Alexander Fury: A scruffy British bloke just isn't cut from the right cloth for a couture show
Alexander Fury is a fashion journalist, author and critic. He is fashion editor of the Independent, i and the Independent on Sunday newspapers and was awarded the inaugural Editorial Intelligence Award for Fashion Commentator of the Year 2014-15. He was named one of InStyle magazine's 20 most powerful people in fashion in 2015.
Sunday 06 July 2014
The Parisian haute couture season has begun, and I’m starting to sweat. Both literally and metaphorically. The literal is easy to figure out – Paris isn’t a fan of air conditioning, plus cramming several hundred people and several million watts of lighting into an airless hôtel particulieur ends up making you feel a bit like a rotisserie in a kebab-shop window.
That’s a very un-couture thing to say. Which is part of the concern. I’m not very couture. The two types of people I know that orbit around haute couture are either indefatigably fabulous – such as Lady Amanda Harlech, who pairs knackered Converse with her Chanel – or stinking rich. Admittedly, I don’t know the latter, but I see them.
They’re the women hauling diamonds the size of municipal pools, fanning themselves languidly with couture programmes. They’re clients, the women who actually buy. Or Anna Wintour.
Video: Best of haute couture for spring/summer 2015
There’s something about the haute couture that induces a slight hysteria. I think it does the same to many journalists. Everyone eschews comfort for the pointiest of Manolo Blahniks, or in my case heavy, overly polished brogues. It pretty much functions like a podiatric corset.
Frankly, that’s as polished as I can get. Here is a confession: I’m scruffy. I think it comes from being British, and a bloke. Looking down the line of predominantly male English editors at the spring 2015 menswear shows last week, I was struck by how ordinary we all looked – creasy and greasy, a rag-tag bunch.
But I tend to think British people aren’t great at summer generally. We rarely get much of one – hence the reason we (read: me) are so bad at dressing for it.
At least, that’s my excuse if a couture cadaver asks why I’m perspiring all over her grain de poudre.
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