Fashion

A Take On “Fashion’s Gossip Addiction”

Vanessa Friedman wrote an interesting essay for The New York Times about fashion and the culture of gossip that has permeated the industry in an unmistakeable way. Friedman argues that because everybody spent so much time gossiping throughout fashion month rumors were started that were likely false (some widely, obviously unsubstantiated) and people failed to pay attention to the clothes. If a designer produced a good, almost daring collection, it was “a final collection”. People assumed that if a designer took a risk, they were on their way out. People speculated that designers were getting fired, that they were unhappy in their jobs, that they were being replaced by another big name – all for no reason.

Friedman argues that the reason for the surge in gossip is the ever-changing creative direction of brands. Started by Alexander Wang at Balenciaga, a three-year tenure tends to be the standard for designers at a brand. Raf Simons lasted for just over three years at Dior, too. It is not like the past where designers would stay at the helm of a brand for decades, like Karl Lagerfeld at both Chanel and Fendi. Riccardo Tisci, who spent twelve years at Givenchy, was rumoured to be headed to Versace. Those rumours were eventually squashed, now to have been replaced by rumours that Kim Jones of Louis Vuitton menswear is headed there. The hysteria over who is going where, and who is staying put, has overshadowed the actual creations in many instances, with designer debuts happening each season.

However, this gossip culture isn’t totally unfamiliar given that, as a society, we thrive off of gossip. It is like a poison that we keep going back to – the forbidden fruit. Anytime a celebrity does anything, there is a news article about it. We are people who like to know every little detail of a person’s life. If a celebrity posts something mildly cryptic on social media, there will be numerous fan-accounts dissecting the meaning, plus a DailyMail article (featured on Snapchat for maximum exposure, of course) recapping it all. Think of all of the controversy surrounding the alleged Kardashian-Jenner pregnancies – only one of three have been confirmed, yet every outlet is on bump watch, closely monitoring each sister’s goings-on. To think that the fashion industry has been polluted with the same poison makes a lot of sense.

I particularly liked Friedman’s analysis of why fashion may just be lacking that little something nowadays. She says it is because, paraphrased, that designers, due to their lack of commitment to the brand they are working at, have a lack of commitment to “vision”. Everything is just temporary. Brand codes aren’t getting made and long-term impact has been traded in for a short-term boost via social media impressions. This makes it harder for anybody to be invested in the brand, whether that be department store buyers who are choosing where to spend their open-to-buy each season (Is it worth investing heavily in a line that may go a completely different direction the next season, thus confusing their customers?), shoppers choosing where to spend their money (Are buzzy items really worth it? Often, no.), and the actual staff who work for the company, from the corporate side of things like the merchandisers and the sales team all the way down to the people who work on the design side of things in the ateliers. It must be hard to be heavily invested in your job and the company’s vision just to have it change again and again. That’s why after a designer leaves a brand, often many of the staff do too. The commitment isn’t to the brand itself but to the designer. The loyalty lies with the person, not the corporation that pays the bills. When Alber Elbaz was fired from Lanvin, the team was angry and disappointed. Having an unhappy workforce can’t be a productive environment.

All of this links back to the increasing pace of the fashion industry. Things are going at an unsustainable speed. People are getting burned out earlier than before. Too many people are quitting whilst they can. Furthermore, the fashion cycle is going quicker meaning that designers have to innovate season-upon-season (which have gotten closer and closer together) meaning that there is no time to conceptualize new ideas and build a real brand. The pace of fashion is killing creativity which in turn is leading to boredom. And do you know what bored people do? They gossip.

