92 posts tagged "Gucci"
At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana held a press conference at which attendance had been all but mandated weeks in advance. The early, un-Italian hour was no doubt meant to indicate the seriousness of the occasion, as was a lineup of speakers that included Patrizio Bertelli, Diego Della Valle, and Gildo Zegna, all of whom have joined the organization’s new board. Essentially, these captains of one of Italy’s most important and cherished industries have banded together to reinvigorate Milan’s increasingly hidebound fashion weeks. “I’ve heard the word boring,” Zegna acknowledged, though he insisted that wasn’t the case. The speeches were heavy on sweeping statements and light on concrete details, which provoked the assembly of sleep-deprived journalists into a volley of probing questions. Bertelli had earlier compared his fellow board members to “senators of fashion,” and he might have been thinking, Et tu, Suzy? as the International New York Times‘ Suzy Menkes led a round of interrogation into everything from Milan’s inhospitality to young designers to its perceived shortcomings on the digital front. Bertelli is no pushover, and he gave as good as he got. When a French journalist asked why we were only hearing from old men (Angela Missoni was a mostly silent presence on the board today), the Prada CEO told him he’d be a dangerous old man himself if he didn’t change his attitude, and then unexpectedly pointed out that Italy was the first country to abolish slavery, in the 1300s. By the end, one attendee was muttering, “Business as usual,” but if the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, then today’s announcement should be welcomed as a positive development. Certainly there is enough firepower and entrepreneurial know-how on this new board to solve world peace, let alone bring new energy to a fashion week. Zegna stressed that the process would be a dialogue and said suggestions would be encouraged. In that spirit, here are seven modest proposals for improving Milan fashion week.
1. Lure young, international designers to Milan.
Menkes wondered how Milan would be replacing Burberry and Alexander McQueen, two brands that have recently decamped back to their native London. But the city’s relatively uncrowded schedule could be one of its biggest assets. Given how ridiculously packed the New York and, increasingly, London and Paris schedules have become, you would think any number of hot young brands could be persuaded to believe that they’d have a better chance of standing out in Milan. If access to Italy’s unparalleled production expertise were thrown in as part of the deal, who could resist?
2. Take the show on the road.
The British Fashion Council and, to some extent, the U.S.-based CFDA have done a good job of promoting their designers abroad. As part of the London Showrooms events, a dozen young U.K. talents have even careened around Hong Kong together on a bus. While there are barely enough young Milan-based designers to fill a Smart car let alone a minibus, and its more established designers are already well known internationally, it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with the right kind of touring exhibition. Picture a mix of up-and-comers such as Umit Benan, Andrea Pompilio, and Fausto Puglisi; some cult brands like MP Massimo Piombo and Aspesi; and a couple of designer offshoots like Versace’s Versus line and Lapo Elkann’s highly covetable new made-to-measure collaboration with Gucci—all introduced by a charming, high-profile figure (yes, we’re talking to you, Lapo). That would go some way to showing the rest of the world the extent of Italy’s ambitions. Continue Reading “Seven Suggestions For Improving Milan Fashion Week” »
Stripes are relatively de rigueur in fashion. But they’re most often seen in a horizontal orientation. Such is not the case with Resort ’14. A crop of designers have printed vertical lines down, down, down their silhouettes, adding both height and graphic pop along the way.
Vera Wang showed a number of daytime outfits with various takes on referee stripes, offering simple black and white repetitions, which were offset nicely by banded waists and lace panels. Helmut Lang‘s Michael and Nicole Colovos, too, procured a sharp T-shirt dress with abstract grayscale striations.
Yet the most alluring banding occurred when designers went for full-length looks. Gucci‘s Frida Giannini offered a brilliant pajama suit, if you will, composed of ocher, saffron, cinnamon, and chestnut stripes in alternating widths (above, center). Narciso Rodriguez showed a daring mod-meets-modern striped strapless dress over white boot-cut pants (above, left), and the ever-original Thom Browne showed inside-out garments, many of which were lined with longitudinal strips in preppy hues (above, right). The takeaway? Tall girls will look very, very good in Thom.
