I don’t know about you but the first thing I do when I wake up is check my email. Among the endless promotional codes and spam-like attempts to capture attention from various retailers lies The Business of Fashion’s Daily Digest. One day last week they highlighted this 1997 article from The Guardian on Anna Wintour, posted on The Guardian’s website as a piece from the archive. I’m not sure why they revived a 20 year old article but it was such a good read. It’s amazing to see how things have changed in that time. As I said when I read the profile of Anna Wintour for the site’s print issue, Anna Wintour comes across really well. She is a formidable woman who earned her place in the industry. She has a reputation for being icy and mean yet every piece of journalism I’ve read relating to her paints a different picture. This profile was endearing because she talks about her own career path in the most humble way possible. She also talks about the differences between the UK and the US, something that I can relate to having made the move myself. If you want to read a good throwback article, click the link above.
If you have spoken to me anytime in the past year or so, I’ll have mentioned Solange. I love her. She’s so pure and such an amazing artist. I love that she is no longer being referred to as Beyonce’s little sister and that she is being recognized as the great person she actually is. Also, I’m still desperately trying to get tickets to see her show at the Guggenheim in May but tickets are $900 on resale sites – they were originally $50. This interview, from Fashionista, was cool because it gave us more of an insight into Solange’s personal style. I think we all knew she was original when her wedding photos were revealed, with everyone wearing all white and standing in a perfect formation. I feel like every second of her life is an art piece. Read the article linked above to find out where she gets her inspirations from.
I have been talking a lot recently about how so many people on Instagram have fake followers, either that they have paid for or via bots that have followed them. I know I even have some bots following me and I have less than 500 followers. It came out last week that Instagress, a popular automation tool for IG, has been shut down. Instagram’s policy is that it does not allow third party applications but there are still plenty of services out there for people who are trying to amass a following. I always look at engagement rate on Instagram posts. The point of this article was that if a blogger with a huge following gets a low number of likes on a post, their following is likely fake. Vice versa, if a blogger with a small following gets an unproportionately large number of likes on a post, they may be using bots. There is a new service that brands can use to verify an influencers’ following and each influencer/blogger gets a score based on their engagement rates, bot rate etc. That way brands will pay a blogger a fee that is directly linked to their score instead of wasting money on posts that may not get the reach promised. It is also interesting as I have noticed a few articles out there recently about microinfluencers and how brands are moving towards using them as they tend to have a more engaged and loyal following. I find all of this social media stuff so interesting so this article was a good read.
Anna Wintour sat down with Imran Amed, founder of the Business of Fashion website, for an interview that has been posted online in two parts. She is also the cover star for the print issue of the magazine. I found Anna’s interview to make her come across very well, as she always does, and I often wonder why she has the terrifying reputation that she does. She is someone who seems very aware of her own power but doesn’t seem to want to abuse it. She is also aware that Vogue needs to change to keep up with the times and actually welcomes that. I encourage you to read the interview for yourself as all I can really do is summarize what she said. I just think this interview showed us again why Anna Wintour is where she is and also why Business of Fashion is one of the best, if not the best, sources of fashion related content out there.
I look forward to writing this post every year because it is an excuse for me to trawl through the internet looking for images that I find inspiring. I trust Vogue’s all around the world to create stellar content that both inspire and evoke other emotions in me. I love a good fashion editorial. I wish that I could be paid to create them and that I had the resources to do so.
What makes a good editorial? To me, the model. I have to like the model and find her appealing or else I won’t enjoy the images, even if the styling is good. I also think the photographer is important as there are some whose style I don’t particularly like and others who I am taken by. Finally, the fashion editor helps immensely. Without their vision the editorial wouldn’t exist. I love how fashion is such a collaborative creative process. All of the people involved are needed.
Anyway, as per usual I’m reviewing British Vogue, American Vogue, Italian Vogue, and Vogue Paris in this post. Enjoy!
Note: Since writing this the much loved Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani passed away at just 66 after a year long battle with an illness. This came as such a shock to me as I had no idea she was unwell. It was very sad news. In the days after her death you could truly see the admiration and love for her from the fashion community as a whole which was really beautiful. Rest in peace.
Fashion is deemed very frivolous. It is not a matter that people think hold much weight, rightly or wrongly so depending on your opinion. That’s why the Met Gala is such a big deal. Often classed as fashion’s equivalent of the Oscars, the Met Gala (or Ball depending on who is saying it) is an annual charity event held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The event honours the opening of that year’s exhibit at the Costume Institute in the museum. Basically, it is one of the few evenings in the year that fashion actually matters to people. Celebrities, designers and fashion-people in general attend. An invitation is so sought after that tickets cost around $25,000 to purchase, you know, if you’re not actually on the guest list. The prestige of the event is so much so that the first time that a very pregnant Kim Kardashian attended in 2013, there was a general uproar from press and fashion critics alike. Just as a little side note, she was banned the previous year by Anna Wintour but we all know how that has changed as she has since received that infamous Vogue cover that led many to proclaim Anna Wintour’s credibility dead and gone.
