The Complexity of Chanel

“The use of the brand Chanel was apt, with the image of Chanel’s interlocking ‘C’ logo engrained in many of our minds as some of the most iconic fashion images to emerge over the last century — a clear symbol that no matter what direction you look at it from, can only be Chanel.”

-Evan Ross Katz

About a week ago, singer/songwriter Frank Ocean released a new single entitled “Chanel”. This release came somewhat suddenly, without many knowing about the release in advance. His song, which obviously uses the brand Chanel as its very foundation, sparked a bit of conversation concerning the exact intent of this brand reference. This conversation gained momentum when Chanel released pictures on their Instagram referencing Frank Ocean and his new song. People began wondering if this could signify a collaboration between the singer and designer label. This is a reasonable question to be asking, especially at a time in fashion where collaborations are a hot-ticket item (think Louis Vuitton + Supreme’s recent collaboration announcement).  But what exactly would a collaboration between the french fashion powerhouse and r&b/ rap singer entail? Evan Ross Katz wrote for Mic.com about this very topic in his article “Are Frank Ocean and Chanel collaborating? Cryptic Instagrams suggest maybe so”. Most people, even those who are unfamiliar with fashion or designer labels know, Chanel’s logo of the interlocking C’s is world-famous. In Frank Ocean’s song, he uses the line “I see both sides like Chanel” in his chorus. This line is clever given the word-play with “see” and the letter “c”, but this line would mean nothing if people weren’t familiar with the brand’s iconic logo. As Evan Katz explains in the quoted sentence above, Chanel’s interlocking Cs is quite possibly one of the most iconic fashion images to emerge over the past century. Not only is Evan Katz accurate in what he’s saying, but the complexity of the sentence which he writes is also interesting. His sentence is a longer one, which he breaks apart by using commas and a dash. He begins with an independant clause, which he followed by two dependent clauses joined together by the dash. Its almost to give reference to the fact that Frank Ocean’s song itself is rather complex, even though some may discount that given the title is a designer brand name.

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