Anonymous said: If you were asked to educate a bunch of people who are uneducated when it comes to fashion which topic would you tackle first?
- Don’t trust anyone who claims they “know” fashion. It suggests they’ve reached some kind of finish line, an absolute state of enlightenment. It is impossible for a person to know everything about fashion. Whatever you think you know today could change tomorrow. Fashion moves quickly.
- Don’t let Tumblr bloggers trick you into thinking that “knowing” fashion and being a pretentious fashion dickhead is cool. It’s just like any other interest you cultivate. There is no secret to it.
- It’s okay to reblog a grainy 90s detail shot of archival Yohji Yamamoto just for the hell of it. Nobody is going to quiz you on it.
- "Amanda Murphy in Prada fall-winter 2014 shearling coat, photographed by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia August 2014" does not mean that someone "knows" fashion.
- If you’re genuinely interested in learning more, write a blog. One of the best ways to learn is to teach somebody else.
- Marc Jacobs once said that his creative process starts off with a blank piece of paper, then he draws a dot in the centre, then works around it. Start small, and let that interest grow organically. Whose work do you really admire? Study it. Read reviews, explore their references, and think about who they’re dressing. You’d be surprised how quickly you can get that ball rolling.
- You don’t have to take a class to “know” fashion. There isn’t an entrance exam.
Anonymous said: Simon Porte for Jil Sander?
I would love it so much. He’s got the subversive simplicity that Jil Sander is all about; he’s got a great eye for fashion and function, with subtle nods to some of the greatest designers alive (you can always see a little bit of Comme des Garcons—his former employer—in this clothes), and his colour preference is very "Jil Sander" in the way it’s presented. Simon Porte screams modernity. His name has also become synonymous with this new guard of underground fashion designers to come out of Europe, designers whose collections are characterised by an almost passive-aggressive approach to deconstructing what it means to be young and sexual beings. J.W Anderson is another. Whereas Jil Sander dressed women in the office, Jacquemus is dressing their daughters: girls who play sports, play the clarinet, and play with boys’ hearts. And read science fiction. Complex girls.
He’s got a good approach to business, too. He’s always been aware of the fact that having cool factor on social media (his Instagram page is particularly popular) can only go so far—designers need more sustainable success. Instagram won’t be around for ever (I hope). “I’m obsessed with selling my clothes, it’s an economic reality: I need to sell for real. I built all this with so little money. Ever since my first season, I realized I had to sell; I needed a commercial strategy,” he told The Cut. He could definitely reinvent Jil Sander into a brand that still excites people. And he’s soooo handsome. It helps.
The only thing that worries me is that Jacquemus is still very young, and Jil Sander is a company that demands a lot of attention, especially given its current state on the Milan Fashion Week schedule (snores everywhere). Simon Porte is going to explode in a few years. I’ll give it some time. For now, though, I’m looking forward to seeing what Rodolfo Paglialunga can do at Jil Sander. Honestly, I had to Google his name because I am no longer keeping tabs on Jil Sander in the press. Fingers crossed!!
Anonymous said: how to have a job like grace coddington's?? seriously!! what should I be majoring in?
Anonymous said: In the last episode of the most recent season of The Fashion Fund, Anna Wintour mentioned something along the lines of designers having to take on a celebrity image in order for their brands to be sustainable. Do you believe it true that a designer must attain somewhat of a celebrity status in order for his/her brand to be successful in this day & age?
I agree. I’m writing a post for The Style Con about this very topic so I don’t want to give too much away at this point, but if the recent “unmasking” of Matthieu Blazy as Maison Martin Margiela’s lead designer has demonstrated anything, it’s that anonymity as some form of cultural cool has become a thing of the past. Is it just plain pretentious now? Do designers, as Anna Wintour says, have to learn how to market not only their clothes, but themselves?
I’m really fascinated by this whole idea that designers must become celebrities in their own right. There are some designers who would have been celebrities no matter what, like Stella McCartney, the daughter of a Beatle. And there are designers like Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs who became celebrities because the timing was right, and they made such bold statements with their clothes and catwalk presentations that the public simply became fascinated by the fantasia. Marc also modelled in his own Bang fragrance ad campaign. Designers like Karl Lagerfeld, on the other hand, have such incredibly overbearing personalities and say the craziest things that becoming a celebrity was inevitable. Then, of course, there are celebrities who move into fashion design because they already know how to market themselves. Victoria Beckham is now winning design awards over Tom Ford. It’s depressing, yes, but that’s the kind of industry we have now.
Think about some of the designers who have reached celebrity status (or, to a lesser extent, “industry darling” status), and how social media has propelled them. Would Fausto Puglisi have become creative director of Ungaro had Anna Dello Russo not worn his gladiator dresses everywhere? The street style beasts, like, invented him. Would Jason Wu have been hired by Hugo Boss if images of Michelle Obama’s dresses hadn’t been sent all over cyberspace? What about Alexander Wang at Balenciaga? J.W Anderson at Loewe? Did anyone care about Loewe before he joined? I’ll leave it at that. My article will be published on The Style Con next week!
