Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: May 27th 2017

“From the archive: Anna Wintour on leaving London for New York” – The Guardian

I don’t know about you but the first thing I do when I wake up is check my email. Among the endless promotional codes and spam-like attempts to capture attention from various retailers lies The Business of Fashion’s Daily Digest. One day last week they highlighted this 1997 article from The Guardian on Anna Wintour, posted on The Guardian’s website as a piece from the archive. I’m not sure why they revived a 20 year old article but it was such a good read. It’s amazing to see how things have changed in that time. As I said when I read the profile of Anna Wintour for the site’s print issue, Anna Wintour comes across really well. She is a formidable woman who earned her place in the industry. She has a reputation for being icy and mean yet every piece of journalism I’ve read relating to her paints a different picture. This profile was endearing because she talks about her own career path in the most humble way possible. She also talks about the differences between the UK and the US, something that I can relate to having made the move myself. If you want to read a good throwback article, click the link above.

“Bella Hadid’s New Nike Campaign Pays Homage To ’70s-era Farrah Fawcett” – Fashionista (IMAGES)

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 29th April 2017

“Solange on Fashion vs Style, Her Pre-Teen Goth Phase, and How Confusing ‘Festival Style’ Is“- Fashionista.com

If you have spoken to me anytime in the past year or so, I’ll have mentioned Solange. I love her. She’s so pure and such an amazing artist. I love that she is no longer being referred to as Beyonce’s little sister and that she is being recognized as the great person she actually is. Also, I’m still desperately trying to get tickets to see her show at the Guggenheim in May but tickets are $900 on resale sites – they were originally $50. This interview, from Fashionista, was cool because it gave us more of an insight into Solange’s personal style. I think we all knew she was original when her wedding photos were revealed, with everyone wearing all white and standing in a perfect formation. I feel like every second of her life is an art piece. Read the article linked above to find out where she gets her inspirations from.

“Keeping Score: Brands Tally Bloggers’ Bots” – WWD

From WWD article

I have been talking a lot recently about how so many people on Instagram have fake followers, either that they have paid for or via bots that have followed them. I know I even have some bots following me and I have less than 500 followers. It came out last week that Instagress, a popular automation tool for IG, has been shut down. Instagram’s policy is that it does not allow third party applications but there are still plenty of services out there for people who are trying to amass a following. I always look at engagement rate on Instagram posts. The point of this article was that if a blogger with a huge following gets a low number of likes on a post, their following is likely fake. Vice versa, if a blogger with a small following gets an unproportionately large number of likes on a post, they may be using bots. There is a new service that brands can use to verify an influencers’ following and each influencer/blogger gets a score based on their engagement rates, bot rate etc. That way brands will pay a blogger a fee that is directly linked to their score instead of wasting money on posts that may not get the reach promised. It is also interesting as I have noticed a few articles out there recently about microinfluencers and how brands are moving towards using them as they tend to have a more engaged and loyal following. I find all of this social media stuff so interesting so this article was a good read.

Anna Wintour Interview (in two parts) – Business of Fashion


Anna Wintour sat down with Imran Amed, founder of the Business of Fashion website, for an interview that has been posted online in two parts. She is also the cover star for the print issue of the magazine. I found Anna’s interview to make her come across very well, as she always does, and I often wonder why she has the terrifying reputation that she does. She is someone who seems very aware of her own power but doesn’t seem to want to abuse it. She is also aware that Vogue needs to change to keep up with the times and actually welcomes that. I encourage you to read the interview for yourself as all I can really do is summarize what she said. I just think this interview showed us again why Anna Wintour is where she is and also why Business of Fashion is one of the best, if not the best, sources of fashion related content out there.

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Editorial, Fashion

Best of 2016 – Vogue Editorials

I look forward to writing this post every year because it is an excuse for me to trawl through the internet looking for images that I find inspiring. I trust Vogue’s all around the world to create stellar content that both inspire and evoke other emotions in me. I love a good fashion editorial. I wish that I could be paid to create them and that I had the resources to do so.

