Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Vetements Was Once a Darling of the Fashion World. Are the Tides Turning?

Since its inception in 2014, French fashion label Vetements has been routinely drawing ire for what appear to be an elaborate set of jokes. First they received global attention for purveying a t-shirt with the logo of logistics company DHL for $330. Following collections replicated stereotypes of goths and Heaven’s Gate cult members. The brand’s most recent collection was a sober articulation of the uniforms of capitalism, from security guards to police officers to corporate middle managers, and took place inside a McDonalds on Paris’ Champs-Élysées.

To distill Vetements essence into a single aesthetic would be impossible, but the closest might be “capitalist kitch.” Designer Demna Gvasalia draws inspiration from European underground party culture and repackages it into highly covetable, slightly askew versions of familiar things. Almost every single runway show has included some variation of a hoodie puffed up to thrice its normal size and waist-high boots that flop down the leg like flaccid penises. Vetements takes classic garments and inflates them to comical proportions – a rose-splotched Western jacket juts out at the shoulders like David Byrne’s big suit, a leather jacket that might look bespoke if worn by André the Giant rather than a willowy model. Vetements’ intentional ugliness seems to have sprouted from the decomposing corpse of normcore, building on its blithely unassuming aesthetic with the addition of blatantly confrontational elements.

Inside the fashion press Vetements tends to be well-received, consistently receiving breathless reviews such as claims that the label is “hacking the fashion system.” Yet the label’s singular brand of sneering irreverence routinely draws ire from people whose purviews remain firmly outside the style section. Writing for the Toronto Star, columnist Vinay Menon described a pair of jeans that unzip to reveal a sliver of derriere as an “apocalyptic garment,” intuiting that the designers of said jeans must be “professional freaks.”

In a world where the Costume Institute is now one of the more popular reasons to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vetements reifies the distinction between the fashion industry’s true insiders and outsiders. Previously, its untranslatable language of ugliness arguably represented a bid for fashion to once again claim elitist space where it has eroded away, and shoo off anyone who isn’t sophisticated enough to understand. And while Vetements has been largely successful despite—or perhaps because of—its desire to upend and poke fun at the conventions of fashion, it appears as though critical consensus is beginning to shift in the opposite direction.

Vetements’ most recent collection, men’s spring/summer ’20, contained the same inflated proportions and references to blue collar culture that characterized previous collections. Full-on corpse paint was juxtaposed with sporty nylon anoraks. Tracksuits appropriated the logo of the World Economic Forum, rejigging it to read “Global Mind Fuck.” The signature look in the collection was an oversize middle-manager shirt and tie with a nametag ‘Hello, I’m Capitalism” paired with work-inappropriate flip flops and a red baseball hat that read ‘For Rent.’ A replica of a T-shirt worn by journalists during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 was accused by Vogue Arabia of “instigating regional upset.”

While previous Vetements bootlegs – the aforementioned DHL shirt and a $2,145 dupe of a canvas IKEA bag — were suffused with a sufficient sense of humour, this collection struck a deeply pessimistic tone. The message was bleaker than ever before. Police officers in riot gear glued to their phones, middle managers wearing flip flops and flannel pyjama bottoms broadcast an overarching sense of desperation. Political and environmental instability have forced the world into such a state of vulnerability that yes, anything can be fashion but none of it is fun anymore. We are forever trapped running the hamster wheel of late capitalism; fugitives in a world of our own making.

It’s tempting to write off Vetements as an elaborate scam run by two ferociously good-looking Georgian trolls (Demna’s brother Guram runs the business side of things), but their clever replicas of ‘90s-era Reebok jackets and security guard uniforms are arguably more akin to Richard Prince’s appropriation art than a counterfeit bag bought on Canal Street. In 1975, Prince gained currency in the art world for re-photographing existing photographs and passing the work off as his own. Like Prince, Vetements’ willingness to charge obscene amounts of money for a blatant facsimile contains an element of conscious goading.

One could argue that Vetements is the sartorial equivalent of Donald Trump refusing to pay his taxes because he’s “smart”; just because it’s self-aware doesn’t make it less of a racket. But Vetements consistently positions itself as outside the fashion system while remaining complicit with it. Sure, anyone who is willing to shell out $2000 for a ski jacket may be getting duped. But Vetements seems to acknowledge that they’re dupes for making the objects in the first place.

Gvasalia is unquestionably a deeply talented designer, but his vision is sometimes clouded and overwhelmed by his desire to shock his audience. We don’t live in that kind of world anymore. Shock value may have served its purpose — to force people to entertain perspectives different than their own — during the relatively comfortable 1980s and 1990s. But as despondency has replaced complacency as the cresting cultural zeitgeist, a more sensitive approach is required.

What we need right now is clothing that doesn’t sneer at the world, but hints at ways of making it better. We need a blueprint for how to hope, a natural human resource that currently exists in extremely short supply.

Meet The Senegalese Brand Whose Prints Are Based On Mathematical Equations

“Math was my first love. It’s the only universal language I could connect with every time I moved and was lost with new languages”. Diarra Bousso was born in Dakar, Senegal, but raised between her motherland, Norway and the United States. She graduated in Mathematics, as to be expected, and started her career as a trader in Wall Street. Two years later, she left everything to start not one, but two direct-to-consumer fashion brands in her native country: Diarrablu and Diarrabel.

But one would be mistaken to think she turned her back to Mathematics entirely. Those who visit Diarrablu’s first flagship store, which opened in Dakar this month, can use a coloring station to interact with the equations and create their own prints. This way, Bousso says, everyone can be a print designer.

Now, she divides her time between the roles of educator, researcher and fashion designer. Her designs, which have been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Elle and the New York Times, are available for purchase worldwide via the brands’ ecommerce. Diarrablu also works with a number of concept stores in Abidjan, Nairobi, Brazzaville, Los Angeles, Washington, Miami and Aspen, with more international wholesale partners to be added soon.

How was it to become a fashion designer and start a fashion business without previous fashion experience? What challenges did you face in the beginning?

I did a lot of research and fully immersed myself in the field. For three years I traveled to every fashion week I could be invited to, tried networking as much as possible, and visited factories in Asia to learn their processes and train my Senegalese artisans. I just fully focused on learning rather than making any sales.

It was challenging because I had to invest a lot to travel and self-explore in a field I knew nothing about, but my previous experience on Wall Street definitely helped me to structure everything I saw into a business model and be able to make projections.

You were born in Senegal, but also lived in Norway and the US. In what ways have these three different cultures influenced you as a person and as an entrepreneur?

In Norway, I went to the United World College which was an international boarding school with all countries represented. We were 200 students between grades 11 and 12, aged 16 to 18. I got to learn about diversity, global citizenship and tolerance which has really shaped my worldly vision.

After college in Minnesota and working in New York, I knew when I came back to Dakar to launch my company that it had to be geared toward a global audience. I knew it had to be conscious and celebrate diversity at all levels, from the staff we work with to the audience we cater to.

Your designs are heavily influenced by mathematics. Can you explain how?

I love Art and Design but ultimately my first love in Math. It’s the only universal language I could connect with every time I moved and was lost with new languages. Math makes me feel free and, in a design sense, the idea of infinity makes design options limitless.

The main print for Diarrablu’s SS19 collection, titled “Ndar”, was obtained from the graphing of various equations (linear, quadratic and absolute value) to recreate randomized shapes. The shapes were then filled with colors and the patterns were cut into various shapes and went through geometric transformations such as dilations, rotations and reflections in order to create a final motif, printed on crepe and chiffon fabrics. The main equations are parabolic of the form y=ax2+bx+c.

Tell us about your first brick and mortar store in Dakar.

I always dreamed of having my own gallery. I was never excited about a store, but rather wanted a space that would represent my world, which lies at the intersection of math and art. Fashion is just one of the consequences of my fascination with math, so the space had to convey that message. That’s why we opened with a museum-style exhibition.

I wanted my first flagship to include all the elements that create meaning for me. I want people to feel the texture of my equations, understand the history of my traditions and celebrate my rich African cultural heritage consciously.

Any plans to open more stores in Senegal? What about abroad?

We plan to open more stores in Senegal as long as each space can be unique, represent the Diarrablu lifestyle and have the Math Lab setup so customers can make their own prints. As a math educator, I am obsessed about classrooms and labs as that’s where I spend most of my time. We also aim to expand abroad.

How is your business going so far?

We prefer not to share numbers but Diarrablu is growing very fast with trailing 12 months revenues at a 400 percent growth as of April 2019. We hope to use this growth to increase our production, grow our team and expand in more markets.

Walter Van Beirendonck Teams Up with House of Liza and Farfetch to Sell Special Archive Piece

Vintage clothing, which speaks to our current collective interests in sustainability and individuality, is becoming big business—and not only in the womenswear arena. Drops of limited edition merch have not only given birth to the idea of the hypebeast and gamified shopping, but also primed the menswear market for a vintage renaissance. Helping this trend along is House of Liza, a London-based fashion archive, who has partnered with Farfetch to curate a collection of unique pieces from Walter Van Beirendonck’s personal holdings, dating from the 1990s to today.

“The 122 archive pieces were carefully handpicked by Walter and I,” says House of Liza Founder Gonçalo Velosa. “We spent a full day in his archive pulling items to create this exciting limited-edition collection spanning 33 years of Walter’s career.”

“It is the first time that I have allowed a ‘buyer’ into my archive,” noted Van Beirendonck, who told Vogue he only parted with pieces he had doubles of, “or which were not part of complete show looks.” Expect to be increasingly tempted by similar sales: “We’re drawn to the fact that [these kinds of offerings] are a totally sustainable way of shopping: we’re not producing anything new, we’re offering our customers the chance to buy original garments,” said Rob Nowill, Farfetch’s Deputy Editor. “That’s massively appealing to our audience right now. Plus, our customers really respond to the exclusivity of reissued pieces—if you buy one of these archival items, it’s very unlikely you’ll ever meet anyone with the same piece. For me, at least, that’s pretty exciting.”

