Thursday, November 30, 2017

Fashion Awards 2017: Everything You Need To Know

The 2017 Fashion Awards, formerly known as the British Fashion Awards, kicks off December in style, as designers, models, actresses, innovators and red-carpet personalities flock to London for a good old British knees-up.

Last year’s extravagant inaugural event under its new name, which was changed in order to open up awards to the international market, introduced several new accolades to the agenda. Categories for Urban Luxury, Creative Influencer, Business Leader, Ready-to-Wear Designer of the Year, and the Swarovski Award for Positive Change generated a new buzz around the event, while previous gongs were cut to make a tighter edit on the evening. This year’s event features 12 categories, three of which will be announced beforehand but presented on the night with the other prizes.

This year’s event in partnership with Swarovski will be held on December 4. As well as being a spectacular gala to honour so many incredible individuals, the Fashion Awards supports the BFC’s pledge in 2016 to raise £10million in 10 years to educate talented young people. “The resounding success of last year's awards reinforces that this is a target that the industry supports,” BFC chairman Natalie Massenet said of the ceremony. "We thank Swarovski for their generosity in supporting The Fashion Awards and our Education Foundation and look forward to welcoming the fashion industry on December 4 in London."

The event returns to the Royal Albert Hall, a grand venue that befits the event, which has been a landmark in the fashion calendar since 1989. Last year, Vogue's Ellie Pithers reported, an oceanic red carpet and a glittering sun, studded with 8,000 Swarovski crystals greeted attendees as light streamed out from the Italianate columns of London’s most magnificent concert hall. Once inside the auditorium, industry heavyweights were greeted by a furniture village of perfectly dusty pink velvet sofas positioned around tables littered with tulips, crimson roses, sparkling Swarovski sculptures and candles giving off an orange glow. It was a demonstration of Massenet’s impeccable taste, and will no doubt be just as splendid this year.

“The designers and brands were chosen from hundreds of international names and they represent the most creative talent and innovative businesses of the year,” Massenet told press upon unveiling the nominees back in October. As well as the household names on the list, a handful of industry favourites, including London Fashion Week’s bright young things Michael Halpern and Matty Bovan and Samuel Ross, a protégé of Virgil Abloh’s, have received their first nominations. Breakout runway star of the spring/summer 2018 shows, Kaia Gerber, has also been recognised in the Model of the Year category, and is the youngest of her catwalk colleagues in the shortlist.

Ahead of the event, Stella McCartney has been announced as the winner of the Special Recognition Award For Innovation, and Maria Grazia Chiuri is set to win the Swarovski Award for Positive Change. See the full list of nominees for the nine categories that will be announced on the nigh below.

British Emerging Talent - Menswear

Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty for Cottweiler
Charles Jeffrey for Charles Jeffrey Loverboy
Henry Holland for House of Holland
Phoebe English for Phoebe English Man
Samuel Ross for A-Cold-Wall

British Emerging Talent - Womenswear

Faustine Steinmetz for Faustine Steinmetz
Matty Bovan for Matty Bovan
Michael Halpern for Halpern
Natalia Alaverdian for A.W.A.K.E
Rejina Pyo for Rejina Pyo

Business Leader

Adrian Joffe for Dover Street Market
Guram Gvasalia for Vetements
José Neves for Farfetch
Marco Bizzarri for Gucci
Ruth and Tom Chapman for

Model of the Year

Adwoa Aboah
Bella Hadid
Gigi Hadid
Kaia Gerber
Winnie Harlow

Urban Luxe Brand

Fenty Puma by Rihanna
Gosha Rubchinskiy

Accessories Designer of the Year

Alessandro Michele for Gucci
Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent
Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga
Jonathan Anderson for Loewe
Stuart Vevers for Coach

British Designer of the Year - Menswear

Christopher Bailey MBE for Burberry
Craig Green for Craig Green
Grace Wales Bonner for Wales Bonner
Jonathan Anderson for JW Anderson
Martine Rose for Martine Rose

British Designer of the Year - Womenswear

Christopher Kane for Christopher Kane
Erdem Moralioglu for Erdem
Jonathan Anderson for JW Anderson
Roksanda Ilincic for Roksanda
Sarah Burton OBE for Alexander McQueen

Designer of the Year

Alessandro Michele for Gucci
Jonathan Anderson for Loewe
Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior
Phoebe Philo for Céline
Raf Simons for Calvin Klein

The event has already sold out, but, fret not, the Vogue team will be on the ground on December 4 reporting on all the latest news, red-carpet action and gossip from the bar. Join us here at and on the British Voguesocial channels for the inside scoop.

The Oscars of the fashion industry pulls in an A-list crowd from all over the globe, but there's also been an unusual addition to the guest list. Miss Piggy will act as the Swarovski red carpet presenter alongside Derek Blasberg with the glamorous Muppet's celebrity interviews streamed live on“I promise everyone a night of incomparable and unpredictable moi! Having moi as the red-carpet presenter for the 2017 Fashion Awards truly pushes the limits of fabulosity,” she said of her appointment.

Maria Grazia Chiuri Honoured For Positive Change

Maria Grazia Chiuri is set to receive the Swarovski Award for Positive Change at the 2017 Fashion Awards.

The award, presented for the first time last year to the late Franca Sozzani, recognises and celebrates “individuals who have made a positive impact on society, the environment or both, and forms part of Swarovski’s efforts to promote a more sustainable future,” the British Fashion Council announced this morning ahead of the December 4 ceremony at London's Royal Albert Hall.

“As Christian Dior’s first female creative director, Maria Grazia has combined her own longstanding commitment to female empowerment with true creative magic, to bring today’s most vital conversations to fashion’s front row,” Nadja Swarovski, member of the Swarovski executive board, said of the Italian designer who cut her teeth at Valentino working alongside Pierpaolo Piccioli.

Commenting on her efforts to connect feminism and fashion, Chiuri said: “The feminist movement that has been mine for the longest time has finally struck a resonant chord in society, and this recognition sends a powerful message to all women battling on a daily basis.”

Since taking the helm of the French luxury house in July 2016, Chiuri has turned political essays, including Linda Nochlin’s Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists, into products that are not only politically aware, but have garnered cult status.

"I try to speak about women now, and for the future. Dior has to be about female empowerment. Only with flowers? It’s not enough," she told Vogue of her first year at Dior. "I know that there are a lot of nostalgic people that want a world that references the past and [Dior in] the 1950s... But if I’m a modern woman who wants a vintage dress I go to Didier Ludot and I buy an authentic Dior dress. If I go to the [Dior] store, I want something that speaks about the heritage, but in a modern way, for contemporary life. I know there are other points of view, and I respect those, but that’s my point of view."

Victoria Beckham Receives £30 Million Investment

Victoria Beckham has acquired £30 million from growth equity firm Neo Investment Partners in exchange for a minority stake in her eponymous brand.

The union will allow Victoria Beckham Limited, as the global luxury fashion brand is officially registered, to enhance its digital and bricks-and-mortar retail presence, drive core categories and launch new categories and collaborations, an official statement from VBL announced this morning. The company, it reports, will move to new West London premises in the spring of 2018.

“Partnership and collaboration is incredibly important to me - working with an amazing team has been the root of the success of my business over the past 10 years,” Beckham reported of her business decision. “Neo is the perfect partner to now accompany us on the next step of our journey: they understand my vision and my wish for the company to retain its independence, as well as my commitment to continuing to develop the brand with a unique, forward thinking approach. I am hugely excited to be working with Neo."

Since the company was born in 2008, Victoria Beckham Limited has grown from a staff of three to employing 180 people worldwide across the ready-to-wear mainline Victoria Beckham, its sister line, Victoria, Victoria Beckham, and accessories, footwear and eyewear. But, 10 years after its founding, the brand, which operates two stores in London and Hong Kong and an e-commerce site, remains loss-making and has relied on support from David Beckham.

"I am so proud of Victoria's success and all of the hard work that has gone into building the business over the past 10 years. I am sure the next decade will be even more exciting," her husband said of her partnership with Neo and his investment in the company (the brand remains a part of Beckham Brand Holdings, owned equally by Victoria Beckham, David Beckham and Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment).

