Thursday, October 15, 2020

Fendi And Chaos Join Forces On A Selection Of Savvy Charms And Tech Accessories

When Chaos debuted its collaboration with Fendi on the Italian house’s February runway, nobody could have foreseen quite to what extent technology would come to define the months to follow. The logo-emblazoned EarPod holders or jewel-like smartwatch casings, which appeared clipped onto cinched waist belts and golden lanyards alike, went on to find a new resonance during a year when those sorts of devices have proven so instrumental to our existence – and so frustratingly prone to misplacement. “As a reflection of the world we are living in now with video calls… my favourite would be the smart earphones case,” reflects Silvia Fendi on the collaboration. “It’s a fun, whimsical play on such a practical object which we now have to use everyday.”

But the partnership speaks to a far longer-standing alignment between Silvia and Chaos founders Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall. Having worked alongside Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi for over a decade, the duo has found a foundational role within her creative circle, and the irreverent perspective which defines their brand operates in harmony with the spirit of the house. “We share a great sense of fun and creativity, which is always present at Fendi,” Silvia continues. “And Chaos has a practical attitude which I like: a charismatic spirit with functional designs that I can really connect with. I like the idea of giving a purpose to things, which is what Chaos is all about.”

“Each piece was chosen for its usefulness, or how delightful it could be,” explain Stockdale and Lyall, who founded their brand with the simple desire to “create specific solutions for needs in our everyday life: beautiful, well-crafted, desirable solutions.” Having evolved their offering since they first launched in 2015 with their Chaos Zip lanyard necklace and iPhone cases (whose monogrammed leather exteriors soon became a fixture in the mirror selfies of everyone from Bella Hadid to Naomi Campbell and Victoria Beckham), their collaboration with Fendi takes the handy essentials they have become renowned for up a gear.

Now, there are leather shot glasses (as suitable for a morning dose of ginger as a late-night tequila); a smartpen which can be worn as an earring; a wealth of alluringly crafted monogrammed casings. Drawing inspiration from their love of “precious and useful objects, traditional and new” – from vintage cigarette holders to Old Hollywood evening clutches – it’s a desirably witty take on luxury which translates the spirit Karl Lagerfeld imbued the house with during his tenure there.

“Karl had a great wit, sometimes very sophisticated, and sometimes almost childlike in his delight of a really silly pun,” the duo reflect. “While he had an intense work ethic, taking any commitment very seriously, he also felt that fashion is a craft rather than an art, and he fully subscribed to the idea that one could work like a dog and enjoy oneself while doing it. Humour – maybe more accurately, a gentle irony – plays a big part for both Chaos and Fendi.” Does fashion need more of that? “Perhaps, although maybe it’s not so much needed in the design as us all needing a sense of humour about ourselves! Fashion can be a place of high drama and stress – which we love! – but also it’s important to remember how lucky we are to work in this creative space.” Certainly if we all need anything right now, it’s a sense of humour and a wealth of gratitude. Plus, of course, not to lose our earpods. Perfect timing for the launch, then.

Adidas Unveils Its Most Eco Trainer To Date

“When it comes to UltraBoost DNA Loop, we didn’t take the easy route!” Adidas’s VP of brand strategy James Carnes tells British Vogue. He’s talking about the sports giant’s brand new eco “made to be remade” trainer. Its credentials are impressive: the shoe is crafted from 100 per cent recyclable single TPU material and zero glue, meaning that it can ultimately be returned and reimagined as a new running trainer.

Innovative and futuristic, the DNA Loop joins a family of UltraBoost footwear that prides itself on advanced technologies and pioneering manufacture techniques. “We over-invest in bringing these principles into our sports products – particularly as we know this is a generation of consumers who have significant power to create change,” Carnes says.

In April last year, 200 “creators” around the world were asked to road test Gen 1 of the UltraBoost. Following the trial, each piece was broken down and remade to produce Gen 2, which went through the same rigorous assessment process in November 2019. Now, the result of all that road-testing has been made available to 1,500 fans, who will join the sustainably-focused micro-community and help shape the future of its design journey through a 21-week cycle that will encourage still more feedback.

The UltraBoost DNA Loop launch will kick off Adidas’s immersive Creators Club Week experience, a seven-day festival that will see the largest-ever drop of exclusive shoes (70 new designs will feature). The digital event will invite consumers to interact with their favourite footwear, and limited-edition versions of the most sought-after styles – including the Ninja, Ultra4D, Superstar Tattoo and NMD – will be available to buy throughout the week, along with a new addition to its Parley range, the 4D model made from ocean plastics.

A host of famous faces will take to the virtual stage at the event, including supermodel Karlie Kloss and rapper and record executive Pusha T. Kloss and Carnes will introduce the cutting-edge technology used to make the new trainer. “Through this shoe, Adidas is leading an incredibly important conversation around circularity and fabric innovation. We hope this launch inspires creators to join us as we strive to create a more sustainable future together,” Kloss said of the release. Pusha T will talk about the impact of ’90s street culture on the music and fashion industries, in addition to the coveted Ozweego style he collaborated on in the past.

Members who sign up for free to Adidas’s Creators Club loyalty programme will have the chance to win prizes including a piece of art by fashion designer Paolina Russo, who specialises in up-cycling, and a pair of Adidas Predator football boots signed by World Cup winner Paul Pogba.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Olivier Theyskens S/S´21

When Olivier Theyskens found himself sheltering in place this spring, he pondered how his aesthetic had developed. He remembered receiving a CD of [Franco-Canadian] singer Mylène Farmer in his early teens. Curiosity drove him to look up her music videos online.

“I would listen to her on loop. I loved, and still love, her voice very much, but I was quite thrown by the realization of the imprint she left on me at that age — a moment where the things that touch us become fundamental to our perception of things, a muse of sorts — and the influence this had on my personal universe and the manner in which I create,” he said during a preview at his new showroom.

So the silhouettes of this spring collection owed as much to Theysken’s proclivities as they did to the artist’s personas. There was Farmer’s androgynous waif phase, embodied in the mannish cut of a fluid gray suit, with wide-leg trousers and a high waist, or in the blowsy volumes of high-collar blouses nodding to 17th-century shapes. A pale marigold silk number played on the border of tailoring and flou, to become a Forties-influenced dress. Elsewhere, Farmer’s sensual phases were represented in slinky jersey slipdresses barred with an X that made them almost lascivious, or in a taffeta minidress that mimicked the outline of an exposed garter belt at the hem.

If floor-sweeping taffeta coats and body-hugging gowns may look out of sync with these uncertain times in pictures, in person, the whisper of fabric and details of their construction spoke of another Theyskens obsession: the idea that clothes can only truly to be experienced, just like music — live and at full volume.

threeASFOUR S/S´21

Adi Gil, Ange Donhauser, and Gabi Asfour began making masks early in the pandemic. Upcycled from leftover fabric from their spring 2012 collection InSalaam, InShalom, which blended patterns from the Arabic and Jewish cultures, they were masks with a message. “Under not the most pleasant circumstances, humanity has unified,” Asfour said over a Zoom call from their New Jersey studio.

If that’s an optimistic way of looking at the pandemic, the mask-making project did energize them. “We feel good about our place,” Gil elaborated. “The mask success is nice proof that we do make sense in this time.” The Threeasfour trio have been at it for two decades, but they remain avant garde outsiders in New York fashion, showing only irregularly on the Fashion Week calendar. After skipping last season—the last time we saw them on the runway was a year ago, when they were celebrating their 20th anniversary—they produced a spring 2021 collection that balances their artistic, experimental tendencies with more wearable ones.

Their sculptural collections are often inspired by sacred geometry. It’s a topic linking geometry with nature and God, that has come up more than once this season, probably because it feels like Gaia has decided it’s time to fight back. Their most recent collection was an ode to the plant world. On Zoom today they riffed about Vesica Piscis. The almond shape made by the intersection of two circles is also called the Womb of All Creation and the Eye of Horus, and it symbolizes protection, power, and good health. “For our new type of reality it’s the perfect theme,” Asfour said.

That almond shape took three-dimensional form on the more artistic, experimental looks in the new collection—conversastion starters, all of them—and transformed into Op Art prints on easy-to-wear tunics and leggings made in collaboration with the Japanese digital printing company Mimaki. The digital prints also have the distinction of looking uniquely their own.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

“We Have A Chance To Reset”: Why The Copenhagen Fashion Summit Is More Critical Than Ever

With time running out to tackle the climate crisis, the annual meeting of fashion’s leading figures to discuss sustainability is even more significant. We speak to founder Eva Kruse about this year’s digital event, and why now is the chance for the whole industry to reset.

For the past decade, fashion’s leading figures have gathered at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit every year to discuss how the industry can achieve a more sustainable future. This year’s event though — which will be taking place virtually for the first time, from 12 to 13 October — is arguably the most important to date, with time quickly running out to tackle the climate crisis.

“We have a chance now to use this moment to actually reset,” Eva Kruse, CEO of the Global Fashion Agenda and founder of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, tells Vogue. “It’s ever more relevant to discuss exactly how sustainability can be a huge part of the rebuilding of the fashion industry after [the Covid-19] crisis.” Eva Kruse, President and CEO, Global Fashion Agenda talks at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2019.

