Tag: Saint Laurent

Weekly Words: 19th August 2017

“Ganni – Copenhagen Spring 2018” – Vogue Runway


Ganni is one of the latest scandi-brands to hit the big time. After Acne Studios, Ganni is growing to be the most talked about Scandinavian brand yet instead of conforming to the classic minimalist aesthetic favored by brands from the region, Ganni brings color and fun. I first heard of the brand a few years back when I stumbled across a mesh leopard print dress. It was sheer and flirty. I was instantly struck by the price tag. Ganni is at that sweet contemporary price point like T by Alexander Wang and The Kooples. What makes it even cooler is that the brand is stocked by retailers at all levels, from ASOS to Net-a-Porter. The Spring 2018 collection, shown at Copenhagen Fashion Week, has further solidified the brand as a go-to for cool fashion girls, with sunny yellows and wide leg pants and an abundance of denim.

“Steve Madden’s YSL Knock-Offs”

Will Steve Madden get off with this copy? I first noticed these some time last week and forgot to post about them. They were too direct a copy for me to ignore so here I am mentioning it this week instead. The Saint Laurent glitter boots, covered in rhinestones with an inimitable slouch silhouette were one of the buzziest pieces on the FW17 runways. The boots had a wait list by the time the show was over. Now they are getting an insane amount of editorial coverage with all of the top publications featuring them in their glossy pages. The actual Saint Laurent adverts have an image that is cropped solely on the boots. The brand just knows that they are a top item. It makes sense, then, that Steve Madden would make a copy. They want to get the sales too. Honestly, I hope that people don’t buy the Steve Madden ones because I feel like this look was just so unique and iconic that it would be a shame to buy an imitation. I also wonder if Saint Laurent will sue over these boots? They are just a little too close a copy for comfort in my opinion. Here they are on pre-order at FWRD for $10000. The Steve Madden CRUSHING boots can be found by clicking the subheading link!

The Face Halo

Normally when I watch videos on YouTube of beauty gurus shilling products I realize that it is just that – them talking about products that they have been paid to promote. However, I came across Chloe Morello’s video on a new product that she is involved with, The Face Halo, I was immediately intrigued because the video demonstrated instant results. It was not a gimmick, not a lie, not a con. After thinking about it for a day or two, I ordered a pack myself. For $22 you get a three-pack of double-sided microfiber discs which are used to remove makeup. You simply wet the pads, hold it to your face, and swipe the makeup off. It sounds too good to be true but it genuinely works. For the eye area, you have to hold a little longer to get the product to loosen. No makeup remover involved, no unnecessary products, and zero waste. You simply rinse the pad after use and throw it in the washing machine with your light laundry when it needs a deeper clean. I’m so impressed and am literally telling all of my friends to buy it. It feels less dragging on the skin than makeup wipes do and it will save you money and the planet in the long term. I haven’t used it long enough yet to see a marked difference on my overall skin (if pores are less clogged, if not using oils helps me) but I am feeling very positive about this product thus far. If you don’t believe me, go on YouTube and check out the demonstrations!

Weekly Words: 5th August 2017

“The Blogger Divide: Converters or Brand-Builders?” – WWD

There’s an ever-evolving conversation about influencers and what their influence actually means. How does it translate into sales or awareness for brands and why even work with them (and pay them the exorbitantly high figures that they do)? With the rise of micro-influencers and brands gravitating towards those with a smaller but more engaged following, the place of the true influencers (1m plus followers on a platform) has been wavering. However, this WWD article shows that influencers are now separated into further subcategories, converters or brand-builders. Converters are the ones who actually drive sales and tend to have a smaller but more engaged following. They help the brand make sales and the influencer make money via affiliate links. Brand-builders are the ones like Chiara Ferragni who have huge followings (in Ferragni’s case, she has 10m on Instagram) but don’t necessarily convert these views into sales. However, neither type of influencer is better than the other and brands continue to work with them both. I’d be interested if there was a website out there that would be able to give you a list of all of the influencers and how their conversion actually works out so you’d be able to see who really is the most influential.

