Gucci Aria: 100 years enjoying experimenting with fashion

Alessandro Michele knows how to sabotage the diktats of fashion. In the year of Gucci’s centenary, its creative director decided to dive into the archives, pay a tribute to his predecessors in his own words and even ask for a little help from Demna Gvasalia from Balenciaga (also part of the Kering Group).

Gucci Aria – Gucci

“Crossing this threshold, I have plundered the nonconformist rigor of Demna Gvasalia and the sexual tension of Tom Ford; I have lingered over the anthropological implications of what shines, working on the brightness of fabrics; I have celebrated the equestrian world of Gucci transfiguring it into a fetish cosmogony; I have sublimated Marilyn Monroe’s silhouette and old Hollywood’s glamour; I sabotage the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie and the codes of men’s tailoring”, said the notes of the program.

Aria (Air in Italian) was Michele’s vision of Gucci’s evolution (or should we say rebirth?). Past, present, and future in a 15-minute fashion film directed by Michele and director and photographer Floria Sigismondia. It was a sparkly celebration giving a wink to bondage and the equestrian heritage of the house.

The co-ed show was set at the Savoy Club, a fictional nightclub with a neon sign on the outside and full of blinding flashing lights along a pristine catwalk on the inside. That’s a nod to Guccio Gucci, the founder of the Italian house, who worked as a lift boy in his youth at the Savoy Hotel in London, a place that amazed him by its luxury.

The Past

The man introducing us to the club, peeking through a peephole and entering through a metal door was in charge of opening the catwalk. He was pulling a red velvet suit with a blue shirt, a reminder of the sexy Tom Ford era at Gucci, accessorized with a BDSM necklace that went down his waist, tinted sunnies, and black leather moccasins. A quirky yet elegant look Michele has already used us to. His walk was marked by the hip-hop Gucci Gang song. Later on, this guy would find her female counterpart in the same red suit. 

The equestrian world, that marked Gucci’s origins, was presented in black riding boots, riding helmets with the words “Savoy Club”, and harnesses that became belts and body jewelry.

“In my work, I caress the roots of the past to create unexpected inflorescences, carving the matter through grafting and pruning. I appeal to such ability to reinhabit what has already been given. And to the blending, the transitions, the fractures, the concatenations”, mentioned Michele in a release.

The tailoring was exquisite with pantsuits for men and women in vivid and neutral tones. An androgen model with a beige suit and big sunglasses looked like young Yves Saint Laurent with a middle part (so Gen Z’s right now).

Gucci Aria – Gucci

Let’s not forget the head-to-toe Gucci monogram section: it spread in tights, boots, capes, skirts, jackets, and shorts with a brown base. Another sign of Gucci’s distinctive heritage that personally is too traditional for me.

There were also the acid 70’s inspired prints in large coats, graphic suits, and oversized jackets without sleeves. 

Bold accessories

Whips waving in the air were without a doubt something to remember. Some of the female models hold one in one hand and on the other they were carrying their purses, just like any other accessory. Their serious expressions completed the statement.

Besides, nose rings had a place of their own in the collection, with a double G interlaced logo septum piercing embellishing the girls’ faces. Nevertheless, it looked kind of heavy and painful for this delicate area.

In my opinion, the best element of the collection was the heart-shaped clutches covered in crystals. It was not a romantic declaration, but more of an anatomical one. Veins and arteries were shown. It seemed to capture the precise moment of the pandemic we are living in. They shone in gold, red, aquamarine, and pink tones.

Gucci Aria – Gucci

The Present

When I think of Alessandro Michele’s contribution to the Italian house, dresses and bags are the first elements to come to my mind. Women in this show were ready to shine and to leave the pandemic behind. The nightlife set the tone of an important part of this runway.

It is worth highlighting a sublime turquoise shimmering dress with a tall white collar, strong shoulder lines, long sleeves, draped around the waist, and an asymmetric hem. The outfit was completed with black riding boots with a red band on the top and a golden heart-shaped clutch. A glorious moment in fashion!