Taking place via the new CFS+ platform, the digital event will feature a series of conversations between the likes of H&M CEO Helena Helmersson and professor of environmental science Johan Rockström, as well as Omoyemi Akerele, founder of Lagos Fashion Week, and Samata Pattinson, CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress. Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri will also be taking part in a live interview, while other speakers will include Chanel president Bruno Pavlovsky, Ganni founder Nicolaj Reffstrup, and Amina Razvi, executive director of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. All talks will remain on the site beyond the virtual event, and there will be a digital matchmaking service for brands and innovators to meet, too.

The new format reflects the way in which industry conferences are having to adapt during the pandemic, with the Circular Fashion Summit taking place via VR technology earlier this month. “This disruption with Covid has made us think about how we bring these conversations to life in a different way, and create something that can have a much longer life than just one day,” Kruse says. “We can reach a much bigger audience [virtually]. I’m very excited that the CFS+ platform is open to everyone — there is no expensive ticket, and it doesn't require a flight.”

Including diverse voices was a key focus, particularly in light of the global reckoning on racial injustice we’ve seen in 2020. This year’s event has, however, faced criticism for not including the voices of garment workers — considering how heavily they’ve been impacted by cancelled orders during the pandemic — although Mostafiz Uddin, founder of manufacturing company Denim Expert Ltd in Bangladesh and an advocate for workers’ rights, is on the lineup.

“We haven’t been good enough at prioritising [diversity] in the past,” the Copenhagen Fashion Summit CEO admits. “We’ve been more focused on getting those in power to speak and unfortunately, it is still [the case] that there are not enough diverse voices in leadership positions.” 

The value of fashion

It’s fair to say the past few months have given most of us a chance to slow down and reflect on what’s important to us — with early indications suggesting that shoppers are becoming more eco-conscious as a result. Fittingly, then, the theme of this year’s virtual summit is ‘redesigning value’, highlighting why we all need to value our clothes more. “How can we get back to a place where you appreciate a thing has a price because it has cost something not only for the worker, and the fabric, but for the forest, the water and pesticides used, the CO2 emitted?” Kruse questions.

It’s a subject that was also addressed in the open letter to the fashion industry, led by Dries Van Noten, calling for delivered collections to coincide with the appropriate season, and discounting to happen only at the end of the season (not mid-season, as it does now). It’s a proposal Kruse agrees with: “Massive discounts have decreased the value of the product and made us as consumers used to getting things at a discounted rate. When everything is discounted, you also often buy too much.”

On a personal level, the question of value is central to the former magazine editor’s approach to her own wardrobe. “I have to value products that I buy more; I have to need it more,” she explains. “It’s about reducing, reusing and recycling. When I buy something new, I have to get rid of something as well — either resell it, give it away or recycle it — so there's a flow in my wardrobe.”

The need for urgent action

While sustainability has been the talk of the fashion industry of late, real progress is still slow. “In all of our surveys, we can see about 50 per cent of the industry is doing something in the space of sustainability, but still 50 per cent is lagging behind,” Kruse says. “The question is if they will [take action] on their own, or if they need to be pressured by legislation, say, a price on water and on CO2, a ban on incineration.”

The Global Fashion Agenda CEO hopes the impact that Covid-19 has had on the fashion industry will speed up the process. “The pandemic has shone a light on sustainability as a business imperative,” Kruse says. “We’ve seen how a company that has a leaner supply chain, more control over their natural resources and their production, are the brands doing better. Sustainability is not just the right thing to do in terms of what’s right for people and the planet, it’s also the right thing to create more resilient business models in the future.”

The Copenhagen Fashion Summit has certainly come a long way in moving the conversation forward over the past decade — when it first launched in 2009, sustainability was rarely talked about within the industry. Does this make Kruse hopeful for the future? “I’m definitely optimistic,” she concludes. “I really hope that people will take this opportunity to not just go back to what we had before. It’s about being focused, and narrowing down what really matters. I think that can drive us to a good place.”

Valentino Celebrates The Rockstud’s 10th Birthday With A Surprising Collaboration

Happy Birthday Rockstud! It seems like barely yesterday that Valentino’s signature pretty-tough pumps trod the global fashion circuit on street-stylers who fell for the easy charm of the quietly punky footwear. To mark the 10th anniversary of the brand’s once sell-out accessory line, creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli is revisiting the Rockstud along with some famous friends of the Italian house.

Kicking off the “Valentino Garavani Rockstud X” collection is Craig Green. The British menswear designer will put his spin on the label’s leather products with hand-applied metallic pyramid accents, inspired by the notches on Roman doors. Green, who has previously lent his utilitarian design nous to Moncler Genius, Adidas Originals and Champion collections, is an interesting choice for Valentino. He has a diehard millennial clientele who fawn over his artisanal workwear; one that Piccioli will no doubt want to tap into in order to take the Rockstud series into the mainstream again.

Both Valentino and Craig Green are currently keeping the product design and launch date under wraps. In the meantime, Rockstud fans have a new supersized take on the edgy-meets-elegant accessory line to covet for spring/summer 2021. At Valentino’s recent Milan Fashion Week show, Piccioli sent souped-up versions of studded bags and point-toe pumps down the runway. The message was clear: the Rockstud is back and it means business. Stay tuned for a first look at Green’s take on the iconic accessory once beloved of everyone from Alexa Chung to Emma Stone and Jennifer Lopez.

Miuccia Prada Is Auctioning Off Her Last Collection Without Raf Simons

As the pandemic ruptured the very seams of society, Prada announced in July that it would be partnering with Sotheby’s – a first for the Italian house – to auction off collectible fashion items and raise money for UNESCO. Now, the sale of autumn/winter 2020 menswear and womenswear pieces and props is here. The landmark collaboration between broker and brand is not only an opportunity to help vulnerable people around the world, it is a chance to secure a slice of fashion history: Miuccia Prada’s final Prada collections without her newly instated co-designer Raf Simons.

Bids for the lots from Prada: Tools of Memory are open until 15 October, and items including a fabulous wool coat with beaded fringing are already drawing in thousands of pounds from investors. The 72-piece edit spans backstage photographs, invitations, runway décor, and a vinyl LP of the show’s soundtrack. Saffiano leather handbags abound, and there’s a handful of the vanity case bracelets up for grabs (translation: catnip for handbag collectors). The prize ticket – a full look comprising a hand-sewn organza dress, choker, metal headband, bracelet, and leather Mary-Janes – is expected to raise over £12,000. Photos of Gigi Hadid and Freja Beha Erichsen backstage prior to the autumn/winter 2020 presentation will surely fetch close to that.

On her decision to partner with Sotheby’s and rehome her beloved brand artefacts, Mrs Prada told British Vogue: “I think that in this moment what I can do with my work is do something that is meaningful, real, that can express various intentions, different meanings. The collections are about personality, craft, a creative contribution. The meaning and usefulness of fashion today: use and utility, function. Clothes as tools, tools for life – fashion with a purpose.” You heard it from the legend herself, these autumn/winter 2020 pieces are not just investment buys, they are tools for life.

Gabriela Hearst Is Launching A New Deadstock Capsule Collection – And It Redefines Sustainable Luxury

Trust Gabriela Hearst to come up with a link between upcycling and Ridley Scott. The designer today (5 October) opens an installation in Selfridges as part of its Project Earth sustainability initiative, and is launching an exclusive capsule collection, titled “Retro Fit”, alongside it. And as with every clever plan she comes up with, there’s a backstory.

“I always loved Blade Runner as a movie and I suddenly had this realisation a few years ago that we live in a retrofit world,” she says, speaking over FaceTime from Paris the day before her spring/summer 2021 show takes place in the city. “We have an air purifier in the house, we have ways to clean our water. We are always retrofitting and fixing everything that we are screwing up on this planet.” It made her think of the way she works at Gabriela Hearst, the eponymous womenswear line she founded in 2015, which is worn by women as discerning as the Duchess of Cambridge, who recently debuted a repurposed denim Hearst dress to meet David Attenborough, and Jill Biden, who wore a three-year-old silk dress for the presidential debate on 29 September. “In the last show we took existing coats from current inventory, cut them up and pieced them back together, reshaped and remade them. And nobody noticed that they were older coats.”

Retrofit, then, is a new label from Hearst made entirely from upcycled pieces of existing stock. “It’s about looking at what you have and giving it a new life,” she says. “We have been looking at our inventory and thinking about what we can dye, what we can embroider, can we change the belt, can we change the length – something we all used to do before we had access to cheaply made clothes.” The accompanying Selfridges installation will contain pieces of ex-display furniture from De La Espada, the Portuguese furniture brand with whom she also worked on her Mayfair store. “The directive was: it has to look great, not like an airport lounge. No overuse of mid-century! But we wanted to work with things that already exist and that we have access to.”

As for the clothes, headline pieces in the line-up include cashmere wraps and skirts that have been hand embroidered with new statement stitching; linen-silk shirt dresses (Hearst is a major fan of linen for its sustainable properties) that have been dip-dyed by hand in new colourways; and cashmere rollneck dresses that have been cut and re-tailored to become tunics. Plus, there’s a new limited-edition bucket bag, the Ana, which “basically looks like two of our bags had a baby,” as Hearst puts it. Made up of old stock from two existing bags, only seven will be available (she is famously controlled about her distribution when it comes to accessories). She laughs: “I thought, if it looks like a mess then we’re not doing it. But when I saw the bags in person, I was like, ‘These are cute! I’d like to wear them! We’re good!’” 