Stella McCartney: "We Need To Support Each Other In This Fight For Equality"

Kering's White Ribbon campaign has been close to Stella McCartney's heart since its inception. In 2012, she designed the badge to coincide with the international day for the elimination of violence against women on November 25, and has been an outspoken advocate of gender equality. She returns to the campaign this year alongside fellow designers Alessandro Michele, Christopher Kane and Joseph Altuzarra, who all share personal stories centred around the theme of #ICouldHaveBeen.

What most concerns McCartney is that in the five years since the launch of Kering's initiative, not enough appears to have changed. “We all know the issue facing men and women today," she says. "It doesn’t take a genius to realise that for many hundreds of years women have been treated as second rate citizens, and it’s not acceptable anymore. We have as many rights as men and we need to have more confidence in ourselves and allow ourselves to have a voice. And we need to do this with the support and help of men by our side.”

Solidarity is key to McCartney's message and something she has long promoted in her own business, which has been a trailblazer on issues ranging from ethical fashion to animal rights. “It’s incredibly important for our brand to show that equality is the future," she explains. "We are nearly 80 per cent women in our company, and out of that comes a great deal of strength. At the same time, we appreciate and value men and I think that’s really the future conversation. We need to support each other in this fight for equality. We can't do this alone.”

Halpern And Theo Adams Bring Avant-Garde Fashion Performance Art To Annabel’s

If you’re not already familiar with the names Michael Halpern and Theo Adams, you’re officially a dying species. As the sequins-centric designer and avant-garde director took to the floor at Annabel’s on Tuesday evening, even the Mayfair club’s well-heeled members – in all their body-con cocktail dresses, blow-dries and bespoke suits – were given a pass to the subversive glamour that defines the current waves in emerging London fashion.

When Halpern was invited to present the last-ever salon show at the Berkeley Square club’s current location – before it moves next door – he called upon the Theo Adams Company and his troupe of performance artists to stage a performance of a different kind. “I don’t think Michael really wanted to do a salon fashion show to a bunch of billionaires,” Adams quipped before curtain call, “but we start like that, and then… we fuck things up. I don’t think Annabel’s know what they’ve let themselves in for.”

Clad in Halpern’s rainbow disco sequins, performers slithered their way down a runway framed by the tables of Annabel’s dining members, the club’s ceiling covered dramatically in Christmas baubles. What followed was an emotional rollercoaster of glitter, gloom and show tunes: girls and boys and undecideds in a firework of high-octane emotion, from elation to despair and everything in between. “Unicorns with glitter canons,” Halpern reflected. “It fits so beautifully into what I’m doing. What Theo does is all about juxtaposition: glamour and destruction, and sadness and complete ecstasy.” Across the stage, some club members initially looked a little perplexed. When the performers started grabbing the backs of their chairs and head-banging at them in disco-fuelled fury, they looked a lot perplexed. But it didn’t take long before they had to join in.

“It’s kind of a naff statement, but I like to take people on an emotional rollercoaster. In the end everyone is unified in a sense of catharsis, trying to get all these rich billionaires on board to let themselves be free and just full-on emote,” Adams said. “We’ve created a performance where it’s not ‘come and look at the freaks’. We’re not the entertainment. The soundtrack starts, the lighting comes on, and we’re in control of you for twenty-five minutes. And you have to sit there and watch.” Since he debuted his signature sequins to the world two years ago when graduated from Central Saint Martins, New York-born Halpern has related his exuberant work to the socio-political zeitgeist. The show at Annabel’s was no different. “It comes from a place of feeling really sad right now, and you need that existential experience to feel more alive. Because things are really sad,” he said.

“It’s kind of a naff statement, but I like to take people on an emotional rollercoaster. In the end everyone is unified in a sense of catharsis, trying to get all these rich billionaires on board to let themselves be free and just full-on emote,” Adams said. “We’ve created a performance where it’s not ‘come and look at the freaks’. We’re not the entertainment. The soundtrack starts, the lighting comes on, and we’re in control of you for twenty-five minutes. And you have to sit there and watch.” Since he debuted his signature sequins to the world two years ago when graduated from Central Saint Martins, New York-born Halpern has related his exuberant work to the socio-political zeitgeist. The show at Annabel’s was no different. “It comes from a place of feeling really sad right now, and you need that existential experience to feel more alive. Because things are really sad,” he said.

“Whether you buy it or experience or see it, you can experience that ecstasy. That’s what’s so amazing about what Theo’s doing: people who can’t necessarily afford it – like our friends who are coming later this evening – they can experience that world, too. They are living and breathing this much more than the people living in twenty million dollar houses in Chelsea.” And so, the kids of East London poured in, neon-haired and half-naked in their fantastical character looks, mixing and mingling with the club’s rather more formal clientele. “Michael’s clothes are an interesting way of looking at how women want to dress themselves today,” said Alex Meyers, the consultant for Annabel’s responsible for the event. “What is glamour for today’s woman? We’re so much freer than we used to be. There are so many different body types, so many different ethnicities. Look at your cover: that is that,” she noted, referring to Edward Enninful’s debut issue of Vogue, featuring Adwoa Aboah. “It’s a brave new world.”

Annabel’s, of course, is no stranger to diversity. Since the 1960s, the club has been legendary for the clientele it attracted, from the Queen to The Rolling Stones. “Annabel’s has always been a mixture of high and low, the way Halpern is a mixture of high and low – of East and West London – and I think the whole point of London is that fusion,” Meyer said, referring to the designer, who lives in West London and works in East. “It’s a very unique moment in London social history. The average person is so much more stimulated through all our social mediums that glamour is so much more out there than it used to be. London has always had an element of darkness and grit that’s important to showcase. We can’t just be glam-glam-glam. It needs something more added to it to give it depth; to give it sex appeal.”

Revolutionary times call for revolutionary measures, and although Adams and Halpern both deal in glamour and entertainment, it was one of those nights when you could feel the pillars of the Earth moving a little bit. London, much like the rest of the world, is in rapid, woke evolution, revaluating its own values and differences. “In the end I think people, who would never imagine seeing something like this will be on board,” Adams said. “And I think it could be really jarring for some people, and they’ll really reject it in the beginning, but there’s no way – once you see everyone performing and really feeling what they’re doing – there’s no way not to get on board with it. It’s so emotional.”

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Balenciaga Is Offering The Ultimate Normcorporate Experience

“Corporate chic” has become the oxymoronic fashion card to play in 2017; thanks to Balenciaga, executive dressing has never looked so smart. Now you can go one step further and take up a professional role at the Balenciaga “office” – the brand’s Copyshop is coming to London’s Dover Street Market.

From November 30 to December 17, the Balenciaga Copyshop, in which customers can print personalised T-shirts, will be open for business within the cavernous DSM Haymarket space. Two work stations will be set up, “office-style”, as printing facilities. Customers can access a library of Balenciaga graphics and logo types via touch-screens, organise their placement on T-shirts and press "send to print", for instant results. The back of each T-shirt features the slogan, "

A sculpture from the American street artist Mark Jenkins (his sculptures of humans in provocative poses, placed in public places, are so lifelike they have prompted numerous phone calls to the police) will also feature in the installation, alongside video screens. The collaboration was a no-brainer for Dickon Bowden, vice president of DSM: “Quite simply Demna Gvasalia’s strength and conviction in design for Balenciaga resonates perfectly with the DSM client. We are really excited to be able to bring the Copyshop to DSM as it brings a whole new dimension of interaction.”

To add to the hysteria, on November 30 the best-selling Balenciaga Triple S trainers (we’ve dubbed them the shoe of 2018) will be available in an exclusive colourway in all Dover Street Markets worldwide - perfect for your grey, rainy commute.

Alessandra Hangs Up Her Wings

Alessandra Ambrosio has confirmed rumours that the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai was the last time she will walk for the lingerie brand.

The Brazilian beauty has modelled for Victoria’s Secret for 12 years, making her runway debut in 2005 and becoming the first model for its Pink diffusion line a year later. In 2008, she walked the runway just three months after giving birth to her first child, while 2011 saw her make brand history by wearing the heaviest wings ever created for a show. 2012 marked her Fantasy Bra debut, and in 2014 she was granted the honour again, as she joined fellow Angel Adriana Lima in wearing $2.5 million Dream Fantasy Bras.

The 36-year-old mother-of-two took to Instagram to share the news with her 8.8 million followers in an emotional post that read: “Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have been working for this amazing brand that inspires me and women all over the world. In my wildest dreams, I would have never imagined doing 17 Victoria’s Secret Fashion shows.”

