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11:00 - 19:00 on September 1 2014 BST

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  1. by Alexander Fury .

    Paris Fashion Week: Some calm before the storm

    I'm on the Eurostar on my way to Paris, and to distract my attention
    from the various not-so-insignificant items of luggage I have
    undoubtedly forgotten (in Milan these included contact lenses and more
    than two pairs of trousers) I often mull over the shows we've seen,
    and what that may mean for the season ahead.

    The Milan shows were pretty strong this season. Not as strong as last
    time - but with their penchant for sun-worship and stripping off, the
    Milanese 'get' summer much more than winter. In contrast with almost
    every other fashion capital, the Milan shows are overwhelmingly better
    for spring than for winter.

    There are exceptions, of course, like Jil Sander under Raf Simons,
    consistently forward-thinking, inquisitive and intelligent. This
    season, his felt like the surest hand in Milan - well, tied with
    Miuccia Prada, a woman with so many ideas about clothing and so great
    an influence season upon season, she deserves a fashion week to
    herself.

    Some other assured collections came from more unexpected quarters,
    none more so than the beleagured house of Gianfranco Ferre. Tomasso
    Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi tagged on to the still-influential feel
    for the minimal throbbing through fashion, but have it a new spin.
    Well, it wasn't exactly 'new', but we haven't seen it for a good ten
    years, not since the later collections of Helmut Lang and the earliest
    offerings of Nicolas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga. And it was very
    interesting to see it at Ferre, initially a contrast to the house's
    archives or ornamental excess, but the more I think about it an ode to
    Signor Ferre's architectonic brilliance. A Gianfranco Ferre collection
    that makes you think? Who could have anticipated that?

    I also loved what Christopher Kane and Donatella Versace created for
    the Versus label - much more than either the Versace or Kane
    collections, to be honest. Fortunately I had a chance to see these
    clothes up close, and therefore fully appreciate the surfaces of
    leather coats bonded with glitter, sparkling embossed pattern and
    Kane's neat way with a lurex Fairisle knit.

    Most of the fashion we saw in Milan was unequivocally Italian - I
    can't imagine a French palette digesting Versace's baroque curlicues
    or the heaving bosoms and cling-film tight skirts of Peter Dundas'
    Emilio Pucci any easier than a bucket of spaghetti carbonara, of which
    they are the sartorial equivalent. But certain elements dominant at
    Milan Fashion Week will undoubtedly cross over. That feel for the
    point where the sixties met the seventies was articuated time and
    again: witness Frida Giannini of Gucci's latest homage to YSL, a
    French national treasure Parisians are always happy to see deified,
    even by their traditional Fashion rivals. We also saw much of
    Balenciaga imitated, a fall-off from last season's Jil Sander that
    also seagues into that mid-century revivalism.

    But it's always a mistake to try and second-guess Paris, the capital
    of international fashion and the one city powerful enough to make or
    break a trend at the final hurdle. I'll be there in just a few hours.
    Milan Fashion Week is over. Long live Paris Fashion Week!

  2. by Alexander Fury .

    Milan Fashion Week: Italian Ennui

    This past Thursday after the D&G show, I was stood with a friend dissecting what we had just seen - or at least, dissecting as far we could, given the collection was based on a somewhat flimsy premise of typographical play. She compared it to Hamnett, I to Sprouse and even Missoni's offering for S/S 2011. She countered 'Yes, but Missoni's had words - these didn't say anything.'

    She was talking about the letters pock-marked over Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce's tube-dresses and eye-socking neon leggings, of course, but she could have been talking about the whole collection, or indeed the Milan shows in general. There have been a lot of frocks flying about, but no-one seems to have very much to say. Witness Gucci - seductive in its jewel hues and confident clashes of colour, a little more offbeat than Giannini's usual svelte sex-kitten wares. But did it really show us anything Saint Laurent hadn't been pumping out for four decades? It was fun while it lasted, but looking back at the pictures, you felt like it had all been done before.

    Even Prada's garments had a slight air of been there, seen that - after all, how often has fashion been infatuated with the sixties? In fact, how often this season - Bottega Veneta and Alberta Ferretti in Milan alone, and many more no doubt to come. Nevertheless, at Prada those references were inventively reinvented, intellectually twisted until they felt new, even if they weren't. And that's far more than most labels do

    That sense of twisting the past to create the future was also the foundation of yesterday's strong Jil Sander show from Raf Simons. 'Strong' as an adjective doesn't really cut it - the phrase 'Concorde Couture' deserves another mention, as despite the fifties and sixties Balenciaga references this collection was all about a streamlined, powerful and resolutely modern beauty. Besides which, any designer who can make a chintz trapeze-dress in padded satin look like le dernier cri deserves to be garlanded in laurels and fêted.