What makes a good editorial? To me, the model. I have to like the model and find her appealing or else I won’t enjoy the images, even if the styling is good. I also think the photographer is important as there are some whose style I don’t particularly like and others who I am taken by. Finally, the fashion editor helps immensely. Without their vision the editorial wouldn’t exist. I love how fashion is such a collaborative creative process. All of the people involved are needed.

Anyway, as per usual I’m reviewing British Vogue, American Vogue, Italian Vogue, and Vogue Paris in this post. Enjoy!

British Vogue

563126-800wFirst Light

Photographer – Tyrone Lebon, Stylist – Francesca Burns, Models – Frederikke Sofie & Damaris Goddrie

See full editorial here. 

460844-800wGet In Line

Photographer – Alasdair McLellan, Stylist – Kate Phelan, Model – Anna Ewers

See full editorial here. 

523426-800w

As Time Goes By

Photographer – Mario Testino, Stylist – Lucinda Chambers, Model – Erin O’Connor (various)

American Vogue

Ready Set Gala

Photographer – Theo Wenner, Stylist – Sara Moonves, Models – Lily Aldridge & Emily Ratajkowski

See full editorial here.

Major General

Photographer – Mikael Jansson, Stylist – Tabitha Simmons, Models – Edie Campbell & Grace Hartzel

See full editorial here.

Drop Everything

Photographer – Alasdair McLellan, Stylist – Tonne Goodman/Michael Philouze, Model – Imaan Hammam

Vogue Italia 

Note: Since writing this the much loved Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani passed away at just 66 after a year long battle with an illness. This came as such a shock to me as I had no idea she was unwell. It was very sad news. In the days after her death you could truly see the admiration and love for her from the fashion community as a whole which was really beautiful. Rest in peace.

In the Mood for Lightness

Photographer – Paolo Roversi, Stylist – Jacob K, Models – Estella Boersma, Amalie Moosgaard, Cecilie Moosgaard, Julie Hoomans, Odette Pavlova, Peyton Knight & Roos Abels

See full editorial here.

Valentino

Photographer – Sarah Moon, Stylist – Patti Wilson, Model – Molly Bair

See full editorial here.

Freja Beha Erichsen

Photographer – Peter Lindbergh, Stylist – Clare Richardson, Model – Freja Beha Erichsen

See full editorial here.

Vogue Paris

Back to Black

Photographer – Claudia Knoepfel, Stylist – Veronique Didry, Models – Grace Elizabeth & Mathilde Brok Brandi

See full editorial here.

Mes Nuits Sont Plus Belles Que Vos Jours 

Photographer – Mert & Marcus, Stylist – Emmanuelle Alt, Models – Irina Shayk & Steffy Argelich

See full editorial here.

Oh! You Pretty Things

Photographer – Mert & Marcus, Stylist – Emmanuelle Alt, Models – Bella Hadid, Taylor Hill, Jena Goldsack

See full editorial here.

 

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Essays, Opinion

Why Chanel and the Met Gala Being on the Same Night is Ok

Fashion is deemed very frivolous. It is not a matter that people think hold much weight, rightly or wrongly so depending on your opinion. That’s why the Met Gala is such a big deal. Often classed as fashion’s equivalent of the Oscars, the Met Gala (or Ball depending on who is saying it) is an annual charity event held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The event honours the opening of that year’s exhibit at the Costume Institute in the museum. Basically, it is one of the few evenings in the year that fashion actually matters to people. Celebrities, designers and fashion-people in general attend. An invitation is so sought after that tickets cost around $25,000 to purchase, you know, if you’re not actually on the guest list. The prestige of the event is so much so that the first time that a very pregnant Kim Kardashian attended in 2013, there was a general uproar from press and fashion critics alike. Just as a little side note, she was banned the previous year by Anna Wintour but we all know how that has changed as she has since received that infamous Vogue cover that led many to proclaim Anna Wintour’s credibility dead and gone.

Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel's Metiers d'Art show in Salzburg (Pre-Fall 2015)

Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel’s Metiers d’Art show in Salzburg (Pre-Fall 2015)

 

Chanel’s cruise show, on the other hand, is a little bit less of interest to regular people. Whilst gossip magazines and fashion magazines alike will include images of the best dressed attendees at the Met Gala, Chanel’s cruise show will likely receive less mainstream attention. However, it is always quite a spectacle. For the pre-collections (both Pre-fall and Cruise/Resort/whatever you want to call it), Karl Lagerfeld takes Chanel all over the globe, showing in many exciting locations and often drawing inspiration from such places. This year for the Cruise show, Chanel is going to Seoul, the capital of South Korea. I often think that the pre-collections for Chanel are better than, and certainly more exciting than, their regular collections. For reference, Chanel is always near the end of the show schedule in Paris meaning that by the time you see the photos from Chanel, you have seen at least 100 other shows (if you’re looking online, I doubt people actually go to that many) and have probably seen about 10,000 photos. I feel burned out looking at it all and I’m not even travelling. However, for the pre-collections, Chanel is one of the few brands that actually stage a show – many brands just show lookbooks or release photos from presentations – and they always put on a good one. Usually there is more of a story behind the collection and the different locations make it all the more exciting: think of it as all the important people in fashion going on holiday together.

This year, Chanel’s cruise show has fallen on the same date as the Met Gala. That is a problem. Now you may think “why not just change the date?” as that does seem like the most logical thing to do. However, the date has reportedly already been changed due to a clash with Dior. This isn’t the first time that a conundrum like this has occurred. The same thing happened for the pre-fall Metiers d’Art collection in Salzburg. It was held on the same day as the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that was held in London. Because of the different locations (and the not-so-close proximity) people had to choose between one and the other. This meant that fashion editors, buyers, journalists, and basically anybody that matters in fashion attended Chanel and the rest (including the celebrities, for the most part) attended Victoria’s Secret. However, this time around it is different. The Met Gala is not the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: it actually matters. It is an event that people in fashion covet a ticket to and attendance is thought of as an honour.

So how are people going to decide between the two? I’m assuming that buyers, journalists and some important editors will go to Chanel and the rest to the Met Gala. Of course Anna Wintour, perhaps the most influential woman in fashion, will go to the Met Gala as the Costume Institute is now named after her and she is heavily involved in the running of the event. For that reason, I also assume that many important American Vogue editors may also attend. However, the celebrities will be divided. I don’t think celebrities are needed at a fashion show. Their only role is to grab a little bit of press which in the end doesn’t matter because press doesn’t always translate into sales, especially if said celebrities fan base is primarily made up of teenagers who cannot afford the brand’s product. I think that celebrities will see the Met Gala as a better event to attend. For one, the coverage that they will receive will be greater, both in volume and quality. Moreover, the event looks like a bunch of fun. I’d love to get a preview of the exhibition at the Costume Institute as the exhibitions are always hugely successful and very busy. However, many may attend Chanel if their loyalty lies with Karl.

The most divided sector will be the models. Each year, some models attend the Met Gala on the arm of a designer or are often there to represent a certain brand. Last year, Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn and Chanel Iman went to the event wearing Topshop and to represent the brand. Similarly, Liu Wen wore Zac Posen, Cara Delevingne wore Stella McCartney, and Karlie Kloss wore Oscar de la Renta – all representing their respective brands. A few more models not listed also attended. Now I think it is pretty likely that these models will be invited to attend this year but will they accept the invitation? This goes back to aforementioned the VSFS vs Chanel Salzburg debacle. Both Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne were rumoured to be cast for Victoria’s Secret yet they walked Chanel. Considering that they are Karl’s favourites at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if they skipped the Met Gala and walked Chanel instead. Perhaps the rest of the models that walk Chanel will be less known ones. I don’t think that is necessarily a problem as often the less known girls are the best. When I say less known, I mean girls like Sasha Luss and Marina Nery who probably won’t be invited to the Met Gala as their social media following hasn’t hit the million mark. I don’t think social media should be an indicator of someone’s success but unfortunately it is nowadays. Anyway, my point being, the pseudo-supermodels will probably go to the Met Gala, the rest (if they get cast) to Chanel; that is fine with me.

