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International fashion & style; WWD trends .. the rebuttal

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****** Please note that my comments are seen in italics in rebuttal to the article published in WWD om March 21, 2014*****

Now that the fashion dust has settled in New York, London, Milan and Paris and one at last begins to recover from the exhausting blur of thousands of garments, one can take stock. What is it all about? What does it all mean?

Let’s be frank (and, as you know, I am never anything but that), the word “trend” has had it. There are no trends. After viewing all the collections (I am a very diligent reporter), I have concluded that fashion today is a bouillabaisse of everything. It makes one understand that the word “elegant” is passé. So are all those other fashion words — chic, hot, smart, fashionable. Forget it. They are as passé as passé.

**If this is true then why is it that WWD produces supplements documenting the trends of the season.. Apparently there is good reading and then there is the truth.

Looking at all the collections from far-flung corners of the world (not just the four above, but also everywhere from Los Angeles to Tokyo), I noticed several things right away: The colors are weird, and the presentations are over the top, like a Ringling Bros. circus. Then there are the fashion magazines, which confuse one even more. It’s all manufactured dust. No one talks about workmanship, length or where the clothes on the runways can be worn.

**And yet reviews include extensive coverage of venue, front rows and and peripheral information that have zero to do with clothes. As for craft and tradition, that is totally ignored due to the ignorance of the writer or the dictum of the publication that features the review and has deemed that unimportant.. Reality has nothing to do with most collections nor does the dirty word of salability.

(Ah, how it made me even more nostalgic for those days when I was a young liebchen at our schloss high in the Alps and I would lie on my bed eating chocolates and leafing through the pages of Carmel Snow’s Harper’s Bazaar or Diana Vreeland’s Vogue that my mother brought back from her visits to the ateliers of Paris.)
Why is the fashion world always trying to show off its intellectual power when fashion really has nothing to do with intellect? Why are designers still searching desperately for trends when there are no trends?

**Regurgitating the arcane and the esoteric put forth by so called designers these days seems to be the M O. Reviewers offer no opinion and readers needs a PhD in philosophy to understand what they have just seen which us undoubetdly a pile of ugly unwearable clothes being made better by a pres release!!

Truth be told, women today make their own trends — and thanks to the Internet, anything they want is available to them no matter where they live. Long, short, fitted, loose, patterned, plain — name it, they can find it and buy it. What that means, my dear designer friends (and I still have a few), is that women are no longer loyal to you — or to stores.

**In the good old days women flocked to stores clutching a photo of some piece of clothing that they had seen in a magazine. Alas, very hard to do when the clothes now require trust funds and the photos/editorials in so called fashion magazines are nothing more than art pieces rather than vehicles to tantalize the reader.

What designers — full of fashion pretense and ego — don’t understand is that shoppers are smarter than any of them. Snobbishness in fashion has gone away and Americans in particular, and many Europeans, don’t want to be told what to wear.

**as I have stated many many times.. clothes don’t come with romance cards that explain all the absurd inspirations of a particular collection. In essence those inspirations are worthless once the so called reviewer has spewed them back in their reviews. Those who review don’t seem to mind all the pretense or else why would they repeat it and use that worthless verbiage in their reviews.

Don’t misunderstand me: Fashion still retains its inexplicable magic. Just look through the coffee-table book “Dior Glamour: 1952-1962”; the photos gave me tingles because the clothes by Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Bohan are as right for today as they were then. And there are designers who have piqued my interest just as those three did long ago: Christopher Kane in London, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCullough of Proenza Schouler in New York, Bouchra Jarrar in Paris and the new team at Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, who are carrying on that house’s traditions in a 21st century way.

**It is sheer hubris to even use the latter designers in comparison to the former.. the latter have not a clue about wearing clothes and life in general. The likes of YSL and Dior, no matter the designer of record offered glamour and artistry and clothes that befit the lifestyle of the client. Today’s designers are clueless for the most part.

