logoMANIA

Before you start reading this, please take a minute out to watch this video.

While I can only imagine what Mr Domenico ‘Dolchey’ would have to say about that copyright infringement, there was a time when fashion logos were synonymous with low-grade punjabi songs and rap music. Be it earrings spelling out D-I-O-R or belts with an L and a V, logos were uncool. Sporting one was like saying you cared too much. And nobody likes a try-hard.

But we’re now in the midst of logomania. Last year, the Gucci t-shirt was selling out almost as fast as Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy conspiracy theories. You can see the Gucci T-shirt everywhere from street style to red carpet events. Every cool cat of fashion already owns one and everyone wants to own one. Guilty as charged.

Have designers always felt the need to punch brand iconography all over their clothes?

It is true that branding plays a major rule in the success of a fashion business. That’s why you pay $300 for a plain white tee at Balenciaga but a tenth of that at H&M.

Logomania saw its peak in the 80s and the 90s when people suddenly wanted to be sportier and wear basic clothes. They didn’t want the shiny dress and the silk scarf but tank top and jeans. This led to an unease among the fashion brands. How could they ensure business when the staple wardrobe item was a white tank top that you get at any departmental store? Fearing a loss in business, fashion moved its label from the inside to the out. And so came in the Calvin Kleins, the Ralph Laurens and the Abercombies. Logos became a ground for social strata. People were willing to pay ten times more to sport the little polo player on their left breast.

All was well for a decade until the market crashed and the 21st century hit us with a bang. It was suddenly considered tacky to flash designer names and subtlety became key. Designers moved on to gaining business through their designer sneakers, leather jackets and H&M collaborations. People finally realized that paying hundreds of dollars for basic ass clothes is ridiculous and Michele brought back maximalism. Designers actually started designing and embroidery and drapes came back with an athletic twist.

But then Demna Gvasalia of Vetements sent designer Gosha Rubchinskiy down the runway in a canary yellow T-shirt stamped with a DHL logo two years ago. He took something very peasantry and made it cool and cult. This ignited a sort of a fire and started paving the way for the 90s minimalism feel. Fashion logos started springing up on runways and stores. For Autumn/Winter 2017, logo T-shirts from Balenciaga, Vetements, Gucci, Ganni and Dolce & Gabbana made up five of Net-a-Porter’s top 10 best-selling items of the season.

 

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Gosha Rubchinskiy

 

But what’s interesting about this resurface is that some of these logos came back but in new and exciting ways. They were redesigned, distorted and even mocked. A hilarious example is Gucci’s new Guccy logo for Cruise 2018 in response to the counterfeit culture surrounding logomania. There’s debate over how long logomania is here to stay, but with the hype surrounding it, it’s not too late to give in.

You can scroll below to see and shop some of my favourites from logomania fashion

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I now pronounce you as…Choo and Kors

Jimmy Choo has a new owner. Again.

Uf! Least to say the luxury shoemaking company has been passed around like the most precious hand-me-downs all over from German billionaires to various private equity firms. While the public has not reacted well to the accessible luxury brand owner or better known, as the cheekiest judge of Project Runway, Michael Kors’ acquisition of Jimmy Choo’s ownership, it really is in the best interest of both the brands. Sometimes people seem to forget that fashion pays rent too.

Jimmy Choo was founded in 1996 by Tamara Mellon, then accessories editor at British Vogue with Malaysian cobbler Jimmy Choo. All was well for the first few years. Choo became a global brand soon expanding into handbags and other accessories. But Choo and Mellon were at odds about the direction of the company. Choo didn’t think bigger was better and longed for the days when he was back in his little shop in Hackney making a small number of pieces of footwear for specific clients. In 2001, Choo sold his half of the company to Robert Bensoussan of Equinox Luxury Holdings.

Tamara Mellon, also called it quits after a disagreement (again) with fellow board members. After being held by various private equity firms, the torch was then passed to the Reimann family, German consumer goods billionaires.