Another impressive look was a fabulous pair of feather trousers displaying a gradation of greens accompanied by a silver corset. Of course, this modern muse was walking on kitten black heels while flogging the whip in her hands.

The Future

The Balenciaga “hack”, where Alessandro Michelle took Denma Gvasalia’s oversized characteristic silhouettes to reinterpret them, was a hit. Bags, coats, showed the logo of both fashion houses. A special mention goes to the shining silver skirt suit with a side slit wore with a white shirt and silver boots and clutch. Somehow this suit talked business to me. 

Gucci Aria – Gucci

“To escape the reactionary cages of purity, I pursue a poetics of the illegitimate. In this sense, Gucci becomes for me a hacking lab, made of incursions and metamorphoses. An alchemical factory of contaminations where everything connects to anything”, said Michele.

The recognizable Balenciaga boxy silhouette with a lot of volume on the shoulders was adapted to a more feminine style, even in an all-over floral print suit. 

Lace was skillfully used in delicate dresses like the see-through one in nude tones with feathers all along the sleeves, a generous cleavage on the front and open on the side. The apparent brown underwear made a harmonious contrast. 

The final look was timeless. It showed that long pleated skirts are not going anywhere. The gown consisted of a pleated golden skirt with a v plunging black top with straps on the back, and black feathers covering the arms. 

Once all the cast walked the runway, they waited for a moment in a dark backstage. Then, the girl in the nude lace dress opened the door to redeem her team. They reached daylight in a sunny garden with white peacocks, white cockatoos, white rabbits, and white horses. There, they can kiss and caress each other. It was like the end of social distancing and the pandemic. The sexual tension was at its maximum at this point. 

Gucci Aria – Gucci

Finally, they can also breathe. We can see the wind gently blowing their clothes. And then, suddenly, they started to gracefully levitate. The video finished with the silver heart-shaped clutch flying in the air. A call for freedom and creativity.

Alber Elbaz outshines death at 59

Talented fashion creative director Alber Elbaz passed away on April 24, at 59 years old. I’m in shock. At the beginning of this year, he presented his first collection for AZ Factory, a joint venture between the fashion designer and luxury group Richemont. That time, Elbaz’s return to the fashion sphere was backed by technology that made him understand better a woman’s body. Before that, he was well-known for bringing back to life the oldest French fashion house in operation, Lanvin. He stayed there for 14 years sewing one fabulous cocktail dress at a time until he was scandalously ousted.

Alber Elbaz – AZ Factory

I met him as part of the birthday gift I gave to myself in 2017. I decided I wanted to meet Karl Lagerfeld at the Vogue Fashion Festival in Paris. Little I knew that his conference was not the only memorable event of that day. After the Kayser, it was Alber Elbaz’s turn. I felt sorry for the guy because pleasing a crowd that was in awe with Lagerfeld seemed impossible. Nevertheless, Elbaz proved me wrong and showed me that everything is possible. The original story of this day was published in this blog in Spanish right here.

Elbaz made a crowd full of enthusiast fashion lovers wear sleeping masks to concentrate on his voice in the dim light of the sumptuous hall of the Hotel Potocki. In a world obsessed with images and appearances, it seemed an odd request, especially for somebody involved in fashion. But I was wrong again! We were too busy listening to him that we forgot to take pictures with our cellphones during his conference which was peaceful, honest, and emotional. 

He described himself as a storyteller instead of a fashion designer. The Israeli-American was suspicious of perfection and disagreed with the dictatorship of beige, gray, and black in fashion. When the mic was open for questions of the audience, I raised my hand and asked him about his latest inspirations. His answer was “words”.

When asked if he wanted to create his eponymous label, he said that he never had the intention of having his name in a plastic bag. Everybody in the public just laughed. 

I will never forget how Alber Elbaz made me feel during this short encounter. He was welcoming, warm, interesting, humble, funny, hypochondriac, and full of dreams. You will be missed, Alber. Rest in peace.

