Industry HILARY TERM 2013
Photo: Nasir Hamid
EDITOR Matthew Robinson / Anna Robinson
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Kathryn Gilbert / Elizabeth Culliford
PHOTOGRAPHY Reeva Mirsra / Nasir Hamid / Caroline Ames
ILLUSTRATIONS Alexandra Pullen / Sonia Bernaciak
WRITERS Finola Austin / Ophelia Stimpson / Harriet Robinson / Olivia Arigho-Stiles / Matthew Robinson / Nusa Bartol-Bibb / Anna Robinson / Arpita Ashok / Helen Walker / Jonathan Lawrence / Emily Fermor/ Ellen Page / Meghan Meek-Oâ€™Connor
BUSINESS MANAGER Benjamin Eisert
BUSINESS TEAM Isabel Cooper / Teresa Tipping / Christina Maddock PUBLISHED BY OXFORD STUDENT PUBLICATIONS LIMITED Chairman: Max Bossino Managing director: Stephanie Smith Company secretary: Hugh Lindsey Directors: Morgan Norris-Grey, Nupur Takwale, Rohan Sakhrani, Sophie Jamieson, Douglas Sloan, Barbara Speed, Jai Juneja INDUSTRY ISSUE 2
OXFORD 18 Oxford stereotypes 20 ‘Show Industry your wardrobe’ 22 From Cornmarket to Clements 26 Style in the city Q&A 30 Jackie Dixon 32 Joe McCormick 34 Hentsch Man 35 Orlebar Brown 36 Richard Bridgman 38 An age of glamour BEAUTY 46 Goody two choos 48 Life drawing classes 50 Making a statement MENSWEAR 54 Martine Rose: status and elevation 56 Aux armes journalistes 58 Gentleman’s guide to underwear 60 Repetition reduction COMMENT 64 Fashion’s radical face 66 Child beauty pageants 68 The LBD debate derailed 70 Fashion’s false revolution 72 Altruism in the fashion world PHOTOGRAPHY 74 Steven Klein 76 Ellen von Unwerth
INDUSTRY ISSUE 2
Photos: Nasir Hamid
SEASON 6 Arpita queen of the shops 8 Trends 12 The anti-trend 14 Sartorial hybrids 16 Dressing down
Season “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy
INDUSTRY ISSUE 2
With summer just around the corner Industryâ€™s Arpita Ashok gives us advice on the trends we should be buying into this season.
My packed suitcase this morning looked like the Christmas decoration box. The hoard of sparkling sequins and gleaming gilt could pass for a stash of magpie-porn. In short, I have an obsession with all things sparkly. But it is with much chagrin that I have realised that this just does not scream luxe anymore. The ascent to sartorial supremacy is not achieved by gaudy mock-baroque or die-trying diamantĂŠ, but plain and simple... white. It exudes cleanliness and class. Its wearer is untouched by the stains both proverbial and well... of life. Yummy mummies can't wear it for the risk of a redesign by a collaboration of naughty toddler and Cow & Gate's mushy peas. Sexy savantes may turn heads in the library but it's only a matter of time before highlighter meets sleeve. The lurid toxicity will seep into the once pristine pallor at a pace so
since October 2012 and still have had no luck, so evening wear is out until you win the lottery / receive a letter con-
love child and she wants to reconnect. Daywear offers a better outlook. Stick to some key pieces - a basic white shirt - no patterns or coloured buttons, dear god no embellishment on the collar - PLAIN white. Pair with a white pencil skirt (pencil skirts are back in a big way this season - see Roland Mouret, Burberry Prorsum, Erdem) and a white dinner jacket - a key staple for next season and necessary investment - see Zara or Jaeger for budget options. You can embrace the obvious look with a nice broderie anglaise dress, but by no means should you use this trend to justify a return to the utter white trash of the generic white lace body-con dress worn by so many thousands of girls (2011-(regrettably) present) on so many terrible PTSD (too far?). On the plus side, Vogue recommends nights out, often accessorised with a jaegerbomb stain or teaming neons with white for maximum effect so perhaps two. That's white trash. If you must tick this off your Spring Trend checklist, eiStabilo is not a no-go? ther go vintage and get a decent bomber jacket or at least have the decency to go 'preppy' and get yourself a nice are prepared to embrace laziness for luxury, here's how blazer. Or live unfashionably ever after looking like a character from Grease (see Topshop's gem of a pink bomber to wear it. The trouble is that the colour knows no happy medium. with Betty Boop logo on the back for a Pink Ladies revival You are either sumptuous sartorialist or trailer trash (white look). But just remember what happened in the end of the perfect white evening gown in the sale rail of River a sporty get-up only to look like a complete mug in front of Island - sorry, you have to pay the big bucks to look the Livs who had donned some (seriously ahead of her time) business. I myself have been searching for a white dress sexy lurex wet-look leggings. Learn from his mistakes. 6
Images: Lilac, PR shots
Spring is not just the season of life and light, new beginnings and so on. It brings something dark along too: it's the season of soul-selling. It's high time for internships, interviews, indignation at the results. So seeing as you are probably well-versed in the evils of the psychometric test, try this one: Which of the following best emulates the relationship between those words. Boiling hot. Freezing cold. Boiling cold. Varsity chic is an oxymoron like no other. Perhaps I am being unfair. If you are the lucky owner of the oh so chocolatey goodness of the brown Loewe Bomber Jacket com-
with the chocolate making - but you catch my drift - the most discerning Oompa Loompas would adopt this cocoa creation as their own) then go with it: be all the varsity you can be. high from the fumes of that heady 90s nostalgia of last season, seriously contemplating the purchase of a denim varsity bomber, or matching initial hat, in your local Topshop. Sorry but Topshop have got (hmm, perhaps I've already lost you to 'gotten' at this point...) it wrong. So wrong. Not even in the very depths of Babylove, amongst the hardestcore stragglers at the very end of a set, swinging from the pole while the speakers scream sweet nothings into their re-
Thank you fashion gods for not making Spring 2013 a sick bucket of regurgitated trends from either decades ago, maybe even yesteryear and most damningly: literally last season (Oriental trends, I'm looking at you). This is a refreshing burst of originality and can spice up any old items in your wardrobe. Oh and the wonderful things about sunglasses? 1. 2. They cover up the deadliest of I-can't-believe-I've-already-broken-my-cut-downon-the-drink-resolution hangovers. 3. They are the perfect transitional piece from Winter to Spring - there's just something undeniably sexy about sunglasses worn with a long coat. 4. The price per wear joyfully plunges into 5. Oh and you don't need to slum it with a high street version. Because that's right, the designers, who will force you to sell es, sell eyewear for a fraction of the cost: Alberta Ferreti have some delicious options at ÂŁ295, for example... or you could ters or Topshop - ÂŁ16 seems to be the go-
irony to carry off the look of American jock.
Office wedges, Vintage jacket.
trend oriental 8
Styling by Anna Robinson Modelled by Photography by Caroline Ames
Office wedges, Primark bracelet.
trend embellishment 10
Vintage shirt and waistcoat, Primark hat, Topshop necklace.
THE ANTI-TREND Fashion is at the whim of what’s popular, of what’s ‘cool’, and most brands follow the latest trends in order to stay ahead. With Topshop adding three hundred new products to its online store weekly and Net-a-Porter receiving new arrivals almost every other day, it is clear that staying on top of trends is a crucial component to a fashion brand, and something which preoccupies high street and high-end companies alike. For decades the model for most fashion retailers has been to select designs six to nine months in advance, based on what designers and merchants think consumer trends might be. This is, of course, a risky strategy. It is impossible for a company to get it right every tim; and merchants guessing the new trends wrongly partially explains why 30-40% of products are sold at markdown prices across the industry. It is clear that seeking trends has its problems, but many would argue that it’s part of the nature of the fashion world, an unavoidable problem in this industry. Others, however, ask whether it is possible for brands to ignore the ever-changing trends? Can a brand stay ‘fashionable’ without being constantly in pursuit of fashion? There are a number of companies whose business model suggests that the answer to these questions is yes. Uniqlo is owned by the richest person in 12
Japan, Tadashi Yanai, who aims to increase Uniqlo’s revenues to $50 billion by 2020. This is clearly a successful business, but it is run in a way vastly different from many of its competitors. Uniqlo is not a company known to chase trends; their jeans are denim, not leather-look and their jumpers are made of decision not to follow trends does not make Uniqlo a static company, reproducing the same items season after season. Quite the opposite in fact, Yanai, in a recent interview with Wired magazine said ‘At Uniqlo we’re thinking ahead. We’re thinking about how to create new, innovative products and sell that to everyone’. Yanai favours long-term appeal over following trends and has invested in technology to improve the sustainability of the brand. Uniqlo products have long development cycles, and Yanai’s attitude is that improvements can always be made. Yanai and those who work with him strive to create the ‘perfect’ jeans, to make sure that buttons are are increasingly colourfast. Uniqlo’s focus is on quality, not what Vogue has deemed ‘in’ and Yanai encourages his customers to make changes to their wardrobes based on changes in technology: changes introduced by Uniqlo, rather than the pursuit of trendiness.
There are also high-end brands that adopt an ap- the brand as a whole. Burberry’s famous piecproach with emphasis not placed on chasing new es and strong sense of heritage set it apart from competitors and the success of the Burberry staples indicate that a company need not be en£366 million in 2011. In 2012 it became the most tirely at the whim of trends in order to survive. popular luxury brand on Facebook, with over ten million fans. Burberry’s product line contains prod- a positive impact on the brand and it could easily have met the same fate as its rival, Aquascutum, While the ‘fashion’ line focuses on new trends the recently bought out by another company, had it ‘continuity’ branch is not introduced on a collec- not been for Bravo’s revamping of the brand. Burbtion-by-collection basis but has a longer life cycle, erry’s success shows that classic styles can prevail, both in the store and in the customer’s wardrobe. but that good marketing and an injection of fashPart of Burberry’s appeal, to many, is its heritage ion and youth can transform a company that apand traditional nature. Rosie Marie Bravo, who took peared to be on its last legs. Burberry does have over as chief executive in 1997, was able to re-invent classic pieces, but its fashion line is important too. Burberry, attracting a new, younger customer base while maintaining their classic appeal. Bravo has kept but they do not need to govern them. A recent some of the Burberry classics, such as the famous survey showed that, of the 100 people asked, over check used since the 1920s and the Burberry trench half thought that being on trend is not essential and only 12% thought it was ‘key’ to a brand’s success. Whether the focus is on heritage, quality or anynew Burberry image. Iconic luxury heritage items such thing else, brands can have huge commercial sucas the trench coat were some of the highest grossing cess without relying too heavily on following the products for Burberry in 2010, indicating that Burb- latest style. If a company focuses on keeping up an erry’s classic pieces are of perhaps more importance awareness of the wants and needs of its customthan the ‘fashion’ line with its focus on trends. There ers, with a method for identifying consumer prefis even a separate website run by Burberry dedi- erences, then following trends does not have to be cated to the trench coat, theartofthetrench.com, an integral part of its work. These companies show revealing how important this classic piece is to that trends certainly aren’t the only way to the top.
