Thursday, August 13, 2020

September’s Milan Fashion Week To Blend Physical, Digital Showcases

In a sign of hope for the industry and the country, Italy’s governing fashion body Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana on Wednesday released the first provisional calendar for the upcoming Milan Fashion Week, dedicated to both women’s and men’s collections. Slated to run Sept. 22 to 28, the showcase will blend digital events with a slew of physical shows. There will be 28 physical shows out of more than 50 events.

“The September edition of Milan Fashion Week will be a ‘phy-gital’ showcase…with the goal to allow each company and designer to present in the most suitable format, in sync with their narrative,” said Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian Fashion Chamber. On the eve of the shows, Sept. 22, Italy’s department store Rinascente will throw a bash in collaboration with the CNMI, while the Milano Moda Graduate display of collections from graduates of local fashion schools will take place on Sept. 27.

“Getting back to business starting from young talents and valuing our incredible and one-of-a-kind pipeline, through our brands’ shows, events and presentations give us hope to look to the future,” Capasa noted. In keeping with the rotation of time slots that the CNMI asked brands to do starting from last September, the first major physical show on Sept. 23 will be Fendi, showing for the first time in a coed format. The luxury house had originally planned to show at its Roman headquarters, the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, but subsequently agreed to take part in Milan Fashion Week.

Blumarine, now controlled by Liu Jo’s founder Marco Marchi through his Eccellenze Italiane holding, as well as Alberta Ferretti and No. 21 will be among the fashion companies hosting physical shows on the first day, while Missoni and Dsquared2 are expected to hold digital initiatives. For the first time since its launch, Redemption is decamping from Paris to Milan with a digital event.

The eagerly anticipated debut show of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons as co-creative directors at Prada is sure to steal the spotlight on Thursday, taking the 2 p.m. slot, flanked by Max Mara, Etro and Emporio Armani. As anticipated, Giorgio Armani has decided to show only twice a year for both his Emporio and Giorgio Armani labels, holding coed shows during the women’s fashion weeks. Meanwhile, streetwear brand GCDS, as well as Genny and Luisa Beccaria will organize digital showcases instead of a physical show as in past seasons.

On Friday, Boss will return to Milan, where it has been parading its collections since last September, while on Saturday, Ports 1961 will show its spring 2021 collection after debuting last February in the city under the creative lead of Karl Templer. Capping off Saturday’s lineup, Giorgio Armani will hold a coed show at its Via Bergognone headquarters, following MSGM, Salvatore Ferragamo and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, all opting for physical shows.

As reported, Gucci will sit out Milan Fashion Week as a consequence of trimming the number of shows to two a year as creative director Alessandro Michele challenges the industry’s vocabulary and opts for “bringing oxygen” to his creativity. One consequence is that the label will not be ready to show in September. The last two days of Milan Fashion Week are expected to be a mostly digital affair dedicated to emerging designers, according to the provisional calendar, with such names as Spyder and David Catalan, among others.

YouTube’s Resident Goth Expert On Race And Rebellion

Depending on your generation, the word “goth” may trigger memories of Bauhaus albums and Robert Smith’s smeared red lipstick or a Rick Owens clad Wesley Eisold of Cold Cave. The aesthetic is instantly recognizable, and the movement’s pop culture presence means that the movies and records are familiar, but there’s more to it than media. The intricacies of goth’s history are best understood by those who embrace the lifestyle, and anyone in search of primer need only look to Rose Nocturnalia, aka Chelsea Clarke. The 28-year-old content creator’s YouTube videos range from the YouTuber classic “What’s in my Bag” to the niche “Goth Club Tips and Etiquette.” Her platforms offer a crash course in all things tied to Western goth and Japan’s gothic Lolitas. For the uninitiated, those are two separate entities, each with a lengthy history. Clarke unpacks everything in detail, allowing her 16K subscribers the opportunity to understand the origins and evolution of the subculture while dispelling myths. “There’s a bit of a popular misconception that Lolitas are in some weird state of arrested development, obsessed with childhood, or we’re refusing to join the adult world,” she shared via email from Toronto. “In reality, most of us are grown, working people aged 20-40—you need a good job to pay for all this stuff—we just enjoy dressing up and having fun.”

First introduced to the concept via neighbors in her Toronto suburb, Clarke soon found herself captivated. “[They] were your stereotypical 90s goths — think big platform shoes, lots of crushed velvet dresses, and too much eyeliner,” she says. “I thought they were the coolest people I’d ever seen.” Armed with an internet connection and a willingness to explore, she delved into goth music at age 11, immersing herself in Siouxsie Sioux, Patricia Morrison and Strawberry Switchblade’s Rose McDowall. Time on forums and Livejournal communities led her to gothic Lolita, the Japanese subset that merges Victorian classicism, kawaii cuteness, and darkness. Though she experimented with countless styles as a teen, Clarke, now 28, came into her own post-college. “I didn’t feel fully comfortable expressing myself through my clothing until I was an adult,” she says. “I guess I was a bit of a late bloomer.”

She chooses her looks based on essential accessories and her favorite pieces—extra large wide-brim hats, Vivienne Westwood’s ballerina shoes—with dramatic babydoll dresses or monochromatic separates. “One of the perks of having an almost entirely black-and-white wardrobe is that everything matches,” she says. “I like to layer and mix textures so that I don’t look like a blob of uniform black, and I break it up with lots of accessories like belts and necklaces.” A former runway addict, she now pays attention to forward-thinking designers like Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, and Iris van Herpen, whose out-of-the-box creations appeal to her sensibilities. But now, she’s committed to anti-consumerism and browses forums for second-hand goth and gothic Lolita clothing.

Growing up, she had to deal with stereotyping as a result of her unorthodox style. “Since I was never a social butterfly to begin with, and I didn’t dress normally or listen to the right music, I was an easy target,” she explains. “I got more than a couple of “school shooter” and “Trenchcoat Mafia” remarks. The dust had just barely settled from the Columbine massacre by this time, and the popular image of goth and alternative kids was very negative. People thought we were violent, depressed, on drugs, or all three.” Teenagers can be ignorant, but several of the authority figures in her community proved equally uninformed. “A couple of my teachers reached out to me, concerned that I was using drugs, even though in reality, I was too scared to try them. Adults, in general, treated me with a lot of suspicion,” she says. “I couldn’t even go into a store without being closely followed by the staff while my friends were completely ignored. I’d even been stopped by the police a few times, even though I can’t imagine how anyone could have thought that a scrawny teenage girl could be much of a threat.”

The bullying had an isolating effect. “I tried to act like it didn’t bother me, but deep down, it hurt. I just wanted to be liked,” says Clarke. “I developed a kind of cynical, contrarian, smart-ass personality as a defense mechanism, which didn’t exactly help me win people over. After a while, I tried to tone myself down to blend in a little bit better, but it just made me even more unhappy.” Though she had a close-knit circle of friends, Clarke didn’t meet many other Black people interested in the goth or alternative scene until she was in her 20s. “I was actively attending events and traveling. I realized just how many of us there were out there,” she says of the larger than expected community she stumbled upon. “It’s kind of funny since rock music of any kind wouldn’t even exist without Black musicians.”

Despite rock n’roll originating from African American blues and jazz, many POC encounter racism and gatekeeping within the insular musical communities that have stemmed from the genre. Clarke shared her experiences with such discrimination via her viral YouTube clip, ‘Black and Goth,’ that has since garnered 42K views. The topic, initially posed by one of her followers, was one Clarke reluctant to explore. Despite having touched on the topic years earlier with a video, she was uncertain about the vulnerability that comes with sharing your private life. “I didn’t want to discuss it at first since my teenage years were pretty miserable, and I’m not very open about talking about my feelings,” she explains. “I had to cut huge sections out of the video because it was getting too personal. The video sat in my YouTube queue for a few weeks while I debated releasing it.”

