The Marc Jacobs grunge re-issue – A reset or a reminder

In 2013 Hedi Slimane sent his Autumn / Winter collection for Saint Laurent down the catwalk in Paris, 20 years after the, much derived at the time, infamous Marc Jacobs grunge collection for Perry Ellis.  Slimane’s collection was seen as almost a direct copy of the grunge collection from Spring / Summer 93, with many publications flaunting the side by side catwalk shots of the 2 collections.  Of course, at the time, critics were very quick to dismiss the Marc Jacobs collection, with scathing reviews by the likes of Cathy Horyn and Suzy Menkes.  With the Saint Laurent collection years later, critics were also not as kind to Slimane. Despite this, the Perry Ellis collection has been hailed as a very important in the fashion industry and even more important in the career of Marc Jacobs. 
Fast forward to this year and Marc Jacobs has revealed he will be reissuing many pieces from the collection for his 2019 resort collection.  This is not an inspirational collection, these are actual pieces, remade in as close to the original fabrics as he can, this time under his own name sake rather than Perry Ellis.  
The collection was very important for Jacobs, very much going against the grain of what was happening on the catwalks at the time, as well as being quite far removed from the Perry Ellis muse.  It was a massive risk for him to take, and one which, if it wasn’t for the Grace Coddington styled ‘Grunge & Glory’ Vogue editorial,  may have meant we may not have got to know the iconic designer at all.  The collection over the years was eventually seen as one of the most iconic of its day, eventually copied on the catwalks of many of his peers as well as years later at Saint Laurent.  
2013_3_Grunge.0
Perry Ellis 1993 – Saint Laurent 2013

So why is the collection, seen as a very progressive and forward thinking collection being brought back?  After exiting his role at Louis Vuitton in 2013 Marc’s career has struggled with trying to focus attention on his own name sake brand.  Already folding his Marc x Marc Jacobs brand into his main collection, the Marc Jacobs brand has become confusing, his collections and his brand just do not feel relevant today.  For the first time since the infamous collection Marc is at a wavering crossroads and bringing back the collection will not just be a reminder of his undeniable legacy but will also help him to refocus on the future, with a reminder that he can, and is, a risk taker.  “The ‘grunge’ collection epitomised the first time in my professional career I was unwavering in my determination to see my vision come to life on the runway, without creative compromise.” he said in a press release.  He had consulted people closest to him, alongside Sarah Andelman, a co-owner of influential retailer Colette, in Paris, for there ideas. The result was to release the capsule grunge collection. “This is not an aggressive sales thing,” Jacobs said. “It’s not like we’re going to redo this collection at one-16th of the price and put it in every store all over the world, we chose a few retailers” — Saks Fifth Avenue and Dover Street Market, among others — “and we won’t show it in the usual way.”
A total of 26 pieces have been replicated.  The original patterns have been lost so the team had to piece together the collection from old photographs and film of the catwalk shows – some of the original fabrics had been taken from frith stores in New York – and permission was granted from the Perry Ellis brand to recreate the looks.  
Marc’s original collection was all about the energy of the moment and doing a redux collection might seem to be going against the grain of what the collection became to represent for Marc Jacobs and his work he continued with Louis Vuitton, turning Vuitton into one of the most sort after street labels of the noughties.  But it also shows that Marc is not willing to sit back and rest on his name sake – he wants to move forward and is using this collection to rest his own creativity, do something new within the fashion world, and then be able to go on to again be a force to be reckoned with and produce collections with an entirely new vision.
marc1
Marc Jacobs Resort 2019

The collection is available now with an ad campaign set to follow shot by Juergen Teller.  
The collection can be seen here on the Marc Jacobs website

Hedi at Céline set to adopt the ‘Drop Style’ retail strategy in dramatic revamp

New Artistic, Creative & Image Director of Céline, Hedi Slimane, has spoken to Business of Fashion of his plans to introduce the ‘drop’ method when releasing parts of his new collection.  The retail strategy is commonly used by highly sought after streetwear labels such as Supreme and includes releasing small portions of his collection every week or so to coincide with his main collection for the brand.  The new strategy was revealed in an interview with Business of Fashion which also revealed plans for pop-up stores and small capsules to feature Slimane’s season-less staples such as jeans and casual wear.
Slimane has already announced Célene will be moving into menswear as well as producing fragrances and couture.  He is also set to remodel each and every one of the Céline retail stores and owners LVMH are also rumoured to be buying up large retail space in New Yorks upper East side.  Business of Fashion notes that although Slimane is very respectful of the brand he doesn’t feel beholden to the minimalist casual luxury vibe created—and beloved among the label’s loyal customers—by former Céline designer Phoebe Philo.  If you were into the rockstar look Slimane began at his tenure at Dior Homme and then continued at Saint Laurent, chances are you’ll be quite happy with this new version of Céline. “He is doing exactly what he was hired to do, bringing his own vision to the brand,” the BoF report reads.  It is still unknown what Phoebe Philo is set to do next but this will certainly be the end of Phoebe’s Céline and her simple aesthetic praised for being a brand that was instantly recognisable without having to shout. 

Kris Van Assche Exits Dior Homme. Kim Jones set to take over.

Kris Van Assche, Creatieve Director of Dior Homme for the past 11 years, is leaving the post.  The Belgian menswear designer, according to WWD, is set to remain within the LVMH conglomerate in a new role.  Van Assche’s departure from Dior coincides with the appointment of Pietro Beccari, the former chief executive of Fendi, as CEO of Dior.  
After moving to Paris in 1998, Kris almost immediately began his tenure with Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Homme as first assistant with Hedi Slimane.  He then followed Hedi over to Dior Homme were Hedi took the brand to new levels and reimagining menswear for a whole new generation to come.  Kris took over the position in 2007 and has continued to move the brand forward with his often minimalist colour palette and urban streetwear references.  Van Assche recently worked along side photographer David Sims for the latest Dior Homme campaign which included artists such as The Pet Shop Boys, Boy George and Depeche Mode lead singer David Gahan.  
It has been confirmed that Kris is set to be replaced by former mens style director at Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones.  

