The fashion month

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
Oxygen

"CINDY gave it a try, but she's not into eating yak butter."

Photographer Herb Ritts on why Cindy Crawford and buddhist Richard Gere ended up getting divorced, Red

"He knew that I was the first black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue and Kate started the revolution of the little models. So I suppose we were both revolutionaries in his eyes."

Naomi Campbell on her and Kate Moss's encounter with Fidel Castro, the Times

"Excuse me? Just who does she represent or appeal to?"

Reader's letter in Company, questioning the much-touted view that Kate Moss represents an entire generation

"It is a bizarre fact of the Nineties that Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, just by turning up at a party in a Chanel swimsuit, can spearhead the revival of a charity within the public consciousness."

Victoria Mather on the ubiquitous "It" girl, the Evening Standard

"I just did it for the shows. I don't expect people to walk around like that."

Hussein Chalayan on those Spring/Summer 1998 frocks minus armholes, plus hip-level hand holes, Vogue

"There are bound to be shops where I'm going."

Society hostess Nan Kempner's vision of the after-life, Tatler

"Modelling certainly beats Tony Blair's minimum wage, doesn't it?"

James Kirby, father of teen model Rachel, on her budding career, the Sunday Times

"Glamorous men and women are often brave and resourceful. Rather than being shallow, they're the kind of people who think it's their duty to be entertaining and enlivening the proceedings. They believe that being dull, drag or boring is the ultimate sin."

Lynda Lee Potter, unimpressed by Princess Anne's down-to-earth fashion sense, the Daily Mail

"It was just a dress. I didn't think about it for more than two seconds. They offered and I said, 'Thanks very much, I'll wear it.'"

Liz Hurley (rather unconvincingly) on the Versace dress that catapulted her to fame and fortune, Tatler

Fashion focus

THE WORD "floaty" is being bandied about this Summer, with a plethora of stories about "floaty" frocks or "floaty" tops; and it seems the financial world has jumped on the fashion float-boat as well. It's never been more fashionable for designer names to float on the stock exchange. Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren have done it already, while Gianfranco Ferre and Versace are thinking about it. While for Donna Karan it wasn't a good move (shares peaked at $28 on the first day of trading two years ago and have never come close since), for Ralph Lauren it was a smart decision - Ralph and his family made around $400m last year when his company floated in New York.

It's a risky business when a privately-owned fashion business sells its shares on the stock-exchange, and gives up part or all control of the company to shareholders. Shareholders are often not very interested in fashion (unless they get to see models strutting on the catwalk in G- strings). A nasty generalisation though this may be, shareholders don't care about the aesthetic quality of a garment, only in its financial return. Bad news for fashion.

Wisely, Ferruccio Ferragamo, chief executive of the family-run business Salvatore Ferragamo, has shunned flotation. To him, private family control means "we can decide on strategies and courses of action amongst the family, without being responsible to outside shareholders."

Now, Gucci is to family values what Alexander McQueen is to the Women's Institute. However, after the company passed out of family hands in the early Nineties, it was floated on the stock market. The company is now headed by Gucci president Domenico De Sole and the American designer Tom Ford who have seen their shares fall dramatically (they plunged from $70 to $35 last Autumn). All this has been made far worse by the economic crisis in Asia, from which 40 per cent of their business came.

To make matters worse, Prada has just bought a huge 9.5 per cent stake in the company for pounds 150m. It has made Gucci shares leap to $52 dollars, but also puts the fashion house in danger of being taken over. Prada could either make a full bid for the company, or forge alliances with their investors to gain control.

"Prada buying Gucci would be moronic," said the head of a famous American fashion house in the Sunday Times. "I bet you that in the end, this will all be about the Italian's tendency to show off. Gucci's share price has gone up, so it's benefited from these rumours already."

Come the Autumn/Winter 1998/9 fashion shows, speculation will be more about share stakes than hemlines. "Most experts agree that the industry is on the brink of a takeover frenzy more manic than the opening day of the Harrods sale," said the Sunday Times. And that can only be bad news for creativity and innovation.

Business

SEARS, the retailing group, has decided to go ahead with the demerging of its flagship store Selfridges, despite a sharp fall in profits and sales for the current year. The store's trading profits have tumbled from pounds 33.5m to pounds 15.8m in the 12 months to the end of January, and a current pounds 99 million store re-fit has been blamed for the fall.

