Tuesday, November 30, 2010
But soon, viewers have realized that this picture was merely a very faithful painting, coming from the exuberant imagination of a Swiss artist, Saul Zanolari.
This 33 years old phenomenon is an already renowned digital magician, who excels in merging photos and paint and whose world would have amazed Sigmund Freud. Zanolari's creatures are insolent dollies with gigantic plastic heads, fake eyelashes which would make Katy Perry green with envy, and moustaches. Yes, you've read it right, moustaches, even pornstaches, especially worn by the most famous models of the world.
But what led the artist to strike at Anna Wintour ?
Sure, after all those years, the boss of Vogue needed a good make-over, she who has already been decked out with horns because she was suspected to be the devil out of the Devil wears Prada. But I am tempted to put another theory forward, purely far-fetched I admit.
Maybe Master Zanolari was celebrating the new Anna, the 2010's live wire vintage. Indeed, this year, the 61 years old editor has let her hair down ( everything is in the hair ) and offered us some memorable times, such as this delicious photo, taken during the Fashion Week.
But no, Anna Wintour didn't go berzek, nor is developing the first symptoms of Alzheimer, as some tactless journalists have murmured. Neither she is the devil, advising people to loose an insecure job they have struggled to get, in a period of crisis and unemployment. I think that the piece of advice was good and of the best intentions. Sure, life is challenging and the more challenge you get, the stronger you become. But that was working in the 80s, when the population was smaller, when there still was job offers and when the bosses weren't afraid that hiring would ruin their budget. Now that half of the graduates are unemployed after university, as well as almost 10% of the population, I think that Anna's tirade is very outdated.
But don't misunderstand me : I respect her.
I think that Anna Wintour is the grandmother every fashion blogger dreams to have. Ah, watching her knitting a D&G sweater under our Christmas tree, while eating the foie gras ice cream she has prepared just for us ...
I'd love to be fired. You know why ? Because it would mean that I have actually managed to get a first job. And by job, I mean a real one, with a salary and health insurance, not another internship. A job that would not lead me to precariousness because I have to pay a scandalously high rent just to live in the city, because all the good jobs are only in big and expensive cities. Being fired would mean that I have had the opportunity to prove my value at work. No, instead, all I can do is the photocopies, and writing the more I can, waiting for someone to have the courage to give me a chance. It is not as easy as Anna thinks. My father is not a tycoon of the British press, I didn't grow up in London nor get prestigious first jobs thanks to my family. I couldn't even pay the school of journalism !
But I don't complain, I am not jealous. I am aware that I have to work harder, to surpass myself everyday. I am an hard liner. Just like Anna Wintour. And I am also an agitator. Just like Saul Zanolari.
So, it is my time to give a piece of advice to Lady Wintour : you should consider following the make over tips of Saul because it would give you a brand new step into modernity and reality.
Oh, and perhaps you could also think about hiring more young writers ? My curriculum vitae can be found in the "Who's Sam ?" section under the header ...
Saul Zanolari's artwork is used with the agreement of the artist.
This article is featured on Saul's website here : http://www.saulzanolari.com/decoding-the-artist-the-editor-and-the-blogger/
Monday, November 29, 2010
photos Style.com and Matthieu Zazzo for Grazia.
Friday, November 26, 2010
|Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth (2007)|
This theme is inspired by the majesty of British actress Cate Blanchett and her almost divine appearance. It is also directly influenced by the successful resumption of the brand Alexander McQueen by the talented Sarah Burton, clearly the Queen of the year. Two women, two atypical physique, but one taste for precious clothes. I have to admit that it was quite difficult to find affordable dresses for this theme, one point of gold and the prices are soaring. But, I think I have found enough gifts for your eyes to be forgiven ...
|Alexander McQueen - H&M £19,99|
|Kinder Aggugini at Young British Designers £650|
|Juicy Couture $378,00|
|Corey P at Sears $29,99|
|Marc by Marc Jacobs £140,00|
Talented designers for a lower price : this dress is the evidence that something else is possible. Maybe the Industry needs to take us, humble customers, in consideration, and stop to sell us cotton at the price of gold. Because we are no queens, no duchesses. We are women dealing with the crisis, the unemployement, the raise of the rent, families, health issues ... Yes, we are not rich enough, but our opinion is counting. We could actually be the decision-maker of tomorrow ... So, we need to be handled carefully. Like the princess and the pea ...