This acquisition to Michael Kors is a result of the fall of mall culture in America. Michael Kors caters to the middle market. It is a household name and caters to anyone who wants to look ‘pretty and rich.’


But it is heavily reliant on department stores and outlets where discounting is common. This has led to plummeting sales for the brand over the years. To the point where it would close as many as 125 of its full-price retail stores.

This union of two seemingly different brands is an attempt to together, carve out a new territory in the difficult times. It is also the beginning of building a bigger international luxury group.

Jimmy Choo is the crazy, wild beast adored by many and Michael Kors is the stability it needs. They complement each other. And I for one, cannot wait to see what’s in store or the runway.

The very sacred Haute Couture Fashion Week

The Haute Couture Fashion Week is a sacred institution. Sacred like holy and connected with God or Energy if you’re into that. Haute Couture, although is used very unreservedly by dumb fashionistas (you know those people who skim through Vogue and buy given-chee purses) to describe anything with lace and poof and frills. But it is actually a legal term. There are a number of standards that need to be met in order to call a fashion house a Couture House. These standards were established by Fédération Française De La Couture in 1945 (and subsequently updated in 1992).

An Haute Couture House must:

  1. Create made-to-measure clothing for private clients and offer personal fittings
  2. Maintain a full-time workshop in Paris that employs no fewer than twenty technical staff members and
  3. Present couture collections of no less than 50 original designs twice a year that consist of both daytime and formal evening wear (prices must at least begin at £8,000).

The ‘Haute Couture’ title is reviewed and awarded to houses annually. Therefore, houses must generate a certain amount of income each year and maintain relevant quality standards as the list is subject to change every year.

So it’s understood that being called Haute Couture is manifesting fashion royalty. Hundreds of hours are spent in the construction of only one such item of clothing. Please do not throw the term ‘couture’ around like Juicy Couture, it’s insulting.

 

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Please don’t.

 

All that aside, the second edition of the 2017 Haute Couture Fashion Week was held from July 2 to 6 in the beautiful city of Paris. I, due to unforeseen circumstances was unable to make an appearance. However, I did spend the past week binge watching all the collections so I’ve made a list of all the looks that stood out to me. Please scroll down to look at pretty dresses. Yayy.

 

  1. Guo Pei

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2.  Fendi

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3. Maison Margiela

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4. Chanel

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5. Iris Van Herpen

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6. Armani Privé

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7. Xuan

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8. Giambattista Valli

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And that’s it! Did I miss out anything else that you absolutely loved? Comment down below 🙂

~thefashionalyst

Behind the Best Dressed List

If you frequent celebrity or fashion magazines, you must have noticed the hype the gears up around a celebrity’s street style or their red carpet looks. There are millions of articles written about Kendall off-duty model looks, Rihanna’s red carpet looks, Gigi’s unusual boots etc. In fact, it has gotten to an extent where magazines and blogs credit celebrities for starting a trend or bringing back one. When we think of the sheer clothing, corsets, lace-ups and inner-wear as outer-wear who’s the first person that comes to mind? The Kardashian-Jenner clan, of course. Where does the work of the stylist go to then? I bet, a lot of you love the Kardashian/Jenner style but have no idea who their stylist even is (was). Monica Rose. She has been styling the Kardashians for almost 8 years and only recently parted with them over some sort of dramatic dispute involving them unfollowing each other on Instagram (because how else do you shade), and rumors of Khloe wanting to sue. Keeping that aside, she’s mother to two very stylish kids, the master-mind behind the wide array of trends that the clan is accredited with and pretty much a genius. The Kardashian-Jenner group is the most influential family in Hollywood (whether you like it or not) and have been responsible for a majority of the revolutionary trends. Now whether you’re a big fan of them or not, their style has a big, big influence. They’ve had a pretty significant role in bringing back suede, distressed denims, slip dresses and a lot more. She even boasted of clients like Gigi Hadid and continues to style Chrissy Teigen, who are both major style icons too.

