karllagerfeld

MORNING REPORT

#GiseleBundchen led the raucous finale: a dazzling “protest” along #ChanelBoulevard of almost 90 models wearing #KarlLagerfeld’s flamboyant spring creations for #Chanel. It was a spectacle inspired by feminism and in celebration of women demanding the right to be chic. #PFW

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"I love the idea of new, interesting materials like patent and stretch plasticized leather"
See Karl tell us more about #Fendi #SS15 in our exclusive Postcards from Fashion Week, on Vogue.fr. @fendi_official #MFW #KarlLagerfeld

10

A Question of Appropriation: Scooter LaForge vs. Chanel.

Last January, Vogue’s Last Look section featured a Chanel bag that my friend Scooter LaForge had first conjured. In the spirit of punk appropriation, he had emblazoned the Chanel logo with abandon on the surface of a cotton twill backpack. In doing so, he gave the logo a newfound freshness, redolent with beaded strings, remnants of necklaces, charms that include a skeleton surfer figurine, quotidian beer bottle caps, strands of tartan and safety pins.

Scooter contributed, with this bag, to a tradition of Lower East Side Chanel appropriation that harks back to the early 80s at Einstein’s, the charming 7th Street store where Paul Monroe and Greer Lankton would make hawk their homemade Chanel brooches, earrings, and t-shirts featuring the logo printed on or attached with safety pins, as well as a myriad of other accessories, to their downtown denizen friends.

Scooter, however, intended his vision of a Chanel bag to also function as a painting, hanging it as such on the wall for a gallery show.

As mimesis would have it, some time later a similar-looking Chanel bag appeared in Vogue, described as a “bricolage” bag, with “haphazardly woven ropes and heavy chains—just the kind of punk appropriation that Karl Lagerfeld employed for his spring collection.”

Chanel’s bricolage bag features charms like a keychain fob and luggage tag attached by an imaginary owner as embellishment. Its texture, color, and placement of embellishments follow Scooter’s model, while realigning the signifiers with Chanel’s target audience (luggage tag vs. skeleton, for example).

Scooter’s painting/bag uses the Chanel logo as part of a language of punk classicism, while Karl translates into Chanel language with punk attitude. In the end, both bags end up looking like two versions from the same collection. Scooter appropriated the logo, while Karl appropriated the bag.

Scooter has since done various versions of bags that incorporate the Chanel logo. This one, however, was the very first one, which I asked him for when I saw a post where he compared the LaForge to the Chanel.

I thought it would only be appropriate to sport such a beloved, maverick and dimensional bag during New York Fashion Week, so I’ve been wearing it with various outfits.

One of them, for Tuesday, included a vintage zebra print umbrella from the now online Uncle Sam’s umbrella store that stood across Carnegie Hall for over a hundred years (and from which Abe Lincoln used to buy raingear), a New Era/Liberty of London hat, Supreme Guatemala shirt, A.P.C. New Petit Standard jeans, harlequin print socks that David gave me, and my AF1+RT Nikes.

During the afternoon, Scooter told me he had just finished some limited-edition, numbered Vampira bandannas which can be worn in many ways. I met up with him to do some shopping at Search and Destroy and had me model one of the bandannas, transforming my face with styling in the process.)

Scooter went to take a nap and I headed on to feed Yasira’s cats. I told him he should stop by Tony’s later, as Van was coming to visit and I would cook some steak & onions and salad.

I got to Tony’s at about 9 and Scooter got there a bit after. I did a couple of internet errands while he played videogames.

When Van texted me to ask if I needed something from Fairway, I told him it was Scooter’s birthday after midnight—incidentally, it would also be Karl Lagerfeld’s birthday on that Wednesday—and asked him to pick up a treat.

Van and I cooked (he made a watermelon and peanut salad from Sweet Paul Magazine, of which I am a huge fan); we all sat on the floor and ate. After discussing our intentions for the Harvest Moon and sharing some edifying energy, Van prepared a dessert of yogurt and grapes, to which I stuck a candle and we sang “Happy Birthday” to Scooter (he didn’t remember telling me his birthday was on the 10th).

While Van was preparing dessert, Scooter did a drawing of me, right after midnight.

The next morning, I wore a NOS Street Closed shirt Bubi and I found at Domsey’s in Bushwick, with a Cityhunter cap featuring an adorable robot monster patch and print, in a pink and yellow colorwave, and my heart-shaped malachite necklace.

I wanted to take more pictures of Scooter’s Chanel bag in a gallery setting, so we stopped by Munch Gallery to visit Lillan and see Frodo Mikkelsen’s brilliant show “A Love Story.” My favorite painting happened to be Frodo’s favorite, and it hangs on the furthest back corner of the gallery (to the left of me on the second photo).

Lillan kindly let us hang the bag on the wall and then I photographed it as originally exhibited. Scooter was there to supervise and he took my photograph next to Frodo’s paintings, wearing the bag messenger style.

Back in May, I went with Dietmar to the closing party of the Whitney Biennial and had used the bag for a second time, after having first used it for a vintage subway ride during the holidays. I was wearing an Only NY Planter bucket hat, Uniqlo/SPRZ NY Jackson Pollock t-shirt (which I have recently worn a lot), a dear African print dress that Dani gave me, and Orgreen Mr. White frames from Artsee.

Photos by Scooter LaForge, Bubi, Dietmar Busse and Jorge Clar.