5 reasons why Gabriela Hearst debut for Chloé is a bold statement for fashion

Mars 3, 2021 was not a regular day. It was the day the Uruguayan Gabriela Hearst showed her first collection as creative director at Chloé. In a 7-minute video, the new queen of bohemian/posh/ cool fashion was not shy about her savoir-faire and her concern about sustainability. Here are the 5 main reasons she ruled the fashion sphere for the autumn-winter 2021 season.

A milestone

Chloé’s founder, Gaby Aghion, was born exactly a century ago from this fashion show. The fashion house introduced then to the world an offer halfway between ‘haute couture’ and ‘prêt-à-porter’.  Among its creative directors are the renowned Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, Claire Waight Keller and Natacha Ramsay-Levi.

Gabriela Hearst is a force of nature and has outstanding credentials for the job. Born Perezutti, she was raised on a ranch in Uruguay. She takes her gaucho heritage very seriously and its traditions and materials are a very important part of her creations. We should just take a look at the puff jacket/poncho of her first collection at Chloé.

She moved to New York in her 20’s, and in 2015 she founded her eponymous brand, which is carefully crafted with noble materials. Her style mixed a cosmopolitan vision with a natural finish, always having in mind to take care of the planet.

She won several awards such as the 2017 International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear. Hearst also received the 2020 CFDA Fashion Award for Womenswear.

Richemont

According to the Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2020 report, Richemont is the 4th largest luxury company in the world with 13,82 billion dollars of sales in FY2019. Chloé is its most important fashion brand.

We should take into account that the Fashion and accessories Maisons’sales on the Richemont Group 2020 report, included in the “Other” category, went down 42 % year on year in the first half of 2020. Nevertheless, Chloé’s figures are not specified in the report.

We will see in time if Gabriela Hearst’s designs can attain commercial success with the French house. 

Sustainability

Hearst believes in “honest luxury”. This is a statement that has been close to her heart for several years as she tries to have a low impact on the environment. She’s very attentive to the origin of the materials and how they are produced. For instance, for her first collection at Chloé, she used upcycled materials to make the Sheltersuit coat, combining a jacket, duffel bag and sleeping bag, in prints that remind the essence of the brand. She also transformed vintage bags with leftover materials to reimagine unique products. We saw a lot of deadstock fabric and patchwork in her clothes and bags that match a cool attitude. This is an unusual approach for a luxury brand. Bravo!

Latin American power

Gabriela Hearst is a powerhouse. And she proved it by closing her first runway at Chloé wearing the final look of the collection. She stole the show with a determined walk while her facial expression showed how proud she was of the result.

The touch of bright colors she used mixed with neutrals from cream and beige to black and brown made us think of its Uruguayan origins. We could feel the joy in the atmosphere while listening to Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. This is a very Latin American thing because this Argentinian band was very popular in the region in the 90’s thanks to its contagious rhythm and rebellious lyrics. Gabriela Hearst was definitely “una matadora” that night, using her voice to stand for her ethics at work.

Aesthetics

Gabriela had only 2 months to do the show and she owned it (even if most of the time she was in New York due to Covid-19 restrictions). It was an exquisite moment in fashion. All the energy surrounding the runway in the fashion film was magical. The catwalk was staged in a cobblestone one-way street in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, a chic area in the 6th district in Paris. In the nearby cafés, Gaby Aghion showed her first collections. The choice of this location was a tribute to the house’s founder.

During night-time, in the middle of the Parisian curfew caused by the pandemic, a diverse cast took the street in front of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church. The line-up included 30 looks among reinterpreted ponchos with a puffer jacket interior, striped knit dresses made of recycled cashmere, cut-out leather dresses and midi belted coats.

Without a doubt, an emblematic piece of this collection was the scallop coat, made of a very elaborate leather patchwork in earthy tones.

My favorite look was a cozy yet elegant outfit: the buttercream shearling coat with a turtleneck sweater and terracotta boots. It looked very Parisian to me. The texture of the leather juxtaposed to the shearling was just sublime.

