While all the fashion chatter of the last two weeks has revolved around the subjects of fashion week and fashion media and their relevance in the social media age, an interesting exhibition has opened at the National Portrait Gallery to slow the conversation right down. Vogue 100: A Century of Style is a celebration of 100 years of Vogue, the iconic print magazine whose images (photos and illustrations) continue to wield huge influence on style and culture.
Why go to an exhibition showing cult Vogue images when you can see them most any day flashing up on Instagram, Tumblr or Pinterest? The answer to me is simple. (more…)
“There is only one person who knows how to make this piece; this lady has been working here for thirty years.” This, and many other such factoids are the type of geeky nugget one gobbles up on a visit to the Lesage couture embroidery workshops on the outskirts of Paris. On an industrial estate that’s a step up from your average (think sun-dappled and tree-dotted), it’s where the hands of dedicated embroiderers stitch and bead Chanel’s finest couture showpieces. (more…)
High fashion is going all sci-fi and I don’t know how I feel about it. Current example: Louis Vuitton’s Series 4 ad campaign just launched (on Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Instagram of course), featuring Lightning from Square Enix’s Final Fantasy game* (above). Readers, Instagram exploded.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen a high fashion brand presented as Final Fantasy video game characters; remember this Arena Homme+ Prada editorial from 2012? It was a menswear editorial to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Final Fantasy series, but female favourite Lightning also made a cameo…
For the Vuitton campaign, the brand went one better with a fully animated Insta-video made in collaboration with computer game company Square Enix’s director Tetsuya Nomura. It’s all very dynamic and cool, and definitely something different. And it taps into the merging of fantasy and reality that Generation Y is so obsessed with (related: the rise of Cosplay).
If you saw the 3-week exhibition Mademoiselle Privé, you’ll know that Chanel straddles the past and present exceptionally well. One of my highlights was the short film shown towards the end, written and directed by Karl Lagerfeld in which he finds himself face-to-face with Chanel’s ‘ghost’ brilliantly played by Geraldine Chaplin. “What do you think you’re doing!” she asks Karl, highly unamused. “I’m keeping you alive,” is his answer, explaining how he has reinvented the brand while keeping the house codes top of mind. The film is actually quite a hoot, but the sentiment beneath it is serious business.
Chanel is the most famous luxury fashion house in the world. Its stable of couture, ready-to-wear, accessories, fine jewellery and beauty have been coveted for decades, from the Chanel no 5 perfume worn by Marilyn Monroe to everybody’s favourite 2.55 handbag. And so, while London’s creative and curious queued in a never-ending snake for the Saatchi Gallery exhibition a few weeks ago, I was busy being treated to my own Chanel education, in a guided tour of the actual Chanel apartment in Paris, on a two-day trip hosted by Chanel. (more…)