The Black Lives Matter movement and the spate of anti-racism and police brutality protests that arose worldwide made her want to speak up. “I figured that now was a good time to talk about how broader societal racial discrimination against Black people have even filtered down into this little niche subculture,” she says. “How it manifests itself in things like beauty standards and subtle remarks.” In the the video Clarke outlined the challenges she’s faced being an alternative Black girl growing up in the early aughts covering everything from her experiences with classroom bullying, the idea that the Black culture can be uniformly defined, and even criticisms she’s faced from other people of color. “I got a lot of criticism from my peers that pretty much amounted to ‘why are you like this’,” Clarke says in the video. “Non-black kids were often not directly aggressive towards me but they were condescending [saying] ‘oh I didn’t know that Black people did that’ as if all Black people were a hive mind and we’re only allowed to like and do certain things.”

Once released, the video immediately struck a chord with viewers. “So many other Black people, particularly women, commented that they experienced the same thing in the punk, goth, and metal subcultures,” says Clarke. “I also got responses from people of color from all over the world talking about similar experiences in their own cultures and countries. I didn’t expect that my story would be so universal. It’s disappointing, but it’s also comforting to know that we’re not alone in our experiences.” Thus far, Clarke has been moved by the positive response. Fans reached out with thanks and shared how her honesty inspired them, which showed just how important representation is. “It’s so easy to feel alone when seemingly nobody in your subculture looks like you,” Clarke says.

Though she began vlogging as a hobby, she now hopes her social media presence will have a positive impact. “There aren’t a whole lot of goth YouTube influencers as is,” she says. “Almost none of them are people of color. Just being visible on this platform as a person of color sends the message that we also belong in the goth subculture.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Shiseido Brand Opens First Flagship Store Virtual Flagship

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced brands and retailers to rethink how to best sell their products in an environment that has undergone drastic changes in just a few short months. For Japan’s largest cosmetics company, the solution is a store that is heavy on high-tech, digital services that reduce human-to-human contact, as well as an online version of the same store.

Shiseido Corp. opened its first flagship store for its namesake brand in Tokyo’s Ginza district Friday. The opening had been planned for spring, but was delayed due to the pandemic. Yoshiaki Okabe, chief brand officer of Shiseido, described the store as a “hybrid” model combining the digital experience with Japan’s legendary hospitality and customer service.

“What can be done digitally will be done digitally; what cannot be done digitally will be done by people,” Okabe said during a virtual press conference to unveil the store

The Shiseido flagship is divided into three floors, each with a distinct theme. When customers enter at street level, they will find a variety of stations that encourage different types of product sampling. In addition, special wristbands used within the store enable customers to add products to their virtual cart as they move through the store browsing and sampling products. When they are ready to check out, their products will be brought to them at the cash wrap.

At a station called the Digiskin Tester, customers use a stylus to answer a questionnaire on a touch screen, at the end of which the machine recommends skin-care products that fit their needs and skin type. If they wish to test the products, a staff member will sterilize them before handing them to the customer to try.

The Make Me Up area allows customers to test color cosmetics via simulation. On a mirror-like touch screen, the user can change products, colors and the placement of the makeup in order to get an idea of how the colors will look on their own skin, all without any risk of cross-contamination of tester products. At the digital foundation bar, customers take a digital photo of themselves in order to find their perfect shade from among 30 options.

Also on the ground floor is an automatic dispenser for testing Shiseido’s best-selling Ultimune product, as well as a vending machine for purchasing it without the need for contact with another person.

“We have found that people are tired of being at home and tired of doing everything online,” said Emi Watanabe, Shiseido’s brand manager. “They want to go out, but they want to feel that they are safe when they do so.”

The second level of the store focuses on unique services, including a new style of counseling that is more of a makeup lesson. Trained beauty consultants teach tips and tricks of applying makeup, and guide customers through it as they try it for themselves. There is also a wrapping station where customers can choose from a variety of origami papers, ribbons and gift boxes, as well as an engraving machine where they can get products that are etched with their choice of symbols, phrases, their name and more.

The basement of the store houses Somadome meditation pods for the first time in Japan. Customers can book an appointment online and then visit the store for an entirely solitary, technology-enabled session. Watanabe described the aim of the meditation as “awakening the beauty in you.”

While Shiseido went to great lengths to ensure that its new flagship store would be a place where customers can shop safely and with peace of mind, the company also made the choice to open a virtual flagship on the same day. Customers who view the store online see it just as it is in person, and they can click the different floors and stations to move about, watch dedicated video content, and discover and purchase products.

Chanel’s Newly Launched Rosé Will Transport You To The Côte d’Azur

An August heatwave calls for a bottle of rosé – a fact Chanel has happily anticipated. The French house famously owns vineyards in the world’s most beautiful wine-producing regions, from Bordeaux to Napa – and, at the close of 2019, it acquired quite possibly its most stunning property yet: the 50-acre Domaine de L’Ile estate on Île de Porquerolles.

Set just off the Côte d’Azur, the crescent-shaped island is known for its pine forests, white sand beaches, and turquoise sea, and its typically Provençal landscapes come with a romantic history. Belgian entrepreneur François Joseph Fournier first bought the island as a wedding present for his fiancée in 1912, with his descendants remaining the caretakers of key areas of Porquerolles for the next three generations. Last year, Fournier’s grandson Sébastien Le Ber put the family estate in the care of Chanel, allowing the maison to produce wines that capture the essence of the largest of the Îles d'Hyères.

Now, Chanel’s first French Riviera vintage is here, and the wine is predictably exquisite, down to the newly designed label – which, the house explains, “pays homage to the special light that gives vibrancy to the umbrella pines, adds divine lustre to the fine sandy beaches and makes the pink heather gleam”. The grape varieties, meanwhile, were selected to express all the “distinctiveness and insularity” of the terroir by winemaker Nicolas Audebert, who also oversees Chanel’s vineyards at Chateau Rauzan Ségla, Chateau Canon and Chateau Berliquet.

Made entirely from Rolle, the refreshing Domaine de L’Ile White includes delicate notes of mint and eucalyptus offset by a touch of salinity – but it’s the Domaine de L’Ile Rosé that deserves your attention now. A vibrant blend of traditional Provençal grapes that “evokes the light and serenity” of Porquerolles, it’s designed to conjure up memories of holidays along the Côte d’Azur. What more could you ask for from a bottle of wine in 2020?

Michael Kors Picks A Date For A “Multilayered Digital” Spring 2021 Experience

Last month Michael Kors announced he was opting out of New York Fashion Week. The mid-September time frame, he said, conflicted with the deliveries of fall 2020 merchandise, which were pushed back by the production delays caused by coronavirus lockdowns.

Today, the designer confirmed his new date, October 15, and his new format: a “multilayered digital experience” across the brand’s social and digital platforms. The day before, Kors will share the collection with members of the press in intimate, live presentations, as well as via video appointments. “It is key for us to be able to bring our collection to life and translate that in-person runway show experience as best as possible to the digital world,” Kors said in a release. “To ensure the press and consumers alike are able to view the clothes and accessories in detail, virtually, is my top priority.”

The million-dollar question—not just for Michael Kors, but for all designers and brands—is: What is the best possible substitute for IRL runway shows? After several weeks of digital men’s shows and an extended virtual couture week that ran the gamut from a minute-long glorified ad campaign to a 12-hour livestream extravaganza, the answers aren’t clear. Kors, who is one of the most quotable designers in the business, could do something where his outsized personality takes center stage. Then again, he also likes to put on a real show. 

Maybe Orville Peck, Barry Manilow, or Rufus Wainwright—or maybe all three—could make a cameo? If he goes the costly and time-consuming virtual reality route, he has an advantage that his peers on the official New York Fashion Week calendar don’t: four extra weeks to produce it.

The Fashion Mannequin Needs To Be Rethought Now, Says Rosalind Jana

In an age where consumers increasingly care about the sustainability of their clothes, how do they feel about the figures that display them? As fashion grapples with the urgent responsibilities of improving representation and its sustainability credentials, the mannequin is coming under increasing scrutiny.