Chanel’s cruise show, on the other hand, is a little bit less of interest to regular people. Whilst gossip magazines and fashion magazines alike will include images of the best dressed attendees at the Met Gala, Chanel’s cruise show will likely receive less mainstream attention. However, it is always quite a spectacle. For the pre-collections (both Pre-fall and Cruise/Resort/whatever you want to call it), Karl Lagerfeld takes Chanel all over the globe, showing in many exciting locations and often drawing inspiration from such places. This year for the Cruise show, Chanel is going to Seoul, the capital of South Korea. I often think that the pre-collections for Chanel are better than, and certainly more exciting than, their regular collections. For reference, Chanel is always near the end of the show schedule in Paris meaning that by the time you see the photos from Chanel, you have seen at least 100 other shows (if you’re looking online, I doubt people actually go to that many) and have probably seen about 10,000 photos. I feel burned out looking at it all and I’m not even travelling. However, for the pre-collections, Chanel is one of the few brands that actually stage a show – many brands just show lookbooks or release photos from presentations – and they always put on a good one. Usually there is more of a story behind the collection and the different locations make it all the more exciting: think of it as all the important people in fashion going on holiday together.
This year, Chanel’s cruise show has fallen on the same date as the Met Gala. That is a problem. Now you may think “why not just change the date?” as that does seem like the most logical thing to do. However, the date has reportedly already been changed due to a clash with Dior. This isn’t the first time that a conundrum like this has occurred. The same thing happened for the pre-fall Metiers d’Art collection in Salzburg. It was held on the same day as the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that was held in London. Because of the different locations (and the not-so-close proximity) people had to choose between one and the other. This meant that fashion editors, buyers, journalists, and basically anybody that matters in fashion attended Chanel and the rest (including the celebrities, for the most part) attended Victoria’s Secret. However, this time around it is different. The Met Gala is not the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: it actually matters. It is an event that people in fashion covet a ticket to and attendance is thought of as an honour.
So how are people going to decide between the two? I’m assuming that buyers, journalists and some important editors will go to Chanel and the rest to the Met Gala. Of course Anna Wintour, perhaps the most influential woman in fashion, will go to the Met Gala as the Costume Institute is now named after her and she is heavily involved in the running of the event. For that reason, I also assume that many important American Vogue editors may also attend. However, the celebrities will be divided. I don’t think celebrities are needed at a fashion show. Their only role is to grab a little bit of press which in the end doesn’t matter because press doesn’t always translate into sales, especially if said celebrities fan base is primarily made up of teenagers who cannot afford the brand’s product. I think that celebrities will see the Met Gala as a better event to attend. For one, the coverage that they will receive will be greater, both in volume and quality. Moreover, the event looks like a bunch of fun. I’d love to get a preview of the exhibition at the Costume Institute as the exhibitions are always hugely successful and very busy. However, many may attend Chanel if their loyalty lies with Karl.
The most divided sector will be the models. Each year, some models attend the Met Gala on the arm of a designer or are often there to represent a certain brand. Last year, Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn and Chanel Iman went to the event wearing Topshop and to represent the brand. Similarly, Liu Wen wore Zac Posen, Cara Delevingne wore Stella McCartney, and Karlie Kloss wore Oscar de la Renta – all representing their respective brands. A few more models not listed also attended. Now I think it is pretty likely that these models will be invited to attend this year but will they accept the invitation? This goes back to aforementioned the VSFS vs Chanel Salzburg debacle. Both Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne were rumoured to be cast for Victoria’s Secret yet they walked Chanel. Considering that they are Karl’s favourites at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if they skipped the Met Gala and walked Chanel instead. Perhaps the rest of the models that walk Chanel will be less known ones. I don’t think that is necessarily a problem as often the less known girls are the best. When I say less known, I mean girls like Sasha Luss and Marina Nery who probably won’t be invited to the Met Gala as their social media following hasn’t hit the million mark. I don’t think social media should be an indicator of someone’s success but unfortunately it is nowadays. Anyway, my point being, the pseudo-supermodels will probably go to the Met Gala, the rest (if they get cast) to Chanel; that is fine with me.
So this is it, a cardinal sin, a faux pas, has been committed, through no fault of either party, by scheduling both events on the same date. It sounds rather silly when you think about it but it will be a big deal and a difficult choice for some. For example, for some models walking Chanel may grant them some prestige in their career and is definitely a good show to have listed on your models.com profile, but being seen at the Met Gala would do wonders from a publicity standpoint as it garners more attention with the masses than a Chanel runway does. The fact of the two events being on the same night might actually be a good thing though. At least the people who matter (for the most part) and those who are actually influential will be at Chanel, you know reviewing the runway and picking pieces to buy into their stores, and those who just generate publicity but little more will be elsewhere. Yes there will be some important people missing out (think Ms Wintour) but it is not the end of the world. After all, the Chanel show will be on style.com, the goings-on inside the Met Gala will not.
As someone who is not a model or at all important in fashion for that matter, an invite to either of the events would be appreciated but if you twisted my arm for a definitive answer, I think I’d choose the Met Gala: would you?