Perhaps given Riccardo Tisci’s recent varsity-letterman font slogans—think “PERVERT” at his men’s Pre-Fall 2013 collection, or “FAVELAS,” as spotted on a lace top worn by Marina Abramovic at last week’s CFDA Awards—designers circuit-wide are turning toward text in their Resort ’14 lineups. Yet where Tisci’s words of choice are consciously incendiary (“FAVELAS”—dense urban slums most commonly associated with Rio de Janeiro—will become an increasingly hot topic as Brazil’s World Cup and Olympic Games approach), others have gunned for logomania.
For instance, Rochas‘ Marco Zanini knit the house’s moniker across a turquoise roll-neck sweater. At Gucci, Frida Giannini emblazoned “FRIDA’S” across a retro-tinged crop top (let’s face it—at this point, the designer’s name and aesthetic are virtually synonymous with the Italian house), and Preen‘s Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi printed an abstract take on their line’s name across gray athletic-grade jersey. “We were interested in slogans and rock band tour T-shirts,” Thornton said of the nineties-inspired collection. “The motif was a development from these, combined with a contemporary art attitude. We have always loved letters and text,” the designer added, “so why not incorporate them into clothing? There is nothing more graphically pleasing than letters.”
Aside from maybe a tiara, nothing heightens the glamour of a full-on evening look quite like a pair of gloves. Eye-catching gauntlets turned up on the Lanvin, Gucci, and Oscar de la Renta Fall runways. And at last week’s high-wattage Met Gala, divas from Madonna to Beyoncé to Paloma Faith covered up their digits with statement-making pairs of varying lengths. Kim Kardashian’s custom Givenchy number was the talk of the town, but what really piqued our interest was the gown’s built-in gloves, which prompted speculation that Kim was concealing an engagement ring (you know Kanye would go all out with a rock for his baby mama).
Prada is reported to be in talks for an India entry. Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, and Stella McCartney are exploring real estate for stand-alone stores. After opening his first boutique in New Delhi last year, Christian Louboutin is readying himself for a Mumbai launch. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Louis Vuitton’s presence in India—it was the first luxury brand to set foot in the country. Is India finally reawakening to luxury? Historically, it’s a country familiar with all things luxe. After all, in 1925, India’s Sir Bhupinder Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala, granted Cartier its single largest commission: the remodeling of his crown jewels, a collection that included an exquisite 234.69-carat De Beers diamond. Vuitton’s gilded links with India go back well over a century, when the Maharajas of Jammu and Kashmir, Bikaner and Baroda, ordered customized trunks from the company.
Then came freedom. For almost forty-four years after Independence, socialist India snapped all ties with luxury. It’s only in the last decade that the romance has rekindled. And it has to do with math. With a population surpassing 1.22 billion, and 81 million households falling into the upper middle class and high-income bracket, India is a serious market for luxury players. In fact, statistics show that India is one of the fastest-growing and largest luxury markets, with sales expected to touch $15 billion by 2015—nearly double what they are today. In November last year, Gucci opened its fifth and largest India store, spanning 4,220 square feet across two floors in Gurgaon, Delhi’s satellite city. Patrizio di Marco, president and CEO, noted, “The flagship store underscores Gucci’s commitment to India. This is our fifth store in this unique country, where we have been operating directly since the end of 2009, and it is a testament to the importance that we are placing on this fast-growing and competitive market.”
But Kalyani Chawla, vice president of marketing and communications at Christian Dior, insists India is taking baby steps. And she is right. The Western notion of luxury hit Indian shores only ten years ago. It’s still a country of salwar kameezes and saris. But the Indian buyer has grown interested in fashion, investing small but precious sums in brands. “Dior has seen a steady and encouraging growth. As is the case globally with most brands, accessories are doing very well [and] clothing is picking up,” she says, noting that this is partly due to the fact that Western wear has finally slipped into a bride’s wedding trousseau. And for Indians, marriage is the occasion for which discerning buyers splurge. Dior launched in 2006, and has three stores across the country. Continue Reading “Is India The Next Big Player in Luxury Retail?” »