SARTORIAL HYBRIDS The emergence of hybrid trends inspired by multiethnic heritage
to with icons such as Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. Grace Jones, notorious for her shocking exposure facial features, is without a doubt the forerunner to even Madonna, and makes our contemporaries look
were produced when she became the muse and lover of artist Jean-Paul Goude, famed for creating images of Jones featuring elongated torsos, enlarged shoulders, over-angular face structures and of course the n the cacophony of modern metropolitan Britain, untouchable angled afro. Drawing on elements of cubdominated by the monotony of sedentary careers, ism, Goude didn’t dehumanize Jones, he merely super- imposed and distorted, and consequently created an rial identity and who are not mindlessly sucked into image which was super-human, rather than inhuman. the vacuum void of any style and individuality. Luckily There is something disconcerting in her fashion imthere are still certain sartorial luminaries who manage agery; it is both polished and sinister with an underlyto cling to their cultural heritage and interweave it into ing sexuality. The strong contrast in colour in her imtheir western uniform, juxtaposing the dominating agery, highlighted by strong juxtapositions between minimalist and muted aesthetic, creating an interesting black and white, creates imagery with extremes, and melange of east and west, exuberance and minimalism. channels African tribal art in her use of body paint. This is seen most notably in icons of the fashion/mu- There is at times a focus on African culture with body sic world such as Shingai Shoniwa, who channels her paint, heavy jewellery and bizarre animalistic headAfrican roots into her infamous material persona, gain- wear, yet there is undeniably a distinctly European ing herself the title of fashion muse reinterpretation, with her severe the world around; drawing nearly as shoulders and angular “She draws nearly as much padded much attention for her clothes as for afro haircuts, which once again her contribution to the music world. attention for her clothes as creates a unique and at times Shingai Shoniwa, frontwoman of the for her contribution to the confusing hybrid image. Whilst British popband The Noisettes and contemporary eccentrics of popmusic world” front row regular of the British fashular culture such as Lady Gaga ion scene, has displayed her impecseem to laboriously and blatantly cable palette on a multitude of occasions, mixing create an eccentric façade, the mysticism surroundmyriad colours and plural textures to create a theat- ing Grace Jones and her fashion has remained intact. rical and ridiculous, yet simultaneously chic and soThis certainly doesn’t mean that British people should try and dig out their family histories in the effervescent prints are at times synonymous with African tribal attire, drawing on elements from her no means suggesting that the British population should start reclaiming their quilt and garters. It is and monochrome lines, she is neither Eurocentric rather the interweaving of two distinct and dispanor over-dependent on her cultural roots. She man- rate ways of dressing that synthesises brand new ages to strike a balance between the two, creating a hybrid forms of style and opens our eyes to a new distinctly hybrid style and thereby forges herself her fashion dialectic. Fashion is above all social; it proown sartorial identity. This is no mean feat in a time vides a snapshot of a contemporary social identity; where we are presented with an endless amalgama- and with cultural plurality comes material hybridity. tion of overbearing trends stretching back through all decades, whilst sadly not forging any of our own.
of fashion is the Grace Jones, queen and founder of the ferociously eccentric fashion of popular culture that we have become so accustomed
The Indian subcontinent has long been a source of inspiration for the British Isles, be it in a political, cultural plete other end of the spectrum, Indian materialism and clothing has undergone a resurgence in the eyes of the
expected departure from the typical Chanel collection. This trick was also employed by Vera Wang in her Spring/ Summer 2012 collection, which featured her typically understated western cuts with bold Indian inspired prints, colours and materials, to infuse the east into the cool New York summer. The ambitious colour palette ranged from Lagerfeld’s iconic autumn-winter 2012 Metiers D’art col- green, blue, purple and even to gold, and the materials lection for Chanel which featured an intriguing combina- included shimmering satin to accentuate the exotic qualtion of western bohemia and eastern opulence. Lagerfeld ity of her collection. Designers are no longer taking inspifeatured models with a distinctly Germanic European ration merely from their own cultural heritage, so the age edge, accentuated through their rugged dreadlocks and of American/Eurocentric fashion has indeed had its day. London based fashion publications and strong image which contrasted the “With cultural-hybrid intricacy and raw beauty of the clothes corporated Indian elements into the themselves. Lagerfeld used shimmering trends, the limits of fash- covers of their recent issues. The cold material, heavy embroidery and elaborate sterility of Grimes’ overly white face ion are truly endless” jewellery to capture the Indian essence in the Dazed&Confused cover contrasts the elaborate ear and noserings that she is wearing; of an elaborate banquet scene, something which encap- exuberant jewellery that is channelled undeniably from sulated the essence of Parisian opulence and the French Indian fashion and culture. The cold lighting places this - elaborate jewellery in a foreign setting; it would normally fer a form of escapism, allowing the viewer to revel in be coupled with a vibrant palette of colour, which is the opulence of lost eras and distant territories, which acshoot, the nose ring contrasts the severe military look It is through material exuberance that Lagerfeld suggests of the model. These fashion publications are clearly we can overcome the turmoils of economic fragility; it referencing Indian elements in new and innovative is through the illusion of glamour that we deny reality. ways; they are fusing them with cold western minimalism, and a distinctly urban aesthetic. These magazines but in his own words "fantasy is better than reality,” and present an extreme version of hybrid fashion trends, that is exactly what his collection encapsulates; the in- but they nevertheless stress that the boundaries betrigue of an unknown world trapped within western civili- tween different cultures are breaking down. Fashion sation. This collection does not try and directly steal from no longer has a unique geographical location, it is beIndian fashion, rather it infuses Indian elements into a distinctly western wardrobe and brand to create an un- limits of fashion and fashion imagery are truly endless. INDUSTRY
DRESSING DOWN and forgiving and yet they remain many women’s worst nightmare. We have hundreds of never-worn frocks languishing in closets, an invite to a wedding turns some people pale and many suffer from two fatal delusions – that each evening event requires a new purchase (under pressure and often ill-advised) and that dresses must be kept ‘for best’ and can’t work during the day. Yet, with some savvy shopping and clever accessorising, you cannot only dare to be tagged in the same dress twice but positively relish the versatility doing so can provide. First up, shop smart. That asym-
curves with a pencil skirt, showcase perfect pins in a classic shift. Now that you’ve found your dress, or dug one out of storage, it’s time 1. Layer under: A tasteful glimpse of cleavage works well in the evening but can look trashy in the day. Layering tops under your dress solves this problem and allows you to reinvent your clothes by creating new necklines. It’s a great way to wear sheer pussybow blouses during the cooler months or to play with this season’s statement collars. 2. Layer over: Grab a chunky knit and your dress is instantly casual, transformed into a skirt but with extra warmth. Throw on coat, scarf, thick tights and knee high boots and you’re good to go, whatever the elements hold in store. 3. Add a belt: Clinching in emphasises the waist and provides another opportunity for adding a pop of colour (perfect with a LBD as all-black looks can look harsh during the day).
may look stunning on Beyoncé on the red carpet but something similar doesn’t exactly give you many options for mixing up your look. If you want a dress that looks good whatever time of day it is there are a few of rules – the fabric should be matte, cut symmetrical, colour neutral, length conservative (just above the knee is a safe option) and detailing minimal. It worried about looking like you’re isn’t about being boring. It’s about doing the walk of shame, swap heels
your shape. Show off your waist casual and dressed for the day. FINOLA AUSTIN
Oxford “Oxford gave the world marmalade and a manner, Cambridge science and a sausage”
INDUSTRY ISSUE 2
Industryâ€™s resident Guardian of Fashion, Albert dello Russo tackles the Oxford Stereotypes
rom the astute observations of Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls, we have all learnt that the social terrain of relations amongst individuals and groups of people bears several resemblances to the African Serengeti. I afcity of ours, species of varied stripes and patterns, all of which unite at the watering hole of knowledge that forms more noticeable and exotic creatures that roam our land:
can be found attending all aspects of university life whilst
throughout the city, common enough, but donâ€™t travel in trying to cling to former glory in a chapter of their foregone youth or simply displaying excessive pride for an institution they no longer attend, perpetual leavers are a sartorial anachronism, driven by a compulsion to remind you of the
letic persuasion. If a woman, this person can be found in Betty; if a man, the ultra-mini rugby shorts that reach somewhere between the scrotum and the quarter thigh.
that last pastry consumed. Given the centrality of sport in their lives and, therefore, the attire that accompanies
spite freezing temperatures and snow. Donâ€™t be deceived by the narrow frame, this person has invisible layers of insulation. With his brazenly exposed arms, he insists that every day is like that one day in mid-Summer when it is acof hostile weather, and impervious to the caprices of Mothnever admit to others (or to himself) that he is cold, and consequently is never dressed appropriately for seasons.
haps the most peculiar and comical in this safari, this he takes ‘old school’ Oxford a little too seriously. I’m
would be complete without those on the periphery who try to disassociate themselves with the rest of the gang. culturalist - perhaps has read A Clockwork Orange one
waistcoat-wearing, walking-stick-carrying, pipe-smokfully, he is a rare sighting, as he is often off hunting.
category, the ‘red trouser’ exudes a different attitude. Marked by mis-matching pastel-coloured shirts and trousers of any hue of red, he walks to his own anthem, singing: ‘Bright shirt, pink trousers, brown loaflication for extensive coverage on this character.
ity, this creature is usually a woman who confuses nighttime wear for day-wear. She can be found in the library, quarter-thigh-length skirt and stilettos completely unsuspecting of her remarkable appearance. She is unable to distinguish between day- and night-time wear. One is never sure if she's off to the klerb (read: club) or a tutorial.
a penguin beanie; or usual ones in an unusual manner, -
much camel toe for personal comfort. With their faded shirts, unwashed trousers, and pumped up kicks, they are too edgy to function. May on occasion ex-
creature is too tired and sleep-deprived to care what he this person is styling a constant scowl. As a result of being occupied with more important issues, she will normally have a crust of makeup from previous days, which she can’t be bothered to remove; whereas he will have found it the depths of intellectual confusion and pownot uncommon to this creature. It is unclear whether the teary glint in their eyes is a result of the wind or emotional distress. Distance is advised with this one.
SHOW INDUSTRY Y blog, Industry delves into the stylish wardrobes of our fellow students.