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Fashion

Weekly Words: 14th September 2017

“Made Gold Founder Confronts Good American’s Emma Grede at La Conference Following Copying Claims” – Fashionista

Kylie Jenner in Made Gold – October 2016

Khloe Kardashian’s denim line “Good American” had the most successful launch in history. Since then, the brand has gone from strength to strength, introducing new product lines and receiving distribution in department stores across America. However, the feedback for the brand has not always been positive. The brand has been marred by claims of copying smaller designers, asking for samples of their products then replicating it almost to the stitch and then selling it on their site, reaping all of the products and leaving the smaller, indie designers out of pocket and out of luck. Fortunately, we are in the age of social media which means an unknown can get attention the same way that a celebrity does. Using her Instagram account, Destiney Bleu managed to draw attention to the fact that Good American stole her designs for a line of bejewelled bodysuits. Bleu was later sent a cease-and-desist letter from Good American’s lawyers and the case seems to have stalled since. Another brand which claimed Good American copied their designs is Made Gold, a smaller, indie denim line worn by the likes of Bella Hadid and even Kylie Jenner. A famous style of theirs with laces up the side of the legs was worn by the aforementioned stars before Good American apparently copied it. Instead of using social media, the founder of Made Gold chose to confront the situation directly, using a Q&A section at the Fashion Tech Forum in LA to voice her concerns. Emma Grede, Khloe Kardashian’s founding partner of Good American, instead dodged the question and the panel session ended. Unsurprisingly so, Good American chose to ignore the allegations and act like nothing happened. I think this is a poor strategy. We all know that fashion is an industry that thrives off of copycats: high-end designers copy each other, contemporary designers copy the high-end, and fast-fashion copies them all. By ignoring this process, Grede and Good American made themselves look, once again, untrustworthy and any designers who send their samples to Khloe Kardashian again risks the same copy-cat treatment. Spout off a false line about being influenced by “girls on the street, girls on social media”, whatever. Just don’t ignore it all together.

“FarFetch Is Selling 500 Gianni-era Vintage Versace Pieces” – Fashionista

Following Donatella Versace’s triumphant fashion week tribute to her late brother, Gianni Versace, which was influenced by vintage styles that he designed ranging throughout the 1980s into the early 90s, Versace-mania is back in full-flow. The brand is at the buzziest it has been in years. Smartly so, FarFetch have teamed up with William Vintage, a London-based boutique, to offer a range of archival Versace pieces for sale on their site. Many designs are almost identical to the ones that walked down the runway a couple of weeks ago, but they have the edge given that they are the real, original pieces. FarFetch’s business model is interesting. Their concept is that, instead of having their own inventory and placing a seasonal buy like other e-commerce sites do, they partner with small boutiques around the world, facilitating the distribution of the products and allowing the boutiques to reach a global market that they may not be exposed to if they tried to do it alone. FarFetch, of course, keeps a cut of the profits. I love the company and the whole idea of it, and I truly believe it is one of the most innovative companies in fashion. As for the Versace collection, there are some pretty to-die-for pieces in there – matching skirt suits, leopard printed jackets and leggings, belts and brooches, and baroque prints. The prices are very steep but what you are paying for is a piece of fashion history. I hope one day to build up my own archive of vintage designer pieces, as collectors items, not for wearing. I urge you to check out the edit – here on FarFetch.

 

A $42,000 Gucci fur coat available at FarFetch 

Gucci is the latest brand to bow to pressure and eliminate the fur styles from its product offerings, choosing to auction off the fur inventory, starting early next year. The alternative option which they will likely use is faux-fur, joining the likes of Stella McCartney (also owned by Kering, Gucci’s parent company) and Giorgio Armani. The main reason they cited for the decision to stop using fur was sustainability. I call bullshit. I think they are just trying to get a good reputation in an increasingly socially-conscious, animal-friendly, harm-nobody society that we currently live in. Caring about these things is cool and Gucci likely wants to capitalize on this mindset. Fur, a natural animal based material, is biodegradable. It causes no harm to the planet. Faux-fur, on the other hand, laden with chemical treatments and synthetic materials has been proven to cause environmental damage. We are in a time where the leader of the free world is a climate change denier, despite there being a mountain of evidence (and an increasing number of natural disasters devastating the world) to prove it to be true. In that case, shouldn’t we be looking into more natural products and materials that aren’t harmful? If you don’t want to support the fur trade, you can buy vintage styles. And if you’re wholly opposed to fur, you can just not buy it. Overall, I am just slightly disappointed in Gucci. Whatever.
FarFetch coat – $42,000
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Fashion