    Today we have seen Marni, which showed us a new idea of glamour for the Marni girl. That's a sound bite-y little catchphrase you're bound to see millions of people yammering on videos of this show, but it felt very true of Consuelo Castiglione's textured furs, slinky lurex dresses, dishevelled Veronica Lake hair and giant Italodisco bins. The refreshing thing was that it was really the last thing we expected to see from her. I'm off to write up what I saw, then on to Dolce e Gabbana at the Metropole.

  3. by Alexander Fury .

    London Fashion Week: The Kick-Off!

    New York Fashion week is barely twelve hours cold, but the London Collections have already begun! Well, just about - our first show, Jean-Pierre Braganza, begins in just over half an hour, and we've already made a pit-stop at the Preen presentation (more from that later). It's difficult to anticipate what London Fashion Week will show, given the eclectic mix of designers and hectic pace of the shows (our edited list of highlights include no less than forty-eight shows over the next five days). Be prepared for many a disjointed update from me as we race between the different venues and visions of the various shows on and off the schedule, as well blogs from our guest stars Francesca Burns and Susanna Lau, and our intrepid intern Ben Evans, who will be giving me a helping hand as the days unfold.

    Comments

    1. Romby
      15:11 14 Sep 2011
      Whoever wrote this, you know how to make a good aritcle.
    Comment
  4. Recent comments

    1. LyllietheBunny
      09:42 20 Feb 2011
      Hej Alex,
      I found the set of interviews facinating, interresting too but the way you have filmed by exemple Anna dello Russo is tasty, the black & white like the stills from H.Newton by exemple, I was watching with my friends Charrlote dela Salle from the LyllietheBunny ConceptArtDealer, a group we formed to enhance new local artists new on the scene, Charrlote nearly fell off her chair as she was so excited by your work and by Anna dello Russo, the way she talks is so sweet as it is clear and expressiv, great questions from you bring lots from her, with a most beautiful and interresting manner you filmed Anna.
      I find the concept you have created is really good, handsome piece of Art, as it also clear informations from your gusets. I am subdue ( I gladly admitt)still.
      So Charrlote dela Salle and me Lyllie theBunny would like to thank you for those beautiful interviews and films.
      best regards, Lyllie.
    2. LyllietheBunny
      10:14 20 Feb 2011
      Ps > I would like to apologised to Ruth Hogben, I forgot to mention her as Ruth is the creator of those beautiful images/films. Ruth really created an atmosphere that really made me not to want to miss a single images/ expression from Anna dello Russo. Really great. I do hope I will be forgiven, the film because of her beautiful concept of placing the interviewee in such creativ ways subjugated me (and Charrlote dela SAlle).
      And I know a detail but Ruth Hogben is very good looking, I discovered with quite a smile, a very handsome Mechanical Eyes in so feminine qualities.
      Best regards,
      Lyllie the Bunny (Zoe Lea Bohun-Behrens)
    Comment
  5. by Alexander Fury .

    New York Fashion Week: The week so far

    New York's new looks have been stomping down the catwalk for the past three days - as any fashion-spotter worth knicker elastic will have figured out - and it's already shaping up as a strong season. The pre-fall collections were a good indicator - when designer's commercial collections have a discernible creative slant alongside their savvy saleability, we can only wait to see what those same designers' imaginations will unleash on a catwalk free from financial restraint.

    Well, almost free - this is New York after all, where a twenty-something designer is more likely to be helming a multi-million dollar global brand-in-the-making than running up four-and-a-half fur and satsuma-netting shock frocks in a blustery garret. Still, it would be nice to see a few of them every once in a while. The New York Collections thus far have been slick, sometimes safe, mostly commercial, but nevertheless strong. From a distance, the imagery that popped out at me most was from the shows of Thakoon and Jason Wu, designers whom I must confess I have never had a predilection for. Maybe it's because I'm a Rococo obsessive that I was drawn to these two very different re-imaginings of the court of Versailles. Wu lifted his inspiration from Robert Polidori's documentary images of the restoration of the palace, striking for their juxtaposition of baroque glitter with utilitarian modernism. Wu's translation: crombie coats with strips of chantilly lace running down the arms, beaded lace on neat cotton shirts and a fluffy, feathery mini-frock that looked like the punchline to a crack about cramming ostriches into a Volkswagon. Don't let my flippancy fool you: I loved it, in a way I never have with Wu's work before.

    Thakoon juxtaposed Marie Antoinette and Masaai, one of those combos that sounds hare-brained but actually works surprisingly well. His collection showed vaguely Kenyan lumberjack-check in brilliant brick red and cerulean, sometimes draped like tribal garb and sometimes twisted up into air-filled puffer-paniers. That collision of utility and luxury underlined a number of shows - Alexander Wang for one, Altuzarra for another. The former was commercially compelling, as always, although I'll be interested to see if anyone sports Wang's marabou-muffled sunnies or poncho-anorak hybrid. Sounds as if it should be restricted to a school trip to Llangollen to me, but he seems able to shift anything when it hits the shop floor.

