‘Following weeks of speculation,’ buzzed the press release (really?), ‘the hotly anticipated modern and accessible line KARL will be unveiled with a co-ordinated global launch —with pop-up shops, a KARL app, and a Find Karl maze game.’
The line is sold here exclusively by the online retailer net-a-porter.com. Now, I love Net-a-Porter and its sister site, The Outnet. I have given them reams of press, without being given so much as an old Walkman. But my request to see the collection in the flesh was turned down.
And so I had to buy a selection of clothes, try them on and send them back. Returns, as we all know, are the death knell for online sites but, and I apologise, it gave me no choice.
I went pale as I saw all the money disappearing from my bank account. This collection might be deemed accessible, but it is wildly expensive.
There are some really lovely, affordable pieces that are very Chanel, and wearable for those of us who are not 20 years old and in possession of a supermodel’s inside leg measurement. A black twill-trimmed crepe blazer, £225, and a stretch jersey black dress with signature white collar, £195, are good value (both have sold out).
I ordered a back shoulder bag (pictured right), which at £295 is half what you would pay for a Mulberry and a third what you’d pay for real Chanel: soft and super quality.
Super quality: The KARL shoulder bag
I absolutely love a biker dress, which has a curvaceous shape, and is £225 (less than something by Mary Portas).
I imagine every trustafarian in West London will snap up the myriad biker jackets: I ordered the cream biker (pictured below left), which I thought will be lovely for spring.
It is cut very short, sadly with a viscose lining, but otherwise is buttery soft, and would go over a long evening gown, jeans or a pencil skirt. But, at £685, it, too, will have to be returned (the cotton version, at £255, sold out over the weekend).
Other than this smattering of wearable garments, though, I found the collection to rely too heavily on the DVT-inducing super skinny pant in sequins. I bought his sequin leggings, at £245 (pictured below right), but found them nowhere near as flattering as the ones I already have: £40 silver slouchy pants by Kookai, and silver leggings by Les Chiffoniers at Browns, about £300.
There are really grungey, baggy vests with Karl’s profile etched, rather incongruously, I would have thought, on your breasts.
You can buy Chanel-esque stiff collars (£125), which I guess if you are 12, or Alexa Chung, and want to wear them with a T-shirt, might be amusing.
But high top sneakers? In silver? For £295? PVC shorts? And a pair of creepy cutaway leather gloves for £50?