Tag: marchesa

Harvey Weinstein's Fashion Connection

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 pictured with Rachel Zoe in 2009, who is yet to speak on the scandal.

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?

Further (required) reading

The New Yorker exposé

Bridget Foley on Harvey Weinstein – WWD

This Season’s Trends Explained: Spring 2015

Back when the season was Spring 2015, I made a post on how to wear the trends of the season. Looking back on it, the post was rubbish, awful, terrible – any adjective meaning the same thing applies to it. I skipped out making one for the Fall/Winter 2014 season, purely because I forgot about it, but this season it is back and hopefully a million times better than before. I think my issue last time around was that I identified trends that I didn’t necessarily like myself and/or include any runway images to back up my points. Now as of the time of writing (mid-December), the new season collections aren’t yet in stores nor have the high street stores started offering their own takes so this post is really just predictions. Trends are literally created by agencies and by fashion magazine editors: any common thread between all the shows at fashion week creates a trend. As consumers, we can only buy what is on offer meaning that these editors, agencies and, when it comes down to it, designers have great power in determining what we all will wear. Now instead of explaining the concept of trends, something that I discussed in further detail in a post last year, I am going to get ahead and offer you what I have noticed as being the biggest trends emerging for the upcoming season. I’m going to do it a little bit differently this time, separating everything into 5 distinct categories: colours, prints, materials, vibes and styling tips. Hopefully this will break things down further so instead of attacking a trend head-on and looking like a bit of a disaster, there are ways to do things in a subtle manner and in a way that everybody can try.

COLOURS

  • Army Green – Army green, or khaki, is a colour that is always prevalent on runways and is a staple in all wardrobes. This season it cropped up on the runways of the likes of Gucci, Chanel & Jason Wu. There is usually a sort-of military vibe that comes along with this colour but there are many ways to wear it without looking like you’re in the armed forces. Take Jason Wu’s suede dress with the plunging neckline or the belted trench coat from the same collection that made the colour look completely vamped up.
  • Yellow – Sunshine is a key component of summer so clearly yellow would be a no-brainer for this season. Yellow can be a tricky colour to pull off depending on your skin tone but fortunately there is a shade to suit all; it just usually takes a lot of mistakes to find the perfect one. My personal favourite yellow piece from the catwalk is Cushnie et Ochs’ stunning gold toned dress with the draped silk bodice: the colour popped with Shanina Shaik’s skin. Yellow could also be found at Balmain, Diane von Furstenberg, David Koma and ZAC Zac Posen.
  • Ballerina Pink – You know that pale, near white shade of pink? The one so beautiful and feminine that you cannot help but love it? I am somebody that wears black every day without fail but I have a soft spot for this colour purely because it makes one look ethereal. Picture it on the catwalks in the form of flowing dresses and skirts, flared trousers and flimsy fabrics. Seen mainly at Narciso Rodriguez, BCBG Max Azria and Alberta Ferretti, it is coincidental that these three shows turned out to be among my most favourites?

 PRINTS

  • Gingham – The classic check, often synonymous with tablecloths or Brigitte Bardot, is back. To be honest, it has never really left. Almost every summertime it comes back around, probably because it brings ideas of sunshine and picnics with it. The pattern was seen most prominently at Diane von Furstenberg who used many different colours of the well-loved print in many different ways – my personal favourite was the gingham trousers, you can get a similar pair from missguided.com just now (linked).
  • Polka Dots – A print that is commonly associated with children or kitsch house decorations has been spotted on quite a few runways. Differing in size and colours, my favourite versions were at Dolce & Gabbana. They were interestingly incorporated into designs, mixed in with florals, lace and mesh.
  • Florals – Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking”. The infamous quote from The Devil Wears Prada is so apt and so telling. It is true that literally every summer season, florals are around. It is totally unoriginal and slightly unimaginative to highlight them as a trend but really, they are impossible to ignore. From classic rose-type prints at Dolce & Gabbana to the beautiful watercolour creations at Chanel to the 3-D hippy-esque styles at Marchesa to the subtler orange print at Altuzarra, each brand offering florals were offering something quite distinct. That’s why it is impossible to ignore the trend. Even if you don’t like the cutesy florals, go for the more digital prints. If you don’t like obvious, stylised florals, look to Chanel’s blurred watercolour ones. Honestly, there is something for everyone.

