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Thread: NYT on the London fashion week and young London designers

  1. #1
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default NYT on the London fashion week and young London designers



    I thought it was an interesting article. I completely agree with Ms. Horyn's view on London fashion these days, it's exactly how I have felt for the past several years.























    September 24, 2006



    Mad About London










    LONDON




    IT’S an old, old story: the coming of a new, new age of British
    fashion. Ten years ago the madmen of genius were Alexander McQueen and
    Hussein Chalayan, whose shows roused intense feelings and alone made
    the trip to this city worth it. In 2000, the year of the landmark young
    British artists exhibition at the Royal Academy, Mr. McQueen staged a
    show in an asylumlike glass cube, and Mr. Chalayan projected a video of
    dolls, which was a foretelling of a bobbleheaded celebrity culture.




    “We had a fire in our gut,” Mr. Chalayan recalled the other day in
    his East London studio, where he was finishing the collection he will
    present on Oct. 4 in Paris, a show that will take a serious step toward
    using microchip technology to influence how we see clothes and the body.




    Now there is buzz for a new group of British designers, nearly all
    in their mid-20’s and successfully elevated in the news media even
    before some had their first professional show. They include Christopher
    Kane, Richard Nicoll, Gareth Pugh, Marios Schwab, Danielle Scutt and
    Roksanda Ilincic. Todd Lynn, 38, who had his first show last week, was
    for seven years an assistant to Roland Mouret and separately made tour
    clothes for rock stars like Bono and Marilyn Manson.




    Lured in part by a megashow by Giorgio Armani
    on Thursday night at Earl’s Court, Patrick McCarthy, the editorial
    director of W and Women’s Wear Daily, said it was his first trip to the
    London collections in 10 years. “I’m eager to see the young designers,
    especially Giles Deacon,” he explained as he waited outside in the late
    English summer for Mr. Kane’s show to start. By virtue of his polished
    talent as well as his genial nature, Mr. Deacon, 36, has apparently
    earned the right, at least in London’s cozy world of fashion and the
    news media, to have his name reduced to Giles. “I think it was McQueen
    who said that the spotlight falls on London every 10 years,” Mr. Deacon
    said in his Victorian-era studio, with its many windows and its high
    ceiling. A model, being fitted for a black silk satin mini-dress and a
    Darth Vader helmet of black feathers, stalked past, fringe flying. Mr.
    Deacon said he felt London was again having such a moment, in part
    because of the interest from recent design school graduates in sexy
    dress-up clothes. “It’s about design and quality and ideas,” he said.




    Yet, despite very good collections for spring 2007 by Mr. Deacon,
    Mr. Pugh and Mr. Lynn, and promising starts by Mr. Kane, Mr. Schwab and
    Ms. Scutt, a lot has happened in the last 10 years to make you wonder
    if the latest London revival isn’t just a case of wishful thinking.
    “There’s buzz,” said Michael Fink, the fashion director of Saks Fifth
    Avenue, “but I’m not sure there’s a payoff.”




    Jane Shepherdson, the brand director at Topshop, which sponsors many
    of the young designer shows — and benefits enormously from that hip
    association — agreed. “There’s real hype and a lot that disappoints, to
    be honest,” she said. Part of the problem, as Ms. Shepherdson would
    readily acknowledge, is that celebrities have supplanted designers as
    tastemakers.




    Last week, Topshop announced that Kate Moss — who is featured in
    fall advertising campaigns for Dior, Burberry and others — would design
    her own line for the chain, eternally cool with young women.




    This is more than another instance of celebrity mongering. “No girl
    in this country moves until she has seen what Kate Moss is wearing when
    she steps out of her house,” said Sarah Mower, a London-based writer
    for American Vogue and Style.com.
    “She’s different. She puts on a man’s vest, and it’s on everyone else.”
    Aware of her influence even as she seems indifferent to it, Ms. Moss
    proposed the line to Topshop, according to Ms. Shepherdson. It will be
    available next April. (The chain hopes to open its first American
    branch in New York next year.)




    Another cultural change is the power of digital technology to make tastemakers of virtually anyone, via blogs and sites like MySpace.com.
    An article in the current issue of Pop magazine suggests the vicious
    speed and shallowness of the era. Describing the London club scene,
    Paul Flynn writes: “It’s all about Saturday jobs and snagged tights and
    staying over where you can find a pillow. It’s about A-levels and heels
    and disposable tunes that will never make it beyond the wire by bands
    that you will probably never get to hear of. It operates beyond the
    music industry and P.R.”