The move to hang up her wings comes after a personal decision to devote her attention to her swimsuit line, Ale by Alessandra, and focus on building her acting career.

Victoria: "What I Do Now Is Still All About Girl Power"

Victoria Beckham has officially laid fresh rumours of a Spice Girls reunion to rest, after claims arose earlier this month that the girl band sensation would be returning for a world tour and a new album next year.

In an interview with ITV's This Morning, the pop-star-turned-designer said that a comeback from the five-some was off the cards. “It is not happening. At some point, you’ve got to know when it’s time say, ‘That was great’. Girl power will always be out there and is something that we all believe in.”

While the news that the legendary Nineties band - which split in 2000 after three successful studio albums, then reunited for a live tour in 2007 as well as for the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics - is not set to make a comeback, at least with its full line-up, will disappoint fans, Beckham revealed that its mantra is still at the heart of what she does now.“What I do now is still all about girl power, but it’s empowering women through fashion,” she said.

Designers Unite For Kering's White Ribbon Campaign

The Kering foundation has launched a new digital campaign for its annual White Ribbon initiative to end gender-based violence, an issue that continues to affect one in three girls and women worldwide. The campaign will run for five days, culminating on November 25, the international day for the elimination of violence against women. To celebrate the initiative, now in its sixth year, Kering has collaborated with brand ambassadors including Alessandro Michele, Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney, Joseph Altuzarra and Salma Hayek.

In an effort to break the silence and raise awareness, they share personal stories centred around the theme of #ICouldHaveBeen, imagining how their lives would have been different if they had been born a girl, or been a victim of gender-based violence. "We all could have been born a girl," says Kering's chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault. "Being born a girl, should not equate to a higher risk of violence. Yet unfortunately, it is the case in our world today. We all must take on this combat." Michele agrees, saying simply, "There should be no boundaries, no hierarchy, no violence. Men and women are equal."

For the designers involved, the issue is especially poignant. "My sister Tammy and I were raised as equals," says Kane. "Today there are lots of labels that are used to define us. We should be all seen as equal, given the same opportunities." To highlight the existing inequalities, the digital campaign asks the ambassadors to assume new names. While McCartney and Hayek become "her", to show solidarity with survivors, men reveal the names their parents would have given them if they had been born a girl. Kane becomes "Christine" while Michele is named "Camilla" and Altuzarra "Juliette".

"Asking my parents what name they would have chosen if I had been born a girl was an eye-opener," says Altuzarra. "It is exasperating to think that, as Juliette, I could have been less safe or less powerful. Women are not a lesser sex. We must ensure they are never treated as such." Empathy and solidarity between men and women are key components of this year's campaign. As McCartney adds, "We, as women, are a team. We have to support each other and stick together. Men are showing their support, and now, we must all join forces."

Olivier Rousteing Talks Balmain X Victoria’s Secret

Victoria´s Secret has tapped Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing to create custom looks for its annual catwalk spectacular, and a capsule collection to launch in stores on December 6. Ahead of the unveiling, which marks the first time the brand has partnered with a fashion house on an in-store collection, the designer told Vogue how the #VSxBalmain tie-up came about.

“The Victoria’s Secret team have been invited to my Balmain shows many times, and I have also been a guest on the VS front row,” he said backstage. “A year ago they came to me and said, why don’t we do something together? We came up with the punk theme, which is something really new for me.”

Of where he found inspiration, the Frenchman said: “There are so many reference points for punk, from books to editorials in Vogue. I regrouped a lot of ideas I had in my mind for Balmain, as I channel a lot of rock ‘n’ roll in the collections.”

Of course, his Balmain army, the gang of girls who religiously star in his campaigns and the models Victoria’s Secret calls upon to bring star factor to its runways, were happy to consult for him. “I always listen to my girls," he said. "They all come from different worlds, different backgrounds, different ethnicities and different agencies. Some have kids, some are new faces. I learn from every one of them.”

Naturally, his army will model the collection, which features diamanté, netting and tartan heavily on the underwear sets. “My favourite piece is the Michael Jackson-inspired jacket Romee Strijd will wear in the show, depending on whether the rotation changes.”

Tune in to the November 28 airing of the catwalk extravaganza on CBS to see close-ups of the collection on the runway, and cut-outs of what to expect in store come December below.

Fashion World Mourns The Death Of Azzedine Alaïa

The Tunisian-born couturier Azzedine Alaïa has died in Paris at the reported age of 82. The Sphinx-like designer, once dubbed "the King of Cling", was highly revered for his garments that moulded the body into extraordinary proportions, the product of an obsessive craftsman who bears more resemblance to a sculptor than a fashion designer. A spokesperson confirmed he suffered a heart attack in Paris on Saturday.

"Azzedine Alaïa was a true visionary, and a remarkable man. He will be deeply missed by all of those who knew and loved him, as well as by the women around the world who wore his clothes," said Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful. "The generosity of his spirit and genius of his designs will never be forgotten."

Born in Tunis in around 1940 to wheat farmers (ever mischievous, this date is unconfirmed: he frequently lied about his age), Alaïa was an early devotee to Vogue and wormed his way into the local Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts in Tunis to study sculpture. He noted that "when I realised I couldn't be an amazing sculptor, I changed direction" - segueing into fashion. He began assisting a dress-maker and, having built up a private client base, he moved to Paris in 1957. He soon got a job at Christian Dior, in the midst of the Algerian war, but was dismissed for having incorrect immigration papers after five days.

From Dior he went to Guy Laroche, where he spent two seasons, then to Thierry Mugler, but a series of high-society patrons allowed him to set up his own workshop. Elegant swans such as the Comtesse de Blégiers offered him lodgings in exchange for dress-making and babysitting. In 1979 he opened his own atelier, a flame for Hollywood stars such as Greta Garbo and the Seventies jet-set, which included Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, who came regularly for fittings.

He produced his first ready-to-wear collection in 1980, in conjunction with a move to a studio in the Marais. It was a smash hit: moulded in leather, it was as erotically charged as it was ground-breaking. Alaïa moulded women's bodies into the best versions possible using a needle and thread. He dismissed exterior embellishment for internal rigour, creating perfectly fitted dresses that celebrated the female form.

Over the years he continued to create collections to the beat of his own drum, eschewing the traditional seasonal calendars, from which he retired in 1992 and indeed any form of timeframe: at his unpublicised catwalk shows, held according to his wont, he would keep audiences waiting for hours. “When the collection is ready, it’s ready,” was Alaïa’s attitude. "Unless I have a length of fabric in my hand and a girl in front of me, I really can't come up with a lot of ideas." He showed a surprise couture collection in July, his first since 2011, in which Naomi Campbell made a rare catwalk appearance to rapturous reviews.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The 10 Commandments Of New Consumerism

For decades, a brand’s only priority was to create the best possible product at the most competitive price to ensure sales. But as consumers develop a more comprehensive understanding of issues like sustainability, authenticity and transparency, brands and retailers are being forced to change the way they sell in order to survive.

This change in consumers’ attitudes has a term “new consumerism” coined by research firm Euromonitor. “[Its] about today’s consumers reassessing their priorities and increasingly asking themselves what they truly value,” says Sarah Boumphrey, Euromonitor’s global lead of economies and consumers. “[And] conscious consumption replacing the conspicuous consumption of yesteryear.”

As customers reassess their priorities and question what they truly value, BoF outlines the 10 factors that define new consumerism, and what this change in shopping habits could mean for fashion brands and retailers.

1. Provide Transparency Into Your Business Practices

The modern consumer’s knowledge of environmental issues and working conditions means they respond to transparent business practices. Reformation, a Los Angeles-based label, takes pride in the sustainability of its vintage-inspired designs.

Transparency is now more of an expectation than an option, says Reformation founder Yael Aflalo. “I think that the millennial generation is really starting to push the boundaries of traditional fashion retail and driving demand for honesty and transparency for the products they purchase,” she says.

Revealing information about business practices allows companies like Reformation to engage with customers in a new way, opening a dialogue and creating a different, more honest brand experience, a far cry from global conglomerates that have traditionally kept such information under wraps.

2. Demonstrate Authentic Brand Values

Brands need to demonstrate a level of authenticity by offering products that are in keeping with the company history and culture. “We think this very much coincides with the rise of experience economy. As life becomes a paid-for experience, people increasingly question what is real and what is not,” says Joseph Pine, author of “The Experience Economy,” which explores the next phase of consumerism after the service economy.

