Monthly Archives: July 2012

Not only did Hermès report notably good Q2 revenues today – sales growth was 21.9%, certainly more positive than the gloom from Puma and Burberry – but yesterday I discovered something even more shocking: they’re outfitting an Olympic team too! Specifically, the French Equestrian team. Who knew? Read more

I’ve been trying to stay out of the Ralph Lauren/Made in America Olympic controversy since it started last week, under the reasoning that It Is Ridiculous, but having yet more politicians weigh in yet again – three members of the House, both Democrats and Republicans (OMG! United by this issue) sent a letter earlier this week to the Olympic Committee asking if the paraolympic uniforms could be quickly Made in the USA – has finally convinced me that perhaps something needs to be said. Like: Stop Picking On the Fashion Guys. The only thing really clear in this situatopn is that Ralph Lauren the brand has become a fall guy of a sort. Read more

I, for one, was quite chuffed at the news that Marissa Mayer, latterly of Google, has just been appointed Yahoo’s new CEO – both because I’m looking forward to seeing what, if anything, she can do with the lagging search engine, and because Ms Mayer is a notably good dresser, and I’m looking forward to seeing what, if anything, she can do with the lacklustre image of an internet superstar. Put another way: she’s not a hoodie-and-Teva sort of exec. Read more

I come back from holiday, only to find the news that Romeo Gigli has also returned: today Joyce, the fashion-forward Asian boutique, announced a new autumn/winter collaboration: JOYCE by Romeo Gigli. So will it work this time around? Can he be an example to designers everywhere (Herve Leger, for example) who lost their name and their business, and dream of a return. Read more

Our esteemed fashion editor is taking a well deserved holiday. But to get you fix, here is her weekend column below.

Autumn/winter 2012 couture designs by (from left) Armani Privé, Valentino, Christian Dior, Chanel, Atelier Versace©Chris Moore

Craftsmanship: Autumn/winter 2012 couture designs by (from left) Armani Privé, Valentino, Christian Dior, Chanel, Atelier Versace

It is an irony not lost on the fashion world that couture week, the ultimate display of clothes made for the 1 per cent, happened to coincide with the French government’s announcement of new taxes targeted largely at that 1 per cent. The juxtaposition worked to put an issue that has preoccupied the boardrooms and backrooms of some of France’s biggest luxury companies in pretty stark terms: in François Hollande’s France, is there a place for such seeming sartorial indulgence?

 Read more

Azzedine Alaia. Getty Images

Azzedine Alaia. Getty Images

Azzedine Alaia will open a flagship store in the heart of the French luxury retail world — ie Avenue Montaigne — next spring, the designer revealed recently with a certain amount of glee. Actually, it’s not exactly a flagship — it’s a five-floor hotel particulier with an interior courtyard/garden that will function as store/showroom/some offices — and it’s not exactly on Avenue Montaigne (it’s on the Rue de Marignan, off Avenue Montaigne past the corner where L’Avenue, the LVMH quasi-house canteen, sits). But it’s a big move for the designer who has preserved his independence from the fashion system partly by preserving his distance: resolutely remaining in his atelier/headquarters/apartment in the 4th arrondissement, and having the world come to him, on his terms. Read more

As you may (or may not) be aware, Hedi Slimane’s first YSL collections –
women’s resort and menswear — have hit the showroom, but they are for
buyers’ eyes only: they aren’t being shown on the catwalk, and this week
in Paris, critics (that would be your truly), were not invited for a
look-see. Mr Slimane wants to make his first knock-our-socks-off,
he-can-do-womenswear statement in the autumn, at the ready-to-wear shows.

(Also maybe he didn’t want the media making up a  face-off between
himself and new Dior designer Raf Simons, whose first couture show for the
House was the news of the week.) Read more

I had a truly refreshing conversation yesterday with Roger Vivier designer Bruno Frisoni on the unveiling of his new limited-edition “Rendezvous” line for the brand: the one that’s not quite couture, but more expensive and elaborate than the usual ready-to-wear shoe. He was showing me the shoes, which are based on a stripped-down stiletto shape with the shoe rendered as delicate and close to the foot as possible — a mere slip of ornate leather, satin, and lace – when I noted the fact the ball of the foot was quite close to the ground, since the sole was so thin.

“Don’t these hurt to walk in?” said I. Read more

Enter the new era at Dior: new designer (Raf Simons), new show address (a hotel particulier on Avenue d’Iena instead of the Musée Rodin), new hair and makeup (simple, stripped-down) and new clothes. Kind of.

For his first show as a couturier, Raf Simons stuck to two primary silhouettes, both involving the classic New Look code: a slim cigarette pant under a moulded jacket or bustier that blossomed from the waist down into a full hip; and a strapless 1950s-style cocktail gown (yes, there were other bits: a day sheath and swing back coats, but these were the overwhelming shapes). Read more