The current collection (Fall/Winter 09) is a good case in point and is pretty much my favourite collection this season.
(pictures from Style.com - view the full collection and read Sarah Mower's review here)
Buying a Chanel piece is a real investment - it's one of the few brands that can hold its value and frankly it bloody well should given how much it costs.
If you're looking for an investment buy, the classic flap bag is pretty hard to beat. But I'd also recommend one of this season's beautifully cut, discreet and surprisingly versatile black dresses or gauze tweed skirt suits.
Lagerfeld has also released this rather lovely brooch in tribute to Coco Chanel, which is bound to be a serious collectors piece in years to come.
This brooch is also the perfect example of why Lagerfeld has succeeded at reviving Chanel's fortunes after years of unmemorable failures (can you actually remember what it was like before he took the reigns?).
Lagerfeld has a deference for the label's history but isn't drowned by it. His collections are gently witty and this really is rare in fashion where everyone tries so hard to be taken seriously or try so hard to be 'fun'. But they are also - for the most part - eminently wearable. In each collection there will always be something for the discreet dresser who wants subtle luxury and something for the woman who wants everyone to know she is wearing Chanel the second she walks into the room.
It is thanks to Lagerfeld's vision that Chanel has been able to make its first foray into China this year with the well received Paris-Shanghai Metier D'Arts collection (a collection shown outside of the usual seasons showcasing the work of Chanel's specialist ateliers). Needless to say the collection is lovely and unmistakably Chanel.
Put simply, the man is frighteningly clever.
I long to own something by Chanel. I do currently have a pair of Chanel shoes in my wardrobe - perfect black patent flat peep-toe pumps with a silver metal lining on the toe. I bought them from Yasmine Le Bon at the Really Really Great Garage Sale, held in the Selfridges car park and organised by former model Lisa B to raise money for the Mothers4Children Charity. They were rather cheap and beautiful and I couldn't resist, but sadly I'd have to shave about two centimeters off each foot for them to fit so they sit in my shoe drawer in their box and occasionally I pull them out and stroke them. Really I should sell them and use the money for something actually useful like my going-back-to-university-to-do-a-masters fund. But the idea of selling them fills me with horror.
There is nothing rational about this. I would be the first to admit that being obsessed with a pair of shoes that you can't realistically wear without cutting off your toes is more than a trifle shallow. But the only way I could part with them is if I had some Chanel in my wardrobe that I could actually wear. And even then I don't know if I could just sell them to some stranger - far nicer to give them as a gift to someone who you know will love them.
One day this will happen... It's my birthday in a few days and my brother promised to do something nice, so you never know. But until then I just want to look lovingly at the Chanel website for a bit, ok?