Music for China’s ‘Emerging Affluents?’

COULD ‘new solutions’, worldwide Politics needs, come from within the Fashion industry itself?

Chinese-born media magnate and  journalist, Madame Shaw-Lan Wang, has taken over the reins of the major French Fashion house ‘Lanvin.’  Will China’s, America’s and Europe’s ‘new affluents’ be ready to buy into the dreams of creative internationalism, this inspired move represents?

Madame Wang, a Taiwanese businesswoman and publisher of United Daily News, owns 75 percent of Lanvin and will put more money in; to back future projects and help reposition the company.

“Madame Shaw-Lan Wang has always believed in Lanvin and sees a future in its talented teams,” Lanvin explains. The label, which dates back to 1889, named after couturier Jeanne Lanvin, has long been synonymous with Parisian chic. It enjoyed a revival in the noughties, under former star designer Alber Elbaz, famed for his 2001 collaboration with H&M.

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Nicolas Druz, a close advisor of Madame Wang’s, who has been appointed deputy managing director, says Lanvin was looking at branching into new avenues such as “art of living” concepts. Hotel projects might be launched under the Lanvin name.

Lanvin is on its second designer since Elbaz.  Olivier Lapidus, a one-time menswear designer for Balmain,  known for experimenting with technology and clothes took on the role in July.  A renowned Modernist,  Lapidus, son of Ted, is transforming the oldest Fashion house in the world, under the influence of sophisticated, timeless, classical civilisation from the East.

In the mid-1920’s, the design house had recruited expert “nose,” André Fraysse, and launched an impressive spate of Lanvin perfumes and scents: Arpège, Niv Nal, Irise, Kara – Djenoun, Le Sillon, Chypre, Comme-Ci Comme-Ca, Lajea, J’En Raffole, La Dogaresse, Ou Fleurit L’oranger, and  among others, Mon Peche/My Sin.  Recently scents d’Eclat d’Arpege, Lanvin Man and Lanvin Vetyver have been trialed.

MadmeWang

21st century scents of success!

Madame Wang  and her team should have fun testing out the markets for their innovative creations from among  Mexican Luxurians, Gen Viz, New Indian Tastemakers, FABs, Amortals and Hajibistas, Athena Women and Lagonistas!

 

 

The clue’s in the blog not the look!

FRIENDS Anita, Fran and Lynne have Fashion coursing through their veins. They may spot Dior DNA, in abundance, in Maria Chiuri’s Ready to Wear collection, shown in Rodin’s Paris museum, this week.

It wasn’t easy for me to find many clues. Maybe this black and white ensemble has a suggestion of his legacy in the darted waist, floaty skirt, peplum and tailored cuffs.

 

PosDior

But here’s the rub: regardless of whether the critics like the clothes or see work as credibly linked to Dior’s back catalogue, sales are significantly up since Chiuri took over as artistic director.

Christian Dior Couture posted 2017 half-year sales revenue of just over €1 billion, up 17 percent from €893 million for the same period one year ago at constant exchange rates.

Already the avowed Feminist, Chiuri, has succeeded in attracting a much younger millennial audience — set to soon account for a large proportion of luxury spending — and her designs are reportedly selling far more briskly than the more critically-acclaimed conceptual work of her predecessor Raf Simons.

 

FemDiorCritics and consumers are held in the thrall of  a direct-to-consumer reality where longstanding media and retail channels are being increasingly disintermediated.*

Show reviews were once scrutinised by wholesale buyers who curated clothing for consumers. Now questions are being asked about whether opinions of critics or buyers matter, when brands can connect directly with consumers online and via their own stores.

Fashion marketeers know that what you deliver is not only the product but the story about the product.

*The direct connection between social media communicators/bloggers and consumers and Fashion followers.

 

 

 

 

 

Dior to dyno-rod, haute couture to home hygiene

TODAY Julia Walton and I listened to Malcolm McLaren’s Christian Dior radio piece by Susan Marling from 2007, to celebrate fifty years since the New Look. McLaren was such a Fashion buff.  It was why Vivienne Westwood loved him and he her. It was fascinating to hear his camp take on important moments in the history of Paris and Versailles, again!

