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Fashion is ahead of politics

Le 21 janvier 2017, 03:18 dans Humeurs 0

There aren’t enough hours in a day to squeeze in everything that the celebrated fashion critic and editor for 21 international editions of Vogue online, Suzy Menkes, wants to see and do on her trip to Mumbai. Menkes was in the city to meet Indian designers, get a better understanding of the fashion industry, and promote the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference, “Mindful Luxury”, which will be held in Muscat, Oman, in April. She talks about the close link between fashion and politics, the impact of new technology on the industry, and the story behind her famous quiff. Edited excerpts from an interview:

One of your pieces talks about how the fashion industry foretold the rise of Donald Trump. Is there a traceable link between fashion and politics?

It’s not just that there is a link between fashion and politics, but fashion is almost always ahead. Let’s start way back with Marie Antoinette. She decided to go into much softer, less regal clothes and then, a few years later, look what happened with the French Revolution. I really do think it is extraordinary how last year we saw these things happening in fashion which were very strange. The whole (Kim) Kardashian way of extraordinary show-off and, dare I say, vulgar clothing, but not considered so by her and her friends. And then you get Donald Trump voted in. So, it does seem there is a link. On the other side, because nothing ever is simple, Vetements is a brand that suddenly appeared, (and is) very much (about) plain and simple clothes, but it’s sold at incredibly expensive prices and was followed up by the designer of Vetements (Demna Gvasalia) being taken on to do the designs for Balenciaga. So, you’re getting this most grand couture house and someone is in it who is sort of doing street clothes. So, there’s Brexit, there’s the whole Trump thing, and also in Europe you’ve got other countries, France, Germany, where you’ve got people who are rising. I can’t help noticing as a journalist and an ordinary person that what we’re seeing here is that fashion is ahead of what happens in the world…. People are voting for a new kind of politics.

With the advances in digital media, practically anyone can be a fashion critic.

I was very excited about reporting from ordinary people with an eye. Quite a few bloggers have gone on to become successful, if not famous. What concerns me is that I was brought up with very old-fashioned rules about journalism, which is that you don’t accept anything but flowers and chocolates. The way that the fashion and beauty industry has leapt at these successful people and lavished them with gifts, it puts everyone in a difficult position. I don’t blame these people, they’re not being paid for what they write, so maybe they should accept something. But, they are hardly going to do a bad review of someone who has dressed them in a jacket or lipstick or anything.

Indian designers have always put a premium on handcrafted garments. On the other hand, you have technology such as 3D printing.

I think a lot of people, including me, are pretty scared about 3D printing. Particularly designers who have got their own personal vision. Something that takes a long time to produce, they find, can be done under the 3D system and can be turned into clothing at a tremendous speed. It’s scary. All this is now when the system is just being developed! Having said that, you can’t resist change, you must keep up with the world you’re in. On the other side, I do think the hand work in India is exceptional. My sadness is that on the other side of it are sweatshops, where women are made to work like slaves to meet the demands of people who want clothes at the lowest amounts of money.

One of the points you hope to address in the conference is defining luxury for the post-luxury consumer.

There are many ways you can spend money now. If you ask people where they spend their money, one of the first things they would say are smartphones. In the past, nobody would have thought of such a thing as being beautiful. There are many other things that people are investing in: looking after themselves, going to the spa, investing in treatments. People are increasingly realizing how much better they can feel, not by getting yet another thing, but having an experience. This business of experience is what I mean when I say post-luxury. There’s also things we don’t really think about, which is changing your facial features or body. I was in Seoul last year and realized that the average person was spending about $2,500 (around Rs1.7 lakh) on self-improvement, changing their nose or chin. This is the price of a superior Louis Vuitton or Prada bag now. So products are now in competition with experiences, among other things.

What is the story behind Samurai Suzy’s famous quiff?

It’s such a banal story (laughs). I was at the hairdresser, and I said I really can’t stand my hair as it flops around all the time and I didn’t want a fringe because it would look dreadful on me. She reached out for a (hair) comb, I was mortified as old ladies in New York wore that sort of thing, but she asked me to wait till she had finished. And that was that. I can do this (pointing to her hair) running down the stairs to breakfast, on the plane, in the street, anywhere. It really was a practical thing. But over time, it’s grown into a sort of symbol. Don’t know what would happen if I cut it off now… Instagram would go crazy, I imagine!Read more at:formal dresses australia | bridesmaid dresses online

Five key coat trends for 2017

Le 19 janvier 2017, 05:50 dans Humeurs 0

If you have yet to invest in a new winter coat, it’s hardly surprising.

