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Kristen promotes Balenciaga’s new fragrance ‘Florabotanica’ (x)

  • she’s with Nicolas Ghesquire, creative director of Balenciaga
  • the fragrance will debut in September here & here
  • read the new interview here, she talks about Florabotanica, fashion & Cali

Art by Julia Kaether

Dinner with Demi:A reflection on the current state of fashion and the influence of the internet/blogging

Demi is a fashion blogger (of www.dinnerwithannawintour.com) and model agent who likes Prada, rap music and buying things from net-a-porter at 4am. I spoke with Demi for Vaein’s debut “emergence” themed issue where we discussed micro-blogging, street style and Karl Lagerfeld’s 57 different collections a year.

Okay, starting with the cliché introductory questions. Obviously your blog has celebrated a lot of success- not just your follower count, but you were invited to NYFW and are a regular NZFW attendant. When and why did you start blogging?

Since I was about 12 or 13 I have always had a blog. My first was on Piczo because that was what was cool back then. It’s really embarrassing and actually still exists because I can’t remember my log in details to delete it. I signed up for Tumblr not very long after it was created but I didn’t use it until late 2009 I think. That’s when dinnerwithannawintour started - out of boredom - though it’s changed heaps since then.

What changes have you observed in fashion blogging since you began? 

I could mention so many changes but I think the biggest shift has been the rise of micro-blogging, which also says a lot about how the industry itself operates now. It used to be that if you had a blog you were on either Blogger or Wordpress - the more traditional platforms, with focus mainly on text content and discussion in the comments. Now we’re seeing a real rise in the use of Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest, which I think are so popular because we, as consumers, are incredibly focused on the “new now”. There is such an urgency to get everything out there immediately. At the risk of sounding totally over-dramatic, it’s sort of ruining fashion in a way.

Do you believe that this “urgency” is the reason why we have additional seasons like pre-fall and resort? It feels as if they’re produced for quantity rather than quality, or simply for their viability.

I think it’s one of the reasons and for some brands it’s definitely true what you say about producing for quantity over quality. I read a piece by Cathy Horyn a little while ago who referred to the constant supply of new collections and stock as a ‘berserk house plant’ which is a pretty fantastic description. That’s not to say I don’t think pre-fall and resort (which has actually been around for a long time and was originally targeted towards the rich who vacationed in exotic places) have no place in the fashion calendar, or that they are necessarily unviable as in actual fact for some brands they often sell better than RTW. 

Exactly, what comes to mind are innovators like Proenza Schouler who manage to churn out pre-fall and resort collections that are just as compelling as their RTW ones. I read recently- actually it was a quote you posted on your blog that seems incredibly relevant to the industry at the moment and definitely is food for thought when considering the future of fashion houses. What are your thoughts on the appointment of Alexander Wang to Balenciaga?

Yeah, that quote is super depressing. For PPR, who represent some of the most historically innovative fashion houses like Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Gucci, to essentially say that fashion has reached a stage where it’s not important to rewrite the idiom is extremely concerning. Alexander Wang’s Balenciaga appointment made a lot more sense when I read that quote. What PPR want is exactly what he is. Someone young and cool but most of all commercial; he did something rare with his own brand - he burst onto the scene and in a very short time built and solidified it as one of the coolest labels you could think or dream of wearing.

the bad bitch herself ;)

Back to your comments regarding ‘micro blogging’- the emerging popularity of street style blog’s have become a somewhat controversial topic. It’s been said that street style images are an easier selling point than actual magazine editorials, as browsing a blog and viewing an image of a carefree looking girl at Paris Fashion Week in an eccentric outfit she has put together herself has become more ‘relatable’ to the masses than a ten page spread shot in a studio put together by fashion editor’s. Is this increased obsession in street style photography a blessing or a curse, producing, as Suzy Menkes described a “circus of fashion”?

I’m kind of in the middle of this debate. With the way that *most* street style blogs are, I don’t particularly find them any more authentic than an editorial/advertorial in Vogue. Both are presenting an edited version of “real life” and both have relationships with brands that they rely on to sell their product. For some reason though bloggers are morally obligated to fully disclose to their readership while magazine editors aren’t and when a blogger receives any type of income or benefits from a blog they are seen as less legit, despite the fact no one bats an eyelid when editors do the exact same thing. That all being said, I did agree with many of Suzy Menke’s points in that article. Fashion week has become this event of ridiculously dressed people tottering around the Tuileries trying to get Tommy Ton’s attention.

It feels as though the industry has undergone some major transformations recently, not just in the past decade but also in the last couple of years. What are your predictions for the future of fashion based on its current state?

I personally think it’s going to get worse before anything changes. True talent and skill are not as valued as in the past and I see innovators like Nicolas Ghesquière and Miuccia Prada becoming even more of an anomaly. I also think that talent will become more disposable, not even solely with designers but in all parts of the industry. That, and I predict sometime in the near future Karl Lagerfeld is going to have a breakdown from producing 57 collections a year.

- Gemma

Christopher Kane Appointed Creative Director of Balenciaga

Earlier this month I wrote that Nicolas Ghesquiere would be leaving French fashion house Balenciaga, the rumors started who would be following the successful creative director at the French house, starting December 1st. It looks like British rising star, Christopher Kane, got the job. Not sure that I agree with the choice but I’m sure that it will continue the excitement and energy that Ghesquiere brought to the house.

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