 

 

Hubert de Givenchy, French Fashion Icon, Dies at 91

Hubert de Givenchy, one of both Paris’ and the worlds finest designers, passed away on Saturday.  The designer was well known for dressing both fashion icons Jackie Kennedy  and Audrey Hepburn, as well as going on to establish what is undoubtedly one of the most revered fashion houses of the past 50 years.  
Hubert de Givenchy started out working along side Christian Dior, Pierre Balmian and Elsa Schiaparelli before establishing his own house at the Plaine Monceau, Paris in 1952.  In February that year presented his debut collection featuring the iconic ‘Bettina’ blouse, named after his PR director and model of the day Bettina Graziani, it was made from the raw cotton “shirting” previously only used for couture fittings.  
The following year he met Audrey Hepburn and quickly realised the power of enlisting a film star to help attract clients to the house of Givenchy.  Hubert went on to design the black dress Hepburn famously wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  His designs were seen at the time to be far more innovative than those of fellow designers at the time such as Dior and was one of the youngest designers of the progressive Paris Fashion scene.  Givenchy retired from fashion in 1995 when John Galliano took over the rains for a brief stint, this was followed by a longer tenure by the designer Alexander McQueen who, to the horror of Givenchy’s staunch clientele, brought the Givenchy up to the modern day couture house it is now, leading the way for Ricardo Tisci to transform the house into the modern day power house it is today.   
Hubert De Givenchy 20/2/27 – 10/3/18

Long time Yves Saint Laurent muse Betty Catroux fronts latest Saint Laurent campaign

73 year old long time muse of both Saint Laurent and Tom Ford, model Betty Catroux has appeared in the latest Saint Laurent Campaign just days after Anthony Vaccarello presented his AW18 collection.  Starting out as a model for Chanel, Betty went on to meet Laurent in 1967 and remained firm friends until his death in 2008, even though she was a big influence on the designer this is the first time she has actually modelled for the house.  Catroux is famed for her long white blonde hair and androgynous appearance.   Casting Catroux falls in line with the larger fashion trend of brands tapping older models that has seen author Joan Didion posing for Celine, Vanessa Redgrave for Gucci and model Maye Musk for Sachin & Babi. In 2016, then 69-year-old Jane Birkin posed for Vaccarello’s predecessor at Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane.  As the press notes stipulate – “Betty Catroux perfectly embodies the saint Laurent Woman: forever modern”.

Martin Margiela’s Palais Galliera retrospective

Martin Margiela, the ‘Invisible Man’ of fashion, has a retrospective spanning his 10 years at the helm of his eponymous label opening at the Palais Galliera, Paris this month.  Spanning his career from spring/summer 1989 to spring/summer 2009 the exhibition is the first retrospective from the Belgian Designer, and despite his very low key lifestyle, Margiela is credited as Artistic Director for the exhibition as well as writing the captions for the looks and overseeing the wigs and make up on each mannequin.  
Graduating from the infamous Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where he studied alongside the remaining ‘Antwerp Six’, Martin began with a tenure at Jean Paul Gaultier as his assistant, Gaultier claiming he was by far the best assistant he had ever had and pushed him to start his own line.  In 1989 Martin produced his first collection and, along side the other Antwerp Six, continued the legacy of Deconstructionism started in fashion by the japanese designers, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçon & Yoji Yammamoto amongst others.  
Seen in the context of our present obsession with 24-hour connectivity and accessibility, Margiela’s work feels refreshingly subversive.  Throughout his career he did not give interviews.  His label on his clothing was just a plain white label stitched to the clothing, the only visible presence being the two stitches of cotton from the outside of the garment.  In terms of his designs, he was years ahead of his time, and this new retrospective provides an opportunity to see the work of this extraordinary intellectual, who was every inch a designer’s designer – Demna Gvasalia, of Balenciaga and Vetements, and Phoebe Philo are both self-confessed fans.  It is a testament to his legacy that after Martin Margiela left his label as head designer both Raf Simons & Haider Ackermann both turned down the roll.  
The exhibition contains over 130 silhouettes, house archives and special installations and offers an unprecedented look at one of the most influential designers of the 20th century.
Palais Galliera Muséede la Mode de la Ville de Paris.  10, Avenue Pierre ler de Serbie 75116 Paris.  March 3rd to July 15th  Palais Galliera

Balenciaga Paparazzi Campaign 2018

Balenciaga slowly began to unveil their new campaign for SS18 Women via Instagram this week.  Styled by long time collaborator and Vetements’ stylist Lotta Volkova, the campaign features models wearing the women SS18 collection whilst trying to elude the paparazzi.  The images were shot by Agency Bestimage, the French equivalent of Getty images, which contained actually paparazzi photographers. “Hired security guards accompany models on their shopping trips, a further twist in the fashion meta-reality which frames the customer as the Balenciaga VIP” say the press notes.  Not for the first time has Creative Director Demna Gvasalia explored this meta-reality with Balenciaga.  For the Mens 2018 campaign, and again working alongside Lotta Volkova, Demna produced a series of ‘awkward family photos’ of real families (Balenciaga ‘Awkward Family Photos’).  The paparazzi campaign is similar to Kanye West’s recent Yeezy season 6 campaign featuring Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton & Amina Blue.  All photographed  similar papped situations, and, in a twist, now looks as though it could come under fire for breaching FTC laws which require influencers to disclose sponsored content.
See the campaign here Balenciaga Insta