They look like us, or at least we’d like them to. They remain eerily still. Mostly. They are considered crucial to the showcasing and sale of clothes, which makes them complicated. For a period of time during lockdown, they were the only thing to inhabit many clothes stores. Now some of them have been put to use in cafes, bars and other venues where spacing people out is imperative: living, breathing customers arranged between motionless facsimiles of themselves.

I’m talking, of course, about mannequins. In a world where human contact has become fraught and the normal fashion system has been upended, the mannequin has become a surprisingly relevant focal point: whether emblematic of a disrupted world of consumerism or offering practical display solutions in face of social distancing and isolated working circumstances.

The mannequin is having a moment

In fact, recent digital fashion weeks and presentations have been rather mannequin-heavy. At Loewe, creative designer Jonathan Anderson showcased his 2021 menswear collection and women’s pre-collection on a series of simple mannequins. Various designers including Kaushik Velendra also explicitly chose to invite viewers behind the scenes, revealing their clothes in the process of being made on dressmaker’s dummies. For Dior’s couture show, too, mannequins proved central to the proceedings, the label’s video Kingdom of Dreams featuring clothes presented in miniature on a series of small, headless mannequins, with the fashion house promising to send them out to key customers so they could preorder.

It wouldn’t be Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior without a historic reference or two; these mannequins formed a direct nod to another period of tumult that required inventive thinking. After the second world war, with fabric in short supply and the world of haute couture in economic free-fall, 15 French fashion houses including Schiaparelli, Lanvin and Balenciaga joined forces to put on a spectacular public attraction that also functioned as a handy advert for their wares. They made scaled-down versions of their best-loved clothes and displayed them on wire and porcelain mannequins that stood at a third of their usual size. The Théâtre de la Mode was a huge success. It initially showed in Paris where it welcomed over 100,000 visitors before touring Europe and America.

This post-war show of ingenuity isn’t the only time the fashion industry has made canny use of mannequins either. Alongside their obvious position as a necessity in stores, the humble mannequin has also been a mainstay on shoots, catwalks, and presentations, as well as in museum exhibitions. From Maison Margiela’s autumn/winter 1998 collections, presented on a series of rather eerie marionettes made by stylist Jane How, through to fashion shoots by the likes of Tim Walker and Helmut Newton, playing with the lines between living body and static form, the mannequin has offered many creative — and sometimes uncanny — opportunities over the decades.

Why should the traditional mannequin be reconsidered?

In more recent years, the very nature of the mannequin has come under increasing scrutiny. As the fashion world grapples with present, urgent responsibilities, as well as more existential questions about the future of the industry, the use of mannequins comes with new concerns, both in retail settings and elsewhere. Some of these concerns are practical. For example, in an age where consumers increasingly care about the sustainability of their clothes, how do they feel about the figures that display them?

Many mannequin manufacturers are already experimenting with ways to make their products more environmentally friendly. For Belgium-based Bonami, their ‘Future Mannequins’ are made of a strong, lightweight, 100% recyclable material called bonplast. “We’ve spent several years on research and development to create and produce mannequins using advanced eco-based manufacturing that is friendly to the environment, while at the same time meeting the retailer’s demands for a perfect fit and design,” owner Nico Bonami tells me.

Other companies are investing in new approaches too. A range of suppliers including Genesis, Bonaveri, and Hans Boodt have similar ethical credentials, ranging from reduced greenhouse emissions to biodegradable materials and paints to carbon neutrality and closed-loop (fully recyclable) production.

How to diversify the mannequin’s antiquated image

It’s not just what mannequins are made of that’s the issue, it’s also how they’re made to look. The standardised mannequin form — slender, tall, able-bodied, often exemplifying all the beauty ideals long perpetuated by the fashion industry — is also in need of an overhaul. Over the past decade, a number of brands, Nike among them, have addressed this lack, offering displays of mannequins that more readily reflect those buying their clothes. However, these gestures can feel tokenistic: only in store for a limited period of time, rather than illustrative of any deep, structural change. Other options, like the iDummy, which can mechanically change shape, seem like an interesting route forwards, but aren’t yet used widely.

It’s an area of progress that writer, speaker and advocate for disability and design Sinéad Burke is keenly invested in. Last year, as part of an exhibition for the National Museum of Scotland’s Body Beautiful exhibition, her body was cast in order to create the world’s first little-person mannequin. “Being able to witness and experience every stage of the process, I thought my first sighting of the mannequin would be casual — but the awe I felt caught me by surprise,” she tells Vogue. “I hadn’t seen a 360-degree representation of myself or someone who looked like me ever before. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the impact it might have on others, particularly those who are younger, who might just assume that such inclusion has always existed.”

Burke has been a passionate and articulate activist for change within the fashion industry over the past few years. “I view diversity through a prism. I see it as a vehicle of education, innovation and creativity,” she says. “By mobilising diversity as the starting point for any design process, rather than something which only occurs within a legal framework towards the ends of a system, it creates an opportunity to design for all, simply by focusing on the experience and expertise of the minority group. For so long our exclusion has been explicit, even if it wasn’t intentional. Our inclusion has to be deliberate.”

Although rooted in the physical world, these concerns aren’t exclusive to it

If recent digital fashion weeks — and several magazine covers this year — are anything to go by, technology offers new potential for the future of the mannequin and other representations of the human form.

For art and design duo Auroboros, blurring the line between model and mannequin isn’t just a question of commercial ease. Instead, it presents a great opportunity for innovation. They have been working on a purely digital clothing collection, which they describe as “accessible, digital-only prêt-à-porter, free of all material constraints, meaning no gender or size issue, nor the negative impacts of physical mass production.” These virtual clothes come complete with what they term Biomimicry digital display mannequins. “The mannequins can, similarly to the clothes, be designed in limitless forms,” Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova, the creators behind Auroboros, tell me. “The beauty of the virtual sphere is both utopian creation and also representing those human forms that may have previously had limited visibility in the rest of the fashion industry.”

Tangible or virtual, old-school or cutting-edge, it’s clear the future of the mannequin is one in which the question of how we display and consume clothes is paramount. This is a question with huge creative potential and complicated social and ethical dimensions, requiring great consideration of what our default ideals look like, and what we want to see in shop windows, on screens and in museums. Hopefully, with this current, renewed interest in what mannequins can offer, these questions will carry on being asked — maybe with some interesting answers along the way.

Can A Closet Cleanse Change Your Life? In Lockdown, One Writer Takes The Plunge

“Blame it all on Jane Birkin,” I mumble sheepishly into my laptop. On the other end of the Zoom from my London lockdown is Vogue’s resident closet-cleansing guru, Liana Satenstein—otherwise known as the Schmatta Shrink—in New York, and she seems aghast by my stash of a dozen or so wicker basket bags. Among them is a reminder of that escape to Deià; the wedding in Morocco; a modern-classic Loewe—oh, and a versatile, hand-woven Brother Vellies clutch, for the past three summers my loyal walker to any event. “They’re all quite different bags for life,” I hear myself saying. “And I do wear them all year round.”

A recalibration of our homes, and the abundance in them, has been ushered in during isolation. For some, that’s meant clearing out the baking relics in the kitchen cupboards or addressing jammed sock drawers. Pre-pandemic, I was packing at leisure and having vague thoughts of “paring down” my closet in a way that now seems stupendously luxurious. Truthfully, I had done very little but still knew it was a rare moment to access how much I actually needed, what I could let go of—and what I planned on holding on to forever. My rhythm of donating or recycling basics and baby and gym clothes is well tuned, and certain areas of my life are edited with a Pawson-like minimalism. (My jewelry consists of two mannish watches—one stainless steel, one gold; a Cartier bangle; my engagement ring and wedding band.)