This sale lands at the tail end of the Spring 2020 men’s season, one of the most anticipated in recent memory as fashion’s attention is increasingly focused on this category. What’s behind this uptick in interest? “The appetite for progressive menswear has always existed,” observed Nowill. “I think what’s changed is that designers are increasingly emboldened to experiment—thanks to Instagram and online retail, designers can find an audience for even the most boundary-pushing pieces. It feels, to me, like menswear has gotten fun again. There’s more color, more humor, more optimism and, of course, those have been the codes of Walter’s collections since he began. His work is so profoundly political—it touches on everything from the environment to gay rights. He’s a designer who has always used his clothes as a medium for expression. We need more of that in fashion.” The appeal of menswear to Van Beirendonck is quite straightforward; he’s always found it “more challenging than women’s wear,” because “the boundaries are more defined and therefore it is more adventurous as a designer to work on it, and try to push things forward.”

There are many ways towards advancement, and not all of them take the form of a straight line. Mainstream Van Beirendonck is not—see his bondage-inspired pieces; slogans like “Lust Never Sleeps;” and his penchant for a sort of Pop-psychedelia. But upstanding he is. “Working in an ethical way is very important,” he said, as is “keeping up creativity and freedom, staying independent and free. I’m proud that I kept on going, despite everything, and I’m proud that I have my outsider position, in the stormy fashion world.”

Van Beirendonck entered into that world as part of the now legendary Antwerp Six—a group of grads from the city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts who, in 1986, rented a van and brought their wares to London, where they inadvertently introduced Flemish design to the fashion world. “It was fantastic to stick together, to unite our power and have more impact that way, and to conquer the fashion world, completely innocently,” noted the designer. Theirs always was a loose affiliation; all were taught by Madame Mary Prijot, but there was no mistaking the romanticism of Dries Van Noten for the Gothic leanings of Ann Demeuelemeester, say. Among “les Six,” the work of Van Beirendonck (who first designed under the label Wild and Lethal Trash), always been the most extroverted, the most colorful, and the most political. It’s comes as no surprise then that the designer told Vogue that he came to fashion through: “David Bowie/glam rock.” Other drivers included “gender expressions/creativity and the urge for drawing/the fantasy world I created as an outsider in boarding school.”

“The 122 archive pieces were carefully handpicked by Walter and I,” says House of Liza Founder Gonçalo Velosa. “We spent a full day in his archive pulling items to create this exciting limited-edition collection spanning 33 years of Walter’s career. There are only a handful of creators that can make me dream...Walter is one of them,” he adds. “He is a maker of objects of value, a cultural value, that can be understood as biopolitics. I like his world because it only belongs to him. No trends here!” Above: Van Beirendonck’s students model pieces from the curation.Photo: Courtesy of Farfetch

Though he prefers to keep a certain distance from the fashion system, as the director of the fashion course at his alma mater, Van Beirendonck’s ethos has long been communicated to the designers creating the future of fashion. In 1990 Van Beirendonck brought his then-intern Raf Simonsto his first Paris fashion show, after which Simons decided to become a designer. (NB: Among the pieces that will be sold through Farfetch are some from the collections Simons worked on.) Van Beirendonck has also been supporting the work of his colleagues by selling their wares in his DVS Boutique.

It’s safe to say that this is a designer who looks at the industry from many different angles. Van Beirendonck says he’s watched it change in positive and negative ways. “I’m shocked at how price-battles and fast fashion shook up the fashion world, and how overproduction of garments and bad working conditions are part of this fashion world,” he noted. “The biggest change I think is the way communication evolved; the internet has sped up the way we look at fashion.”

Reviewing Van Beirendonck’s aesthetic through the House of Liza x Farfetch collection, it’s easy to pick out signature themes and motifs, like an overt sexiness, color and pattern, an interest in futurism, and messaging, which he renders “less heavy” through the use of humor and irony. For example, Van Beirendonck regularly plays with his own distinctive (and sometimes naked) silhouette as a motif. Like Karl Lagerfeld’s dark glasses and ponytail, it has become rather iconic. We suggest you ask not “Where’s Waldo?” but “Where’s Walter?” as you peruse this collection of archive pieces.

A New Exhibition Unravelling the Secrets Behind Maison Martin Margiela Opens in Paris

Since the brand’s inception in 1988, Maison Martin Margiela has always been shrouded in mystery. Why does the head designer refuse to make his identity public? Why do his atelier employees wear white lab coats? A new photography exhibition in Paris aims to unravel some of the mysteries.

La Femme De Cabine – Martin Margiela – 1997-2004, comprised of unseen photographs taken by Jonathan Hallam of Maison Margiela’s female employees from the 1990s to the 2000s opens today in Paris and runs until June 25th. Located at creative studio Halebopp in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, the exhibition is open by appointment only.

“I started this series of experiments in photographic portraiture in Paris in 1997 in the 18th arrondissement. Working from my apartment, I built a makeshift darkroom in my bathroom,” the photographer told Dazed. The photos were taken on a vintage camera without negatives, giving the images a dark and eerie feel. Though the images depict the faces of Margiela’s atelier workers, the house’s mysterious identity is maintained through the exhibit’s blurred and nondescript photographs. “It’s almost like the spirits of the people are contained in the pictures,” he added.

John Saint Michel, the show’s curator and Halebopp workshop director and creative partner, explained to WWD, “We wanted to piece together a story that incites emotional intelligence and challenges today’s notion of instantaneity, oversharing and the bombardment of visual information.”

“Balenciaga and Spanish Painting” Opens at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid

The sumptuous exhibition “Balenciaga and Spanish Painting,” which opened this week at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid (through September 2019), places the great couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga’s creative and technical masterworks—along with his elegant client commissions—in dialogue with iconic Spanish paintings. And what paintings!

The clearly persuasive curator Eloy Martínez de la Pera also worked on the museum’s Hubert de Givenchy exhibition in 2014-15 and the 2017-18 exhibition at the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa in Getaria celebrating the style of Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon through some of the 660 pieces that the celebrated gardener and philanthropist bequeathed to the museum. For his latest masterwork, Eloy secured loans of spectacular art from the Prado and the Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao as well as from distinguished private collections, along with clothes from museums, former Spanish clients and their families, and private collections.

When I was researching the first of two exhibitions that I curated on Balenciaga’s work and the impact of his Spanish homeland on it (“Balenciaga: Spanish Master,”initiated by Oscar de la Renta, at the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute in New York, and “Balenciaga and Spain” at the de Young Fine Art Museums in San Francisco), I began by making a pilgrimage to his birthplace—the medieval fishing village of Getaria on the Basque coast.On that trip I was beguiled by the Palacio Aldamar, sitting high on the hill overlooking the narrow, convoluted streets of the sea-walled village, where Balenciaga lived in the lower floors of a modest terraced house with his parents and siblings.

The villa’s turn of the century chatelaine, the Marchioness of Casa Torres, was a woman of immense Proustian elegance who dressed with the greatest Parisian dressmakers and milliners of the day. She employed Balenciaga’s mother as a seamstress—with responsibilities including helping the marchioness unpack the vast dress and hat boxes when they arrived containing her latest Parisian purchases. The aristocrat’s style had a profound influence on the young Balenciaga, who recalled that at the age of twelve he admired her one morning dressed in her Paris finery en route to mass—so much so, in fact, that he summoned the courage to tell her how elegant she was, boldly adding that he could make an outfit for her every bit as beautiful as the one she was wearing.

The marchioness was intrigued enough to provide him with the fabric to execute his boast, and was so pleased with the result that she wore it to mass a week later. She subsequently arranged for Balenciaga, whose father had recently died, to apprentice to a famous English-style tailor in the nearby city of San Sebastian—a fashionable watering hole for the Spanish royal family and other aristocrats—and thus be in a position to help support his family. Balenciaga later repaid the marchioness for her kindness by gifting her granddaughter Fabiola the magnificent mink-trimmed, white-ribbed silk gown she wore to marry King Baudoin of the Belgians in the winter of 1960 (a dress included in the current exhibition, although no clients—who also included Princess Grace of Monaco and Mona Bismark—are mentioned in the object texts, a deliberate attempt to not “fetishize” the objects, as Martínez de la Pera explained). Thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Balenciaga’s friend and acolyte Hubert de Givenchy, the Palacio Aldamar is now the site of the dedicated Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa, an institution that has loaned a number of pieces to this exhibition.

But it was not just to the latest fashions that Balenciaga was exposed chez the Casa Torres, for the Marquis de Casa Torres himself was a celebrated collector of historic Spanish art, with a notable collection that Balenciaga would have seen on his visits to the Palacio Aldamar. In a curatorial masterstroke, Eloy has assembled some of the pictures that once hung at the Casa Torres (and were subsequently given to the Prado, of which the marquis was a significant trustee) and arranged them in the first room of the exhibition. They include a breathtaking Saint Sebastian by El Greco, 1610-14 (cut down at some point in its life, and now reassembled in two pieces), Diego Velazquez’s Apostle’s Head, 1619-20; Francisco de Goya’s Cardinal Luis Maria de Borbon y Vallabriga, c. 1800, and Barolomé Esteban Murillo’s The Immaculate Conception, c. 1680. Setting the tone for the rest of the exhibition, Balenciaga garments are arranged in dialogue with these images, stylishly mounted to sing against black walls, and include one of the couturier’s iconic Infanta dresses from 1939 (from the collection of Madrid’s Museo del Traje), which helped to cement his reputation soon after he fled Spain’s Civil War and reestablished his already 20-year old couture house in Paris.