Harvey Weinstein’s Fashion Connection

Harvey Weinstein, notorious Hollywood producer and noted sleaze, has been hit with a serious of allegations of sexual assault and indecent exposure dating back decades. The New York Times published a damning exposé of the movie mogul last week and Weinstein has been on damage control mode ever since. The New Yorker followed up with a similar piece, filled with new damning revelations on Tuesday this week. Each publication got statements from women, some anonymous but some on-the-record detailing the gross misconduct of Weinstein over the decades. Subsequently, Weinstein was fired from his own company last weekend, after initially suggesting he would take a “leave of absence” to seek therapy and counseling. Judging by the fact that this behavior has been occurring for decades and Weinstein has continued to abuse his position of power to get what he wanted from people and used it to force people into silence, I somehow believe that counseling won’t do the trick and that this is perhaps just a line to keep people quiet. Weinstein’s connection to the fashion industry comes in the form of his soon-to-be-ex-wife, Georgina Chapman, the co-founder of red-carpet label Marchesa. Despite Weinstein’s lack of professional ties to the company, the brand seems to be collateral damage, marred by the fall-out of the scandal. One can’t help but wonder how many stars wore Marchesa to their premieres just because Weinstein coaxed them to do so. How many stylists does he have a “relationship” with that encourages them to dress their clients in the brand? Furthermore, Weinstein has a lot of friends in the fashion industry, through his wife, who likely knew or at least had an inkling about the kind of man he was and the behavior that he subjected those around him to. One wonders how long this cover-up has gone on for.

The Hollywood Reporter’s coverage of the events surrounding this scandal has been my go-to source as they have information from all sides of the story: the legal side, the movie & Hollywood side, and the fashion side. In an article entitled “Harvey Weinstein puts wife’s Marchesa fashion brand in a tough spot“, THR examines the impact of the scandal on Marchesa, the hugely successful eveningwear (and bridal) line designed by Chapman and her business partner Keren Craig. The label was already beginning to draw criticism for their presentation at Bridal Fashion Week, with one commenter mentioning the link between Chapman profiting off women whilst her husband sexually assaults them. Weinstein’s connection to the fashion industry goes further than just his wife’s brand though. He has served as executive producer on Project Runway, the fashion-design focused competition where his wife has served as a guest judge on numerous occasions. According to the same article, Weinstein’s name has been removed from the credits of the next episode. He is also close friends with Anna Wintour, yet to comment on the allegations, who has helped him set-up a variety of business deals and has hosted events with the mogul. In terms of fashion business ventures, he tried to revive the Halston label in 2007 (with family friend Rachel Zoe as one of the creative consultants) and he bought the Charles James name, known best for the Met Gala exhibition about America’s first couturier.

Weinstein pictured with Rachel Zoe in 2009, who is yet to speak on the scandal.