On the other hand, I’m not great at letting go of fashion. Enter Satenstein, who has a great pedigree, having recently helped streamline the closets of model Paloma Elsesser and Vogue Contributing Editor Lynn Yaeger.

As the only child of an antiques dealer, Satenstein feels destined to closet-cleanse after her formative education trailing her mother. “I went to every sale: trailer parks, flea markets, estates. I saw how easy it was for people to get rid of things and learned that at the end of the day, stuff is just stuff.” (I’m not a complete stranger to the concept. During pregnancy, I rid myself of some beloved pieces that no longer fit—but, in reality, laid down the lion’s share like a fine wine in hope of being svelte again.)

We all know in theory how liberating—both psychologically and financially—responsible wardrobe cleansing can be, but I’m cautious of letting someone else’s opinion into my closet. (Years later, I still regret being talked into letting go of a feather-hemmed Prada dress.) But I hold my breath, pull everything out, and Zoom in. “I will be taking notes,” Satenstein says.

I start with my stash of floral Erdem and polka-dot Alessandra Rich silk plissé—what I call “smart day.” But having returned to London to embark on freelance life, I’ve had a head start on WFH style and figured out that it requires a uniform. Mine: button-through shirts paired with jeans or Isabel Marant Étoile track pants. Still—surely these dresses take up precious little space on their skinny velvet hangers?

“One should suffice,” Satenstein says, deftly reminding me that my use of “smart day” seems increasingly less relevant as our current moment has further tested the limits of just whom we’re dressing for. As I unearth more, though, sartorial solecisms are splayed out across my bedroom floor. Impulse purchases—Satenstein deems them “the candy”—jump out immediately: a Cecilie Bahnsen backless blouse, a Gucci cat jumper (I am a dog person).

“Take a moment,” advises the Shrink, “and ask yourself why you are buying these items.” (The doctor, it seems, is in.) We find stubborn survivors from past culls, including two 20-year-old Ghost dresses. As I try them on, the Shrink—somewhat shockingly—thinks I should keep them: They fit well, roll down to nothing, and could make great summer day dresses. Looking at my pile of 35 jeans in a spectrum of sizes, the Shrink simply says, “Don’t live for the past or the future—live for how you are right now.”

Now in full shrink-session mode, we resolve to look through old images to ascertain why I keep clothes. Photos bounce from London to New York, alongside new selfies. A harsh message from Satenstein pings: “Any regrets—that’s just nostalgia. Like an ex-boyfriend: Just because you saw him and he looked great doesn’t mean that you need him back!”

I have a Maybe pile with a 30-day expiration deadline. My Resale and Repair piles, meanwhile, are getting larger. “They should be visible,” says the Shrink, “so you don’t forget them.” As the fashion industry at large navigates a seismic transformation, though, I’m also wondering what it all means for me. (The uncertainty of freelance life, for one, has had me pumping the brakes on spending.) Obviously, the most sustainable item in your closet is a piece you already own—a helpful maxim as I evaluate the edit.

Key lessons learned: A sparer closet not only helps you home in on your style, it helps you look at things in a more creative way. Even if not shopping the runway, I’m still inspired by it. After all: Pleasure is still meant to be at the heart of what we wear.

Is The “Phygital” Boutique The Future Of Shopping? Riccardo Tisci Thinks So

Riccardo Tisci is about to transform the way we shop luxury with the creation of a new “social retail” Burberry store in China — is this the phygital fashion solution we’ve all been waiting for?

Over the past few months, the fashion industry has been forced to adapt to a rapidly changing world, where both the clothes we wear and how we purchase them are undergoing a seismic shift. With more luxury shoppers migrating online than ever before, Burberry’s chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci believes our social media habits may hold the key to the future of retail — but what would a phygital boutique look like?

Designed to create a truly interactive experience, the British fashion house is launching a new “social retail store” in Shenzhen, China, which will bring the world of social media into IRL shopping, and allow customers to find out more about the brand’s designs via their phones.

“Our social retail concept is just the next step in giving our community a truly personal, luxury experience,” Tisci tells Vogue. “What I find so exciting is the ability [for our customers] to experience the Burberry world both physically and digitally.” 

Tisci says the value of the in-person shopping experience remains critical, despite the shift towards online shopping. “Particularly in fashion, you need to be able to see and understand the texture and movement of clothes. You need a grounding to what is real and tangible,” he comments. “I believe there will always be a place for physical stores as a space for customers to come and to feel like they are in the heart of a brand; it is about establishing and nurturing an emotional connection.” 

With fashion content on platforms such as TikTok booming during the pandemic, it’s clear that younger luxury customers are eager to consume style content online — and the designer hopes this new in-store concept will appeal to this generation in particular. Using WeChat, customers can collect “social currency” to unlock exclusive content and personalised experiences in-store, as well as sharing these with friends.

Shoppers will also be given an insight into the brand’s history via the Trench Experience, focusing on Burberry’s famous trench coat. “More than ever before, I think customers, especially the younger generation, want to buy into and believe in the identity of a brand,” Tisci explains. “Technology is an incredible tool that allows us to use yet another way of communicating with our community.”

With sustainability increasingly becoming a major concern, Burberry has ramped up its environmental initiatives in recent years. In April, the luxury brand introduced sustainability labelling that outlines a product’s “positive attributes”, which will now be incorporated into QR codes featured in the new social retail store in Shenzhen. The fashion house has also committed to becoming carbon neutral in its own operations by 2022, as well as setting targets to reduce emissions across its supply chain.

Ultimately, the pandemic has given Tisci time to reflect on how to communicate his creative vision, with Burberry set to show its spring/summer 2021 co-ed collection virtually in September. “This has been a really interesting time for me to re-think how I work creatively,” he explains. “I have loved seeing how artists from many disciplines have used this period to express themselves so uniquely, and how, thanks to social media, the voices of many are being heard. This democratisation of expression will be a path forward for the industry as we look to emerging talent and the community to inform, inspire and collaborate with us.”

More than ever, the industry has a crucial role in creating change. “Fashion has a voice in our society, and a voice that I hope will be used to push boundaries together,” Tisci concludes. “We are an industry of dreamers and we have the tools and the responsibility to use our platforms to unite communities and action change. I truly believe in renaissance, and I believe that the time is coming for a re-birth in the world.” 

Issey Miyake Men Label To Be Discontinued

Issey Miyake Men, the men’s wear line begun in 1976, is being discontinued. “As we continue to explore the future of men’s wear and with full engagement, we arrived at the decision to end Issey Miyake Men in its current format to explore and engage with something new and exciting,” Issey Miyake Inc. said in a statement obtained by WWD.

After starting out as part of the Issey Miyake women’s wear line, Issey Miyake Men became a brand in its own right in 1978. The label made its first appearance at Paris Fashion Week for the fall 1985 season and has been a mainstay of the men’s calendar, prized for joyful and energetic runway shows. The fall 2020 collection marks the last for Issey Miyake Men, which has been presenting in a Paris showroom, rather than on a catwalk, since June 2019.

Issey Miyake Men’s last runway collection, shown in January 2019, was a breezy, chic fall line created by Yusuke Takahashi. It included numerous billowing silhouettes, such as wide trousers and wafting jackets, plus popping colors. Takahashi, whose first collection for the brand came out for spring 2014, left Issey Miyake Men in February. Subsequently, the label has been designed by a team Issey Miyake himself put together and oversaw, while the company looked into new possibilities for men’s wear.

For the past four seasons, Homme Plissé Issey Miyake, the masculine counterpart to Pleats Please that was introduced in 2013, has held artistic presentations during Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Most recently, for spring 2021, the Plissé collection was shown in a video titled “Meet Your New Self” in which the brand made patently clear that its clothes are bright, fun and comfortable enough to execute contemporary dance moves or even practice basketball.

Homme Plissé Issey Miyake has wider distribution than Issey Miyake Men. The former counts 133 sales points, including 12 Issey Miyake shops, whereas the latter has 74 points of sale, of which 11 are Issey Miyake shops. Homme Plissé Issey Miyake has two freestanding stores, and Issey Miyake Men has one.