At the time he opened shop in Paris, Balenciaga was already a familiar figure on the city’s fashion scene, as for years he had bought clothes from the great designers there to copy and adapt for his own clients back in Spain. However, his talent soon garnered him the approbation of his peers. Christian Dior applauded his “creative genius” and crowned him “the master of us all,” whilst Coco Chanel averred that “Balenciaga alone is a couturier in the truest sense of the word… the others are simply fashion designers.” Elsa Schiaparelli would pay him the ultimate compliment when she said that “Balenciaga was the only couturier to dare to do what he loved”—a surprising homage from a designer who herself built a career on audacity. His work also commanded the plaudits of the press—Harper’s Bazaar’s influential editor Carmel Snow, for instance, felt that he was “the greatest name in fashion.”

As the legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland noted, Balenciaga “brought the style of Spain into the lives of everyone who wore his designs.” He was, she continued, “the true son of a strong country filled with style, vibrant color, and a fine history,” and he “remained forever a Spaniard… his inspiration came from the bull rings, the flamenco dancers, the fishermen in their boots and loose blouses, the glories of the church and the cool of the cloisters and monasteries. He took their colors, their cuts, then festooned them to his own taste.”

When his work is juxtaposed with real life masterworks by Goya, Zurbarán, and El Greco, the effect can be spellbinding. The work of late nineteenth century Spanish genre artists and society portraitists also finds echoes in Balenciaga’s imaginative crinolined and bustled ball gowns and his dazzling wedding gowns, a number of which are assembled here (including his final design, for which he came out of retirement: the 1972 High Gothic wedding dress for General Franco’s eldest granddaughter, María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco, to Alfonso de Borbón y Dampierre, also included in the exhibition).

Cecil Beaton noted that “Balenciaga is fashion’s Picasso … Dour, Spanish and ascetic, his touch has the rugged, peasant-like sureness of the great artist,” and my only regret about the exhibition is that there are no works by Picasso or Balenciaga’s friends Miró and the sculptor Chillida, a fellow Basque, in the exhibition. For by the end of Balenciaga’s career in the high 1960s, whilst he still continued to serve the needs of his clients (who were, on the whole, especially conservative in their tastes in Franco’s Spain, where Balenciaga maintained outposts, operating under the name Eisa—for his mother—in San Sebastian, Barcelona, and Madrid), he was also producing some of the most innovative and dramatic designs of his career, reflecting the innovations of these artist contemporaries.

However, it was profoundly moving for me as a collector to walk through room after room (each painted in a slightly different tone of black) and see my pieces in dialogue with the masterworks that were so resonant in Balenciaga’s mind. A 1939 evening coat, designed like a priest’s in austere black grosgrain with covered buttons down the front, and a 1962 ruffled ball gown and jacket of black gazar (a fabric developed for Balenciaga by his friend Gustav Zumsteg of Abraham), for instance, are shown with Juan Bautista Martinez del Mazo’s 1665-6 portrait of the homely Margaret Theresa of Austria and Juan Carreño de Miranda’s 1678 Portrait of Queen Mariana of Austria, dressed as a nun.

A jewel-like bolero of 1962 embroidered with brown velvet ribbons and bugle beads sewn by their ends to form a bristle effect is placed next to a drop-waisted evening gown of floral chine taffeta in shades of brown on ivory (from the Inès Carvajal collection) before Juan van der Hamen y Leon’s exquisite 1627 An Offering to Flora. A 1946 toreador bolero of crimson velvet, embroidered in black jet and passementerie, rests next to Ramón Casas y Carbó’s c. 1915 Julia, wearing a very similar garment. However, when I discovered that a searingly red lace 1960 baby doll shift dress and mantilla stole from my collection had been positioned next to Goya’s wondrous 1795 The Duchess of Alba in White (which usually hangs in the magnificent ducal Liria Palace, soon to open to the public for the first time in its history.)

For those unable to visit Madrid in the coming months, the catalogue accompanying the exhibition reproduces every wondrous picture and every garment in the show, all of which have been handsomely photographed by Jon Cazenave in Barcelona. But the exhibition itself presents a unique opportunity not only to applaud the work of this true master of design (including many garments that have never before been exhibited), but also to experience some of the wonders of Spanish art, dramatically assembled in a triumphant marriage.

Legendary Parisian Restaurant Lapérouse Reopens With a Masked Ball

There was a commotion on the Left Bank of the Seine on Wednesday evening, just as golden hour was setting over the Parisian bridges. Cars slowed down to take a good look at Lapérouse, the 1766-founded restaurant patronized by Colette, Serge Gainsbourg and Kate Moss. Known for its cozy alcoves and secret intrigues, the institution has reopened under new ownership and marked its rebirth with a decadent masked ball, complete with corset-wearing dames and huge torches greeting guests at the packed entrance.

Proudly standing under the midnight blue facade, new owner Benjamin Patou of Moma Group welcomed guests including Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture Pietro Beccari, French actor Alain Chabat, authors Michel Houellebecq and Frédéric Beigbeder as well as a very dressed-up Arielle Dombasle. “I went through my closet and tried to find the items that would be the most fitting for a masked ball,” said the actress, who was wearing a John Galliano corset dress, towering Christian Louboutin boots and jewelry by Vincent Darré, who was escorting her for the evening (and wearing a rabbit mask.)

“This place has the libertine aspect of the 18th century, the decadence of the 19th century and a little touch of discretion thanks to the alcoves,” she continued, pausing to greet a spectacular-looking Farida Khelfa wearing a green dress with a matching feathered mask. “There aren’t many places like this in Paris.”

French film director Claude Lelouch obviously felt the same way: He chose the event that evening as the setting of his next film “Les Fantômes de Lapérouse,” or “The Ghosts of Lapérouse” in English, tailing actor Christophe Lambert as he made his way from room to room, his film crew fighting through the crowded bar up to a removed alcove where corseted ingénues were lounging on one of the tables.

“It’s hard to tackle such a Parisian mammoth: Its charm mainly resided in its mustiness and strong historical heritage,” said the designer, who is working on a second project with Moma Group after Froufrou, the restaurant he opened with Patou in September. “I’m quite taken with the result: I love the Seventies-style textiles and the fact that there are famous people at every corner, even though I’ll admit it’s quite easy to get lost in all these rooms.”

Arnault, ceo of Berluti and head of communications and image at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is one investor in the Parisian establishment, the first time he has dabbled in the restaurant industry. “Lapérouse is a Parisian legend,” said Arnault, who used to frequent the restaurant before its renovation and was personally contacted by Patou for the project. “I didn’t want such a mythical place to lose any of its sheen and be turned into something too modern. So I figured I should do something about it.”

As a result, the restaurant underwent a serious facelift. Creative director of Baby Dior and Dior Maison Cordelia de Castellane was tasked with dispensing of the heavy drapes and faded carpets to bring a bit of glamour to the historical establishment, in collaboration with hip decorator Laura Gonzalez.

Rich tapestries and fresh flowers adorned every surface of the dozens of rooms at the new Lapérouse, accessible via secret corridors and candlelit staircases. Tables heaved with dishes prepared by former Apicius owner Jean-Pierre Vigato, who was brought in to take over the kitchen, with desserts provided by pâtissier and French TV star Christophe Michalak. The entire lower level of the restaurant was transformed into a spacious wine cellar, which will house more than 10,000 bottles.

“In each private salon there is a tiny switch that allowed clients to shut the doors of the alcove they were in so as not to be disturbed, not even by waiters,” explained Patou at a lunch announcing the project back in April. “The switch has existed since the restaurant’s beginning, and we are keeping the tradition,” he continued. “It allows guests to remain in complete intimacy, free to do whatever they can fantasize about doing in a private salon. I won’t go into details.”

Yves Saint Laurent’s childhood sketches are going on display in Paris

The Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Paris is shining a light on more than sixty never-before-seen sketches by the famous designer from when he was a teenager, as well as a series of photographs, until September 9. The works, which explore all of the designer’s biggest passions from literature to fashion, offer visitors a peek into the promising beginnings of one of the most iconic French couturiers of all time.

Yves Saint Laurent passed away on June 1, 2008. Nine years later, in homage to the well-loved designer, two eponymous museums opened in Paris and Marrakech. In the Parisian version, a new exhibition with over sixty of the designer’s adolescent sketches will be made available to the public. With most of them being never seen before in the public eye, these works were made whilst the youngster grew up in Oran, up until his arrival in Paris in September 1954. The series of sketches will be joined by other archival photos from his travels to Marrakech, allowing visitors to discover Yves Saint Laurent’s humble beginnings and his interest in the arts, from literature to theatre, ballet, and of course, fashion.Sketch, Yves Saint Laurent, Paper Doll collection, between 1953-1955.

Azzedine Alaïa Association To Open Bookstore

La Librairie, the new Maison Alaïa bookstore within the late couturier’s house on 18 rue de la Verrerie, Paris, will open its doors on November 10. A café will also open in the space, which used to house a small boutique run by Alaïa’s twin sister Hafida, in January 2019.

Lining the bookshelves of the shop, which is furnished with treasures from Alaïa’s private collection, will be rare works from the fields of fashion and photography and tomes from artists who held personal significance for him.

“Everything is unique, one-off, or very rare, difficult to find,” Carla Sozzani, a lifelong friend of Alaïa’s, who co-founded the Azzedine Alaïa Association art foundation together with Alaïa and his partner Christoph von Weyhe in 2007, told WWD. “It makes the place a destination and also gives a sense to the bookshop, because Azzedine was a collector… It’s nice to have a bookshop where young people can come and pick up something inexpensive, and where collectors can come and find something special.”