This new Chloé girl is soft and strong at the same time. She can wear a fluid ivory silk dress with a pleated skirt along with flat mules in calfskin with shearling but also a voluminous long coat that touches the floor full of mix and match prints.

An interesting fact is that many of the repurpose bags, some of them with intricate patchworks, carry stones like lapis lazuli, amethyst and citrine, bringing with them mystic energy.

This Chloé girl walks on leather boots with wide heels, mules in knit with shearling, wedge strappy sandals, and even moonboots.

The show started with a song that said: “Para trascender tuve que pensar en lo que fui ayer y en lo que soy ahora…”. This means: to transcend I needed to think of what I was yesterday and what I am now. I think the whole show was well prepared to send a powerful message, not only about fashion and craftmanship but also about the will to use our resources more wisely. Gabriela Hearst looks into the past and the future to offer us a present where we want to be.

Change, the one fashion film from Haute Couture you don’t want to miss

The first digital edition of Haute Couture season finished on Wednesday. During 3 days, 34 fashion films put on display the savoir-faire of extraordinary designers. Huge names, from Dior to Chanel, passing by Valentino, Schiaparelli, Maison Margiela and Elie Saab. But also, more discrete houses took part of this landmark in fashion history.

 

Change
Caper Kofi for Viktor&Rolf

 

The circumstances that pushed fashion brands into digital media were exceptional for this occasion. The coronavirus pandemic put the world upside-down. Since the spread started, there has been 11,8 million cases and more than half a million fatalities.

Taking that into account, fashion houses aspired to stay on the radar and to keep in touch in this particular time. They couldn’t continue with their traditional runways, so they needed to adapt. Nevertheless, fashion films have a complexity not all of them mastered. In my opinion, aesthetics is an important part of the project, but its not the only factor to favour. How you tell your story and the message you leave at the end is also essential.

 

My top 9 fashion films for Haute Couture Automne- Hiver 20-21

Time Outstanding feature Aesthetics Storytelling Message
1 Viktor&Rolf 5’20’’ Engagement 9 10 10
2 Yuima Nakazato 4’12’’ Communication with clients 7 9 9
3 Julien Fournié 7’31’’ Designer in the first person 8 8 8
4 Dior 14’42’’ Cinematography 10 10 5
5 Ralph & Russo 6’22’’ Avatar 9 8 8
6 Aelis 9’22’’ Performance/ dance 9 8 7
7 Christophe Josse 10’22’’ Paris by night 8 8 5
8 Iris van Herpen 2’57’’ Technology 9 9 5
9 Schiaparelli 3’30’’ Sketches in NY city 8 8 8

 

Wonderful “Change”

The first place goes without a doubt to Viktor&Rolf. “Change” is an exquisite mix of the nostalgia of catwalks, a modern engaged brand and lavish couture. The voice-over narration sets the tone of the video in a very welcoming way despite the epidemics. An opulent empty room is the simple scene used in this film accompanied by an outstanding warm lighting that privilege the gowns and every skin tone. 3 models, product of a diverse casting, embody elegance at its finest.

 

 

The script is well thought out. It’s like an old fashion catwalk, with the narrator describing each garment and its inspiration. There are three main themes and each one of them includes 3 outfits.

The first group embraces a somber mood with fantasy elements like the raincloud motif incrustations in a blue satin empire line dress, a voluminous grey déshabillé with very long sleeves and an elaborate bow, typical of the Viktor&Rolf creations and cone motif black faux leather coat. This last outfit comes with a face mask, said to be “the smartest new accessory of the season”, according to the voiceover.

The second group of clothes sums up the “conflicting emotions these days”. The impact of social media is incarnated in a peach satin one shoulder dress embroider with emojis, each of them symbolising a “state of mind”. A second déshabillé enters into the scene, this time in pale pink and canary yellow and with many huge bows in the left sleeve. Then an asymmetric pink coat with decoration of holes and panels seems to be the perfect tool for social distancing.

