Couture. Like real, honest to god, made in France by hand haute freakin couture

Jean Paul Gaultier’s collection is being hailed as a return to form. Perhaps now he has more time to devote to his collections since he stopped designing for Hermes. I mostly enjoyed it. The punk elements were a bit tired. Like, punk? Really? Balenciaga did it for fall 2011 too and I didn’t like that much either.
Male model Andrej Pejic dragged up for la mariée. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I met him at a gay bar about a year ago I think. My friend who was with me at the time was falling over himself and I was just thinking whyyyyy? My taste in models is so vanilla anyway. If you’re skinny and look like a girl then I’m not ripping out your spread in Arena Homme Plus for a high-fashion fap.

Clockwise from top: Iris Strubegger, Linda Fargo, Lea T, Marc Jacobs, Andrej Pejic, model wearing JPG, Yves Saint Laurent pre-fall 2011. 
Something else that occurred to me is how fashionable it is to be transgendered right now. It’s so on trend right? Lea T, Pejic, The whole YSL le smoking trend, Marc Jacobs on Industrie, Linda Fargo in Paper.
It’s not like this sort of thing hasn’t been done before but it’s just trendy right now. It’s not even daring it’s just like, ooh, think I’ll trans it up tonight. Where’s my beaded shift? Maybe trans-wear will be the new skinny jeans/bow tie/geek glasses.

Dior. What can I say? John Galliano just stop mining the 40’s and 50’s. Look to the future. Fuck this Lady Dior bs.

Givenchy. A little too look at how many hours this took to make rather than just feeling the clothes. But this for me is fashion. So much control. So focussed. Brilliant.

Newbies: Alexis Mabille. I don’t like what he does. I find it deeply unfashionable. Bouchra Jarrar: Interesting to see what small companies can do.

Chanel was inconsistent. I don’t know it just seemed all over the place. There were some lovely, relaxed pieces that looked young and fresh. It may have been my imagination but there appeared to be less jewellery and the ballet flats were sweet too.

Valentino: Beige ruffles. I don’t even like what they do at Valentino but now the clothes seem more recognisable than ever when I’m flicking through magazines. Four years ago I wouldn’t have been able to pick out a Valentino dress but now I spot them a mile away. I guess they must be doing something right but I just want Alessandra Facchinetti back. Is she working for Tom Ford now?

China's Luxury Education

‘Culture Chanel’ is a new exhibition that just opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai. You may not realise this but I tend to be a pessimistic cunt from time to time and this whole exhibition is just gussied up marketing. Gussied I say!

According to WWD the exhibition features 400 items tracing the life of the fashion icon. There are manuscripts, drawings, photographs, rare documents and jewelry on display. The exhibition effectively transports her spirit to China, a country that clearly fascinated and influenced the fashion legend in her life and in her designs. It also showcases China’s numerous ties to the modern-day fashion house, under the creative direction of Karl Lagerfeld. The exhibition begins with Coco’s childhood at a French orphanage through to her encounters and friendships with artists, writers and composers.

One section of the exhibition features photographs of Coco in front of her vast collection of ancient Chinese screens. In 1996, Karl Lagerfeld would use the screens as inspiration for three intricately embroidered jackets, each requiring at least 900 hours of embroidery to complete. Those jackets are also on display.

She’s photographed with 3 Chinese screens in her home and suddenly there’s an intrinsic link between a Parisian fashion designer and Chinese culture? Bullshit. Marketing execs are no doubt patting each other on the back and smoking cigars over what I’m sure they deem as a masterstroke in marketing genius and it kills me knowing that they’re right but FUUUUUUUUUUUUU just stop passing off what you do as art to make money. I really don’t know if I want to discuss the whole is fashion art thing because it’s a can of fucking worms but in short, in my ever so judgemental opinion I think some fashion is art. Yeah I’m being completely biased. Comme Des Garçons’ Spring Summer 1997 collection for me was art. A Coco Cocoon is not.