(Source: The Evening Standard)

Hennes & Mauritz, the Swedish fashion retailer, raised its first-half profits by 35 per cent to pounds 102m and announced plans to open 39 more stores. Sales rose 19 per cent, with 81 per cent coming from outlets abroad.

(Source: The Times)

Asda has started selling cut-price designer sunglasses, including Calvin Klein and Gucci. A pounds 155 pair of Guccis now cost pounds 77.50 in the store (Source: The Guardian)

Bits and bobs

CLEANING UP: Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman was the voice of reason at an Association of Chief Police Officers conference on the drugs problem. While admitting that "heroin chic" photographs could have an adverse effect, she claimed the film and music industries were equally accountable. Trouble is, most fashion, film and music is so boring now you need to drop a tab to enjoy it.

Bowled over: The Guardian reported on the HIV charity Fashion Acts' latest venture. Meg 'n' Noel, model Kylie Bax and Manolo Blahnik were among 40 fashion and pop celebs who customised crockery for the charity. Jodie Kidd gets ten out of ten for effort. A future as a ceramic artist, perhaps?

Is Calvin up his own arias? Sheets of white tarpaulin appeared over the Royal Opera House for one night in June. Has the ROH finally caught up with fashion and decided white is the new granite? No, it was so Mr K could project 50ft images from his new cK ad campaign. Do we really need to see a colossal Christy digging up turnips when we fall out of the pub?

A Sarong for Europe: Dave "PR" Beckham was in the news again when he stepped out with Posh wearing a floaty big scarf over his trousers. Sartorial free kick or a fashion own goal? The Daily Telegraph claimed the Gaultier pounds 115 "square" had "already sold out", while in the Guardian Wayne Hemingway of Red or Dead mused, "He has more style than I thought."

Blown Out: Isabella Blow was left out of June Vogue's "Best of British" tribute, apparently because she was too busy for the photoshoot. "I'm moving to Alexander McQueen's apartment in the Place des Vosges in Paris," she breathed in the Daily Telegraph. "Then I'm going to take The Bastille by storm, fight against dog mess and the bourgeoisie and learn French."

Who shot what

COVER UP: Liz Hurley on Tatler; Amber Valetta on Vogue, Naomi Campbell on i-D and Bridget Hall on Harper's Bazaar.

Boyish charm: Menswear included short sharp shirts in Esquire; wide trousers in the Review; geek chic in the Independent and new girlie chaps in the Sunday Times.

Around the world in 80 pages: Brazilian style in Esquire, Mexican stuff in ES magazine, delicate Chinese prints in the Times and California, Jamaica, Tangiers and Sydney streetlife in i-D. Hope they collected their Air Miles.

In profile: Hussein Chalayan and Jemima Khan in Vogue; Elspeth Gibson in Frank; Greg Rusedski in the Telegraph and club label Cyberdog in the Independent.

Not drowning but waving: Bikinis became seriously stylish in Vogue; even doubled up as evening wear in Frank; got sophisticated in the Review; and tribal in the Times.

Fifties something: Holiday camp chic in Frank; Doris Day frocks in Company; bomber jackets and pedal pushers in the Independent; Grease chic in the Sunday Telegraph. It had to happen.

Jeanius: Denim makes a comeback in Vogue ("jeans are dead: long live denim"), Esquire ("dark denim for dark stars") and The Face ("denim - the fashion that doesn't have to try too hard").

This Sporting Life: Golfing was declared the acme of cool in Frank; ES magazine ran with athletics; while the Observer harnessed up for all things horsey.

Bigger, better, best: Could it be that Crawford bodies are back? Vogue's swimwear model was the healthy and muscular Ehrinn Cummings, who was all contours; more Miss Universe than Miss Moss. Meanwhile, i-D shot bikinis and costumes filled with big bosoms and fat tummies. So discovering Sophie Dahl counts for something after all.

Homes of the rich and famous: The Times showed us around Emanuel Ungaro's tasteful Tuscan villa while Red paid a visit to Helen Christensen's boho New York flat.

Colour by numbers: Silver and see-through in Vogue; flashing neons in She; yellow in the Times, dramatic reds and whites in Frank and shades of pale grey in the Telegraph.

Comments