How Afro Hair is Styled in Prêt-à-Porter Fashion Shows: Case Study – CHANEL


CHANEL is one of the most famous fashion houses in the world. Karl Lagerfled, who CI has discussed before, is a knowledge well and he does splash that onto the clothes he designs for CHANEL’s couture and Prêt-à-Porter shows.

Let’s look at CHANEL as our case study, as it is popular with women of colour, especially black women & Asian women. [Disclosure: I am a fan of the CHANEL aesthetic]. PS – Email subscribers, please enable images so you can view this post. The show we will study is the Autumn/Winter 2009-2010 collection.

1. Jourdan Dunn

Which show: Chanel Autumn/Winter 2009-2010

Where: Paris Fashion Week

[Image source: Style.com]

One key thing to note here is her hair is straight. Not a problem at all, but it highlights the idea that CHANEL are looking for a sleek hairdo, to accompany the slender frame of the clothes and the aesthetic. This does not mean Afro curls are not sleek, but in keeping with what CHANEL are trying to achieve, straight hair is what they want. Look at this caption I created from a YouTube video of the show where you can see Jourdan Dunn:

This caption, by Charcoal Ink, shows that the hair is not only straight but slightly bouncy at the top. The centre parting also shows that CHANEL are going for that classic girl next door look that does not fight with the clothes for attention. Is Jourdan wearing a weave/tracks? I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s relevant. What is clear is CHANEL are after a straight look.

2. Liya Kebede

Which show: Chanel Autumn/Winter 2009-2010

Where: Paris Fashion Week

[Image source: Style.com]

More of the same is highlight with Liya Kebede’s look as well. Straight, straight, straight – just like their walks.

Seeing Jourdan Dunn & Liya Kebede strut down the runway in ebony black CHANEL suits makes me want to get my Afro comb out and go to a CHANEL boutique.

Verdict: It was a play-it-safe look for the Afro hair, but a well put together one nonetheless.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!


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