The association, which will soon be renamed the Azzedine Alaïa Foundation, will also continue publishing books. One focuses on Alaïa’s much-publicised kitchens – the heart of his world – and another telling the story of Maison Alaïa are slated to launch at the end of 2019. When the revered creative passed away in November 2017, it was clear that his impact on an industry that he had helped to define was colossal, but, thanks to those whom he loved most, his vision lives on for generations to experience.

Does ‘Made In’ Matter?

Labelling specifying the country in which a good was produced has long been a marker of quality. The ateliers of France, leather workers of Italy and watchmakers of Switzerland have built global reputations for their exacting standards. Today, ‘Made in’ labelling is also an indicator of the regulations and health, safety and wage standards under which a good was produced.

But in a world with increasingly complex supply chains that can span several countries, a jacket sold by a European brand can be manufactured in a cheap and relatively unregulated labour market like China, but finished and packaged in France or Italy, thereby earning a ‘Made in France’ or ‘Made in Italy’ label. Indeed, according to European Union regulations, companies need only spend a certain amount manufacturing a good in a certain country in order to qualify for local ‘made in’ labelling.

At the same time, powerful alternative labelling systems, like Fairtrade and Certified Organic, have emerged, offering companies new tools for communicating manufacturing standards to consumers, who are increasingly concerned with the provenance of their goods. Does ‘Made in’ still matter?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Zendaya’s New Favourite Emerging Designer Hails From Céline

As a Disney Channel graduate, Zendaya borrowed clothes from emerging designers because, quite simply, teen sitcom stars “didn’t get respect in the fashion world,” according to her long-time stylist, Law Roach. Now, aged 22, the Vogue cover girl has her pick of the fashion crop, and she’s choosing to wear the industry’s rising stars. Enter Peter Do: the Céline alumnus whose work Zendaya has been sporting on the press trail for Spider-Man: Far From Home.

The actor appeared on Good Morning America wearing a translucent white dress-over-trousers combination printed with cars from Do’s autumn/winter 2019 collection, in which he explored the human relationship with automobiles. Then came a quick change for a trip up the Empire State Building to perform the ceremonial lighting. Zendaya managed to out-style the tourist brigade in oversized hammered satin navy separates, inspired by the high-shine finish of a freshly-painted vehicle.

“The woman I am speaking to is defining a new kind of glamour,” Do has said of his menswear-influenced designs, which won him an inaugural LVMH Graduates Prize in 2014. It was then, aged 23, that Do was snapped up by Céline – and found a mentor in Phoebe Philo, who was at the creative helm before Hedi Slimane took the brand into its accent-less future in 2018. After transferring to New York to work under Derek Lam, he launched his namesake brand in 2018. Do’s inaugural collection was snapped up by Net-a-Porter and Dover Street Market, whose buyers had been sniffing around him on social media for years.

It’s likely @luxurylaw (Roach’s Instagram handle) also saw the structured, utilitarian co-ords on @the.peterdo, which the stylist follows. The online sharing platform is where most of his moodboarding for Zendaya takes place, as well as WhatsApp, which the pair is in constant communication on. “Zendaya is one of the few girls in the industry that you never know what she’ll wear,” Roach has told Vogue of the intentional fluidity underlining his friend’s style. “It’s always a surprise… Zendaya’s such a good role model for young girls because she literally can and will wear anything.” If the first stop on the Spider-Man tour has proffered up Céline-influenced looks, the Peter Parker-franchise is set to become significantly more stylish as it unfolds.

Naomi Campbell Will Officially Be Crowned An Icon At The Fashion Awards 2019

Naomi Campbell’s decades-spanning career and impact as a supermodel defies labels, but now the British Fashion Council is officially recognising her outstanding contribution to the industry. At the Fashion Awards 2019 on December 2, the Voguecontributing editor will take home the Fashion Icon Award – one of the special recognition accolades that acknowledges individuals who have used the platform lent to them to effect positive change.

“This is a very emotional award to me, I feel blessed and humble,” Campbell told Vogue of the honour. “I would say an icon is someone who has a special aura, but also a presence and wisdom. I have always strived to give people from all backgrounds, all colour and cultures, courage through my words and my actions.”

Since scoring her first shoot a month before her 16th birthday (she signed to Synchro modelling agency at 15 after being scouted after school in Covent Garden), Campbell has pushed for better representation and equality on and off the catwalks. “I used to have to fight for the same fee as my [white] counterparts doing the same job,” she told Vogue in April. Now 49, she conceded that “it’s still not balanced completely”, but her global activist efforts, including the 2013 campaign “Diversity Coalition”, which aims to eliminate racism in fashion, are far from over. On her last birthday, she signed to a new agency, Models1.

Campbell began her philanthropic work with Nelson Mandela in 1993, and in 1997 he named her an “honorary granddaughter” for her endless drive for social change. In 2005, the south Londoner founded the charity Fashion For Relief, which organises fund-raising catwalk shows to aid victims of disasters worldwide, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Haiti earthquake in 2010. After touring the globe, Fashion For Relief will return to its roots – it was one of the major organisations to help people affected by the UK’s 2007 floods – during London Fashion Week in September.

“Naomi has made an incredible contribution to the fashion industry throughout her career as a supermodel, as well as through her global philanthropist work with charities and incredible fundraising efforts for a more diverse and equal future, especially in Africa,” Caroline Rush, BFC chief executive, told Vogue of Campbell’s Fashion Icon Award, which she looks forward to celebrating in December. “Naomi is an incredible ambassador for Africa, building bridges between nations and putting African designers at the forefront of the global fashion community through events such as ARISE Fashion Week in Lagos. She is an inspiration to many of us and has contributed through her career to change for the better.”

Campbell’s mission to push the envelope has seen her sit down with power players in a variety of fields, including Sadiq Khan and Jony Ive, for Vogue, which she first covered in 1987. She was the first black model on the front of French Vogue in 1988 and American Vogue in 1989. “When I was younger, in the 1980s and the 1990s, there were certain designers who hadn’t used models of colour in their shows,” she recalled to Vogue. “Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista would say to them, ‘If you don’t take Naomi, then you don’t get us.’ My friends and comrades stuck up for me and I will never forget that. It is the reason why I’m always incredibly touched when young models of colour tell me that I have inspired them.” Nowadays, she counts exercise and her “healthy body for [her] healthy mind and healthy spirit”. “I know that what comes from within is projected outwards,” Campbell wrote via a personal essay in the July 2019 issue of Vogue.

“There has been so much written about her over the years, but I think many would be surprised to discover how loyal and generous she is,” wrote Edward Enninful in his March 2019 editor’s letter of Vogue, which Campbell covered. “As a friend, she is kind and very sensitive, yet at the same time she is a fighter – Jamaican, a buffalo soldier – who stands up for herself. To me, she will always be a legend, like the last of the silent movie stars: Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Naomi Campbell. With all the flashbulbs, the fashion, the entourages, the jets, the philanthropy, the red carpets and the world leaders on speed dial, she seems to live at twice the pace of the rest of us. All the clichés genuinely do apply to Naomi – you could not make her up and she really is larger than life.”

With a catalogue of campaigns – her portfolio is a veritable A-Z of household-name brands from Chanel to Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Versace – and list of industry accolades – including the Special Recognition Award at the British Fashion Awards 2010 and the CFDA 2018 Fashion Icon Award – already under her belt, Campbell doesn’t need another statuette. The world can see her icon status already radiates from the inside and out.

“I wouldn’t never change a thing,” she mused on the advice she would give her younger self. “I would say to young Naomi, ‘Don’t be afraid to speak out about issues, especially when you come across things like inequality and racism. Make sure your voice is always heard. At the same time, stay focused on whatever you’re doing and give the very best. However big or small the occasion, you never know who is out there.’”

By 2021, Prada’s Cult Nylon Bags Will Be Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic

Prada has pledged to convert the virgin nylon used in its iconic accessory offering into Econyl – a regenerated-nylon yarn that can be recycled an infinite number of times – by the end of 2021. To kick start the sustainability effort, the Italian house has launched a Re-Nylon collection of six bags crafted from reclaimed ocean plastics, fishing nets and textile fibre waste.

A belt bag, a tote, a duffle, two backpacks and a shoulder style complete the unisex capsule collection made in collaboration with Aquafil, an Italian company with more than half a century of expertise in creating synthetic fibres. Not only is the entire range produced from environmentally-friendly materials – yes, Prada’s triangular logo has gone figuratively, if not literally, green – a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to UNESCO’s sustainability teaching programmes.

“This project highlights our continued efforts towards promoting a responsible business,” said Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada’s head of marketing and communication. The announcement follows the news that the Prada Group, which also includes Miu Miu, will no longer use animal fur in its products, and echoes creative director Miuccia Prada’s commitment to social responsibility. “Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of design, while meeting the demand for ethical products,” she said in May

When Prada first introduced the now-iconic nylon backpack to the luxury fashion sphere in 1984, it was “really an idea”. “I was searching,” Mrs Prada told Vogue in 2018, “because I hated all the bags that were around. They were so formal, so lady, so traditional, so classic.” It took 10 years – and the early Nineties obsession with grunge – to convince the fashion industry that her accessories – which were initially made in a military parachute factory – were stylish, just not “the traditional, conservative idea” of stylish. Decades later, her perception of luxury as an idea, rather than just a product, still resonates.

In order to balance out the bottom line for the company’s extensive textile research, which will be shared via a short video series in collaboration with National Geographic, the Re-Nylon edit retails for roughly 20 per cent more than Prada’s signature nylon bags. Once the material is eradicated from Prada’s resources by 2021, it hopes to be able to reduce costs.

Karlie Kloss Threw A Wild West-Themed Reception 8 Months After Her Wedding

Karlie Kloss may have might have married Josh Kushner last year, but that doesn’t mean the couple can’t continue to celebrate their commitment to one another. Over the weekend, the pair threw a wild west-themed party in Wyoming with some familiar faces, including friends Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, joining the fun.