This can be seen at brands like Burberry, which sticks very closely to its values of British heritage and craftsmanship, and its core product of trench coats and scarves. “Increasingly [consumers] don’t want to pay for something fake, they want the real from the genuine. And so authenticity is really the new consumer sensibility,” says Pine. “It is the primary buying criteria by which people choose who to buy from and what to buy.”

3. Create Sustainable Processes

A demand for more sustainable materials and production methods is a key hallmark of new consumerism, according to Euromonitor, and one that inspired Aflalo to set up Reformation four years ago.

“Our customers respond very positively to our sustainability efforts, and help motivate and drive us to keep doing better,” says Aflalo. “Some are incredibly passionate, and want to be informed — they want to know all of the details of our supply chain and operations, and really do a deep-dive.”

UK-based fashion label People Tree says it aims to be 100 percent Fair Trade throughout its supply chain. The company does this by purchasing Fair Trade products and materials from suppliers in the developing world. It also makes efforts to protect the environment and use natural resources sustainably.

Conscious consumption [is] replacing the conspicuous consumption of yesteryear.

4. Invest in Retail Technology

Rapid developments in technology have raised consumers’ expectations online. A shopper now demands a high level of service, speed and a unique experience with just one swipe of a finger.

“People expect some brands to be there at the touch of their fingers. Brands that they really care about, brands that they want a relationship with, those are the ones that are basically in their queue,” says Pine. “That they want to be there so that at a moment’s notice they can call them into speed and say, ‘Ok, provide me with what I need.’”

On the flip side, a brand might be marginalised by consumers if it doesn’t adapt its business model to include web, mobile and social retail.

5. Help Customers Achieve Personal Goals

Helping consumers achieve their health and wellbeing goals is another strategy that brands are implementing in line with new consumerism.

By staging experiences that help people become fitter or more mindful, a brand can become a key element in helping consumers reach their goals.

Nike, the world’s largest sportswear maker in terms of revenue, regularly stages local customer experiences like running clubs. “[Consumers] want to be healthier, they want to have a more satisfying life, they want to have a happier life, they want to have greater well-being and increasingly they look to companies to be able to help them achieve that,” says Pine.

6. Price Your Products Competitively 

Constant discounting from retail brands has altered consumers’ attitudes towards value and consumption. In the age of new consumerism, the customer has come to expect a lower price.

Direct-to-consumer basics brand Everlane addresses this demand by sharing a breakdown of how much each product costs to manufacture, and what the mark-up would be if it had been sold at a third-party retailer.

“In order to save your money and your time for these experiences, you want to buy goods at the cheapest possible price,” says Pine. “You want that thrift and at the greatest possible convenience, so you are saving both money and time.”

7. Provide Efficient Services

The modern consumer is faced with endless choices, so products and services that help save them time have become more appealing. “Buying time is increasingly an option for today’s consumers,” says Euromonitor’s Sarah Boumphrey. “This is about more than just convenience, but increasingly about outsourcing tasks. Time has become a luxury in today’s connected world.”

US start-up Stitchfix, for example, aims to replace clothes shopping for the time-poor. Customers fill out a style profile, from which an algorithm and stylists choose and mail out a selection of items on a regular basis.

8. Deliver Experiences to Drive Sales

The rise in online retail means that retailers must work harder than ever to get shoppers into brick-and-mortar stores. Events and the creation of experiences have become crucial tools in helping brands connect with customers on a deeper level.

“Today we are in an experience economy,” says Pine. “Experiences are memorable [and] engage each individual in an inherently personal way and that’s what people desire today.”

This can be seen throughout the fashion industry, from British Vogue’s annual festival, which brings the magazine to life for readers, to Burberry, which capitalised on the press momentum from its recent London Fashion Week show by opening its Maker’s House venue up to the public and staging talks and workshops that relate to its new “see now, buy now” collection.

9. Embrace the Sharing Economy

The rapid growth of US fashion rental service Rent the Runway — which launched in 2009 and now has 5.5 million members — is clear evidence of the way new consumers have embraced temporary ownership.

“This is all about supply and demand and connecting people and businesses with the resources to those that want them,” says Boumphrey. “It removes market inefficiencies, empowers consumers and has disrupted or has the potential to disrupt, a wide range of sectors.”

Indeed, as more consumers become accustomed to the idea of sharing goods, the desire to actually own items may dampen demand for luxury trend-led fashion items.

10. Recognise Customers' Individuality

The rise in personalisation services speaks to the demand for products that help express one’s individuality. From monogrammed leather and denim at the likes of J. Crew and Madewell to Edie Parker’s personalised clutches and customers’ own quotes stitched across Poolside Bags’ wicker totes, the new consumer is eagerly seeking opportunities to put their own stamp on a product.

“We want to belong to one of more tribes, in which we feel like — yeah this is what we are about, that’s part of our identity. But yet we also want to recognise our own uniqueness” says Pine. “That is key for companies to understand.”

What The First Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Was Like

In 1995, a mid-market lingerie brand based in Ohio decided to host a fashion show. Staged in New York’s plush Plaza Hotel, some of the biggest supermodels of the time - Stephanie Seymour, Veronica Webb and Beverly Peele - were recruited to walk.

Models wore modest bias-cut slips, cheongsams and bralettes on the runway, accessorised with cardigans, prim handbags and plaid dressing gowns – wearable, yes, but lacking a certain razzle-dazzle. There were no TV cameras, no musical performances, and certainly no wings. Some model castings were done over the phone. A few hundred people saw it, and virtually none of the journalists in the room chose to cover it.

Fast-forward 22 years and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has changed almost beyond recognition. The TV broadcast is watched by a global audience of millions, accompanied by live performances from the world’s biggest pop stars – Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga among them. Models undergo months of rigorous training, donning expensive, elaborately constructed outfits that can weigh upwards of 30 pounds.

But the first show, masterminded by Victoria’s Secret executives Ed Razek and Monica Mitro, gave a glimpse of what the modern fashion show was to become. Celebrities – including Donald Trump and Russell Simmons – dotted the front row at a time when the prime seats were reserved solely for editors and models dominated the covers of magazines. Victoria’s Secret understood the power of celebrity in fashion well before the fashion industry itself did.

Below, six attendees of the original Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show tell us what it was like.

Catherine McCord

Then: Model
Now: Chef and entrepreneur

“I remember the fittings, Ed [Razek] was there and so was Monica [Mitro]. I was totally nervous – oh my god! You forget that back then it was all about print, and the Victoria’s Secret catalogue was everything. Back then, you were either a runway and magazine model, or you were catalogue, but somehow Victoria’s Secret was able to break that boundary. I don’t think the show prep was intense in the way it is now, but I do remember doing lymphatic drainage, and having lots of leg massages. It’s comical when you look back at the photos – we were almost fully dressed. There were cardigans! Even so, I did feel scantily clad. I’d done shows in London, Milan and Paris, but I remember getting to the end of the runway and suddenly feeling self-conscious because the atmosphere was different. It was more a mix of normal people and journalists. I’m sure I remember seeing Donald Trump in the audience. Models didn’t have publicists, we were just throwing off our clothes, we were naked – I’m on the more conservative side, and I don’t think any of us thought twice about it.”

Ron Galella

Then: Paparazzo
Now: Retired

“I didn’t pay much attention to the audience – I couldn’t stop looking at the models. The models were the heroines. I know some of the models were nervous, but they never showed it, they were so graceful on the runway. Today they go overboard with the costumes; they have wings, they have gimmicks. In 1995 they didn’t have all that: the models were the main event. I think that something got lost; to me the first show was best. If you have Stephanie Seymour on the runway, what more do you need?”

Veronica Webb

Then: Model
Now: Model, writer and founder of Webb On The Fly

“I was lucky, my casting was a phone call from my agency saying, ‘Go to your fitting for the show’. [Victoria’s Secret Executive Vice President] Monica Mitro is one of the nicest people you’ll ever want to meet and she supervised every fitting personally. I had this white corset with white stockings and suspenders and white high heels.I think I did nearly 1,000 squats the week before and went on a ketogenic diet to reduce bloat. You’re in your underwear so it’s all about your body and how strong and healthy you are — there’s nowhere to hide a single body flaw. It was a great exercise in overcoming fear and self-consciousness. But it is a show like no other. It was a big, glam pyjama party with all your besties sharing the spotlight.”

