Under the Influence #13 S/S 2014
highkeygay asked: the face uk, the face us or the face australia which is your favourite and why?
Definitely the Australian version. Despite the fact that the judges aren’t as internationally recognised (I live in Australia and I had never even heard of Cheyenne Tozzi before this—apparently she’s also in a “band”), the contestants actually LOOK like models. My faves are Sarah (Calvin Klein exclusive material), Yaya (I feel like Riccardo Tisci would LOVE her), and Nikolina (romantic feline features mmm). And the girls all get along, which is nice to see. I like seeing camaradarie, as opposed to cronyism, in the fashion industry. The UK contestants were irritating…I can’t even remember any of their names, not even the winner’s. This season’s US contestants are HORRIBLE. Ray and Amanda need to leave immediately. You can find 50 Rays and Amandas in your nearest Urban Outfitters store.
Also, Lydia Hearst is an embarrassing mentor. She’s really sweet and her intentions are good, but she needs to stop pretending that her career (I use this term loosely) has been anything but well-hushed nepotism. I still laugh over that story she told her girls: “I was booked on a shoot with other models and one girl got sick and I got the cover” (or something like that). I just did a quick Google search of Lydia’s major magazine covers and they were mostly Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, and Marie Claire…which are all published by the Hearst Corporation. Okay, Lydia.
P.S. Americans have the most annoying accents holy crap
I’m sorry I haven’t answered messages/made any new posts but I just want to let you guys know that I slept over at a friend’s place last night and I tried his soy sauce and it was disgusting (he’s white)
The Child Model and the Big, Bad Fashion Industry
Thylane Blondeau’s name first rose to prominence, or rather, notoriety, back in 2011 when photographs of her in the December 2010 issue of Vogue Paris fuelled debate about the sexualisation of children in the fashion industry. Jenna Sauers, former child model and contributor to the popular feminist blog Jezebel, wrote an article in which she expressed appreciation for the satire: “I personally found the Vogue Paris editorial refreshing. Sure, it was disturbing, but it seemed purposefully, knowingly disturbing—disturbing in the sense that it aimed to perturb and provoke a reader to question the fashion industry’s treatment of young girls as a kind of natural resource to be transformed into product, which is, you know, itself disturbing.” Others, however, were less understanding and condemned Carine Roitfeld, the “queen of porno-chic,” for publishing the photographs.
The fever eventually passed, and Blondeau was able to return to life as a happy, healthy, normal (albeit ridiculously photogenic) kid away from the glare of the fashion industry. But everything in fashion is cyclical, even controversy.
Blondeau, who celebrates her 13th birthday this year, is now on the cover of the latest issue of French magazine Jalouse. This photograph is much more age-appropriate: she is wearing natural make-up and a studded leather jacket, with an electrified ponytail running down her neck. Written across the cover is a huge hashtag (“#Bornin2001”) and the words, “La Nouvelle Kate Moss,” adding Blondeau to a seemingly endless list of young models who are “the new Kate Moss.” How many names are now on that list?
Though this picture is much more palatable than the ones in Vogue Paris, hiring such a young model is still a very controversial decision. In May 2012, Condé Nast International announced that no Vogue titles would “knowingly work with models who are under 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder,” choosing instead to work with mature models who are “healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.” Adherence to these guidelines has been somewhat lax, but to have these rules codified is better than to ignore a swelling problem, as Sara Ziff, founder of the Model Alliance, has stated: “The use of underaged models is linked to financial exploitation, eating disorders, interrupted schooling, and contributes to models’ overall lack of empowerment in the workplace…we’re glad that Condé Nast International is making this commitment.”
You can read the rest on The Style Con.
Building Dreams and Desire
I still remember the first time I walked into Chanel. It was a dreary Friday afternoon with dark, threatening clouds lingering overhead. My friends and I were on our way home from a class excursion to the museum, and having just reached the lower end of Collins Street, which runs uphill, made us vulnerable to both nature and gravity. The rain came rushing down the street, hard and fast. For some reason I suggested that we walk into Chanel. It was right behind us, and it looked so clean and warm. Walking up the steps, I could feel the water seep into my clothes. My socks were wet and my glasses were foggy. There to greet us at the top of the steps was a doorman, who quickly looked us up and down, as if to assess whether we were there to steal or seek shelter.
When we stepped past the glass doors, I could feel my legs slowly turning to jelly. Nervous heat spread through my face and down my chest, though it was difficult to tell rain and sweat apart at this point. I was completely in awe: there, in clear glass displays were thousands of dollars’ worth of jewellery, perfume, and sunglasses. In a chamber to my right was the ready-to-wear collection, displayed like art. I caressed a navy tweed jacket, familiarising myself with its texture (because I knew that I’d never have the guts to walk into Chanel again), though applying the lightest touch because secretly I was terrified that it would crumble to dust. None of the sales assistants bothered to speak to me. Was it because I was wearing a school uniform? Or was it because I was wearing sneakers? I guess I’ll never know. All I can say for sure is that walking into Chanel for the first time was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.