    And beyond establishment fashion. While waiting outside Mr. Deacon’s
    show, Natalie Massenet, the chief executive of the online boutique
    Net-a-Porter, tried to suggest to Mr. McCarthy, her former boss, that
    front-row journalists like himself would have less and less influence
    in the future as consumers exerted their own right to vote. Mr.
    McCarthy was not buying her argument, at least not completely.
    “Everybody can have an opinion,” he said.




    Of course, that just makes it harder for London, a city with a long,
    delicious history of fashion anarchy, to achieve any sense of
    authority. “I feel tremendously disloyal for saying this,” said Camilla
    Morton, a British fashion journalist, “but we’re good at the after-show
    party clothes and not the runway.”




    The best of the young designer collections identified some patterns
    that may bear watching. Mr. Kane, who grew up in Scotland with two
    older sisters who love fashion, showed stretch mini-dresses with
    bandage-like wrapping and insets of lace, often in Day-Glo pinks and
    orange. “I love color,” Mr. Kane said. “And so why not?” Recently hired
    by Versace as a freelance consultant, Mr. Kane said he wants to move
    beyond camp frills while keeping his clothes sexy. “I want that
    fierceness, and I think it’s totally achievable in tailoring,” he said.




    MR. Lynn and Mr. Schwab are already focused on sharp tailoring, Mr. Lynn in a post-Helmut Lang
    minimalist vein with men’s suits in wool and satin sized for women, and
    Mr. Schwab with dresses that display an understanding of fit. Ms.
    Scutt, who is feisty and adorable, could not have chosen two better
    style mentors than Claire McCardell and Rudi Gernreich, who inspired
    her fabulous semitopless black bathing suit with a wide patent-leather
    belt. Ms. Scutt also likes the girly 1980’s.




    So, unlike their American counterparts, this generation of British
    designers is frankly interested in mean, sexy clothes. Mr. Kane, for
    his part, said he was influenced a little bit by the up-and-out style
    of celebrities. And why not?




    Ms. Ilincic didn’t suggest a new direction, but the way she worked
    with historical shapes and fabrics like brocade and tweed was fresh.
    The rounded, bustle bottoms and peaks of creamy tulle under curving
    jacket hems were also sexy.




    Whether or not the cranelike Mr. Pugh qualifies as a bona fide
    madman, he does seem to think like an artist, creating sculptures and
    installations rather than clothes. His 12-outfit collection included
    harlequin- checked dresses and coats assembled from squares of patent
    shoe leather and insulating fabric. He used double-sided tape to hold
    some of the garments together, though you wouldn’t know it from the
    quality of finished results, and a black oversize cardigan was knitted
    from strips of garbage bags.




    Mr. Pugh, who is 25, has never produced a garment for sale, and
    hasn’t so far minded. But he said on Thursday that he is working with
    the studio of the designer Rick Owens in Paris to reproduce the current
    collection as well as styles from his previous three collections.




    What Mr. Deacon — Giles — brings to fashion is unique among the new
    generation of British designers: a lightness of hand and spirit that,
    while utterly sophisticated, feels grounded in contemporary life. As
    Mr. Deacon pointed out, with some pride, he and his friends travel by
    bicycle and subway. They’re not viewing the world through the tinted
    windows of Lincoln Town Cars.




    In his collection there were lovely white silk dresses in an
    overscaled chain print, including one based on a caftan; a short,
    whirling black evening cape with a high dog collar; and mini-dresses
    with a stiff, subversive hem of curling black plastic. His standout
    number, which showed his ability to cut and perfect a pattern, was a
    long black shirtwaist dress with a yoke of black plastic and many tiers
    of crisply pleated silk. You didn’t know whether to thank Mainbocher or
    Scarlett O’Hara. It was a beaut’.









    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  2. #2

    Default Re: NYT on the London fashion week and young London designers



    "He used double-sided tape to hold
    some of the garments together,"





    Isn't this what Poell does?


  3. #3
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: NYT on the London fashion week and young London designers

    [quote user="sbw4224"]

    "He used double-sided tape to hold
    some of the garments together,"





    Isn't this what Poell does?



    [/quote]



    He has done this, indeed. Junya Watanabe has also done it to reinforce his windproof Gortex jackets.

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  4. #4

    Default Re: NYT on the London fashion week and young London designers

    Ah, okay. I thought it was a Poell exclusive.


  5. #5

    Default Re: NYT on the London fashion week and young London designers

    i hope i do not get subvertedby curling black plastic.

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