David Adamson sits down with four discerning older gentleman and asks their views on the fashion house's latest lines

The circus is now in town. 

Chanel's Métiers d'Art show takes place tonight on Thomas Street, and brings with it a carnival of excitement, speculation and a fair bit of posing. 

A few doors down, but a world away, is The Millstone, one of the last standing old guard of the area before it was even called the Northern Quarter. 

Billy, John, Martin and Wayne are sat at a table near the bar. All in their sixties, drinking Guinness, mild, lager and lager, with their rollie tins laid out on the table. 

With Last Christmas playing, I introduced myself, took a seat in the snug pub banquette and took them through a choice selection of pieces from Chanel's Autumn Winter 23/24 collection, along with two from next year's Spring Summer line. 

So what did they think?

2023 12 07 Millstone Chanel Review Cashmere Feathers 1 Copy
Cashmere and feathers (£5,930) Image: Chanel

Cashmere and feathers (£5,930)

BILLY (B): Oh that's nice. She looks like my ex-girlfriend. I like it. It's modern, it looks better on younger people.

JOHN (J): [laughs] I'm an old man, I don't know.

B: Makes you want to hug her, because of the cashmere obviously. 

WAYNE (W): I prefer the cashmere to the feathers. They're too overpowering. Cost, for Chanel? About four grand. 

B: I'd go three, three and a half. 

DAVID (D): Nearly £6,000. 

W: It's too overpowering, it'd be nicer if the feathers were just on the shoulders. I think it'd be nice then.

J: Where I come from, that'd be down to the knee, or even the ankles.  

D: What would you give it, style-wise?

W: Maybe 5.

B:  8

J: 8

2023 12 07 Millstone Chanel Review Cashmere Ostrich Copy
Cashmere and Ostrich feather vest (£4,120) Image: Chanel

Cashmere and Ostrich feather vest (£4,120)

D: So we're just looking at the cashmere vest here, and they're ostrich feathers. What do you think?

W: They look like handwarmers, where you'd have a bit of string and put your hands in. 

M: She's got nice hair. 

B: They look like they don't belong there.

W: Without the feathers, I think she'd look nice. 

D: Out of 10?

W: Seven

B: I'll go six

J: Ten out of ten.

D: And what do we reckon it cost? Just the vest. 

W: About 2,300

B: I'll go two grand.

D: That's just about four grand.

B: Bleedin' hell.

2023 12 07 Millstone Chanel Review Ostrich Jumper Copy
Cashmere and Ostrich feather jumper (£3,610) Image: Chanel

Cashmere and Ostrich feather jumper (£3,610)

D: First impressions?

B: That bottom part's miles too much. 

W: The feathers are taking attention away from the jumper and her figure, it's hiding her a bit. 

W: What do you think to it?

D: I think it's a bit over-embellished. A bit too much going on. 

B: It's something to be noticed in. You'd see that straight away. 

W: I think you should show the cashmere off, not the feathers. It's beautiful if you can afford it, so don't cover it with crap.

2023 12 07 Millstone Chanel Review Dress Copy
Black, Red & White embroidered printed Crêpe de Chine (£10,620) Image: Chanel

Black, Red & White embroidered printed Crêpe de Chine (£10,620)

D: Just the dress, what do we think of that? 

B: I like that. I like the style. It's not over the top.

W: It shows her figure off.

M: How much is that then? Look's dear-ish I reckon.

B: I'll go five grand. 

J: Two grand.

W: No orange, no white, just the dress. I reckon seven grand. 

D: Ten thousand pounds. 

B: No way, but I like it. I priced it down a bit. 

D: Out of ten, style-wise? 

B: Oh a nine and a half I reckon.

W: Ten

J: I'd give it a nine as well.

2023 12 07 Millstone Chanel Review Poncho Copy
​Spring Summer '24, Look 11: Poncho Image: Chanel

Spring Summer '24, Look 11: Poncho

D: I've got two more, and these are from the Spring Summer Collection for next year. Firstly we've got this poncho, with a brooch at the top to hold it around. I don't know the price for this one so I'm just interested in what you think.

B: That looks gorgeous on her. But on a short fat piece it'd look a mess. Is it one of those things that Clint Eastwood used to wear in cowboy films? 

D: [laughs] Yeah exactly, a Clint Eastwood poncho. 

M: The lady with no name.

W: Beautiful colours. I prefer that over the others. 

M: There's less of it, so it might be cheaper. 

2023 12 07 Millstone Chanel Review Crop Top Copy
Spring Summer '24, Look 22: Crop Top Image: Chanel

D: So this is a crop top. What do you think?

W: Does nothing for me, that. 

D: What about the colours .

W: Not with the white. 

B: That's lovely. I like the patterns and the colours, and shows you a bit of the woman. It reminds me of Man City badges. 

W: Instead of the white that she's wearing with it, if they had a lighter blue on one side and a darker blue on the other side. The white's too heavy.

D: You're absolutely right. You're in the wrong job. So style out of ten?

B: Eight, eight and a half. 

J: I'll go for that as well. 

W: Probably a seven. It's showing the white off and not the blue. 

D: But with your additions? 

W: Nine and a bit.

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