Face it, women still love a sense of discovery. The newly independent woman will, when she sees something she loves, buy it immediately — even climbing over racks of merch to find that one isolated dress. They buy what they like and what makes them feel comfortable in their own skin.

**Face it !! Women are like sheep ..just as the general consumer is and just as we have been raised to think that fitting in is much better than standing uot. This may also influence all the me too collections we see on runways all over the world. Designers have no trademark style they churn out clothes of indeterminable origin.. Yes, the “me toos” are lauded by those who ask for newness. One more time, apparently purpose and sales are rarely considered.

And why shouldn’t women (and the increasingly fashionable man) be picky? Who wants to be just like the rest of the fashion herd? How do consumers react today to the opinions of fashion directors of stores like Bergdorf Goodman or Harrods or editors like Anna Wintour or Glenda Bailey? In the old days, it used to be the big designers in Paris, Milan or New York showed their collections on the runways and then Seventh Avenue manufacturers would copy that for the masses, who would flock to snap them up. Well, at least sometimes they would. A very close friend of this old countess once urged retailers to push a midcalf length he dubbed the Longuette. So they did — and women ran for the hills.

**Anna and Glenda and the like are chasing ad dollars not dreams nor the aspirational customer and not the consumer for if they were in fact “advising” their readers they surely would reject most of what they propose. The fashion calendar was re arranged to offset the long standing gripe that if NYC was last, they were accused of copying the Euros and so the calendar was changed and alas now that NY is first they have shown us they have no direction, no innovation and least of all any great clothes.. just hype and inspirations and clothes which insult those who might be able to afford them and mostly designed by designers who smirk at a camera and have no clue how to drape or draw.

Perhaps that was the first sign that times were changing. Now the whole fashion engine as we knew it needs to be rebuilt. And it will be because, in truth, the customer is always right (well, almost always).

**The system is indeed broken but apparently no one has the starch to change to change for fear of reprisals by the Popessa.. now who’s’ the sheep? How utterly sad that no one speaks out and sadder that a business that once thrived and produced some of the world’s greatest design talents has been allowed to devolve with designers of maybe mediocre talents but have HUGE ad dollars and HUGE PR machines and MEGA conglomerates behind them. There is so much talent that has not been recognized!!!

The really stylish — and I’m not talking about the costumed women today’s street photographers follow like sheep — aren’t really influenced by the fashion elite, and never have been. The ladies of the past — Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness, C.Z. Guest — were personalities in their day because they created their own style. And clothes were only part of it.

**And yet, magazine focus on the fashion circus rather than the reality of fashion. Fashion icons or women of great personal style still exist all over the world but they are ignored as they do not fit the mold of one person’s myopic and fiduciary vision of fashion. There are still women who have their clothes made and rely on designers and consider managing their wardrobes a job, but apparently they are not relying on the “pets” who are of no talent, style or allure.

These women weren’t fashionistas — a word I hate. I prefer the word “passionista.” Freedom is the heart and soul of fashion and style. First, to dare and, second, because clothes are part of what makes us all feel better about ourselves.

**And the point is that the consumer has a sheep mentality for the most part and all the publications play into it otherwise what could be the reason for that the same 15 resources inhabit the pages of all the so called fashion publications out there. The magazines push conformity not individuality

So go for it ladies. Challenge the Establishment. The Fashion Machine needs your help.

**is that WWD was originally pointed or directed to the creators and purveyors of fashion and yet here they address the consumer. So, the assumption would be that WWD is no longer a trade paper but is in the same bed with the other fashion rags that promote fitting in.

HERE IS A THOUGHT….PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH.. PHYSICIAN HEAL THEYSELF AND MAYBE SOMEWHERE BURIED IN THE SAMENESS IS ONE INDEPENDENT THINKER WHO CAN BEGINN THE RESCUE OPERATION OF A VERY AD AND AILILNG FASHION BUSINESS.

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