So this is it, a cardinal sin, a faux pas, has been committed, through no fault of either party, by scheduling both events on the same date. It sounds rather silly when you think about it but it will be a big deal and a difficult choice for some. For example, for some models walking Chanel may grant them some prestige in their career and is definitely a good show to have listed on your models.com profile, but being seen at the Met Gala would do wonders from a publicity standpoint as it garners more attention with the masses than a Chanel runway does. The fact of the two events being on the same night might actually be a good thing though. At least the people who matter (for the most part) and those who are actually influential will be at Chanel, you know reviewing the runway and picking pieces to buy into their stores, and those who just generate publicity but little more will be elsewhere. Yes there will be some important people missing out (think Ms Wintour) but it is not the end of the world. After all, the Chanel show will be on style.com, the goings-on inside the Met Gala will not.

As someone who is not a model or at all important in fashion for that matter, an invite to either of the events would be appreciated but if you twisted my arm for a definitive answer, I think I’d choose the Met Gala: would you?

 

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Essays

Unpaid Internships: Slave Labour or the Labour of Love?

Unpaid internships are generally the bane of a student’s existence yet they are completely necessary for post-graduation employment. Fashion, in particular, is an industry where internships are valued as high as a Hermes Birkin is priced (read: very high). They are of prime importance in regards to gaining necessary, relevant experience and making connections that can serve you well after graduation. Internships increase chances of employment, allow you to dabble in different sections of the industry before you settle on an exact career path and also look really good on your CV/resume.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada

With all the positives just mentioned, you’re probably wondering why they are such an issue?
The biggest one is the fact that they are unpaid. This means working long hours, doing many tough, and often menial, tasks all for free. Moreover, in the current job market – a pretty sad state of affairs – many interns have already graduated and are interning in the hope of gaining employment at the end of it. Internships can be like a full-time job, 40 hours or more a week, yet without the nice pay packet at the end. Furthermore, interns can be playing a vital role to the success of the business yet getting zero compensation besides the name of the company on their work history and occasionally their travel expenses paid. This is the demoralising part. And to combat this what has been done? Well there are now many regulations in place. The US Department of Labour has released guidelines (6 of them) which aims to ensure that the person who benefits from the internship is the intern themselves – not the multi-billion dollar/pound/whatever damn currency organisations. The guidelines are:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to
    training which would be given in an educational environment
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern;
    and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the
    internship

The document is linked here.

So why is it, with all these rules in place, do unpaid internships continue to remain the norm in the fashion industry? You know, the ones that don’t stick completely to these rules? Simply because they are necessary. Not for the businesses really, but for the mass of fashion graduates and other hopefuls who are aiming to pave their way in the business, they are crucial. For as long as we are willing to work for free, the mass of unpaid internships will continue. Supply and demand in the most basic sense. Fashion is an extremely competitive industry and if doing that one extra internship with a big name company can help your application for the job of your dreams stand out over others, wouldn’t you do it?

The real life "Devil", Anna Wintour (on the right) and Grace Coddington

The real life “Devil”, Anna Wintour (on the right) and Grace Coddington

Internships can be thought of as a sort of survival game. A way to weed out the weak and hangers-on who will never actually make it in the fashion industry. They help separate the people who are starry-eyed and slightly deluded to the reality of fashion from the ones who are serious. Fashion is a business and also sort of like a jungle, but less barbaric. The rivalrly is extremely high and only those who can stick it out will survive. Think of yourself as a tree in the rainforest competing for light, aiming to reach higher than your peers in order to survive. That is similar to fashion. The resources are limited. In fashion I mean the jobs and in my slightly unnecessary rainforest analogy, the space to reach the sunlight. Unpaid internships are a way to show your commitment and dedication whilst also making contacts and forming relationships with people who may help you in the future, helping your tree to grow so to speak. You never know who you will cross paths with and fashion is said to be a very intertwining (pardon the pun), close-knit industry where everyone knows everyone – or at least those who are important.

In regards to everyone knowing everyone, everyone also knows that those who are in the positions of power now have likely all been in the position you are in now (ie. right at the bottom of the ladder, working for free). Nobody gets everything handed to them, unless nepotism levels are particularly high that day. So whilst it may feel demotivating working for free and you probably think you’re slightly overqualified, the reality of it is that everyone starts on the lowest rung of the ladder and has to fight their way up – hopefully not literally. Internships are almost a rite of passage. And you never know, if you perform extremely well on an internship and really stand out to your superiors, they will remember you and maybe even consider you for employment in the future. Even if they don’t employ you, they may recommend you if they know of jobs available that you may be suitable for.