The two-day extravaganza, which involved cowboy-themed attire, saw the couple taking part in a traditional horah dance as they were lifted on chairs in front of their loved ones. Kloss, who wore a custom Dior dress to wed her fiancé in front of 80 guests at an upstate New York ceremony on October 18 2018, opted for a low-key white lace off-the-shoulder dress this time around.

From Bloom to Derek Blasberg, several friends took to Instagram to share sweet messages to the newlyweds. “Wonderful weekend of being loved and celebrating love, congrats to a beautiful union,” wrote Bloom, along with a photo of him and Perry.

Kloss met Kushner, who is the brother of Jared Kushner, advisor to Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump’s husband, in 2012. “We’ve really grown together personally and professionally,” Kloss told Vogue after the proposal. “Josh knows that I’m just a nerdy, curious human being. I think that’s why he loves me. We have each other’s back.” The pair got engaged and wed three months later.

Karl For Ever: A Multi-Layered Tribute

On screen, Karl Lagerfeld was laughing from the depths of a wobbly stomach – in the days when he still had one – as he tried to express himself in all three of his languages: German, his mother tongue; French from a life in Paris and Monaco; and English from his international life. “That was the moment that touched me the most,” said Silvia Venturini Fendi, who since the age of seven had watched Karl at work, joined the design team at 15, and worked directly with him from age 21 until two days before the designer’s death in February.

But Karl was still with us in all those bold images on the walls of the Grand Palais: Everywhere was that face with its juicy lips and thick hair, whether as a young man starting his career or more recently with silver hair to match his fluffy white Birman cat, Choupette. Robert Carsen, an artistic director of dreams for theatre and opera, created “Karl Forever” – a tribute that was humorous, touching and did justice to his life at Chanel for 30 years and an unimaginable 54 at Fendi. On a minor key was the designer’s work for his own KL label.

The Grand Palais was filled with the famous, from Caroline, Princess of Hanover, to actress Tilda Swinton, who read from Virginia Woolf’s Orlandoon stage, while Helen Mirren quoted extracts from the designer’s book for Flammarion, The World According to Karl. The lively, nuanced and varied performances on screen – not least from the late designer himself – wove the story. “I feel everything I do is for the first and the last time,” was one of the designer’s aphorisms.

But the event also came to real, three-dimensional life with performers stepping out of the digitally filmed world. There was Pharrell Williams leading a merry song and dance on stage; and Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang playing live under the soaring glass dome of the Grand Palais. The grand piano was designed by Karl himself in 2003 for the 150th anniversary of the famous Steinway company, although the designer admitted that his love of music did not mean that he himself could ever be a performer.

The imaginative presentation was the essence of Karl; a designer restless for the new, living for his work and building around each house a trusted team of supporting workers, including, at Chanel, Virginie Viard, his right-hand woman, who has now taken over as creative director. The idea of including Team Karl from its most humble or private as well as the famous was a feature of the film.

“How can we celebrate this Renaissance man, taking inspiration from the past whilst always looking to the future?” was Carsen’s quest. He gave his own answer: “Through a tapestry of videos of him throughout his life, interwoven with numerous short interviews with people he inspired.” This patchwork of stories from a varied spectrum of people gave an intimacy to the overall message and included the drama and fun that make up the fashion world. The overall show gave recognition to the humbler members of the support team, whose comments could be more revealing than those of the famous.

Amanda Harlech, the designer’s muse and intellectual provocateur, described Karl’s work as “dream steps”. But speaking after the screening, she revealed the designer’s tougher side. “He always called me super lazy because I didn’t just get on with it,” she admitted. “He would say, ‘Don’t hang around. Just commit. Get it out there.’” The mix of the designer’s own sharp and often witty words with those of the on-screen contributors – who included, among so many, artist Jeff Koons and French actress Fanny Ardant – was exceptional enough. But the addition of a multi-layered audience, all of whom had been touched by the designer, added personal emotions.

Model Claudia Schiffer, still with the wicked smile that Karl first brought to the Chanel runway in 1990, reminisced on the steps leading up to the Grand Palais. “My best memory was being in Vienna for a campaign when Karl suddenly started a waltz, laughing hysterically in front of the whole team,” the model said. “He didn’t care about anything but dancing, because he loved waltzing and he could do it really well.”

Schiffer pulled out another memory stick of Karl as a dandy. “In the early days, for a campaign in Monte Carlo, he had a whole picnic set up in the very hot sun,” she said. “He would arrive fully dressed in his suit, saying, ‘I’m a bit worried because my hair goes fuzzy in the humidity.’ We, of course, were all in summer dresses. And he was fully dressed with boots at the beach for the picnic. And then he had the butler come in with the silver service.”

Ines de la Fressange, another model whose fashion life was kick-started by Karl in the 1980s, reminisced about their time together. “We were always escaping from fittings to go see a painting in some antique dealer’s shop or to just go for coffee, eat sausages and drink Coca Cola. Not the sort of sophisticated thing people would imagine,” Ines said. “But he taught me one sentence that I remember everyday: ‘You have to try. That’s why we’re doing fittings.’ It means you always have to risk a little bit, never do obvious things and never get bored. He didn’t think fashion was meant for museums. He always told me, ‘It’s not art; it has to be useful, we need sleeves and we have to wear it, and if it’s useful then it’s not art anymore.’”

Designer and family matriarch Rosita Missoni had yet another story, of Karl coming to stay in Italy where she watched his prolific sketching, when he would draw “every single dress”. “Then, when he was coming for lunch, he used to make a little drawing of me and my little black dog jumping.” Hubert Barrère, artistic director of Lesage Couture embroidery, supported by Chanel, explained what it was like to work with Karl - from age 17, saying: “He made me grow, grow, grow - always - more, more, more! He was an exceptional man.”

After the display of Robert Carsen’s sheer bravado and imagination, another thing that was striking thing about the event was the meld of executives, from Chanel’s CEO Alain Wertheimer, famous for keeping himself under the radar, to Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH, who was seated front-row with the First Lady of France, Brigitte Macron. The words of Arnault summed up the spirit of the occasion and the essence of Lagerfeld. “He was the most fascinating and exceptional creator of our time,” the executive said. “He was our Picasso – he showed the movement of the new in each period. Karl said that the most important thing in life was to reinvent yourself and that he was eternally unsatisfied and never content.”

Most of the filmed interviews – my contribution included – were held in Karl’s Studio 7L, where the background was of books, books, and even more books, sometimes the same ones in multiple languages. That gave to the entire film the essence of Karl as a Renaissance man. But like those people who popped out from under the suspended screen – the actresses, performers and fashion models offering critical moments from the shows – the message was of modernity and a spirit in which, however erudite the internationally acclaimed designer, lightness was all.

Roland Mouret: “My Fashion Is To Help People, Not Destroy Them”

Roland Mouret’s “Women in Mouret” photography series has become a celebration of independent female voices who inspire the designer on a personal level and in the studio. Here, Mouret tells Vogue that his fascination with people-watching is rooted in French culture – “almost like a Parisian terrace attitude”.

There are no models who can represent how a woman would dress in the street,” opines Roland Mouret. “That kind of spontaneity and identity doesn’t exist on the catwalk.” When the self-professed “voyeur of life” came across documentary photographer Vianney Le Caer, Mouret commissioned him to shoot reportage-style images of his muses. His one brief? To watch François Truffaut’s 1977 film The Man Who Loved Women and become acquainted with “the way women can leave a trace in a man’s mind based on their movement”. Mouret was captivated by the notion of street style, before the term was fully initiated into the fashion lexicon.

Collaborators so far include British Vogue contributing beauty editor Funmi Fetto, artist Zoe Grace, fine art and philosophy student Freya Jones, model Sophia Hadjipanteli, curator Fru Tholstrup, creative director Giannie Couji, stylist Leslie Fremar and radio DJ Jo Whiley. “There is nothing calculated about [the line-up].” Mouret explains, “They are women who enjoy being women, but of course they are linked, because they stand for something. I would never ask someone who has nothing to fight for to represent my work.”

The creative praises his cast for their “sense of difference and fluidity”. “There is no one who singularly reflects Roland Mouret,” he muses. “My women are individuals, and my clothes are just a tool to show themselves.” With a client list including the Duchess of Sussex, his modesty belies his position in the industry. “I knew Meghan before she was a royal, so it’s really humbling that she wears my designs,” he says. “When I’m dressing someone famous, it’s my job to give them a moment. My fashion is to help people, not destroy them.”

Many high-profile clients have fallen for Mouret’s now-iconic Galaxy dress – the form-fitting, unbelievably smoothing design that demonstrated the Frenchman’s intuitive understanding of the female form when it launched in 2005. His explanation of its success is not rooted in the fabrication or the technique, but the skills he learnt from his father. “I’m the son of a butcher,” he begins. “All my life, I have touched bone, muscle and fat. I think of these three elements when designing for the body. It’s complex, because no woman likes each part. The Galaxy deals with what women feel inside, while putting them on a pedestal.”

His proudest moment was not seeing 30 high-profile celebrities wearing the Galaxy within three months – the statistic that caused entrepreneur Simon Fuller to back the label’s relaunch as RM in 2006. “It was when I realised that my father had given me everything I have,” he notes. “I never thought that the designer son of a butcher could share the same values, but my dad has been my best mentor.”

Mouret’s mission to celebrate femininity has had to evolve with the times. He says he is “star struck” by 2019’s break away from homogenous beauty norms towards gender fluidity. At his autumn/winter 2019 show, he cast male models to walk the runway in size 20 iterations of his latest womenswear – not only to symbolise togetherness, but as a solution to waste. “When I was in my teens, I bought second-hand clothes from flea markets,” he remembers. “Most of them were not my size or my gender. I let creativity dictate what I wore, not labels. Putting men in the show was brilliant because it gave me the opportunity to express myself and my values.”