PS. As Alexander Fury said, it helps if the designer is good-looking. Matthieu Blazy is superbly handsome. *heart eyes*
Anonymous said: what do you think about tory burch?
She’s great. I mean, her designs aren’t going to change the future of fashion, but I don’t think anybody ever expected her to become so successful in such a short amount of time. Especially by selling something like ballet flats. The luxury fashion crowd sort of turned their noses up at her, and then she became a billionaire while they went broke making art…and it was sort of like, “Oh.”
vogueltalia said: Hung! Thoughts on Lemaire leaving Hermès?
Let’s think of Hermes like a pop group—Destiny’s Child, perhaps? Beyonce would be the Birkin, Kelly would be the, well, Kelly; and the other member(s) would represent all watchstraps, scarves, and small leather goods that bring in money. Ready-to-wear would be a back-up dancer that does its own thing in the background, making some interesting moves every now and then (and perhaps a camera will zoom in during the most impressive moments) but never the star of the show. This is a bizarre analogy, but you get the idea. RTW is never going to be a hugely important part of the Hermes empire.
Alexander Fury pretty much said it all. It’s just the next round in this game of fashion musical chairs, but Lemaire’s successor is going to have to accept that their RTW will forever play a supporting role to the leather goods and scarves. That’s the business model of Hermes (I wrote an article about how their Birkin and Kelly bags are constructed, if anyone wants to check it out). The designer, then, doesn’t really matter. Hermes isn’t Balenciaga, which needed a designer with cool factor like Alexander Wang. It’s not like Dior, either, which needed someone sensitive and cerebral like Raf Simons.
I am glad that Christophe Lemaire has decided to leave Hermes to focus on his own label (for the record, I’ve always LOVED his work, especially for Lacoste). Does Hermes deserve a full-time designer? I’m not sure. I can think of only two reasons why designers like Lemaire might accept a second job, on top of developing their namesake label. The first is for prestige, as working for Hermes automatically gives you credibility as a designer (that’s why Rick Owens joined French fur company Revillon). The second is simple: extra income, extra capital, extra opportunities to develop your first brand, the one that carries your name. Now he’s got both!
This turned into a longer answer than I’d expected. Sorry, I really need to learn the meaning of brevity. Anyway, I think a designer like Rick Owens would be cool for Hermes. Strange, but cool. He does amazing things with leather. Phoebe Philo, too. The Internet would explode.
Burberry Shareholder Revolt: Is Christopher Bailey Worth It?
The recent news of Christopher Bailey’s enormous pay package hurts my head. Maybe it’s because I’m a recent university graduate, which means I’m poor (or poor-adjacent), but it makes me sick to my stomach to see such an obscene amount of money being dangled in front of one person, regardless of their title, when Burberry’s production practices are dubious at best and wages are stagnating for everyone else in the fashion chain. I wrote an article for The Style Con about the volatile relationship between company executives and creative directors, and how designers were rechristened as creative directors in the 1990s to reflect a commercial shift in fashion. When LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault attempted to “steal” (as Domenico De Sole called it) Gucci in 1999, Tom Ford threatened to drop what is now known as the “Tom Bomb,” a clause in his contract that allowed his swift exit should Gucci come under new ownership.
In fashion it is commonly said that a designer is only as good as their last collection, and that there is always someone, somewhere, willing to do a lot more for a lot less in return. Christopher Bailey, who became Creative Director of Burberry in 2001, and was named Chief Executive Officer last October, is single-handedly proving the cynics wrong. Despite the fact that 53 per cent of shareholders voted against the company’s latest remuneration report, Bailey, 43, is set to become one of the wealthiest creative directors in the fashion industry. His latest pay package, including salary and stock options, is valued at up to £27 million.
Christopher Bailey’s pay package includes a £1.1 million base salary, a £440,000 annual allowance for an undisclosed purpose, and a one-off, performance-based grant of 500,000 shares, which is worth approximately £7 million in today’s market. Bailey also received 350,000 shares in 2010, and an additional one million shares in 2013 when he became CEO of the company, worth a combined £19 million. “The message to Burberry is loud and clear: multimillion-pound pay packages are obscene, unnecessary and will damage the economy in the long-term,” said Deborah Hargreaves, director of the High Pay Centre. “If those at the top are seen to grab such vast rewards while wages stagnate for everybody else, it completely undermines public faith in business.” Burberry Chairman Sir John Peace, however, defended the company’s generosity, citing Christopher Bailey’s aggressive push to the digital realm, and successful hauling and restructuring of brand licenses, as some of the key drivers to Burberry’s success. Moreover, he admitted that there have been many competing job offers coming Bailey’s way, and that to lose a CEO and creative director in one fell swoop would have been disastrous.
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