“As a company, we have always engaged ourselves in making and creating clothes, which is a process that comes hand-in-hand with the time we live in and the society that is progressing,” the Miyake company statement said. “We question what a piece of garment should be, and how it can better fit in our lifestyle, and from there we challenge ourselves to realize it. This approach has never changed since the very beginning.”

What I Learned Living Out Of A Carry-On Suitcase For 4 Months

For the past four months, I have been living out of a suitcase. No, I have not been traveling cross-country on some sort of epic road trip. Instead, I have been camping out at my parents’ home in Canada. When I left New York in March, I never thought I would find myself still here more than 100 days later. Yet here I am, continuing to recycle the same handful of pieces that I packed in my weekender bag, wondering when the Canada-U.S. border will open up. Getting dressed in the morning has become like a nightmarish version of Groundhog Day. Didn’t I just wear that, I’ll ask myself, getting ready to hop on my morning Zoom meetings dressed in one of the five tops I have at my disposal.

To make matters worse, the few things I did bring with me are hardly everyday staples. Neutrals? Never heard of them. I traveled with what I can only describe as a hot mess of impracticality. Loud, printed camp collar shirts! A very tight pair of jeans! A pair of shorts. (Okay, those are practical). Throw in my dad sneakers and chunky mandals, and we have ourselves one confusing 2020 summer wardrobe. Rewearing these pieces to death—and admittedly not washing them as often as I should—is not what I imagined my hot-boy-summer vibe would be.

For the first few weeks, it wasn’t an issue. I work from home and have the house to myself most days, meaning nobody sees me anyway. Hell, I was actually glad I had packed my most statement-making tops. For one, they helped trick my coworkers into thinking that I was actually dressing up every day. But after week two, it was completely obvious that I was rewearing the same prints again and again—at least to me. Surely my coworkers could tell! Turns out nobody even batted an eyelid. In fact, I learned a lot of other things in the process. (Spoiler alert: It’s not been so bad.) Below, four key takeaways from living out of a suitcase.

1. Yep, I own way too much stuff.

This was very clear to me after week one. I slowly began to realize that I can barely remember what remains in my closet back in New York, even though it’s overflowing with things. Do I miss certain pieces? Of course, particularly all my silky summer shirts. But on the whole, I’ve done pretty well without. It’s made me realize that I shop too much, own too much, and basically always rewear the same things anyway. Now I’m just being forced to do it.

2. Nobody notices your outfit repeats.

One of my biggest worries was that my coworkers would begin noticing how often I was rewearing things. It’s vain, and it’s silly, but working at a fashion magazine, I want to dress up—even if it’s just for a 10-minute Zoom meeting. But even four months in, I still have coworkers complimenting me on my tops (despite having worn them a bajillion times since March). “I hadn’t noticed,” one colleague recently told me. “Is that new?” another asked. Long story short: We are conditioned to think people will judge us for rewearing things, but in fact nobody cares. Live your best recycling life!

3. My mood is greatly dependent on what I wear.

Call me superficial, but what I wear affects my mood significantly. Being limited to a handful of pieces has left me feeling, well, not like myself. I often let the clothes do the talking for me. Now that I’m completely stripped of my fashion armor, I have to work a little harder on projecting my personality. And maybe that’s not a bad thing.

4. How I shop has changed—and will continue to change.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t purchased anything since March. We all have our limits! Desperate for newness, I recently treated myself to a few new things. Ironically, when it came time for me to shop online, I found myself struggling to find pieces that I really wanted. (Maybe my age has something to do with this; I’ve for sure become more pragmatic in my late 20s.) I finally settled on a Levi’s button-down that fulfilled my need for a crisp white summer shirt and a purple Mobilize hoodie, because working inside with air conditioning gets frigid—and why not support an Indigenous-owned brand to keep warm? I bought these pieces because they are entirely different from anything I own. Which is the way one should shop anyway, no? If anything, living out of a carry-on has been a form of retail rehab. And I highly recommend it.

Diet Prada Is Launching A Fashion Subscription Service

Since 2014, self-appointed fashion police Diet Prada have been responsible for calling out the industry for plagiarism, model exploitation, sexual assault, racism, and more. Now, the Instagram account, led by New Yorkers Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, has announced that it’s joining membership platform Patreon.

Revealed yesterday (July 28) on Instagram, the Patreon subscription will include “specifically curated content for our most fashion-obsessed followers”, with the first article dropping today. “Hey Dieters, we are now on Patreon! If you’ve loved our content over the last five years and ever wondered how you can support, subscribing to our Patreon is a great way!” Diet Prada said on Instagram.

“You’ll not only get access to exclusive content, but it’s also a meaningful way to help sustain an independent source of news and information. With your support, we can continue retaining an independent voice and full editorial and creative control,” they added.

Dieters can expect a range of exclusive articles, ranging from deep dives into forgotten trends, in-depth looks at recent runways knockoffs, and op-eds. “We have a lot to say that won’t fit into an Instagram caption,” reads a membership description. Subscribers will also get early access to merch drops, along with discounts and “maybe even some special goodies”.

9 Tricks Zara Uses To Give You A Burning Desire To Buy Their Clothes

Zara is the largest clothing retailer and the founder of this empire, Amancio Ortega, started with a store that sold cheap replicas of expensive designer clothes. Today, the annual revenue of the company is measured in billions of dollars. And it’s us, the customers, who spend this crazy amount of money in Zara. Have you ever thought about what makes people want to get new clothes over and over again? Analysts hve investigated the marketing strategy of this brand and identified several tricks it uses to “capture” its customers.

1. The most expensive clothes are located at the entrance — this is how they capture your attention.

In Zara stores, clothing is arranged according to the price. At the entrance, there are the most expensive clothes. The designers hope that their customers will fall in love with these clothes right away. Ideally, you are not supposed to make it to the rows with the cheaper clothes. Zara is betting on the fact that you will make a decision impulsively: see — want — buy.

The farthest parts of the store are for the customers looking for cheaper clothes. There, you can find basic clothes and clothes that have been discounted. But while you are on your way to the inside of the store, you might already see a dress, a handbag, and some shoes from the new collection that you want.

2. Clothes, shoes, and handbags are placed adjacent to each other for a reason.

There are no departments in Zara stores, at least not in the sense we are used to. Clothes, handbags, shoes, and accessories are all located in the same area. You don’t have to think about which shoes go with which dress. The store designers have already decided this for you.

Of course, this capsule approach is very convenient. It saves you a lot of time and helps you find your way in the world of ever-changing trends. But this is also a cunning trick: a customer’s logical thinking shuts down because everything has already been decided for them. The only thing they have to do is pay.

3. Zara doesn’t have any commercials and it’s not because they want to save money.

Zara spends a ridiculously low, 0.3% of their profit, on advertising. The brand doesn’t go out and talk about how great, trendy, and comfortable it is on purpose. But this is not some kind of marketing mistake, it is a well-thought out strategy to make you spend more conquer the market.

Zara invests its money into catalogs... and window signage. Their tactic makes customers start to feel that there is something exclusive inside their stores. They think that the quality of their clothes is so good, that it doesn’t even need any promotion. Think of it this way, Balenciaga and Versace don’t have any TV commercials, but everyone knows that they are premium brands.

The same trick works for Zara: you come to their store to buy a thing that your colleague/friend/neighbor doesn’t have. They offer exclusive clothes for very little money. Of course, there is nothing exclusive about it, it’s just that Zara exploits our craving for something special and we don’t mind it.

4. The brand has a subconscious influence on you: it makes you feel as if you are part of the elite.

Zara will never open a store next to a Walmart, Auchan, or some other supermarket. The brand pays a lot of attention to the location of their stores. The stores are opened only in big shopping malls or on the main streets of big cities.

