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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fashion Changewave, The NEW Normal

 For some time I've been thinking about writing my 
thoughts on the current most relevant fashion designers
out there.  I've thought about this quite a lot.  And, as my
former positions in retail required a forward-thinking philosophy,
predicting & trending was a major part of this work.

I not foolish enough to believe everyone out there wants to know
what I think or that they will share the same opinion.  Maybe it's
only for my personal gratification to express my thoughts in light of
the fact that there is now some validation "from professional sources"
that I just might be correct.  Anyway, for the record:

I knew Carine Roitfeld would not be staying much longer as
Editor of Paris Vogue. Her final mistake was the anniversary issue
featuring ONE model, Lara Stone, throughout the issue, making
a star of the model, not the magazine, and the insanity of the
anniversary party Paris Vogue put on with her as the hostess. None
of the people/companies/designers who advertise in the magazine attended,
none of the haute couture designers attended, most notabily Karl Lagerfeld
who went to a small gathering somewhere else in Paris. No one in society attended.
 Who attended?
The models & Anna Dello Russo.
This coupled with the fact that she has ventured so far afield of being
a "fashion" magazine, showing nudity instead of apparel - even though ad
revenue was up - circulation was WAY down. 
The death knell.

Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, The Row
To me, they are the most relevant of the young new designers,
choosing fabric & construction perfection & looks which appeal
across the world to the "look of the moment."  Everything they
design is something any one of us could wear practically 24/7.
And, don't tell me "I'm too short to wear this."  The Olsen's are
short girls and they look fabulous.  One of my best friends is
5' tall and she wears tons of jewelry and ignores all the other rules
& she is one happening woman.
I love their look.  
And, the other day at the River Oaks (read: posh location)
Target here in Houston, I saw a young mother, beautiful long blonde hair,
with 2 little boys, wearing the Olsen look from head-to-toe, including
the little 1/2 flat-heeled bootie.  She looked beautiful, put together,
casual and wonderful all at the same time.

this is the single most important
man in fashion today, along with
Marc Jacobs,
both Americans, both young,

and I quote

"Are Designers Going for Smaller Shows, Thanks to Tom Ford?

 Wednesday - 8:53PM

Since her collection's inception, Victoria Beckham has hosted her fashion show presentations in intimate settings, narrating each look. Same goes for L'Wren Scott, who has for many seasons kept her presentations intimate enough to simultaneously serve a lunch. And over a year ago, Marc Jacobs downsized his fashion show invites from 1,400 to 500. But after Tom Ford trumpeted the merits of an intimate show last fashion week, some think a change toward smaller shows is in the air.

“He [Ford] shook up the industry,” said Paul Wilmot, a fashion publicist whose firm handles the Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass shows. “And if somebody says they weren’t influenced, that would be a lie.” James Laforce, who handles shows like Vena Cava, notes: “I’ve heard plenty of people saying, ‘Let’s do a Tom Ford kind of thing,’ They are asking themselves, ‘Is more really more, or is more watering down our influence?’” And KCD's Ed Filipowski, who produces shows for Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, and Jacobs, agrees: “Intimate is a word that’s definitely in the air."

It's true: a spokesman for IMG, which produces the Lincoln Center shows, says that there has been an increased demand for the smaller Lincoln Center venues like the Box, at 250 seats, and the Studio, which seats 500.

Altuzarra has invited a third fewer guests than last season — less than 300. “In this day and age when there are so many shows, everything gets so much coverage through live streaming, Twitter and the blogs,” Coline Choay, the label's director of publicity and marketing, notes. “You want to make the live show experience special . . . Intimacy, exclusivity and a chance to see the clothes: those are our priorities. We like exposure, but we want a more controlled exposure.”

However, in some cases, the move to intimacy could be a more amenable front for financial constraints. Publicist Vanessa von Bismarck, who handles shows for the likes of Edun, Erin Fetherston, and Suno, says that financial pressures caused some of her clients to go for a smaller production: "They just don’t have the money to put on a big show.” And as Filipowski pointed out: “In reality, we’re not seeing big changes in the size of the shows.”

This article, which I've just read, does not, however, speak to the exposure of the internet...which I think is the major reason Tom Ford decided to present his show in this private manner.  As I've said before, what is the fun of fashion when everyone with a computer can show instantaneously what just happened on the runways.  Runway shows were designed to give the buyers from all the major stores and the magazine editors to see what was coming the next season.  It was NEVER so everyone on the planet could scoop the looks to the world.  Which makes copying easy, and which makes over-exposure very very very boring.

This habit makes designers stray away from cohesive, continuing, evolving collections where women can utilize pieces from one season to another.  Instead they create something which has more BANG than saleability.  AKA Armani's recent collection which is completely unwearable for anyone except Lady GaGa.

And, now just one more thought.
Anthropologie has just launched a Bridal Collection.
$1200-$4000 Price Range.
Copying J.Crew's venture into this arena.
But, Anthro has gone into a price point which is,
in my opinion, waaaaay too high for their market.
Does anyone agree with me that a bride, or a
bride's mother, would prefer to spend $4000
at Anthropologie rather than
Sak's 5th Avenue or Neiman-Marcus, etc.?
At the luxury stores there is NO question of quality
and the ultimate service &, let's face it, the simple
snob factor. 
My belief is that their highly paid consultant's focus groups
have made marketing mistakes with the bridal, at both
J. Crew & Anthropologie.
Tell me what you think about any and all of this;
I would love to hear from you.
Just added some new pieces to Page 2,
the jewelry.


  1. Great post honey! I agree with you completely on the Anthropologie line. I just don't really consider them a high end store. Have a great day! Kori xoxo

  2. Dear Marsha, you are spot on about Tom Ford, the way he did his presentation was genius and Marc constantly comes up with amazing designs for Louis Vuitton and his own label. Love them both xx

  3. What a great and insightful post - I love it! I totally agree with you on the Anthropologie bridal line - waay to high a price point. That will never fly! Also interesting about Paris Vogue. Thanks for sharing:)

  4. I so agree with you Marsha ... both Tom and Mark are my favourite male designers ... and are doing it so right!
    As for Anthro bridal... definitely way too pricy ... I would prefer a trip to NM or Saks for that kind of money.
    Have a gorgeous weekend hon.

  5. Marsha, you are so insightful and so right about the designer directions.

    ? What fashion publication(s) do you read the most?

    Art by Karena


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