5 posts tagged "Geoffrey Beene"
It was announced today that Lanvin’s visionary creative director, Alber Elbaz, will receive the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund’s Geoffrey Beene Fashion Impact Award—an honor that’s likely especially poignant for the designer, given that he began his career working with Beene. “It was a very beautiful relationship over almost seven years,” Elbaz said of his mentor in a 2005 interview with the International Herald Tribune‘s Suzy Menkes. The YMA foundation, a non-for-profit organization that aids over 100 fashion students with scholarships, internships, mentorships, and career programs each year, will present Elbaz with the award at its annual dinner in New York on January 8.
As we enter a new decade, the fashion business, like the rest of the world, is encountering significant economic and technological change. In this series, Style.com’s editor in chief, Dirk Standen, talks to a number of leading industry figures about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
When Alber Elbaz phoned me from Paris, it was 8 p.m. there. The end of a long workday? No, he said, he was planning on spending a couple more hours in the studio after we finished. The word poetic invariably attaches itself to descriptions of the clothes Elbaz designs for Lanvin, but you get the feeling that behind the famous floppy bow tie, there is a hard-won sense of resolve. During our conversation, somewhat condensed here, he spoke frankly about the problems the industry faces, his observations frequently punctuated by bursts of humor.
I’ve been asking everyone this question, but I’m particularly interested in your perspective as a designer. What role does a fashion show still play in delivering your message?
It’s almost like asking someone what is the role of a table if you want to serve dinner. Of course you can have some dinner in bed and you can have it also on a plate and just on the floor, but I think that when you put it on the table, it’s the most pragmatic. There are certain things that I guess are essential and this is one of them.
There’s been a lot of talk about doing shows on film, but it sounds like the live experience and a live audience are still very important to you.
Maybe I’m kind of an old fashioned guy, I don’t know. I think that if you want to pass emotion you have to write a letter. Emotions do not pass in SMS or in e-mail. I think that you have to be there, you have to feel it…I know that now with Facebook, some people tell me, “Oh, I have 700 friends.” Another person tells me, “I have 3,000 friends.” And I tell them I have only two friends. So now who has more friends? They do or I do? And how do you actually value it, by number or quality? I believe that we have to go forward and I believe that we have to go with change, but there are certain things that are beautiful to leave as they are. And fashion is not always about what’s new, it’s also about what’s good. And I think if you need to see what’s good, you have to be there.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been, but I’ve been surprised by how passionate people are about this. Buyers, critics, designers, they all still feel that, despite the overscheduling, live fashion shows are important.
I think the problem is that we all feel we have too many of those. I think this is the major problem that we are all feeling and experiencing. And I always say that doing a collection is almost like writing a book or making a movie, and I don’t know any other industry that can produce six movies a year by the same director. That’s the thing. You cannot write six books a year. You cannot produce six movies. You can’t do six collections a year. And I think this is actually what is making fashion be the way it is today. I know a lot of people complain that there is not enough change and that fashion in the past was much more creative than today, and I think a big part of this phenomenon is that we don’t have the time to think, we don’t have the time to project, we don’t have the time to digest. I’m not talking about, like, “Oh, we need to travel for inspiration,” because I do in fact believe that the best traveling you do is from your couch while you eat potato chips. But I think we just need the time to think and to look at it again and to have another perspective. Continue Reading “The Future Of Fashion, Part Six: Alber Elbaz” »