"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.
These are decidedly dark days for the Grey Lady. This past January, Cathy Horyn announced she was retiring from The New York Times' "Style" pages. Yesterday morning, the doyenne of fashion writers and probably the last bone fides fashion critic of her generation and caliber announced she was leaving her perch at the International New York Times (formerly the International Herald Tribune), a position she has held for the past 25 years.
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!"
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.
One of my favorite words in the English language is 'serendipity" and it is precisely thanks to serendipity that I made an exciting discovery this past couture season. An encounter at a cocktail party led me to a showroom in the Marais where, along with Christian Pouliot of Le Modalogue, I discovered and quickly became smitten with Toogood.
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.
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.