While we were all distracted this week by the twin red carpets tsunamis of the Met Ball and the Dior Cruise extravaganza, some pretty big news hit the fashion world that, potentially, has more far-reaching import than, say, Sarah Jessica Parker’s mega-skirt. What were these Three Most Important Events Everyone has Kinda Overlooked? They are, in date order: 1) Harvey Weinstein’s decision to attempt to revive the House of Charles James on the back of the Met exhibit; 2) Julien Dossena’s decision to close his new-ish line, ATTO, to focus on his other job as creative director of Paco Rabanne; and 3) Chopard’s purchase of the Union Hoteliere Parisienne. Here’s why they matter — and it’s not necessarily why you might think. Read more

And so that extended and amorphous season known as “Cruise” or “Pre-fall” – you know, the clothes that go on sale in late October/November, and hang around until February, and thus constitute the bulk of a brand’s winter revenues — has semi-officially kicked off. Last night the Dior juggernaut came to Brooklyn for a show in the Navy Yards before a few thousand retailers, press and clients. Mostly clients. Which makes sense, right? They’re the buyers. Shouldn’t they see it first? Direct communication (direct sales?) ahoy! Read more

Just as skirts go up and down and up again, the Photoshopping controversy – which is linked to the skinny models controversy – rears its righteous head in public before giving way to another fashion-related controversy (lack of diversity on the runways, say). Well, we’re in one of those moments: there’s a bill currently sitting before the US Congress, entitled The Truth in Advertising Act, that aims to legislate acceptable use of Photoshop in ads.

Kinda. Actually, it aims to get the Federal Trade Commission to do a report on “(1) a strategy to reduce the use, in advertising and other media for the promotion of commercial products, of images that have been altered to materially change the physical characteristics of the faces and bodies of the individuals depicted; and (2) recommendations for a risk-based regulatory framework with respect to such use”.

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All the hoo-has recently over North America retaking China as the source of luxury growth may be greatly exaggerated—at least when it comes to the consumers doing the spending. Or so a new report called “China Reality Check” from Exane BNP Paribas and ContactLab suggests.

Check out this chart! Read more

“Why does the Met Ball matter?” — this question was asked of me by a British colleague recently, who had gotten tired, I suppose, of revisiting the subject every year with me. And it’s a fair question: why does this gala, of all galas, get so much international attention? I mean, it squishes all benefit competitors in the social media game. It’s not just because of the celebrities, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, left, at last year’s Ball – there are celebs at the NYCB gala, coming up Thursday, and Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara Ball. It’s not because there’s so much news-worthy behaviour behind the closed doors (it’s on a Monday night; half the crowd go home to bed after the main course). Rather, I think it’s because it’s current maestro, Anna Wintour, understood something about it that no other benefit chairperson, as far as I can tell, has understood about their yearly event. Read more

Next week begins the pre-spring season, starting with Dior in NYC, followed by Chanel in Dubai, Louis Vuitton in Monaco and everyone else in their home towns. Everyone, that is, except Celine’s Phoebe Philo, who just released images of her pre-FALL collection (here’s a peek, sprinkled throughout this blog). Got that? Everyone is doing pre-spring, and she is doing pre-fall. In other words, Ms Philo did that very shocking thing that keeps getting discussed within the fashion world as a way to stop counterfeiting and satisfy consumers, who want what they want when they see it (not six months later), but never actually acted upon, which is: she did not let anyone see her collection until it was in stores. Read more

 

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This morning a very tiny, excessively bland announcement came out from Horseferry House announcing that the long-awaited Burberry power transition had just happened. Here’s what it said:

“Further to the announcement on 15 October 2013, Christopher Bailey [left] has been appointed as chief creative and chief executive officer and as a director of the company from 1 May 2014. Angela Ahrendts stepped down as chief executive officer and resigned her directorship on 30 April 2014. The company confirms there is no further information to be disclosed pursuant to LR 9.6.13 with regard to Christopher Bailey’s appointment.”

Well, that’s exciting. As far as downplaying a potential industry-changing event you don’t get much better than that. I mean, Mr Bailey is now the first creative director (or chief creative officer) of a public luxury company to be also crowned CEO, which either will, or will not, create a whole new job path for his peers and those who come after, depending on how he performs, and today will either mark the moment the creative and corporate sides, long silo-ed, finally merged, or the moment that great experiment failed. Just another day at the office! Read more

Reading all the (somewhat gleeful and ongoing) reports of the Nike Fuelband’s demise over the last few days, I’ve been struck by the fact that while they all seem to agree on the fact that it was maybe a defensive move in anticipation of the looming possible iWatch threat, they also seem divided as to what, exactly, Nike’s problem was: hardware (it didn’t have big enough margins)or software (it didn’t actually do enough). But let’s call a spade a spade: it didn’t look good enough. Read more

So after a season of “team”, beleaguered Jil Sander has a new creative director: Rodolfo Paglialunga. Who? Cast your mind back, and you may remember him as the guy who briefly made the revived Vionnet kinda-sorta interesting in its first seasons back in the public eye, between 2009-2011. Celebs from Madonna (left, in his Vionnet) to Hillary Swank and Diane Kruger wore the dresses, and it was on the verge of hot-ness. Then something happened (who knows what?) and Mr Paglialunga was out. Vionnet, which was later sold to Goga Ashkanazi, has yet to really get back on the rails. But given his success with the brand, does this (short) track record bode well for Sander? Read more

It is rare to have lunch with someone who is so quotable it’s impossible to include all their zingers in a 2500 word piece. And yet, so it was with American Vogue creative director Grace Coddington (left, with Donna Karan), whose willingness to speak her mind is both singular and extremely appealing. Thus, as I promised via Twitter, following are the thoughts that DIDN’T make it into the story – but that, nevertheless, I am very happy to pass on. Read more