“Anthony Vaccarello’s Vision” – Harper’s Bazaar

I enjoyed reading this interview with Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent’s creative director. Saint Laurent has been one of my favorite brands for as long as I can remember even caring about fashion and it is one that I keep up with season after season. Vaccarello had some large shoes to fill, entering the role after Hedi Slimane departed, but I’d say he has done a good job keeping the same level of buzz (or perhaps even growing it, marginally). Remember those slouchy glitter boots which had a waitlist at Saks the day of the runway show? They retail for $10000, FYI. I liked Vaccarello since a couple of years ago, when he was showing in Milan with the sexed-up Versace level of glam designs that put him on the map. I feel like his designs at Saint Laurent are just an extension of these with an added twist thrown in for good measure. This interview goes a little more in depth about Vaccarello’s life and career history. I’m always curious to hear people’s stories, especially those who are in a position that I admire. I’m excited to see the next Saint Laurent collection come the Spring shows!

“Vogue to Host Fall Conference with Star-Studded Designer Lineup” – Fashionista

Vogue Magazine is hosting a conference in October and no it doesn’t sound like that boring kind that your parents may have gotten sent to when you were a kid. They’ve managed to line up the best of the best in the industry as their speakers and have developed a one-day program at Milk Studios in Manhattan that seems like a genuinely interesting and valuable day to attend. Sounds great, until you see the price tag. A single ticket costs $3000. This is extremely prohibitive. I wonder how many companies will be willing to shell out this much for a ticket for employees and/or how many people will be willing to spend this much cash, personally, on such an event. The cost seems prohibitive. According to the Fashionista article, they will be releasing heavily discounted student tickets but I imagine even these will run for around $500. It’s a shame because when I first read about the event it seemed akin to the Vogue Festival which British Vogue hosted in London a few times. You could purchase tickets to individual talks for (I think) around 50 GBP (I don’t remember the exact price) and you had access to trend talks, styling sessions, and free manicures and hair & make-up. I initially thought this conference may have been a similar thing but evidently, it is not. Vogue is focused on professionals. I think it is sad that the cost is so high because the speakers are really amazing and I think the talks would be super valuable for people to hear, especially those who are trying to break into the industry. I’m waiting to hear what the student price is!

Designer Bags Worth Buying

A handbag is really important. So much so that people often pose the question of “are you a shoes or a bags girl?”. To answer it simply, I’m shoes. I’m crazy over them. I have way to many pairs in relation to how many feet I have and also how many occasions I have to wear them too (including a few really impractical ones that I cannot walk more than a few steps in). Bags, on the other hand, are different for me. I usually buy one and keep it until it is completely ruined – straps snapped, material worn, a misshapen mess. I also always have a bag that is way to big, purely because I like to carry a bottle of water with me everywhere I go. I could have some really nice looking smaller bags if only I’d sacrifice my water. Anyway, in the spirit of keeping bags for a long time, I view a high quality bag as an investment. Less likely to get worn out than shoes, a bag can last a lifetime if you treat it well and purchase a high quality one to begin with. I also feel like bags are less vulnerable to trends than shoes are so I’ve compiled a list of what I’d class as good investment bags (basically a bunch of designer bags that I wouldn’t say no to) that I think would actually be worth buying. See below for my picks where I’ve inserted links to the sites where possible:

Prada

I have two from Prada. The first is the nylon backpack – the item that made the brand famous (£705). I feel like this is just an iconic fashion item that would be worth buying if you could. It is functional yet still looks cool, especially if you’re going for a sports-luxe look. Alternatively, I suggest the saffiano tote (yes, the leather that every other designer has copied since) which is known for its durability due to scratches being virtually unable to show up (£1325). I’d probably just buy black in both of these styles.

