Alexander Fury: Fashion's musical chairs are fun to watch, but not very edifying

Wear, what, why, when?

So, Marc Jacobs has left Louis Vuitton, after a blockbuster 16 years. In a quieter fashion, his almost-namesake Marco Zanini bowed out of Rochas to head up the relaunched Schiaparelli. J W Anderson was appointed creative director of Loewe. And on the final day Paris began to buzz with news of the revival of the age-old house of Jean Patou.

It's all terribly confusing, these games of designer musical chairs. It also reminds one a little of the late 1990s, when Jacobs was first installed at Vuitton, hot on the heels of the appointments of McQueen to Givenchy and Galliano to Dior. They were showmen with an urge to dazzle and delight. The demands of fashion have changed. The idea of fashion for fashion's sake – or, perhaps, beauty for beauty's sake, to borrow a phrase from the Louis Vuitton show-notes, written by Marc Jacobs himself – isn't enough. Designers aren't just expected to bump up a brand's image, but to garner positive reviews and send sales figures sky-rocketing. If they don't, the doors will revolve again.

They can revolve dramatically: the house of Emanuel Ungaro has employed everyone from Giles Deacon to Lindsay Lohan (yes, really).

It even had Peter Dundas, for all of three seasons. He's since hit commercial paydirt with a spectacular revival of Emilio Pucci. Why didn't Ungaro work?

The issue is two-fold. Firstly, every designer doesn't fit every house. I am an enormous fan of Zanini, but I'm not convinced he's the right man for Schiap. Many expressed the same thoughts over Alexander Wang's appointment at Balenciaga, while Hedi Slimane's heavy-handed reworking of Saint Laurent, from the logo down, has caused controversy.

The other issue is of longevity. Designers seem to be chewed up and spat out before they have chance to warm their seat, let alone get their feet under the table. Fast fashion may be all the rage on the high-street, but it doesn't really work at this level. Bide your time. Let them grow.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Property Manager

    £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...

    Recruitment Genius: Mechanical Design Engineer

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
    How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
    11 best bedside tables

    11 best bedside tables

    It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
    Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

    Italy vs England player ratings

    Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
    Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

    Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat