Kristen Stewart, Hollywood’s bad boy, has been Chanel’s brand ambassador for eight years. Though she was handpicked by Karl Lagerfeld himself, the arrangement never made much sense to me beyond the impulse of putting someone slightly alt in a skirt suit as a salute to a certain type of hightops-at-prom kind of girl.
But still, Chanel is Chanel, and even the worst Chanel is still kind of good, right? Wrong.
What really sucks for Stewart’s lucrative contract with the storied French-Nazi fashion house is that Chanel is bad now. Under Virginie Viard, who took over after Lagerfeld’s death in 2019, the house’s haute couture has become coo coo bananas in a bad way, and K Stew is dressed in all their worst looks to an extent that borders on human rights abuse.
Stewart being nominated for an Oscar for Spencer was a coup for both the actress and Chanel, but one that further entwined the actress with her jailer: The house worked with costume designers on set and backed the film financially. Maybe, with all this ado, the disaffected, scalp-scraping working mama to Renesmee could finally turn out a look that playfully balanced her tousled bleached hair and her tattoos with all that tweed and gold buttons. Maybe something subversive even.
Instead, in the lead up to the Oscars, we got a show of horrors.
March 26 and 27
Stewart wore these three Chanel looks at the Oscars: quilted bomber jacket with beaded dress at the Pre-Oscar Awards dinner, the shiny shorts-suit at the ceremony, and the lace cardigan dress with a navel bow at the Vanity Fair after party.
These looks are offensive in that they are all boring — please, I’m not shocked by a formal short; I’m punk, like Kristen.
And I have particular ire for the Pre-Oscar dinner look, which makes one of the more interesting actresses we have look like she’s at her sorority’s semi-formal covering up her arms with a Forever 21 jacket because she’s worried about what they look like in photos. The diamond pattern of the first dress fails to capture any imagination, and the long cardigan isn’t even sexy enough for a slut-witch Halloween costume. Maybe if we eliminated the belly button bows. Snooze x three.
At a different Oscar Nominee luncheon in Los Angeles, Stewart wore a pair of sateen pants that fit too low in the crotch. With slightly different proportions and without her stylist’s (very brave) unbuttoning of three cardigan clasps, this look would belong to a middle-school choir director on the night of the holiday performance. The bangle-like details on the sleeve ensure it.
Stewart looked like a dour little Elvis impersonator at the Independent Spirit Awards.
A sheer Chanel mock turtleneck long sleeved dress with details of whalebone corseting and cascading tulle hankies is an insult to Princess Di’s legacy and to the Archewell Foundation writ large.
I do understand what’s being attempted here, I just disagree with it. Wasn’t it that fabulous Nazi mistress Coco Chanel who once said to take one thing off before you leave the house?
Just get rid of the bow and the Jessica McClintock of it all would subside. The abs look great, though.
Mother of the bride, but not happy about it. Dye job came out all wrong; statement necklace fell off somewhere between the table and the bathroom at the rehearsal dinner. Mama knew there’d be days like this. Mama knew. Mama knew.
Here Chanel attempts to make their classic suit modern as if it were still 2007. Pink and black together? Sheer corset? Toner-free bleached hair? It’s all very pre-Obama and five Madonna faces ago.
This one, worn at the Venice Film Festival, almost got me on Chanel’s side. Kristen Stewart wearing a sexy onesie inspired by the classic tweed suit is the closest thing we’ve gotten to winking commentary on how stupid this all is since that Chanel supermarket basket (now going on First Dibs for $34,920).
But I couldn’t quite get there because of what she wore later that day.
Not this aging Playboy Bunny Valley of the Dolls realness. Free Kristen her from her contract or face NATO.