Gucci

Although Gucci is going through a renaissance at the moment, the brand still sells some classic styles that I think can stand the test of time, regardless of the image that the brand is projecting at that current time. First I’d suggest the Soho Hobo (£1210). This is one that I style looks with on Polyvore all the time because it goes with so much. I really like the Rose Beige leather version but the black is just as nice. What makes it better is that it has a shoulder strap too which is always handy. If you want something a little more interesting, I really like the new Boston bag (£1030). The style is one which they’ve been making for years with the classic monogram print but they have also recently introduced (I think) a black leather style which I like. It has the stripes around the bag which make you realise it is Gucci yet it is a bit more low key than full on patterns.

Altuzarra 

Only making his accessories debut two seasons ago, Altuzarra is offering some really strong saddle bags in various colours. The Ghianda bag is the one I’d buy ($2995, exclusive to Barneys); I’d opt for black just so I could get maximum use out of it and I think I’d go for the smaller size too. I like the braided strap and also the fact that this could perhaps be worn cross-body if you wanted to. I’ve been thinking about the cross-body look a lot more recently and I think I might try it out again. I haven’t worn a bag that way for years but I think given the right size it can look a lot better than just dangling off one shoulder. You just need to make sure that whatever you’re wearing on the top half isn’t too fussy.

Saint Laurent

I love Saint Laurent bags. They’re probably one of my most used on Polyvore and I think I’d carry one every day if I could. I particularly like the matelasse styles with the YSL buckle. I think it looks really slick. There are three bags I like the best and they’re basically just the same one but in different sizes (£885, £1680, and £1590). I’d choose the Powder colour as it is such a pretty nude. Very versatile, non?

Givenchy

Although I like the bag, I feel that the Antigona has become a bit cliche and perhaps overexposed. For that reason I wouldn’t suggest that as a keep forever bag as it has become a trend piece. However, I love the Nightingale tote in all it’s slouchy goodness (£1245). I think it is one of those bags where you can stuff it full of everything you’d ever need to carry and it would still zip up. The calfskin is so soft too. It is just a really nice bag and I feel like I wouldn’t be afraid to carry this around with me in day-to-day life for fear of ruining because it already looks a little lived in when you buy it. Like fine wine and J.Lo, it can only get better with age.

Chanel

Instead of the classic quilted style that I used to dream about as a kid, I’ve really taken a liking to the Boy Bag recently. I think Nicki Minaj sporting one of every possible style has brought them to my attention and I’m now starting to think that the shape is rather interesting. You get it in a lot of different styles, changing every season, but I think to be safe (especially due to the price) I’d just buy a black one. At an eye-watering £2710, it is far too much money to spend on something that risks being passe just a few months later.

 

 

Balenciaga

I don’t really like the infamous Motorcycle bags, they’re too 2000s for me. Iconic, yes, but to me they don’t feel very modern nor do they feel timeless. The image of the likes of Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton (my original heroines) carrying them is very much ingrained in my mind and I associate them with a very specific time period. However, I do really like the Papier A4 tote (£1345). I’ve chosen this black suede version too as I love suede so much (I’ve literally bought three different suede items this month). If you had to push me to buy a motorcycle bag, I’d take the City in suede too (£1035).

That’s my list then. A brand noticeably missing, to me, is Celine. The reason for this being that the bags are quite difficult to come across online. However, I do love the Tie tote and the Belt tote, and I like the Trio cross-body but having seen these in person I feel that they’re both impractical and quite a security risk (the outer sections are just popped on with metal studs so a pick-pocketer could easily just grab an entire section of your bag).

I really like the bags that Donatella showed on the catwalk this fashion week at Versace. It is a brand whose bags I usually ignore but I really liked a few that she showed. If I’d been making this list come March, one of them would’ve likely featured too.