Gail Elliott

Then: Model
Now: Designer and founder, Little Joe Woman by Gail Elliott

“I walked thousands of runways for 24 years and the two I remember are the first Victoria’s Secret show and Gianni Versace’s ‘Freedom’ show. Back then, backstage was almost as exciting as the shows. Champagne would be flowing and all the models' boyfriends – who were actors, movie stars, rock stars, musicians and screenwriters – were photographed having fun. I don’t remember it being stressful or feeling nervous, although I guess doing a show in my underwear should have been. I probably wore less clothing at Versace shows! During the show there were a lot of wolf whistles from the audience. The audience wasn’t there to buy: Victoria’s Secret’s vision for the show was different and they’ve certainly kept it up today with the Angels, pink planes and mega hype. It’s a clever company.”

Holly Brubach

Then: Style Editor, New York Times Magazine
Now: Author and screenwriter

“I have only the dimmest memory of that first show at the Plaza. It doesn’t surprise me that there wasn’t much coverage back then. I do recall that most members of the fashion press regarded it as not ‘legitimate’ in terms of design and trends, more of a mall brand. Which it was. But I thought it was such an interesting phenomenon, and I’m not surprised that it has been such a big media success. I think of it as being in the same category as the Sports Illustratedswimsuit issue—something that gets a lot of attention and builds a ‘halo’ around the brand. The product is sort of beside the point.”

Ingrid Seynhaeve

Then: Model
Now: Founder of June 7.2

“I was very proud to be opening the show. It was quite nerve-wracking, as we were in lingerie and I was used to the couture and high fashion shows like Valentino, Ralph Lauren and Dior. You have to walk in a sexy way, playing with the camera, feeling — and looking — like a million dollars with not much on. But it was a fun change to have eye contact with the public and cameras, and to make a statement at the end of the runway. The show grew bigger and bigger each year, I think I must have walked the show five times. It helped with our day rates and became the most prestigious show to do. It gave me a voice as a model afterwards as so many people saw me in interviews on TV.”

2017’s Sassiest Collab: Victoria’s Secret X Balmain

Victoria´s Secret has tapped Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing to create custom looks for its annual catwalk spectacular, and a capsule collection to launch in stores on November 29, the day after the show airs on US network CBS.

Though the lingerie giant has called upon designers to create runway pieces in the past, the #VSxBalmain tie-up will mark the first time the brand has partnered with a fashion house on an in-store collection.

The tie-up is a natural fit, as there’s plenty of crossover between Rousteing’s Balmain Army – the gang of girls who religiously star in his campaigns – and the models Victoria’s Secret calls upon to bring star factor to its runways. Come the Shanghai catwalk show on November 20, which will air on CBS on November 28, it’s highly likely that the French designer will choose sassy friends Sara Sampaio, Joan Smalls, Alessandra Ambrosio and Karlie Kloss to model his first mainline foray into underwear.

The collection is as punky as the Sex Pistols-inspired poster and teaser video of Stella Maxwell strutting her stuff in a studded and safety-pinned jacket and hotpants suggested. Diamanté, netting and tartan feature heavily on the underwear sets and separates, and there's even a graffiti-strewn T-shirt too. We expected the partnership to be fierce and it certainly is.

Alexa Has Designed Her First Handbag

Alexa Chung is launching her first handbag in collaboration with American Express and Small Business Saturday.

The limited-edition gingham canvas bag marks the fifth anniversary of the initiative designed to promote independent business and encourage people to "shop small", a sentiment that Chung, who launched her eponymous fashion line earlier this year, holds dear.

“Supporting small independent businesses has always been important to me because it was how I was brought up - shopping at the local Hampshire butcher or the village shop,” the designer said of her decision to collaborate with Amex. "Now that I’m an adult with a business of my own I am acutely aware of how hard it can be to get something up and running."Alexa's Non-Festive Party Dressing Notes

The £25 shopper has all the trademarks of a Chung product: her signature “A” logo, and a knowing nod that neither the shape or the print will go out of style. "This is the first bag we have created as a brand and I wanted it to reflect our goals as a company: to make things that are fun, timeless, quirky but easy and cool," Chung explained. "The gingham is a colourway we had applied to one of my favourite dresses in our second collection and I love it because it’s classic but fresh and the mini sizing is an interesting play with proportion."

You can shop her everyday arm candy from November 15 on and support local businesses on 2017’s official Small Business Saturday on December 2. You'll find Chung at her favourite independent retailer, which she described as "a bit of a curveball", Fin and Flounder on Broadway Market. "On a Saturday I head down to the market, hang out, get some flowers and a coffee, and then pop into the fishmonger, where I not only admire the fish but also their outfits. These dudes that work there have head-to-toe sick outfits – welly boots and an apron."

Tim Walker's Pirelli Calendar Revealed

Pirelli has unveiled pictures from its 2018 calendar: a wondrous celebration of black beauty, photographed through the fantastical lens of Tim Walker and styled by Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful with set design by Shona Heath.

Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s tale of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and the original sketches he drew before John Tenniel's illustrations, the calendar plays on exaggerated sizing and playful flourishes with help from a blockbuster cast.Adwoa, Naomi, Lupita, Whoopi: Pirelli Teases 2018 Calendar.

Adwoa Aboah is Tweedledee; Naomi Campbell and Sean Combs are The Royal Beheaders; Slick Woods is The Madhatter; Lupita Nyong'o is The Dormouse; Whoopi Goldberg is The Royal Duchess; Djimon Hounsou is The King of Hearts; RuPaul is The Queen of Hearts; Adut Akech is The Queen of Diamonds; Alpha Dia is the Five-Of-Hearts-Playing-Card Gardener; King Owusu is the Two-Of-Hearts-Playing-Card Gardener; Lil Yachty is The Queen's Guard; Thando Hopa is The Princess of Hearts; Wilson Oryema is the Seven-Of-Hearts-Playing-Card Gardener; Zoe Bedeaux is The Caterpillar; Sasha Lane is The Mad March Hare; and Duckie Thot is Alice.

Walker’s high-voltage vision follows the unconventional path of the previous two calendars, which saw Pirelli move away from the soft-core calendar-girl aesthetic it had celebrated since 1964. 2016 saw Annie Leibovitz photograph a series of women celebrated for their accomplishments, rather than just their looks, and 2017’s Peter Lindbergh calendar made waves owing to its non-airbrushed, monochromatic portraits of make-up-free, clothed actresses.

“Alice in Wonderland is a story that I’ve drawn on for so long, it’s always been in my work and life,” Walker told Vogue at the New York launch of his Pirelli pictures. “To have a black Alice is to have a new way of seeing Alice.”

The genesis of the idea formed when visiting Roald Dahl’s widow, Felicity aka Lissy Dahl, some five years ago. “She said, ‘Do you know that the Bucket family in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was originally going to be portrayed as a black family?’ And I thought about how much this would have changed things.”

On whether the chaotic fairytale was designed to hold up a mirror to today’s society, he said: “The chaos of Alice resonated because I’m predominantly a fashion photographer, and I see the fashion industry as Wonderland. I don’t see Wonderland as society today.”

“Pirelli doesn’t discriminate, it’s tyres!” chimed Campbell, Walker’s Royal Beheader. “It’s Formula One, it can go anywhere it wants to go and it will be a positive message. Even though the [theme] of the calendar is Alice in Wonderland, the message is so big.” Walker agreed: “I think it’s exciting, it’s a celebration of black beauty but it could be any skin colour to me. It’s in tune with what feels right for now.”

“The timing couldn’t have been better,” said Campbell, the Voguecontributing editor and four-time calendar star. “This week has been an iconic and phenomenal week. The new Vogue launched at the start, and it’s ending with Pirelli. It’s an amazing time, it’s a new time, and I feel that it will remain. I’m so proud of Edward.”

Beninese-American actor Djimon Hounsou said yes to Walker because, “my son has been watching white superheroes in fantasy movies from the day he was born. He’s never seen one black man. One day, he said to me, ‘I wish I was white so I could climb walls like Spider-Man.’ What world do we live in where black folks don’t exist in some stories? Inclusion should be mandatory.”

What was Campbell’s reaction to being cast as the gruesome twosome with Sean Combs? “I’m quite bossy, so it was perfect,” she laughed. “Don’t do what I want? Then off with your head!” It was Combs who encouraged her to get into character. "We share the same acting coach so he knows the methods. We had a lot of fun on set; a table caught fire, we were all singing - it was craziness, but we just kept going.”