To C l e m e n t s Arpita Ashok takes us on a consumerist trip around Oxford
e Oxford-types pride ourselves on our Formal and decent performance in the sales for supposedly high standards and our cor-
in the fashion set as an insatiable hunger to dress cooler than thou. But Forster had it right (pardon Choose the mango raspberry one for a hangothe crude analogy) when he said that Oxford is ver and watch your shopping stamina magically replenish itself. Loyalty cards available. Street that boasts smock tops and chunky bead universally acknowledged that Oxford is, well, channel Alexa Chung or tap into timeless Coco Chanel, when the poster-girl for Oxford's tarLet's start with the worst of it: the Westgate Centre. I seriously propose we start a petition to rename this Bop Costumes
same dress for the past ten
As I roam around the really quite well set-up makeup department, my shopping experience is always marred by the reverberat-
face paint etc. ad nauseam. the Clarendon Centre, unless you count Bicester
budget, Barlow-esque voice teamed with images of children who have clearly been forced
shop there, you wouldn't be seen dead at an outlet centre and if like the most of us, you can't, then it's safe to say you don't want to put yourself through the sartorial self-harm that is window shopping.
quality coats because Debenhams didn't cough up for an indoor location, is positively chilling. Lurking around the city centre is the family favourite of Marks & Spencer (surprisingly good ter off shopping online, also poorly stocked) and in block, drab, neutral colours but not in a purpose- that high street staple Monsoon (haven for any and haven't they been selling the same dresses - I will travel! I will see the world! ...I will instead for about ten years (the bodycon one, the sequin buy a vaguely ethnic looking Kaftan and pretend Furthermore, they seem to believe sale items are to the subtlety of your exploitation, Monsoon. items which are so mangled and ripped beyond recognition that they may deign to discount the ters are unaware that around 99% of their tarprice by around 10% - even I am better than that. Zara is Zara. Good for a last minute dress for ham College) and are yet to open a store here. 22
of tackiness, overpricing and unfriendly staff make these the perfect addition to any disappointing day's
ancient than your usual vintage tat (yes, I'm talking Cicero), fountain pens, shiny globes and so forth, it’s what you imagined all the shops to look like in Oxford before you came up. It is the domain of the sexy savant and is well worth a look. -
Do not fall into the same trap of investing in a white sparkly 'Christmas' dress complete with diamanté brooch, which all too scarily resembles a symbol of - ent shop is Scandi-chic epitomised. A quick browse signer delighting at their eventual use of their degree will reveal beautifully crafted things in disconcertmention Oasis - its only use being a damn good place to lean while you put your heels back on and attempt to sober up before facing the Camera bouncers.
prime location to delve into the veritable treasure mercial crap that ruined your morning goes to die.
days sweeping snow away from our beautiful cabin house (Snow Brush, £10), showering our children with oxymoronically unmaterialistic toys - there's -
whose birthday presents come from these shops. ing Bean next door for a Smoked Salmon (or lax, Scriptum is a wonderful collection of random para- as you may now call it) bagel to accustom yourphernalia, all somehow radiating the glow of aca- self to the food of your soon-to-be homeland. INDUSTRY
ow that you have come this far, pulling yourself taste. As for the clothes; better left in grandma's i’ll say. away from the grasps of the mundane masses, it’s time to abandon safety in numbers of girls wearing the same dress as you on every single night out and venture towards that cesspit of civilians and students ‘liv£40-£70 depending on the material, while ing-out’, into...Cowley. For you ChCh types, it’s the beautiful skirts can go for as little as £20. After a long day of fruitless clothes shopping, you fer the ability to rent clothing but this is, as far as I know, proportionate to the cost of the item, so probably requires some black-market organ selling anyway. But why by-pass Ballroom, you ask, it’s slap bang in the
Staff: ingly genuine interest in vintage clothing, outside the I am not a superstitious person but if there is realms of unwanted inheritance. One member is involved one place on this earth that I believe is truly in sourcing costumes for period dramas (one to watch)! haunted, it’s the room at the back of Ballroom. Ballroom’s staff has a very strange way of mak-
an independent coffee-shop vibe (hence its goto hire a dress. If you are anything like me they will tions of paranormal activity, which is always a plus.
Selection: While Ballroom has excessive amounts of tweed and
carefully selected shopping pals to wait on (only two - but
the other for the ego-boosting one) - very nicely done. tion - a feat that many vintage shops fail to achieve. Ballroom - I actually have no idea whether the place has excellent skirt selection, with some timeless pieces. If you are a sequin lover, the rail next to the till offers some gaudy glam which will cater to the most ostentatious individuals.
and team up to form some sort of semi-translucent (still better than the Oasis changing room curtains) form me out - why would I take my clothes off in there.
shopping with one of their delicious Chai Lattes and a only £25. Sublime with a white silk shirt. Fur coat (£70); I wish I had bought it but heed this warning: do not shop lection of French pastries is delicious, the music is alfor fur in summer. As I stroked the silky sleeve I was hor- ways good (one of the key criteria when rating a coffee heat of the sun had been blazing away at the fur all day, practically bringing the coat (back) to life. Kind of see
the Costa opposite - a sure sign of strength of characself (not his real name) who is as charming as... well,
store and was around the £30 mark which was very reasonable considering the quality and it’s bang on trend While you may lament the lack of high street chains, right now! Gloria-worshipping grandmas are the previous owners the perfect present for anyone with discerning comedy
If Oxford is the receptacle for the aged, then I will proudly choose grandma-chic over teenage tat any day.
Vintage cashmere crop, Topshop high tops, Primark bag and earrings, Rayban sunglasses, Wesc headphones
Primark blouse, Oasis skirt, Vintage coat, Vintage Mulberry satchel, Massimo Dutti shoes, YSL gloves
Vintage shirt, Jumper designed by Helen Walker, Rayban glasses, Primark leggings, Steve Madden shoes, Vintage Dior bag.
Styling and concept by Millie Chapman and Helen Walker Modelled by Millie Chapman Photography by Caroline Ames
“The only real elegance is in the mind, if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from within.” Dianna Vreeland
INDUSTRY ISSUE 2
Fashion blogger, stylist JACKIE DIXON
Images: Jackie Dixon
Could you give a brief outline of your career to date? I was at a car boot sale in Kilburn, I saw this woman and I was like “S*** it’s Alexandra Shulman, the editor of British Vogue”. I was just about to graduate from university and had done loads of work experience at magazines and thought it was too good an opportunity to miss. I ran home, grabbed my CV and handed it over to her. It was one of the most frightening moments of my life. On the Monday I got a call from her managing editor saying that she thought I had ‘panache’ and invited me in. There were no jobs at Vogue, the only job going was the editor’s PA at Brides magazine, so I took it. It was excellent, I learnt exactly what working on a magazine entails; what a sub does, what a commissioning editor does, what the art department does, it was a really good grounding. I then went to work for Vogue in the fashion features department which is where I realised that what I really wanted to do was styling. When the fashion director’s assistant left after eight years I got the job. Being a fashion director’s assistant on Vogue was great, but incredibly challenging, you literally hit the ground running. I worked with some amazing models and photographers, people like Mario Testino and Corrine Day and did some incredible travelling. I then moved to Elle as a fashion editor, and
then to Instyle. Eventually my blog ‘showmeyourwardrobe’ was born and I decided that what I really wanted was to be a photographer. The blog helped to propel my photography career, I had a regular two page slot in Elle for two and a half years and I did multiple collaborations with the likes of Topshop and Ralph Lauren. Now I work as a freelance photographer alongside my blog. What are the highs and lows of your profession? My absolute low: I was on a shoot, the model opened the toilet door, handed me some tissue paper, to which I thought nothing of, but it was in fact a used tampon. That was grim. The highs: I was Juliette Lewis’s stylist for a year and a half, she was lovely and so much fun to work with; being made fashion editor was incredible; my blog being made into a TV show commissioned by Sky Living was a real achievement. However the happiest I’ve ever been is as a photographer, I love taking pictures, love it more than anything. Could you describe a standard working day for us? The reason I do this is that there is no normal working day. I can be up at 5am and have to be at a warehouse by 6am ready to shoot, or maybe going into Jamie Winstone’s wardrobe for the showmeyourwardrobe TV show, even shooting Florence Welch for the blog, my job is so varied. I have a very weak attention span, I can’t just get up every day
a nd photo g raph er What led you to your career? Growing up, I knew that I was never going to be the girl who could afford expensive clothes in the magazines, or the girl connected enough to go to all the parties. I think I just decided that if I can’t afford that stuff, maybe I can work on a magazine and be around it. I was a young naïve girl who like many, loved fashion. Then you get into it and it’s the hardest industry ever. What would you say are the fundamental skills to have and the processes to go through to get into the industry? Be thick skinned and tenacious. Don’t be preoccupied with who you want to work for, or get obsessed with wanting to get a job at Vogue or Elle. You shouldn’t worry about where you’re going to end up, just concentrate on your craft, that’s what’s really important. Most importantly don’t give up. What inspired you to start your blog? I was a contributing fashion editor at InStyle magazine which meant that I didn’t have to be in every day. At this point I had styled so many celebrities, from Christina Aguilera to Elizabeth Hurley and I really loved the whole blogging thing that had exploded. There were so many people that I worked with who always look great and have their own distinctive styles, even on the smallest budgets. I wanted to push the street style thing a bit further, delve into
How does working freelance compare to your previous work at magazines? You’re your own boss which is fantastic and you have a sense of autonomy which is a real privilege. When you’re on a magazine you have to pay attention to advertisers, you have to use them. As a photographer you have to be respectful to what you’re doing but you’re not at the behest so much. It depends on your personality some people thrive in that environment, I’m happier being on my own. I mean I have two agents, a TV agent and a photography agent who I speak to every day; she is my point of contact, she sorts my life, my diary, the lot, and it’s so useful. It’s really nice to work with her, bounce ideas off, it’s good not to do everything on your own. Where do you see you and your business in 5 years time? I don’t think ahead so much, as long as I’m happy in the present it doesn’t matter. I mean there are some celebrities I’d like to shoot, maybe do some more TV, maybe a ‘showmeyourwardrobe’ book. Any last words of advice? I guess really try and come up with an original idea, something you’re passionate about, something that’s not too derivative.
FASHION PHOTOGRAPER Joe McCormick
Dropping out of Art College may signal the end of creative pursuit for some, but this certainly wasn’t the case for rapidly rising fashion photographer and retouching genius Joe McCormick. At the tender age of just 26, he has already launched his own magazine, photographed an array of global stars, and is renowned for his photoediting skills. We got the opportunity to speak with this rising photographic talent about his career and views on the industry of fashion photography.
of a lot of hard work and it’s a physical testament to my success thus far. Other than that, I had the opportunity to photograph some famous and inspiring people: The Pussycat Dolls, Shingai Shoniwa and the Noisettes, Destiny’s Child, and Sophie Anderton to name but a few. I was also able to work alongside Joseph Sinclair, a very well respected and experienced photographer in this industry.
Can you describe your new publication for us?
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Image: Joe McCormick
TI Magazine showcases new faces of the fashion industry every month, The highlight of my career so with a print edition published every far was without a doubt the recent November. It is a 120 page celebra- tion of the hottest new talent amongst NENTI Magazine. It was the product London’s most sought after models.