Look carefully: there is almost always some elite branded store next to a Zara store. Of course, they have stylish and beautiful clothes, but they are way too expensive. And Zara is different: by placing their stores next to elite boutiques, they say, “Our clothes are also stylish.” But the average price in Zara is much lower. In other words, Zara gives you the chance to feel as stylish as the people who spend a fortune on their clothes.

By the way, Kate Middleton helped the brand become a little more aristocratic. The Duchess is a fan of Zara: right after her wedding, Kate put on a simple blue Zara dress and of course, it became a hit immediately.

5. Zara releases several new collections per season on purpose.

More than 400 designers work on creating new collections. Zara’s strategy is fast fashion with a short shelf-life. The brand has changed our attitude toward clothes. Now, there is nothing special about shopping: you buy clothes and then you just get rid of them, just like when you throw old food away.

While other brands are playing a guessing game with the trends of the upcoming seasons, Zara is releasing several new collections. Every couple of months, these trends change and the brand releases a series of new clothes again. If something trendy appeared on a runway, a city street, or a celebrities, be sure that, soon enough, you will see it in a Zara store.

However, this is also the biggest disadvantage: customers get addicted to fast fashion. Zara produces 450 million things per year and everyone can find something they like. They make us think that new clothes can make us happy and stylish. And if they don’t, you can always go back to the store and try something else.

6. You can be sold a piece of clothing that wasn’t sold in a different part of the world.

Zara clothes do more traveling than some people do. And this is because the clothes that are not sold well in one store travel to the others. Skirts, pants, and T-shirts just travel around the world: some clothes from Europe might even end up in Russian stores.

But if a model was not very successful, it is redesigned. So, some parts of less successful outfits get a new life. Zara knows how to save its money and doesn’t just get rid of its unsold clothes.

7. The brand creates the illusion of scarcity to make you buy at least something.

Zara creates the scarcity effect. Basically, they want your brain to go, “If you miss the chance to buy this thing now, you will never see it again.” It means that you “think” a jacket that you saw in a store 10 days ago could disappear from the shelves and never appear there again.

Creating this feeling for their customers puts them in a hamster mindset: they stock up for the future and buy clothes in advance. And the brain gets the impulse to “Get this thing NOW!” Impulsive purchases are good for the seller, but bad for the customer. In the end, most of us end up regretting the money we spent.

8. Their sales work in a special way.

Before the start of the sale season (usually in July, August, December, January, and February), Zara tries to sell as many clothes as possible at their regular price. The stores are full of clothes from the old collection, and the newer models will be hard to find. The clothes from the new collection will have special tags on them, and the rest of the clothes are the “old” ones. But a few days later, they will be sold at a much lower price. Just wait for a little while and you won’t have to regret spending more money in vain.

Even the Zara store retail associates don’t recommend buying clothes from old collections right before sales.

9. Zara has special stores where there will never be any customers.

Zara has stores that will never be visited by regular customers. The test stores are hidden in the Spanish headquarters. If you’ve visited Zara in different countries, you’ve probably noticed that the interior design in them is pretty similar. A team of 30 architects thinks through every detail: the light bulb color and even the floor texture that is supposed to have a positive influence on customers.

By experimenting in the test stores, designers choose the optimal height of the hangers, the height of the mannequins, and the location of cash registers. All of this is done to help you feel more relaxed and prone to buy more.

A girl who worked for ZARA spoke about how to get clothes at very cheap prices.

We have found some tips from the employees of the store who’ve shared some of their insights. Now, you will also know how to save money on buying clothes from Zara if you were not able to resist the charm of this brand. Just like most clothing stores, the sales here happen 3 times a year: at the end of the summer, before the New Year, and at the end of the winter.

The lowest prices during the sales are during the third week. On the first week, the discount is 20-25%, on the second, it’s 40-50%, and by the end of the 3rd week, the prices drop by 70-75%. Buy the most trendy things at Zara and get your basic clothes at other stores. According to experienced customers, jeans and basic clothes from Zara aren’t the best quality.

Don’t buy shoes from the new collection right away. During the sale period, they will be back with a 50% discount. The stores have the bulk of their stock on Mondays: your chances of buying high-quality and cheap clothes are higher at the beginning of the week. The lowest prices for Zara clothes are in Spain and Portugal (a significant part of the clothes are made here). Are you going on a trip? Get another suitcase for your clothes!

Rixo Puts A Scandi Spin On Its Cult Dresses For Copenhagen Fashion Week

The Scandi fashion pack has amassed an army of followers keen to emulate their every impossibly stylish look. Their latest converts? Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, the designers behind London-based fashion and lifestyle brand, RIXO.

Danish It-girls have already worn RIXO’s bold designs with aplomb; styling theirs with chunky Doc Martens, clashing prints and standout accessories. Now, the duo has given their vibrant, summer-ready dresses a specifically Scandi spin – just in time for Copenhagen Fashion Week. “They’re the perfect girls to show you that you can actually wear our dresses to work, to the office, or for a weekend brunch,” Henrietta tells British Vogue of their new muses.

The brand’s CPHFW debut comes hot on the heels of its autumn/winter 2020 presentation at London Fashion Week in February, when RIXO collaborated with heritage fashion house, Christian Lacroix, on a series of vintage dresses and accessories. While the designers were due to visit Denmark’s scenic capital in their ’60s double-decker bus (christened Joni), for the showcase, the pandemic meant they had to mastermind an alternative way to unveil the collection. 

Enter influencers Marianne Theodorsen, Nicole Huisman, Sara Flaaen and RIXO icon, Nnenna Echem, who were chosen to shoot and style the new RIXO pieces themselves to appear in a film that will be shown at Copenhagen Fashion Week in lieu of a physical show. “We said ‘we really trust you, we love your style anyway,’” Henrietta explains, adding: “We wanted them to show customers how to wear the collection.” 

Vivid neon watercolours, colourful floral bursts, ditsy prints and fresh gingham all feature on the relaxed waistless silhouettes and flowing maxis that make up the collection, while neck-ties and frothy collars are notable Scandi details.

A film featuring all four women will be shown during RIXO’s CPHFW slot from 3pm BST on 12 August. Each influencer interpreted the collection in a different way – Sara styled her loose-fitting checked Jennifer dress with a pair of cult lug-soled stomper boots; Nnenna teamed her acid-green floral button-up Judith dress with pearl jewellery and flip flops; Marianne opted for pastel Converse, and Nicole amplified her look with bright blue Crocs. Consider it all the late summer style inspiration you need. 

Victoria Beckham Has Got A New Muse

Brooklyn Beckham’s proposal to Nicola Peltz has brought with it myriad Instagrammable moments of the happy couple in various states of embrace. Among those posting pictures of the pair is proud mother Victoria Beckham, who appears to be relishing her budding relationship with her new daughter-in-law. VB gifted the Transformers star the ruffled, buttercup-yellow dress Peltz wore for her engagement portrait, and subsequently invited the 25-year-old on a shopping spree in her Dover Street store.

The fruits of Peltz’s haul have just become apparent on Victoria’s Instagram, as the designer shared a snap of “the sweetest couple at sunset”. Against the backdrop of an ombré sky and calm sea, Peltz wears Victoria Beckham’s autumn/winter 2020 rose dappled dress. Retailing for £1,450, VB describes the design as “a moody floral print, anchored by unexpected touches of hardware, [which] creates a modern take on bohemian codes”. Peltz cinched her silk georgette midi dress with a slim burgundy belt and altered the chain detail on the shoulder to slightly ruch the sleeves.

Peltz’s growing collection doesn’t stop at mainline Victoria Beckham. The actor has swapped out her old gym gear for box-fresh Victoria Beckham x Reebok kit, and has even copied her mother-in-law’s gym selfie technique to capture her new leggings and crop tops. It’s surely only a matter of time before we see NP and VB post a family workout picture of their identical get-ups.

