Wednesday: Popular American Culture and Politics


Have we talked about the new Chanel #5 ads yet?

Because we need to.

What on God’s green earth were the guardians of Chanel’s gorgeous, timeless, classic legacy thinking when they decided to make Brad Pitt the face of Chanel no.5?

Whatever they were thinking, it was not, “What would Coco do?”


Alright, yes, I’ll admit that Brad Pitt is a gorgeous hunk of man.  But send him back to wardrobe and make up, immediately.  Unless Chanel has been bought by Tommy Bahama, any Chanel-type anything that is graced by Pitt’s face should show him circa Ocean’s 11, sporting an incredibly tailored suit, a perfectly knotted tie, a smooth face – not looking like he just rolled out of his beach hammock and hasn’t seen a barber in years.  Coco Chanel was an icon of style who re-wrote the rules for women’s fashion.  This visage of Brad Pitt does not evoke her classic, sharp, careful looks.  He doesn’t even look like the kind of guy who would look twice at a confident Parisian decked out in a black and white boucle suit with a clutch of pearls at her throat and a clever bob.  Brad needs a makeover to be associated with Chanel.   Even when Chanel came out with surfboards ten years ago, they were carted by fashionistas in skirt suits, pumps, and pearls.  Chanel doesn’t do beach bum.  So go knock on Armani’s door, Mr. Pitt.  He’ll have some good tips on how to clean yourself right up.  Grab a suit while you’re there.  You look good in them.

But never mind that altogether.  Brad Pitt is a man.  A MAN.  Did I miss something?  Please, tell me that the house of Chanel has decided to come out with an identically-named por homme version of the classic scent?  Because seeing it faced by the stronger sex is something like walking into the women’s bathroom in the delicates floor at Bergdorf’s and running into a cowboy.  It does not belong.  It should not be so.  It’s indecent.  Coco Chanel was a champion of using something women excel at – fashion – to pave an avenue to independence, self-expression, applicable feminism.  I mean, there are even biographers who claim that she was bisexual, if not gay.  Do you think she who worked so hard to make her own way in this world and to pioneer for other women, do you think she would sanction putting a man’s face on her iconic Chanel #5?  This is the perfume of femme fatales and movie starlets and women with cool looks and cooler manners.  It is not an aftershave.

The point is: nothing about Brad Pitt evokes “Chanel.”  Particularly when he looks so…homeless.

Coco is rolling in her grave and Karl Lagerfeld must have wandered off in his leather pants and dark sunglasses, because, clearly, no one is maintaining the House of Chanel and the ceiling paint is chipping.  For heaven’s sake, as long as Marion Cotillard is breathing, no MAN should be the face of one of the most magnificently elite and delicate and beautiful and perfect and classic things to have ever come out of France.  Hell, put Anne Hathaway in those leather Chanel boots she wore in The Devil Wears Prada and that will do fine, too.

But for crying out loud, take down these abominable Pitt ads.  No one wants to associate “perfume” with “pitt,” anyway.



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