Other highlights of the shoot include Hounsou “listening to RuPaul yapping all day, and seeing him existing in that environment. As soon as she entered the set, she took over. It was RuPaul all day.”

For Gambian women's rights activist and anti-female genital mutilation campaigner Jaha Dukureh, it was just having someone “take a picture of me because they liked how my eyes looked; I wasn’t a victim”. And albino model and human-rights lawyer Thando Hopa liked “working with Tim because he didn’t ‘other’ me. I was just the Queen of Hearts on set.”

South Sudanese-Australian model Duckie Thot and Hopa cried at the end of the shoot. "We felt a sense of catharsis,” Hopa explained. “Different voices and walks of life collaborated together to try to bring a message of representation and inclusion. The level and weight of what we did… we felt it.”

What would Walker like viewers to take away from the imagery? “A sense of beauty and relief from the everyday. I love reality, and I’m not an 'unreal' person, but I don’t think there can ever be enough escapism and fantasy.”

Friday, November 10, 2017

PETA Names 2017 Award Winners

From Faustine Steinmetz to Gucci, PETA reveals the brands and designers that it is recognising for their animal-friendly achievements this year. The luxury brand announced it's fur-free plans in October, joining the ranks of Armani, Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood, and Stella McCartney.

During London Fashion Week, Faustine Steinmetz held her first catwalk show, cementing her brand's animal- and eco-friendly credentials once more by continuing to shun fur, leather, and exotic skins in her designs.

Innovation Award: Vegea Wine Leather

The plant-derived leather, produced in Italy, is a vegan material made from the fibres and oils of grape marc.

Zayn Malik and Versus Versace's opted for vegan "eco-leather" to create a statement biker jacket, a miniskirt, and lace-up skinny trousers in their collaboration earlier this year.

In response to customer demands, YOOX NET-A-PORTER announced it would introduce a ban on fur and angora across all its platforms. "We have a strong sense of responsibility and recognise the importance of making a positive contribution to society," said the group's head of sustainability, Matteo James Moroni.

Rooney Mara's gown for the Vanity Fair Oscars party was fashioned from BIONIC®, an innovative recycled polyester made from recovered shoreline waste. Who says eco-friendly can't be elegant?

Instead of fur, leather, wool or feathers, Tiziano Guardini employs all manner of natural materials for his Green Carpet Fashion Awards couture designs. Raffia, pine bark and recycled fishing nets are among his favourite

Best Vegan Accessories: Matt & Nat

Matt & Nat's 100 per cent vegan designs prove that you need not sacrifice substance for style.

Best Vegan Shoes: Stella McCartney Elyse

A Stella signature, the Elyse has become one of the most recognisable – and imitated – shoes in fashion. Made from cruelty-free materials, they stay in line with the brand's ethos of "being a responsible, honest, and modern company".

Best Faux-Fur Brand: Jakke

Fast becoming synonymous for compassionate fashion, each one of Jakke's coats and jackets have a "Free From Fur" patch, allowing fans to proudly wear their fur-free status literally on their sleeves.

The British brand behind the famous PUFFA jackets has gone 100 per cent feather-free, using modern down alternatives that spare animals pain whilst being warmer, lighter and completely waterproof.

Best Wool-Free Brand: CROP

Knitting without wool, CROP's Kate Morris's garments are made from skin-friendly bamboo and organic cotton.

Best Vegan Slogan T-Shirts: Veganized World

There's bravery in being soft is one of the many slogans emblazoned on Veganized World's T-shirts, though they are also known for giving some iconic logos an animal rights-themed makeover.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Karl Lagerfeld To Design Claridge's Christmas Tree

It always heralds the start of the festive season in Mayfair when Claridge'smakes the much-anticipated annual announcement of who will design its famous Christmas tree - and today the hotel has revealed that it is partnering with a legend of the fashion world for this year's collaboration, Karl Lagerfeld.

On collaborating with the iconic hotel, the German-born designer said that “Christmas trees are the strongest ‘souvenir’ of my happy childhood.” His vision of the Claridge's Christmas Tree will be unveiled in the hotel lobby on the morning of November 22 nd.

Lagerfeld's partnership marks the eighth year that Claridge's has invited a creative visionary to put their own stamp on the landmark's festive decoration. In recent years the likes of Jony Ive, chief design officer at Apple, industrial designer Marc Newson, Burberry's Christopher Bailey, and Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have all reimagined the seasonal installation in their own distinctive styles.

Victoria Beckham To Partner With Reebok

Following a highly successful beauty collaboration with Estée Lauder, Victoria Beckham is taking on a new project by partnering with sportswear giant Reebok.

"I am incredibly excited to embark on this partnership built on shared values," Beckham shared in a statement. "I have always championed instilling confidence in women and Reebok is a brand that has been at the forefront of this same message for decades. To have the opportunity to challenge the traditional notions of fitness wear within a fashion context is something I have always wanted to do. I have long incorporated sportswear into my wardrobe and daily life and I am thrilled to be coming together with Reebok on such a dynamic proposition."

Expected in late 2018, the collaboration will sit under Reebok's Innovation Collective – a brand initiative that focuses on delivering next-generation performance and expression and has previously worked on products with Vetements and Cottweiler.

Sharing the news on Instagram, the mother-of-four posted a video of herself arriving at the brand's HQ ready to start "day one" of the design process.

While little is known about what the collection will exactly offer, looking at her own label, it's no doubt that Beckham's own style favourites will feature heavily. In recent years, Beckham has relied on classic white tennis-inspired trainers, teamed with her signature tailoring.

"As a brand, we look to partner with not just influential women, but women who want to truly change the world,” added Corinna Werkle, senior vice president of women’s initiatives at Reebok. "There’s no better embodiment of this than Victoria. She is a true visionary who possesses a relentless desire to help women become the best version of themselves. This desire shines through in everything she touches, especially her designs, which continue to push industry standards season after season. We cannot wait for the world to see what she will do with our collaboration.”

Met Gala 2018 Theme Revealed

Next year’s Met Gala theme has been revealed as Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, with the Costume Institute announcing its exhibition of the same name, to open in May. The hosts for the evening will be Rihanna, Amal Clooney and Donatella Versace, the latter of whom is also a sponsor of the exhibition.

The exhibition itself will address the influence of religious and liturgical clothing on fashion, from Cristóbal Balenciaga to Donatella Versace, Around 150 ensembles are set to be on display, including pieces by Coco Chanel, who was educated by nuns, and by John Galliano. The exhibition will be spread across three venues: the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the medieval galleries at the Met’s main location, and at the Cloisters, further uptown.

Last year’s theme was Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, whilst previous themes have included AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion and Punk: Chaos to Couture. Famous faces of the fashion world, start planning your outfits now.

CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund Names Winners

American fashion brand Telfar has been named the winner of this year's CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund award.

Announced at a star-studded gala dinner held at Brooklyn’s The Weylin following a conversation between Hamish Bowles and Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, Telfar Clemens’ label shared the limelight with two runner-ups: Becca McCharen-Tran’s Chromat, founded in 2010, and Ahlem Manai-Platt’s Ahlem, founded in 2014.

Telfar took home the top prize of $400,000, while Chromat and Ahlem’s award amounted to $150,000 each. As well as the prize money, the winners also receive mentoring from an industry figure of their choosing.

Telfar’s androgynous designs, Chromat’s architectural swimwear and Ahlem’s sleek eyewear were crowned winners by a panel of judges which this year included Nicole Phelps, director of Vogue Runway; Eva Chen, head of fashion partnerships at Instagram; 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Joseph Altuzarra and Saks Fifth Avenue senior vice president and fashion director Roopal Patel. Returning judges included Steven Kolb, Diane von Furstenberg, Mark Holgate, Jeffrey Kalinsky and Andrew Rosen. This is the first year since the design competition's inception in 2003 that Anna Wintour has been absent from the committee

The celebrity line-up on the night remains strong, with the likes of Arizona Muse, Hilary Rhoda and Karlie Kloss leading the way on the red carpet. Preceding the awards themselves, this year’s Chateau Marmont designer showcase was equally starry, with Kaia Gerber, Zendaya and Millie Bobby Brown in attendance.

This year's finalists included Christopher Bevans of Dyne, Victor Glemaud, Jordan Askill, Matthew Harris of Mateo New York, Eli Azran of RtA, Sandy Liang and Vaquera’s Patric DiCaprio, Bryn Taubensee, David Moses and Claire Sully.