The third group is all about love. “Change is necessary. If only we could change ourselves as easily as we do our outfits. Who wouldn’t choose love? Because love conquers all, n’est pas? (right?)”, says the voice while presenting a satin negligée with red, white and black hearts. A white bathrobe with heart shape red pockets is the perfect example of chic.

 

Change_coat
Final look – Casper Kofi for Viktor&Rolf

 

The finale outfit is sublime and full of meaning: a white faux leather coat adorns with glittering hearts. “We all deserve to be love, regardless of age, colour, gender, race, religion or sexuality”, emphasizes the narrator while presenting this garment.

Viktor&Rolf acknowledges the changes we are experiencing as a society and brings “spectacular beauty”, “unexpected elegance” and “spiritual glamour” to these strange times.

These are the reasons why I chose “Change” of Viktor&Rolf as my favourite fashion film from the Haute Couture season. In my opinion, this film makes sense. It challenges the traditional industry with a video that is intense and light at the same time. Its activism is shown in its faux leather use, LGBT rights statement, exposing mental health issues… The clothes reflect fantasy and humour with a brilliant level of execution. Through the 3 groups of outfits we pass from dark times to redemption. In the end, “love conquers all, n’est pas”.

 

 

The digital myth of Dior Haute Couture crosses a magical forest

The House of Dior premiered its first digital runway for the Haute Couture collection Autumn-Winter 2020/2021 on 6 July. The Covid-19 outbreak forced big names in the fashion industry to adapt their live shows of the season and turn them into virtual films.

Dior
Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode’s site

In 10 minutes (almost 15 if we take the credits into account), Dior transfers the audience to a very special forest from the Greek mythology, full of nymphs, a faun and even a mermaid.

The only connexion with reality is Dior’s petites mains (seamstresses). A bunch of them work in a luminous atelier distributed in three long tables. At the beginning of the film, they were giving the final touch to miniature dresses displayed on little mannequins, as if they were part of the Dior Theatre, showcase on 33 Avenue Montaigne, the historic place of the French maison.

Then the myth started. Two butlers carry around a trunk in the shape of a little house, Haussmann style, in a beautiful dense forest. A mermaid swimming in a pristine river enters the scene while a placid melody plays on the background. The characters cross into each other by a rocky bridge.

A group of nymphs are taking a bath by the river wearing transparent tunics in peachy tons. The two butlers stop by and open the trunk. We can find at the interior the mini dresses from the atelier. The nymphs are in awe when they discover the content.

Later, another nymph gets out of her shell when the two butlers show her one little grey halter pleated dress. Then they take measures of the woman and carry on.

Even Narcissus makes an appearance. He’s very busy watching his reflection on the water until he takes a quick look at the two butlers.

A red head nymph chooses a black dress full of ruffles layers with a powerful V neckline out of the trunk, while waiting for a faun approval. When he nods and smiles, she knows it’s the right garment.

Dior_statue
Screenshot – Dior

A nude marble statue of Venus opens her eyes just to touch the mini version of a white long pleated dress, whose fluidity contrasts with her hand.

Without a doubt, the funniest scene is the one showing a couple kissing passionately under a tree. The two butlers try to have the attention of the woman doing a lot of noise.

In the middle of the film, we move back to the atelier, where the “petites mains” work now on the real size garments. They became real fairies to dress the nymphs. They are the heroes of the story.

After that, we can see the result of their hard work on 6 dresses. The red head nymph is flying around the enchanted forest follow by the faun, with a big smile on her face. The group of nymphs are doing the hair of the Nymph Dior, the only one wearing a golden metallic gown by the river. The mermaid also got a garment underwater. Venus stays still rocking her new dress. The nymph is out of her shell again but covered with a silver pleated gown. Finally, the lovers keep their place under the tree, but this time, the woman is wearing a transparent light Earth tone dress.

 

A little semiotics

Nature vs Atelier

Mythology vs Reality

Common garments vs Well-dressed

Simple vs Complex

Nudity vs Get dressed

Normal life vs Desire

Hard vs Soft

Static vs Movement

 

Analysis

Is it adapted to its time? We almost forget we are in the middle of a global epidemic. No social distance in the atelier, no face masks (we could be facing another time).