The evolution of his customer is something he finds fascinating, because, he believes, they are ageing together. “There’s a sense of maturity, but we have got youth in our lives,” he smiles. He hopes his “Women in Mouret” passion project will grow to encompass enough pictures for an exhibition – not to satiate his ego, but to carry on meeting “amazing” people.

Alexa Chung Celebrates Barbour Collab With "Simply The Fest" Pub Quiz Before Glastonbury

Can you name the Britpop band Ricky Gervais managed in the late 1980s? How about the only Beatles song with a woman’s name in the title, but not in the lyrics? Such were the calibre of questions at Alexa Chung’s pub quiz in celebration of her brand-new Barbour collaboration.

Held at The Albion in Islington, Chung circulated a crowd including Daisy Lowe, Lady Mary Charteris, Martha Ward and Henry Holland, before helping compere Nick Grimshaw with props for “The Great Outdoors” round. Guests were asked to take a punt on the weight of Barbour’s first thornproof jacket from the 1930s – draped over the former model – and were shocked to learn that the waxy creation, which inspired Chung’s reworked Barbour collection, was 1.61kg.

“The Barbour tie-up was an opportunity for me to explore how the Alexa Chung brand interprets an iconic and historic label that is woven into the British psyche,” the designer told Vogue upon the first drop from the two-year, four-season deal with the 125-year-old label.

As talk turned to Glastonbury via the “Simply The Fest” section – side note: how many of headliner Stormzy’s nicknames do you know? – the question of packing pervaded the quiz. Among Chung’s Worthy Farm-ready edit is a light blue raincoat riffing off Liam Gallagher’s style, and a patchwork jacket inspired by an eccentric gentleman’s retirement gift. Chung, herself, is particularly pleased about the sharp collars and short cuffs on all of the outerwear. “Look at any image of me in Barbour from yesteryear and you will see that I often turn up the sleeves of the jackets to show off the lining,” she explained of finessing the garments to suit her style.

Many of the pub quizzers will of course venture to Somerset next weekend, but the winning team will be obvious by the amount of lighthouse logoed Alexa Chung x Barbour merch they are wearing. The winner takes it all.

3 Of Princess Diana's Classic Eighties Ensembles Just Sold For More Than £250k At Auction

Just as Princess Diana will always be remembered for philanthropic work, her innate sense of style will live long in the memory. Is it any wonder, then, that admirers of the late Princess of Wales covet outfits from her iconic wardrobe? Case in point: three of her 1980s ensembles just sold at auction for a combined £262,500 – three times more than expected.

Held at Kerry Taylor Auctions in London on June 17, the daywear ensembles (which come up for auction more rarely than item's from the royal's eveningwear collection) – all worn by the Princess during the ’80s – were auctioned off by a single collector. “Princess Diana was the fashion icon of her time. Every designer dreamed of dressing her,” Kerry Taylor tells Vogue of people’s unwavering fascination with her. “Everywhere she went, be it visiting a hospital [or] walking across a field of land mines, she inspired women of all age and nationalities.”

All of the outfits that went under the hammer were bespoke. A Catherine Walker peach-hued polka dot coat-dress, which Diana wore to the President of the Republic of Turkey’s state visit in 1988, sold for £93,000.

Designed by her wedding dress designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, Diana’s striped sailor-inspired outfit, which she wore during a visit to Bahrain with Prince Charles in 1986, fetched £120,000. Lastly, a pillar-box red Jasper Conran suit (with matching beret) sold for £62,000. The Princess wore the French-inspired ensemble in 1984, for the christening of a cruise liner.

In Paris, Héctor Bellerín Swaps The Football Pitch For The Louis Vuitton Catwalk

The lines between fashion and football have blurred once again today at Virgil Abloh's Louis Vuitton show. In amongst a slew of models was long-time fashion fan and "and (currently injured) Arsenal and Spain defender Héctor Bellerín.

"I'd been asked before but I didn't think it was the right time then and when I got the news that Virgil wanted me to walk for his Louis Vuitton show it was a no brainer," the 24-year-old told Vogue post-show. "I was on holidays but I needed to go regardless. I'm very happy [to have walked] - it felt really good."

Think of the process of lining up for a show, waiting for the moment you're ready to step out - parallels could quickly be drawn between modelling and the moments leading up to a football match. "To be fair, the feeling when I was lined up behind everyone that was walking was a bit of a feeling like when I'm in the tunnel," Bellerín explained. "I haven't felt that in so long, since my injury in January. It was quite nice to have something to look up to. It is kind of like the start of the game and when the music started it felt very similar, but then everyone made it really easy for me."

While the experience was clearly something Bellerín was honoured to participate in, the call of modelling isn't quite so strong as his desire to get back on the pitch. "For me, playing a game is the best thing ever and you cannot compare the two things but [walking in the show] was something that I really, really enjoyed and I was very happy to be able to do it."

This experience wasn't the first time that the Spanish native has been asked to walk in a show, but it was the first time that he actually wanted to do it. "I don't know if I would walk again. This opportunity came at the right moment, with the right designer at the right house. It was almost as if the planets aligned so I couldn't say no. I'm very happy and grateful for the opportunity Virgil gave me. Although, I could never say never."

“There Will Never Be Another Like Him” – Edward Enninful On His Friend Karl Lagerfeld

The first time I met Karl was in 1998, at a dinner in Milan hosted by my boss Franca Sozzani, then editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue. I arrived with the model Alek Wek, who Karl loved, and she walked me over to him and introduced us. I was utterly in awe, completely star-struck.

Some years later, I started working at W magazine. The editor, Stefano Tonchi, was very close to Karl, and together Stefano and I would go to the Chanel studio, where Karl would talk us through his collections before he presented them on the runway at the Grand Palais. It was during these previews that you really witnessed the magic; where you saw him at his best. Usually at appointments such as this the models aren’t made up, but at Chanel, Karl would have his hair and make-up teams – led by Sam McKnight and Tom Pecheux – create the looks entirely, just so that the few editors he had invited could appreciate them head-to-toe.

It was mesmerising to watch Karl work. His eye for detail was second to none; he would see everything. He was razor-sharp when it came to proportion, shape, texture, colour, detail – if a button on a cuff wasn’t right, then he would see it, when no one else would. (I mean, this was a man who designed the buttons. What creative director designs the buttons these days?) After I’d finally found the courage to talk to him – up until that point, I used to busy myself talking to the models and to Amanda [Harlech, Karl’s right-hand woman] – the conversations didn’t stop. Most of them were too wicked to print; he famously had no filter. His wit and intelligence were unparalleled. We would always begin with fashion gossip, but our chats extended to the books that he was reading, too – his library at home filled his walls floor-to-ceiling. He would talk about art, politics and history.

Karl had an encyclopaedic mind; I would nod along, but would often have to go and research who the hell he was talking about – and it didn’t help that he used to talk so quickly, it was almost impossible to keep up with him. Every time I left him, I felt as though I had been educated. He was so well-versed and cultured; he surrounded himself with great people and great minds. You can’t last as long as he did in this industry if you’re one-dimensional. It’s incredible to think he was at Chanel for 36 years.

Why was he so successful? Perhaps because he never strayed from the woman: that chic, Chanel woman. He always kept the house elevated. He cleverly kept it aspirational. Every year when I ask my little nieces what they want for Christmas, their reply is always, “A Chanel bag!” That’s because of Karl. You wanted what he was doing, because you wanted to be that woman. His woman. He was committed to beauty and craft like no one else I have ever known.

Another thing I always loved about Karl was that he never rested on his laurels. He had no interest in dwelling on the past – he taught me to live in the present and to look ahead, and he always wanted to find out what was new, what was next. Think of all those models that he cast in his shows and campaigns: Claudia Schiffer, Stella Tennant, Shalom Harlow, Karen Elson and Amber Valletta, through to Cara Delevingne, Edie Campbell, Adwoa Aboah and Adut Akech. He had that knack of picking the right women at the right time, and he pioneered diversity way before many other designers – he regularly cast Naomi Campbell, and he gave Joan Smalls one of her first campaigns.

For all the luxury that surrounded him – and yes, there was plenty of it – Karl was bizarrely grounded. He knew about the times we lived in; he wasn’t disconnected from any of it. Look at those incredible sets he created for his runway shows – one minute you were at an “airport”, the next you were in a “supermarket”. I loved that about him, that he took Chanel – the pinnacle of high fashion – and he put it in a faux supermarket for accessibility. He loved that juxtaposition; he was excellent at mixing high and low cultures.

Over the years, Karl offered me, both professionally and personally, so many words of wisdom. I went to see him when I got the editorship here at Vogue, and he told me: “Just do what you always do, that’s why you’re here, that’s why you got this job.” How simple was that? Karl was always there. But sadly, you often don’t realise how huge a person was in your life until they’re no longer around. There will never be another like him. We have lost one of the greats.

Adidas Fails To Expand Trademark On Its Iconic Three-Stripe Logo

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who couldn’t instantly ecognise Adidas’s three-stripe logo. From the football pitch to the streets, the logo can be found in a multitude of places, worn by many a person. However, popularity aside, the sportswear brand’s logo has been ruled by European courts as not “distinctive” enough to expand its trademark three-stripe design.

The German sportswear manufacturer failed to “prove that that mark has acquired, throughout the territory of the EU, distinctive character following the use which had been made of it,” the General Court of the European Union ruled on June 19. “The mark is not a pattern mark composed of a series of regularly repetitive elements, but an ordinary figurative mark.” Therefore, it’s not “distinctive” enough to be given wider legal protection.

The ruling is just the latest in a decade-long dispute between the manufacturer and Belgian company Shoe Branding Europe, as Adidas wants a wider trademark for “three parallel equidistant stripes of equal width applied to the product in whichever direction.”

