"Oh-oh! Someone amongst us is not a real feminist …"
Saturday, March 8 is International Women's Day. In the spirit of the day, I would like all those fashion editors pushing feminism as a trend and flats as a symbol of female empowerment to put their money where their mouth is. Here is a list of changes I would like the fashion industry to embrace.
The fashion industry measures diversity by the number of models of color cast for runway shows or the presence of models of color cast in major brand campaigns. While numbers are clearly important, social progress is often difficult to measure in objective terms. We therefore shouldn't neglect the individual narratives for they highlight the reasons why diversity in fashion matters in the first place.
I never thought I would see the day when Paris Vogue would resort to Google Translate to develop its web content. Either that or they've hired a remedial reading student to proof-read their online articles. How else to explain the gramatically-challenged sub-title "Clarins upgrade sa salade healthy en imaginant une association encore plus gourmande!"
As you may have heard, Charlotte Rampling will be the face of Nars' 20th anniversary campaign. This announcement wouldn't be all that exciting but for the fact that Rampling is 68 years old and unlike other actresses of her generation such as Catherine Deneuve, she appears to have embraced her age rather than trying to fight it lock, stock and scalpel.
There is currently a debate taking place on sites like Jezebel over whether Claire Underwood, Robin Wright's character on House of Cards, is a feminist icon or not. Personally, I think the debate misses the point. Instead, we should be celebrating the fact that the writers of House of Cards have created such a rich, complex female character that finally breaks with traditional portrayals of political wives.
After debuting in Montreal in 2011 and traveling to San Francisco, Madrid, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Brooklyn and London, the blockbuster exhibit dedicated to the former "enfant terrible" of the Paris fashion scene, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, is finally coming to Paris' Grand Palais.
Notions of elegance tend to vary with time, culture and individual sensibilities. Western notions of elegance for instance have evolved considerably over the decades reflecting the evolution of social and cultural mores. Women sporting trousers are no longer denied entrance to elegant restaurants and men can generally dispense with tie & jacket except perhaps in the most stuffy of private clubs. Elegance, in other words, is a relative concept.
Today is Valentine's Day, a holiday long associated with tacky marketing designed to sell red roses and heart-shaped chocolate. Many (myself included) object to its insipidness and to the fact that it contributes to trivializing notions of love and commitment. The recent debate over marriage equality throughout Europe and North America however has inspired me to see the day in a more forgiving light.
If the names Irving Penn, Erwin Blumenfeld, Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Clifford Coffin, André Kertész, William Klein, David Bailey, Helmut Newton, Deborah Turbeville and Annie Leibovitz mean anything to you, then you have the exacting eye and flair for talent of one man to thank: Alexander Liberman.
Fans of fashion photography have something to look forward to in March. The Musée de la mode de la ville de Paris (aka the Palais Galliera) is hosting "Coming into Fashion, a Century of Photography at Condé Nast", a traveling exhibit of 150 photographs drawn from the archives of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour and W.
The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.