Is a three-day event enough for a city that was once looked at as the most fashion-forward? The epicentre of quirkiness is not only snubbed by international press and buyers any more. Designers regularly disappear from the official schedule: last season, J.W. Anderson, Burberry, and Vivienne Westwood fled the scene, and the event’s committee, chaired by GQ Editor Dylan Jones, seems completely impuissant. How long until the event becomes London Fashion Weekend Men’s? The carnage continued this season as designers Craig Green and Wales Bonner were missing in action. Fortunately, several brands still have faith in the city and deployed all their creative forces to lead off the resistance.
All can acknowledge that clothes speak volumes. They tell you about the past, they comment on the now, they anticipate the future. A good fashion designer send clothes down the runway that say something. Nicolas Ghesquière’s clothes do that. Except, his clothes also catch you off guard. If they could speak, they’d say: “Nicolas is smarter than the rest of you!” or “You weren’t expecting that, were you?” For his cruise 2019 collection, he staged a show at the Fondation Maeght in the south of France, a museum with a remarkable collection of major 20th century artists. The show participated in shutting down rumours about his imminent ousting from Louis Vuitton, which the brand had addressed in a press release confirming his contract renewal.
Between fashion weeks we like to spend some time in the design world – and the biggest event of the year (as we reported last week) is undoubtedly Salone del Mobile. The multi-location main fair, as well as the countless satellite fairs around the city, exhibits work by some of the most talented designers working today, many in partnership with heavyweight names from the worlds of luxury fashion and interior design. Should you have missed the cultural festivities, here are some of the strongest presentations from the week.
Buzzling vibes from the anticipating crowd. A few celebrity spotted front row. An empty catwalk. Lights dim. Music on! 99% of all fashion shows start like this. The modern-day spectacle of the fashion show – a format that have only come of age in the last 50 years and continues to develop by each season – is profoundly shaped by its musical backdrop, with the auditory used as a subtle way to massage the subliminal senses of celebs, buyers, and critics, and enchant them with the uniqueness of your brand. The runway soundtrack became an increasingly wide-spread phenomenon with the mega-shows of the 1980s, championed by the likes of Thierry Mugler in particular, whose 150+ look shows needed quite the musical landscape to keep critics on their tiptoes (and stay awake). In the 1990s, designers like Margiela and Helmut Lang featured tight minimalist soundtracks in their shows, enmeshing fashion more firmly in the club and music scene, and eventually giving rise to the runway DJ, who is commissioned to produced original soundtracks to the 10-minute affair. Today, names like Frédéric Sanchez and Michel Gaubert have made fashion’s hall of fame for their ongoing collaboration with French luxury houses like Louis Vuitton and Chanel, but a younger set of names like NYC figure Honey Dijon have been keeping the fashion world on the dancefloor for several years. Behold some of our favorite soundtracks and soundscapes of the last 10 years, which also, incidentally, also works wonderfully as background music for your office drinks, your showroom, or your morning shower routine.
The press have received New York’s ‘New Guard’ with an unconditionally warm embrace, or so the stream of glib praise that has been flowing unstemmed from around the middle of the decade would have you think. Show write-ups have heralded the arrival of a long-awaited revolution, lead by an army of emerging designers and their refreshingly diverse entourages. They are not wrong, the contribution made by this new generation to the on-going shift in fashion’s status is not to be downplayed. A closer listen, however, reveals old habits murmuring beneath the platitude-heavy hubbub, colouring their whoops and cheers with doubt.
Danish-American photographer Charlie Rubin takes photographic image-making into an expanded field of motifs, processes, and psychic feel. Working across classical portraiture, publishing, and painterly post-production, his work creatively reflects upon the changing notion of photography after its digital revolution, and asks how it relates to our contemporary social spirit. He recipient of the Foam Talent award from the Foam Museum in Amsterdam in 2013, which enabled him to publish Strange Paradise in 2014, a book of photographs and collages that “explored American anxiety and lethargy.” Currently preparing for an upcoming show John Doe Gallery in New York, we sit down with Rubin to discuss photo manipulation, meditation, and entropy.
Ghetto fabulous at the Freemasons Hall. CSM alum Essie Buckman’s Fortie Label is evidently a sought-after fashion week rendez-vous. Guests kept on arriving. The PRs weren’t erratic at all and looked spectacular — we’re talking hair done, nails done, outfit on point. One of them said the show would start a little late. But it took 45 minutes for the lights to finally dim and for the conversations to turn into whispers and giggles. The show had started. What a start! It was worth the wait. Opening the show, a PIMP with pink hair and a gigantic fur coat walked towards the cluster of photographers flashing their lights incessantly at the end of the runway, throwing hundred dollar bills at the audience. The tone was set, it was going to look like a Sean Diddy Combs party, a Lil Waynemusic video or a night at ALive Atlanta (that’s the famous strip club where Drake once frittered away 2 million dollars).
Burberry didn’t reach its 4% growth predicted by Bloomberg News at the end of 2017. The company saw its revenue slip by 2% instead, over the holiday period. Christopher Bailey, president and chief creative officer of the storied British brand stepped down, having failed to bring back Burberry’s appeal. Of course, looking at the bigger picture, Bailey has provided the company with growth and creative success during his 17-year tenure. The collections he created for the then-Prorsum line were at the utmost of luxury and creativity. Unfortunately, the designer hasn’t been able to restructure the label in the past few years to subsequently drive strong sales.