Dolce & Gabbana Take Out Harrods’ Food Halls For British Millennial Christmas Spree

The invitation arrived little more than a week ago: "Sun in a London Night," an impromptu one-off show by Dolce & Gabbana at Harrods. The designers were coming to London to inaugurate their Sicilian Christmas market at the British shopping institution – a corner of the fourth floor filled with specially made merchandise and Italian holiday treats – and decided to spruce it up with a capsule collection presented in the store’s hallowed food halls. Because, well, why not?

“When you enjoy it, it’s easy. We are so lucky because it’s not work to us. It’s a pleasure,” Domenico Dolce shrugged in a preview of the collection, which will retail exclusively at Harrods. Coinciding with the release of the duo’s new picture book, Millennials, they called upon 100 of their favourite young influencers to walk for them; no small endeavour for a spontaneous fashion show. “I never liked a short show. If I invite you for dinner or lunch, I’m not going to just make you an appetiser,” Dolce said, with a comparison appropriate for the food hall show space where seats were set against coolers of fragrant meat and fish.

“I’m Italian! I love the aperitivo, the antipasto, the first course, the second course... I never liked a short show!” And so, the Sicilian Christmas spirit filled the room in an exuberant collection, which quirkily integrated British trademarks into the red-blooded Italian glamour embodied by Dolce & Gabbana. Amongst their dramatic flounce gowns and lace dresses adorned in flowers and fruits, heart-shaped Union Jacks, royal guard motifs and other traditional nods to the kingdom – such as “QUEEN” spelled out on a dress and a belt – paid homage to the British heritage culture the designers love and admire. “England is the country in the world with the greatest taste,” Stefano Gabbana asserted. “Extravaganza is British. We take a lot of inspiration from here, from the beginning. You are unique in the world.” Their current favourite British export? Our aristocratic millennials: the offspring of old British families such as Lady Kitty Spencer, Lady Tatiana Mountbatten and Lady Alice Manners, who walked the show, tiara-clad, alongside stage kids including Rafferty Law, Tom Brady, Pixie Lott and her boyfriend Olivier Cheshire.

You’d have to be a talent scout, or at least a scout, to put faces, names and parents to all 100 of them, but for Dolce & Gabbana it wasn’t necessarily about the surnames. It was about the generation. “I love millennials,” Dolce said. “People talk about them like they’re the worst generation. No! This generation represents a new time. It’s not like, ‘Oh, we discovered millennials’. You need to talk to these people and understand them, and why they’re changing the world. They’re honest.” What Dolce & Gabbana see in this generation, he explained, is the invaluable sense of character so key to the movements going on in the world right now, where the millennial generations are breaking with the conformity and uniformity of the old world, and calling for freedom of identity. “When you’re working with a model, you’re working with someone who’s modelling. When you’re working with characters, you need to discover the character and find the right clothes for these characters. It’s more exciting, because you can’t just do what you want. You need to understand the character of every girl,” he said.

“This is experience. It’s not fake. Today there’s too much fake: fake news, fake this, fake that. Many people talk… talk about what? Talk about things they don’t know about.” In their #DGMillennials, as Dolce & Gabbana style their famous brood on Instagram, the designers have found a way of infusing their collections and shows with the personality they’ve long been calling for in fashion. Above all, Dolce & Gabbana is about family, about culture, and life. “If you want to speak to your audience, you need to talk about life and experiences. You can’t just make 25-35 outfits,” Dolce argued. “I’m an old chicken in fashion. I want to talk about my life. If you’re honest as a designer, you talk about your life. You don’t talk about 25 outfits put together by a stylist. You live for it, like life, because your clothes absolutely reflect your life.”

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Dsquared2 Launches The "Be Cool Be Nice" Collection In Support Of Anti-Bullying

For designers Dean and Dan Caten, bullying is an issue that has long been close to their hearts. They speak to Vogue about why their own experiences compelled them to get involved in a major new anti-bullying campaign.

November is anti-bullying month and last night, at the House of Lords, royalty, celebrity and fashion came together to highlight a growing problem. Bullying has always existed, but the proliferation of online communications has made it all too easy for young people to be targeted. "Be Cool Be Nice" is a charitable foundation set up to tackle online bullying and support victims. Alongside Princess Beatrice, who hosted the event, DSquared2 designers Dean and Dan Caten also attended.

The Canadian twins' exuberant designs and large-scale fashion shows have built a thriving €200m business, but life wasn't always comfortable for Dean and Dan Caten. Born in Toronto in 1964, the identical twin brothers, the youngest of eight siblings, were targeted for being different. "As twin boys and being from an immigrant family growing up in a suburb outside of Toronto, we were bullied," they say. "When we were in school we weren’t the typical adolescent boys and had different interests and were bullied for that."

Unlike many victims, who go through it alone, the pair could turn to each other for support. "Having one another has always been a blessing, our bond has always been our strongest weapon," they say. Even today they are inseparable, sharing a large house in London and building a hugely successful international fashion business together.

Fashion, where difference is often celebrated as an asset, offered them a safe place. "Fashion has always been an outlet for our self-expression. We used it as a tool to create a material artifact of our feelings and ideas. It truly gave us a voice and helped us in finding a sense of belonging. Fashion has always reassured us and made us feel protected. Doing what you love gives you more self-confidence."

They've designed a "Be Cool Be Nice" fashion range to raise money and awareness and encourage people to think, before they comment online. "'Be Cool Be Nice' is a cause everyone can stand behind. If we did, it could change the world. It’s a matter of approaching everyone with the right attitude." But whilst clothes can help give confidence they can't do it all, explain the designers. "The most important thing is the confidence you have in yourself and the courage to be yourself."

To anyone who is experiencing bullying they say, "You are not alone! You are perfect the way you are. It is important to disengage and ignore bullies. Being strong and brave to be who you are is your biggest asset."

Maria Grazia Chiuri: "Dior Has To Be About Female Empowerment"

Maria Grazia Chiuri has been artistic director of Dior for just over a year. It’s a role she never dreamed she would have. “And why is that?” she asks. “Because there was never a woman in that position [before].” We’re seated in a spacious reception room in Dior’s Paris headquarters. Gilt mirrors line the walls. A pair of crystal-tipped chandeliers hang overhead. The rest has been cast in Dior’s signature pale grey: ceiling, walls, sofa, a pair of oval-backed Louis XVI chairs. Chiuri, 52, is all in black. Black trousers, black blouse, black heels and sooty black eyeliner. Her cropped, bleached hair is parted severely on one side. Like Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, her fingers are dressed in heavy rings – one a skull from Codognato, another of her own design.

It’s only been nine months since the former Valentino co-creative director made her debut at the Musée Rodin during Paris Couture Week, and her impact on the 70-year-old house has been nothing short of transformational. Under Chiuri, the catwalk has become a platform for an ongoing conversation about feminism and the arts. This season, she paid tribute to two powerful women, constructing a showspace in the style of artist and former Dior model Niki de Saint Phalle’s Tarot Garden in Tuscany, and sending Breton-striped shirts stamped with the title of art historian Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay, “Why have there been no great women artists?” down the catwalk. (They’ve gotten more than just the fashion world talking.) Her efforts haven’t stopped there: She has proposed a new vision of the modern-day Dior woman, one that may still don a ball gown and stiletto on an occasional evening, but for day prefers long-sleeved shirts, boyfriend jeans and a pair of easy walking flats, a cross-body bag slung across one shoulder. Chiuri expands upon that vision below.

You have been described as an activist designer. How do you feel about that label?

I don’t think that I’m an activist. Dior is about femininity. When I arrived here, everybody told me that. Okay, I said, we have to speak about femininity, but what does that mean today? I try to speak about women now, and for the future. Dior has to be about female empowerment. Only with flowers? It’s not enough. I know that there are a lot of nostalgic people that want a world that references the past and [Dior in] the 1950s, and I think the references of the past are beautiful, and I really appreciate our heritage. But if I’m a modern woman who wants a vintage dress I go to Didier Ludot and I buy an authentic Dior dress. If I go to the [Dior] store, I want something that speaks about the heritage, but in a modern way, for contemporary life. I know there are other points of view, and I respect those, but that’s my point of view.

Marc Bohan was the head designer of Dior longer than anyone, but his influence is often overlooked in the archives. Have you been particularly inspired by his work?