New Year’s Resolutions: 2015 Edition

Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition for people all around the world; breaking them is one too. Every year the same few are made by the millions: lose weight, eat healthier, spend less time on social media. And, obviously, every year they are broken – not just broken but completely forgotten and disregarded by about the 10th of January. I am no stranger to this concept and that is why this year I am writing them on here, as more of a visual record and proof that I have actually made them so that when I forget, I can look at this post. I don’t even recall what my resolution was last year, perhaps exercise more?, because I did nothing about it and made no effort to keep it up. This year, I’m not even going to bother with the common bullshit ones because, let’s face it, I’m not going to join a gym and I’m not a fan of all this clean living, vegetable juices crap: I’m all about the sugar. Instead of making resolutions, I’m going to make goals: things that I want to achieve, be it material or mental, that I feel would make me a happier/better person. And yes, I probably won’t stick to anything that I have posted here so please don’t hold it against me. This is merely an inspirational post, a way of me putting my thoughts to paper.. or internet? Let us begin.

Completely unrelated image: I just love Al Pacino, especially as Michael Corleone. Also, he looks like he is thinking. Maybe I can say that he is thinking of his future just like I am? (Mine, not his.)
Completely unrelated image: I just love Al Pacino, especially as Michael Corleone.
Also, he looks like he is thinking. Maybe I can say that he is thinking of his future just like I am? (Mine, not his.)
  1. Stop buying so much online – This is obvious. Online shopping doesn’t feel like real shopping. As you click away and add things to your virtual shopping trolley, the cost could be in Simolean (the currency of The Sims, duuuuuuhhh) for all you care as no paper money is handed over and until the parcel arrives at your door, none of it seems existent. That is until you check your bank statement and realise you spent yet another £60 on crap that you don’t need. With emails coming in daily from various websites enticing you with deals, it is nearly impossible to ignore them and not be sucked in by the perceived great discounts. But really, you’re not saving any money if you don’t need to spend it in the first place. Just click unsubscribe… you can do it.
  2. Say “yes” more often – This is also obvious. It applies to so many situations but in this case I’m thinking more socially. Even if it’s 9pm and I’m already in my pyjamas, if I get invited out I plan to go. This year in particular will be tough with all of my friends going to university and moving away to various parts of the country, therefore until then I need to make it my mission to see them all as much as possible. That way, when they actually move away, we’ll still have a strong friendship that can survive the distance, however long that is.
  3. Relax – I am such an uptight person. I am always on the edge and am always thinking about a million different things. I feel like my brain is overflowing with ideas of things I need to do, say, buy, write, and so much more. Even on my day off I am never really switched off. I genuinely have no idea how to. I feel like life is going at such a fast pace yet I feel entirely stuck in the same spot and that I am waiting forever for anything to happen. I need to just realise that at this age, there’s not really much that I can do hence why I need to relax a little bit. I’m unsure how I will do so as I seem to always have myriad worries and so much on my mind. Maybe to get it all out I should start writing things down? Or to relax take a long, hot bath? Meditate? I haven’t quite figured it out yet.
  4. Take a real holiday – Whenever I go abroad, I am always doing something. Last summer I went to Paris for a week and did a whistle-stop tour of all of the main attractions in just under 2 days and worked for 4. Earlier that year, when I went to London I had a packed itinerary and practically every trip I’ve taken before that has been filled with plans and things that must be done instead of just taking a real holiday. By a real holiday I mean one that provides me with time to relax, maybe lie down by the pool for a while, sightsee at a slow pace, not trying to fit in every single thing to do in that place in a short period of time, having a long lie in the morning even though that could be considered a waste of a day. My dream destination would be somewhere in the south of France, perhaps Nice or Cannes?, or somewhere in Italy (a place that I have always wanted to go). I just need to find somebody to go with and the time to actually do it.
  5. Buy one nice thing – I want 2015 to be the year where I treat myself to something. I’m working now and although I’m trying to save up as much money as possible to go to college in the States, I feel that I should save up separate money to treat myself to something nice. Whether that be a pair of shoes (Ferragamo or Saint Laurent? Classic styles, of course), a bag (Prada would be the dream or this brilliant Givenchy bag which is also totally over-budget, or even this tote which is more of my price range), or even a really beautiful piece of ready-to-wear (probably Dolce & Gabbana as their brand is my ultimate aesthetic) – I’d say you should look at my Polyvore for a clearer indication of items that I like. If I save up around £1000 to treat myself to something I know I will love for years to come, perhaps it would be worth the monetary cost: especially knowing that I had saved up to buy it myself.