Weinstein’s close relationships with those in the fashion industry, plus his business interests, make this an interesting connection between what could’ve been a solely Hollywood scandal and one that has now crossed over to a whole new industry (not to mention politics, given that Weinstein is a firm Democrat who has donated millions of dollars to various campaigns for the likes of Hillary Clinton). Disappointingly, few people have spoken out against Weinstein. Donna Karan made a huge PR misstep (and exposed a real personal flaw) when she spoke out in support of Weinstein, citing the way women dress and reinforcing rape culture in one little statement. Her statement, made during a red carpet appearance last Sunday, effectively blamed the victims of Weinstein’s assault because of the way they were dressed, saying “How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality? And what are we throwing out to our children today about how to dance and how to perform and what to wear? How much should they show?”. Karan received backlash for her comments almost instantaneously from the likes of Rose McGowan (who has been alluding to Weinstein’s behavior for years now) and chef Anthony Bourdain, plus the scorn of the entire internet. The following day, Karan said that her statements had been taken out of context and that they were not intended in that manner. Unfortunately, this apology fell flat, in my opinion, because her initial thoughts on the matter were expressed clearly. Both her initial statement and her apology have been written about in more detail on The Hollywood Reporter, which I will link below. I spotted a few people saying that they should boycott Donna Karan products but this is counterproductive given that she sold her company a few years ago and has no part of the business anymore. Regardless of what people want to do, expressing scorn for Karan’s statement seems like the right idea. Going forward, it will be interesting to see if any more figures in the fashion industry comment on the Weinstein situation.

From what we all know now, Harvey Weinstein has committed some disgusting and unforgivable crimes since her ascent into power, spanning over at least three decades. Not only have these acts taken place, but they have been ignored. Hollywood has taken part in a long-term cover-up, on the lowest level by Miramax employees and all the way up to A-list stars like Matt Damon and Russell Crowe (who were accused of having a story nixed back in 2004). From what has been reported, people have known about Weinstein’s behavior for a long time and have chosen to ignore it for the sake of their careers or fear of legal action from Weinstein’s cutthroat defense team. On top of all of this, many people have benefitted from Weinstein over the years, whether that be in terms of monetary compensation, movie roles, or exposure. His wife apparently knew of his behavior but his connections helped her grow her business, getting it worn by A-listers the year of its launch. I wonder how many other people stayed quiet for similar reasons?

Further (required) reading

The New Yorker exposé

Bridget Foley on Harvey Weinstein – WWD

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Fashion, Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week Highlights – Spring 2018

I went into fashion month this time around feeling very disillusioned by it all. I was bored of the Instagram antics. I was sick of seeing all of the parties being discussed instead of the actual clothing. I was just over it, in general. Then something changed. Maybe the parties in the other cities aren’t as intense, maybe I just don’t follow the right people online. Regardless of the outcome, I feel that as fashion month progressed we did actually hear more about the clothes (and there have been quite a few really great shows this season too). Paris is the end of it all, the grand finale.

A very shiny coat from Kenzo.

Jacquemus is one of my favorite shows of fashion month. The next few looks are from him also.

None of this collection was entirely new. You could already get these clothes, or at least things very similar elsewhere, but for some reason, perhaps the styling, I just got a certain mood that I don’t get when I see similar styles elsewhere and it just charmed me.

I love the colors.

The drape of this top reminded me of a great dress that I wore on vacation last month.

Always here for a headscarf. Also, I love the liberal use of blush in this show. It makes me wish I had a tan so a little rouge on the cheeks would look glamorous instead of flustered on me.

A polka dot sarong is what we all need on vacation really.

This outfit feels very Yves, at Saint Laurent.

The boots! The romper! Yay! at Saint Laurent

This leather jacket is so awesome… c/o Saint Laurent.

I really like this entire look at Olivier Theyskens.

Very sexy at Theyskens.

Logomania at Lanvin?

Virgil Abloh’s best collection yet, in my opinion, at Off-White

I say yes to the dress (and one of my all time favorite models, Bianca Balti) at Off-White

I looooooove this entire look!! Very unexpected for Off-White.

Sophisticated tailoring at Off-White.

I love how the print of both the skirt and the boots is like an abstract floral, almost snakeskin. It looks super cool. This is from Chloé.

I am adoring everything that Julien Dossena does at Paco Rabanne. This dress is amazing. It’s paisley and chainmail all in one, with a cute and flirty silhouette. Yes!

More from Paco Rabanne. The asymmetry is cool and I am trying to work out if this is a dress or a long top over a skirt? Either way, I like the finished look.