Thursday, November 25, 2010
|Ann Demeulemeester - Nilupul Hettaiarachchige|
In some previous articles, I have already questioned a particular phenomenon of fashion, that is to say the comeback of past decades in nowadays’ collections. So I have asked Kay if she thought that fashion was constantly repeating itself or, instead, if new things were genuinely created. “With fashion, you can’t reinvent the wheel completely,” she answers. “In a certain sense, fashion is quite cyclical. The same trends do keep coming around, but there’s always a different ‘take’ on it each time it re-emerges.”
She also slips in that the trend of vintage has somehow changed the deal, “it’s not so much of an issue if you do wear something from a previous season. It’s becoming a lot more relaxed. It’s not so much what you wear, it’s how you wear it.”
|Lina Österman - Hannah Marshall|
Kay is confident about the future of United Kingdom in this area. “I do think that the UK has some impressive and diverse design talent, and both London Fashion Week and Graduate Fashion Week really demonstrate this.”
Speaking of young talents, she is glad that they are receiving more support and media coverage, “as it can be incredibly difficult to make your name as a designer, especially right now with the recession.” I guess that she gives her approval to the website ‘Young British Designers’, another initiative that proves that the British fashion industry is looking to the future.
|Rick Owens - Laura Theiss|
Her favourite young designers all fit that description, and she jokes about how her goth roots influence her picks, who all work incorporate darker elements into their designs. “They’re not exactly ‘new’, but I love Viktor and Rolf for their innovation,” she starts. Following the Dutch famous designers is a list of the rising stars of the moment. Gareth Pugh, of course, and Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester. The other names may be less known for you: there are the avant-gardists Lina Österman and her rock’n’roll rag dolls’ silhouettes, Californian Rick Owens, known for his subversive point of view, the London designer Hannah Marshall and her sharp and aesthetic creations, and also the Finnish designer Heikki Salonen, who mixes a certain solemnity with boldness.
|Derek Lawlor - Gabriella Marina Gonzales|
I can’t help saying that the creations of Lawlor remind me of the liquorice rolls of my childhood, which is not necessarily negative. The sweaters and dresses of English designer Lawrence are truly Dantesque, with some likeness with Sandra Backlund (you can read my article about her ). His fellow-citizen Mark Fast is more obsessed with transparency and crochet. It is pointless to introduce Theiss and Lupfer, well-known in the industry for their cunning and vivid creations, considered as fashion statements. In Kay’s list, there are also the fascinating newcomers Katie Eary and her love for Vanitas ( another of my article you can consult ), plus Cuban-American and London-based futuristic designer Gabriella Marina Gonzalez.
Also quoted : Ziad Ghanem and his ‘creatures’, the promising yet tongue-twister Nilupul Hettaiarachchige, shoemaker Atalanta Weller and Swiss-German Stefanie Biggel.
|Ziad Ghanem - Katie Eary|
|Atalanta Weller for House of Holland - Markus Lupfer|
I am really glad that Kay Weston took the time to answer my questions in so much detail. I hope you have found this first interview as interesting as I’ve found it. There will be more to come hopefully, if I meet people as open and nice as Kay!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Kay Weston caught my eye, not only for our many mutual interests, but also because of her inspiring career and her smart view on the industry. At only 23, Kay has got an impressive curriculum vitae. “I still find it difficult to believe that I’ve done so much, yet I only graduated from university this year!” she admits.