Chanel are ensuring their future in what will become the largest luxury consuming country in the world (om nom nom) but holding an art exhibition to sell bags and perfume is just shady. Vincent Shaw, Chanel’s president for Asia, stressed how important it is for brands to deepen connections with Chinese consumers.
“The Chinese consumer is very hungry for information,” Shaw said. “They have exposure. They travel to Europe. They want to know more, and they want to know about the brands as well as why we are important, why the houses of luxury are important and that is one of the important positioning strategies of Chanel. We must work with our customers to engage with them and showcase the history and heritage of Chanel.”

This all makes sense and I see why they’re doing it. The thinking is if you have the knowledge and history of a brand then this should lead you to cultivate an appreciation for it which would hopefully lead you to the Chanel boutique. It’s a fancy trail of breadcrumbs.

Will it work? I don’t know. I think of other countries such as Australia for example that don’t have a strong tradition of luxury. Chanel has a strong presence in Australia and even without an education or knowledge of the brand people still recognise the interlocking double C logo as a symbol of wealth and good taste. Others see it as a symbol of stupidity. Some might ask why buy a bag for $3000 when you can go to Strand Bags and get something similar for a fraction of the price? But that’s like comparing diamonds to coal right?

This isn’t a marketing first though. Louis Vuitton held A Passion For Creation in 2009 at the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Gucci held a Bamboo Retrospective (wtf?) at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Here were some of my favourite zingers from the WWD article-

“Bringing this exhibit here was to give honor to the Chinese dreams she lived with,” - Jean-Louis Froment, exhibition curator.

“People have to be aware of Chanel. They have to feel Chanel before we put the brand there”- I can’t remember who said this. Deepak Chopra perhaps?

"I don’t think you can say that China is the last frontier. We will continue to seduce women around the world.”-Again I forgot who said this but I’m guessing it was sexually ambiguous art thief Carmen Sandiego.

You Had Me At Culottes

ZOMG!!! This looks like something my mum cross-stitched in 1993 which makes it a post-summer must have item. 

The only misstep? This super-rare Grimace pelt

2010 Fashionings of note (that makes no sense but I didn’t want to say milestones or high points coz I’m throwing in low points and I thought I’d combine fashion and musings into one word. You feelin’ my genius right now? Probs not.

Firstly I hope you had a great new years. I sprawled out on my friends couch in my Kate Moss t-shirt and drank booze till the wee hours. The next day I hid in my flat until sundown then made a hasty trip to McDonalds veiled by darkness. The shame.

This is my year end round up of things that were of note for 2010. A little book-end to a year of blogging if you will.

Alexander McQueen commits suicide. A true fashion genius gone.

Sarah Burton debuts at McQueen. She did a resort collection that was well received but Spring Summer 2011 was her first fully fledged collection. Everyone heaved a huge sigh of relief that the house of McQueen has been left in capable hands. Burton wants to move away from McQueen's theatrics and her designs will be softer, with less angst. Take that as you will.

Gareth Pugh opens first store in Hong Kong. Not a major news item but a great indicator of how far Pugh has come in such a short time. Interesting that Hong Kong was chosen over Shanghai or Beijing. Everyone in luxury fashion is all about the mainland right now. Maybe in a few years time?

Carine Roitfeld resigns/got fired/was asked to leave French Vogue. After 10 years of pushing boundaries Roitfeld’s image is tarnished by being banned from all Balenciaga shows and rumours of consulting for Max Mara. Apparently she lent out Balenciaga clothes to Max Mara. That's so not fashion C-Roit.

Also, Russian Vogue's Aliona Doletskaya steps down as editor in chief, Sally Singer runs from American Vogue and becomes editor-in-chief of T Magazine and Stefano Tonchi leaves T Magazine for W.

Tom Ford is back. 

Mary Katrantzou. Getting rave reviews for her stunning Home and Garden printed dresses.

Photographer Corrine Day passes away. 

The bride wore Givenchy. Lara Stone got married. Aww.

But I much prefer what she wore to the reception. Super short and shiny Givenchy.

So roll on 2011. And while you're at it, make some resolutions like Chloe Seven-yee