Yes. If you look at [Yves] Saint Laurent, [his designs] are more similar to Mr. Dior’s. When Marc Bohan arrived, he completely changed the line. The shapes are Sixties, they are clean, short. And why? Because there was a revolution in women, a big change in women’s attitudes. It was not the designer who changed the line, but the woman changed and the designer understood that the woman was different. The designer has to understand the women. Sometimes we have this message that the designer was a revolutionary. No, sorry. It was the woman that changed, and the designer understood and changed the line. Now, we have to understand this new generation, and it’s not easy. The new generation are completely different to the past. They ask for more information, they are more personal in their point of view. My son looks to see if the T-shirt is cotton, where the cotton is from. There is a completely different audience with different values and ideas about what is good and not good. Now, they can buy fashion everywhere, also they can do the same look in a very cheap way. A luxury house has to maintain the value, the brand, the quality, the craftsmanship, but at the same time has to start a new dialogue with these guys. The new dialogue [has to be] about value. Not only about dress.

Your latest collection references the work of Niki de Saint Phalle. How did you discover her?

When I arrived at the company, I started immediately to work on the exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs, which [immersed me] in the history of Dior. Dior has a huge story, with different creative directors who have maintained the values for such a long time. During this research I also found the images of Niki de Saint Phalle in Dior and a letter she wrote to Marc Bohan [asking for a dress]. So I started to read more about her. And step by step I tried to translate in the collection these different ideas about a woman who started as a model for Dior in the Fifties, who was really beautiful and [whom] everybody would ask to be an actress, and she decided to work in art in a moment that was not too easy to work in art for women.#SuzyPFW: Dior’s Modern Muse, Artist Niki de Saint Phalle

On the runway, you sent out T-shirts with the title of Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay, "Why have there been no great women artists?" Why do you feel that question still needs to be posed today?

If you are not lucky, if you do not have the opportunity to go to a good school or to be born into a family that can support you, and if the society doesn’t help and support, I think it’s very difficult not only in art but also in other jobs. And I think that sometimes this idea is inside of women, that they know that it is very difficult and so they don’t try to make what they really like. Very often people ask me, ‘Have you ever imagined that you can arrive in Dior’s house?’ No. ‘But why?’ Because there was never a woman in that position. I believed that it could be possible to work in the fashion system, and honestly I was very lucky because I started at Fendi, where there were unbelievable women that supported me. But why did I have this kind of mentality inside me? Because this was in my DNA in some way, so the problem is not only outside, but also inside. You can’t believe that you can do something when your patriarchal idea is that women can’t do that. I don’t think there is a young girl that today believes that she can become Michelangelo. Probably she says, oh no it’s too difficult, it’s impossible. It’s inside us, we are a limit for ourselves.

You’re known for having a pragmatic approach to your role – you visit factories, you’re involved in the business side of things. Why is that important to you?

As a designer, creativity is the first part of our job, but I don’t think that creativity only has use on the runway. It’s very important that the message you have in the show you also have in the [store] window, also in the merchandise inside the store. I have a huge team around me that supports me, but if you only do the show you lose the message. Now fashion is another story, it’s not like in the past. Fashion [used to be] a big show to sell other products – if we speak about the Eighties, Nineties, there were the licences, you’d have a big show but after you sell other products. I want to sell it all – clothes, bags, shoes. We have to be honest. If we don’t speak about fashion as a system, in a real way, it’s a trick. We have to be honest with our consumer. We want to give very good quality, good creativity, but which you can also find in the store.

Cara And Matt Team Up For Burberry

Following  the news that Christopher Bailey will leave Burberry at the end of 2018, the great British brand has released a collection of seasonal pieces, and a blockbuster campaign starring Cara Delevingne and Matt Smith to accompany it.

Captured by Alasdair McLellan, the portraits and accompanying 30-second video, feature Burberry veteran Delevingne and newcomer Smith larking about in laminated trench coats, Fair Isle knitwear and ornate jewellery – all to the soundtrack of "Always On My Mind" by Pet Shop Boys.

Of his campaign debut, the former Doctor Who star said: “Burberry has always been a brand that I have admired, from the football stands to the macs on the runway. Delevingne, whom Smith dubs a “fashion heavyweight”, thanked “the creative genius and my dear friend Christopher Bailey for involving me in this and all the incredible projects over the years.”

Lais Ribeiro To Wear Victoria's Secret Fantasy Bra

To be chosen as the model of the Fantasy Bra, which is seen as the show’s centerpiece, is a prestigious accolade among the Angels. Ribeiro follows in the glamorous footsteps of Jasmin Tookes, who wore an 18-carat gold piece worth $3 million last year, and Gisele Bündchen, Tyra Banks, Alessandra Ambrosio, Lily Aldridge, Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel before her.

“You just feel so powerful wearing it, like all the hard work has paid off,” the Brazilian beauty said of her appointment. The lingerie brand told Ribeiro that she would be wearing the $2 million Mouwad design, which is handset with diamonds, yellow sapphires and blue topaz in 18-karat gold, during fittings for the show: “I had no idea that [the fitting] was for the bra,” she shared. “I came in and when I tried it I cried, it was unbelievable.”

Ribeiro began her Victoria’s Secret career after giving birth to her son, Alexandre, in 2010, and has walked in every show except 2012, when she sprained her ankle during rehearsals. Her brother and father will be in the Shanghai audience to watch her wear the bra, which took almost 350 hours to make, come November 20-

The catwalk spectacular will air on CBS on November 28 at 10pm EST, and will include pink-carpet interviews, model profiles and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show. Tune in for a closer look at Ribeiro wearing the Fantasy Bra.

The Secret Behind Erdem x H&M's Success

Erdem Moralıoğlu's highly anticipated collection lands in H&M this week - November 2, at selected stores and online; read everything you need to know about the Erdem x H&M launchhere - but what is the secret behind the success of the collaboration? Why do we all want it so much and how did Erdem and H&M make it so? Voguecaught up with the designer in Los Angeles ahead of the star-studded launch party to find out.

"I think the moment you get too caught up in thinking about how a collection will be perceived - there's no point; you really have to approach it as a new body of work," he said referring to the weight of expectation that accompanies a collaboration of such international stature.

A new body of work then, but destined for the the high street - and at a very different price point to his usual stock. Did that change his approach? "Erdem was very involved with everything from day one," said Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor. "He knows what he wants and is very engaged with the process. He also introduced us to a number of new producers; smaller Scottish mills and Italian mills he regularly works with," she explained, signalling a very different approach from the get-go.

"To me, this collection was not about taking archive pieces and making them more accessible at all," explained Erdem. "It was about creating the opposite of fast fashion; it was about creating these pieces that you want and desire because they are beautiful."

That, in a nutshell, is what has made this, H&M's 17th designer collaboration, such a hit. At its very core, it is a subversive collection that need not be radical to create change, nor indeed pushed to the point of parody to make a statement. Instead, it effortlessly celebrates the principles it was built upon: beauty, elegance, fluidity and strength.

"Growing up with a twin - with someone who was the same as me, but of the opposite sex - I never, ever, equated something that was feminine as something that was weak; it was always equal, or the same," Erdem said reflecting on his childhood and sister Sara, who wears his designs often and always provides honest feedback.

That idea of firsthand experience with a garment fed into his first menswear designs, where the designer turned model to understand what "felt right" and what didn't. "Once I figured out where he [the menswear collection] was going, I would take the blazer and put on the female fit model and allowed that silhouette to affect where the design would go. One very much affected the other."

That in-built fluidity between men's and women's means that rather than having a dedicated menswear collection, and separate womenswear collection, which drawing from similar codes, we the consumer have so much more to choose from. Expect to see the boys borrow from the girls and vice versa, as Kirsten Dunst did on the launch night when she wore the brown floral men's pyjama suit for her front-row appearance. (Expect that to be among the first pieces to sell out fast.)

If breaking down the dichotomies of fast fashion versus enduring style and masculine versus feminine isn't enough, there is one other boundary Erdem has readily revelled in: the mix of formal and informal. It is the unabashed combination of the high and low: the ballgown and the hoodie; the T-shirt and the tux. "Like the Pet Shop Boys video directed by Bruce Weber in the Nineties, I found that meeting of opposites really interesting to work with."

"To me, it just feels very British," reflects Erdem of the whole collection. And in times like these, we can't help but feel like we could all use a dose of his optimism and elegance too.