The Youth Quake: Maritime, Magma, and Sorry-Free Sex
What’s in a name? A lot, it appears. Recent studies have suggested that using your middle name can trick people into thinking that you’re more intellectual than you really are. J.W. Anderson is praised for just that: cerebral, considered designs that swathe around the body in glorious defiance of the needle-and-thread specificity of Savile Row—thesis and antithesis. This season, the silhouette appeared to move inward, narrower, to what Suzy Menkes described as “tidy mademoiselle tailoring.” It looked uncharacteristically prim. Then, Anderson’s perverse disregard for proportions was evident in the minutiae, magnified: huge buttons that fell from models’ heads to their hem; angular sleeves, exaggerated lapels and collars, and those deflated leather wraps that weren’t quite belt, weren’t quite bustier.
Some models had floppy fishermen’s hats obscuring their faces. They weren’t entirely necessary, or purposeful. And, of course, lengths of rope pulled through these dresses held together disparate panels of the garment rather haphazardly. If only the editing had been so tight. One gets the feeling that a gust of wind could have pulled apart the whole thing. These nautical references were hit and miss (mostly miss), anchored in something too abstract. Anderson’s name has resounding cool factor, we know that. It tops the list whenever there’s mention of a particular new breed of iconoclasts emerging from London’s underground. But he can’t sail on his reputation forever.
Reviews: New York Fashion Week
So I’ve been writing reviews of NYFW for The Style Con. I think you should read them just because.
Australian Design Dialect and the Persistent Voice of Youth: Tome, Dion Lee, Coach, Jason Wu and Alexander Wang
Sex, School and Serenity: Victoria Beckham, Public School, Versus Versace and The Row
Sea, Sports and Planet Jacobs: Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, Calvin Klein Collection and Marc Jacobs
London reviews coming up!
Anonymous said: What should I wear on a date if I want to impress somebody?
You’ve got the wrong blog.
pinkfolly said: writing a fashion blog is, as you said, the quickest way to really understand fashion. the point is I don't know where to start. should I start by reviewing collection? or how the celeb culture is effecting fashion more than the past? or what?!?
I’m not really sure what you’re asking of me. Do you want me to teach you how to do research and find motivation? I know this isn’t a satisfactory answer, but you have to write about stuff that interests you. It’s really that simple. I like to write about designers’ aesthetics and business. Sometimes I like to write about models. Fashion is a huge industry. I can’t write about hair and make-up because it doesn’t interest me. I can appreciate it, but I wouldn’t be able to write more than 100 words on the topic. Same with celebrities. I hate writing about celebrities. And I hate reading about them, too. It’s not easy to keep a blog running, so make sure you’re writing stuff that works for you. That’s how I started.
Anonymous said: I thought you weren't doing show reviews anymore?
I’ve changed my mind! I’m letting go of the “love and loathe” format because it didn’t really challenge me as a writer. I was considering the collections in isolation, and I’m starting to realise how fun it is to draw common links between NY designers. It doesn’t even feel like work, to be honest. It’s been super fun.
Anonymous said: i just read your first nyfw review... great piece. actually if i didn't know you it was you who wrote it and it was published on the independent i would have thought it was alex fury behind those words.
Omg thank you?? I love Alexander Fury. One of the few fashion journalists who can stir something in me. Glad you enjoyed it!! I’ll be reviewing the rest of the collections throughout this month. I’ll have to be more selective because I can already feel myself falling behind.
You can read my review of Tome, Dion Lee, Coach, Jason Wu and Alexander Wang here on The Style Con.
Proenza Schouler and Bernard Arnault’s Big Business Phallus
Last week news broke that LVMH, the luxury conglomerate presided over by French tycoon Bernard Arnault, had its stern, unwavering eyes on New York brand Proenza Schouler, which this year celebrates its fourteenth birthday. Delphine Arnault, his daughter and executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, said last year: “I love what they do. They have an amazing talent—just look at the fabrics. We’ve been following their work for a while.”
That stealth strategy–of waiting by the sidelines for the hype of social media to fatten up these brands like golden geese, plump and ready to be carved–seems to be working. Last September, Kering took a minority stake in Altuzarra, another hip New York label founded by Joseph Altuzarra, whose business has ballooned in the Age of Instagram (I promise I’ll never use this awful phrase again). Months prior, Kering welcomed Christopher Kane, the man responsible for all those gel-filled PVC clutches you may have seen all over cyberspace, to its illustrious dinner table. And, of course, Alexander Wang, who is now creative director of Balenciaga. If these rumours are true, and LVMH does indeed seize the rumoured 40 percent stake in Proenza Schouler, perhaps Bernard Arnault can finally release that grudge we all know he’s been holding onto: The “Gucci Grudge,” as I like to call it.
Proenza Schouler was founded in 2002 by Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, both fresh out of Parsons. Success was written in the stars. They sold their senior thesis at Parsons to Barneys New York, and, in 2004, the duo become the first ever winners of the CFDA Fashion Fund. With a cash injection of $200,000 and mentoring by Rose Marie Bravo, then CEO of Burberry, they quietly built a brand on “seamed corset tops, casual pants and soft jackets with shrunken proportions,” as told by Vogue. Since then, their aesthetic has hardened into sharp sleeves, flared skirts and structured cocoon coats—too reminiscent of Ghesquière-era Balenciaga, the critics say—but their hugely popular PS1 bag, their first ever, is the real motor of their machine. “Brands can go years without achieving that,” said Bravo. “They nailed it the first time.”
So why exactly does this acquisition matter? And why now? Here are five points to consider.
Good things that happened this week:
- I have started to regulate my sleeping pattern. Finally.
- I went to the RMIT graduate show last night with friends from BITE Magazine. We wanted backstage shots and the PR lady kicked us out three times. In the end we managed to get some amazing photos, exclusively for BITE. Watch this space.
- Work has been good.
- Family has been good.
- I’m doing fashion week reviews for The Style Con. Plenty of writing over the next few weeks. Watch this space.
- Still updating Antwerpsex regularly, by the way. You should ‘like’ my Facebook page because it would make me really happy.
- I drank about 20 litres of water.
- I bought Lanvin sneakers.
- Didn’t think about a boy once.
Bethany did a very, very good interview for The Style Con with labor organizers about the aftermath of Rana Plaza, the false promise of vintage as a means of sustainability, and the idea of the capitalist philanthropist. Do check it out. I don’t think any other article on the subject goes in quite as hard.