Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: June 10th 2017

“The Kendall Jenner Effect: How Long Can It Last?” – Business of Fashion

officially joining the adidas fam! @adidasoriginals #adidasAmbassador #adidasOriginals

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In a subscribers only article, the BOF team discussed the Kendall Jenner effect, a combination of sales and social media dominance, and how long it will actually last for. The reasoning behind this was the slew of poor publicity which Jenner has been at the forefront of in the past month or so. It was just announced last week that Jenner was the new face of Adidas, the sportswear giant where brother-in-law Kanye West has a hugely successful line. This announcement was met with significant backlash from the press and social media alike with complaints that yet another model (like Gigi & Bella Hadid, for Reebok and Nike respectively) was the face of a sportswear brand instead of using actual athletes. Of course, this was not Jenner’s fault but it seems that she was the straw which broke the camel’s back. The article goes on to compare Jenner to Pierre Cardin, in reference to perhaps diluting her brand or spreading it too thin by taking on so many partnerships – the point being Cardin ruined his brand value and Jenner risks doing the same.

“Yoox Net-a-Porter Group is going completely fur-free” – Fashionista

Looks to try in this cold af weather, Grace Jones for @fendi (1986) | #GlamourGoals #18

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In a surprising move, the Yoox Net-a-Porter group, in an effort to increase sustainability on a major scale, have decided to go completely fur-free, removing all animal fur based products from their outlet site The Outnet. Perhaps I’m finding this move more shocking than it actually is but I don’t understand the mindset behind removing all fur based products from a business standpoint, given that they are a luxury group and fur is the utmost of all luxury products. Even nowadays when people are trending vegan, fur accessories continue to remain popular, even in the form of little pom-pom bag chains. At the end of the article, the writer questions if Farfetch, their largest competitor and the site where NAP founder Natalie Massenet now works, will also go fur-free, citing it as a tempting move to follow. In my mind, this would make Farfetch do the opposite, instead stepping up their fur offering in an attempt to gain all of the sales and customers that Yoox/Net-a-Porter may have lost.

“In Hong Kong to launch second store, Virgil Abloh, Off-White founder and Kanye collaborator, opens up” – South China Morning Post

SS14 Off-White in an editorial for Uname / Unameid.com

The article I’ve linked above was a lengthy discussion with Virgil Abloh about his career and his brand. The most exciting takeaway from the piece was that Abloh’s is getting his own retrospective exhibition of his work in Chicago, at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Due to open in 2019, the exhibition will house pieces from Off-White and the other projects which he has worked on throughout his career. Instead of just looking at the clothing, the exhibition will focus on the broader societal context and millennial culture. The whole idea behind this exhibition sounds really cool and I’d like to go and visit the exhibition when it opens. Virgil’s success over the past 18 months to two years is inspirational. This is a man who has been toiling away for years and finally getting the kudos he deserves.

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: May 6th 2017

“Monica Rose splits with the Kardashians” – various sources

Monica Rose with Gigi Hadid

The biggest story that has been unfolding over the past 10 days or so is that Monica Rose, the stylist responsible for the Kardashian-Jenner extended family getting any recognition for their clothing, has been unceremoniously fired by all of her main clients, including Gigi Hadid. I was genuinely shocked when the first article saying this broke and I continue to be shocked a week later. It’s so surprising because of how long they have worked together and how nasty the split seems to be. For one, they’ve all unfollowed Monica on Instagram, despite the fact that they have been longterm friends as well as having a professional relationship. As neither party has given a reason for the split and Rose has reportedly hired lawyers (with rumors that Khloe has intent to sue), people are speculating terrible things. I’ve read that people think Monica Rose was an insider on Kendall Jenner’s recent robbery. I really hope this is not true. If it’s all a lie, it’s so horrible that Monica Rose’s reputation is being dragged through the mud. Stylists lose clients all the time. That’s nothing new. However, losing this many all at once suggests it is a personal rift instead of just a change in direction. Furthermore, Kylie Jenner is now working with one of Monica’s former assistants. That must hurt. The truth will come out eventually, and until then I’m going to keep judgement free.