The court said it upheld a 2016 decision made by the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to annul a previous acceptance of the trademark which the brand registered in 2014. The same court ruled Shoe Branding Europe's own trademark invalid too, saying the stripes were too similar to those of Adidas.

It’s not the first time a brand has been involved in such a ruling. In 2018, Christian Louboutin fought to protect its signature red soles in the European courts. Additionally, Nike filed a lawsuit against sportswear brand Puma, accusing it of using patented shoe technology without permission.

Joan Collins Brings A Dash Of Hollywood Drama To The V&A’s Summer Party

Dame Joan Collins knows how to make an entrance. Remember at Erdem’s autumn/winter 2019 show when the Hollywood doyenne had trouble with the lift and waltzed in at the eleventh hour flanked by team members? The V&A summer party on June 19 was much the same. Collins, fashionably late, worked the galleries and gardens in a flurry of fabulousness. Photographs of her posing with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Felicity Jones and her husband Percy Gibson emerged online – each as glossy as the last.

For the annual soirée, which was sponsored by Dior in line with its landmark exhibition, Collins wore diamonds. Lots of diamonds. She offset sparkly black separates with a crystal choker, drop earrings, bangles, jewel-embellished pumps and a glittering clutch. With smoky eyes, glossy pink lips and her signature blow out, the Dynasty star supplied enough drama for the entire guest list.

Collins was joined at the Knightsbridge institution by a Dior-clad Jenna Coleman and Jones, who was outfitted by Markarian. Radio presenters Maya Jama, wearing The K Label, and Clara Amfo, in Outline, also turned out to see South London singer Joy Crookes perform. And actor-turned-perfumer Noomi Rapace and actor-cum-MC Riz Ahmed served up a lesson in blue suiting.

The surprise guest of the night was Stevie Nicks, whose tour schedule meant she was in town for the night. Her entourage? Record producer Jimmy Iovine and his wife Liberty Ross. As last month’s Royal Academy summer preview also proved, Britain’s seasonal parties are simply brilliant for bringing together a variety of tastemakers. If only the weather was as reliable.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: How Rihanna’s Fenty Is Radically Inclusive

Around this time last year, there was a brilliant moment in a conversation between Edward Enninful and Rihanna as they discussed her then-upcoming British Vogue cover story. “You’re the one woman that every woman I know fancies,” grinned Edward to a blushing Ri. “It’s true! Why is that?” “OK, you’re asking the wrong person,” she laughed. “I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m 'thicc' now.” She hit the nail on the head. If there has been one resounding response to Rihanna’s appearance among my circle of friends over the past year, it’s how phenomenally good her body looks: the sort of fabulously feminine curves that are at once astonishingly aspirational yet somehow relatable; all spilling cleavage and ample thighs. It’s also why, when she launched Fenty last month, it felt magnetically covetable. “I’m a curvy girl,” she told Vogue at the time. “If I can’t wear my stuff then it just won’t work. I need to see how it looks on my hips, on my thighs, on my stomach – does it look good on me or only on a fit model? It’s important.”

That approach could just have been well-worded marketing spin; after all, we’re living in 2019, through a new (and overdue) era of body positivity, where a homogeneous beauty ideal is (slowly) being dismantled. But then, last night, while flicking through Fenty’s latest drop, something hit me. There was a reason I was so painfully enamoured with a strappy satin dress that bears remarkable resemblance to countless others in my wardrobe: the woman wearing it. With no signposting, no virtue signalling, nothing other than a beautiful picture of a beautiful woman wearing a beautiful dress, it felt almost bizarre to even notice it – but her legs were more like mine than those of standard e-commerce models; the contours of her stomach slightly visible beneath the ruching. I scrolled down to the details: “model is 175 cm and is wearing size 42” it said (that translates to a UK 14; Fenty sizes scale up to a UK 18). I thought: maybe this is what I might actually look like in an item that I buy on the internet. I put it in my basket.

I can’t remember the last time I looked at a picture of a model on a shopping website and felt like that – and I spend an incomprehensible amount of time on shopping websites. That’s not to say that different sized bodies haven’t gradually been appearing throughout this industry – of course, Rihanna herself changed the game when she launched Savage x Fenty with plus-sized lingerie; earlier this month Nike installed a range of plus-sized mannequins in its London flagship; Alexander McQueen and Simone Rocha are introducing different types of women to their runway casting; brands like Universal Standard are leading the charge. But this woman’s body, integrated into a thoroughly ordinary e-comm offering, felt particularly powerful for its lack of fanfare.

There’s nothing inherently radical about a size 14 body – it’s just beneath the UK’s national average, and this woman’s is notably more toned than most – but seeing it there felt like a genuine step towards true inclusivity. “I ain’t no sample size no more, girl,” shrugged Rihanna in the Vogue video exploring the making of Fenty. Not many of us are. It’s pretty phenomenal it’s taken this long for someone to realise that embracing that could be a bonus. In terms of progress, she’s driving things forward – and if other women feel the same way I do while scrolling through that website, her bottom line will soon be proving the point.

Ralph Lauren KBE “Humbly Accepts” Her Majesty’s Highest Honour

Ralph Lauren has been made an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) for his services to fashion. In accepting the honorary knighthood insignia from the Prince of Wales during a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 19, he became the first American designer to be awarded the UK’s highest honour for foreigners.

Lauren, who remains chief creative officer and executive chairman of the company he founded in 1967, told Vogue he “humbly accepted” the title. “I have always been inspired by the history, traditions and culture of Great Britain and the historic relationship our two countries have shared. This is one of the most meaningful honours bestowed at this very special moment in my 50th anniversary.” As well as the innumerable accolades he has been awarded by global boards during his tenure in fashion, Lauren was recognised for his Outstanding Achievement by the British Fashion Council at the British Fashion Awards in 2016.

“Mr Lauren has played a key role in forging transatlantic cultural and economic connections,” said Antony Phillipson, British Consul General in New York and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America, upon the announcement of the designer’s award in November. “As creator and visionary of the Ralph Lauren brand worldwide, he has been a vanguard for the global fashion industry and American style for nearly half a century. In addition, monumental philanthropic efforts, especially in the realm of public health, cancer research and treatment in both the US and the UK, have led to benefits felt by citizens around the world.”

Upon his brand’s 50th birthday celebrations, Lauren told the press, “I’ve been very lucky. I like working. I like to dream.” Now 79 years old, the Bronx-born creative continues to implement a progressive business strategy. Earlier this month, he announced that there will be gender parity in all leadership positions by 2023. The inclusion of candidates from diverse backgrounds during any recruitment process will be ensured by 2020. Green targets, such as sustainably sourcing all “key materials” by 2025, were additionally outlined in the Global Citizenship and Sustainability report.

Other Americans who have received honorary knighthoods or damehoods include presidents Dwight D Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George HW Bush, as well as Angelina Jolie, Angela Ahrendts, Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg.

Neneh Cherry Goes Shopping For Granny-Like Street-Style With Matches Fashion

Neneh Cherry likes clothes, but she doesn’t like shopping. So when contacted the counter-cultural musician about participating in its “Curated By” series, Cherry signed up so she could spotlight the designers she loves under the guidance of the e-tailer.

Raf Simons, Bottega Veneta, Issey Miyake and Junya Watanabe all feature in Cherry’s edit, which will launch online and go on display at 5 Carlos Place – the company’s experiential townhouse – from June 20. “I worked with my stylist Karlie Shelley to find pieces that felt most like me: expressive and fun,” she tells Vogue, before reeling off a list of creative favourites also on her radar. Noki, Martine Rose, Phoebe English, Abiola Onabule and Edward Crutchley all appeal to her sense of style, which she describes as “ragga granny-like”.

On a good day, Cherry divulges, she gets dressed quickly, looking to the street for inspiration. She picks up clothes through work, frequents markets to scoop up off-beat gems and borrows from her daughters, Mabel and Naima. “If my husband [Cameron McVey] hadn’t managed to throw away my collection of Alaïa and Jean Paul Gaultier in a house move – boohoo – we would share those,” says Cherry.

A black kimono inherited from her mother is the item she would save in a house fire, but she doesn’t often get nostalgic. “To be honest, I can’t imagine myself running to save any clothes,” she shares. “I would just run, family in tow.”

The “Buffalo Stance” singer is the first to admit that big earrings, trainers and bomber jackets have defined her wardrobe over the years. Aside from a Chanel handbag and her Alaïa wedding dress, which the late designer sewed Cherry into on the morning of her wedding, she is content to carry on the image she honed during the Buffalo movement with collaborators Judy Blame and Ray Petri.

“We weren't really thinking about paving the way, we were just creating and living in it at the same time. That journey continues,” she told Vogue last year upon the release of new music. The collaboration is just the latest iteration of her multi-faceted modes of self-expression. And, she’s as laid-back about it as always. The accessory she can’t live without? “My Juul vape,” she deadpans. “One of my friends calls it my dummy.”

Marques Almeida Is Hosting An Open Casting For Its Cult Reissued Archive Show

Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, the wife-husband team behind Marques Almeida, were champions of diversity before it became a buzzword. Their model line-up has always comprised friends of all heights, sizes, skin tones and personalities, instead of agency hires. For autumn/winter 2019, the duo is casting the net wider than its immediate community in the hope of extending the Marques Almeida family.

In collaboration with concept store 50m in Eccleston Yards, Marques Almeida is hosting a casting party to find individuals to model its new exclusive line of reissued archive pieces. Attendees of the July 4 event in Belgravia will be asked to share a picture of themselves on Instagram using the hashtag #MAFamilyCast. From these social applications, the team will hone the line-up for its seasonal presentation in London on July 19th.