“Upcycling” is a much-used word this strange old catwalk season, with numerous designers using deadstock fabrics and reworking existing stock after a disastrous season of sales in the wake of the coronavirus. But Hearst has always done this out of choice, rather than financial necessity (though she’s quick to point out that one happy upside is that it’s far kinder on the purse to make environmentally-friendly choices, such as switching the transportation of clothes to being shipped by boat rather than plane). When she staged the first carbon-neutral runway show in New York, for her spring/summer 2020 collection, other major brands followed suit. “I’m happy,” she says, when I ask if it grates that so many designers are co-opting language and ideas she has been promoting for years. “We are not going to have any new natural resources – we need to work out how to work in a circular economy sooner rather than later.” 

Hearst has worked hard to make her sustainable clothes desirable – and though it’s been a tough year financially, the wholesale business in particular has held up well. “We were extremely surprised to see that wholesale was even to last year – it would have been up if we hadn’t been caught in the pandemic during spring shipping. So, it was a huge boost to know that people still want to invest in the product. I am full of gratitude.”

Her other challenge is to figure out how to continue to support the craftspeople whose work she continues to spotlight in her collections. One particular coat from her autumn/winter 2020 collection, which she calls “the dream” coat (as in, Joseph and his technicolour variety), and which retails at a not inconsiderable £6,590, sold out instantly. Now, she’s taking orders directly from customers and putting them in with the cashmere weavers in Uruguay who hand-make them.

She is intrigued, too, to see what other designers come up with when it comes to upcycling. As she points out, there is an inherent challenge in making old clothes look new. “From a creative perspective it shows what your taste level is – it can be a hot mess to do something with deadstock fabrics!” She takes her phone through the showroom and flips the camera around to show me a dress from her spring/summer 2021 catwalk, where two deadstock fabrics have been joined in the middle with hand-knotted leather. “This has been hand-worked. It’s all about how you put it together to make it look good. And it’s not so easy!” 

This Senegalese-Italian Model Walked More S/S'21 Shows Than Anyone Else

Since British Vogue last spoke to Maty Fall Diba in July, when she closed the Dior Cruise 2021 show, the Senegal-born, Italy-based model has starred in a whopping 37 spring/summer 2021 shows. She beat rising runway stars Malika Louback and Mika Schneider, who took second and third spot respectively, to take the crown as the most prolific model of the season. Rather apt, given that her starring turn on the Dior catwalk saw her wear an actual crown that created a luminous halo around her braids.

“I have a lot of highlights,” professes the 19-year-old, now back in Chiampo in the north of Italy after modelling her final spring/summer 2021 look for Chanel at Paris Fashion Week. “Dior, Fendi, Alberta Ferretti… My favourite look was the one from Ferragamo, because of the colour. I love orange!”

This season has been “so much more chill”, explains Maty Fall, because of the phygital format, which saw brands pivot to lookbooks, static presentations, and small salon-like shows, with just a handful of the traditional big-budget runway spectaculars. “You had time to do things… Last season was crazy, I was running everywhere!” she laughs. Despite pandemic-imposed restrictions and precautions, Maty Fall notes, “The atmosphere was kind of the same, there was the same craziness backstage.”

The season didn’t round out with celebrations, but with a return to her language studies. “Books are going to be my best friend until next June,” she says of juggling Spanish, French and English syllabuses via a mix of Zoom and IRL lectures.

“Hopefully I’ll be working whenever I can,” Maty Fall, who is signed to IMG, adds swiftly. She’s staying open to opportunities thrown her way by the big-name brands, such as Dior and Prada, who now consider her one of the family. “I feel like everything for me is still so new, everything is just [the best] job. Being able to wake up and do this is a dream.”

It might come as a surprise, after the sweet Fendi shorts sets, vibrant Versace playsuits, and delicate Victoria Beckham slips she has spent the last month wearing, but Maty Fall describes her style as homely. “I’m really a lazy person, so I like to be cosy and away from cold,” she shares. She’s equally modest when quizzed on the beauty products that keep her skin fresh and dewy. “I don’t know if we consider face moisturiser as an essential, but I can’t live without it!” The best advice she has ever received from the industry titans who have welcomed her with open arms is simply to “be yourself”. This is far from the last we have seen of this wonderfully self-effacing queen of spring/summer 2021.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

5 Things To Know About Chanel’s Elegant S/S'21 Show

The day before Chanel’s SS21 show, the house released a one minute and 46 second-long teaser video. The white capital letters of the Hollywood sign had been replaced with the Chanel logo in an arty black-and-white film by Inez & Vinoodh that panned over a palm tree-studded LA landscape and suddenly morphed into Paris. Sure enough, clips of Romy Schneider in La Piscine, Anna Karina in Pierrot le Fou and Jeanne Moreau in Ascenseur pour l’échafaud – three of French cinema’s starriest leading ladies and most famous movies – were spliced with the city-panning shots. On the morning of the show, more film clips were released that captured the models Mica Argañaraz, Rianne Van Rompaey and Louise de Chevigny in “recurring cinematic situations”: on the telephone, looking out the window sitting on a bed or walking down the street.

The scene was set, then, for a cinematic Franco-fest at a relatively scaled-back Chanel spring show at the Grand Palais, in Paris. Six towering white letters spelling out the brand’s name, dotted with neon lights, were positioned on a white painted catwalk in front of which white scaffolding chairs had been arranged at an appropriate distance. The letters were an evocative symbol of both simplicity and might – and Virginie Viard took the opportunity to hammer home the house codes. “This collection is a tribute to the muses of the house,” she said. Here are five things to know about the Chanel spring/summer 2021 show.

The show was a love letter to cinema – and life on the other side of the velvet rope

“I was thinking about actresses at the photocall, on the red carpet, that moment when they’re being called to by the photographers: their faces a little distracted, their attitude a little out of sync with the outfits they’re wearing,” said Virginie Viard. “This very lively side to cinema that happens beyond cinema.” In other words: life on the other side of the velvet rope, and one which Chanel has always had a big hand in defining. As the pre-show videos alluded to, Romy Schneider and Jeanne Moreau were famously friends of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, dropping in to her Paris apartment for tea and a fitting, discussing literature and lovers. And here, Viard showed everything a modern starlet might want in her wardrobe, from wide-legged jeans with a white Chanel-branded T-shirt with a bouclé jacket for popping to the shops, to an array of elegant, red-carpet-worthy evening gowns in black and white.

Pink denim was the surprise entry

Amongst all the feather-dusted gowns and trailing plumes of chiffon were some surprises: bubblegum pink denim, for one. Amongst pink denim jackets and quilted bags, Jill Kortleve showed off the high-waisted pink jeans to their best advantage, paired with a black bralette (another major trend for spring), a sheer cape and with a mini Chanel bag strung on a quilted chain strap around her waist. Note, too, the return of the Chanel T-bar sandals.

The jewellery was a highlight

Needing to spruce up a tired T-shirt? Layer up Chanel pearls and chains. As for a classic black pencil skirt? Try a pearl-and-rhinestone-studded chain belt slung across the hips. Chain-link leather chokers are easy-chic partners for black off-the-shoulder dresses, and a cream tweed short suit really should be worn with bows adorning the pockets, and a mini bag on a string of pearls dangling from the neck.

Chanel isn’t giving up on glamour

Trackpants? Please. Refusing to bow to potential pressure to reveal a collection entirely made of Chanel loungewear for all those double-C customers in plush lockdown situations, Viard sent out gowns destined for the red carpet, and the red carpet only. The first look out was a floor-length dress with an asymmetric neckline, paired with heels and a netted hair piece, with bows at the wrists. Elsewhere there were tweed and chiffon creations sporting a key detail and a micro trend we’ve seen elsewhere this season: cape detailing, which wafted in statesman-like fashion behind models as they walked.

The shoes had a retro vibe

Woven slingback sandals – the kind Schneider might have worn in La Piscine – were paired with multiple looks, lending a French-girl summer insouciance to the proceedings. Elsewhere, Viard brought back heeled T-bar sandals reminiscent of a style Keira Knightley, a face of the house, used to favour, back when she frequented the red carpet on the regular.

Lila Grace Moss Describes Her Catwalk Debut, Backstage At Miu Miu S/S'21

From the TV show that she and her mother, Kate Moss, were obsessed with during lockdown, to the beauty essential she takes everywhere — this is your one-minute catch up with Lila Grace Moss.

As far as autumns go, it’s been a major fortnight for catwalk star-in-the-making Lila Grace Moss. Just days after celebrating her 18th birthday, the daughter of Kate Moss and Dazed magazine co-founder Jefferson Hack made a blockbuster runway debut on Miu Miu’s SS21 catwalk. The show, which was broadcast from Milan on 6 October, is the exclamation point to end an extraordinary fashion month that’s seen the virtual FROW become something of a new normal.

From the lifestyle changes she’s making for the health of the planet, to the TV show that got her and mum, Kate Moss, through lockdown — this is your one-minute meet up with the fashion world’s brightest new star.

Hi Lila, congratulations on your first catwalk show! First up, the details: what should we be zooming in on?

“The make-up was very natural, but with extra attention to detail — look out for the eyebrow slit.”

You’ve already worked with luminaries including David Bailey, Tim Walker and David Sims. Which fashion creatives are you excited to collaborate with next?

