Who is fashion week for? The fact that this is a pressing question has suddenly become as clear as the plaid on a kilt thanks to British Vogue’s web site, which today launched a new initiative: “On-line Fashion Week,” which points up a growing schism in the fashion world.
Francois Lesage, widely acknowledge as the greatest couture embroiderer and an iconic figure inside the fashion world, died last night at age 82. M Lesage’s death will reignite the debate about the purpose of the sartorial art form, and its role as an expression of French culture.
Yesterday, for the first time, Antonio Tajani, the European Commission’s VP for industry, met with a bunch of luxury companies like Chanel, Dior, Pucci, MaxMara and Harrods to talk about what the brands and the EU might be able to do for each other. Wait — the first time? Yes, weird as that may sound, after two years of lobbying, the ECCIA (European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance) finally succeeded in getting Brussels’ attention. Read more
Chanel show – picture by Vanessa Friedman
At the Chanel show I was sitting next to architect Peter Marino, and after we had admired the all-white aquarium set (pictured left), we got to chatting about his recent renovation of the brand’s London Sloane Street store, to be unveiled this week. It’s not what you would expect.
First, it wasn’t nearly as expensive as one (okay, me) might assume, even though the centrepiece is a graphic black and white work of art by Allan McCollum, the American artist, displayed around the central stairwell and featuring the most popular 1000 women’s names according the US census. Think Maria, Chanel (really) and Shakira and you’ll get the idea. Read more
Is the fact that IMF chief Christine Lagarde has made Vanity Fair’s International best-dressed list good or bad for the image of bankers? Though at first I was excited about the news — yay! A female banker has finally been acknowledged for sartorial prowess; the “boring” stereotype is broken — after sleeping on it, I actually think this one could backfire.
Today a new report called “Uplifting the earth: the ethical performance of luxury jewellery brands” is being published by Lifeworth Consulting. Authored by Jem Bendell and Ian Doyle, and self-funded, it is geared towards encouraging luxury brands to embrace transparency in regards to their CSR practices by analysing and assessing ten high end brands. More startling, however, is the fact that the report says Chopard, Graff, and Piaget all sell – or say they could sell – rubies from Burma.
The rumours that Hillary Clinton wants to be the next president of the World Bank have now gone public thanks to Reuters, and though they’ve also been publicly denied by her camp, I can’t help keeping my fingers crossed. After all, if she did want/get the post, and Christine Lagarde does succeed in her quest to head the IMF, think what this will do to the image of bankers around the world!
Well, this is a shocker: today a digital think tank called L2 is publishing a study, “L2 Prestige 100®: Facebook IQ,” which ranks the high-end brands as “Genius, gifted, average, challenged, and feeble” according to who uses Facebook best, and out of brands that span the auto, watch & jewellery, fashion, beauty, and spirits & champagne sectors, Burberry, normally held up as THE most web-savvy, digi-forward company in the luxury industry, ranks…average. Actually, it’s number 49.
And so the long, drawn-out — what? season? wardrobe filler? money-spinner? — that is cruise (or should we call it resort, or spring, the way brands do?) begins. Oscar de la Renta kicked it all off yesterday with a straightforward, ladies-and-girls-who-lunch show in their unfinished new office digs on 42nd street and Fifth avenue. Read more
Chanel shows are about maintaining the myth that the surrounds the brand as much as revealing the clothes, so it was appropriate that the venue for this season’s Cruise collection on Monday night was immortalised in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. Read more