Cute slogan shirt, sexy skirt, and a great boot. I feel like this is a modern woman’s uniform c/o Paco Rabanne.

This is the look of a Bond girl from the 1970s. She is the pretty sidekick who is a slight damsel in distress but still smart. Think Dr Goodhead from Moonraker. I love it. (Still Paco Rabbane.)

Balmain is entirely formulaic at this point but there’s always a couple of good looks per season. In this case, I like this dress on Bianca Balti.

I love the twist details on this crop top at Haider Ackermann.

This struck me as sexy Prada at Mugler.

Altuzarra was sorely missed in New York but really it was worth the wait in Paris.

You know the saying “she looks like a million dollars”? Well, in this case you can look like one-hundred thousand euros c/o Balenciaga.

Bill Gaytten is often overlooked at John Galliano, despite being his right-hand man for years. This dress would look fantastic on Angelina Jolie.

I liked Clare Waight Keller’s debut collection at Givenchy. It didn’t scream out Givenchy to me (perhaps because I am so used to Riccardo Tisci’s work that I am forgetting what else the house has ever looked like).

I like the combination of the various prints that were all so similar yet different, at Givenchy.

So gorgeous and romantic c/o Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. The hair here was very similar to the Vivienne Westwood show too.

This was a super cute dress from Nicolas Ghesquiere at Louis Vuitton. The Louis Vuitton show has lost so much of its buzz nowadays which is rather sad.

 

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Essays, Fashion

Why Do Fashion Brands Continue to Look Back?

It seems that fashion is increasingly referential. Nothing is really new anymore. No new silhouettes are created. No new innovations are made. Nothing. But is this a bad thing? And is it unexpected?

I started to think about this topic after catching up with all of the shows at Milan Fashion Week. There were two brands in particular that I felt specifically looked back in time, into their own archives – Versace and Dolce & Gabbana. However, their techniques were different. Versace was deliberate, Dolce & Gabbana was not.

This season’s Versace show was, as Donatella put it, a tribute to her late brother Gianni Versace, to mark the twenty year anniversary of his death. The show was filled with her takes on his most famous designs. It was like the highlight reel of Gianni Versace’s career and what made him, and the family name, famous and into a brand. Donatella looked back into the archives (no, literally, she went to the physical archives and looked at his pieces) and chose the silhouettes and prints which were most iconic and ran with it. She featured the Marilyn Monroe and James Deen portraits by Andy Warhol (which Gianni turned into a multi-colored, tile print), she used the baroque that was last en vogue back in 2013 when hip-hop artists like Migos and Drake were obsessed with the brand, and the leopard print (most notably, the yellow version worn by Kaia Gerber who opened the show). According to this New York Times article on the show, “Every garment will come complete with a label that notes the collection and the year, so consumers will know the moment of origin.”. It is a way to incorporate the brand’s history into it’s present show but do it in a way that is of the moment but still collectable. I suspect that items from this show will be just as valuable as the originals from 20+ years ago. Many have wondered if this collection was Donatella’s farewell to the brand as rumors about her imminent departure have been swirling for months now, but she says otherwise. It was, in fact, just a tribute to her late and beloved brother. Of course, no mention of this show would be complete without bringing up the finale which featured the supermodels of Gianni’s shows marching out to Freedom ’90, the iconic George Michael song which lent its sounds to a Versace show back in 1991. Of course, the crowd went wild for this. It was nostalgia at its finest, and that’s what made this show great.

The finale gowns at Versace.

Dolce & Gabbana, on the other hand, offered none of the nostalgia factor. They produced a show of beautiful, albeit boring, clothes that could’ve been any one of their shows from the past five years. Dolce & Gabbana refuse to innovate anymore and it has gotten dull. It is hard to believe that 10 years ago, they were one of the main attractions in Milan and they actually made futuristic, fashion-forward styles. Remember the show opened by Snejana Onopka strutting down the light-up runway, after arriving in a glass elevator and descending down some stairs, to the sound of Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back? That would never happen nowadays. Instead they play it safe, season after season, year after year. I guess they are doing what works for them and their business, but that is why Versace was all over your social media for the entire weekend and Dolce & Gabbana was a blip that almost went unnoticed.

