Shot by Steven Meisel and starring many of the original supermodels from Gianni Versace’s iconic shows, Versace’s SS18 campaign is nostalgic and superb. The entire collection was a tribute to Gianni Versace, comprised of archivally-inspired pieces and prints. The campaign continues with the same theme and provides us with a much welcomed injection of glamour and fun in this dreary world.
“Salma Hayek: Harvey Weinstein is my monster too” – The New York Times
In the scandal that never seems to settle, Salma Hayek has come forward with her own story about Harvey Weinstein from the time of when she was developing and shooting the movie Frida, based on the life story of Frida Kahlo. Her story, penned as a personal essay, detailed the incidents which took place in great detail and shows a lot of emotion. She spoke of an incident during the filming, which quickly descended into a hellish experience, where he pressured her into doing a lesbian sex scene with co-star Ashley Judd, aka the actress who first came forward with her story. It seems that no woman in Hollywood was exempt from his behavior. The day after the story broke, Weinstein’s publicists came out with a statement to deny the claims. Really Weinstein, why even bother?
I know that last week I said that I didn’t want to spend too much time focusing on the sexual assault discussion that has permeated pop culture over the past few weeks but we are at a stage where it is impossible to ignore it. The fashion industry was dragged into the Harvey Weinstein scandal last week, when model Cameron Russell started the #myjobshouldnotinclude abuse campaign. From the campaign, changes in the fashion industry are slowly starting to occur. According to the New York Times “New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, a Democrat from Queens, announced she would introduce an amendment to the state’s current anti-discrimination laws. If passed, it would extend certain protection to models, putting designers, photographers and retailers (among others) on notice that they would be liable for abuses experienced on their watch.”. Basically, a legislation would protect the models in the workplace as the current protections in place are clearly not working. Read the full article here for more information on the topic.
British newspaper, The Telegraph, got its hands on a leaked email from Conde Nast’s COO and Executive Vice President informing all publications that they were no longer to work with famed photographer Terry Richardson. The move was to be effective immediately, with any work of his that hadn’t gone to print to be killed and any future work to be cancelled. For some context, Terry Richardson is to fashion who Harvey Weinstein is to Hollywood. He is a notoriously creepy photographer who has been accused of sexual assault for almost a decade. However, he has managed to dodge any real scrutiny from the brands and publications that he works with because he has always managed to have an air of credibility due to the big names he has photographed; Terry Richardson has even shot Barack Obama. Although there have been rumors swirling around Richardson’s behavior for years, the rumors never seemed to stick. However, right now we are in an exodus period where anyone who has been sexually assaulted by a public figure is finally getting their voice heard. Since the Telegraph article broke, Valentino and Bulgari have announced that they are no longer working with Richardson (he shot both brand’s recent campaigns). Other brands will surely follow suit, although many don’t have to specifically announce that they are not using him as many haven’t booked him for years. Many of his close collaborators like Carine Roitfeld (whose magazine, CR Fashion Book, frequently features his work) haven’t spoken out. Business of Fashion did a good summary on why the latest moves to block Richardson’s work are “too little, too late”. I agree with what they say because the belated condemnation of Richardson makes it seem like his accuser’s words were thought to be invalid until enough people stepped forward so they couldn’t be ignored. It’s not like the Terry Richardson rumours are anything new, but then again, neither were the Harvey Weinstein ones. Weinstein seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I enjoyed this article from High Snobiety on sneaker culture. Sneaker culture itself is fascinating to me because I am so far removed from it. I’ve never tried to buy a pair of sneakers because of the hype surrounding them, nor have I ever waited in line for a drop. For that reason, I may not necessarily be the typical High Snobiety reader. This article basically discusses how sneaker culture is broken in a way, because it is all about reselling. People use bots to hijack shoe releases, causing them to sell out almost instantaneously and leaving everyone who actually waited on their computers and tried to shop like a regular person without the merchandise. The internet and online drops was meant to make sneaker culture more inclusive and bring it to an audience who may not live in a large metropolis like New York City. However, as with most things, there’s always people out there who like to ruin it for everyone. Those who use bots often resell their picks online (using Grailed, or similar services) which pushes the cost up, meaning that kid who lives in the Mid-West and wanted to get his hands on a pair of sneakers that originally would’ve paid $120 now has to pay $400. It’s lame. I noticed a similar situation myself one time when I tried to shop at Kith. I thought this was a timely story to tell given the drop of their second installment in the Bergdorf Goodman collaboration (which I love, by the way). It was the Coca-Cola collection which I’d read about online and seen on Emily Oberg’s Instagram. Some of the pieces were actually super cute so I thought I’d log on and buy some. I went on the site at 11am (the minute it dropped), added the styles directly to my basket, and by the time I hit checkout and went to enter my card details I got an error message saying the styles had sold out. I was disappointed and discouraged, and I have yet to try and shop a Kith drop online again, because I really feel like there is no point. Until retailers find a way to beat the bots, the only way regular people can get their hands on the product is to camp out in line. I sure as hell have never wanted any product that badly, but I know plenty of people who do.