Another from the Devil Wears Prada, in the fashion closet, a place where many interns at magazines will spend their days

Another from the Devil Wears Prada, in the fashion closet, a place where many interns at magazines will spend their days

Recommendation from others in the industry may be the only way of getting a job at some big companies nowadays as a result of the crackdowns on unpaid internships which have been likened, ridiculously and slightly insensitivity, to slave labour. Making a rapid, sweeping generalisation here: Everyone dreams of working at Vogue. If you love fashion, the thought has probably crossed your mind at least once or twice. For the lucky some, interning here was a reality. They got to live and breathe fashion and brush shoulders with icons like Anna Wintour. Although it probably wasn’t very glamorous but we all know not to expect that anyway. However, some can’t take the heat and compared it to a real-life  The Devil Wears Prada experience and ruined it for everyone. If you plan to intern at Vogue, or even any other Conde Nast title (The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, W, WWD), think again. Unless you are lucky enough to have some close personal connection who can find a way to jump through flaming hoops and sneak you through the door, it is not going to happen. Conde Nast has discontinued its internship programme after former interns at W and The New Yorker sued in regard to unpaid labour laws.

Were these former interns right for speaking up? I’d say no. Firstly, they have completely tarnished their own names and therefore credibility in the industry. I can’t see how anybody would want to hire them after this, mainly because unpaid internships are expected and pretty much a requirement for working in fashion. To find yourself above this makes you look most unprofessional and unwilling to work hard. Secondly, as a result of their complaining, the chances and opportunities of up-and-coming talent have been slashed. Yes, everyone knows it is shitty having to work for free but that is just the way it is. Grow up and get down to business.

Am I being harsh? Perhaps. But you need to be tough in business. Yes, it is ridiculous working for free, especially because the cities in which the most fashion opportunities exist are among some of the most expensive to live in – in the entire world. According to the Telegraph, Paris is the 8th most expensive, New York the 5th and London the most expensive as of 2014 to reside. However, if you want to work in fashion, you’re generally not in it for the money, more for the love of it. You’re used to having little money to spend (or splurge). You realise that until you are about 35 you’re likely to make so little that you question why you’re still doing it. Throughout college (when most people are doing internships), it is vital to work on your time management skills so you can afford to do unpaid work. Work in a coffee shop, a restaurant, a bar – wherever you can to make the ends meet. Work in fashion retail at the weekend to gain some relevant experience too. Put 100% effort in for your four years of college and do it until you think you can’t do it any longer. Push yourself to breaking point and if you still want it, fashion is the industry for you. If you don’t care any longer, if you don’t have a burning passion, if you don’t spend your spare time thinking of something else you need to do in order to succeed, save yourself some time and money; just go home.

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Editorial

And the winner is…. VOGUE ITALIA

This post is going to be brief because I don’t have many valid comments to make besides “yaaaaassss”. This is hands down the greatest cover of all the September issues. It is Vogue Italia’s 50th anniversary, hence the insanely good cover. It is a fold-out featuring pretty much every important model of today and yesterday, apart from a few notable exceptions. Basically, this is how you do a group shot.

Spot your favourites!

US Vogue also had a fold-out group shot cover but it featured 9 models and dubbed them the “instagirls”, in a clever reference to the popular social media app instagram, on which the cover girls are all extremely popular. It is true that the popular models of today will never be supermodels, something that I concluded in a previous post, but that is not to say that they will not be well known. Perhaps Instagirls is a great term for them. I’d say it captures this era well. It shows the temporary nature of things as in 5 years time, we will probably have all moved on from instagram and along with that, also moved on from these girls – or most of them anyway.

This is the photo without all the cover text on it. The three girls actually on the cover are Joan Smalls, Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss (finally!!). Karlie looks amazing and I am obsessed with Andreea just now, I wish that they had put her further in as opposed to on the end though. She just looks gorgeous. From L-R: Joan Smalls, Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Arizona Muse, Edie Campbell, Iman Hammam, Fei Fei Sun, Vanessa Axente & Andreea Diaconu.