Dolce & Gabbana SS07

Designers often look back though, at their past work (like the No. 21 show, also at Milan Fashion Week), or at the brand’s own heritage. That’s what almost every designer does who becomes the Creative Director of a storied brand, like Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne. The chainmail, futuristic styles are nothing new, but they work and people love them because they look cool. It is said that Alexander McQueen was so impressive because he is one of the only designers of the past quarter century to create a brand new silhouette, the Bumster, the ultra low-rise pant style which exposed the top of the butt and caused women to shave their pubic hair because the top of the area was revealed. When the Bumster trickled down into mainstream fashion, it came in the form of low-rise jeans, beloved by your favorite mid-2000s celebs who loved to show off their g-strings peeking out above their waistband.

McQueen’s Bumster

Maybe this is just how fashion is going to be going forward. It isn’t about innovation. It’s about commercialism. It’s about sales. It’s about social media coverage. It’s about short-term attention. It’s about building a brand. The only way to build a brand is to be consistent, but I believe that there is a way to do it by innovating or making some changes and introducing new things along the way.

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Fashion

Milan Fashion Week Highlights – Spring 2018

Yay! Italy! Milan Fashion Week was always my favorite out of the four weeks when I was younger. Now with the revamped Gucci, Milan is even more of a staple than it used to be. Some people even skip London and go straight to Milan from New York. I used to always love Milan because I felt that the designers often presented a unified front in the sense that they always designed very feminine and womanly clothes. I also used to love Dolce & Gabbana and I looked forward to the show each season. Now I don’t care for it as much as before but I can still appreciate the beauty. Things have changed slightly but Milan still remains one of the highlights of fashion month for me.

I love the monogram skirt at Gucci.

Cardigan goals at Gucci.

Like pajamas, but more chic c/o Gucci.

Always here for a leopard print coat c/o Gucci.

Another fantastic cardigan c/o Gucci.

I love the print on this coat and the fur cuffs. I do not like how, out of 108 looks, only 8 of the models were black. Come on Gucci….

A very pretty collection from Fausto Puglisi and not at all what my preconceived notion of his work is.

I love this print at Francesco Scognamiglio.

Same again at Francesco Scognamiglio.

I love this sheer trench at Max Mara.

I love this look from head to toe because of the variety of textures used and the great color palette, c/o Salvatore Ferragamo

I love how this riffs on the lace-up trend of the past few seasons but gives it an elegant twist via the use of a silk scarf / ribbon, c/o Salvatore Ferragamo.

Versace was the best show of Milan, purely because of all of the self-referential, throwback styles.

Looooove the dress and the boots together. I wish I could wear this look. (Still Versace, of course.)

Omg. That’s all. (Versace, still.)

One of the most understated, but still glam, looks of the Versace show.

Very cool, at Prada.

I wonder if the sleeves on this coat are permanently rolled up? At Prada.

Amaaazing jacket at Prada.

I want to see this yellow shirt by itself because I think it would be super cute and wearable, c/o Prada.

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Fashion, Fashion Week

London Fashion Week Highlights – Spring 2018

London Fashion Week is not normally my favorite fashion week out of the big four. My favorite show always tends to be Topshop, which, as a fast-fashion retailer, is not expected. I think there have been some major losses to London Fashion Week, the same way that New York has experienced an exodus this season, especially with Tom Ford choosing to return to America. His was a show that you could count on for glitz and glamour. Regardless of the losses, there were still a few great shows. Here are my favorite looks!

Topshop is always my favorite show of LFW. Here is an ultra-cozy looking coat.