I remember following this account on Tumblr back in the day when the #fashun community on the site was at its peak. It has since declined in favor of other social networks like Instagram. Diet Prada, it seems, has successfully made the switch. The premise of Diet Prada is calling out designers for copying one another, in a fun meme-like way. To see that it has hit the mainstream with coverage in various online news sites is so cool to me. We are at a stage in fashion where copying is so common that it can no longer go unnoticed. Brands get called out for their foul play regularly now. Diet Prada is good at creating the memes that go viral and often lead to change. After Gucci copied Dapper Dan, they agreed to fund his business re-opening and featured him in a campaign. What makes Diet Prada stand out from the rest of the fashion accounts on Instagram is the depth of their fashion knowledge. They can find references to collections from decades ago. It is a level of expertise that I hope to possess myself one day. Until then, I can rely on Diet Prada to do the job for me!
Harvey Weinstein, notorious Hollywood producer and noted sleaze, has been hit with a serious of allegations of sexual assault and indecent exposure dating back decades. The New York Times published a damning exposé of the movie mogul last week and Weinstein has been on damage control mode ever since. The New Yorker followed up with a similar piece, filled with new damning revelations on Tuesday this week. Each publication got statements from women, some anonymous but some on-the-record detailing the gross misconduct of Weinstein over the decades. Subsequently, Weinstein was fired from his own company last weekend, after initially suggesting he would take a “leave of absence” to seek therapy and counseling. Judging by the fact that this behavior has been occurring for decades and Weinstein has continued to abuse his position of power to get what he wanted from people and used it to force people into silence, I somehow believe that counseling won’t do the trick and that this is perhaps just a line to keep people quiet. Weinstein’s connection to the fashion industry comes in the form of his soon-to-be-ex-wife, Georgina Chapman, the co-founder of red-carpet label Marchesa. Despite Weinstein’s lack of professional ties to the company, the brand seems to be collateral damage, marred by the fall-out of the scandal. One can’t help but wonder how many stars wore Marchesa to their premieres just because Weinstein coaxed them to do so. How many stylists does he have a “relationship” with that encourages them to dress their clients in the brand? Furthermore, Weinstein has a lot of friends in the fashion industry, through his wife, who likely knew or at least had an inkling about the kind of man he was and the behavior that he subjected those around him to. One wonders how long this cover-up has gone on for.
The Hollywood Reporter’s coverage of the events surrounding this scandal has been my go-to source as they have information from all sides of the story: the legal side, the movie & Hollywood side, and the fashion side. In an article entitled “Harvey Weinstein puts wife’s Marchesa fashion brand in a tough spot“, THR examines the impact of the scandal on Marchesa, the hugely successful eveningwear (and bridal) line designed by Chapman and her business partner Keren Craig. The label was already beginning to draw criticism for their presentation at Bridal Fashion Week, with one commenter mentioning the link between Chapman profiting off women whilst her husband sexually assaults them. Weinstein’s connection to the fashion industry goes further than just his wife’s brand though. He has served as executive producer on Project Runway, the fashion-design focused competition where his wife has served as a guest judge on numerous occasions. According to the same article, Weinstein’s name has been removed from the credits of the next episode. He is also close friends with Anna Wintour, yet to comment on the allegations, who has helped him set-up a variety of business deals and has hosted events with the mogul. In terms of fashion business ventures, he tried to revive the Halston label in 2007 (with family friend Rachel Zoe as one of the creative consultants) and he bought the Charles James name, known best for the Met Gala exhibition about America’s first couturier.
Weinstein’s close relationships with those in the fashion industry, plus his business interests, make this an interesting connection between what could’ve been a solely Hollywood scandal and one that has now crossed over to a whole new industry (not to mention politics, given that Weinstein is a firm Democrat who has donated millions of dollars to various campaigns for the likes of Hillary Clinton). Disappointingly, few people have spoken out against Weinstein. Donna Karan made a huge PR misstep (and exposed a real personal flaw) when she spoke out in support of Weinstein, citing the way women dress and reinforcing rape culture in one little statement. Her statement, made during a red carpet appearance last Sunday, effectively blamed the victims of Weinstein’s assault because of the way they were dressed, saying “How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality? And what are we throwing out to our children today about how to dance and how to perform and what to wear? How much should they show?”. Karan received backlash for her comments almost instantaneously from the likes of Rose McGowan (who has been alluding to Weinstein’s behavior for years now) and chef Anthony Bourdain, plus the scorn of the entire internet. The following day, Karan said that her statements had been taken out of context and that they were not intended in that manner. Unfortunately, this apology fell flat, in my opinion, because her initial thoughts on the matter were expressed clearly. Both her initial statement and her apology have been written about in more detail on The Hollywood Reporter, which I will link below. I spotted a few people saying that they should boycott Donna Karan products but this is counterproductive given that she sold her company a few years ago and has no part of the business anymore. Regardless of what people want to do, expressing scorn for Karan’s statement seems like the right idea. Going forward, it will be interesting to see if any more figures in the fashion industry comment on the Weinstein situation.
From what we all know now, Harvey Weinstein has committed some disgusting and unforgivable crimes since her ascent into power, spanning over at least three decades. Not only have these acts taken place, but they have been ignored. Hollywood has taken part in a long-term cover-up, on the lowest level by Miramax employees and all the way up to A-list stars like Matt Damon and Russell Crowe (who were accused of having a story nixed back in 2004). From what has been reported, people have known about Weinstein’s behavior for a long time and have chosen to ignore it for the sake of their careers or fear of legal action from Weinstein’s cutthroat defense team. On top of all of this, many people have benefitted from Weinstein over the years, whether that be in terms of monetary compensation, movie roles, or exposure. His wife apparently knew of his behavior but his connections helped her grow her business, getting it worn by A-listers the year of its launch. I wonder how many other people stayed quiet for similar reasons?