“French Government to Buy Five Designer Items Each Season” – WWD

Paris Refashioned at MFIT

According to this WWD article, the French government are beginning to build a permanent collection of fashion items in an effort to preserve the country’s “cultural heritage” and are going to be purchasing five items per season to do this. Paris has been the longstanding center of the fashion universe and the fashion industry is a source of national pride for the French. It only seems natural that they would honor this institution and create a lasting legacy. The acquired pieces will form a permanent collection at the National Center for Visual Arts and will be used in exhibitions here or loaned to other museums around the world. I personally am all for the conservation of garments. Fashion can be a work of art, and I think the clothing should be displayed in museums even from a sociological or anthropological standpoint. Fashion reflects culture and I think it’s hard to tell the tale of a time properly without visually representing it in some way. It’s crazy to think now that current season Saint Laurent or Vetements could be archived and spotted in museums in 30 years time, but that’s likely what will happen. Every moment we live in becomes history. The fun part will be choosing which five items get to live on forever.

“Kendall Jenner Faces Backlash Over Vogue India Cover” – Fashionista

The past few weeks have been rough for Kendall Jenner. It seems like every move she makes is being critiqued, but rightly so. I actually agree with the backlash for this cover because I think models should have some accountability too, especially those who are as famous as Jenner. The issue with the magazine cover is that instead of using an Indian model or celebrity on a cover celebrating the 10th anniversary of the magazine, they used another white model. It doesn’t sound like much to some people but really representation matters and if you grow up only seeing images of white women held to the highest beauty standards then you may grow up thinking that only white women are beautiful, can be successful etc. That was reducing the matter down to its simplest form and representation is definitely a deeper issue. I listened to Shiona Turini’s interview on Man Repeller’s “Oh Boy” podcast earlier this week (it’s like a year old, I’m just super into the podcast right now) and she spoke about how representation matters not just in magazines but across the board. When she was a young girl she didn’t see anyone who looked like her successful in fashions (whether that be as magazine editors, PR people, buyers etc.). Visually, it matters. I just think Kendall Jenner is catching so much heat nowadays because she shirks from her problems, ignores any criticism, and just simply deletes things and moves on, whilst cashing that paycheck at the end of the day. People joke about Pepsi because she never issued an apology and tries to act like it didn’t happen. She deleted her Fyre Festival posts instead of just issuing an apology like Bella Hadid did. There are so many little things that are adding up to create a PR disaster for Jenner and really if she just took a step back and apologized nobody would care anymore.

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Celebrity & Red Carpet

Favourite Looks from Cannes 2016

A dream of mine is coming true this summer. I am going to the French Riviera! Whilst we are staying in Nice, we will be doing a day trip to Cannes. Yes, the celebrities will all be gone once the film festival is over but the place will be just as glamorous and exciting.

There is something about Cannes that just works for Kendall Jenner. This time last year she wore that exquisite purple Calvin Klein dress and just looked insanely stunning and now this year she has worn a really cool Versace gown. I love this entire look. I really don’t understand why she’s here with Magnum ice-cream but whatever, I suppose you need an excuse to actually attend events at Cannes if you’re not in the film business. She also wore a fantastic Elie Saab dress and also a Mathieu Mirano fringed dress which was pretty awesome too.

I also thought Blake Lively with her little baby bump looked fantastic. First in the Ferragamo coat dress and second in the Atelier Versace gown. Finally she wore a gold, belted slip. I had a dress so similar to this that I gave away a few months ago (it looked nowhere near as good on me, I blame the super pale skin) but now I wish I had kept it so I could recreate this look.

Lily-Rose Depp wore an off the shoulder Chanel look. Every single time I see a photo of her I am blown away at how stunning she is. It makes sense given her parents but it still blows me away. I wish I looked half as good as that at 16.