Even if it’s a dreamy setting, in 2020 seems like a very white adventure. Maybe that’s exactly their target: women with porcelain skin.

I couldn’t find the engaged brand that embraces feminism and that proposes women ruled the world.

On the other hand, it’s a beautiful collection by itself. You can see the hard work Dior is used to show. The colour palette is luminous, from the gold, silver and Earth tones to the classic black & white. Pleated long dresses with braids and ruffles are definitely making a statement for these goddesses.

 

 

 

The Giambattista Valli affair: when Haute Couture meets fans

‘Public showcase’. Those two words produced in me an inexplicable whirlwind of emotions. The Italian fashion designer Giambattista Valli announced in his brand’s Instagram a very rare decision about his Haute Couture collection. It will be open during three hours for the general public after its showcase to its guests.

Giambattista_Valli

OMG! What a wonderful opportunity to see in person the craftmanship of a creative mind I admire. I had seen before his dresses that looked like cotton candy or elaborate chantilly, always exuding femininity. Valli is the master of ruffles, volume and delicacy.

I didn’t know what to expect. But when I arrived to Jeu de Paume art gallery, I knew it was something unique. Early birds like me saw some of the guests that actually got invitations like Gabrielle Union, really gorgeous in person and not scared of the Parisian cold weather only wearing a sleeveless top with a long skirt, all in black. I was wearing a cape and two pair of socks.

While waiting I realized I was surrounded by people like me. Well, people that love fashion like me at least. Some of them were taking pictures, some of them were planning to crash another fashion show. It was a moment of general excitement.

When the clock marked 8pm the doors were still close for the general public, but a few minutes later, I entered the building with my fellow queue mates.

It was my first time at Jeu de Paume, inside Tuileries Garden, one of the most romantic gardens in Paris. The immaculate white space displayed some clutch bags in different colours by the hall with some zodiac signs embroideries. I took a picture of the scorpion one, my zodiac sign, that had a sapphire blue background.

Some steps later, the entrance to the exhibition was there.

STATIC FASHION

The gallery room was divided in five areas with 33 mannequins: white, green lime and hot pink, dusty pink, orange and yellow. Extravagant feather head pieces embellish some mannequins. The first one, by the entrance, showed two pink dresses and a white one. That was the beginning of the elaborate lace odyssey.

Giambattista_Valli2

The second place was a long corridor that was home to six looks. My favourite one was a fuchsia cape with silver embroidery in the shape of flowers and with a rigid fall on the back. The shade was rich and the short silhouette looked young.

The third place was a longer hallway that produced in me a mix of feelings. Some beautiful pieces like an over the top white gown with a fluffy tulle skirt shared the space with dresses which prints reminded me of old flower wall papers or sofas. I also spotted a remarkable short dress in vivid red had a long train, ruffles around the skirt and balloon sleeves.

Giambattista_Valli3

The fourth area depicted six passionate gowns. My favourite from this part was what I think is an inspiration of Cristobal Balenciaga. It is short and has the shape of a flower bud, the sleeves are voluminous and has a necklace attached. To add more drama, it was accompanied by a red feather mask which covered most of the face leaving the eyes exposed.

Giambattista_Valli6

Finally, the last and most amazing room housed the most intricate gowns of them all under a playful light that went on and off. This was a magical moment! Yellow was a dominant colour in here, starting with a chiffon strapless dress with a train of at least three meters. Another incredible look for me was a teal dress along with embed orange feathers as well as a 50’s silhouette: a cream strapless tight on the waist with a delicate embroidery and yellow feathers.

Giambattista_Valli7

The lights were spotting one gown after the other in an exquisite ballet. People were whispering in awe. For me, that was the personification of dreams. In real life, these garments are out of the league of the majority of the public. But that night, those gowns were ours.