Another great coat from Topshop. Also into the Madonna style lingerie underneath. This collection had a lot of late 80s influences which I dig.

Snake and satin layering at Topshop.

Snake leather coat too, yay! c/o Topshop again

Updated tuxedo dressing c/o Topshop.

A showgirl at Topshop.

Vintage Pucci vibes at Peter Pilotto.

A goddamn look at Chalayan.

Electric color and sharp suiting at Gareth Pugh.

I’m always here for liberal use of vinyl, c/o Gareth Pugh.

More snakeskin but with the famous Dapper Dan silhouette that Gucci copied… c/o Halpern

More Halpern

This will definitely get a red carpet moment c/o Ralph & Russo

Fluidity c/o Ralph & Russo

I’ve been noticing a hell of a lot of red boots in the shows, likely the Fendi effect (already copied by Zara). This look is Preen.

If you haven’t noticed red as the color of this season yet, Antonio Berardi is here to remind you.

Ruffles and blazer dressing at David Koma.

The prettiest blue color at Emilia Wickstead.

A red carpet worthy moment at Emilia Wickstead.

Julien Macdonald doing what he does best.

This reminded me of the dresses worn by Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, c/o Ashish.

Nakey nakey nakey at Ashish.

I love this shot from Victoria Victoria Beckham. The model reminds me a lot of a blogger who I used to follow about five years ago!

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Fashion, Opinion

Flappers Didn’t Wear Fringe

A vital historical inaccuracy which we continue to perpetrate is the premise of flappers wearing fringe. I didn’t actually know this was the case until I read an article on Racked detailing the history of the infamous flapper dress. Think about every flapper costume you’ve ever seen on Halloween, any photoshoot in a magazine, any movie set in the jazz age – the dresses all look the same. Short and flirty with lots of fringing. Only when Hollywood tried to portray the 1920s party girls on the big screen did the extra fringing, filled with embellishments, become part of the look – and it was done for that reason, the look. Hollywood costume designers embellished the dresses so they were striking on screen, catching the light and sparking for the cameras. Real flappers didn’t wear heavy fringe. Nor did they wear super short dresses. The hemlines of their dresses were much longer than the above-the-knee styles that we wear today, and although that length seems “long” for modern standards it would’ve been too risque, too scandalous for the 1920s.

On the back of this inaccuracy, I began to think about other periods in fashion. When we think of each decade, we tend to be able to give a vague description of the styles. For example, the 1950s conjure up the full-skirted prom style dresses and Americana – blue jeans and white t-shirts like what James Dean wore. The 1960s are mini skirts and go-go boots. The 1970s are hippy-chic with flares. The 1980s are all about big, big, big with shoulder pads and power suits. The 1990s are minimalist. The 2000s were tacky-chic. But what is the present day? And what will they get wrong about us in the future?

The 2010s have been strange. Nothing new has come out of this time period in terms of fashion. Everything is instead a look back to the past. That can even be seen in the styles of denim we wear. Something as small as jeans can show a lot about culture. We started the 2010s off in skinny jeans, a run over from the 2000s when bootcut jeans disappeared to be replaced by skinny jeans, originally called drainpipes. Even these were a hark back to the past, popularized by the likes of the Rolling Stones in the 60s or even Elvis Presley in the 50s. Acid wash was a popular style in 2011 – 2012, and this was a reach back to the 80s. High waisted styles of skinnies were popular too, always with lots of elastane inside.

The silhouette got a little bit more relaxed for some people starting in (I think) 2013 when Topshop introduced the Mom jeans. Originally intended as a little bit of a joke, Mom jeans are meant to be like the jeans worn by mothers in the 1980s and 90s. High-waisted, rigid denim in an often unflattering shape, they tend to flatten and elongate your butt. I never got into these. Early adopters started wearing these towards the beginning of the decade but by 2015 onwards they were as commonplace as skinny jeans. It has now gotten to the stage where people have proclaimed skinny jeans to be dead (but we all know they will never be gone fully).

