Posts tagged ‘franco moschino’

April 6, 2011

The Fashion Vampiress claims yet another victim: Christophe Decarnin at Balmain

Franco Moschino had a term for the havoc the  business of fashion can wreak on the  creative soul.

He called the entire industry the fashion vampiress. “Not only did his clothes question what became known as the fashion system – the ludicrous cost, ubiquitous ‘styling’, and 15-minute relevance – but his very advertising underscored his anarchic scepticism. Flicking through glossy magazines your eye would suddenly be arrested by Moschino’s black humour. A full-page advertisement depicted a vampire admonishing you, ‘Stop The Fashion System,” read in part his obituary in 1994 in The Independent.

The 15 minute relevance was Moschino’s way of describing the pressure that designers feel to produce something new and relevant every 6 months in a new collection. It is   this intense pressure, which has surely heightened since the 80’s when giant conglomerates had not yet begun to dabble in the fashion business,  that is the now  at the center of the recent infamous dismissal of John Galliano from Dior and perhaps also yesterday of Christophe Decarnin  at Balmain. Writing in The International Herald Tribune, Suzy Menkes, its chief fashion critic, noted recently

“While the vile statements seen coming from Mr. Galliano’s drunken lips on the Internet video deserved the nearly-universal condemnation they were receiving, there is pathos in the vision of one of the world’s most famous — and best paid — designers alone, clutching a glass in a bar. The pressure from fast fashion and from the instant Internet age to create new things constantly has worn down other famous names. Marc Jacobs, design director of Louis Vuitton, ended a wild streak in rehab. Calvin Klein famously rambled across a sports pitch and admitted to substance abuse. And the late Yves Saint Laurent spent a lifetime fighting his demons.”

Mr. Decarnin, who in a very short time established the once irrelevant Balmain into one of the world’s most coveted labels, seems to be the vampiress’ latest high profile victim. Cathy Horyn writes today in The New York Times that:

“Despite, or perhaps because of, a phenomenal run at Balmain, where he made ripped jeans and $5,000 motorcycle jackets seem the coolest thing since, well, Bardot and Brando, Mr. Decarnin hit some kind of personal impasse and lost control of the label.”

Surely, the entire story for Mr. Galliano and Mr. Decarnin (or Mr. McQueen for that matter) has yet to emerge. But it sure does look as if the fashion vampiress is on a feeding frenzy. Stay tuned.

Related Post: “J’adore Dior?”

April 22, 2008

Polygamist Chic

I owe John Galliano an apology.

I’ve never really been one that cared much for the theatrics of fashion. I’m far more impressed by the actual garments and their construction, fit and wearability. Many of the fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris are not presentations of visionary design but bi-annual excercizes in egotistical masturbation for coked up designers, models, fashion editors and assorted courtesans.

Gosh Tom, you say, doesn’t that sound fun?

Apparently, not anymore to Donatella Versace who, having recently kicked her decade/s long habit with blow, produced the most extraordinary spring couture show in recent memory.

One of my absolute favorite designers, the late Franco Moschino, used to call the whole idea of runway presentations “the fashion vampiress” because it really does suck the blood out of real creativity when you have to present a collection regardless of whether you have anything worthwhile to present.

Today, a client sent me an AP article on the polygamist wives and it brought to mind two of my least favorite designers, John Galliano and Marc Jacobs. (Yes, I am a fashion heretic.)

I’ve never really cared for Galliano’s vision of how women should dress and all the theatrics he engages in on his runway for Dior have never been able to distract me from that point . (As Leann Womak once sang, “I just hate her, I’ll think of a reason later.”)

I can be much more direct about my dislike for Marc Jacobs. Copying other people’s work (sure, you can call it paying homage, if you want to look the other way) and putting your label on it year after year, collection after collection is not my idea of genius. Oh, that reminds me to CC Tory Burch on this.

So, enter the polygamist wives, who are apparently taking their fashion cues from Ann B. Davis’ character Alice on “The Brady Bunch.” Some of us fashion buzzards are  wondering how influential their look might become, given that “inspiration” in fashion is serendipitous.

Alluding to Mr. Jacobs’ penchant for “homage,” Susan Cernek, the fashion editor of glam.com wrote that the womens’  look “sounds like a good Holloween costume…or Marc Jacobs Spring ‘09.”

Well, I’ve got news for Ms. Cernek. John Galliano beat him to the punch(line) in his Dior Spring ‘07 collection. It was a collection so dreary, one wonders whether he was way ahead of the rest of us by researching fundamentalist Mormon sects. Maybe, just maybe, I’m wrong about him and the man is a visionary and a psychic!

Read the AP story on cnn.com which does a good job of explaining some of the sociopolitical aspects of these womens’ appearance and a review I wrote of the Dior exhibit when it appeared at The Chicago History Museum.

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