Friday, January 20, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Happy Almost-Weekend...

This week we start you off with a delightful preview of the award winning documentary about Bill Cunningham the original street style photographer; the film has its British premier on February the first. Bill is a living legend.

"Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life."
 Bill Cunningham

Chanel is off to Japan! Lagerfeld and his team have planned three events as a special treat for their Easternmost fans. In March, there will a winter couture show, a pop-up shop and an exhibition entitled 'The Little Black Jacket'. The exhibition, on for seven weeks, coincides with a book of the same name which Lagerfeld is working on with Carine Roitfeld, showing celebrities and other brand favourites, in their Chanel jackets.
Chanel waves the flag for Japan
More bumper business news from across the retail spectrum this week as Burberry, ASOS and Primark all posted recession defying results. At Burberry, there was a 22% increase in sales with particular strength, unsurprisingly, across Asia. It's the brand's stalwart pieces which are performing best- coats and luggage. While it is well-acknowledged that luxury labels aren't suffering as much as might be expected from the global downturn, word on the high street has been somewhat bleaker; Peacocks was the latest store to go into administration this week. However, Primark and ASOS are proof that the fittest survive. Primark announced a 16% leap in profits for the last quarter while ASOS saw an 18% increase in its share price after profits rose 10%, thanks in the most part to its global reach.

Cara Delevingne and Eddie Redmayne in their trench macs for the SS12 campaign (image from
 After much wrangling amongst the organisers of the big four fashion weeks, the clash of dates which looked set to overshadow the SS13 season has been resolved. For attendees, this means that fashion month will kick off earlier than usual with the New York shows beginning on September 6th. Steven Kol, CEO at the CFDA rightfully pointed out that 'there's no value for the cities to compete'. So, there will be no choosing between Katrantzou and Gucci, or Pilotto and Versace for those who skip to all four events.

Piero Tosi with director Luchino Visconti and Dirk Bogarde on the set of Death in Venice in 1971 (image from
 Louis Vuitton has teamed up  with Rome's Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Italian National Film School) to bring the worlds of fashion and film closer together. Over three years, there will be a number of projects to support Italian film and young filmmakers, such as workshops and scholarships. One of the first schemes to get underway will be a costume workshop focusing on 17th century design, with Italian costume designer Piero Tosi acting as a key participant. Like Tods, which is in the process of taking on responsibility to restore the Colosseum, Vuitton has taken it upon itself to contribute private money to protect another integral part of Italian culture, at a time when the public purse cannot stretch to such limits.
Hatmaking at the film school (imae from
On January 24th, a Prada museum will pop-up in Paris for 24 hours. Conceived by Francesco Vezzoli and the AMO Think Tank it could have the potential to create a bit of a 'moment' as its brings together films and sculptures which represent iconic women including the likes of Lady Gaga. The event will kick off with an exclusive dinner and club night before opening up to the public, who will now doubt rock up early to see the invited guests tumbling out. The three museum spaces, historic, contemporary and forgotten, will provide the backdrop for Prada and Vezzoli's message about femininity now. It may sound a bit obscure, but anything with the Mrs Prada stamp on has got to be fab. Talking of Miuccia, she got herself in hot water this week when she appeared to criticise the Met's new exhibit which will compare her with Elsa Schiaparelli. She told WWD:

“It’s too formal; they are focused on similarities, comparing feather with feather, ethnic with ethnic, but they are not taking into consideration that we are talking about two different eras, and that [Schiaparelli and I] are total opposite,” said the designer before her show on Sunday. “I told them, but they don’t care,” she said with a shrug, resigned rather than upset.

A statement was later released by Prada which claimed her comments were 'taken out of context' and that she was  'honored and proud to be taking part in the exhibition'.

Miuccia Prada on the cover of iD in April 2009, designed by Francesco Vezzoli (image from
After last week's quick dip into the sartorial goings-on in the US Presidential election, FEAL's world news radar turns to the Olympics  where a row has broken out among the boxing community. The point of contention is whether female contenders should wear shorts or skirts. And it's not just a question of what is the best performing item, it does actually come down to the 'fashion' element. Skirts were first worn so that spectators could differentiate between the boy and girl boxers. Polish and Romanian coaches say that skirts should be worn because they create 'a more womanly impression' and are 'more elegant'. We're not sure that elegance is the first priority of any sportsperson looking to win a title so we're supporting  Elizabeth Plank's petition for boxers to able to choose, just like every other girl can!

The Menswear season is in full-swing, moving to Paris yesterday after Milan earlier in the week. At Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones fused Japanese and Parisian influences; the work of illustrator Antonio Lopez was cited by the designer  as a starting point. Further along, the Okujun silk spinning was used to create an ivory suit. The technique is UNESCO protected, and only 20cm of yarn can be produced in one day. The Vuitton show also mirrored a wider trend which began in womenswear to use more Asian models on catwalks.

One of the Asian models who walked at Vuitton (image from

Love this high shine parka/anorak, a nod to Japan on the belt (image from
 Lanvin is launching its first eyewear collection and has made a video to underline the artisan approach it's taken to the range. Along with De Rigo, Lanvin has applied the same levels of artistry to the glasses as it would to its clothes. While the video may not have the catchiness of the dance of late 2011, it serves to remind us of the level of craft which sets designers like Lanvin apart. The question on everyone's lips, which ones has Alber ordered?

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