If Karl Lagerfeld were not currently in possession of several iPod nannies and actively running a Twitter account for his cat, we would assume he lived in a world without the Internet. Also without newspapers or magazines, because a person would likely have to be living under the ocean to not have noticed the controversy over fashion designers’ appropriation of Native American ceremonial dress recently.
Victoria’s Secret, H&M, and Paul Frank all had very public missteps when they decided that “Native American” was a fun theme for a costume, and all had to yank the offending products and issue public apologies. There’s no way that was news to Karl Lagerfeld and everybody who works at Chanel, so we’re forced to conclude that Karl Lagerfeld knew it would offend people, and he just doesn’t give a shit.
But now the house sent Fashionista a statement on the matter, saying:
“The Chanel Paris-Dallas Metiers d’Art 2013/2014 collection is a celebration of the beauty of Texas. Native Americans are an integral part of Texas’ rich history and culture and the feather headdress, a symbol of strength and bravery, is one of the most visually stunning examples of creativity and craftsmanship. We deeply apologize if it has been misinterpreted or is seen as offensive as it was really meant to be a tribute to the beauty of craftsmanship.”
It’s a very Karl Lagerfeld sort of apology, by which we mean it’s not really an apology at all. Rather it asserts that everyone who objected to the use of headdresses in the show merely misinterpreted the collection. Chanel is not sorry for sending headdresses down the runway, but they’re sorry people didn’t get that it was “a tribute to the beauty of craftsmanship.”
Via Fashionista/Photo: Getty