Thursday, 13 January 2011

Fashion submerging

When the going gets tough I often find myself submerging my head and body in all matters fashion. In the midst of reading the news on-line and the twitter updates on the Arizona shootings. I often find refuge in fashion when I find times too difficult. But as I started to write two outstanding fashion articles the momentary 'buzz' is so short lived I feel that my fashion dealer has sold me talcum powder.

Of course I'm talking figuratively but why do I feel that fashion is in dire straights in terms of editorial, marketing and in general. Within the mire that is the what to wear, who to wear, what to think there are some shining lights but overall not enough to lift my fashion spirits.

What I think is really of no consequence, but here's my ten pence worth.

1. Don't make your best creative director ever the creative director at large - ref Barney's. Wrong on every level. Mainly suggests panic. It has never worked in football. When the club's boards have a good team manager and then go and install a director of football, invariably one of them leaves and mainly with cross words behind doors. The team manager by the way is the one with the real clout. Read Dennis Freedman as team manager and Simon Doonan as director of football. Trust me it will end in tears.

2. Brown is not the new Black. Nothing is the new black. Riccardo Tisci do not make pointless statements. Black is black, right Sister Wolf?

3. The lengths of skirts. Really give it up now. The last time when there was only one skirt shape/length de rigueur was the 1940s. It all went downhill in the 1950 when the horror of it there were two skirt shapes, the full skirt (re Dior's continuation of the New Look) and the sassy pencil skirt. Despite any attempt by fashion editorial to direct us to x and y I firmly say 'whatever'.

4. Stop dressing up the perennials as anything other than the same stuff every year. I give you stripes/nautical/military/white/colour/anything. This spring summer is no different from last year, the year before and the year before that. New fabrics, maybe, new cuts, sort of, new directions - no sorry seen it, done it go the t-shirt. (Actually I did, an original Dukes of Hazards one in orange for 0.99 on ebay during a brief moment of relaxation and relapse)

5. Words. The vocab needs to change. I cannot tell you how bored I am by the current crop of rehashed clichés. I'm sure I don't need to list any but if I said muse for starters you'll get the rest. Oh and my all time favourite, 'the A listers favourite....'

6. The fashion debate - there isn't one.

7. Designer collections for high street stores - don't bother, pretty please, no more. It has become a pantomime.

8. Models/Celebs as designers - no. See the collection that was Lindsay Lohan for Ungaro and then see the collection that is Giles Deacon for Ungaro. I rest my case (VB I'm only letting you off the hook as I'm soft like that)

There we go, ah, I feel better for that....I might rise above it all again and take in some air.


  1. Hey great post. Kind of sums it up really!

  2. Number 4- couldn't agree more!

    I'm a member of a kind of online 'focus group' for a well known high street store. We're encouraged to debate 'new' trends which are almost identical to the designs sold last year and every year (stripy bretonstyle t-shirts, black blazers, jeans... no these are NOT new/groundbreaking). If you point out they are perennials, the company gets all excited about them being an homage to the 80s, 90s, 00s (!!) - missing the point that they are just perennial never-out-of-fashion items.

    I'm convinced it's simply the media covering its back - if this year's 'how to wear nautical' is utterly different from last years, they can re-hash last year's article and sell it on anew. Or am I very cynical?

  3. Well said!

    I understand that many of those in the world of fashion responsible for reporting on or "directing" trends are a little more "flowery" (polite) than most as perhaps they need to be but they do require a reality check from time to time as they are about to disappear through their own portal (too use a more polite phrase). If pronouncements on fashion alienate those who pay for it, the whole thing becomes a ridiculous academic exercise to satisfy the self important.

    I like your comments/advice. They are level headed and cut through the nonesense.

    Dare I say you are "visionary" or have I just undermined my whole argument? [It could of course be used ironically as per Faux Fuchsia]

  4. My comment, of course was largely in response to point number 5. A particular bug-bear of mine. Such language is, as you rightly point out, being used in an emperor's new clothes kind of way!

    Enough from me!

  5. VB may be the A-lister's favourite, but she's certainly not mine! You're right about the clichés and the same stuff.

  6. Haha - yes!! The perennials bit really gets my goat too! Sequins and jewel tones as we approach the festive season - really?!

  7. "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun" (am not a Bible quoting person as a general rule - I know of the last line from Agatha Christie and went googling to find the real source)

    If they stop talking about trends, what will they have left to write about?

  8. Great post, totally agree on most of it, and like you, I forgive VB and maybe Rachel Zoe, do you think her stuff will go on sale in the UK and will she make anything above a size zero?

  9. Oh YES!!!! And that's all said.....


  10. Dear Kate, this made me laugh! I agree it has all been done. I will never stop buying black and will never follow fashion. Of course I'll buy the odd thing that's "in" each season but that's it. I've had my clothes so long they come back into fashion anyway xx

  11. Absolutely brilliant, Kate, well said.
    I think it was in a book called Fashion Babylon where it claimed that whenever a designer's hard pressed for a new collection they dig out a 20 year-old fashion mag and rehash the styles of the day. Must be true as I've read a blog this evening where a twenty-something is exhaulting the longer length, sheer, pointy collar blouse as cutting edge.
    Have to side with Mrs TNMA, VB will never find favour with me (other than in sharing the same initials) miserable

  12. Hi there! another insightful and thought provoking post, loving points 4 and 5, very spot on and I would be more inclined to be influenced/inspired by a bloggers style than any 'A Lister' if I was after a particular item!!

  13. As they say there is nothing new under the sun. The internet is the newest thing we've got. Xxxx

  14. I read someone else's copy of Vogue today. I could barely summon up the enthusiasm to turn the pages. Dull, dull, dull...pointless, badly made, etc etc.

    And they tart it all up with idiotic hair and make-up and expect people not to notice that it's basically two squares of acid coloured silk stitched together with a belt around it. And this constitutes designer or couture fashion? Huh?

    Of course, people ARE that stupid and I can only shake my head in bafflement...

  15. #1 is meant to be. New execs want to build their own teams, no matter how talented/recognized the old team is (at least talented image-wise; nobody has staunched losses in years). Happens in all businesses. Simon is meant to go gracefully.

  16. "the A listers favourite..." -couldn't agree more, nothing ruins a nice frock faster than those words!


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