Saturday, 31 October 2009

Finance for Fashionistas

It is so very easy to pick up the latest editions of the international Vogues when one wishes to know the latest on fashion, but how often do we pick up the magazines' financial equivalents, and think about how to keep on generating the income that is funding those frequent runs to Christian Louboutin?

Gwyneth Paltrow's blog GOOP is a recent discovery, and while I was reading it, I came across an article that broke down the ABCs of economics into an easy, bite-size format:

It's recommended reading for all of you who wish to keep yourselves in Mr. Louboutin's vertiginous heels for a long time coming.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Fast Forward

There is a young designer in London called Mark Fast, whose star has been rising rapidly.

This season the 28 year old Canadian focused on women’s courage in modern society as the theme for his show. Down the catwalk, he sent gorgeous women in various sizes, in an attempt to challenge the traditional notions of fit and idealized body shape.

This caused a scandal in the British press, and Karl Lagerfeld even commented that no one wants to see large women on the catwalk.

I completely disagree. Fashion is for women of all ages, shapes, and sizes.

It is, quite simply, for the woman who decides that she wants to spend the money to buy it. Without that woman, there isn't a designer who would still be in business.

And so I applaud Mark Fast's work as a celebration of the female body and the many worlds that surround it.

As he says himself: “You have to do what you love and keep your creativity close to your heart”.

Quite right.

Long Live YSL

Forbes has just named the late Yves Saint Laurent as the highest earning posthumous "celebrity".

Aside from the fact that I find it a weird topic for Forbes to be covering, I do think that $350 million in one year is an impressive amount for someone to have generated from the other side.

I hope that it will be put to a charitable use, towards research in the illness that killed him, and other maladies that affected many people in his entourage.

So Long Margiela

Like many brands with star designers, it has just been confirmed that Martin Margiela, a fashion revolutionary, is no longer designing the clothes that have his name sewn into their collars.

Following months of rumours, Renzo Ross has confirmed that the designer is no longer directly involved in the creation of Maison Martin Margiela's collections.

Apparently Martin Margiela is contractually obligated to be listed as the brand's creative director indefinitely.

But as Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune so wisely asks: "Considering that creativity is the lifeblood of fashion and every other Paris fashion house is tapping in to new talent, why would Maison Martin Margiela not try the same? Unless they believe, as many others might, that Mr. Margiela is irreplaceable."

True creative geniuses are irreplaceable. Many can try to mimic their unique and visionary handwriting, but so few will every actually manage to step up to the sartorial challenge, let alone surpass it.

Yves Saint Laurent held on to his label until the very end; even when the ready-to-wear line was sold to Gucci Group, he continued to design his Haute Couture collections.

It would have been nice to see Martin Margiela do the same.

Gucci on Film

Apart from the sequel to Sex and the City, another film I'm really looking forward to seeing is Ridley Scott's forthcoming portrayal of the rise, fall, and return of the Gucci brand.

Angelina Jolie has been cast to play the social mountaineering wife of Maurizio Gucci, who was famously convicted for arranging the gunning down of her husband in 1995.

Founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, the multi billion dollar fashion company was renowned for the family's temper tantrums, and was on the brink of decline when it was brought back, phoenix-like, to life, by Tom Ford in the 1990s.

I am sure that with Ridley Scott at the helm, the film will be one to watch, especially if the beautiful Patrizia Gucci's own immortal lines are quoted in the script.

Here is just one fabulous example: 'I’d rather cry in a Rolls-Royce, than laugh on a bicycle.'

Love it.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Sex and the City: The Sequel

I just don't know how much longer I can wait for the sequel to Sex and the City. The shoes, the hairstyles, the's going to be another stylish hit for sure...!

Foxy Lady

Giorgio Armani has just announced that actress Megan Fox will be the new official worldwide face for Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans for 2010.

I don't really know what to make of that. On one hand I think it's great that brands now prefer to use "real' people to head up their campaigns, however much airbrushing that might cost them. On the other hand, I feel like fashion houses should stick with fashion models, who are naturally at the top of the profession when it comes to striking a pose.