    As always, Altuzarra gave me pause for thought. I'm a fan of a 180-aesthetic shift - Altuzarra has now hauled our imaginations from Edward Scissorhands, to Sci-Fi safari and now to mid-nineties Galliano. Seeing these images of hefty parkas tossed over taut little bias-cut dresses, I couldn't help but flashback to teenage British Vogue memories of Tim Walker shots of Trish Goff splashing in Glastonbury mud in thirty grand Galliano flapper frocks. Evidently for Joseph Altuzarra those are the same kind of halcyon memories that lead Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford to revisit the seventies so frequently and fervently. I suddenly feel terribly old...

    Comments

    1. Billybob
      10:53 15 Sep 2011
      So true. Hoentsy and everything recognized.
    Comment
  6. by Alexander Fury .

    New York Fashion Week: Jason Wu

    Frou Frou from the get-go at Jason Wu where the catwalk is gold framed mirrors and huge chandeliers are dotted here and there, inspirations were "the detailed restoration process of Versailles over a period of 25 years"... Let's see if Wu's collection follows a similarly nouveau-riche slant.

  7. by Alexander Fury .

    New York Fashion Week: For starters

    The time is nigh: New York Fashion Week has officially begun, and hence our coverage of the A/W 2011 womenswear collections. Officially, it actually began yesterday - but our first show of the season is the latest from much-fêted, Mobama-dressing Jason Wu, which takes places in roughly two hours (of course, in fashion time, that means four).

    It's fascinating to see the exuberance and enthusiasm New York is eliciting this season. Its place at the start of a four-capital two-continent marathon march through the fashion world probably helps that. I for one find it much more difficult to wax lyrical about the delights of the transseasonal trouser after a hundred or so shows (although be prepared for plenty of proselytising of A/W 2011's key looks come London Fashion Week from me).

    What's also interesting right now is how that enthusiasm is not only reflected in hyperbolic journalism, but in cold hard cash. Take, for instance, the announcement that Joseph Altuzarra made a cool four million dollars in sales for 2010. I am unashamedly an Altuzarra fan - and I'll tell you for why: he has a vision, he has technical know-how, and he's got balls. It takes a hell of a lot of confidence for any designer to trick out the kind of clothes Altuzarra has been creating, nevermind so early in his career. It also takes guts to buy that vision (and, as I said last season, perhaps even more to wear it). Of all the shows in New York, his is the one I am most chagrined to miss. It's also one I wouldn't like to second-guess - although doubtless it will be expounding the power-dressing confidence that has stamped its mark so assertively across his aesthetic to date.

    Assertion. Confidence. Power. Sometimes I think my reviews sound a little like an eighties cliché (I do have a long-standing love of Claude Montana but that's a long long discussion for another time and place) but for me that power is what fashion is all about. Vivienne Westwood once said 'You have a much better life if you wear impressive clothes.' She's made enough of them, so she should know. That's also why I prefer Autumn/Winter to Spring: when the art director Marc Ascoli asked me why, I confessed that I wasn't that enamoured with brainless little chiffon frocks or bikinis on the catwalk. I'm a fan of tailoring, of sharpness, of a hardness even - I just mistyped that as 'harness' - I'm a fan of one of those too, in the hands of the right designer (more Montana homage methinks). I also think the brevity of the A/W season leads designers to make decisions faster, and often better. There's no time to over-consider ideas. For fall, fashion has to go with its gut. That's what I'm looking forward to seeing, albeit from afar, this New York Fashion Week.

    Our Collections coverage of New York Fashion Week - and the A/W 2011 season as a whole - begins today, with reports from Lindsay Sammon and Indigo Clarke in New York and images from NOWFASHION.com

  8. by Alexander Fury .

    In Fashion, Alice Hawkins - Re-stream LIVE now!

    Today from 16:00 GMT SHOWstudio.com will re-stream yesterday's In Fashion live interview between Fashion Director Alexander Fury and foremost young British photographer and image-maker Alice Hawkins.

    This in-depth conversation presented an opportunity for Hawkins to discuss her evolution from party photographer for i-D magazine to her work as a contributer to Pop, Russian Vogue and Harper's Bazaar US, connecting the dots of her inspiration along the way. Her film, The Good Life, which launched exclusively here on SHOWstudio.com, explored notions of English Class consciousness embedded within the A/W 2010 collections. This cinematic exploration is just one example of how her intrepid methodology straddles the line between fine art and fashion, encouraging a re-evaluation of the definitions of taste from both industry and outsiders alike. You won't want to miss this last opportunity to view the interview in its entirety before the final edit is uploaded later this month.

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