 

MATERIALS

  • Leather – A material that previously remained exclusive for bikers and the cool kids, leather has now been democratised. For the past few, perhaps 5 years, everyone has owned a leather jacket: now it has gone further. Leather skirts, coats, trousers, t-shirts, dresses, bralets – anything and everything. This season it is not just Hedi Slimane who has been championing the material but also Miuccia Prada, both at Prada (who had the most insane leather trench coats that I have fallen in love with) and Miu Miu (a glossy red trench coat was striking along with an even better turquoise version). According to fashion designers, leather is perfect for any occasion and any season – who cares if it is sweltering hot in summer?
  • Suede – With the heavy seventies influence that has swept like a tidal wave this season, suede is the obvious choice of material for designers. If you can’t wait, have a look at Topman’s LTD line for some brilliant offerings including a bomber jacket and a sheepskin collared western jacket that is very similar to Jared Leto’s in Girl, Interrupted. Yes, I know that Topman is menswear but if you get a small enough size they can be oversized without drowning you – they start at mens XXS. On the catwalk, have a look at both Emilio Pucci and Gucci for their take on the fabric.
  • Denim – Designer denim is back and in a big way. Quite a few brands showcased some jeans with brilliantly encrusted ones from Dolce & Gabbana (my favourite item from the entire season) to regular ones at Gucci (not skinny jeans though, perhaps we truly are moving away from them?) and more at both Fendi and Alberta Ferretti. I even considered saving up to buy the Dolce & Gabbana jeans, until I found out about the $12,500 price tag.
  • Sheer – As always, see-through sheer fabrics rule. Season upon season, sheer fabrics of all kinds are seen on the runway at various brands. Balenciaga featured what I would say is the most with larger fishnet styles of mesh to ruched gauzy material on sleeves and shoulders. There were strategically placed embroideries at Francesco Scognamiglio on some beautiful floor-length dresses. However, I’d say Tom Ford was the most daring with dresses made almost exclusively of gauze with coverings over the model’s modesty…

 

 VIBES

  • Hippy/Bohemian – If last season was all about the 60s, naturally, like the passing of time, we have now moved into the next decade. The seventies are now the time period of choice for designers, reflected in the choice of fabrics, silhouettes and overall feels of collections. However, there are two distinct takes on the 70s: one being the bohemian look of the late 60s that ended mid-70s (it is said to have ended when Nixon resigned in 1974) and the other being the disco, hedonistic Studio 54 style glitz and glamour. For the bohemian look, look towards Emilio Pucci, Marchesa and Tommy Hilfiger for the flower-power inspired designs.
  • Studio 54 – The legendary nightclub was just as famed for its fashions as it was its antics. Images of celebrities such as Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Andy Warhol, all the supermodels of the time, and basically anybody who was anybody were seen there. It is known for its over-the-top madness and glamour. Look to Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent, Lanvin or Tom Ford this season for what seems like their take on the time period.
  • Ethereal – The definition of ethereal is “extremely delicate and light in a way that seems to be not of this world”. Upon hearing that I imagine pale colours, flowing fabrics and pretty dresses – a look that many designers actually showed this season. Take a look at Alberta Ferretti, BCBG Max Azria, Elie Saab and also Rodarte (think of the flowy, mermaid dresses).

 

STYLING TIPS

  • Obi Belts – Tied like a kimono or a dressing gown, however you choose how to think of it, the belt is a key part of looks this season. Especially important with oversized, floaty garments, the belt ties it in and gives you some shape whilst also adding a nonchalant, relaxed look. It pulls an outfit together without looking like you tried really hard. Look to BCBG Max Azria for my personal favourite take on the trend.
  • Mismatched Earrings – If last season focused specifically on wearing just one earring, this time around feel free to wear two. However, they need not match. Various brands showed models with mismatched earrings in shape, size and colour. So if you’re like me and lose almost every pair of earrings you buy (not even kidding), it is time to pull out all of those odd ones and mix and match.
  • Shoulders Out – Yes, off-the-shoulder styles are a big deal. Sorry if you’re somebody who hates your shoulders because they are revealed a lot this season. Off-the-shoulder looks were prominent at Balenciaga and Balmain but there are also many different ways to wear the trend. For example, interesting straps such as those at Givenchy or halternecks like at Alexander Wang show off shoulders without cutting straight across.shoulders