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Monica Rose with daughter Alaia

 

Joseph Cassell, the big brains behind Taylor Swift’s style evolution from cute and country to modern-day Rachel Green to her recent platinum blonde punk look. Needless to say, Taylor Swift’s style has had a huge role to play in her career. Remember the times we would all obsess over her crop-tops and flawless gym outfits?

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Joseph Cassell with Taylor Swift 

Rihanna is another celebrity whose style has never failed to impress. No bra, huge sleeves, ensembles made entirely of fur are just a few examples of her daring and eccentric fashion. Mel Ottenburg styles the winner of CFDA Fashion Icon of 2014, for her videos, tours, many of her innumerable magazine shoots and most of her appearances. To keep up with the whims and fancies of a chart buster and diva like Rihanna must take a form of genius in itself. Fun and exciting with lots of references to NYC, nineties flashbacks and of course, plenty of Rihanna to satisfy fans, Ottenburg’s Instagram @melzy917 is the account to follow. Aside from styling, Ottenburg is also the fashion director of the Berlin-based biannual 032c, and is the boyfriend of buzzy designer Adam Selman.

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Mel Ottenburg with designer husband Adam Selman

The next stylist I want to talk about is Kate Young. This former Anna Wintour assistant and a real-life Andy (she was told she was useless and had no taste), now has clientage of A-list celebrities like Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman, and is single-handedly responsible for the style transformation of Selena Gomez from boho child-like to red-carpet sleek. Selena makes the best-dressed list for pretty much every award show she attends and is also renounced for slaying her street-style. She also styled Dakota Johnson for her entire line of promotions for Fifty Shades of Grey. Dubbed as the most powerful stylist of Hollywood on several occasions, Kate is known for letting her clients be the best versions of themselves and taking a minimal approach.

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Kate Young ranked number 1 on the Hollywood Reporter’s highly regarded “Most Powerful Stylists” list in 2012 and 2016

Behind every best-dressed star, there’s almost always a celebrity stylist, wracking her brains for the next best-dressed, lurking with a pair of scissors, a roll of double-sided tape, blister gel, and an extra pair of Spanx. Maybe it’s time we start giving them the credit they deserve.

 

~thefashionaylst

Who the hell would ever wear that?

If this is a question that you ask yourself when you look at a fashion show or flip through the pages of Vogue, then this article is for you, my friend.

You’re probably looking at the strange hemlines, the massive sleeve lengths, bizarre layers and weird pattern mixes and thinking to yourself, ‘What is wrong with the people of this world. Nobody is going to buy this piece of crap, it’s all a big waste of resources.’

But the thing is, runway fashion isn’t meant to be bought. It’s a creative expression of what will actually be sold in stores season(s) later. It’s about publicity, prestige and the overall feel of a designer’s collection. It’s meant to get you talking. It’s meant to make you look at fashion and clothes from a different perspective. It’s meant to make you think.

There’s a beautiful quote from this book called ‘Eleanor and Park’ by Rainbow Rowell “She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

Every design related industry operates on several levels. Think concept cars or buildings in architecture. They never actually get made or sold but are rather an expression of the designer’s artistic and creative ability. Fashion has less capability to innovate than something like a cell phones or cars because their product cycles are extremely short (the fashion industry goes through changes faster than any other industry), and therefore designers need to regularly stretch their imaginations through things like couture and avant garde (those weird clothes that nobody will wear). This is more for themselves and for the fashion industry than for regular people. They don’t care that you don’t like their clothes now because a few seasons down the line you will be wearing modest versions of what you called ugly once upon a time. What they care about is the statement that they’re making about themselves and their brand and how many industry insiders is it going to inspire. It’s called the trickle-down theory of fashion. To explain it, I will reference one of the most iconic dialogues from my favorite fashion movie of all time. The Devil Wears Prada. Duh.

