As my regular blog readers know, I am a Chanel lover. My search for Chanel has taken me to consignment and thrift stores around the world, DecadesTwo in Los Angeles and numerous eBay listings. The search for Chanel for less is not for the faint of heart. Today I own six original Chanel pieces, all purchased pre-owned. Countless hours were expended in the search. And truly, this is the way the founder Coco wanted it. She wanted Chanel to be an exclusive luxury brand, not one accessible to the masses, and not one that anyone could own. Even in the midst of World War I, with many designers facing clothing shortages, Chanel was still selling at a premium price out of her exclusive boutique in the seaside town of Deauville, France. Just to get to Deauville to buy Chanel you had to be in a certain social strata. You had to be wealthy to enjoy this seaside town and Chanel’s beautiful garments.
Today, things are different. Although Chanel is not budget priced, there are many Chanel “inspired garments” available for less. My find du jour is this August Silk cardigan at Macy’s for less than $50.00! If you live outside of the US, look for August Silk at your local department store.
Of course, there is no substitute for the beautiful tailoring of Chanel garment, but if you can’t afford Chanel, its nice to be able to enjoy the look for less. I call it Coco-less. Earlier this year, Chanel successor Karl Lagerfeld noted the upside of the recession downside: an end to over the top excess. “Bling is over. Red carpet-y covered with rhinestones is out. I call it ‘the new modesty.'” Or to state things more precisely, Le bling-bling, justement, est en disgrâce. Viva la Recessionista!
So I have to ask, will there ever be another H&M Lagerfeld collaboration, or at some point a real Coco for Less line?