Sometimes – often when a new designer takes the reins at a brand, thereby drawing attention to it – a style inexplicably takes off in a viral way, running rampant throughout the fashion world.
This happened after former YSL designer Stefano Pilati’s first collection for the house, when he introduced the high-waisted tulip skirt to widespread scepticism. By the next season, high-waisted tulip skirts were ubiquitous (remember that?), and judging by last week’s New York ready-to-wear shows, it seems like it is happening now with Christian Dior designer Raf Simons’s gown-over-cigarette-trousers style, introduced in his first couture show last July. Read more
As show season kicked off I did an interview with Jason Wu – aka the man who made Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown… twice! – before his A/W show, and two things he said have stuck in my mind:
First, for him, the Flotus effect is felt more in publicity than an actual sales spike. In other words, since Mrs O wore his gowns, everyone now knows his name in a way they might not otherwise, but it hasn’t had much effect on the bottom line.
And second, he makes 90 per cent of his clothes not just in America, but in New York, right down the street from his atelier, not because of any political position (though it’s nice to get credit for that) but because his pieces require so much hand-work – he needs to be close by to supervise. Read more
Yes, it’s more Marc Jacobs news! The Jacobs show, aka the most-anticipated show of NY Fashion week due to the designer’s ability to turn on a dime season after season, has just emailed all of us fashion types to announce they are moving the show from Monday, the usual slot, to Thursday at 8pm due to “weather and production problems”.
I was struck, when reporting the PPR/Christopher Kane deal, by a comment from Hugh Devlin, a lawyer with Withers LLP who acted as a strategic advisor to Mr Kane. Specifically, Mr Devlin said, “We would anticipate that there will be other investment transactions involving London designers in the coming 12 months.” So let’s have some fun! Let’s speculate about who could be next. Read more
Last week was menswear week in London – see Charlie Porter’s review – but in New York, it was womenswear everywhere. On Monday I saw eight “pre-fall” collections. Tuesday I saw another and, on Wednesday, I saw a 10th. What did I see? Well, tailored wool jackets. Mini-skirts. Prints – leopard and cheetah and floral and what Carven’s Guillaume Henry described as “sort of layered posters for Françoise Hardy albums”. Tuxedo dressing. And evening gowns. Lots and lots of evening gowns.
But the latter aren’t for pre-fall – that is, from next June/July until November, when this ridiculously named “season” is stocked in shops. The gowns are for tomorrow. Read more
One of the many purposes of the terribly confusing fashion season known as pre-fall, which began presentations last week and extends until mid-January and which hits stores around June, is — even more confusingly — to feed the voracious maw that is the Hollywood red carpet during awards season. Yesterday the Golden Globe nominations come out, in front of the actual awards in January, and earlier this week the SAG short list was announced. Stylists everywhere are gearing up. Here are my bets on some of their picks.
The news last week that Alexander Wang would be Balenciaga’s new creative director had the fashion world all a-twitter (literally – they were tweeting up a storm).
Despite all the hoo-ha surrounding the choice of the very young New York-based designer, in some ways I was just as struck by the rumoured candidates that didn’t get picked. Because they were, largely, British (or honorary Brits): Thomas Tait, JW Anderson, Mary Katrantzou and Christopher Kane, who had been the rumoured frontrunner. And Balenciaga is not the only recent fashion job opening where the headhunting focus has been on the UK. Stylist Katie Grand just did a niche collection for Diego Della Valle’s Hogan line, while media chief Jefferson Hack did the same for Tod’s. Erdem Moralioglu’s name had been on the shortlist for everything from Dior to Schiaparelli (OK, he was born in Canada but he went to the Royal College of Art and works out of London, is on the schedule at London Fashion Week, is favoured by both the Duchess of Cambridge and Samantha Cameron, and, to most intents and purposes, is considered a British designer). Finally, Italian designer Alberta Ferretti announced that Natalie Ratabesi, a Central St Martins graduate, would be the new (and first) creative director of her Philosophy line. Read more
And then there were six — annual collections, that is. Last season Nina Ricci introduced a capsule collection called “Les Envies” as a sort of lead-in to its pre-spring, and this season they’ve made it official: they now offer spring/summer and autumn/winter (what we see on the runway); pre-spring and pre-fall (mini shows); and pre-pre-spring and pre-pre-fall(aka Les Envies). Monty Python couldn’t have one-upped this if they’d tried. Not that this is a joke: it’s a brave new reality! Read more
Oooooh those PPR folks are making the gossip waters churn. Today reports say NY hipster designer Alexander Wang is the top candidate for the artistic director job (artistic director, creative director, designer – does no one else wish these companies would regularise their titles?), while rumours are that Christopher Kane, the erstwhile favourite for that spot, is actually being looked at in the context of buying his eponymous brand! Good gosh and golly. Two young designers at once! Both would be surprising moves, however, seems to me. Read more
What’s up with YSL these days? Post-designer Hedi Slimane’s weird tweet rant at NYT critic Cathy Horyn, which came after her review of the on-line pictures of the show she wasn’t invited to (if you can follow the absurdity of that chain) the brand’s CEO has gotten in on the action. Yesterday YSL chief exec Paul Deneve wrote an “Open Letter” to WWD complaining about a story they wrote recently comparing Raf Simons’ Dior debut to Hedi Slimane’s at YSL. Mr Deneve didn’t think the WWD folks had been fair, he said, and they should stop trying to invent a rivalry that isn’t. At first glance, this seems like an executive kicking sand. But Machiavelli might have a different point of view. Read more