Perhaps the designer-muse relationship is working because Peltz carved out her personal style long ago, when rising up the ranks in the film industry. “Nicola understands who she is, what she likes and what works on her,” her longtime stylist Leslie Fremar has previously told British Vogue. “It’s great working with someone who’s so assertive, because you can bring ideas to the table without feeling like you’re taking over.”

Like Beckham, Peltz enjoys a pared-back aesthetic and is a stickler for good tailoring – “She knows her sleeve length and where everything is supposed to fall on the body,” attests Fremar. Peltz is also a keen learner, soaking up information as Victoria did when first finding her place in an industry not accustomed to welcoming former pop stars. “Nicola pays attention, she appreciates people who are trained in their fields and she enjoys it,” adds the Hollywood stylist of her client’s work ethic. Time will tell whether they collaborate on the most memorable dress of all: Peltz’s wedding gown.

Yoon Ahn Trawled Online Reptile-Owner Forums To Create Her New Bulgari Collaboration

“As long as they’re not poisonous, I’m okay with snakes,” says Yoon Ahn, the effortlessly cool co-founder of Tokyo-based brand, Ambush. Reptile-owner forums and video imagery of serpents were on the mood board for her new “Serpenti through the eyes of…” collaboration with Bulgari, which sees the multifaceted designer reimagine the brand’s famed Serpenti bag. Previous collaborators include Alexander Wang and Nicholas Kirkwood, who each had their own inimitable take on the accessory.

De-stigmatising the fear associated with snakes was a focal point for Yoon, who instead wanted to celebrate their beauty and power. “After watching, looking and seeing all sorts of snakes, I realised how beautiful they were. Some of them are so beautiful, they look fake,” she tells British Vogue.

When it came to the bag itself, she loosened up the silhouette. Leather wraps and bright palettes comprise Yoon’s spin on the Serpenti, and she has released three new shapes as part of the capsule. First up: a luxurious scale-texture, top-handle bag fashioned in a quilted nappa leather, which also features bold metallic accents and a detachable shoulder strap.

Next: the Serpenti Minaudière, inspired by photographs that Yoon found on snake-owner forums (from to, the internet caters extraordinarily well for snake owners worldwide), showing the animals curled into the shape of a heart. She laughs, “We need to tell this adorable side of snakes more!” Available in both black leather and aluminium iterations, the unique piece is a nod to both Bulgari – and Yoon’s – DNA as jewellers. 

A multifunctional belt bag is Yoon’s favourite piece in the collection: “Girls go from day to night, we don’t go home to change to go out [again]. These bags be worn with sneakers and heels then transform into a different look, depending on the lifestyles and how we dress up.”

Each bag is complete with a camouflage snakehead closure, and an array of smaller accessories also feature in the capsule, such as a heart-shaped coin case, a trio of credit-card holders adorned with the Bulgari X Ambush logo and a coiled Serpenti bracelet wrapped in nappa leather.

Yoon has serious experience in creating instantly recogniseable designs. Known for her industrial chains and safety pin jewels that she designs with her rapper husband, Verbal, under their joint label, Ambush, Yoon is also a great friend of Kim Jones.

When the Brit designer was based at Louis Vuitton, he asked the Korean-American designer to create a wearable MP3 player that was named the “playbutton”. And when Jones was appointed creative director of Dior Men, he enlisted Yoon to head the jewellery department. Chunky “CD” monogram chains, etched gold rings and shiny silver duo-finger rings were styled alongside Jones’s soft, pastel-heavy spring/summer 2019 debut collection for the maison. Nike, Undercover, Rimowa and Converse are a handful of the other big-name brands that Ambush has collaborated with.

Campaign shots photographed by Tyler Mitchell show Bella Hadid, Ellen Rosa and Xiao Wen in front of luscious leafy backdrops, modelling the lively, versatile pieces styled by Carlos Nazario, in a shoot where Yoon had creative oversight. And there’s not long to wait if you’re tempted to make a new-season bag purchase: the “Serpenti through the eyes of Ambush…” collection is available to pre-order at from 11 August and will be launched in-store from 3 September.

Damian Hurley Brings Louche Ibizan Style To Notting Hill

Like his mother, Damian Hurley does peacock fashion remarkably well. (See his decision to reimagine Liz’s 1994 safety-pin Versace dress for a Pat McGrath Labs event at Selfridges last year.) And while his wardrobe may have been more subdued during lockdown – with Fab lollies among his go-to accessories – it appears the model is back to his old, bold sartorial tricks. For a group outing to Casa Cruz in Notting Hill in the middle of the heatwave, the 18-year-old paired a casual linen shirt and box-fresh trainers with mermaid-print denim trousers by Loewe – one of the most eye-catching pieces from Jonathan Anderson’s 2020 Paula’s Ibiza collection.

Released annually since 2017, the range of holiday clothes and accessories pays homage to the bohemian style espoused by the now-shuttered Ibizan boutique when it first opened in 1972 – along with Anderson’s memories of trips to the Balearic island as a boy. Included in this year’s drop? Asymmetric tie-dye dresses; oversized shirts printed with vintage club flyers from Ibiza’s most notorious hotspots; and a range of wonderfully kitschy dolphin and whale-shaped bags. Even if a sun-drenched getaway is off the cards this year, there’s still good reason to hit “add to basket” now: Loewe will give €40 to educational projects for socially vulnerable children for every purchase made – on top of a fixed €500,000 donation.

Hurley’s trousers, specifically, feature a mermaid print designed by Paula’s owners Armin Heinemann and Stuart Rudnick during the 1970s – the same one that appears on the packaging for the house’s first Paula’s Ibiza fragrance, launched this spring. Developed with Loewe’s in-house perfumer Nuria Cruelles (who, like Anderson, frequently summered in Ibiza as a child), the perfume is designed to transport you to the UNESCO-protected old town. Among its deliciously exotic ingredients: coconut water, driftwood, frangipani, and mandarin oil.

Katy Perry’s Latest Maternity Dress Is Biodegradable

Throughout her pregnancy, Katy Perry’s maternity wear has (as expected) been brilliantly bold. Case in point: the peach embellished Gucci gown she wore for an appearance on Australian TV show, The Project. But, in a surprising wardrobe volte-face for the pop star, she has taken a low-key turn. While out running errands in Santa Barbara, Perry – who is expecting her first child with fiancé Orlando Bloom this autumn – wore a Miranda Bennett Studio Knot linen dress. 

The plant-dyed design is not only biodegradable, but was created by an all-female team. Perry effortlessly accessorised her sustainable frock with a MLM straw visor, RayBan Wayfarer shades and a protective face mask. A touch of glamour came via her Federico Jimenez vintage earrings, while her woven Marsèll flats added another point of interest. Recently, KP made a case for the maternity crop top. Taking to Instagram, she modelled her own “Smile” merch while proudly showing off her bump. Just what will she add to her pregnancy wardrobe next?

Are Fashion Shows Headed To The Oscars Next?

The 2020 Emmy Award nominees have been announced and, surprisingly, a fashion show made the list. Rihanna’s very mega autumn/winter 2020 Savage x Fenty runway show, which was prerecorded with a live audience in February for Amazon Prime, was nominated for “outstanding choreography for variety or reality programming”, along with So You Think You Can Dance.

The Savage x Fenty show was really more than a fashion show. Filmed inside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, it was a musical and dance performance featuring Halsey, Migos, DJ Khaled, and others, along with supermodels like Bella and Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne. Laverne Cox also made an appearance on the stage-slash-runway, as did Rihanna herself. Most importantly, it was a show about empowerment and body positivity with a diverse cast that wore lingerie with intoxicating pride.

In Emmy Award history, the only fashion show to have been nominated or to have won an award has been the Victoria’s Secret fashion show (mainly in the category of lighting), which was cancelled indefinitely last year. It’s not only ironic that Savage x Fenty was hailed as the new, much-needed and more progressive Victoria’s Secret show, but also that the nomination comes at a moment when the industry as a whole is completely rethinking the traditional runway-show model. 