Miranda Priestly: [Miranda and some assistants are deciding between two similar belts for an outfit. Andy sniggers because she thinks they look exactly the same] Something funny?
Andy Sachs: No. No, no. Nothing’s… You know, it’s just that both those belts look exactly the same to me. You know, I’m still learning about all this stuff and, uh…
Miranda Priestly: ‘This… stuff’? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.

So basically, everything in your wardrobe is the product of some bizarre, bold and bright runway item that was once scoffed at by people like you. And all you really are is a pawn in this game of fashion and unless you make your own clothes using techniques known to you and and only you, your style is at the end of the day, determined by the cool fashion Gods in heaven and you have absolutely no say about it.

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Until next time.

Toodles 🙂

The Met Gala 2017

The Met Gala 2017! It’s safe to say that this year proved to be a challenge for most if not all the A-list celebs that made it to Anna Wintour’s tight-cut invitation list for the Metropolitan Museum’s annual fashion exhibition. The theme was  Rei Kawakubo/ Comme Des Garçons. Rei Kawakubo is a japanese avant gardist and now the first living designer since Yves Saint Laurent in 1983 to be the sole subject of the Met’s blockbuster fashion exhibit. 

Every Met Gala has a theme (last year’s was technology, 2015’s was China) and the red carpet is a big divide between honouring the leitmotif and making the next morning’s Best Dressed lists. For Kawakubo, the whole point of clothes is to challenge established notions of beauty. Moving away from what is considered the norm and embracing the crazy. The biggest challenge posed to the celebs was to honour this while keeping up the glam factor. 

The easiest option to wear Comme Des Garçons was off the table. Now be it for the reason  that the work of Rei Kawakubo, is simply too scary for most people-page regulars, or that CdG does not pay celebrities to wear its clothes, and has no official “face” or “ambassadors” is not clear. But there were some brave souls who did showed up decked in layers and layers of fabric and upholstery and in dresses with no arm-holes. *gulp*

But in my opinion, these babies were the clear winners of the show. They honoured the theme and took a chance. And in fashion, if you’re not taking a chance, then honey, what the hell are you doing? 

So here’s my list of my utmost favourite looks from the Met Gala 2017-

 

 

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Rihanna in fresh off the runway Comme Des Garçons  – easily the winner look of the night. Riri never fails to impress.
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Helen Lasichanh and Pharell Williams in Comme Des Garçons – Note: Helen’s dress has no arm holes. And do you notice the faint ‘Rei’ on Pharell’s ripped jeans? Winner, again.
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Anna Cleveland in Comme des Garçons – she looks like a beautiful avant garde fairy princess.

There were many who pulled it off without wearing Comme Des Garcons. Kudos to you guys too.

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Katy Perry in custom John Galliano for Maison Margiela – she looks like living art work. Big fan.
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Lily Collins in Giambattista Valli – One of my favourites. Daring, on theme and flawless.
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Lily Aldridge in Ralph Lauren and Balenciaga boots – absolutely adore the purple mesh scarf. Very sexy.
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Claire Danes in Monse – Mixing classic with avant garde. It’s the revolution we all need for the classic tux.
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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen – nobody knows who they’re wearing and nobody ever will because come on, they’d never be able to pull it off anyway.
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Hailee Steinfeld in Vera Wang – looking like a badass. Can somebody please find me the tutorial of that bun?
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Zoë Kravitz in Oscar de la Renta – that cape tho.

 

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Zendaya in Dolce & Gabbana – oh my god that hair
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Cara Delevingne in Chanel – Bonus points for the spray painted silver scalp.
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Liu Wen in Off-White – very few people can pull off denim (that too, ripped) at the red carpet and she does it flawlessly.

 

And that’s about it. To wrap up, I would say this year’s Met showed surprisingly much better fashion than the previous year. Kudos to Anna. In case you were wondering, this is what she wore.

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Anna Wintour in custom Chanel – trying to come to terms with the fashion choices of those not mentioned in this list.

~The Fashionalyst.