“We want the Marques Almeida family to be inclusive of all, with a completely gender fluid approach and an inspiring mix of real people, which is something we’ve always felt strongly about,” Marques commented on the label’s open invitation. “Our approach has always been about using real people and championing their talents and passions through our work.”

It’s not the first time the 2011-born brand has released re-editions of its cult pieces. In 2018, when the couple decided to show in Paris, they left Londoners with a pop-up shop stuffed full of the colour-saturated designs that had resonated with “MA girls” – the brand’s name for its most avid fans – the first-time round.

“I always think there’s this pressure to do something new every season, but actually, there are so many great things in our archive that people forget we ever did,” Marques told Vogue at the time. “We also know that there isn’t one system that will suit everyone.”

This willingness to go against the grain is what garnered the Portuguese creatives a strong following of MA girls in the first place. Could you be next in line?The open casting will take place at 14/15 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, SW1W 9A on July 4 at 6.30pm. Email to secure your place.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Shimmering Bralettes and Pearl Capes: Alighieri Introduces Talismanic Ready-To-Wear

At only 30 years old, and despite a notable lack of traditional training, Rosh Mahtani has established herself one of jewellery’s pre-eminent young creatives. You need only look at the earlobes or necklines of fashion week to catch a glimpse of her talismanic vision, or take a cursory look at her figures to see the resounding success her nascent brand has already achieved (between 2017 and 2018 her business saw growth of 1000 per cent). “It’s mad!” she confirms beamingly, sitting in the Holborn workshop-cum-office that acts as Aligheri HQ – a stone’s throw from Hatton Garden, where all of her pieces are cast (“we’re now their biggest customer, after the Queen!”).

The tiny room is a complete operational hub: it’s where her jewellery is assembled to order, packed and then dispatched with hand-written notes. She moulds her new designs from wax right next to where her accountant sits; his calculator is flecked with drops of the substance. “I remember walking in here when it was completely empty and being like, this is way too much space. Very quickly, we were like, this is not big enough.”

Not content with simply dominating the jewellery market, recently Alighieri has branched into new territory. First, through launching menswear. Then, by way of espadrilles dangling charms from their laces. Now, Alighieri Atelier. Comprising a new category – clothing-cum-jewellery – it is the most fabulous way to upgrade your under and outerwear alike. Think bra tops made from intricate golden chains and skirting overlays weighted by pearls; headpieces, shawls, even sparkling minidresses. “I’ve always thought of jewellery as your armour; people from all cultures have worn it to protect themselves since the beginning of time,” explains Mahtani. “How cool that we can actually make jewellery into armour!”

Alighieri Atelier started as the sorts of pieces Mahtani would make for her models to wear in her lookbooks (she photographs and art directs all of the brand imagery herself) – “I really didn’t think it could be commercial, but ever since we’ve had them on show people have been asking for them,” she explains. Her proposal – besides stocking some of the more price-friendly pieces through Net-A-Porter and her own e-commerce – is to evolve Alighieri HQ into a space where customers “come in and have a whole experience,” she says. “We’re going to get a place two doors down where you can come and spend a morning, get measured, have a glass of champagne… I’ll tell you the story behind the pieces, you can read the Dante passages to see what inspired them. I imagine a lot of people will buy into it for special occasions, where they want something a little bit different.”

The Alighieri customer has proven thus far that she is devoted enough to go all in with the brand and Mahtani’s pricing strategy has ensured her pieces remain thoroughly affordable. “If we were to work on the atelier with the same margins that we do for our jewellery, it would be ridiculously expensive,” she explains. “But I don’t want to do that – I’m not introducing this because it’s the most lucrative part of the business, but because I’ve always wanted to do it.”

Atelier’s principles are a natural extension of a brand which has rooted itself in its romantic community ethos, and its belief that jewellery can offer something to the wearer besides simply an eye-catching glimmer. “Whenever any warriors would go out to fight, they would sew talismans onto their clothes for protection, and I want to create clothing like that,” continues Mahtani. “I just think there’s something so incredible about the fact that we’re so skeptical these days; we don’t really believe in religion anymore, we’ve lost faith in politics. But yet, people still relate to these objects in exactly the same way, no matter what language you speak, no matter where you’re from in the world, no matter how cynical you are. When you lose a piece of jewellery you feel it. And I think that’s kind of crazy, because then I don’t think any other object has the same power.” All of that messaging and a golden bralette? What a dream.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Government Has Rejected A Penny Tax On Fast Fashion

A report by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee to assess the impact of fast fashion in the UK has been rejected by the government. The MPs’ report, entitled Fixing Fashion: Clothing Consumption And Sustainability, was published in February and outlined 18 recommendations, including a 1p surcharge on every garment sold in order to help fund clothing collection and recycling schemes.

“The government has rejected our call, demonstrating that it is content to tolerate practices that trash the environment and exploit workers, despite having just committed to net zero emission targets,” commented Labour MP and EAC chairwoman Mary Creagh. “Ministers have failed to recognise that urgent action must be taken to change the fast fashion business model which produces cheap clothes that cost the earth.” Creagh went on to accuse the government of being “out of step with the public” and said people are “shocked by the fact we are sending 300,000 tonnes of clothes a year to incineration or landfill.”

A government spokesman responded: “It simply isn’t true to say we are not accepting the committee’s recommendations… much of what the committee would like to achieve is already covered by government policy.” They went on to spotlight the “landmark” Resources and Waste Strategy, which aims to promote extended producer responsibility (EPR), in which retailers would have to consider and pay for the end-of-life process of their products. The representative also pointed to the government’s voluntary Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), which sets industry targets for reducing carbon emissions, water and waste.

In response to Creagh’s comments that it had not accepted recommendations to amend the Modern Slavery Act to ensure companies perform due diligence checks across their supply chains, the government spokesperson said the bill was “ground-breaking”. “The prime minister announced last week that the government will create a new central online reporting service for modern slavery statements to give consumers the ability to make more informed choices about where they shop,” they added.

Creagh posted the government’s response to the EAC on Twitter to a wealth of support from activists, including Fashion Revolution Founder Carry Somers. “The government’s comprehensive rejection of the EAC’s proposals is so short sighted in the light of the current climate emergency,” she said. “Voluntary initiatives alone will not be enough to get brands to take responsibility for their actions and impacts.”

Nicolas Ghesquière On Making Custom Louis Vuitton For Robyn’s New Video

It’s a relationship that’s flown relatively under the radar, but Swedish popstar Robyn and Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière actually go way back. Ghesquière has consistently pulled from Robyn’s discography to soundtrack his shows, starting from his tenure at Balenciaga, and more recently with Louis Vuitton. “Monument”, Robyn’s song with Norwegian duo Röyksopp, comprised part of the score of the French house’s Resort 2015 collection in Monaco, and “Indestructible”, from her instant classic album Body Talk, resounded from inside the impressive Miho Museum outside Kyoto at the brand’s Resort 2018 show.

For Robyn’s new “Ever Again” video from her recently released album Honey, the two teamed up in even more overt fashion: Ghesquière designed the silk blouse that Robyn slowly but surely unties over the course of the video to reveal a semi-sheer embossed latex jumpsuit.

“I have been a fan of Robyn’s music for a long time and getting to know her, I was struck by her talent as an artist,” Ghesquière comments on the artist. “I’m glad we were able to collaborate for the clip of “Ever Again”, a song that I love.” The outfit they designed together perfectly blends in with the video’s surroundings – if it weren’t for Robyn’s signature dance moves, she’d look just like one of the Grecian statues that surrounds her. It’s a collaboration that’s been a long time coming, in a sense, but it was clearly well worth the wait.

“Chanel Is Not For Sale,” Says Brand Of Long-Term Strategy

All eyes might be on Chanel during its post-Karl Lagerfeld epoch, but the latest financial results for the house show it continues to lead the luxury market. In 2018, the company generated $11.1 billion in global sales, up 12.5 per cent year-on-year, while net profits rose 16.4 per cent to $2.17 billion. In response to these figures, Philippe Blondiaux, Chanel’s global chief financial officer, has reiterated, “Chanel is not for sale.”

“Chanel is not preparing for an IPO (Initial Public Offering), I just want to reconfirm that for the hundredth time this year,” he told Business of Fashion. “The numbers we’ve shared show that our strategy is exactly the opposite of a company preparing for a sale or an IPO. We’ve increased our level of investments... to prepare for the long term. We’ve increased our head count ahead of the curve at the risk of slightly eroding our short-term margins, which we don’t care so much about, to prepare for the long term. That remains our strategy.”

The brand did not touch upon the death of its long-standing creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, whose memorial will be held on June 20, or his successor, Virginie Viard – but the recent valuation estimates signify that the label’s desirability has not diminished. “It really confirms what everybody knows, which is that we are the most desirable brand in the world,” Blondiaux said. “Being independent is part of our DNA and probably a key condition for our success. Unfortunately for many bankers, we will remain a fantasy, but that’s what nice brands are about, creating dreams.”

With regards to specifics on the company growth trajectory, Blondiaux said that “human interaction will remain central to the relationship between the client and the brand.” In 2018, Chanel employed more than 3,000 new staff members, many of whom were assigned to global stores. The company remained adamant that high fashion, watches and fine jewellery would not be sold online, despite the increased digitalisation of its competitors.

Chanel said it was “cautious but confident” that the impending outcome of Brexit would not impact the business, owing to its global status. In 2018, sales in the Asia-Pacific region rose by 20 per cent year-on-year to $4.7 billion. Growth in the region surpassed Europe for the first time, where sales rose eight per cent to $4.3 billion. In the US, sales increased by seven per cent to $2.1 billion.

Chanel made its annual results public for the first time in its 110-year history last June, when it announced sales of $9.62 billion, up 11 per cent from 2016. The decision was born out of Blondiaux’s belief that the lack of fiscal information had led “to the circulation of false or misleading information.”