This is the photo without all the cover text on it. The three girls actually on the cover are Joan Smalls, Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss (finally!!). Karlie looks amazing and I am obsessed with Andreea just now, I wish that they had put her further in as opposed to on the end though. She just looks gorgeous.
From L-R: Joan Smalls, Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Arizona Muse, Edie Campbell, Iman Hammam, Fei Fei Sun, Vanessa Axente & Andreea Diaconu.

Vogue Italia’s cover is different. It features a combination of the true supermodels along with the newer girls. It was shot by Steven Meisel and features a sepia effect which gives the cover a sort-of timeless feel. It gives you the idea that this is an issue that should be kept, a collectors edition so to speak. The general reaction online has been wholly positive. I think everyone, on tumblr at least, is excited by all the models and enjoys spotting their favourites in there. Overall, I’d say it is a sublime cover and hands down the greatest this month. Well done Franca and Meisel, I can only imagine ever doing something that brilliant. And yes, I will be ordering it online.

Here are the editorial images linked from TFS, (scroll down a little).

And here is the full cast list below:

Naomi Campbell, Raquel Zimmermann, Amber Valletta, Carolyn Murphy, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Karen Elson, Natalia Vodianova, Edie Campbell, Stella Tennant, Jamie Bochert, Vanessa Moody, Mariacarla Boscono, Daria Strokous, Issa Lish, Iselin Steiro, Liya Kebede, Julia Nobis, Anais Mali, Meghan Collison, Lexi Boling, Jessica Stam, Saskia de Brauw, Vanessa Axente, Coco Rocha, Fei Fei Sun, Aymeline Valade, Julia Stegner, Sasha Pivovarova, Natasha Poly, Elise Crombez, Anna de Rijk, Ophelie Guillermand, Hilary Rhoda, Guinevere van Seenus, Karlie Kloss, Isabeli Fontana, Miranda Kerr, Cindy Bruna, Jourdan Dunn, Liu Wen, Caroline Trentini, Amanda Murphy, Joan Smalls, Candice Huffine, Anna Ewers, Cameron Russell, Sasha Luss, Candice Swanepoel, Adriana Lima.
As you can see, there is no Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen, Daria Werbowy, Freja Beha, Arizona Muse, Cara Delevingne (but she did get both UK and US Vogue), Lara Stone (who got Dutch Vogue), and Doutzen Kroes (who I’m guessing was a little too pregnant for this shoot), among many others. As always there are people pining after their favourite models who didn’t make it on the cover; for example, I’m a little bit sad that Lindsey Wixson and Kelly Mittendorf didn’t make the cover but hey, we got 50 models, it would be ridiculous to complain about one or two being missing.
Enjoy the issue!

 

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Essays

Grunge?

I am bored. Today is the first time that I have left the house in almost a week and the only reason was to go to the supermarket. I’ve taken it upon myself to actually find a worthwhile way to fill my days (besides constant job hunting and life planning) in the meantime. The first step, I’ve decided, is to watch some classic fashion shows and really learn more about fashion history. I didn’t want to go too far back early on, like early 1900s or even before, so I decided to start with Marc Jacobs’ Perry Ellis grunge collection that caused much controversy back in 1992 – over 20 years ago, wow.

Perhaps I have become desensitized or perhaps times have just gotten wilder because when I watched the runway show I was not shocked at all. Now you may be thinking “how on earth has she gone this long without seeing the collection?”, which to be honest I am thinking the same. I have heard so much about it as it truly is an infamous collection.  I think I have seen images of it at some point in life and I have certainly heard about the impact that it made. However, shocking it was not.

Christy Turlington opening the show

Christy Turlington opening the show

I actually really enjoyed watching the show for the first time (which can be seen on the Marc Jacobs website) and seeing the impact that it made on me today. It was fun seeing all the legendary supermodels at work. The show was opened by Christy Turlington and seen appearances from pretty much all of the big models from that time. I smirked seeing Naomi exit the runway at the wrong side and almost cause a collision with the next model – she didn’t lose composure and sort of made me believe the other model was at fault. The soundtrack was superb. Also, it was also great to look in the crowd and spot Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington sitting front row and more so, the lack of socialites and Kim Kardashian types next to them. Furthermore, the show seemed like a much more intimate experience. Today they seem slightly overcrowded and, unless you’re sitting front row, I’m guessing you’d feel a little detached from the whole experience (and your view likely a little obscured). There wasn’t the whole bloggers and famous-for-being-famous types in amongst all the industry professionals. (Bloggers at fashion shows is something I don’t really get, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t turn down a ticket but I wouldn’t feel like my presence would be vital to the show, designer or success of the collection – unlike buyers and editors who have the real power.)