In this week’s earlier blog I write of the wonder that Dior created a gown for Vivien Leigh after her drama of tiny waists and full skirts in Gone with the Wind , set the scene for his ‘flower women’ frocks across the western world in 1947 !

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Imagine my delight, web-surfing, to find this actual pic of Leigh in the dress, plunging decolletage and all!

Vivien Leigh’s costume … Red wool and silk, made for the 1956 production of Jean Giraudoux’s play Duel of Angels, at the Apollo Theatre, in London, in which Leigh played Paola.

Julia and I had to stop listening to the wonders of the Fashion world when the men from Dyno-rod arrived.  They were however completely darling, themselves! So win/win, today!

Le paradis des enfants

IN 1997 I read about a park in Paris donated by the Citroen foundation. Luckily I had a son and two grandsons who were exactly the ages to see such wonders. So we booked, sailed the channel and crossed the summer fields of la belle France by train.

Parc Citreon is pres le Tour Eiffel so we did both spectacular sites on our first day, only stopping for food and wine at the best restaurants we could find.

parccitreonParis is also the home to La Villette designed by Bernard Tschumi, a French architect of Swiss origin, who built it from 1984 to 1987 in partnership with Colin Fournier, on the site of the huge Parisian abattoirs (slaughterhouses) and the national wholesale meat market, as part of an urban redevelopment project. The slaughterhouses, built in 1867 on the instructions of Napoléon III, had been cleared away and relocated in 1974. Tschumi won a major design competition in 1982–83 for the park, and he sought the opinions of the deconstructionist philosopher Jacques Derrida in the preparation of his design proposal.

Since the creation of the park, museums, concert halls, and theatres have been designed by several noted contemporary architects, including Christian de Portzamparc, Adrien Fainsilber, Philippe Chaix, Jean-Paul Morel, Gérard Chamayou,on to Mr. Tschumi.  In the middle of the week we travelled on the Metro out to the sites of the former abbattoirs. Although it was all a bit scholarly its novelty enchanted us and later inspired my part in instigating Eureka! in Halifax, UK.

villetteAs Jo, Adam and Matt were encouraged to take in Geography, History, Geometry I thought our weekend treat, Parc Asterix,  with its giant Obelix, golden goddesses and bronzed living statues  would be relaxed and low key enough to take the pressure off! It was, and yet far enough away from the theme parks of Hollywood to feel like art. There were actual horses, actors, underwater swimmers  and as a treat from the gods – Delice de Zeus –  ice cream created to make Neapolitans seem dull!asterixJo, Adam and Matt now have projects of their own designed to amuse and entertain, and although I’m not employed by the Paris Tourist Board I’m open to offers!

Paris – City of flowers and lights!

‘I want to be there, NOW!’ to quote Axel Sheridan.cafe-de-flore

It might have been fun in 1954 with Barthes but in Summer 2015 I was on my way but I had to cry off.  I will make do with a Chanel presentation in London this July and maybe I can make Paris somehow, before 2018.

‘What was it about her face?” thought Roland Barthes sitting in Café Flore, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris, after seeing Audrey Hepburn in the first French screening of ‘Roman Holiday’ on April 4th, 1954. Surrounded by Alain Robbe-Grillet, Michel Butor, Françoise Sagan, Nathalie Sarraute, Romain Gary, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé, Marcel Rochas, Gunnar Larsen, Givenchy, Lagerfeld, Paco Rabanne, Guy Laroche, Tristan Tzara, Alberto Giacometti, Dali, Jacques Lacan, inspiration came thick and fast for Barthes.

Between 1954 and 1956 his stunningly provocative and most influential text, ‘Mythologies,’ observing cinema, advertising, fashion magazines, motor shows, began challenging ideas about Hollywood, striptease, steak, wrestling, wine, and film forever.

 Born in 1915, Barthes has become the ‘go-to’ guy for story angles and inspiration for 21st century art, media, advertising, fashion professionals and his reputation today rivals that of any of his Parisian contemporaries.

Of Fashion he wrote that it became an industrial synthesis between its making, and its selling. He recognised the contradiction, inherent in the industry, of Fashion being readily available for the many, without losing its ability to raise stakes or status for an individual.