Karl Lagerfeld da su último adiós en las pasarelas

Karl_Lagerfeld
© Karl Lagerfeld, 2017

Sin ceremonias públicas ni homenajes, pero sí con un gran despliegue de moda. Esta es la forma en la que Karl Lagerfeld se despedirá de una industria que lo vio alzarse como un ícono viviente de la creatividad, del trabajo duro y del buen vestir.

En sus 85 años de vida, el Káiser se caracterizó por tener un carácter que no buscaba la aprobación de los demás. Era él el que dictaba las tendencias, era él el que le decía a las mujeres cómo vestirse, era él quien determinaba si algo era elegante o no. En su contrato estaba estipulado que el diseñador alemán tenía total libertad para sus creaciones.

Su frenético ritmo de trabajo hizo que estuviera a la cabeza de dos firmas de Alta Costura como la francesa Chanel, con la que llegó a presentar 12 colecciones al año, y la italiana Fendi, a la que pertenecía desde hace 54 años. Además, creó su marca homónima, donde su figura era más una caricatura que lo hacía llegar a un público más joven.

En esta aventura de la marca propia tuvo una compañera: su gata Choupette. Esta gata birmana de 7 años y de ojos azules ha protagonizado suficientes campañas publicitarias para llegar a ganar 3 millones de euros en un año. Según diversas entrevistas, el amor que sentía por este animal no lo sentía por ninguna persona. En agradecimiento, Choupette se convirtió en el felino más mimado del planeta, no solo con “nanas” a su cargo, sino que ahora, tras la muerte de Lagerfeld, aparentemente se convertirá en heredera de una parte de su fortuna.

Lagerfeld vivió como quiso y eso es tal vez lo que veremos resumido en el último desfile Chanel que concibió, que será presentado el martes 5 de marzo durante la última jornada de la Semana de la Moda de París. Su última colección otoño-invierno 2019 tendrá un gran tinte de nostalgia para quienes admiran su trabajo y que se quedarán con las ganas de ver aún más de lo que Lagerfeld era posible de hacer.

You can go home now, Anthony Bourdain

Unapologetic, honest and far from clichés, Anthony Bourdain had a huge appetite for humanity. He taught me about compassion, leaving behind your comfort zone and to talk to strangers. You will be miss, dear Tony.

Anthony_Bourdain_portrait
@PartsUnknownCNN

Looking up Anthony Bourdain was something natural for many viewers, including me. He was the cool guy that travelled the world telling stories in the most human way. His constructed scripts and his brutally honest personality introduced me to many different cultures not only through food but also through the people he met on his path.

Even if it was not in my mother tongue, Tony knew how to talk to me and how to make me curious about places I’ve never paid attention before. Every time I watched his TV shows, I was delighted with his attitude and his way to interact with unknown people. He made me curious about the world I was missing and inspired me to live my own adventures.

The cook had the best journalistic style I’ve ever watched on TV. He was natural, emphatic, intellectual, humble, open and as he always said “hungry for more”. He depicted the history of a country without getting a teacher’s tone while making you wonder about political, social and cultural issues.

I cherish the No Reservations episode in Peru. He shared my beloved country with the world, not with the eyes of a stranger, but with the eyes of somebody who found some peace in that place. I remembered he visited Lima, the Andes and the Amazon Rain Forest. He even made an Ayahuasca session that looked quite spiritual for him.

“A prophet once said: Don’t tell me what a man says. Don’t tell me what a man knows. Tell me where he’s travelled… Do we get smarter, more enlighten when we travel? Does travel bring wisdom? I think there’s probably no better place to find out than Peru”, mentioned Bourdain in the introduction of that episode.

While watching the tribute to Bourdain from CNN I couldn’t stop crying. It was like losing somebody I knew. And somehow I did. At least a part of his brilliant and dark soul. I can’t imagine all his demons but from the distance of a screen I saw a free spirit that lighted up the room.

Fine dining, street food and home cooking were not the main course of his TV shows. They were the excuse to gather people together from all over the world to exchange different points of view and habits, to discuss simple and complex issues in life. Sharing a meal helped talking about difficult subjects. It didn’t solve the world’s problems but it made them visible.