Featured in American Vogue

Featured in American Vogue

In regards to power, in fashion I have very little. As a blogger, my opinion is just that. In that regard, my definition of grunge is a little different from what I seen in the show, well vaguely. It is difficult to put into words what grunge means to me, it’s a little ambiguous and probably all in my head. It’s a way of life that I can only imagine a rock-star understanding fully. Perhaps think Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, check shirts, worn and torn clothes, ripped denim and some Doc Martens – everything looking a little slept in. It’s more a way of life in my eyes. It encompasses not only how you dress, but also the music you listen to, the way you carry yourself and just the overall look and feel of things. Grunge came about in a period of severe economic recession in the US. It wasn’t exactly a concious choice made by these people to look a certain way, more a necessity to keep warm and clothed. When I seen the collection, I was somewhat perplexed at how different it was to what I expected. It was tamer and had lots of florals. The collection was inspired by the Seattle grunge scene and paid homage to this whilst putting on a bit of a fashion twist. I’d call it more “hippie grunge”. I’d say the two styles seemed to overlap.I expected something dirtier, grittier, tougher – something a little bit different.

Same as before

The difference I’d say made the collection more fashion, less streets (although grunge intended to be anti-fashion, more-struggling-to- pay-bills-can’t-afford-any-better type thing unfortunately). I mean I can understand some of the shock: the models wore flat shoes for the most part (often Doc Martens style boots and I’m pretty sure I spotted some mules, chucks and Birkenstock style ones in there too), there were slits in the dresses and skirts high up the legs and slashes across the waist, hats which reminded me of those traditionally worn by Santa Claus (wrong colours of course and sadly minus the pom-pom), and lots of sheer fabrics. This was a big change from the ultra-glamorous super-sexy styles that were being shown elsewhere. The fact that a new kind of sexy was being presented was probably the biggest issue. Such a drastic change tends to make waves. I’m guessing that was what caused the fashion crowd shock anyhow.

naomi-campbell-credit-catwalking

Naomi Campbell in one of the beautiful floral dresses. The dress that preceded this in the show was one of my favourite pieces in the whole collection but I couldn’t find an image of it. If you watch the show you will see it.

The shock on the streets was also very real. Those who had been hit by the recession of the early 90s, and as a result were dressed this way, were less than happy about the collection. As it always is in fashion, the clothes were exorbitantly priced.  Dresses were made from expensive fabrics like silk when the real grunge kids wore polyester; their flannel shirts from second-hand stores whereas the ones shown on the runway made from pricey material imported from Italy. It just didn’t go down well. I think people failed to see the point of buying a highly priced item that you could easily get elsewhere for so much less. Fashion has a funny way of generally infuriating the masses.

They were not alone in these thoughts, the Perry Ellis company who didn’t even produce the collection. Kurt & Courtney, who were sent the collection, reportedly seen it as a bit of an insult and were most displeased – I read that they burned it. The collection was shocking? In the 90s I guess so; it got Marc Jacobs fired after all.

Kate Moss and Kristen McMenamy close the show

Kate Moss and Kristen McMenamy close the show

However, I enjoyed it; it still is refreshing. I don’t know if it was because the models were so beautiful that they could probably sell a belted potato sack or if it was a genuine love of the clothes but I liked it – a lot. I mean, some of it I hated obviously but how often do you see a collection and love every item? I adore the way that the dresses flowed behind the models as they walked. I just liked the overall vibe of the collection. It feel cool and very nonchalant. I was not even alive when this collection came out so obviously I can’t really gauge the impact that it had at the time. I don’t know how people truly felt, I am just going by whatever information I can gather on the topic. Upon watching it myself, I am sold. I think I finally get Marc Jacobs. If he presented this collection next season, I wouldn’t be disappointed. I’d say it has definitely stood the test of time.

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