“I’d love to work with Gray Sorrenti and Edward Enninful.”

When it comes to your own closet, which three items of clothing do you wear on repeat?

“Flared jeans, a cosy jumper and Nike Air Jordans.”

If you had to pick one investment piece for autumn, what would it be?

“Saint Laurent’s ‘Kate’ boots.”

What’s your signature beauty product?

“I take my Marc Jacobs O!Mega Coconut bronzer everywhere.”

Who do you follow for beauty inspiration?

“Pat McGrath and her team are incredible.”

What’s the best tip for taking care of your skin?

“Use SPF50 sunscreen on your face.”

What TV show got you through lockdown?

“Me and my mum watched [Michael Jordan basketball documentary] The Last Dance together — we couldn’t turn it off.”

Do you have a secret for getting a good night’s sleep?

“Rescue Remedy night spray.”

Our world is undergoing enormous transformations. What three lifestyle changes have you made this year for the benefit of the planet?

“Cutting down on eating meat, supporting sustainable brands, and avoiding single-use plastic wherever possible.”

Is there a cause close to your heart that we can also support?

“Project Zero does an amazing job of protecting our oceans.”

If we could teleport you to any restaurant in the world for a celebratory post-show dinner, where would that be? And what would you order?

“An amazing Japanese restaurant in Malaga [Spain] called Ta-Kumi and I’d order everything!”

Levi’s Wants To Help You Breathe Fresh Life Into Your Favourite Jeans

“Love what you wear and live with it longer,” says Richard Hurren, vice president of retail for Levi’s Europe. He’s referring to the denim brand’s latest sustainable initiative, Levi’s by Levi’s, which encourages customers to breathe new life into old pairs of jeans.

The project’s key focuses can be summed up in three Rs: repair, reimagine and recycle. To “repair”, the brand is inviting shoppers to upcycle their pre-loved denim with the help of tailors and the experts on hand at the Levi’s Haus concept store in Soho. The process of customisation involves patchwork and stitching and requires little energy – meaning jeans are given a fresh spin without further damage to the environment. 

On “reimagine”, Levi’s partnered with Indigowares on a well-crafted collection of 501 signature styles created using organic indigo dye and dip-dye or Shibori techniques. The best part? Every piece is one of a kind.

The brand’s final strategy, “recycle”, repurposed donations from the Levi’s community, along with its own store of returns and faulty items, into a range of new accessories. Tote bags, bucket hats and bum bags have been produced in collaboration with the Sew and Support vocational training programme, which was founded by the Worker Well Trust in Tower Hamlets, a charity that helps people struggling with mental health issues.

It’s no secret that the manufacture of denim has a destructive impact on the planet – according to Fashion Revolution, making just one pair of jeans uses around 9,500 litres of water. Through innovative new techniques, a dedicated sustainable focus and projects like Levi’s by Levi’s, brands are taking note – and shoppers are being urged to think differently about how they consume.

Longchamp’s New Fishnet Shopper Is Among A Plethora Of Mouthwatering S/S'21 Hits

Buttery, flaky croissants; warm baguettes; just-out-of-the oven brioche; if those absent from Paris Fashion Week this season were in any need of a reminder of what they’re missing, they needed only to dial in for a Zoom call with Longchamp creative director Sophie Delafontaine. She took over the Parisian grocery store La Maison Plisson to display her spring collection alongside its delightful produce.

Situated in the 1st arrondissement, just along from the Longchamp offices, Maison Plisson is one of the finest gourmet shops in Paris and has plenty in common with Longchamp. Firstly, it’s a Parisian family maison (like Longchamp – Delafontaine is the granddaughter of founder Jean Cassegrain), and secondly this store’s founder Delphine Plisson is fixated on quality, only working with the best suppliers. Ditto Longchamp. It’s easy to see how a friendship was struck up. “I loved the idea of presenting here because we wanted for it to feel like a warm, welcoming moment, and I think we all need that now, to share something with people we love,” explains Delafontaine.

Hanging by the fruit and veg section is Longchamp’s new fishnet bag, a collaboration with Filt, the original, Normandy-based house who created the net bag back in 1860. In six delicious colours it takes its inspiration from the typical grocery bag that you see Parisians carrying everyday but simply elevated with Longchamp’s recognisable leather flap-fastening and handles lifted from its famous Le Pliage carry all. “This grocery shopper is such an iconic Parisian bag; I love the simplicity of it, and I wanted to come back to Paris with a very Parisian spirit, and to give a touch of that Parisian spirit to the world,” says the designer who, for the last few seasons, has presented her collections in New York.

Delafontaine carried that fishnet motif through to ready-to-wear with macramé crop tops and maxi dresses intended as layering pieces, and elsewhere as “bibbed” necklines to punctuate super-feminine floral-printed silk dresses. Other highlights here included utilitarian jumpsuits, dungarees in camel-coloured butter soft suede, and silk blouses with sweet embroidery details.

And good news if we’re still working from home come spring: there are plenty of chic trackpants that you’d feel good about leaving the house in, you know, should you need to go grab some groceries. In other bag news? The Brioche, nestled here in the bakery section, is bound to be a hit. Quilted, and super lightweight it takes its name from the rich French bun, says Delafontaine: “Light and delicate with a gentle puff.” Mouth-watering in equal measure.

Paco Rabanne’s Julien Dossena On The “Radical Sensuality” Of His S/S'21 Collection

For his return to the runway, Julien Dossena brought his Paco Rabanne show to rue Commines near his house in Le Marais. Inside the venue, mirrored bead curtains formed a space within the space, which had been fitted with socially distanced seats for the small number of guests attending Paris Fashion Week this season. For Dossena, doing a show was an important part in his return to a new normal, as he told Anders Christian Madsen backstage.

Why did you have the show here in rue Commines?

I live in this neighbourhood, which is super diverse and super inspiring. There are a lot of different people with different points of view, who mix and match different stuff together. It’s always been very inspiring to me. I wanted to base it on this street realness. During lockdown we were all stuck at home, unable to go outside. I was missing it a lot. You know, you build the fantasy of what you miss.
What did you miss about it, specifically?

Seeing girls, seeing what she’s pairing her jeans with, what kind of sneakers, what kind of hairdo, and attitude. This kind of feeling.

How did you approach this feeling?

I went about it with a view of a wardrobe, but of course fantasising about what I want. There’s a bit of an “off” feeling. The proportions are a super elongated as if you took something vintage, something new, something colourful. There’s a bit of a flea market feeling: a mix and match of textures and different references, like a collage. That’s what I feel when I look at girls in the street.
Why is it inspiring to you?

It creates different individualities. You can read the narrative of every character in the street from what they’re wearing: what they want to be, where they come from, what they’re searching for in life.

How did you express it in the collection?

In terms of clothes themselves, it’s a classic grain de poudre smoking with a super long skirt that looks as if you took a trouser and split it in half. There are Spanish embroideries like bonbons. Chainmail printed in leopard and worn as a robe over jeans, as if you were half dressed – very local – and going out to buy something down the street.

What was your intention behind the undressed elements?

An exaggerated curve. A sharp, more radical sensuality. The right to wear cleavage. A Monica Vitti vibe, but for now.

Those looks also have a lockdown “comfort dressing” vibe about them.

Yeah, it’s the half-home-half-out kind of thing, like a jersey dress that’s actually super relaxed but covered in sequins. It’s a bit “bad taste”, also: ironic. Not bourgeois.

That’s also quite flea market. Have the Paris flea markets opened again?

Yes, I’ve been back. I go a lot for furniture and other objects.

Did you stay in Paris during lockdown?

No, I was outside of Paris, about 50 kilometres, with more space and more friends. I couldn’t stand the idea of being alone in Paris, so we decided to co-quarantine.

How come you chose to have a live runway show?

Because I’ve missed it. Of course, we’re being super respectful of everything. For me it’s good to see clothes in real life. I wanted people to be there and understand. We work with teams that work on shows: production, models, casting, hair, makeup. You can’t just say, “Oh, we’re not doing a show.” They have to work as well. So, it’s a little bit of a resistance. A safe resistance.

Appropriately, you added some real showpieces at the end...

They were like art installations, as if they were living sculptures. It takes about two weeks to make them.

Fashion Designer Kenzo Takada Has Died Of Coronavirus Aged 81

Kenzo Takada has died at the age of 81. The Japanese fashion designer died of coronavirus just days after his namesake brand showed its spring/summer 2021 collection at Paris Fashion Week. Takada is understood to have been at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, when he passed away on Sunday 4 October.

Takada, along with Issey Miyake and Hanae Mori, was part of the first wave of Japanese designers in the 1970s to break into the rarefied world of Paris fashion. Known for his innovative approach to cutting garments and exuberant use of colour and pattern, his designs were inspired by a kind of wanderlust, with an eclectic mix of different global styles and cultures. An early adopter of the ready-to-wear business model, Takada was also among the first to reimagine the fashion show as a theatrical spectacular.

Born in Himeji, Japan, in 1940, Takada developed an early interest in fashion through reading his sister’s magazines. At 18, he went to Kobe University to study literature in accordance with his parents’ wishes, but ultimately left for Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College, where he was one of the first male students to be admitted.