After every episode, Anthony Bourdain, the great storyteller of our times, knew he got the opportunity to quit the country he was visiting, unlike many of his guests, sometimes prosecuted by political reasons. Now you are free to go, Tony. May your soul find the peace you were looking for.

KKW’s CFDA validation

Either you love her or hate her but you know who she is. Keep up with this article to understand the importance of being the number 1 influencer of the world.

KKW
Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Of course you know the first initials of this article are a reference to Kim Kardashian West. She just won the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s first Influencer Award. She had all the credentials to take that prize home: she is a reality star turned into a boom on social media, a founder of a successful beauty line and Kanye West’s wife and muse.

With more than 112 million followers on Instagram, 60 million on Twitter and 30 million on Facebook, she is used to have all eyes on her. The 37 years old “nude selfie” fan has been recognized by the CFDA the same year as Raff Simons, Supreme and the Olsen twins (Mary Kate and Ashley). Even though their impressive contributions to the fashion industry, it has been Kim the real winner of the night (at least on the media coverage).

THE FINAL FASHION BLESSING

This award gives her validation from the core of the industry. Now it’s not only about the approval she had from Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of Vogue US, or her high fashion designer friends. The CFDA highlighted her role as a powerful creative business woman that helped build a new role in the fashion world. It’s happening right here and right now. Collaborations between brands and influencers are increasing in the shape of different type of content (photos, videos, games, teasings…).

Kim Kardashian is an expert in all that. Everything is calculated to get the more likes. Her constant presence in every media platform has a different kind of message adapted to every audience (family pictures, nude pictures, beauty routines, Kimojis, catfight with Taylor Swift…).

Everybody can agree that she put on the spotlight the hourglass silhouette, very different from the impossible skinny models of the time. Furthermore, she had showed that being the center of attention paid off and it became a career for many others.

A BUSINESS GENIUS

She is a human billboard and she takes advantage of it. She sells anything with a sexy touch which for her critics can be call vulgarity. She loves to create polemic and she knows how to sell it.  According to Hooper HQ top list of rich Instagram celebrities, in 2017 Kardashian touch more than 440 000 euros per paid post.

Her beauty is undeniable as well as her power on others (hello Donald Trump!). But what is she really standing for? Sex sells? Objectification of women? Free sexuality? Or just freedom? I don’t know if I have that answer but I believe neither does she. She is famous for being famous.

A glance of her contribution to fashion can be sum up in her CFDA acceptation speech: “I am kind of shocked that I am winning a fashion award when I am naked most of the time”. In my opinion, everything turns around her all the time in her mind. It is a mix of narcissism and a sharp sense of business. She was able to captivate people’s attention with her everyday life, which is not an average life.

UNDER THE SEMIOTIC MICROSCOPE

As fashion is the main concern of this blog, I would like to finish this article with an analysis of what she wore to the CFDA Awards. The choice for the big event has an interesting meaning.

 

 

She wore a crop top with an open back and a tight fitting maxi skirt by Rick Owens. Kim said that she wanted to stay “comfy and sexy”. And she certainly did emphasizing her curves in the white 2 piece ensemble.

KKW is famous for her booty and in this occasion she accentuated it thanks to the pleats on the front of her skirt. They let her curves dominate the scene with the falling of the light fabric on the back.

For the top, she went braless in a tiny crop top that was a little fluent on the neckline. She also rolled the bottom of this piece by the side, which gave her a modern allure.

Her bared midriff showed her tone abs. It emphasized her famous hourglass silhouette. While her garment was minimalist, her golden bracelets and rings were her statement pieces. She maintained the symmetry with one bracelet and one ring on each side.

For the makeup, she opted for her signature style: nude lips with intense eyes in earth tones. Her hair kept the balance of the ensemble in a high pony tail with loose waves.

The monochrome white hue of her garment, manicure and pedicure gave her a pure and ethereal look, like a Greek Goddess with a modern twist. For her, the ensemble worked as a power suit, not too formal.  As the influencer she is she reaffirmed that glam athleisure trend is going strong, at least for the following season.