That said, I do love women who look like women, and so Megan Fox does seem like a good choice...especially for a brand that was at the very origin of the billion-dollar red carpet relationship that now exists between fashion designer and celebrity.

Tom Ford For Women?

Tom Ford is a marketing and creative genius, and following his extremely successful eyewear, fragrance, and menswear lines, as well as his recent directing debut (as featured on this blog), there are strong rumours that he is about to launch himself into womenswear.

If true, this is a move that could only be applauded.

The talented Texan let slip during a promotional trip to Tokyo that he will indeed be returning to womenswear “very soon”.

He later confirmed told WWD: “You know it will take me 18 months when I start, because I have to hire the team, find the factories, put everything together and then get the stores ready so there’s a place for these clothes.”

I have heard that Ford and his former business collaborator Domenico De Sole are seeking around $50 million to fund the collection and that Credit Suisse is a likely investor.

Jimmy Choo at H&M...Coming Soon

I am a huge fan of H&M's collaborations with contemporary designers and brands, and so am very much looking forward to the forthcoming Jimmy Choo collection.

It lands in stores on Saturday 14th November, and has been designed around the ultimate party wardrobe. I know it's the shoes I should be lusting after, but it's actually the read-to-wear designs that have caught my eye: suede mini-dresses, skinny leather pants and crystal-studded tops.

“The Jimmy Choo collection for H&M is full of fun, one-off items with an accessible and glamorous identity made with stylish materials, emphasised with colour and embellishment. I wanted to create pieces that would reach a cool and young customer with a fashionable and independent sense of spirit in this one-off collaboration.” says Tamara Mellon, Founder and President, Jimmy Choo.

And there's something for the boys too: a selection of ankle boots and bags, as well as a wardrobe of wool blazers, leather biker jackets, silk and cashmere mix sweaters, shirts and trousers.

All of which are accessorised with a wallet-friendly price tag...what more could one ask for?

Sunday, 4 October 2009

The Fun of Fashion

So the word on the street is that a French politician is trying to get a new law passed, whereby all images that have been retouched would have to carry a warning, similar to the ones printed on cigarette packets, explaining that the visual has been altered and that the person in the picture does not look like that in real life.

It is hard to imagine opening an issue of Vogue and being reminded on every single page that the model's appearance has been altered and that would you therefore please be so kind as to not believe this is how she looks when she falls out of bed in the morning.

Anyone who flicks through a magazine and thinks that the way models look when they are being photographed for a fashion or beauty shoot, really look like that in everyday life, should perhaps carry their own warning to self: get thee to an optician to clarify vision, and to a university to clarify perception.

Fashion magazines are not paper documentaries or anthropological studies. They are printed collections of beautiful and glamourous ideas that are translated for our consumption via fashion spreads and articles.

In order to reach the most aesthetic ideal possible, they must surpass reality and attempt to portray a world of fantasy in which eyelashes are always thick and long, legs are forever slender, and imperfections non-existent.

Publications like Harper's Bazaar are fun and colourful escapes from the dreary, grey reality that is day-to-day working life.

So why would we want to ruin our own fun?

Stone Me

Following the example set by the great Suzy Menkes, who has taken to pointing out how many search results Google lists for the designers whom she reviews, I would like to draw your attention to the number of search results for the formidable Lara Stone: 27,600,000.

That number is probably equal to the amount of double-takes she causes, every time she walks down the street, let alone the catwalk.

Lara Stone first came to my attention when I saw her model at a Christopher Kane, London Fashion Week show, last year.

Literally busting out of a chunky, animal-print knit, she was obviously "larger" than the other twiglet models, whose stick-like limbs didn't look like they could withstand a fall from a Charlotte Olympia platform shoe.

Down the catwalk she strode, trying her best to keep her signature look of menace in place. But when a tricky heel threatened to undo her million-dollar frown, she couldn't help but break out into a smile, as if to say "tant pis".

Her catwalk wobble is one of her trademarks, along with the gap between her front teeth.

I simply adore her. I love her.

And clearly so does Carine Roitfeld.

Vogue Paris's February 2009 issue features Lara Stone exclusively throughout, cover to cover.

In the edition she admits that she often thinks, "Do not fall, do not fall."

She's just like you and me.