There are so many more things that I want to do, things that I want to achieve, before the year is out but I feel like sharing them would perhaps jinx them. I know that the next few months ahead will be pretty challenging and risky (very much make-or-break), but hopefully by the summer I will have a clearer idea of what is going on. I suppose that is what life is all about, taking risks. If we didn’t, how would we ever learn?

So here is to hoping that 2015 is the best year yet. Hopefully it is the year that everything changes for the better. I don’t expect to be sitting front row at Chanel any time soon or rubbing shoulders with Riccardo Tisci (who is probably my favourite person on Instagram at the moment) but I do hope for more realistic things. I hope that fashion continues to inspire and bring joy to me and others; I hope that my favourite designers continue to produce exquisite collections and that I discover some new ones along the way; finally, I hope for self-improvement in many fields (mainly my writing though as it still not up to scratch). May 2015 be a good year for me and, more importantly, a good year for all of you!

 

Who Is Going to Gucci?

The recent news of the departure of Frida Giannini and her husband, CEO, Patrizio di Marco from Gucci poses the question: who will replace them? Or, more importantly, her? Now I, for one, don’t really care about who the new CEO is because that will not change anything for me: the CEO is very much behind the scenes with their impact on the designs practically non-existent. I do care about who will become the new creative director, however, even if the internet seems rather unfussed: google Gucci and the news of the departure of their head designer doesn’t even come up on the first page.

I am a Frida Giannini fan so when I found out that she was leaving I was saddened. However, I often feel like I stand alone in liking her as she is often heavily criticised online for reasons I am unsure of. I feel that in the past few seasons Gucci’s collections had really improved and were clothes that I would want to spend money on, if I had it… For the past few seasons Gucci’s campaigns have been some of my favourites, their clothes often the most copied and their business seemed to be reaching new heights with the introduction of the beauty line, something that Giannini was involved with. She doesn’t officially depart until after the Fall 2015 collection which will, like the previous few collections, likely be met with praise from the press. If you look at reviews from style.com, vogue.co.uk and a few other publications the past few seasons have been viewed as largely positive. She has left citing personal reasons and I hope that she returns to fashion at some point in the future.

A lot of the criticism for Frida stemmed from the fact that she was not Tom Ford. A rather preposterous reason to dislike somebody, or their work more so, but this is fashion and that is how it works. She took over from Tom Ford in 2004 whose departure a hell of a lot of people are still not over. Frida’s Gucci woman was completely different from Mr Ford’s who is known for his sexed up designs and that is one thing that she always had against her. Although fashion is rooted in continual change, an often unhealthy nostalgia for the past can be prominent. Another hurdle that Frida had to overcome was the world economic crisis that began in the late 2000s. If the entire world, pretty much, is in recession people naturally will have less money and the first thing that will go is luxuries. For that reason, many brands’ sales took a hit – Gucci included. Sales at Gucci have been stagnant for years. Where some brands have seen meteoric rises (like Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent whose retail increase has been reported at 40% after his rebrand of YSL and 28% in the past year), Gucci has remained steady and in an industry where the only way is up, staying still is very much a negative. Some of the failure can be put down to Gucci’s heavily branded image, something that was very popular in the early 2000s but has diminished now. Luxury, nowadays, is understated. The joy doesn’t come in having a brand name or logo splashed all over a bag but by knowing that your bag is made of the finest leather by the most skilled workers: Gucci didn’t catch up with that.

