Charles has got a passion for Top 10, Best Of and any kind of lists about his obsessions. He is the one behind the launch of Tops 10 and Best of posts. He is inclined to do these things more than I am and is the one behind this idea of starting a kind of W.A.R.M advent calendar (the month has already started but it's never too late to catch up our delays) about the best of 2014 moments from the collections to the songs to the movies. I'm the one to begin with my/our talk of the town regarding the surprising appointment of John Galliano and the departure of the shadow designer Matthieu Blazy.
This news stroke me/us more than Jacobs/Ghesquière and honestly, we were not happy about it. In the case of Jacobs/Ghesquière it was more the end of an era for Marc and a brand new love affair for Ghesquière who has brought up with him a ready-to-wear sphere to Louis Vuitton. No matter how eccentric and aesthetic the Jacobs 's spectacular spectacular show was, the sales were not at the rendez-vous. Nicolas Ghesquière has really been a thoughtful choice because he was and still is the man of the situation. Jacobs has started an alphabet and Nicolas is going to finish it. For the first time Vuitton will be known for editing garments rather than luxury bags for travel even if it is at the core of the brand. This easy come and easy go game change of chairs was not to be questioned.
The arrival of Galliano is another matter. We respect and consider his talent and work under his own label and at Dior with a lot of acknowledgements. He is and will always be the children of the Revolution having a special place in our hearts next to the one we're keeping for Lee McQueen. He is a genius considering the numerous hits and monuments he has created. He is also a showgirl just like Marc Jacobs and he knows how to pump up the volume. But his name does not go hand in hand with the Maison Martin Margiela. The Belgian luxury maison is known for putting forward a shadow collective of designers rather than one. Margiela himself always stood for putting the clothes forward and not the one who was in charge of the brand's numerous lines. The clothes are always what matters. There is no cult of the designer as the customers have to focus on the clothes, buying them for themselves and not because of who is creating them. But Renzo Rosso (the PR of Diesel) has changed the deal after buying the brand. It's not fair to say that Margiela has sold his eponymous brand to the devil. He certainly saved his name and his legacy will definitely shine forever. The end of the designer's incognito is something that goes against the brand's ethos. The italian PR got something on his mind. The first part of this strategy was to out Matthieu Blazy (thanks to Ms Menkes). This was at the same time a very bad taste and move. The not-so-shadow collective dropped a note to remind Rosso and the fashion-sphere that there's no one in charge but a group of individuals. We know all what happened next. It's a kind of polemic and we are fond of it.
The debate is not about Galliano or Blazy. They are both relevant. It's about the comeback of showmen and women against the ones who don't come to take their bows. It's about the era of over communication. Even designers such as Raf Simons and Ghesquière have to play the game of the media as others like Rousteing and Scott embracing their show-off role with a lot of pleasure. Other designers like Kawakubo and Philo are still refusing to enter into this age of the internet. The issue is about how difficult is to sell clothes as they don't stand for themselves any longer. Comme Des Garçons has a unique position in the business of fashion. They are the only one who needs nothing to sell. Their products always speak for themselves. The other brands should follow their example.
John Galliano and Anna Wintour at the British Fashion Awards 2014
Matthieu Blazy with Raf Simons, backstage at Margiela Artisanal Couture SS15
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