It’s couture week in Paris; but we’re a show down on the schedule: Givenchy, which under Riccardo Tisci has held an up-close-and-personal presentation of a handful of elaborate pieces, is taking time out to, well, ease up on the pressure. Meanwhile, it has emerged that Alexander McQueen will also not be holding a show in March during the autumn/winter shows, as its creative director, Sarah Burton, pictured left, will be on maternity leave.
Instead they will have a small presentation; a variation on the tactic Celine’s Phoebe Philo used when she was last pregnant. Her show fell in her third trimester and decided to eschew the stress of a full show for small talk-throughs with tiny groups.
Could it be that both the corporate and creative sides of the business are beginning to think shows may not be the crucial component of a business they have been previously considered? Holy hemlines, Batman! Read more
IBM monitors electronic conversations to pick up on and predict trends. Getty Images
IBM has gotten into the trend-spotting business. You know that thing designers refer to as “zeitgeist”. Well, it can identify it, track it, determine when it turns from vague mumblings into larger movements, and then sell the information to clients. It’s not an art anymore; it’s a science.
Actually, it’s the Social Sentiment Index, a tool for monitoring the global electronic conversations on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as blogs. When people start talking a lot about a certain topic: bingo. Read more
Shoes by Nina Ricci. Image by Vanessa Friedman
It seems the YSL/Christian Louboutin red sole suit has had some unexpected consequences. Yesterday, during the Nina Ricci pre-fall mini-show, what I was most struck by among the neat little tweed day suits and very pretty cocktail frocks was an aside from designer Peter Copping that the brand had decided to start using a signature shell pink on the soles of all its shoes, as a sort of shorthand fashion semiology.
Could this be the start of a new trend: fashion houses known by the soles of their shoes? Read more
It struck me, looking at the upcoming Givenchy ad campaign, which features FoR (friends of Riccardo – -Tisci, the brand’s creative director) Mariacarla Boscana, artist Marina Abromovic and matador Jose Maria Manzanares, that one of the biggest fashion trends of recent years has been the selling of a quasi-family-reality – but more fabulous and famous, natch, than any of our real families. This seems to be reaching critical mass, and I rather expect it will continue next year. Why?
The other day I discovered The LiP, aka Luxury in Progress, aka Labelux’s on-line luxury site (launched wholly under the radar), and was struck by how much it resembled Nowness, LVMH’s on-line video site, in the way it separated company values from object. Luxury marketing without product pushing! What an idea. It works, theoretically at least, on four levels.
Just as e-tailers have come to realise that a virtual store in not enough, and are increasingly adding bricks and mortar storefronts (or, as folks like Warby Parker and Bonobos tend to call them, “showrooms”) to their offering, so, too, are e-sites. Last year Style.com launched style.com the magazine, a twice-yearly collection-focused oversize print book, and now Mark Sebba, CEO of net-a-porter, has announced they are planning a print magazine.So what is this? Nostalgia for ye olden days? I thought the brilliance of digital was that we were free of so many of the nagging costs and limits associated with the physical world and its products. I thought magazines were seen as dying media. What do they have that e-zines don’t? Read more
What is on-line fashion week? It is the UK-equivalent of Cyber Monday (which is today!): five days of super-special offers and special brand titbits organised by British Vogue to prompt holiday shopping, albeit with a charitable component (a percentage of sakes goes to the Oxfam Girls Education Project, the “official” charity partner) and a branded gloss. In other words, it doesn’t actually have much to do with fashion weeks as we know them at all, though the name is catchy. Even more notably, however, this year, which is its second year, for the first time on-line fashion week will be sponsored by…Amazon! That’s what made little old me sit up and take notice.
Yesterday Chanel (the Group, not the brand) announced it would acquire Barrie knitwear, a Scottish cashmere producer whose parent company, Dawson International, went into administration last August due to “a large hole in their pension fund”. This is turning into something of a strategic signature for Chanel. Though Barrie is not part of their “Metiers d’Art” group of nine specialist ateliers bought by their Paraffection affiliate, is it fully in line with what seems to be a Group policy regarding buying up and protecting heritage skills, be it glove-making, embroidery, or knitting. Read more
The other day I was moderating a panel at a conference called Fashion Digital New York, which was pretty much about what you would expect, though what I learned was not at all what I expected – especially when it came to what the new etail folks thought about old media. You’ll never guess what they said! Read more