In 1964 he moved to Paris, where traditional couture still dominated the fashion scene. For five years Takada worked as a freelance “styliste”, selling sketches to couture houses, and opening his first boutique, Jungle Jap, at Galerie Vivienne in 1970. The space was decorated with flamboyant murals in the style of Henri Rousseau. His early designs, with their combination of riotous print and traditional Japanese silhouettes, proved revolutionary.

The collection was presented in New York in 1971. That year, his designs featured in US Vogue, which declared Takada’s quirky boutique – with its smock tent dresses and dizzying prints – among the chicest shopping destinations in the French capital.

His unique aesthetic was a hit with the fashion press and the era’s most dynamic young things. Fans included Grace Jones, Loulou de la Falaise and Jerry Hall. “Kenzo must be one of the most imaginative designers in the world and fortunately he doesn't take himself too seriously,” wrote journalist Bernadine Morris in 1973.

Takada went on to build a global brand that encompassed womenswear, menswear, two sportswear lines and a highly successful fragrance business. In 1993 the Kenzo businesses were acquired by LVMH for $80.5million (£62million).

After his retirement in 1999, Takada didn’t stop creating. Projects included Gokan Kobo, a high-end home accessories brand, and in 2016 Avon announced a new partnership with Takada to create a line of fragrances. The Kenzo Takada Collection, a collaboration with the French design house Roche Bobois, was unveiled in the summer of 2017. Takada became president of the Asian Couture Foundation in 2013, and he was honoured with the lifetime achievement award at the 2017 Fashion Editors’ Club of Japan Awards. He also continued to support the brand he founded – he attended the Kenzo autumn/winter 2020 show in Paris in February.

"I’m a little bit nostalgic about fashion shows and the energy behind them,” Takada told a journalist in one of the last interviews he did in 2017. “What I miss most is the people working in fashion. They have a lot of fantasy; they’re really creative and joyous.” It is exactly how he will be remembered.

“Uncomplicated, Unfussy, Clear, Clean”: Andreas Kronthaler Talks Through His Vivienne Westwood S/S'21 Collection

If you happened across Andreas Kronthaler’s Instagram account over the course of 2020, you’ll have discovered a stream of Vivienne Westwood portraits: an assortment of the most remarkably cheering images depicting Westwood at home, dressed up to the nines and looking absolutely phenomenal ahead of weekly speeches she would deliver on Instagram about changing the world. “She asked me to do it, and every week it gave me something to do. I do like dressing her up – she was a bit like a doll,” smiles Kronthaler. “It has been very challenging, but it was a good summer because I still have my Vivienne.”

“Time just slowed down,” he continues. “It was okay to be at home and in this bubble, because the whole world was.” During the months spent at home in Clapham, south London, Kronthaler decided that “I wanted to make things uncomplicated, unfussy, clear and clean – because that’s what I care about at the moment, what I find important.” So, for this season’s condensed collection, humble fabrics were piece-dyed with vegetable dyes (he far prefers red onions to synthetic chemicals), and cut into slightly sculpted sweatshirts “that looked as though they’d been washed a hundred times and dried in the sun.”

Khaki linens were tailored into casual yet remarkably elegant shorts suits; T-shirt jersey into blazers. “You can put it in the washing machine but it’s about being respectful to this sort of material,” explains Kronthaler. “You can buy a T-shirt made of it for two quid – but still you have to grow it, it needs water, and it’s a beautiful fabric.” Evening dresses draped in linen became “rather glamorous little numbers,” proving that, in the right hands, almost anything can appear fabulous.

During a time when this industry is reconsidering its frenetic pace of production and consumption, the sustainable mantras that Kronthaler and Westwood have long been preaching have finally found fashion’s favour – but, as often is the case, the originals still do it best. Here, the designer explains how he decided to present this season differently – through a series of videos and photographs shot on his iPhone – and why he and Vivienne sought solace in Taoist poetry.

How does it feel to be skipping fashion week after so many years showing on schedule in Paris?

For 30 years, we have been going to Paris to do shows – this autumn would have been our 30th anniversary. 60 collections and I have never skipped one – but there is something deep inside of me that is quite glad because we have always wanted to break this cycle, but somehow didn’t. Now, the decision was made for us. I miss it – the stress, the energy, our friends. But it didn’t feel appropriate – so instead we decided to do this virtual thing, and anyone who was in London could come by and have a look at the clothes.

You photographed the collection yourself?

One week I thought, let’s go to the studio, just us two, to photograph in a white space. It was a very natural and organic follow-up to what we’d done this summer. Vivienne was happy with the pictures, so the next time I thought, let’s do a bit of make-up and hair. Consider it properly. But I didn’t want to shoot this whole collection on Vivienne – that felt too much – and while I was thinking about casting, Sara [Stockbridge, the model, actor and author] called me, out of the blue, to catch up. I said, ‘We’re doing these pictures at the weekend, would you like to come and spend the day together?’ It all just happened like that, and then there we all were, having a lovely time on a Sunday.

What was the thinking behind capturing yourself, Vivienne, Sarah and Vita [Leandra] reading Taoist poetry to camera?

In lockdown, I didn’t read any books or watch any films or listen to music. It felt a bit indulgent, and I didn’t feel like I was on holiday. I started a few books but I didn’t connect with them. But I sometimes read poems, which somehow spoke more to me, and sometimes Vivienne and I would recite poems to each other in our tiny little back garden. She is very much into these Chinese Taoist poems and I thought, why not do a little video where we wear the clothes and recite them: these three girls, and me? So, the idea was just to film us naïve and lo-fi on my iPhone. I like that quality, and I was very aware of it – but also I didn’t want another team recording. There were only eight people on set, including models, hair and make-up. Because of Vivienne [Westwood is 79], you know. We didn’t want it too crowded.

You have made this collection more concise than ever before: Why did you decide to edit things down? Did it change your way of working?

To me, personally, it wasn’t such a big change because I have always created things in a very limited way, with very strict codes. And, luckily, I had more or less designed the collection before Covid-19 started and then, when it started, it was about to be made in Italy and I was just in time to be able to reduce it even more. To break it down to what’s really important. And it’s enough: it’s really enough. It might not be enough to do a fashion show, but just to play with, you can do anything you like.

The Union Jack print has snuck in – why did that make the cut?

It was something to do with England: it is my favourite flag because, every time you cut something with it, it makes all these interesting patterns – stripes, or diagonals. I am not a patriot – I am not even English – and neither is Vivienne, although she is a very English person. But it was a bit about eccentricity. And this flag I used is a really good one – I have these friends who are the descendants of Nelson, and this is his original flag that they lent to me and I photographed and printed. It’s this extremely beautiful 200-year old, weathered flag with this beautiful patina. And when you see it turned into pants or something, it looks quite abstract but in very nice colours.

You Are Cordially Invited To Christian Louboutin’s Virtual S/S'21 Showcase

Tasked with finding a new way to show his spring/summer 2021 collection during a pandemic, Christian Louboutin hit upon a characteristically inventive approach. Rather than a film or lookbook, the famed shoemaker has unveiled an immersive virtual world to rival any FROW.

“I’m really a traveller, and digital offers the possibility to imagine any kind of world you want to be projected into,” he tells British Vogue. Thanks to the technology of Zepeto, a Korea-based app that allows users to explore different environments via personalised avatars, fans can take in the latest Christian Louboutin spring styles in a virtual setting. Step right this way: Loubi World awaits!

Invited to create their own characters with which to discover the romantic delights of Paris in Loubi World, the British Vogue editors were amongst the members of the press and customers duly transformed into avatars to explore the designer’s virtual universe, having styled their alter-egos in clothes available on the app. 

A carousel, the glistening lights of the Eiffel Tower, an ice cream stand, a classic French brasserie, and screens showing the spring/summer 2021 campaign are just some of the details included in the virtual Loubi World, along with Galerie Véro-Dodat, the covered gallery passage in Paris’s 1er arrondissement where Louboutin opened his first store back in 1991. Visitors can also interact with other avatars, visit the disco room – where you might catch a live performance from King Princess – or head to the colourful boutique to “try on” the new-season shoes.

Louboutin’s reimagining of the fashion show is a welcome distraction from London’s grey skies; what’s more, its an inclusive way of expanding the brand’s audience and reach – particularly among Gen Z, Zepeto’s main demographic.

Over 60 designs from the latest release have been digitised for Loubi World. Among them: patchwork booties and fringed knee-highs for winter, plus summer-ready suede mules and flats, and kitten heels in an array of pastel colours. Key styles include the Pic Heel stiletto, the showstopping platform Stage boots, and the Vida Viva sneaker (complete with detachable sole). They are thrillingly realistic – the designer insisted the definition should allow his shoes to shine. After all, if he was going to go digital, he says, “the discovery had to be as good as a presentation in real life. And it’s definitely the case here!”

Fans should also keep their eyes peeled for Christian’s favourite pair – the Loubishark – a pair of trainers which feature a unique shark-teeth sole. “It’s a very manga mood,” he says. “Playful and colourful.”

“We Had A New Sense Of Purpose”: Rick Owens On Creating His S/S'21 Collection

For his spring/summer 2021 women’s collection, Rick Owens live-streamed an epic show from the Lido Casino, a 1930s rationalist palazzo only a short walk from his apartment on the Venetian beach. Owens spends his summers there, at the scene where Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice plays out. Many will remember the final scene in Luchino Visconti’s screen version of the book where the protagonist dies on the beach. To Owens, the novel’s theme of mortality became relevant amid a pandemic that also reminded him of the origins of quarantine, a measure invented in 14th century Venice. After the show, Owens FaceTimed Anders Christian Madsen.

