection Byzance de Chanel (only at Chanel boutiques and online). And from what I heard at the NYC Madison Avenue boutique, they're not quite done yet.
This onslaught of shinies comes at the heels of the even more exclusive Lumieres Byzantines de Chanel palette (you can see it on Best Things In Beauty and Cafe Makeup), and after the exceptional online marketing campaign for the new Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks. The campaign used Facebook in a way I have yet to see done by a prominent luxury brand: they built a full Facebook app that not only let you browse better swatches of the lipstick colors but also place them in your cart and buy directly (without going to chanel.com). And all that- before the line has actually hit the stores, so you also got to feel like Chanel was letting you in on a secret, making you one of the few in the know (well, together with half the Facebook universe).
Pretty smart. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Chanel's numbers have been breaking new records (I doubt we will know, as Chanel is not publically held, therefore their financials remain private). The thing is that I can't fight the nagging feeling that they're overdoing it. As a customer, I want Chanel to remain a little aloof, exclusive and not try too hard. I want to see an artistic vision that corresponds with the house's fashion, more than the MAC approach to life and business. Of course, if you followed the resorts runways you also noticed that Karl Lagerfeld presented a disproportional huge resort line. And I'm not even getting into the question of who even needs three full apparel collections a year.
I'm not a minimalist, but I'm practical. I buy stuff I know I'm going to use and wear, apparel, accessories and makeup that go with items I already have. I mix, match and have fun with what I have: new makeup, vintage jewelry and everything in between. The point is to choose right. What you see in the photo above are the products I got from both collections. I passed on several truly beautiful items, from the limited edition Joues Contraste Or, a gold blush/highlighter because I could not detect any difference between this and Facettes d'Or from fall 2008. Then there were the gorgeous Illusion d'Ombre eye shadows on their glittery finish and divine texture. I didn't buy them for the same reason I skipped the Armani Eyes To Kill Intense singles. I just don't see myself wearing any of them enough to justify the space they take. I passed on the pencil liner Khaki Platine after swatching it because just like Rose Platine from the summer collection, it's not dark enough to make a difference, and most of the lip colors for redundancy. It was just too much stuff.
Still, as you can see there's a lot to love from both Chanel collections, and as I've been spending some quality time with the items I chose, I'm as impressed and happy with it as one wants to be with such a collection. Photos, reviews and swatches are coming.
Photo by me.