In 2017, the most coveted jean style is a pair of vintage light blue Levi’s that make your butt look amazing. Some people DIY the hems to be raw edge too. If buying vintage isn’t looking back to the past, I don’t know what is. We are in a phase where anything goes now. Denim is embellished, ripped, slashed, frayed, patched. Anything you can do to jeans, we now do. I think the increasingly casual way of dress and the impact of denim is what the 2010s will be remembered for.

Danielle Bernstein from WeWoreWhat in vintage Levi’s

What about denim will they be able to get wrong in the future? In 2050, when they are making a movie set in the 2010s how can they really go wrong when we have everything all at once? I just hope people keep their old Topshop jeans because, genuinely, I use the new Topshop styles as an indicator of where things are going with denim -100%.

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Fashion, Shopping

Exposure

 

A months or so ago, Fashionista.com published an article entitled “Free the Nipple: How the NSFW Runway Trend Translates to Retail”, a story about how nipples are prominent on the runway, often exposed through sheer fabrics or implied via the whole no-bra look, and how this movement has now reached fast-fashion stores and mass-acceptance. I’d agree with this. Perhaps it’s just living in New York and attending a very liberal school, but I’d say this is definitely the case. Most people aren’t afraid to go braless anymore, something that was frowned upon just a few years ago, and some people go even further. I remember watching a Seinfeld episode where Elaine buys her friend a bra as a gift because her friend always goes braless and gets so much attention. In turn, her friend then wears just the bra and no shirt to make a point. It was funny and classed as totally scandalous at the time, yet nowadays it is totally normal.

I created a few looks on Polyvore, as shown above, which feature either bras as shirts, bralets, mesh shirts, or lacy sheer bodysuits. I wanted to show the various different ways you could style this look for different occasions. I find myself wearing similar outfits on the regular and not feeling risque in the slightest. It’s funny how quickly things become norms.

The Fashionista article was particularly interesting because it was in the long form, something that they don’t do too often, and featured an interview with a trend forecaster who offered further insight into the matter. I’m always interested in what trend forecasting agencies have to say because they are meant to be the people who know what is happening in fashion before it even happens. At my school, we have access to databases like WGSN where we can see trend forecasts for the upcoming seasons, the same level of access that brands and other organizations can pay for. I find it fascinating to see if they are actually right or not. Often they are.

Read the article that I linked above and let me know what you think about this “trend”, if you can even call women’s body parts a trend (which is a whole other talking point).

Further reading

“Free the Nipple” – information from the organization pioneering the current version of the movement

“Free the Nipple founder Lina Esco on fighting the fight for gender equality” – i-D magazine

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Fashion, Personal

Lookbook Video – Summer Brights

I decided that in my week before beginning my job and internship I was going to style a little shoot. Originally I had planned to bring in a model but then I thought I should just try it out myself, and I think it turned out pretty nicely. What was intended to be just a small photoshoot turned into a lookbook video. Honestly, I like the outcome. It was fun to shoot. I got a new camera so I have been playing around with it and trying to work out the settings etc. This was a cool, creative project for me. Maybe I’ll do some more!

This was filmed at the beginning of June, so two whole months ago now. As I had mentioned before, I started off this summer thinking that I wanted to do styling and personal styling on myself seemed like a good avenue to go down. I thought about making more videos like this for YouTube and doing various lookbooks but alas decided against it. Since I waited so long to post this, the majority of the pieces are unavailable now, having been heavily discounted in the summer sales. Apologies for the inconvenience of this and if I choose to make a similar video in the future I will definitely be more timely!

LOOK ONE

Zara bralet & pants, not pictured ASOS heels

LOOK TWO

Zara t-shirt, ASOS dress, Old Navy jacket

LOOK THREE

Zara top & pants

LOOK FOUR

Zara top & pants

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