Could there be a dopier notion than designer Karl Lagerfeld's idea that the legacy of Coco Chanel would be best served by "ask[ing] three or four contemporary artists to contribute works of various kinds that suggested Chanel to them"? Whether or not it was this particular conceit that resulted in the recent cancellation of the Met's Chanel show, it's easy to understand why the museum demurred: Surely Chanel, a deeply contradictory avant-garde genius whose repellent politics make her the Ezra Pound of fashion, doesn't need video installations, kinetic sculptures, or other "contemporary" art to prop up her oeuvre. The woman who single-handedly got people out of bustles and into little black dresses, who thought up everything from cardigan sweaters to collarless jackets to costume jewelry, is certainly capable of carrying an exhibit on her own... More >>>