Except for the recent cold snap, it has been remarkably, unseasonably mild for much of the season, with a Christmas and New Year more like early spring.

When the big chill finally did arrive last week, some of us were unprepared. My thick socks and chunky knits were still folded away in boxes hidden who knows where. I’ve found the socks, but have no idea where my huge Gap sweater has got to. By the time it comes to light, it will be summer. I just hope it’s somewhere free from moths.

And now it’s time to look towards the lighter coats of spring, which might sound premature but actually, it’s not such a bad thing. Even if we do find ourselves at freezing point again within the next few months, much new season outerwear is roomy by design, which means knits and thermals can layer with ease beneath generous lines. Oversized is definitely a key theme for the new year. Here’s what to look out for when it comes to dressing for outdoors...

The new trench: For spring 2017, the trench coat is oversized and long of line and proportion, with an overall minimalist and fluid feel, but at the same time featuring tweaks and details that add quality and statement touches. Look out for drawstring and toggles, for example, and bear in mind that “trench coat” is used loosely this season to describe macs and coats in a variety of fabrics, not just waxed cotton or gaberdine. You’ll find light tweeds and suede, for a start, and also printed versions, for a fresh take on a classic style.

The oversize bomber: Like last year’s bomber, but bigger, as if you have borrowed it from Hagrid. Look out for cropped sleeves, which make layering easy and allow you to show off bright knitwear.

The slouchy coat: Dropped shoulders and raglan sleeves (where the sleeve fabric extends up to the collar, allowing free movement) are characteristics to look out for, plus a roomy, boxy silhouette, which again allows for plenty of layering. Take care not to choose a length that is too long for you, especially if you are on the short side, as you will look swamped,

The coatigan: A popular transitional piece, this season given a sleek and chic makeover with more of a tailored feel, which smartens up the look and makes it ideal for wearing over shift and wrap dresses. Look for wide cropped sleeves and pared-back, edge-to-edge design. It’s particularly effective if you try colour-blocking, say with a navy dress under an orange toned coatigan.

The wrap coat: In any seasonal shade you like, although camel is a classic neutral that will always look sophisticated and clean. With their wide same-fabric tie belts and broad collars, wrap coats are flattering. This season, go for knee-length or a little longer, and wear with everything, open and closed.

The frock coat: An interesting 
and quaintly old-fashioned cut, 
with a long full skirt, flowing back as you walk, plus a more neatly tailored top half, perhaps with back smocking, as with the Hobbs coat featured here. Striking and very new season.

Finally, just a quick note to pass on the news that Leeds Fashion Festival will be taking place on October 7-8 at Leeds First Direct Arena.

There will be a stage and a catwalk for fashion, hair and beauty shows throughout both days, plus areas and events featuring High Street, independent and designer stores, a heritage section, fashion through the ages, a clothes-swapping event, a ‘man cave’ and emerging new talent.

The organisers are now looking for models and new designers to take part, alongside established brands, professionals and all the retail outlets.Read more at:celebrity dresses | cocktail dresses

Milan men’s fashion week gets underway

Le 17 janvier 2017, 05:55 dans Humeurs 0

Milan took over the Autumn / Winter 2017 men’s ready-to-wear shows over the weekend, and the city didn’t disappoint.

The catwalks were alive with colourful prints that set a bold tone for the season. Jeremy Scott’s collection for Moschino was a riot of bold colour, swirling florals and bold cartoon motifs, all teamed with over-exaggerated silhouettes for maximum impact. At Marni, Francesco Risso threw together textures and patterns, incorporating everything from pyjama-style suits to polka-dot pants, immersing the collection with the house’s signature playful vibe. The theme continued over at Missoni, where electric prints ran like currents through the pieces, with zebra stripes, tie-dye patterns and geometric checks all competing for attention.

There were softer looks, too, courtesy of Emporio Armani, who struck a laid-back yet dynamic tone with a collection that focused on slouchy but smart tailoring, invigorated with quirky jolts of colour, and Salvatore Ferragamo, who kept things classic, layering sharp tailoring and chunky outerwear for a masculine winter style. Moncler Gamme Bleu also stuck to its design codes of chunky outerwear decorated with a patriotic red white and blue stripe.

A darker, more artistic look also crept onto the runway, courtesy of Versace, which opted for a slightly sinister streetwear vibe that featured plenty of patent leather outerwear, sharp suits and pulled-up hoods. Prada was another house to offer a poetic twist on the season’s pieces, blending soft knitwear bearing abstract prints with grungier leather pieces.Read more at:formal dresses sydney | long formal dresses

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