Kirstin Dunst wore white Dior Haute Couture. 

Eva Longoria wore Pamela Rowland.

Irina Shayk was in Miu Miu. There are feathers on the back!

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Celebrity & Red Carpet

Met Gala 2016

I was super excited for the Met Gala this year, mainly because I’ll actually get to see the exhibition for the first time ever! From the previews I’ve seen, the Chanel bridal look with the immense train is a stand out piece, along with some newer offerings from brands like Dior (under Raf Simons) and Prada. I’m excited to see it and explore the differences between handmade, laborious pieces and technologically created. I’m sure it will be marvellous.

An invite to the Met Gala is one of the most coveted in fashion. Nowadays I feel that celebrities attend just to attend, not because they have anything to do with fashion. Next year I hope that they trim the guest list slightly to people who have an impact on/interest in/some stake in the fashion industry but given the increased commercialisation of the event I doubt this will happen. Perhaps it is a good thing given that it is a fundraiser for the museum itself. I wonder if any of the celebrities in attendance actually donate anything to the Costume Institute, other than their presence on the red carpet?

I have to say, this is the event of the year where you can get off with taking the biggest risks in terms of fashion, not somewhere you would need to water it down. In my opinion, a lot of people could’ve pushed the theme a little further than they did, have fun with it instead of wearing straight off the runway dresses, but overall I think it was a good red carpet, although not as good as last year.

Since Manus x Machina (hand vs machine literally; man vs machine in simpler terms) is the title of the exhibition, I expected lots of silver, robotic, slightly futuristic looks and we got plenty of them. The element of the theme that I was most looking forward to was a fully technology created outfit, perhaps some 3D printing. I had hoped for some Chalayan (a true boundary pusher) or even Iris van Herpen. As far as I’m aware, neither of the designers were represented. Instead there was a helluva lot of Balmain and Louis Vuitton. I did like cool uses of texture (embellished latex on Beyonce, for example) and also the celebrities who totally switched up their look for the occasion (Zendaya’s hair looked amazing and also Kim Kardashian really suited lighter eyebrows).

In a dream world, I would’ve attended the opening wearing vintage couture, perhaps Galliano’s Dior (see above Fall 2006 looks), as something to represent the manus section of the exhibition. In a society increasingly reliant on technology (e.g. think of the havoc caused when emails go down in the office), I’d like to think man could come out on top. Or you could do a combination, how about a machine made dress hand-embellished? The clash of the two techniques and the way in which we will adapt to suit is important. And as the sub-title of the exhibition says, we are in the age of technology. However, I am obsessed with couture and the craft behind it. Let’s hope it is an art that never dies.

My best dressed

Amber Heard in Ralph Lauren Collection

Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein

Lady Gaga in Versace (PS – I wish she had taken this even further)

Kendall Jenner in Versace

Kate Upton in Topshop

Alexa Chung in Thakoon

Beyonce in Givenchy

Anna Ewers in Jason Wu

Aja Naomi King in Prabal Gurung

And the best look of the entire evening…

Bella Hadid in Givenchy

 

All images from E! Online and Elle Magazine

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Celebrity & Red Carpet, Fashion

Kendall Jenner in Cannes

When I seen Kendall Jenner’s Calvin Klein gown at the Amfar gala my eyes welled up with tears. I adore it, and yes a good dress can bring me to tears. I get emotional over the aesthetics (sad, I know). Then when I later seen photos of the dress, sans train, I loved it even more. It was the perfect transition. The dress, as I’m sure you’ve seen, is a purple and strappy with a beautiful flowing train. Her hair and make-up was also beautiful, understated yet not undone. Basically, I now love Kendall and I hope you all do too. I kid, I kid.