Where did the inspiration for this publication come from?
everywhere, and whether you know who has photographed the campaigns or not, you cannot escape them. This is perhaps the main reason why the inWhilst some well-known models can become house- dustry is just so competitive and saturated with many hold names and build an entire empire around their looks, the modelling industry can be a tough world for certain cases become stars in their own right, look those starting out. In an industry that relies so heavily at Mario Testino or Karl Largerfeld for example. break through, and that is where the inspiration for the magazine lies. I wanted to create a platform for these new models to highlight the diversity of talent in London. It is London more than most other fashion capitals in the world that celebrates the new and the anonymous, both in terms of fashion design, and evidently in terms of their models, so this magazine seemed to slot perfectly into a London aesthetic.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers? The success of a fashion photographer lies on the unique vision of their own photography. Pursuing your own creative ideas and own visual aesthetic is how a photographer can break through in an industry that is so overly saturated with similar types of imagery. A photographer needs to be brave and ambitious, challenging the limits and boundaries of what their form previously dictates. Other than that, it just comes down to good old hard work! Like any other industry, when starting out in the world of fashion photography, creative freedom can be limited by the type of work you can get, be it shooting for lookbooks or model testing for agencies, which naturally does not provide huge scope for visual experimentation. A successful photographer also needs to keep his client in mind; unlike an artist, the product is not merely a presentation of his or her own vision, rather his or her interpretation of the guidelines and visions of the client or designer.
How competitive is the fashion photography world? Fashion photography is one of the few branches of photography and art where a large number of creatives can gain real media coverage and exposure. By the very nature of fashion, fashion photography is
How do you get into the world of fashion photography? You initially need to build up a portfolio of work to show potential clients what you are capable of. The most important way of building a career is to have a business mind; you need to build your own business through the self-promotion of your own work, whether it be in creating your own website or in some other form. After that, connections and securing small clients can be the most important way of climbing the ladder to success.
Is there a new wave of fashion photography with the presence of new fashion magazines which focus more strongly on art? Undoubtedly; smaller fashion and art publications are moving away from the glossy production of most fashion photography, and are presenting a rawer and more artistically diverse imagery. That is the beauty of these publications; they have the freedom of experimentation, as they are in essence hybrid magazines, focussing on both art and fashion, whereas larger household fashion magazines like Vogue have certain visual expectations that cannot be pushed too far, as they have a legacy that needs to be upheld.
What are your goals for the future in relation to fashion photography? I want to carry on making a living from doing what I love; taking photos. I would love to get my magazine in print every month rather than just once a year. It would also be a real honour to work with some of the biggest brands and fashion magazines in the industry so that I could have a much bigger budget and production team to work with to create something really special.
HENTSCH MAN 2008 saw the creation of Hentsch Man, a laid back menswear brand, creating comfortable but stylish fashion, aimed at an unfussy modern minimalistic man with classic roots. With a focus on muted tones, this collection gains a simplicity many male sartorialists crave, yet the bright coloured trousers and geometric monochrome prints add an unexpected edge. There is above all a simplicity to these clothes that provides great fashion with minimal effort.
where the concept lies; combining our simple, classic, yet modern design with hard looking models. What is the inspiration behind the collection? Our laid back surfer boy from the west coast has now returned to Europe, retaining his casual slouchy look but with a slight suited twist. We’ve added a European twist to our laidback Californian living ethos. How are you retailing your brand? We’re creating pop up shops around London to reach ting Hill, Carnaby Street and Monmouth Street, but -
How was the brand formed? being sold on the huge reatiling networks such as MrThe idea came about in the search for the perfect white Porter.com and ASOS, and our clothes are being sold shirt – a staple in any man’s wardrobe, and yet so dif- around the world in different stores in Moscow, Seoul, Hong Kong, Paris, Belgium, and all over America. we felt we got it right, we placed a small order. The response was so positive that we knew we had touched Where are you showing your designs? upon a nerve. Without compromising our brand val- We show our new designs at London collections lection adding trousers, jackets, shorts and sweat- every season and at trade shows around the world. ers, creating a more complete menswear collection. What advice do you give to new designers? What was the concept behind the presentation ? Well I’m a new designer myself, but I’d say that you We wanted to keep the presentation really simple like the overall ethos of our brand. We have just ket that you can capitalise on, and make sure you three models wearing our clothes, and as you can see, they are all heavily laden with tattoos. That is original and catchy whilst not being inaccessible.
Image: Orlebar Brown
Orlebar Brown transports us to Miami for his A/W 2013 collection, which references cuban colours and design whilst being reminiscent of the chic simplicity of a South Beach art deco era, and a carefree life of decadence. Over the past 5 years, Orlebar Brown has forged itself a name in the niche market of sophisticated beach wear, bringing back the style and decadence of old to a market that has for a long time ceased to have sartorial merit.
The collection is all about illusion; we are taking the consumer away from cold wet london to a warm sunny Miami. We are aiming to combine comfortable beach wear with the sophistication of British tailoring. This is where the success of a fashion company lies; if you can offer the buyer an illusion, then there is something to buy into. Where are you showing your designs?
How was the brand formed?
We show our collections at London Collections every season as we are a London based brand. We The concept of the brand was formed after Adam, are also showing our collections at numerous trade the founder, spent an exotic holiday in India: a rather shows around Europe, for example we are goraucous holiday spent by the pool for the most part. ing to Florence later today to set up a show there. ting t-shirts and baggy swimming trunks, and this What is your statement piece? is where the concept of the brand was born. For young people abroad who spend the majority of Our shorts are without a doubt the statement piece of their summers in the sun and the sea, why not cre- our collection. They used to be in block colours, but ate a brand focusing on smart beach and swimwear? now they have bright exotic prints. Most importantly, What was the concept behind the presentation? ing on elements of classic British Savile Row tailoring. We decided to have a stationary presentation. The dimmed warm lighting captures the warm sun of Miami whilst the colourful artwork behind the clothes represents the exotic vibe of our brand. What is the inspiration behind the latest collection?
FASHION EDITOR Richard Bridgman
an you give a brief outline of your career thus far?
Gladly! It’s all going to sound horSt. John’s in 2009 (Modern Languages), I packed my bags for La Ville Lumière and never looked back! After reading for a Master’s in Communications at Sciences Po, I joined a leading French-language digital media group as senior editor of Ykone.com (a fresh take on high-end women’s fashion) and editor-at-large for Materialiste.com (an elegant lifestyle magazine for men). A thirst for freedom soon led me to branch out into freelance fashion journalism, working as a guest editor for a number of publications including Dazed & Confused and Les Inrockuptibles and an editoral consultant for independent French fashion and luxury labels.
It’s funny you should choose the term ‘breaking into’, as it really does take brute force to crack the fashion world. I’d say it’s a truly humbling experience, especially for an Oxford student. You have to drop the God complex (or at least save it for later…) and learn to sell both in terms of image and ideas. Two years into my career, I am only just starting to get the hang of it…
hat are your latest ventures in the sector of fashion journal-
I’m rather proud to say that I singlehandedly cobbled together a 200-page print magazine in just shy of 3 months! The publication in question is still in its early years, which means you have no choice but to roll up your sleeves and play several different roles: journalist, art from university to breaking into director, editor-in-chief, stylist, etc. the fashion industry? It’s a wonderfully hands-on and immersive experience. I can’t bear to Pretty tough. I was obscenely studi- look at the wretched thing anymore! ous and serious during the Oxford years, and I think that came across Another high point of late has been interviewing some fascinatwhile to shake off erudition and cir- ing designers for Dazed Digital. I cumlocution in favour of concision recently met with the talented and (something I struggled with as an un- unassuming Damir Doma, an alldergrad). A few hundred articles lat- time favourite designer of mine, to er, I like to think I can churn out prose look back over his career. For Les that packs a punch. Developing an Inrocks, I have started exploring editorial eye is an entirely different the relation between performance process that comes with trial and – art theatre and fashion, a fascimore often than not – with error. nating pluridisciplinary approach.
hat is your attitude to globally recognised magazines?
Do they monopolize an industry which in reality is very varied? Every magazine has its rightful place in the industry. It’s important to acknowledge from the outset that they don’t play the same role. Vogue or GQ are there to diffuse mainstream trends and designers to the notso-sartorially-savvy masses, while smaller, more niche publications such as Purple, A Magazine or Visionaire, will have a particular agenda or point of view to hit home – they are purposefully marginal. Fashion
It’s really rather simple: when you start working in fashion, you soon learn the true meaning of the ageold adage “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” All journalists – whether implicitly or explicity – are subjected to the tyranny of advertorials, and quite rightly so. At the end of the day, it’s a two-way street: designers are looking for exposure, and print magazines are a somewhat
industry. It’s therefore quite natural that mass-market publications should ‘monopolize’ proceedings.
the iconic French fashion photographer Bettina Rheims. She told me that most of her greatest work grew from the constraints of commercial pieces. It’s an entirely different discipline and a wonderful challenge – rather like an essay on an author you don’t particularly care for!
o you see a new wave of fashion journalism being born; one which focuses more on art and culture? I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it a ‘new wave’, as I think that fashion journalism has always been in dialogue with other forms of cultural and artistic expression to a de Balzac, a courageous and brilliant fashion journalist, or Virginia Woolf, whose writing, if not fashion journalism sensu stricto, kept a sharp eye on fashion as cultural marker. Again, I think it very much depends on the publication and the target is a wonderfully rich publication that tackles fashion in conjunction with art, architecture and literature. It’s an awfully French way of going about things though, isn’t it? Perhaps English-language publications are a tad more matterof-fact about things these days.
hat is your attitude towards advertisement editorials in large fashion magazines?
hat is the everyday life of a fashion editor like?
Fairly hectic, I must confess, and not dissimilar to the life of an Oxford student. Instead of juggling essay crises, lectures, societies and personal drama, you’re dealing with high-scale diva drama, editorials and demanding clients. You’re very much a slave to the machine, and when fashion week comes a-knocking, you can forget sleep for an entire month. It’s great for people who like to work in bursts and who thrive on that caffeine-fuelled sense of urgency. As I always said of my Oxford years, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
anything nice to say, say nothing at all”, though I would tend to disagree. If there’s one thing Oxford teaches you, it’s to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, and some of the greatest pieces make for highly uncomfortable reads!
hat advice can you give those looking to enter fashion journalism as a career? Firstly, your career should already have started. Do you have a blog? Do you contribute to local newspapers or magazines? Do you write for the sheer, unfettered pleasure of writing? If not, journalism may not be for you. You have to want it to make it happen. This also means jumping through a lot of hoops – most of them unpaid – and putting yourself out there, something I found really hard to do. Be realistic (not everyone starts out as Anna Wintour’s read, read, read. Before sitting down to write an article, I wolf down 5 minutes of prose – words breed words.
o independent magazines gain as much support from designers and publishers, or do you have to source the fashion and funds themselves?