And yet, she grew up very far from the world of fashion: “Growing up, nobody I knew was into [it] or even reading [...] magazines, so I was never surrounded by it or particularly interested in it. Fashion was of little relevance to me.” Mainstream fashion, perhaps, but the Brit girl already had her own style: gothic, with “the whole black hair, black lipstick and white face look”. She seems to apologize for the “dubious things” she wore, “all of which I did eventually grow out of”, but she doesn’t have to- most of the present fashionistas have roots in the underground fashion : Leigh Lezark, Daphne Guinness ... Not to pretend that I can be featured in that prestigious list, but at 16, I looked like Siouxsie Sioux and was devoted to the 70s punk clothes. Those influences enrich someone, and are still part of Kay’s current style. “I still love heavy metal music and there are a lot of rock-chick elements on my look”, adds the blond beauty, who can easily be seen with “loads of black eyeliner” and her Doc Martens, even if she admits that “on the whole, it’s quite casual”.
Now that you could recognize her on the streets, it is time to tell her adventure, which started at the University of Sheffield, a culturally dynamic city in the north of England. “I loved words and was always reading and writing, even from a very young age. I knew that I wanted to do something with writing.” That’s the reason why she opted for a degree in journalism, but also teamed with one in German, due to a passion for foreign languages. “Learn another language”, she advises. “Being fluent in a second or third language will put you miles ahead of anyone else looking to get into the industry and give you a better understanding of how your own language works.” University was an important time for Kay. There, she explains that she “had the time and guidance to really develop [her] writing skills.” She also started to freelance, from student media to independent magazines, she soon reached national and international levels. Her real first encounter with fashion journalism occured when she started to work with AGENT2, an ambitious digital magazine created in 2009. This first apnoea in fashion was a revelation. “I found that I enjoyed it and was fascinated by the industry and designers, so I started to move more and more into that field until it became a specialism.” She went from Fashion Editor to Director. Soon, things were quickening for the Sheffield student. She wrote for British newcomers Fault and Push It magazines, but also for the website of the famous British newspaper The Independent, and the American fashion magazine Chaos (which might have seduced her because of its metal inspiration, as it recently chose a song by German band Rammstein for its introductory video). She also lived and worked as a writer in Germany, writing in her second language.
|Ein Traum in Erdbeerfolie (2009)|
Her travels are also a very important part of her personality. “Travelling has influenced my views on fashion, because when you’re exposed to other cultures it does leave you more openminded, and not just about style. When I lived in Germany, I went to a press screening of a Marco Wilms documentary called ‘Ein Traum in Erdbeerfolie’, which was about the main protagonists of the underground fashion scene in East Berlin before the wall came down. I loved that for these people, fashion became a form of escapism. Even under an oppressive regime such as that [of the German Democratic Republic], creativity thrived and fashion brought people together. I found that really inspiring.”
She has got a lot of those anedoctes you have when you explore the world. For example, she remembers a trip to Macedonia where, she says, the disparities of wealth are startling. “I remember being on a bus in Macedonia, travelling three hours from Ohrid to Skopje, and driving through what could best be described as shanty towns. It was obvious that the people living in them were very poor. But when the bus reached Skopje, I remember looking out of the window and seeing a huge billboard advertisement for Miss Sixty in Macedonian. It’s quite surreal.” But Eastern Europe still holds much appeal for her because of its speed of development. “I’d like to spend more time over there. Armenia, Kosovo and Georgia are next on my list.”
|Push It Magazine|
From this enviable position, Kay is now able to give us some tips for success. “Fashion writing is generally regarded as the lowest form of journalism, so be prepared to have to fight hard to prove yourself,” she says. “You need to have an awful lot of patience too. It takes a long time to break into the industry and there are no short-cuts to success. Absolutely nothing will be handed to you on a plate, so be prepared to work hard and work for free.”