Tomorrow I’ll write about Parc Citroen, Parc Asterix and the pack of peanut butter sandwiches!

Most Photographed

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It’s official! Audrey  Hepburn is the most photographed woman of her generation, BBC 2, yesterday and on iPlayer.

So it’s no wonder Anton Storey  and I had masses of scintillating images to inspire us when we collaborated to feature her in print  in 2009.

So lovely is she in her movies we have at least two wonderful reworked pieces to publish in each part of ‘IMAGES OF PASSION Audrey Heburn and Breakfast at Givenchy’s’

Last week we published part 1 PARIS  as a tribute to her greatest fan, Roland Barthes.  He described her face as an ‘event.’

http://tinyurl.com/zjb6ors

L’homme Parisien, post-Modern witches and the dazzling eclectic

ysl-slimane-2Saint-Laurent-Paris-Fashion-WeekWe’re with ‘Vogue’ on Hedi Slimane’s  SL show for Paris Fashion Week.

Saying that he’s ‘master of the theatre,’ Jessica Bumpus saw rock chicks with immaculate styling and a rock edge aesthetic honed at Dior Homme, with Seventies billowy chiffon.  Liking oversized hats, with every look,  multiple neck bows, tuxedo jackets,  super skinny trousers with their ‘rock credentials.’ 

Cathy Horyn, banned from the shows, was tentative in her report, for the New York Times.  Viewed from streamed images,  her words lack the tones of a disappointed critic.  I think she really liked it, but isn’t saying! You wouldn’t either, if you weren’t invited, would you?

Business of Fashion loves the idea that Slimane has gone for “commercially lucrative” pieces but hopes the label won’t be too distracted away from its original YSL roots towards a sort of ‘All Saints Laurent!’

Reminding us of Yves Saint Laurent’s controversial 1971 Nazi-inspired show, seen as “a tour de force of bad taste” at the time, BoF thought Slimane’s collection might be a deliberate attempt by the ‘complicated designer to provoke negative reactions’.

For BoF, Suleman Anaya also asks the question about where YSL might be heading under Slimane’s baton. Is it another top luxury brand removing itself from the kind of high-concept fashion that receives ‘lavish editorial praise but performs middlingly in stores?’  Or is it going for ‘money in the bank for retailers.’

Isn’t this what everyone hopes will happen to all Fashion?  Slimane’s tactics can’t be  bad if YSL is also seen as a lifestyle brand for musicians and those who want to hang out with them.   To me Anaya is totally on the button as he winds up with the assertion “It’s tough, but it’s luxury, down to those heavily embellished (and surely expensive) leather boots.”

How is Slimane doing it?  It’s probably the seven years with Dior, designing menswear, which gives him the gift to capture traces from the extraordinary creative and vulnerable masters who preceded him.  It’s also  his schooling in Art History and  Tailoring.  His visit to the offices of Le Monde,  when he thought he wanted to be  a journalist is telling.   For  the creative spirit,I think, it’s all about wanting to communicate thoughts and feelings. It’s what makes Fashion’s heart beat.

 

Mary Quant’s late husband, the debonair lothario, Alexander Plunket Green, supporting his wife’s exceptional talent, told me that sharp, tailored, clothes, rather than peasant looks, are what’s needed to underpin optimism during an economic downturn. 

Slimane, as  a French  Fashion national/natural, is doing it all.  Re-interpreting Yves from beyond ‘peasant,’ through Punk, away from ‘grunge’ through to a democratised high street, to thrill Beats, Hippies, New Wave and Digital Natives.  Keeping us all wanting to join the parade. So why is the Fashion jury still out on Slimane?  The renaming to ‘Saint Laurent’ seems neat and his eclecticism,  dazzling.

 

As  an original Fashion victim, I want to look as much like the post-Modern witches on  Slimane’s Paris Week catwalk, as the cyber princesses in their fluorescent trenches at Christopher Bailey’s  S/S 2013 London show!

http://www.businessoffashion.com/2012/10/a-wake-up-call-for-ysls-pr-team.html