A good question, and one I don’t take
Just as magazines have to start somewhere, so do designers. The great thing about the pecking order is that it leaves ample room for everyone. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as watching a designer you helped to discover make it big time. On the other hand, some of the biggest names in fashion sometimes choose to work with smaller publications as it feels right. Like a well-
believe that fashion journalism should be accessible, meaningful (I have a particular loathing of platitudes) and sincere at all times. A former colleague once told me, “If you don’t have
As far as funding goes, you’d be surprised how much you can do on a shoestring. It’s really about being inventive and, as fashion legend Tim Gunn would have it, making it work!
hat is your vision of fashion journalism / what do you aim to achieve?
‘An Age of Glamour’ “TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING CAN BE WONDERFUL!” MAE WEST
Styling and Concept by Anna Robinson / Modelled by Claire Williams, Leonore Carron-Desrosiers and Maisie Richardson-Sellers / Photography and Image Editing by Nasir Hamid at simplyoxford.com / Assisted by Kathryn Gilbert / With thanks to the Oxford Union
Maisie wears: Topshop dress, Accessorize necklace and bracelet, Primark
Claire wears: Topshop dress and headband - Topshop, Primark heels
Leonore wears: Vintage top, Asos skirt, Primark heels. Claire wears: Topshop top and heels.
Claire wears: Laura Ashley shirt, River Island skirt, Primark heels and hat.
Photo: Jerusha Green
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius
INDUSTRY ISSUE 2
Image: Sonia Bernaciak
GOODY TWO CHOOS
the investment that a fragrance
Life drawing classes AKE-UP -
Nude eyes and defined brows -
ermost corners of your eye.
Applying cream blush
- 1. Dab finger in the lighter lipstick shade and pat onto lips. Repeat. 2. Dab finger in the darker shade, and dab only on the central, innermost fleshy area of the lips â€“ it should look almost as if youâ€™ve been eating berries! 3. The overall tone of the lips should look as if it gets lighter the further away the flesh gets from the centre.
Menswear “One thing I’ve always believed, is that menswear fabric can go into the ballroom as well.” Geoffrey Beene
INDUSTRY ISSUE 2
Image: Matthew Robinson
topped with mutli-coloured bear mat materials. ment didn’t stop there, as she regualrly featured hoods on jumpers, parkers and jackets; perhaps and material of her clothes were also very varied with leather, felt, towel, wool and denim being woven into one collection. With so many apparently clashing elements to a single range, It evidently wasn’t a collection for the masses, but one nevertheless to revel in. It is only in London where this creativity can be cherished, and it’s London that is consistently setting the benchmark artine Rose, a new London based designer for men’s fashion across the world. The collecrenowned for her controversial collections tion was inspired by the time the designer spent and revolutionary catwalk presentations, didn’t in Jamaica, drawing on elements of the Rasta disappoint with her latest 70s pub-grunge in- culture. Elevation and status are central motifs in spired collection for London Men’s collections. this community, creating the worshiped images It was no conventional catwalk show; featuring only three models who took a central part in the are elevated not through riches, but through an semi-static semi-dynamic presentation. The mod- attitude and an idea, almost a code of conduct. els took it in turns to come out onto the runway, initially taking a seat on a sofa inserted into the crowd on either side. They then progressed to lection, as they depict an idea of riches through a circulating disc where they stood motionless the ennobled status of their subjects. The idea while they were spun around, which coupled with of elevation and status is ubiquitous in Martine their long 70s inspired wigs, Rose’s latest collection, using created a disconcerting un- “One of the bravest menswear her designs to create ‘ghetto human effect. Circulating yet kings;’ an interesting sartorial designers out there to date” motionless; they appeared take on street gang culture. Military elements also formed than the most sought after models, conjuring a foundation for her AW13 collection after colup images of Madame Taussauds rather than a laborating with the footwear company Bates, presentation of prime human form. Yet what whose products are used by military organisations Vogue wrongly criticised as being confused and in more than 60 countries around the world. The lacking clarity, was in fact a revolutionary rein- military references further the utilitarian ethos of terpretation of what fashion shows should be. It the Martine Rose brand and the man her fashion was more an art installation than merely a cat- caters for. It is, however, the breadth of reference walk presentation, with the models creating live in her work and apparent incoherence of certain art, rather than acting as mere coat hangers. elements which makes it just so fascinating. The The clothes themselves were equally contro- bravery of her brand has made it a feature of Lonversial, drawing on a multitude of elements from don Collections which truly shouldn’t be missed. 70s culture with long wigs distorting the faces of the models. The designer drew inspiration from bar and street culture, with jackets and trousers made out of old beer mats, oversized bomber ette was equally adventurous with varied neutral shades of maroon, dark greens, black and navy,
hen (or if) a man browses through the internet, hoping
worn – this chap requires articles and style, or even just to read about which discuss the various styles of is one of the most developed and other people’s sartorial viewpoint, shoe in which it is acceptable to be widespread forms of journalism out he is confronted by one small probthere. It comments on trends, dislem: very few such articles exist, to be told that a thin tie is ‘in’ and a cusses what celebrities are wearing, and nearly all of them discuss the fat tie is ‘out;’ you can look equally shows women ways to achieve the best current look by giving them compared to a long tie, or wheth“Yes the velvet suit is, per er a double-breasted suit merits down with prices and the relevant se, a ‘new’ trend, but it is more than a single-breasted one. shops shown. Men get no such help hardly earth-shattering” in their quest. Perhaps, one could say his quest to become a ‘fashionable fabulous and hideous in suits, but that fashion is a female dominated man’ by the lack of articles based on being at the height of fashion at domain and therefore there is more what it means to be one, in terms most formal social occasions is not journalism to cater for their interest. of regular, functional ‘street’ style. one’s priority. Thus most fashion I say this is wrong. In the past, male Currently, after Bradley Wig- articles discuss a ‘style’ which selgins sported a velvet suit, there is dom changes and is rarely useful. developed, with little in the way of a multitude of articles discussing What men need, what they are casual clothes. It is only since the his ‘mod’ style and how to achieve calling out for, is a dedicated male it as simply, cheaply and as quickly fashion journalism, which reports clothes’ came to mean what it does as possible. The truth is, suits do on the progress of fashion from the not change in fashion very often. street, comments on ‘haute couture’ out shopping to miss the endless Yes, the velvet suit is, per se, a and discusses the idea of ‘your style’, stream of boys all dressing like a rec‘new’ trend, but it is hardly earth- in the sense of creating a wardrobe reation of a Topman shop window.
When only about 4 shops on the high street – Topman, ionable range of clothes at affordable prices, it is no wonder that there is extreme stagnation in the fashion market. Topman, arguably the ‘most fashionable’ on the scene, ion-faithful hero, is always in danger of going to a sobecause, in truth, there is no variation in men’s clothing ranges: all fashionable stores are, basically, the same. What, in fact, has happened is that the male fashion market has become stagnant. The shops know what is selling, and they keep producing the same old style, differing slightly between shops. There is no progression because there is no comment. Women’s fashion moves forward because of the journalism which comdrives different lines and styles in an out of fashion. For men, this does not happen. There is no cut-and-thrust debate; there is no moving forward with the industry: the most controversial trend this season has been the return of the Christmas jumper. For women, this journalism and discussion creates a viscous industry – fashion for women is, truly, alive. Trends move in and out very quickly, becoming overnight successes and then being doomed to the scrapheap – like combat trousers in the early 2000s. Whilst Oscar Wilde thought that “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months”, the whole idea of fashion is being ahead of the
Many people claim that female fashion runs into excess in this area – but that makes it all the more interesting and entertaining. The assumption that there is no interest means that there are fewer articles about men’s clothing and fewer the journalists for failing to enthuse men about clothes that leads to the lack of interest. If there were more articles, more debates and more adverts for fashionable clothing, then men would be more interested in the idea of what they are wearing. It stands to reason: under-reported news stories fail to gain interest, whilst the big headlines make the readers drool for more. Adverts, in particular, are known for generating interest – but how often do we see adverts dedicated to male clothing? More adverts would lead to more demand which would lead to more supply. When there is more supply, fashion can move forward and will stop stagnating with the same basic styles for years, as can be more ‘on or ahead of trend’, meaning there has to be progression, there have to be new trends. At the current time, it is hard to follow male fashion. It is kept hidden away in the corner of a website or of those-in-the-know predict will become hot material – this to bob along in a pond of stagnant trends. What we need is a revolution in the way journalists and designers think about male fashion: we need more exposure to it, in order to know exactly how we could be dressing. Only
2008 – could still sometimes be viewed as just about ‘on
Image: Orlebar Brown
nderwear is not something that you often give from experience, an average gentleman will just pick up any old pair and throw them on, without really thinking about what the effect of the underwear will be on a prospective partner. After all, why does underwear matter? You’re only going to throw it across the room, if anyone is to see it, right? take it from one who has seen enough male underwear to know what a gentleman should be wearing, if they ever hope to attract a mate. three main forms: pants, socks and vests. In reality, there is little point even discussing vests, except to say that under no circumstances, should they be worn. A vest only serves to make one look awful. A vest is -
looking to cover the feet of their beloved, rather than spend a bit more money and really make them happy. All too often the distant relative is trying their best, but joke socks are possibly one of the most hideous creations of all time. Why, oh why, do people think that it is, in some way, ‘ironic’ or ‘a laugh’ to have able, extolling the virtues of beer, or television? If joke socks are a no-go, surely any old, plain sock will do? To some extent, this is true. I would much rather see a plain pair of brown socks on a gentleman, rather than a multi-coloured affair that simply draws too much attention to an unsavoury, and all too olfactory, part of the body. is best avoided – to take it further, I would avoid any sock that is light of colour, simply because it is all too visible. Nobody particularly wants to see which socks you are wearing; they really must blend
no-one, no how, will be able to “Put the vest back in the drawer: bright like a diamond, but rather see how embarrassing you look. give the effect of a sow’s ear. no winter is ever that bleak!” A chap who wears a vest unI may sound harsh and scathder a shirt needs to take a few minutes to himself ing of all you men who prefer the light sock. It is – when he does, he will realise that this is one of intended. Alter your ways, before it is too late. the least effective methods of retaining warmth or This applies to football socks and woollen socks. of being deemed normal: put a jumper on, darling! so-called ‘hipsters’, you wish to show off your socks as to get away with wearing just a vest on a hot summer’s day. This is a poor state of affairs. When I see a man up skinny jeans and wearing a thicker sock of a strikwalking down the street, who thinks his body is ‘buff’ ing colour, like maroon, underneath (you don’t want enough to cover it in what can only be described as to get cold after all, silly!) – to achieve the really ‘indie’ look, consider a thermal sock – after all, who else will copy your ‘individual’ style if you buy ugly socks? does not have the body he thinks he has, and the vest Personally, I recommend that you, my gentleonly serves to highlight the 6-pack he sadly lacks. man readers, consider adopting a ‘style’ with In brief(s), chaps: put the vest back in your socks. I tend to choose a duller look when it the drawer; no winter is ever that bleak! Let’s move onto socks. A tricky area – whenever attempt to show off their ankle area, I am more Christmas draws near, the perennial ‘all I ever get at home with a grey or black sock. Black tends is socks’ jokes appear, and quite frankly, I am sick of people complaining about which socks they well if you want to have a slightly less plain look. receive – here is a small guide for any relatives 58