From vogue.com

Also, special mention to Dita Von Teese (one of my fave ladies since the noughties) who has worn flawless look after flawless look all week in Cannes, many of which were designed by Ulyana Sergeenko, the Russian couturier who I also adore; Sienna Miller, who wore Ralph Lauren; and Sasha Luss in Ulyana Sergeenko, too.

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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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Celebrity & Red Carpet

VMAs & The Emmys – Best Dressed

Ahh, MTV’s Video Music Awards are probably my favourite awards of the year. Not because I believe thereto be huge significance or meaning behind them, but mainly because the show is usually very entertaining. The artists performing really pull out all stops and put on a show that you cannot forget. So many of the biggest pop culture moments have happened at the VMAs. For example, Miley Cyrus & Robin Thicke’s unforgettable and crazily embarrassing gyrating extravaganza last year; Kanye West famously interrupting Taylor Swift, proclaiming Beyonce had the “best video of all time”; Madonna and Britney’s kiss; Lady Gaga’s meat dress; Rose McGowan’s revealing chain dress back in the 90s (which Amber Rose channelled this year). There have been so many.

This year’s VMAs were no different. I mean, yes, it was less controversial I think, but still hugely enjoyable. Beyonce’s whistle-stop tour of her “On The Run” show was incredible. It may have brought a tear to my eye, for reasons I don’t understand. Beyonce just has that power to make everybody and anybody love her, you can’t ignore how amazing she is. And when Jay-Z brought her daughter Blue Ivy on stage, it tied it all together and made it a moment you can’t forget. Especially as Beyonce announced her pregnancy to the world at the VMAs in 2011. It was a great performance and an amazing way to bring the show to a close.

The Emmys, on the other hand, is a much more tame affair. I don’t even know if the show is broadcast on the tv, if it is I have never watched it. I literally only pay attention to the red carpet looks and that is it. Well that’s what I do with most award shows anyway. All I know about the Emmys is that it honours television as opposed to music. So instead of me rambling on about what I do and don’t know, I’m going to do a little breakdown of the looks I liked the best from each awards show.

VMAs

Queen Bey in Nicolas Jebran, a Lebanese designer.

Queen Bey in Nicolas Jebran, a Lebanese designer.

Sarah Hyland from Modern Family in Kaufmanfranco.

Sarah Hyland from Modern Family in Kaufmanfranco.

Someone who I never thought would make it onto my best dressed - Miley Cyrus in matching black leather attire (designer unknown to me as of now).

Someone who I never thought would make it onto my best dressed – Miley Cyrus in matching black leather attire (designer unknown to me as of now).

This photo is purely for Kendall Jenner. I thought she looked great. She has an elegance that none of her other family members have. I didn't realise how short Kim was until I seen these photos lol. I'm not going to pass comment on Kim & Kylie because I don't want to spread negativity...

This photo is purely for Kendall Jenner. I thought she looked great. She has an elegance that none of her other family members seem to have. I didn’t realise how short Kim was until I seen these photos lol. 

Nicki Minaj in Saint Laurent. Her performing outfits were on point this year too, even with that wardrobe malfunction.

Nicki Minaj in Saint Laurent. Her performing outfits were on point this year too, even with that wardrobe malfunction.

Emmys

Taylor Schilling, from Orange is the New Black, in Zuhair Murad.

Taylor Schilling, from Orange is the New Black, in Zuhair Murad.

Sarah Hyland looking effortlessly cool. The full, formal skirt is balanced out by the strappy crop top, it's wonderful. She has made it on the list for both events.

Sarah Hyland looking cool. The full, formal skirt is balanced out by the strappy crop top, it’s wonderful. She has made it on the list for both events.

January Jones in Prabal Gurung.

January Jones in Prabal Gurung.

Kerry Washington in Prada.

Kerry Washington in Prada.

Michelle Dockery in Rosie Assoulin. I looooooove this dress.

Michelle Dockery in Rosie Assoulin. I looooooove this dress.

 

So there we go, that’s my best dressed list completed. Let me know if you agree with my choices or if there’s others you would have picked instead.

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