Due to Covid-19, designers and brands big and small have been forced to embrace the idea of digital shows, as well as live streams, hybrid physical and digital – or “phygital” – shows, 3D constructions, and fashion films. Earlier this month, many of the top couture shows were creatively reconfigured into film formats. Nick Knight directed a stellar video for Maison Margiela’s Artisanal collection starring the house’s latest muse, Leon Dame, that mashed up Zoom calls, bodycam and drone footage, and iPhone screenshots. Knight also worked with Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli for his “phygital” couture collection on a video component to accompany an IRL runway show that was live streamed from Rome. Dior put out its own couture film as well, showcasing a fantastical fairytale narrative punctuated with tulle and organza.

Outside the couture schedule, the designer behind Hanifa, Anifa Mvuemba, made headlines back in June when she released her latest collection on 3D models with no bodies, just forms, which was praised widely for its approach to inclusivity. All of these recent examples, plus Rihanna’s new potential accolade, beg the question: In this new era, can fashion shows be as powerful and impactful as TV and film? Will the runway have a place at the Oscars?

Fashion films are, of course, nothing new, but at a time when the industry is pushing its own boundaries and moving in new, more virtually innovative directions, can these refreshing mediums stand alongside the shows and films we binge and love? Only time will tell, but there’s no doubt that more Hollywood directors and tech-world stars will be tapped to lend their creative hands come the very different fashion month in September.

There’s no doubt Rihanna is already thinking about these shifts in the industry. Whether she wins that Emmy or not, she deserves more than a few props for changing the way we see lingerie, the models who wear it, and the way that a fashion show can inspire us far beyond a catwalk.

Pierre Cardin Is The Subject Of A New Documentary

Pierre Cardin has an indefatigable work ethic. That’s one of the major takeaways from P David Ebersole and Todd Hughes’s new documentary, House of Cardin, which charts the ongoing career trajectory of the designer, from birth to the present.

Cardin, née Cardine, is a self-made and self-invented man. His memory of his family’s flight from fascist Italy to France when he was two seems almost like a parable. Cardin says that when the train entered into a tunnel and his car was plunged into darkness he screamed to his mother that he had gone blind. His sight restored, he went on to envision and manifest a bright future for himself in France. When asked what they think motivates the designer, Ebersole and Hughes, who are fans and serious collectors of Cardin’s work, reply: “This man loves the future and intends to see it.” Now 98, Cardin has, in fact, recently acquired a property for a new cultural centre, in Houdan, France.

The designer remains sharp as a tack and engaging. Not only does he retain a sense of humour, but comes across variously as decisive, wry, determined, and at times calculating and vague (in archival footage, which is used to great effect throughout the film, Cardin’s eyes are often averted from the camera). He’s also something of the coquette. Speaking of his early days in fashion, the designer quips, with a sly smile: “I was quite a good looking young man, so everyone wanted to sleep with me.” Though his relationships with the French actress Jeanne Moreau and the designer Andre Oliver are explored, Cardin’s twin passions for his work and for theatre (he dreamed of acting), seem to burn hottest.

A crack tailor, Cardin is that rare designer who is more than a stylist; he can make a garment from scratch. A protégé of Christian Dior, Cardin’s early work under his own label, though distinguished by its cut, was very much of the style of the time. His first “hit” was a pleated red coat, which suggested nothing of his “lunar” fashions for men and women to come, or the loveliness of his 1960s couture as worn by his Japanese muse Hiroko Matsumoto, and with which he made his name. But maybe one-third of House of Cardin is about fashion. The installation of Cardin’s modernist furniture designs at Sotheby’s is documented, and his “Bubble Palace” on the French Riviera, and cultural centre are covered, as well. The directors make clear Cardin’s preeminence as a businessman. Whether or not he opened a “Pandora’s box”, as is suggested in the film, Cardin pioneered the licensing model that generates income for luxury brands from accessible items, and the scope and ambition of Cardin’s enterprise remains impressive today. 

Cardin got off to a lucky start; he was working at Patou in the very workroom in which Jean Cocteau and Christian Bérard were conceiving the costumes for the surrealist film La Belle et la Bête. They asked him to construct them and took him under their wing, sweeping Cardin right into the inner circle of Parisian creatives. His later success would be met with jealousy and more. The designer was expelled from the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture (the industry’s governing body in France) when he launched ready-to-wear, a category of dress which revolutionised the industry, an achievement that the directors are at pains to emphasise Cardin reached before his rival Yves Saint Laurent. But if his accomplishments were not always applauded, Cardin remained unruffled. In archival footage circa the 1960s, he says: “I think that my initiatives have never been errors. Here, I start a new experience because I’m never satisfied with myself. I need to give interest to my life and try to advance this profession which I particularly love.”

In 2020, the designer, and his brand stand somewhat apart from the industry. Cardin, it seems, is more concerned with success and with culture than with being “cool”. One senses, too, that Cardin prefers a sort of “outsider” status. He has his own Art Nouveau gem of a clubhouse in Maxim’s, which he acquired in 1981. The designer, says Ebersole and Hughes, “loves to party. He loves people and loves to be surrounded by creativity and laughter. He loved presiding over Maxim’s all these years. He always took our entire crew to dinner every time we shot, no matter how late it was. And then he wanted to chat with everyone and find out what they were up to. Doesn’t even matter if you speak the same language.”

The directors float the idea that Cardin bought the club because he was once denied entrance, having shown up in the fashion forward look of smoking and turtleneck. What’s really behind the designer’s ongoing drive? Perhaps it’s not about psychology, but simply the joy of doing. When I asked Cardin what he’s most proud of, he said, “I’m most happy that I remained in creation, always remaining popular and always continuing to create. The house of Saint Laurent said: ‘Oh, Cardin, we won’t hear from him in another year;’ and I’ve always continued; and Saint Laurent, unfortunately, he stopped.” 

Runway360 Is The CFDA’s Answer To A Mostly Digital New York Fashion Week This September

With few, if any, in-person shows or presentations likely to take place during New York Fashion Week when it happens in mid-September – the city has entered phase 4 of reopening, but indoor gatherings of substantial size are still prohibited – the CFDA is building a new digital platform, Runway360, to connect American designers and brands with the media, retailers, and consumers. “Think about when we centralised Fashion Week with the tents 25 years ago, said Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s president and CEO, during a Zoom presentation of the new concept. “This is similar to that, we’re just creating this centralised hub.”

Like ye tents of old, the online platform is a one-stop-shop, housing brand pages where users can find designer profiles, livestreams and other digital activations, collection content, and press notes. It’ll operate according to the NYFW calendar, with time slots and appointment viewing, only it won’t go dark when New York’s shortened Fashion Week is over. “It’s really open access and democratic,” Kolb explained. “Whether you’re doing a video or a photo shoot or VR – or whatever it is your budget or your ability creatively to produce is – our platform is meant to be plug-in.”

What it isn’t is an editorial site, which is one way Runway360 diverges from some of the other platforms built for the digital fashion weeks in London, Milan, and Paris. “We’re not going to have content that is an interview between Marc Jacobs and a muse about his new house upstate. It’s not a panel discussion with three models talking about trends,” Kolb said. It’s really more of a business tool. Virtual showrooms will allow buyers to place orders, and while e-commerce is not part of the offering, emerging designers could take pre-orders that would help them cover their costs of production, and they could also gain useful data about what’s being watched and liked.

“Just like you have at New York Fashion Week there’s a collective energy and vibe. It’s the same approach here, bringing it all together in one place,” Kolb continued. With brands posting their content on their own websites and social channels, and increased interest on the part of the Instagrams and YouTubes of the world in featuring digital fashion shows, it will take time to draw a critical mass to Runway360, let alone create a vibe, but the service is free, and, as Kolb points out, it will create critical infrastructure for brands that need it. NuOrder, the virtual showroom is providing free services to BIPOC designers. The key word is community.