We must spare a thought for ankle and ballet cept fails to show anything off – this is the major point about underwear, frankly. We must utilise One thought: make sure, if wearing shorts, that it to enhance our assets, rather than hide them nobody else can see the socks. The most hor- away in a loose, yet dangerously opaque veil. This underlines why I recommend buying briefs ankle socks. What most men forget is that, when or brief boxers. These two both give you a much mixed with trainers, ankle socks are still the wrong more attractive image, primarily because they size: there is always a bit of white cloth poking give support in all the right places. Briefs are the above the top of your shoe. A hideous look. This best: they present an ameliorated version of your magazine heartily recommends a look in the mirthey work a lot better. There is no ‘riding up’ efFinally, we must scale the lofty fect (I am certain all of you are aware of this pheheights of the pant mountain. Pants can be broken down into 5 main sub- to your body – supposedly, if bought properly. categories: briefs, boxers, jock straps, brief boxers and thongs. In brief: a thong is wrong, derwear is an absolute mystery to me. If your nice boxers schmoxers, jock straps: sport and porn only – brief boxers and briefs are your only op- thereby losing any appeal they had to start with. tions, boys. Personally, I wear both. Brief box- This also works for socks: a man with a toe pokers suit me best during the day, with briefs ing out of his sock, all too common a sight in this being my favourite night-time accessory. world, is hardly a model by which to live one’s I feel that we must start comically: laugh, or life. In fact, anyone with any self-respect would respect their feet enough to wrap them in the guys! Thongs. Who on earth thought that this was either attractive or practical? Most ImIn terms of buying a new pair to show off, you portantly, thongs usually come in some hide- could do a lot worse than paying AussieBum a ous leopard print or with some cheeky slogan visit. Andrew Christian also markets well-made on the front – as discussed with socks, underwear creates a very lasting impression! Boys, area of briefs and boxer briefs, and since we are let’s stop imagining that we look outstanding ruling out any other form of undergarment, they in thongs; it’s more than likely that something are your only real options. On the cheaper side will stand out, but not in a good way – after of life, your best bet would be investing in some all, most of us have seen ‘The Inbetweeners’. Jockstraps, in a similar sense, suit very few. In re- This is a very affordable and well-made alternative ality, why would anyone buy underwear that only does half the job, unless of course you are playing pairs, I, for one, was keen to snap up a few packs! a form of sport in which they are ‘commonly worn’? Boys, we must acknowledge that underwear, Jock straps are the preserve of sport, deal with it. pants and socks alike, is an important issue. This gentleman wishes to eagerly guide you boxers. A loose, baggy and wrinkly pair of boxers away from investing in unattractive, unenhancdoes not give me much hope for anything, really. ing and under-achieving underwear. Remember Brecht when you put on your underwear, “from a man wearing a pair of what are effectively baggy shorts underneath his trousers. This conJONATHAN LAWRENCE
Image: Orlebar Brown
Comment “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Coco Chanel
INDUSTRY ISSUE 2
Fashion’s Images: PUNKassPHOTOS
R a d i c a l Fa c e
uffraggettes: fashion and dress became ashion has perennially prided itself on highly politicised issues within the milibeing subversive. Breaking with decotant suffragette campaign. Jewellery was rum, challenging existing norms and created in the suffragette colours, with the hallmark of many nascent fashion trends. purple representing freedom and dignity, From Soviet trench coats to the mini skirt, white standing for purity and green for the clothes we wear are steeped in a potent hope. Gold, white metal and violet were political symbolism, whether consciously sub- also used because the initials of the three scribed to or not. It is unsurprising therefore, elements – G, W and V – also stood for that fashion has repeatedly in history been ‘Give Women Votes’. Suffragettes parinterwoven intricately with emerging radical ticularly adopted the colour white in their political movements, forming a vital compo- dress, aiming to assert the moral equality of women as a way of justifying their nent in social transformation. encroachment into the male electoral heunk: aggressive, provocative and offen- gemony. This would be something radicalsive, punk fashion was a sartorial rejection ly challenged by the second wave feminists of materialism and consumerism. With its mu- of the 1960s against the social context of sic expressing the social alienation of young the 1900s, emphasising their ‘innate’ pupeople, rebellious and anti-authoritarian val- rity and femininity, which became tools by ues became suffused in the fashion which which suffragettes could drive for includeveloped alongside the punk movement. sion within the parliamentary state.
ussy Riot: The dissident Russian feminist punk group, Pussy Riot, is quite possibly the most radical force in the international women’s resistance movement today. It’s become an international cause celebre for its state-orchestrated trial over alleged ‘religious hatred’ and hooliganism. Pussy Riot’s lyrical themes include feminism, LGBT rights, opposition to the dictatorship of Vladimir Putin and links between the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church and Putin. And they wear balaclavas. Very brightly coloured balaclavas. And clashing prints too, all injecting a dydrab bleakness of Russia’s authoritarian political climate. So in the spirit of solidarity, you know what to wear.
ippie: the swinging 60s have been immortalised in popular culture as the decade that witnessed the explosion of student protest and civil rights movements worldwide. The social radicalism and dynamism of youth culture was certainly unprecedented. Hippie fashion formed a sartorial offshoot of this, and much clothing was self-made in rejection of corporate culture. Throwing off the constraints of convention, hipnow synonymous with a typical student identity. The links between fashion and political identity are complex and multi layered. One is perhaps forced to question how far subscribing to a fashion trend can be a meaningful determinant of however, is the importance of fashion as a drivcance as a means by which radical movements sustain and develop their momentum. OLIVIA ARIGHO-STILES
/Olivia Arigho-Stiles INDUSTRY
THE DILEMMA OF CHILD BEAUTY PAGEANTS I
n 2005, there were no American-style child beauty pageants in the UK. Today, there are over 20. And, as the number of little girls donning tutus, hairspray tention. No doubt inspired by the phenomenal success of US TV channel TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras, in the past few years the BBC has brought us Baby Beauty Queens and Sasha: Beauty Queen at 11. Sample tabloid headlines from the last year include: ‘I’m injecting my eight-year-old with Botox’ from The Sun, ‘Toddler’s Fake Boobs for Beauty Pageant Sparks Outrage’ [sic], courtesy of the Daily Mirror and ‘Beauty pageant mother slammed for dressing daughter, three, as prostitute ignores death threats’ as reported by the Daily Mail. It all sounds a little like a sketch show parody or a reality TV produc-
born pageant contestant in the San Francisco area, whose mother was injecting her with Botox and giving her bikini waxes to help her achieve her ‘dreams’. The story gained media attention worldwide, with the mother and daughter being interviewed on Good Morning America and public protest about the report in Australia. Within weeks stories were surfacing about the involvement of child protective authorities and, on 18th May,The Sun printed a full apology from mother Kerry Campbell, who wrote that her daughter was with relatives, while she worked on her issues. There was one major problem. There was no mother/daughter pairing with the names Kerry and Britney Campbell in the area The Sun had mentioned, and local pageant coordinators had never seen the girl featured in the papers. The story was exposed as fake in San Franciscan media, but there was no retraction from the UK tabloids – child pageant stories sell newspapers, real or not. Rather than the freakish spectacle provided by
epidemic of child sexualisation and how else can we explain our fascination with this strangest of American obsessions? Dipping a tentative toe into
the story of exploitation that “Every child may leave with a emerges in the UK, and indeed US, competitions is a much less game there can be no winners” glamorous one, with far fewer photo opportunities. It is the thing I notice is that the organisers are generally geted at those from lower income areas, which ofvery keen to distance themselves from the Tod- fers the dream of high glamour to impressionable - young girls and then asks their parents to pay the ing swimwear rounds for under-13s, some explic- price. Competition registration fees in the UK can itly ban all make-up on under-sixes and the blurbs be as high as £200 and there are often hidden exand even the pageant names repeatedly reference tras. Totting up the fees including optional rounds natural beauty. The message that rewarding good at the Natural Stars pageant, for example, suggests looks gives out to children may still be a dubious a grand total of over £400 if your child is lucky one but there is little evidence for the living doll look favoured by US pageant royalty, such as sixyear old Eden Wood, who already has her own biography, titled somewhat alarmingly ‘From Cradle the American parents interviewed saw pageantry as to Crown’. The shock headlines quoted above are an opportunity for social mobility – some were chasalso misleading, as none reference measures taken ing the dream of a college fund, not Hollywood starfor UK pageants. The fake-boobed child dressed as dom. All this suggests that while pageant parents’ Dolly Parton and contestant wearing a costume in- efforts to push their children may be misguided, spired by Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman were both attention-grabbing scenes from the TLC sighted. Every child may leave with a crown or cerdocumentary, while the Botox story is a case in point about the sensationalism of the British press. FINOLA AUSTIN On 23rd March 2011, the British press reported the story of eight-year old Britney Campbell, a BritishINDUSTRY
THE LBD DEBATE DERAILED
Helen Walker gives her own take on the timeless tale of the little black dress and why it is here to stay
o ubiquitous it’s earned its own acronym, the Little Black Dress (LBD) has had a prominent role in women’s style for nearly a century. It is quite simply iconic, from the Givenchy shift worn in the opening scenes of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ to Angelina Jolie’s thigh-high split Atelier Versace gown which more recently made the headlines. And yet the LBD is not merely the preserve of celebrities or the fashion elite, it is a garment accessi-
future with the 1926 publication of her draw-
Coco Chanel’s designs show a volte-face in the attitude to the colour black; before the 1920s black clothing was reserved exclusively for periods of mourning, and considered indecent worn outside of this convention. At a time when fashion wasn’t purely for aesthetic pleasure like it is today, the Victorians and Edwardians demonstrated mourning through the symbolic lanthe bar with ease, with guage of fashion. A “One is never over-dressed or the help of a few choice widow was expected underdressed with a Little accessories. Writing to mourn for a period Black Dress.” for the catalogue of a of 2 years, over one recent celebration of the Little Black Dress year of which was devoted to the wearing of at the Savannah College of Art and Design, plain black clothing, devoid of any decoraNorma Kamili writes that the LBD “takes us tion. Delving even further, we see that the to parties, job interviews, weddings and fu- wearing of a black dress in a way that did not nerals. We experience all of life’s big events conform to this symbolic language was scanin the little black dress; it can be respectful or dalous. In 1884 John Singer Sargent shocked empowering, depending upon the design”. society by painting a portrait of a young soAll this we owe to an issue of American cialite who was infamous in Parisian high soVogue published 87 years ago, which featured the designs of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel for a dress, almost modest by today’s standards. By short, black dress. It was a calf length sheath 1926, however, Chanel’s use of black was seen dress, in black crêpe de Chine, with long, nar- as a statement of elegance. Fashion historirow sleeves and decorated minimally by a few ans have attributed this change to the huge diagonal lines. Accessories were minimal too, death toll of World War One and the Spanish as it was just worn with a string of pearls. Vogue predicted that this simple, elegant design was ing black, very sadly, becoming commonto become the “uniform for all women of place. So we see that Coco Chanel achieved taste”. And Vogue was very much correct. But something quite miraculous with her designs; what was it about this dress that meant it was a she transformed the colour black from somemust-have garment? The answer lies in its de- thing associated with grief and death to bescription as “Chanel’s Ford”, because like the ing a mysterious, elegant and sexy colour. a rule of fashion. As Karl Lagerfeld puts it (and who wouldn’t respect the words of this international fashion deity), “one is never overdressed or under-dressed with a little black dress”. The LBD resides in the wardrobes of so many women because of its elegance, timelessness and versatility. It can make the transi-
Ford Model T it was a simple design that was accessible for women of all social classes. It was long lasting, versatile, affordable and accessible to the widest market possible, and was in a neutral colour that appealed to all. Although we cannot credit Coco Chanel with inventing the concept of the Little Black Dress, she
