Weekly Words: 23rd September 2017

How the Red Carpet Became a Runway – W Magazine

I loved this video from W Magazine about how the red carpet has evolved over the years, from stars wearing pieces borrowed from film studios costume departments in its infancy to having custom created looks and couture-style pieces nowadays.

“The Trouble with Topshop” – BoF Professional Exclusive

Kate Moss for Topshop

Being in the US, I didn’t realize that Topshop was having any issues, just because I haven’t been in any of their British stores to notice any changes or read any British newspapers which tend to cover the Arcadia group in great detail. According to this BoF article, Topshop is not faring well in comparison to H&M and Zara who have taken over the British high street and offer cheaper and often more fashionable styles. They are also facing high competition from e-commerce sites like Boohoo & Missguided which are even cheaper and have a wider, more global reach than Topshop have managed to successfully achieve. I didn’t realize this when I was initially looking at London Fashion Week images but Topshop Unique is no longer, with the line now being called Topshop London Fashion Week. The price points are lower and the styles will be less exclusive than the Unique line was, in an attempt to capture a younger customer once again who were slightly outpriced by the Unique line in the past. This season’s show was the last collection designed by Kate Phelan, former British Vogue editor turned Creative Director of the line, whose work I always admired and found to be very on the pulse of what women actually want to wear. That was the merit of Topshop Unique. She has been replaced by a Swede, David Hagglund, who is now in charge of both Topshop and Topman. A new head of merchandising has been hired too. I was on Topshop’s website a few days ago and whilst looking at the shoes I found myself getting annoyed at all of the strange angles of the shoes and I felt like I couldn’t get an immediate image of what the shoe actually looked like, instead focusing on a zip on the inside of your foot or a really random angle. I hope that this is not part of the new strategy because, in my opinion, it doesn’t make for a good shopping experience. I’ll be interested to see how things take shape going forward, if any design / stylistic changes are immediately apparent once Phelan departs.

“At Italian Vogue, A New Beginning” – The New York Times

This article about Emanuele Farneti, Vogue Italia’s Editor-in-Chief who replaced the late, beloved Franca Sozzani at the beginning of the year, was a great profile of the man who I think is shaping up to become a fantastic Editor-in-Chief. This year brought many changes to the world of fashion, especially in the print magazine sector with the untimely death of Sozzani, the resignation of Alexandra Shulman, EIC of British Vogue since before I was even born, and many departures and new arrivals stateside as discussed in a previous Weekly Words. Sozzani was replaced by Farneti and Shulman was replaced by Edward Enninful, longtime W Magazine editor and one of the fashion industry’s most beloved stylists. The arrival of these two new editors brought in a big change in the sense that it was the first time any men had been in charge of Vogue. Both of their appointments were rather historic. Enninful is yet to publish an issue that he has edited – December is slated to be his first – but Farneti has been working at Vogue Italia for months now, producing a couple of really memorable covers from the start. The first I recall was the e-commerce themed cover, which I wrote a piece about a few months back, and then also Bella Hadid’s retro-inspired cover which featured the most beautiful colors in such dreamy tones. The whole gist of the New York Times profile is that Farneti, unlike most of the other EIC’s, is very low-key. There is no paparazzi frenzy surrounding him. He lives a normal life with a wife and two children. His approach to both life, and editing, is very different than others in his role. Interestingly enough, he has worked in various facets of publishing – menswear, sports, and womenswear – before landing at Italian Vogue. He was an unlikely choice for many, but, I think, so far, he has proven to be a good one.

Eve Gardiner is the founder and content creator behind evegardiner.com

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