On Wednesday night, after the last show of the spring/summer 2013 season, after the last dinner (almost after midnight) I trucked up to Azzedine Alaïa’s atelier to see what he was working on. Mr Alaïa often shows the week after the Paris collections are over (which is also when he sells to stores), and I often stop in for a preview, but this season he wasn’t doing a mini-presentation at all, except for buyers. So, as one does, I asked him why? Read more
This has been a good week for Richemont’s fashion brands. Tonight a Chloe retrospective opens at the Palais de Tokyo, and last weekend Lady Gaga gave a shout-out in front of millions of fans at the Stade de France to the designer Azzedine Alaia, calling him a genius. You know what that means: sales! Read more
Take that, PPR! You’re not the only luxury player on the block that’s recognised the potential of “sports lifestyle” brands (though you may be the only one with an entire division, and strategy, dedicated to the sector). Compagnie Financiere Richemont, the Swiss luxury group that is normally known for its watch and jewellery expertise – they own Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Jaeger LeCoutre, and so on – just announced it has acquired US-based high-end casual clothing/golf brand Peter Millar. The move raises so many interesting questions! Read more
Making the rounds at Milan fashion week this season has been interesting; people keep talking about their Big New Idea to improve the Italian fashion business. Consensus seems to be: something needs to be done. But what? Here are some of the suggestions:
Diega Della Valle, chairman of Tod’s Group (and known internally largely as DDV, which is what we will cal him for brevity’s sake) is, it turns out, as susceptible to trend as any fashionista – only with DDV, it’s his own trends. Yesterday he was celebrating a new niche collection made by Love editor Katie Grand for his Hogan line, Ms Grand being the second cool British editor DDV has signed up; previously he got Jefferson Hack, aka Kate Moss’s ex, aka founder of Dazed & Confused, to make a small line of shoes for Tod’s. Are your fad sensors tingling yet?
Honestly, I thought nothing could top the silliness of the Congressional attack on Ralph Lauren for not making all those FREE Olympic outfits in the US, despite the fact the politicians were fine with a Chinese brand sponsoring the diving team, but the mistaken furore generated by a review written by Cathy Horyn in the New York Times during the – yes – New York collections comes pretty close. I kept thinking it would go away, but instead it seems to be picking up steam — to such an extent that I am starting to wonder if it’s time to ask that perennial question: Who benefits? Read more
New York Fashion Week? What’s that? This morning – the last of NYFW — London was in the news, as both Burberry and TopShop announced major new technology initiatives. Though they are generating a lot of buzz around the brands, I can’t help but wonder about the direction all of this is taking. Read more
This morning at the Holmes & Yang presentation at Lincoln Center — the brand’s first on the official schedule — co-designer Katie Holmes looked kind of nervous, standing next to her partner, Jeanne Yang. Presumably this was partly due to all the people around them passing judgement on their work. But partly it probably also had to do with the knowledge of the same people passing judgement on their tabloid value. It’s a weird position to be in: wanting people to come see the clothes, and wanting to push some away at the same time.
One of the biggest trends to come out of New York fashion week thus far has been the use of once-famous, formerly-retired, suddenly-resurrected models. Naomi Campbell opened Zac Posen’s show, followed by Isabeli Fontana; Marimekko had Carol Alt, Pat Cleveland and Carmen Dell’Orefice; and Alexander Wang had Liberty Ross, who now lives in California, and recently made headlines when her husband, Rupert Sanders, had an affair with actress Kristin Stewart. When these women appear on the catwalk they generally get lots of applause, but I wonder who actually is benefitting from the relationship?
My favourite fashion week moment so far, three days into the start of the New York collections, has to be Diane von Furstenberg pulling Sergey Brin out of his front-row seat and onto her catwalk to take her victory bow with her and her creative director, Yvan Mispelaere at the end of her show. And all three of them were wearing Google glass in different colours! I feel a new accessory category coming on. Read more