Still, it is not a bad brand: for that reason alone it should be easy to get a new designer. However, it is choosing the new designer that will be the hardest part. Now obviously all of us on the internet are not involved with the inner workings of Gucci, we do not know what is going on. The brand released a statement saying that the new creative director has not yet been named and the uncertainty has just led to meaningless speculation, something that I am going to join in with. Now the name that is most commonly thrown around is Hedi Slimane, the previously mentioned creative director at Saint Laurent. In his short time back at Saint Laurent (he joined up again in 2012 after 4 years in the menswear division between 1996 and 2000 where he popularised the skinny suit) he has done a lot – perhaps an understatement? He has re-branded from Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris, a move that sparked much controversy and those god-awful “Ain’t Laurent Without Yves” t-shirts that caused him to pull the brand from Collette in Paris. However, even if you don’t like his change of name it is undeniable that is has had brilliant results for the brand business-wise. Sales have grown massively and continue to do so season upon season, he has grown a near cult-like following of people who will buy whatever he produces. It seems like a great idea for Gucci to hire him then, no? I mean, I know he is the most likely candidate for the job but in a way, I hope that he doesn’t get it: no ill feelings Hedi. My reason is not that I dislike him (because I do like him) but because I think he is doing great at Saint Laurent and think it would be a shame to see him go so quickly. I think it would be unnecessary for him to leave so quickly and at a brand that he has quickly made his own. Furthermore, if he left Saint Laurent somebody would have to replace him there and I cannot think of anybody better for the job than him, he has made himself almost irreplaceable.

So if Hedi is not the man for the job, then who is? So many names have been thrown around that it is difficult to make sense of it all. If a creative director is poached from another brand then they need to be replaced, leading to a round of fashion musical chairs, or as Suzy Menkes put it, Candy Crush. Of course, it could be an internal hire. Gucci will have a strong design team in-house already so perhaps a promotion could be on the horizon? That seems unlikely however. I feel that they will be looking for an already established name to make a splash. Riccardo Tisci’s name has come up in conversation but that has quickly been shut down by the media citing his contract with LVMH as the main reason. (I like him there so I hope he stays.) Christopher Kane has been mentioned, mainly because he worked for Versus Versace for a while and Kering, Gucci’s owner, has a majority stake in his own brand.

My favourite name that has come up is Joseph Altuzarra, designer of the brand of the same last name. I am aware that these are all just rumours but I think he would be perfect for the brand, despite the fact that he is already creative director of his own brand. Now I don’t exactly love it when designers design for multiple brands at once (think Alexander Wang at his mainline, Balenciaga, T diffusion line and his new denim line) but sometimes it works. For example, Alexander Wang has produced stellar collections for all of his own lines and the Balenciaga brand since his appointment but you can’t help but wonder if it is too much for one person to do. You wonder how involved they really are, questioning if it is just their name on the line and their face at the end of the runway show or if they are actually hands-on at all of their jobs. Or think of Karl Lagerfeld who has simultaneously designed for Chanel and Fendi, amongst other projects for decades now. It often works, often doesn’t. Now I don’t want Altuzarra to overwork himself or stretch himself too thin, especially since his brand is a relatively new one, but I do think that Gucci would be a great brand for him to grow at. For one, he does that whole classy-sex-appeal thing very well, something that is key to Gucci’s brand. Secondly, he is a good designer and that has been noted by Kering who bought a stake in his company already. Altuzarra won the CFDA’s Womenswear Designer of the Year award this year and has received much critical acclaim, making Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the past. Whatever happens, he has good investment in his brand, that much-needed talent and the means to grow – whether that is within Gucci or his own brand only time will tell.

We don’t find out who is going to be the new creative director until Gucci decides to reveal it to us so everything until then is pure speculation: enjoyable but slightly worthless. Will they do what is predicted and hire Hedi Slimane, a man who has transformed the Saint Laurent brand and could potentially do the same for Gucci? Or will they take a risk and hire a newer but known designer such as Joseph Altuzarra? Or will they shock us all and do an internal hire or even more surprising, hire an unknown, fresh-out-of-school designer? Only time will tell and until then it is all uncertain. What we do know for sure is that Frida Giannini is designing one last collection, Fall 2015, and we should enjoy it whilst we can. Until then, may the excitement of the unknown fuel the fashion fire.