She adds that journalism, especially fashion journalism, is not the gold mine we tend to imagine. But don’t be disheartened, she has got some good advice. “The only way to succeed is to intern, do work experience, write for websites and magazines and prove your passion as much as you can. Even when the rejection letters are piling up, persevere. Resilience is crucial in this industry. Put yourself out there as much as possible and make sure people are aware of your work.” She also insists on networking, which is, according to her, a good way to become known. “So much depends on who you know, so talk to everybody, never be rude to anyone- even if they are rude to you- and ask for help if you need it. More importantly, actually listen to feedback and act on it. It’s the only way you will improve. And learn to write properly. So many people are tempted to get into fashion journalism for the freebies or glamorous lifestyle, but the truth is that if you can’t string a sentence together, you won’t get anywhere. Editors don’t have a lot of time on their hands and are under pressure to get jobs done quickly, so we don’t want to have to be spending hours correcting grammar or spelling errors, or having to constantly fact-check details. We also like people who have a steady stream of interesting and new ideas. For aspiring writers, it’s important to devour everything and keep your ear to the ground. Read fashion magazines and blogs, always be on the lookout for exciting new designers, keep on top of trends and get to know as many people in the industry as possible.” Words of wisdom!
Now that we know Kay Weston better and that we have all the insider knowledge to try to steal her job (don’t be afraid, Kay, I am joking!), it’s time for an in-depth conversation on modern fashion. But, in order to read it, you will have to wait for the second part of the interview !
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
|L.A.M.B. S/S 2011|
|Jean-Paul Gaultier A/W 2010|
|3 Suisses S/S 2011|
|Duro Olowu S/S 2011|
But let's come back to our shopping tips : for winter, there is the knitwear collection of "king of prints" Desigual ( http://www.desigual.com/ ), and even if many different cultural prints are mixed together without care, it stays colourful and it's well-meant.
|Desigual A/W 2010|
|3 Suisses S/S 2011|
Friday, November 19, 2010
|Project D £290,00|
|Love Moschino at Yoox $195,00|
|Rare Opulence at Topshop £95,00|
|Vero Moda 29,00 euros|
By the way, if you would like more gold, more luxury, I am sure you will be soon ecstatic : my next article is coming soon, with a lot more marvels to buy, to cherish and to dream about ... Wait and see !
Thursday, November 18, 2010
But let's come back to our meal. Now, everyone have had chocolate, but too much chocolate as they saw the pictures ten thousand times ... And the appetizers may have turned into appetite suppressants. I don't want to rush to my H&M store to buy Lanvin : indeed, the more I have seen the clothes the more I have thought that they were not that exciting. Plus, the idea to fight with a crowd of lobotomised and overexcited gals over a t-shirt is not my vision of glamour. "If desire blooms, possession fade everything" said writer Proust. I have all the photos ( which are not very good by the way, those models are scary ), why would I buy the clothes, especially if I can buy better ones without stress and agitation ? But maybe am I the worst nightmare of the marketing researchers : of course, I follow my own tastes ...
I found the designers who keep their collections secret untill the release much more clever. The effect of surprise bring more pleasure, and fuel our need to possess. Then, we are free to desire. After all, I think that philosopher Pascal will have the last word, he who thought that we were not genuinely searching for the things, but in fact searching for the "research of those things" ... Loving fashion rather than loving buying, isn't it the real definition of a real fashionista ?
Photos Steven Meisel ( Tom Ford ).
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
|Natalie Portman in Black Swan (2010)|
|Betsey Johnson $214,00|
|Pixie Lott for Lipsy £75,00|
|Rare Opulence at Topshop £165,00|
|Naf Naf 199 euros|
|Sandro 245 euros|
|Mango top £59,90 and skirt £99,90|
Too pink, too wise for you ? Maybe you will find your happiness in the next part of my shopping tips ... Yes, much more to come ! Don't miss it, follow !
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The questions Christine asked me were very pertinent and interesting, and I hope my answers made the grade ! My only regret is the fact that I misenderstood one of her questions ( South of France is where I was born, not where I live now ) but aside from that, I am really thrilled by the result !
Here are photos of the magazine, you can see my blog on the first and the second is the little introduction Christine did for my interview. To read the rest, you can go there : http://papercutmag.com/index.php/emagazine/