Monthly Archives: February 2012

Most fashion houses are understandably cagey about who they are dressing for the Oscars, the most lucrative red carpet marketing event of the year, which takes place this Sunday in Los Angeles. However, as I’ve been making the rounds of the Milan shows, some bits and bobs of information have come leaking out. The fear, of course, in spilling the beans is that in the end you are proved wrong (see post on Adele at the Grammys). The dressing game isn’t over until the celebrity actually exits the limo, but a few designers were willing to go on the record. 

More fashion lexicon news: Apparently, at least in the US, men are into accessories, but not into the nominally feminine words used to describe accessories. They love bracelets – but not the name. They are into tote bags, but not the appellation. So what have retailers done? They are inventing new language to make their clients happier about their purchases.
 

Alastair Carr, design director, and Benoit Duverger, managing director, at Pringle of Scotland talk to Carola Long, FT deputy fashion editor, about the rebel teenager who inspired their Autumn/Winter 2012 look, the brand and the commercial importance of showing at London Fashion week.

  

One of the weirder pieces of news to emerge from London Fashion Week so far comes not from a boldface fashion name, but a Savile Row tailor, Cad and the Dandy: it has just gifted a suit to Kim Jong-eun.

Yes, that is correct: North Korea’s new leader. Forget Alexa Chung and other front-row stalwarts seen at shows from Mulberry to Matthew Williamson. This puts a new spin on celebrity dressing, not to mention penetrating the Asian market. 

As New York Fashion Week began, news came that Mitt Romney had won the Maine Republican caucuses. And during the next few days, as the autumn/winter collections continued and the fashion pack trekked from Lincoln Center to various art galleries in Chelsea and back, the talk was of Rick Santorum’s rise as an alternative, and how serious any of it was.

Interestingly, this morning, the day after the PPR 2011 annual results announcement, I received another earnings notice, this time from Bottega Veneta – and about the first half of 2011, not the second. It was good, to be sure, but more than that, it was singular. And that is interesting. 

For anyone wondering why a few days ago there was another post on this blog about Jimmy Choo’s new bridal collection — and then there wasn’t: mea culpa.

There’s an industry truism which holds that fashion brands should focus, publicly at least, on their “fashion” lines — the ones that change every season, demonstrate their “vision” and drive consumers into stores — as opposed to their more commercial endeavours (e.g. bridal). 

Amid the frenzy backstage prior to their NY fashion week AW/12 show, the designer duo behind the industry favourite tell the FT’s Vanessa Friedman about the inspirations, outside input and design processes that have gone into the latest collection.

A trompe l'oeil contrast colour collar by Victoria Beckham at New York Fashion Week (Getty)

Yesterday, as I was sitting next to Victoria Beckham during the presentation of her Victoria line (a companion to her main collection composed entirely of easy dresses), she leaned over and whispered, “I can really see my kids’ influence creeping in!” and giggled.

Though Mrs Beckham seems very involved with her children, they have never been part of her fashion life, so this observation surprised me. (Her baby daughter, Harper, travels with her and stays with her backstage, but they have never been front row at a show, or trotted out for pictures in the myriad profiles of her that have appeared in magazines like Vogue.) 

You know something is up when all the talk runway-side at a fashion show is about how a brand is NOT doing an IPO.

The Facebook listing has tech companies everywhere flirting with Wall Street (latest under discussion: etailer Gilt Group), but Michael Kors’ blockbuster public offering of last year, which saw his company attain a market capitalisation of $6.41bn, has not had the same effect on his fashion peers. Or so the folks at Tory Burch, whose a/w collection bowed this morning, might lead one to believe.