John Galliano. Getty Images
So Oscar de la Renta has invited John Galliano, the ex-Dior designer whose fall from grace in 2011 for anti-Semitic remarks rocked the fashion world, back into the atelier. His atelier, to be precise. According to WWD, Mr Galliano is going to do a three week “designer in residence” stint in Mr de la Renta’s studio, beginning – well, soon. What do we think of this idea?
On the face of it, it is a surprise. But really, it’s very smart.
The surprise comes not from the fact Mr Galliano is beginning to stage a comeback (that’s been mooted for a while, and every friend of John I’ve talked to over the past year has mentioned it), but the fact he’s doing it under the auspices of Mr de la Renta. The two have never really been public collaborators before. Indeed, the classic New York society designer, favourite of first ladies, always perfectly dressed in suit and tie, and the British rebel who demolished and rebuilt an old couture house and costumed himself every season, are pretty different types. I mean, check out their portraits. 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.
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!
So it’s official: Alexander Wang, the 28-year-old wunderkind who launched his eponymous brand in New York only five years ago has just been handed the creative director reins at Balenciaga. He will continue to run his own brand (which is owned independently by Wang and his family), and split his time between New York and Paris. His first collection will be autumn/winter 2013 womenswear, next March. I’m wondering, does this indicate a new theory about/stage in luxury brands?
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
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
Here’s a small pictorial preview of Anna Della Russo’s accessories collection for H&M, which goes on-sale Oct 4, and which she was wearing at Jason Wu’s show in New York. Read more
In one of those cosmic coincidences of timing, the last night of the Democratic convention, where President Obama talked often about the long hard, road ahead, also coincided with Fashion’s Night Out, that sybaritic extravaganza of shopping and schmoozing (well, mostly schmoozing, if you listen to retailers who Do Not Want to be Named) that also happened to mark the first day of New York Fashion Week. It made for a pretty powerful contrast. STill, my favourite fashion moment was not the Karaoke at Michael Kors, but rather what was on stage at the DNC, from Mr O’s tie to Mrs O’s new designer. Read more
Anyone in doubt of the rising prominence of the men’s wear market, take note: super-dapper designer Stefano Pilati, who was rather unceremoniously dumped as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent just before his runway show last season, has found a new job as creative director of Ermenegildo Zegna and Agnona. It’s new role for the group, and it’s being announced with much hoo-ha. As well it should: it signals both an aggressive move to up their menswear designer profile, and a potential big move in womenswear. Read more
What’s been happening over the last two weeks? What’s the news we can use? Here are my top three recent titbits — the ones that at first glance don’t seem so important, but on second look have outsize implications, from NY Fashion Week’s first casuality to Prada’s new super-expensive perfume, and the rise of the magazine brand as star.