The Little Black Dress survived the Great Depression, a testament to its versatility and popularity. Although hemlines dropped - a common trait of fashion during times of economic austerity - the economy and elegance of the LBD meant it persisted, even during such times of dearth and uncertainty. In fact, it was to enjoy a promotion in popularity, thanks to the rise of Hollywood, an American fashion. Not only were they a motif of Hollywood style, but from a practical perspective, black dresses were favoured to feature on the silver screen. ers required black dresses as other colours looked distorted on screen and compromised the colouring process. The Little Black Dress can also be credited with surviving World War II, as the rationing of textiles meant that a neutral coloured, versatile dress was very much the practical solution to the limitations of war. Thanks to its versatile design, it became a common uniform for women entering the work force. Neither rationing nor the sexual conservatism of the post-war era could quell the popularity of the LBD. It was now the turn of Christian Dior to shock society with a black dress, as John Singer Sargent had done seven decades earlier. His 1947 ‘New Look’ collection aimed to make women feel feminine once again and was achieved in the creation of overstated “Little Black Frocks” that only the wealthiest could afford. Dior’s collection was luxurious, lavish and extravagant – qualities forgotten to those who struggled through the combined with the waspish waists of the ‘New Look’ models helped reinvent the LBD as the uniform of the dangerous woman. Hollywood assisted in perpetuating this idea with femmes-fatales and fallen women of the silver screen often wearing racy black halterneck dresses which deliberately contrasted with the conservative dresses ion in broadening the availability and affordability of designs. This is, of course, the decade in which Hubert de Givenchy’s black shift dress began its rise to iconic status, during the opening scenes of Blake Edward’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ when it was worn by the effortlessly elegant Audrey Hepburn and accented by a string of ard for the Little Black Dress, but at the same time a generation gap was appearing in its history. Designers catering for the ‘mod’ generation shortened the dress, even putting slits in the skirt, cut-outs in the bodice and making use of sheer fabrics such as netting and tulle. On to the 80s, where a whirlwind of casual fabric served to continue the popularity of the LBD. Knitted fabric in particular was a popular choice for both formal and busi-
more body conscious, plus adopted contemporary design lums. A mere 10 years later the LBD was to undergo another revival, with grunge culture fostering the emergence of a simpler cut and fabric for a garment that was to be worn with sandals and combat boots. By the late 1990s the revival of glamour meant new variations of the LBD, though as was the case in the 70s, an obsession with colourful fashion formalwear saw an aversion to black. And yet here we are in 2013, when the trends of the 80s have once more returned to favour, and the LBD is as prevalent as ever. ing with mid-length, peplum and shoulder pads. Current trends lean to body conscious clothing and muted colour schemes; a climate that favours the LBD. But what of the trends seen on the Spring / Summer 2013 catwalks? It looks like it’s going to be colourful; spearmint, fondant pink, violet, lemon and baby blue shades were seen at Mulberry, Fendi, Prada, Valentino, Erdem and Christopher Kane to name but a few, while Matthew tels in favour of some serious brights, with hot pink, grass green, orange and cobalt igniting the runways. So are we to see the death of the Little Black Dress? Well no, for a garment that has survived economic depression, world war and eighties hairstyles, that would be ridiculous. As the great Christian Dior once said; “you can wear black at any time, you can wear it at any age. You may wear it for almost any occasion; a 'little black frock' is essential to a woman's wardrobe." And there lies the key to how the LBD transcends time- fashions may have changed, but the LBD is still very much as Coco Chanel intended with her 1926 designs; it’s versatile, accessible and affordable. Trends for bold colours will ever spell the end for economic boundaries. Not when we live in times when our money needs to go further, and the LBD caters for a hardner to dancing with the careful selection of accessories. Black is still the most show-stopping and striking colour for a woman to be seen in; from the black ball gown (rather provocative in 19th century Europe) which attracted the attention of Count Vronsky when worn by Tolstoy’s eponymous heroine Anna Karenina, to the Versace safety pin worn on the red carpet in 1994, and is still relevant two decades later, when Lady Gaga made recent headlines wearing the dress that Donatella herself had loaned from the Versace archives. So we see that despite the different variations of the LBD that emerge with every season, the basic
Images: Hanneli Mustaparta, thesartorialist, nymag
Fashion’s False Revolution
t is no exaggeration to say that we inhabit a distinctly different landscape to the one which our parents grew up in thanks largely to the advent of the internet. Human communication has been utterly revolutionised due to the way in which global connectivity has provided a rich variety of data to those at the pole of reception and opened up a global platform to those at the pole of production. In facilitating uncensored mass communication, the internet has proven an indispensible tool of democracy on the political stage. The
wards upon the masses nor have the forces acting from above been replaced. They have merely, if you will excuse the pun, changed their vestments. Of course, I am well aware of the chorus of objections that such a statement might meet. Indeed, perblogger issue’, the cover of which was graced by Susie Bubble and Bip Ling, was a harbinger of things to come, 2013 may be the year that the fashion blogger comes fully out of the wings, decked in feathers, and takes centre stage in the world of fashion. I even concede Arab Spring in 2011 and world- ‘The internet has done little that it is probably already to purportwide media coverage which to democratise fashion’ ed ‘superblogs’ like Scott Schuman’s kept the corrupt governments ‘The Sartorialist,’ Susanna Lau’s of the Middle East and North ‘Style Bubble’ and Tavi’s ‘Style RookAfrica under scrutiny were both facilitated by the ie’ as much as to Vogue, Elle et al. that the majority new media born of the internet. Yet no matter how of fashion conscious young men and women look potent a tool of democracy at the level of national for style inspiration. Nonetheless, the commanding politics, the internet has, despite appearances, done presence of bloggers and street-style photogralittle to democratise fashion and place the power of phers in our daily lives does not mean that fashion the industry in the hands of the people. Admitted- is now dictated by the sartorial laity: that is, the man ly, the rise of Twitter; photo-sharing websites like (or very carefully styled woman) on the street. First Pinterest and wiwt.com; and, of course, the fash- and foremost, those faces of what seems to be a ion blog has precipitated an indisputable change glorious sartorial revolution are no more industry in direction of the fashion consumer’s sartorial de- outsiders than uber-stylist Katie Grand, editorial cisions. However, while our relationship with the doyenne Grace Coddington, or Natalie Massanet, fashion industry may seem to be more interactive, the latest head of the British Fashion Council. neither has authority ceased to be exercised down-
Images: garance doré, thesartorialist, susie bubble, stylerookie
Let us take Scott Schuman as a case in point. Be- many posters on wiwt.com or the ASOS Fashion Finder, constitute nothing but a new medium through he was not an amateur photographer but Director which fashion’s existing oligarchy inform and instruct of his own men’s fashion showroom. Moreover, it is a mass market. They may have taken centre stage but not only the character behind the camera who boasts only as ventriloquist puppets. Schuman photographs more traditional fashion credentials, for while Schuman sometimes shoots unknown members of the public, many of his most lauded photographs are of industry insiders. The sexagenarian whose por- ASOS’s Fashion Finder may have styled themselves trait he took on January 16th was but using pieces which only no average Milanese Senora but “Schuman does not elevate the came into their hands beRenata Molho, former editor-atcause they were selected authority of the general large of Vogue Italia. The previby high-power buyers or public to match that of the ous day his blog featured Yukio brand directors (the likes of Akamine, fashion lecturer and Topshop guru Jane Sheppre-eminent editors” erstwhile consultant for United herdson) earlier up the line. Arrows, a leading Japanese clothing chain. Even Moreover, as the subheadings of ‘Our Edit’ and ‘Our those subjects whom he doesn’t name in the picture Top Picks’ on the Fashion Finder suggest, even the captions are more often than not on the payroll of photographs and styling efforts of industry outsidsome edition of Vogue or other. Schuman, for all his ers which reach us are those which are endorsed and brilliance and vision, does not, then, succeed in “cre- selected by those already powerful in the world of ating a two-way dialogue about the world of fashion fashion. Even their styling ideas themselves are, to and its relationship to daily life” as the ‘Biography’ an extent, not fully their own, for they are working page on his website tells us he hopes to do. Like al- within a paradigm constructed over time by a ruling most all of those heralded as the defenders of a new, elite of the ‘old’ establishment. Undeniably, the same democratic world of fashion, he does not elevate the authority of the general public to match that of buyers, and high-power stylists are deciding what we the pre-eminent editors and stylists but merely pro- wear and how we wear it. Fashion is as undemocratic vides a new medium through which the supposedly as ever. The only difference is that now it is not quite infallible word of fashion’s elite can be disseminated. as forthcoming about where the power lies. In fact, he and his fellow bloggers, alongside the NUSA BARTOL-BIBB
Altruism in the fashion world
here is a glaring need for fashion houses, home and abroad, to keep up with a trend that arguably will only increase in importance: altruism, manipulative or not. With the economic dominoes, Arab Springs and increasing media footage of human rights abuses worldwide, the middle class audience of the fashion world need to know that their materialistic idols bear some social conscience. Human rights abuses are becoming harder and harder to put to the back of one’s mind. No longer can the unwilling viewer of war heroes and dictators, for the voice of political activism is becoming increasingly loud through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, mailing lists and online petitions; urgent human Just as the uncovering of illegal corporate tax avoidance exposed businesses and banks nationwide, causing an increase in their effort to display a social conscience, so campaigns such as War on Want, and Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops have sparked a similar agenda in high end fashion houses. As a result, many fashion houses have chosen to make political activism as fashionable as it was in the 1970s. There have been a number of cases recently, of charities using fashion houses as a medium through which they can promote their own public image. The social media that penetrates any discussion of ‘public image,’ and that lies responsible for this increased awareness of international human rights abuses is now used as much as a means for selfpromotion by NGOs as it is by fashion brands and designers. I spoke to supermodel and Reprieve employee, Jaquetta Wheeler about Reprieve’s 2011 collaboration with Vivienne Westwood. Can you remember, or was there, a particular moment in your career as a model that caused you to the change your mind about your future career path? In 2005 I got to know someone in Morocco (where we have a family home) who had started a charity for street children. I could help by raising money for the charity in New York, and thought how great it would be to use them for something so worthy. Back in NYC I started planning, and was
of something good. I threw an event that ended up raising $120,000, and 2 years later did another that raised $180,000. -
What made you turn to Reprieve in particular? My father had always been a bit of an advocate for Human Rights, and took me to their charity event in 2009, after I’d moved back to London. I was inspired by Clive Stafford Smith’s talk about Guantanamo Bay, which was something I was already
ELLEN PAGE 72
What was the balance of the collaborative process behind the 2011 show? I already knew Vivienne was a supporter of Reprieve, so I rang her up to see if she would design a piece of jewelry for the charity. She immediately said yes and then took it all to another level by theming her whole show around Reprieve, which of course we were thrilled about. Having devoted a great deal of time and work to both the fashion world and Reprieve, how did it feel to return, albeit temporarily, to the glamorous world of modeling once you had spent a considerable amount of time working for the charity? Great! After having worked for some worthy causes, I felt more worthy somehow of being lucky enough to get paid well for modeling jobs. It didn’t feel quite so frivolous and I had far more energy to dedicate to the job. Capital punishment is a controversial topic and not partythe political spectrum. What were your expectations of the response of fashionistas who might otherwise distance themselves from such controversial politics? I knew it wasn’t the easiest cause to bring to people’s attention. I knew it would be trickier than say, a children’s charity, but I also thought that enough people would be intrigued and interested, and I was right. Reprieve has also worked with labels such as Agent Provocateur. Is the attraction of the fashion world as a political platform due mostly to the media attention it receives or the potential of fashion itself? I think it’s because of the attention it brings from the media mainly. But also it’s good for something so serious as a politically charged charity to show that it can cross boundaries into the fashion world - it makes it more accessible. Do you think that the dwindling economy and growing conscience of the consumer regarding the source of products will lead to an increase in high end fashion labels publicly associating themselves with charities, or certain political groups? ity in fashion. It is done a lot. Women for Women is another ey. I just did a charity fashion show and auction for them, which they raised lots of money from. Again, it’s good to add some glamour and fun to something serious, I guess. The global economic crises of the past decade has undeniably reshaped the fashion world, not only through the restrictions placed on the consumer, but by endangering the stabilfor bankruptcy only 4 years ago, it is impressive that labels as recognised as Vivienne Westwood and Agent Provocateur controversial politics. Let’s hope that Westwood’s recent involvement will encourage contemporary designers to add a little ‘something serious’ to their own glamorous collections.