Fashion and architecture have always been related art forms, as both must accommodate human bodies, human lives, and human experiences. We celebrate Cristóbal Balenciaga as one of the most innovative couturiers in history for his bulbous, cocoon shapes that encased the body like fluid armour. However, it wasn’t until the late 1970s that architecture separated itself from fashion in its purest form and joined a different conversation: retail. It is a conversation that is still had today, in high-rise executive offices filled with blueprints and sketches and budget estimates. Oddly enough, flashy retail superstructures started in a place we generally associate with the silent schools of avant-garde designers, with their deconstructed layers and amorphous silhouettes: Japan.
SYNERGY: DESIRE, NECESSITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
There is no point in making a commitment to ethical sourcing if nobody wants to buy the clothes. You could do all the good in the world, fill the racks with good intentions, but if there are no sales then there is no future. Julie Gilhart, formerly fashion director at Barneys New York, and an early supporter of sustainable fashion, states: “Consumers respond to good design. Design and desirability must come first.” Good intentions must be met with good product.
The fashion industry needs to discuss the synergy between supply and demand, how sustainability can lead to prosperity, and that even the smallest business decisions can have a huge ripple effect. Perhaps what’s most important is figuring out what we are trying to sustain: technique, resource, product, or profit? Perhaps it’s all of the above. This conversation is urgent because retreating into our bubble of denial is clearly not working.
And then there’s the little steps that you and I can make to be more conscientious consumers. It doesn’t make sense to stop buying cheap clothes completely as that would sever garment workers’ only source of income. On the other hand, when we buy cheap clothing at such an alarming rate we only increase the demand, leading to over-exhausted garment workers, over-crowded factories, and, in the most desperate cases, another building collapse.
Buy local. Buy less. Buy slower. The next time you’re shopping for a shirt or a dress think about why you’re making that purchase: is it because you want it, or do you truly need it? Is there something already hanging in your closet that never sees the light of day? Why not wear that instead?
Text: Hung Tran
BOTH DIGITAL AND PRINT EDITIONS ARE AVAILABLE VIA MAGCLOUD.
The Apotheosis of Kim Kardashian and Why it’s a Farce
As some of you may know by now, I make weekly contributions to The Style Con. Arabelle Sicardi, who runs one of my favourite blogs, The Fashion Pirate, and who is also my editor, wrote an interesting piece about Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian for the site last week, and I invited my friend “E.M” to respond to it. In the interest of keeping her voice authentic and powerful, I did not make any edits to the article. The views expressed in this article are hers, not mine. Thank you for this piece, E.
The Kardashians. They are internationally known, ubiquitous, and inescapable. Some laud their popularity, others abhor it. This article will not be one in the style of the former. Arabelle Sicardi recently wrote an article for The Style Con hailing Kim Kardashian, the ringleader of the family, as a businesswoman and “Madonna,” someone hated on for the sake of being hated on. But to say so is laughable.
To begin, there is the ever-present myth that the Kardashians are some sort of self-made millionaires on the level of Sara Blakely and Oprah Winfrey. But this fallacy has a hilarious oversight in what is blindingly obvious: We built the Kardashians. Like the Jersey Shore cast and The Hills cast before them, the power lies in our collective reinforcement of shallow, obnoxious people with “dramatic” (read: scripted) lives that allow us to unwind after a hard day of working 9-5 jobs that barely cover our yearly expenses. So how did we make the Kardashians happen?
Kim rose to her initial fame through a sex tape made with then boyfriend Ray J. It’s not okay to shame Kim for her sex tape, as Sicardi states: “She had sex with someone she trusted and he broke her trust and people will never let her forget it.” This is true. What’s also true, and commonly left out in articles about Kim, is that she filed suit against the company distributing her tape, but instead of seeing the case through to the end and attaining justice for herself and her image, settled, for (what else?) money. To the healthy tune of $5 million, to be exact.
Beyonce came to me in a dream and told me to do this.
Anonymous asked: Let's say I see something on the runway that I absolutely love, and then I want to buy it. How would I go about doing that? Where are these things sold?
Unfortunately, most of the things you see on the runway will never make it into stores, unless the buyer makes a specific order for it. That sucks because buyers tend to have very conservative taste. You could always try calling/emailing brand headquarters directly. It helps if they’re based in your home city. Otherwise, get down on your knees and pray to god that the item will appear at the brand’s sample sale or warehouse sale, a public event where they get rid of excess stock (including runway clothes, shoes and accessories) at reduced prices. It’s not as fun as it sounds: most of them are dusty, sweaty hellholes that attract Instagram lunatics.