Opinion

After the Vogue Festival

I am back from London now and I had a really fantastic trip. I stayed in an amazing hotel, the flights went well (even though the one home was slightly delayed), and I had a fun time at the Vogue Festival. And the best thing is, I’m back in London again this week! Being in close proximity to the capital and the super cheap (and short) flights there are something I will really miss once I get to New York. It’s always nice to take a little weekend away there.

Anyway, I attended the Vogue Festival on both the Saturday and the Sunday and I enjoyed both days. I went alone, which was actually ok although it probably would’ve been way more fun with a friend, and went to three different talks. Firstly I attended the Grace Coddington interview which was exactly as I expected it to be. I think a lot of people feel like they know Grace after reading her book and seeing her in The September Issue, and she behaved how I thought she would based on this. I think she is a very straightforward, tells it as she means it kind of person and it serves her well. The talk with Lucinda Chambers was mainly focused on her career and her favourite images she had created, then there was time for an audience Q&A at the end. She also did a book signing afterwards so I got my copy of her autobiography signed after queuing for a fairly short time (I was near the front, thankfully). The only thing that I didn’t like about the festival was everyone shoving their phones about trying to get photos of every single moment. I feel like you need to experience things instead of trying to get a good photo for Snapchat. There were some people who literally recorded the entire show on their iPhone. What’s the point in having crappy iPhone quality videos where your arm is probably shaking when the real thing will be uploaded on British Vogue’s YouTube fairly soon?

After the book signing I got my nails done then I watched a trend talk. It was fun to see the editors up close because I think British Vogue really does have a great team – Sarah Harris and Julia Hobbs are particularly cool – but the trend talks were a way to get you to go to Harrods and buy a bunch of clothes. Harrods were the main sponsor of the event so it makes sense. In the afternoon I went to a Vetements talk with Gurum Gvasalia and Suzy Menkes. I have an entirely separate post on this matter because I have so much to say about it. I think this talk was worth going to the festival just to hear. I was so impressed with it and it definitely changed my perceptions of Vetements as a brand.

The following day I returned to hear Alexandra Shulman interview Dolce & Gabbana. This was also a fun talk to hear because the designers are rather funny and play off of each other well. I think this talk was more for entertainment than education and it featured quite a few little soundbites which I can imagine will have been quoted in the press a few times, with some comments being perhaps taken the wrong way. Both of the designers had thick Italian accents and sometimes struggled to find the correct, exact translation for the Italian word. Because of this, I can understand how previous comments of theirs could’ve been misinterpreted.

My only real complaint about the event would be that everyone was on their phones the whole damn time. It was rather distracting trying to listen to/watch something and have a phone thrust in your eye line. I understand people want to document the fact that they attended but surely one or two photos is enough. Live in the moment. Also, I wish the mainstream, non-fashion media wouldn’t have put so much focus on Kim Kardashian’s talk. I found it a shame how the entire coverage of the festival in newspapers etc. was all about her appearance and the hysteria that it caused. Seriously, I walked down to South Kensington to get some lunch and there was about 100 people gathered outside the building which she was in, waiting for her to exit (they didn’t even go to the talk…). It must be exhausting being that famous.

Anyway, I had a really nice time and I would definitely return in the future. They had a lot of really big names at the event this year and have scored some massive names in the past too. I wouldn’t be surprised if the event continued to increase in popularity year-upon-year.

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