Photography “People say photographs don’t lie, mine do.” David LaChapelle
INDUSTRY ISSUE 2
STEVEN KLEIN Hiding bedhing the camera
STEVEN KLEIN HIDING BEHIND THE CAMERA
Steven Klein; the notorious photographer, famed for his controversial reinterpretation of fashion photography and celebrity
bly the Gagosian gallery California and the Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery in Florence, making him a truly international photography star in his own right. between fashion and sexualFor all the provocation of his ity, decency and indecency. work, Steven Klein himself reAfter initially studying painting at the Rhode Island School the public sphere that we have of design, Klein found his true become accustomed to. Divulg- ing practically no information in phy; a decision which has led to interviews, rarely being seen in an illustrious career photograph- public, yet having his art circuing a multitude of global icons lating around the world in the of popular culture for many of most visible sphere possible, the worlds most renowned fash- creates an enticing yet confusion magazines. Klein gained his ing picture of the artist himself. fame in numerous advertising Even his series of self-portraits campaigns for the global fashion are mostly backlit disguising his conglomerates Calvin Klein, D&G, facial features and concealing Alexander McQueen and Nike, the artist beneath. If his artistic and also for his regular features inspiration does indeed arise, as in internationally renowned fash- he himself has suggested, from ion magazines such as Vogue, that which is obscure, then the i-D, Numero, W and Arena. presentation of himself in the A Fashion photographer or art- media is perhaps an extension ist; his work has been presented of the artwork itself, creating a in numerous exhibitions, nota- disconcerting form of art vivant. 74
Klein is most visible in his work with the global brands of Lady Gaga and Madonna, and a string of other iconic eccentrics of our modern pop culture. In 2003, Klein shot Madonna for W Magazine, in which she writhed around in numerous pseudosexual positions. He pushed the boundaries even further in Lady Gaga’s 2010 video “Alejandro,” in which she ingests a rosary, recreates sex with and between her dancers and dons vaguely pornogrpahic military attire, not only creating sexually explicit references, but also anti-Christian imagery. However, perhaps the most widely debated image of his oeuvre to date, is one where a young man is lying naked with a cut throat; and in the words of Klein, “I was trying to create an opening in the skin to see inside.” It is this explicit destruction of his subject which is Klein’s way of exposing hidden humanity and deeper truth.
There is an unnerving perfection to his imagery which juxtaposes the debauchery of his content. His models are often depicted in utter clarity, and often in minimal attire, yet the oiled skin, masks, and immaculate surgical settings create an austere inhumane cleanliness, that is rich in contradiction. The cold veneer of the imagery is Klein’s comment on the dehumanizing effect of digital manipulation. Yet it is the intangible distance created by this digital alteration that feeds directly into Klein’s message; he presents his subjects as trapped “inside a sealed veneer” and creates the “sense that you can’t get in”. Humanity itself is presented as Klein’s phenomenon that he presents to be impenetrable. He approaches his
subject with both curiosity and dread; he has been quoted stating “I like them and I fear them… but at the same time I desire them,” which encapsulates the very essence of his imagery; there is an undeniable attraction behind initial repulsion. But Klein is vastly more than a mere provocateur; despite the unnerving presence of sexual innuendo and questionable debauchery, he aims to do more than merely shock. His work is riddled with social commentary that on occasions strikes the fashi on industry at its very foundations. In one of his most notorious videos, a young man dressed in a suit kisses the wrinkled face of an old woman. She lowers her gaze in shame and self-disgust, highlighting the ignobility of age in modern culture,
and most notably in the world of fashion. Klein is photographer to look at the downfall of age and the cyclical path of life in a lyrical manner; the presence of beautiful youth and decaying age presents time overlapping and past and present existing simultaneously. In young man cradles a baby in the background behind the old lady; perhaps a reincarnation of the woman herself and a haunting reminder of her past. In the words of Carine Roitfeld “age happens,” and the constant reminder of the inescapability of time is highlighted in this image, striking the fashion industry, which so often idolises youth, at its core. Klein is therfore much more than a typical fashion photographer; he is a social commentator.
Image: Image: Kleinstudio Kleinstudio
/ MATTHEW ROBINSON
Image: Ellenn Von Unwerth (and Photyography title
UNWERTH German-born Unwerth was a fashion model for Despite the well-established presence of third the better part of a decade before taking up post wave or sex-positive feminism over the past 30 behind the lens and launching a career that would years, there still seems to be a fraught struggle for help define an industry. Her inaugural shoot was of women, often internally, when it comes to reconClaudia Schiffer in the first Guess ad campaign of ciling their sexuality and their feminism. I regu1989 and the sexy frivolity of this shoot was testi- larly encounter criticism of promiscuity and find mony to what the next 30 years would bring. Her it ever shocking that this dark cloud of Christian early work included shooting for Harper’s Bazaar, morality, projecting the idea that self-respect Interview, Vogue and Vanity Fair and she has since and sexuality are mutually exclusive, still lingers. been featured in campaigns for Victoria’s Secret, Sex is not something a woman gives up to a man Banana Republic, H&M and Chanel to name but a and has to deny in order to call herself a feminist. few. But what is it that makes her work just so high- Sex is something to be shared and enjoyed and it ly acclaimed? In my opinion, it is her unique ability is for this reason that I am such an ardent fan of to capture an eroticism in a distinctly feminine and Unwerth’s work, which aims to “shoot girls havtasteful light. When asked about this aspect of her ing fun, girls who want to be beautiful and sexy”. work she said, “I think that women open up more to Von Unwerth’s more recent work, however, a female photographer. It’s like little girls playing seems to have taken a more classical turn. As well around. You can be a bit naughty and do things you as Helmut Newton, she has previously cited 1920’s wouldn’t do in front of boys. It’s French photographer Jacques more relaxed somehow. I think Henri Lartigue as one of the key “Unwerth is an understated it’s an empowering experience”. influences for her work. She has genius in the world of While her work is often said formerly said of his work; “it’s to specialise in erotic femininmore of a reportage style, with photography” ity, it has sometimes found photographs of graceful women criticism with those who claim it borders on the wearing these amazing clothes with their funny pornographic. When questioned on the subject, dogs with lots of movement; they’re very, very Unwerth felt that “eroticism is something that is charming pictures”. His influence is more apparent mysterious, that makes you dream. It’s a little bit in her recent work. A 2012 shoot for Vogue Italia, forbidden, it’s exciting. Pornography is what you “Indian Summer”, shows elegantly dressed womsee is what you get.” This is undoubtedly the case en having picnics in the countryside and a shoot with Unwerth’s work, in which the excitement is in March 2012, “Gleaming Mermaid”, displays a very much in the implication. Perhaps my favourite young woman trapped in a bird cage. This recent of Unwerth’s photographs is a piece entitled Boo- work seems to portray women in a more graceful, ty Call, shot for Parisian Vogue in 2007. At first even fragile light, which deviates from the bulk of glance this may seem like a generic shot of an at- her work, in which the women appear almost fierce. tractive woman in bed before you notice the care- As attractive as I find these more recent shoots, I fully placed phone above her garter. I was shocked can’t help but miss the fun, sexy Unwerth of old. at my own horrendous assumption that she had I find her earlier shoots corroborating as they rebeen the booty call, when in fact the implication inforce the fact that it’s perfectly acceptable, nay is that she’s the one who made the call; she was preferable to enjoy one’s sexuality. And while it feels the one in control. And this is what I love about almost anarchic to be making this point (hasn’t this Unwerth’s work; that women are being empowered argument been done to death?), in this era of heavyin a sexual context. So while much of Unwerth’s handed slut-shaming, I think it’s a point that can’t be work may border on the pornographic or fetisch- made enough. As Unwerth says, “I consider myself istic, the women are in control and enjoying it. a feminist… It doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun”. HARRIET ROBINSON INDUSTRY
Photos: Nasir Hamid
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Cover images by Nasir Hamid Published in association with Oxford Fashion Society INDUSTRY ISSUE 2