Sorry, I’m in bed. Well, not my bed, it’s…

That’s a lot of information. Whose bed is it?

No, I mean a bed in Paris! Where are you?

I’m walking home in the dark, alone. Everyone got on a bus and left. Now I’m just gonna go and eat up some soup and go to bed. No, I’m not, my team is here. We’re having dinner.

It looked phenomenal. My god.

A drone makes anything look like the Superbowl.

Reading your show notes reminded me of when I came to visit you on the Lido a few years ago, and everything we talked about on your terrace.

I know. I’m still that gloomy guy. The pessimist.

… who sits on the beach with his makeup running down his face. Do you often get those Death in Venice thoughts when you’re there?

I’m probably a little more analytical than most people, but I think everybody is always thinking these thoughts; always thinking about mortality and what they want to get done before they die. That’s what Death in Venice is all about. We’re all trying to grasp our moment of glory and trying to hold on to it. The life lesson is that you never can. You end up dying with makeup running down your face... Now I’m on the terrace that you know so well.

When we were sitting on that very terrace, I remember you saying that when you’re in Venice you’re often very much on your own. Which made me think that maybe you were quite creatively suited to quarantine?

Michèle and I were in the house in Paris. We had a lot of space and some trees. We were super lucky. It’s hard to say that it was lovely, because for a lot of people it really wasn’t, but I’ll look back on it very fondly. We were deepening the bonds with all the people we were FaceTiming. We got closer to a lot of people.

What did you do in lockdown?

Michèle and I did LSD and mushrooms, which we hadn’t done in a long time. It was the right time for that kind of thing. We read books and did little videos. But I hesitate to say it was fun, because that’s not kind to everyone. But I am suited to retreat and quiet and contemplation. I am.

You’re suited to isolation?

Well, I have a recurring dream where I’m talking to someone and there’s construction going on in the background, and all of a sudden I realise a sense of dread: “Oh my god, I forgot that I killed someone and buried them in that plot next door, and I’m going to be discovered!” And then I analyse: Okay, I’m going to court and that’s going to be hideous. But jail time? I can probably get used to it. I like an industrial design, I like reduction, I like the same meal over and over again, I like going to the gym… It really won’t be so bad.
Rick Owens SS21.

What do you think it means?

Sometimes creative people, who put themselves out there, feel like frauds; like they’re going to be discovered. That’s my only suspicion.

I don’t think you can be a creative fraud if you turn out the kind of show you just did after being left to your own devices in confinement for several months.

I wasn’t though, because the minute quarantine was lifted in Italy, I went to the factory and everyone on my team was itching to get going. They emerged with new vitality, vigour and gratitude that we had a new sense of purpose.

Do you think your mentality reacts well to things that can feel menacing?

I hope for the best and plan for the worst. I’m suspicious and sceptical and cynical by nature, so in the end I was thinking, what took so long for there to be a global catastrophe? People are more voracious than ever, and consuming, and greedy, and it has to peak and blow up. Civilisations die, animal species die, things evolve, things turn into something else. We should be used to it.

But as we saw in your show just now, you still support wearing face masks?

I absolutely do, because it’s about being sensitive to other people’s concerns. It’s a significant thing that’s happening and people are dying. I’m not going to insult them by rejecting a mask.

Do you see this as a collection made for the times we’re heading towards?

Every collection is. For the men’s collection, I thought the mask looked like an opportunistic gimmick: “Let’s sell masks!” But now, it seems like absolutely the right thing to do. But I’m always conscious about not inhibiting female models, so I told the models they could take them off if they wanted to.

I didn’t realise the word ‘quarantine’ was coined in 14th century Venice. Did I recognise some Renaissance elements in the collection?

It wasn’t designed with the Lido in mind, but doing a show here just seemed like such a great idea. Venice has a history of quarantine, a history of masks… There were coats with straps sewn into the back so you could take the coat off and strap it around your waist. I usually call them ‘disco straps’ because they’re for the dance floor, but it’s not dance season so instead I called them ‘beach bustles’.

How long are you staying in Venice?

Forever. I’m going to Paris in a few days to pick up my alien residency card. Then I’m going straight back to the factory. I’m very comfortable here.

The Merchant of Venice.


Have you done you letter voting for the American election?

Not yet.

Will you?

Yes, I promise.

Staff At Michael Kors Are The Brand’s Newest Campaign Stars

Every year without fail, Michael Kors delivers its Watch Hunger Stop campaign. And 2020 is no different. Entitled Food Is Love – Share Your Heart, the shoot features not models, but a diverse group of the brand’s own employees.

While we’ve become accustomed to seeing celebrity ambassadors like Kate Hudson or Halle Berry front the annual campaigns during the initiative’s eight-year run, this year’s stars reflect the theme of community spirit. Ten employees working at all levels of the Michael Kors organisation were photographed by Menelik Puryear for the campaign, which marks another year in the brand’s philanthropic tie-up with the United Nations World Food Programme.

“The idea behind Watch Hunger Stop has always been to connect communities – to share and focus our resources, our voices and our attention to solve the problem of hunger,” said the designer himself. “Now, in the face of the global pandemic, we see just how interconnected we all are, and this refined my belief that we all want to do good and make a difference in the world. Casting and photographing our employees for this campaign was very special. People talked about their pride in working on Watch Hunger Stop over the years, and the eagerness to help those in need.”

The campaign stars model Watch Hunger Stop 2020 designs in the images, including a white Love T-shirt (£30) and a blue denim tote (£50), both of which are made from 25 per cent Repreve recycled polyester. Take note: all profits from the sale of the T-shirt and tote will benefit the World Food Programme. Additionally, this year the brand wants people to get involved with the campaign on social media. Having created a special “Share Your Heart” filter on Instagram, each time it is used Michael Kors will donate 50 meals to the WFP. This year, Watch Hunger Stop delivered 20 million school meals to children in food-insecure regions of the world – which is why getting involved in any way you can will help to make a difference.

Staying True To Herself Put Rising Model Florence On The Path To Fashion Success

“Times are changing,” says Florence, the 28-year-old model who makes her British Vogue debut in the October 2020 issue. Her words echo the message of the Scott Trindle shoot, which celebrates the resilience and creativity of London’s new flock of design talent, and sees the masculine-presenting model styled by Kate Phelan in looks by three menswear designers: Samuel Ross, Bianca Saunders and Craig Green.

Despite having appeared in Jack Wills campaigns when she was younger, Florence had assumed the solid sense of self she developed in her 20s was incompatible with the high fashion world. “When Tori [Edwards at Tess Management] scouted me I was like, ‘You’re not going to want to work with me. Trust me. I’m really particular,’” Florence said over the phone, explaining that she doesn’t “do” dresses, skirts, heels, or anything traditionally considered feminine. “I don’t think it’s fussy, but to a traditional model agent it is,” she said. Still, “Tori looked at me and was like, ‘What’s the problem? We can make this work for you.’”

As a result, Florence and her agent discuss shoot briefs carefully before anything is agreed upon. “I don’t feel like I’ve earned my model stripes to become that collaborative with designers and stylists, but it’s always a conversation that I have with my agent,” the model explained of the process. “I think the more that people see that this is me, the more they will realise that there’s no point asking me [to work on certain briefs]. The clothing is really beautiful, but you’re going to get a really awkward Florence in front of the camera,” she laughed. “You actually won’t get Florence in front of the camera — sorry.”

Despite the impact of the pandemic on this season, Florence has been much in demand, following up appearances on the Alexander McQueen and Valentino runways last season by walking in the Jacquemus and Fendi spring/summer 2021 presentations. These are some of the most high-profile shows on the schedule, but Florence isn’t letting it faze her. “I think shows are funny,” she laughed. “It’s all fun. This is all pretty new to me, but I am 28, and I have been exposed to the world longer than those that go into modelling at a younger age. Everyone else at shows seems incredibly stressed, including the models, but I just try and not add to that.”

Instead, the laid-back Florence treats modelling as a horizon-expanding experience. “It’s really fun to meet new people, especially when you meet more and more like-minded people who are on your level. Whether that’s with their sexuality, how they want to appear, or even with the diversity we need on sets. It’s fun to be around.”

Though she’s embracing the opportunities that modelling has brought her way, she’s conscious of the environmental impact of the industry she’s now very much a part of. “I wish there was a more sustainable way of making it happen, and not so many flights,” she said. “We’ve got some thinking to do about how to make it better for everyone – and the planet.”

Exploring her own identity as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community has been key to the way Florence has approached her return to modelling after those early jobs. “[How I dress] is a really important thing to me, and since returning to what I’m comfortable wearing – which is what I wore as a kid and then ignored in my teenage years – I feel so much more comfortable within myself,” she said. “Clothing can have a huge emotional meaning, both outwardly and inwardly… I genuinely think everyone thought I was happy in how I dressed… I don’t think anyone thought I was insecure in how I looked.”

Identifying how she wanted to present involved an element of starting from scratch when it came to her wardrobe. “It was always something I wanted to explore, but I didn’t know where to start,” Florence said. “It was a process of clearing out my wardrobe, and finding ways of shopping that worked for me – which ended up being charity shops.” The pre-loved buy that proved most pivotal was a men’s suit she snagged for £2, said the model. “I realised that I can wear men’s clothing, and that is okay.”

