Last Wednesday I found myself at a Chanel "pop-up" installation, essentially a large warehouse-y room on Wooster Street which had been converted into a gallery. The exhibit was comprised of a bunch of photos of famous people taken by Karl Lagerfeld; in each photo, the same Chanel "little black jacket" was worn by the subject.
My mom was in town from Boston, and my brother had suggested we stop by the installation before dinner. When I arrived, the two of them were already inside, examining a large-scale photograph of the back of Anna Wintour's head. The lights were dim. A mix of tourists and SoHo-y types milled about. There were three employees dressed in all black handing out posters of the Elle Fanning, Sarah Jessica Parker and Vanessa Paradis prints.
"Well, this is weird," I said.
We walked around the exhibit and lingered in front of the portraits of the more famous celebrities (Kanye, Uma, Dunst). "Interesting." "Wow." "I like this one." Perhaps it was that the same jacket was featured in every photograph, but it didn't take long for all of them to start to blend together.
About 15 minutes later, the three of us independently shifted toward the exit. My mom was only in town for two nights. I had met her at her hotel earlier that day for lunch. The previous night we had gone to an event for which I'd had to wear a suit. Now, we were off to dinner in Tribeca. In, a few nice meals, out.
We walked out of the exhibit and my brother noted that it would be closing at the end of the week.
"So it was just open for a few weeks? What was the point?"
Sam said something about how it was just a fun, short-term attraction and that it was good for the Chanel brand, but I was busy imagining a line-up of my friends all wearing the same black jacket, wondering why I always feel more distant from loved ones when they're visiting me in New York than when we're in different states, and wishing we were heading to eat in our upstairs TV room in Boston rather than a New York restaurant with an unpronounceable name.