Anonymous said: waiting patiently for your MFW reviews (especially Prada) x

Sorry! I took extra shifts at work last week and didn’t have any time to review the Milan collections. Some of them were quite good actually.

So let’s talk about Prada: Gemma Ward opened (I went into Pradiac arrest when I saw that), Lara Stone closed, their exits sandwiching a bunch of models I didn’t recognise—reportedly, one of Prada’s models was only 14 years old. Side-eyeing the CFDA right now. The clothes were fine. None of it really set my soul on fire, though I’m going to say this look was my favourite. Miuccia Prada is a clever designer, but sometimes a creative eye can meet a clumsy hand: I didn’t like the brocade patchwork. But I’m sure Japanese Vogue will have fun with this collection, and the campaign could look incredible (praying she casts Gemma). I’m also looking forward to her next few interviews because, for me, as it is for Tim Blanks, hearing Miuccia Prada explain her collections can be more interesting than actually seeing them. “Beauty is an impossibility,” she once told Sarah Mower. This season, Prada was all the verve without the vanity.

Funny that she would say that, really, because that’s exactly what Jeremy Scott did this season for Moschino: Barbie’s Dream House was brought to life. She’s the ideal, a symbol of hyper-femininity and hyper-Americana. It was my favourite collection in Milan. Shocking, right? I hated his debut. There was something in this collection that was so, so clever. You can derive all sorts of meaning from Barbie: glamour, trash, treasure; people pay thousands of dollars for old Barbie dolls. It’s the original fad, before It-bags and the Kardashians. The whole modelling/fashion industry is built on the cultural connotations in Barbie. Feminine perfection is something this something-billion dollar industry pushes down consumers’ throats. I think Scott presented a convincing and utterly ironic case against that—weaponizing plastic and peroxide. Or perhaps I’m trying to intellectualise someone that’s devoid of creativity and talent. Hmm.

Special mentions go to Marni and Bottega Veneta, both of which I loved. If she wasn’t with OTB, I think Consuelo Castiglioni could have done great things for Balenciaga.

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.

Anonymous said: can you please explain what bryanboy and olivia palermo do for a living? they don't seem to work very hard, yet they are always wearing dior and sitting front row?

Since starting my Wordpress blog (which is really groovy, btw. I write about various fashion things) I’ve made a point of not insulting other bloggers—just designers, specifically Hedi Slimane. But I’ll entertain this question because I’m bored and, well, that’s really it.

Bryanboy is a mistake. Bryanboy’s success in the fashion industry is something that should have never happened. Marc Jacobs found him on Youtube and thought (and I quote something Marc Jacobs actually said in an interview), “Wow, this guy is so into fashion!” Then other designers starting thinking the same thing, and Bryanboy became this whole big thing (around the same time he did blackface). I constantly feel like I’m living in an episode of Punk’d and Marc Jacobs is yet to jump out of the corner and scream, “Gotcha! It’s all a big joke!” Alas, no such luck. If the cosmic forces that rule the world allowed another Bryanboy to prosper, it would devastate me.

Not sure who Olivia Palermo is, to be honest. I had to check her Wikipedia page: “Olivia Palermo (born February 28, 1986) is an American socialite.” At this point I rolled my eyes and wanted to close the tab, but curiosity led me forward…

"In 2009, Palermo came to prominence after being cast in the reality television series The City, which documented the personal and professional lives of Whitney Port and her friends.”

YEAH OKAY BYE *slams laptop shut*

Anonymous said: I was looking into investing on some designer items as I am sick of 'fast fashion' clothing. What do you consider before spending on something that costs a fortune ?

For me, it’s really quite simple: Will I ever, in all seriousness, and in this reality, wear something like this in public? I went through a period where I wanted to wear nothing but Rick Owens and Damir Doma, and it didn’t last long (partly because I couldn’t afford it). I pretended to be, and willed myself into becoming, the kind of person to wear those brands and it just didn’t feel right. Now I just wear sweaters and chinos. It doesn’t require a lot of deliberation in the morning. I don’t have time to plan my outfit every day.

If I was going to splurge (which now means anything $200+) I’d focus on bags and coats. Especially Acne. Maybe even Prada, but only for shoes. You can get a lot of mileage out of them. I’ve never understood the whole “luxury t-shirt” thing. Who the fuck has time to dry-clean or hand-wash a t-shirt? And please don’t buy brands so that people will think you’re cool. You can always spot the people who overcompensate. It’s embarrassing.

Anyway, I don’t really buy clothes anymore. I think books are so much more enriching, and talking/writing about clothes and designers is more important to me than wearing them. Pardon the holier-than-thou tone.

Anonymous said: how accurate do you think the devil wears prada is in relevancy to the real fashion industry? some similarities/differences? and are the assistants really that nicely dressed seeing as most don't earn over $35k a year?

Oh, god. The Devil Wears Prada is a really entertaining movie but please don’t fall victim, as many young people already have, to its giddy, glamorous charm. I haven’t read the book so I can’t say for certain how loyal the movie is to the written text, nor have I had any significant experience in magazine publishing. But there are some important points to consider before you quit your job, leave your small town with no money and move to New York with dreams of working at Vogue:

Anonymous said: do you think karl lagerfeld should retire

You know what’s scary? Karl Lagerfeld is a senior citizen. And so is Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood and Giorgio Armani.

You know what’s even scarier? So is Donatella Versace.

They have their moments of brilliance, but in any other industry they’d have retired by now. And some of them should. Just sayin’.

Anonymous said: what are your thoughts on the use of cigarettes in the fashion industry? (e.g. smoking in editorials)

Meh, whatever. Honestly. I don’t even care. There are worse things being glamorised in fashion photography:

Anonymous said: serious question - is it difficult to get a retail position at prada/miu miu or any other luxury store? obviously the hiring rules will differ, but i'm just curious about your knowledge on this topic. what kind of background experience does it typically require? thanks.

Yeah, it is. From my experience, anyway. Typically they want you to have at least 3-5 years of experience in a luxury retail environment (or “high-end customer service role”), which isn’t feasible if you can’t find a way in to begin with. Having a friend who works there helps because a lot of companies have an employee referral program put in place, whereby they recruit new staff from their current employees’ social networks. This eliminates the need for the costly services of an external recruitment agency, and it makes the interview process a lot less painful. Companies can save up to $50,000 by hiring the right employees, as opposed to an employee who makes a good first impression but turns out to be a dud (think of all the training programs involved!). The referral program also benefits the friend who refers you—they get paid a nice bonus!

Tl;dr: make friends with people who work at Prada.