According to Florence, her look became “too fashion” and stylised at one point, but now she’s found her groove with a capsule wardrobe of simple separates. “It became a little bit obsessive for a year or so. Now, it’s pretty simple. It’s about what version of Flo I want to be today. I really love getting ready and dressed up now. It’s just been a process.”

When it comes to fashion inspiration, Florence relies mostly on her own instincts. “I try not to think about anyone else,” she said. “That doesn’t mean I don’t think there are people who have great style – there are so many people out there who do. [But] I try and go with what I feel comfortable with, rather than replicating something. That’s when you run [the risk of trying to be] something you’re not.”

Tom Van Dorpe On His Refreshed Rock & Roll Vision For The Kooples

When Tom Van Dorpe was appointed artistic director of The Kooples in the second week of February, nobody could have imagined the year that would unfold. “A surprising turn,” he laughs over Zoom. “But at least it helped us stay very focused… we didn’t have a lot of things going on.” Certainly, within the protocols and remote working methods of the pandemic, his wasn’t the conventional way to start a new job at a fashion house – but what he did manage to fit in, moments before the pandemic hit, was two research trips with his team (one to London and one to Los Angeles), to explore the refreshed, international direction he planned to pivot the Parisian megabrand towards. “I think it was really important to go to different places, to get a bit outside of this ‘Parisian’ aesthetic,” he explains. “Of course it's always going to be a Parisian brand, about the Parisian elegance mixed with that rock and roll DNA. But for me, it was important to take it somewhere else as a start.”

It’s that intention which feels present throughout his debut – and it makes sense. Over the past 13 years, The Kooples has established itself as synonymous with a particular sort of androgynous dress code: leather jackets and skinny jeans, a sort of 2010s Hedi Slimane vision made for for the contemporary market. “It’s a cool look,” laughs Van Dorpe. “And I’m from the generation who loves that aesthetic, because I was 20-something when everything was all about The Strokes and The Hives.” It’s something which, in its heyday, propelled the brand to major success – but no longer feels reflective of the zeitgeist. So instead, what Van Dorpe has proposed for The Kooples’s future is a far broader vision – one whose inspiration remains rooted in music subcultures and the idea of a couple’s wardrobe, but appears refreshed for now.

So, instead of studded leathers and monochrome, he is offering up floral prints (“flowers with attitude”), and lilac tracksuits; Nirvana-energy printed tees and relaxed tailoring. Basically, something more Johnny and Winona than Marianne and Mick (look at their new leather jacket and there’s not a ’70s stud in sight). It’s a collection imbued with that Belgian-inflected ’90s minimalism that remains fashion’s favourite, but that – inspired by the eclectic series of couples Van Dorpe cast for the brand’s most recent campaign – appears layered into something resolutely wearable. “It’s a designer point of view mixed with that contemporary way of dressing for any occasion,” he explains. “And today I feel like you cannot put people into specific categories like: you are so rock and roll that you only wear slim jeans; you’re a glamour girl so you only wear sexy dresses; you’re a powerful woman so you just wear a suit. Now, everything is far more mixed.”

In that spirit, the design process for the men’s and women’s collections has been united (the teams are now working alongside one another rather than remotely, sharing everything from soundtracks to moodboards), and its breadth broadened. In a modern age, liminal identities no longer feel relevant – neither to Van Dorpe nor, he believes, the customers he wants to serve. It’s a sentiment he hopes to evolve further into the future. “I feel like joining a contemporary brand today gives myself and the brand a platform, which is so important,” he reflects. “It’s talking to a big audience, and perhaps people who aren’t having these conversations. I feel excited to speak to them about things like sexual preferences; inclusivity; sizing; the environment. With the marketing behind us, and the projects we have in the works, I honestly think we could make a difference.” Certainly if Van Dorpe can do for those conversations what The Kooples did for skinny jeans – essentially, serve them to the masses – then it’ll be nothing but a good thing. 

Will TikTok Replace The Catwalk As The Harbinger Of The New Season?

The fashion industry might have been slow to embrace Chinese-owned social-media behemoth TikTok, but the platform’s DIY approach to creativity is proving to be a key component as the rethought show season gets underway. Running until 8 October, #TikTokFashionMonth will welcome brands including Saint Laurent, JW Anderson, Dior and Louis Vuitton to livestream their new collections straight from the platform in the hopes of catching the eye of the 800 million active users.

At first glance, a platform that prizes a homespun approach to short-film content might be at complete odds with the refined, polished appearance luxury brands have spent decades cultivating. Yet the link-up indicates brands’ desires to gain a new understanding of the contemporary consumer, especially considering TikTok’s popularity with Gen-Z. “TikTok is not about the glossy, perfect-life image, but rather it’s about expressing yourself and showcasing your passions,” Cece Vu, fashion and beauty partnerships lead at TikTok told British Vogue via email. “TikTok offers an authentic and community-driven approach, which gives the fashion industry a platform to showcase their creativity in a new way.”

This unfiltered approach has admittedly been daunting for luxury brands to embrace. “There is this fear of democratising their brand and feeling that they’ll lose that exclusivity,” Kristina Karassoulis, who leads on luxury brand partnerships for Europe, told British Vogue via video call. “With luxury there was this real unattainable strive for perfection, but we’re now saying that there’s this flawed side that our audience loves. It’s not about changing the brand’s message or core brand values, but it is about changing the way that you speak to the audience.”

So far, some of fashion’s most storied houses are thriving on TikTok. Riccardo Tisci’s Burberry launched the #TBChallenge — where users are tasked with creating the Thomas Burberry monogram with clever hand positioning — in 2019, and it now boasts over 110 million views. Karassoulis explains that Gucci’s #AccidentalInfluencer campaign proved popular, and “set the agenda for what this new version of luxury is.” Elsewhere, she credits Balenciaga as being particularly creative on the platform, “not only from a commercial point of view, but also organically. You can see them build into the trends our audience love, like ASMR [Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response],” she added. Selfridges and its balance of self-edited, low-brow meets high-brow content is also held in high esteem amongst Team TikTok.

Much of the engagement for these big-name fashion brands has thus far traded on community interaction that walks a fine line of imitation. One user-driven trend, the #GucciChallenge, encouraged users to assemble the brand’s look from their pre-existing wardrobes, while another saw TikTokers knit their own version of a JW Anderson cardigan worn by Harry Styles on American television. Both Gucci and JW Anderson embraced the trends, co-opting the original content created to share and celebrate it both on and off platform.

Cassandra Russell, who leads on fashion partnerships at TikTok, explains that this is the only way brands can harness power. “You can’t be a brand on TikTok if you’re not open to the idea of people copying and building on your content,” she shared, speaking to Vogue via Zoom. “That’s the nature of it, and imitation is the highest form of flattery on the platform. If you produce something that captures everyone’s imagination, and they think ‘I’m going to give my own twist,’ that is why you should be working with TikTok.”

Embracing TikTok is starting to transcend in-app activity to turn bedroom creators into fashion muses, too – most notably with the help of Hedi Slimane at Celine. “Slimane loved the concept of E-boys, a trend which 18-year-old, LA-based Noen Eubanks (11 million followers, 357 million likes) started on the platform,” Karassoulis explained. “He chose him for the campaign and, in turn, that’s influenced Celine’s brand.” Other TikTok stars being embraced by the industry include Charli D’Amelio (88 million followers, six billion likes) who sat front row at Prada’s autumn/winter 2020 show at just 15 years old, while Dolce & Gabbana played host to Loren Gray (47 million followers, two billion likes) and American YouTube star Emma Chamberlain, who boasts a healthy TikTok audience of 8 million followers, 236 million likes, is already a firm Louis Vuitton favourite.

Nevertheless TikTok, which started life largely as a platform by which to share dance routines, has stiff competition. Instagram and its polished aesthetic has quickly become a natural space for fashion brands to thrive on over the last decade – and the launch of its recent Reels function was a clear challenge to TikTok. As Vu explains, however, TikTok has its own agenda. “Competition is great for innovation and we welcome it,” she wrote. “I believe the TikTok experience leans more towards community, which allows for brands and consumers to engage in a completely new way.”

“Community” is a word that TikTok representatives return to time and time again. The platform relies on the user and their innovation more than most, with a young woman from Connecticut — as is the case with D’Amelio — being just as likely to go viral as an activation planned by social-media professionals for months.

“We’ve moved into this era now where people want something that is real,” Karassoulis, the former head of UK luxury advertising at The Financial Times continues. “You don’t go on there to follow your friends, you go on there to see amazing content that is found for you. We can talk about trends, we can talk about culture, but I think it’s that authenticity and transparency which luxury brands need in order to democratise their brands.”

As the fashion industry goes through an overwhelming shift owing to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, TikTok is uniquely poised to bridge the gap between consumer and luxury product. Over the course of the pandemic, Vu admits that it saw an “incredible” period of growth, but also a shift in demand for more educational content. Brands have responded to this wisely by offering insight into the ateliers and archives so that users are “learning more about brands’ values and craftsmanship, such as the history of Dior’s bar jacket or how the Coach logo is stamped on each bag in an ASMR/oddly satisfying way,” she explained. “Seeing just how much our users value these connections with the community is the very reason why we continue to build and invest in these experiences.”

TikTok also insists it doesn’t have plans to usurp the fashion show. Instead, it sees its future co-existing with their assumed wide-spread return. “When you throw in the power of our creators [at live events], that’s when you can drive mass engagement,” Russell says of the single-invite, huge-audience power these young creators can generate. Vu imagines that brands returning to the traditional show format in the near future would be wise to follow the user-focused approach this season has encouraged, with a focus on intimate moments and ensuring that users feel included in the conversation.

Paris Fashion Week S/S'21: What To Expect

If you’ve adapted to this season’s mix of digital and physical fashion presentations by now, well, you might be the only one. But the show must go on and Paris Fashion Week is shaping up to follow the template set by Milan: a combination of runway shows, short films, and everything in between. Get ready for the return of some of fashion’s biggest brands and the wistful absence of others. It’s all part of the most unpredictable season in history. Welcome to the last chapter of spring/summer 2021. Do make yourself at home.

Who’s doing physical shows?

After a digital haute couture presentation, Chanel is back on the runway – guests and all – followed by a Louis Vuitton runway show, both on Tuesday 6 October. Meanwhile Maria Grazia Chiuri, who soldiered on with her cruise show in Puglia this July, will host her post-lockdown Christian Dior show with attendance on Tuesday 29 September.

Kenzo and Balmain are taking to the catwalk on Wednesday 30 September, joined by Chloé and Isabel Marant on Thursday 1 October. Hermès follows suit on Saturday 3 October, and Paco Rabanne will host a presentation on Sunday 4 October. And Gabriela Hearst relocates to Paris from New York, also with a runway show on Sunday 4 October.

Who’s going digital?

Matthew M Williams makes his debut at Givenchy with a digital presentation on Sunday 4 October, joined by Balenciaga – also digital – on the same day. Maison Margiela will unveil a digital project on Tuesday 6 October, preceded by Miu Miu on the same day for which Miuccia Prada will stream a show experience from Milan.

Similarly, Rick Owens will put on a livestream from Venice – where he owns a home – on Thursday 1 October, a day that also features a digital presentation by Kenneth Ize. Staying in Antwerp, Dries Van Noten is choosing to present digitally on Wednesday 30 September.

Loewe, Nina Ricci and Issey Miyake all go digital on Friday 2 October, followed by Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood on Saturday 3 October, and Giambattista Valli on Monday 5 October.

Finally, Grace Wales Bonner joins the Paris schedule with a digital presentation on Monday 28 September.

Who’s missing?

Ah, where do we begin? We’ll have to wait for traditional Paris Fashion Week highlights such as Celine, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Off-White, and Lanvin, while Valentino, which traditionally shows in Paris, has already presented its show in Milan.

Louis Vuitton’s Latest Show Venue Was 15 Years In The Making

Louis Vuitton will close Paris Fashion Week on 6 October with a runway show at La Samaritaine, the LVMH-owned complex that has been 15 years in the making. The former shopping behemoth was shuttered in 2005 due to safety concerns, and the conglomerate has spent the past decade and a half regenerating the site into a luxury complex, featuring a hotel, offices, restaurants, housing, day-care facilities and, of course, the revived Samaritaine store.

The pandemic has pushed back the opening of the new LVHM centre to 2021, but Nicolas Ghesquière’s Louis Vuitton show must go on! Four hundred guests split into two show sittings will get a first look at the house’s spring/summer 2021 womenswear collection under La Rotonde, a striking glass dome on the top floor of the Samaritaine. Fashion fans tuning into the show via livestream will enjoy a completely different perspective of the opulent multiplex, owing to green-screen technology. The brand expects the phygital format to draw in more viewers than the autumn/winter 2020 show, which saw five million people tune in to its online broadcast.

“It’s a one-off, bespoke experience,” explained Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s chairman and chief executive officer. “It’s a historical Parisian landmark – the 19th century meets the 21st century, so it’s a play on time. Nicolas has spent a lot of time meditating about fashion over time.” Indeed, Louis Vuitton’s last show, which took place within a glass structure inside the Louvre’s Cour Carrée, saw guests, sitting on seating sourced from sustainably-managed French forests, witness a costume drama spectacle. On a tiered gallery overlooking the catwalk, over 200 characters stood in period dress from the 15th-century to 1950. The fancy dress was sourced by Stanley Kubrick’s director of costume Milena Canonero, no less.

“[The phygital format] is a fantastic way of telling multiple stories at the same time,” Burke promised of this season’s presentation. “The world wants to see the show at the same time. And when your audience is the world, and not a curated crowd, you need a lot more storytelling.” With no other clues, but the promise that it won’t be “gimmicky”, Louis Vuitton is bound to close Paris Fashion Week with a bang.

“I Wanted To Portray A Generation”: Pierpaolo Piccioli On His Valentino Show In Milan

Some of the most shared stories on social media this year have been pictures of nature claiming back its rightful space amid a lockdown that put a temporary stop to our everyday pollution machine. Seeing clear water and luxuriant leaves where you’ve never seen them before looked sensational; almost radical. You had to click on it. For the spring/summer 2021 Valentino show he relocated from Paris to Milan, Pierpaolo Piccioli took out an old foundry and filled it with greenery. It had the same effect. When the mind becomes immune to traditional images of the radical – metal, concrete, face masks, explosions, corrupt politicians – the sweetest things suddenly seem revolutionary. That was the spirit of his collection.

“I wanted to give a different perspective to Valentino’s codes of romanticism: ruffles, lace, lightness. I wanted to talk about what that means today,” Piccioli said. His answer was to be found within the folds of the garments he presented on his industrial runway: pretty lace, silks and chiffons styled on a multi-faceted cast that included members of subcultural movements classically associated with the radical. Romanticism today, Piccioli declared, means “individuality, different cultures, and expressing opinions. It means humanity.”

He employed his whimsical Valentino-centric materials in co-ed daywear that leant towards the utilitarian: oversized lace shirts, minimal rompers, netted pencil skirts and workman’s suits. The rockstud he premiered 10 years ago made a comeback, blown up on bags and shoes, and went hand-in-hand with a denim collaboration with Levi’s. Then, like the barren walls of his factory setting, Piccioli let nature claim his garments. Explosive floral prints covered magnified tunics, floral appliqué climbed up a translucent dress as if it were going to overgrow the model’s body, and evening gowns in crochet and plissé were allowed to manifest in deep tree-trunk browns.

“My job is to deliver a new picture of the landscape you already know. These months made me more radical about my choices, what I believe in and what I have to express,” he said. “I wanted to portray a generation.” If he did, it was the youth whose lives will be forever shaped by the events of 2020: the limitation and the destruction but also the chance to make it all better; change the future. Singing a beautiful live set was Labrinth, who created the soundtrack for Euphoria – the series that has become a symbol of that youth. “You can be strong and powerful even if you’re super romantic and vulnerable and show your fragility,” Piccioli said, perfectly summing up those new generations’ understanding of what it means to be radical.

Meet Simon Porte Jacquemus’s Adorable Puppy, Toutou

Cuteness alert! Simon Porte Jacquemus has got a sausage dog puppy and it’s possibly the most adorable thing you’ll witness this weekend. Named Toutou, the speckled brown dachshund has the bluest of eyes and the sweetest of temperaments – as much as one can tell from Instagram.

Porte Jacquemus, who shared a series of proud-owner portraits of his new pooch, looks smitten with the latest member of the family. The influx of pet snaps on Instagram must have finally swayed the designer to adopt a furry friend (admit it you’ve considered it too), and, like the rest of the designer’s Instagrammable life, Toutou is picture-perfect.

The French designer previously admitted that he had come over all romantic this summer. At his breath-taking co-ed spring/summer 2021 show, staged in a rolling wheat field outside of Paris, he made a declaration of love for his team, by dedicating the “L’Amour” collection to them. Now Toutou is the object of his affections. Woof.

Valentino’s Spring Surprise? A Collaboration With Levi’s

One of the lessons of 2020 is that globalisation isn’t just about being connected in terms of communication, but that all of us are interconnected on a human level. That we are stronger together is a message close to the heart of Pierpaolo Piccioli, who presented Valentino’s spring/summer 2021 collection not in Paris as usual, but in Milan as a show of support for his home country, Italy, which was so devastated by the pandemic.

Piccioli might be described as fashion’s bridge builder. He’s brought couture touches over to ready-to-wear, and he’s championed the idea of “resignification,” which, explains the brand, “consists in giving new value to symbols, ideas, places, atmospheres that come from different moments in time, but are still relevant for the contemporary scenario.” One example of this mythology was when, for the spring/summer 2019 couture show, Piccioli reimagined Cecil Beaton’s famous 1948 Vogue sitting recast with women of colour.

The designer returned to the idea for spring via a surprise collaboration with Levi’s. The result is a cosigned, co-ed model of the 517 boot cut jean, which is wider from the knee down to accommodate footwear, with a custom label. Jeans, first worn by workers, are among the most democratic of garments, and have become a universal uniform while retaining their symbolic connection with youth and independence.

Levi’s 517’s were introduced in 1969, a year of possibility (Apollo 11), protests against Vietnam, and peaceful gatherings (Woodstock). Opening with a mini look, the show included fringe, crochet, florals, and those jeans, familiar hippie signifiers reimagined for today in the romantic Valentino way. So, when Labrinth sang the lyric “Can you feel the love?” The only possible answer was a resounding yes.