Remembering Isabella Blow

© Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! Edited by Alistair O’Neill with photography by Nick Knight

With a major exhibition showcasing over a hundred pieces from her personal clothing collection soon set to open at London’s Somerset House, accompanied by a catalogue edited by Alistair O’Neill with photography by Nick KnightColin McDowell remembers the remarkable Isabella Blow.

…Continue Reading

In Defense of a Free Fashion Press

Cathy Horyn and Suzy Menkes sitting front row | Source: theluxechronicles.com

Fashion critics and journalists should be allowed to publish critical and substantial commentary on fashion shows without brands banning them from runway shows, says Colin McDowell, a member of the recently launched BoF 500.

…Continue Reading

Colin’s Column | The Focused Modesty of Azzedine Alaïa

Alaïa S/S 1991 | Source: Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

On the eve of a major retrospective on Azzedine Alaïa, curated by Olivier Saillard and staged at the newly re-opened Musée Galliera, Colin McDowell reflects on the life and work of the great couturier.

…Continue Reading

Colin’s Column | Ermenegildo Zegna Does Australia, Big-Time

Australian Sheep | Source: Zegna Facebook Page

Fresh from a trip down under, where he was schooled in the age-old process of wool production, Colin McDowell shares his experience of the over-the-top Australian extravaganza to celebrate the fiftieth edition of the Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Trophy.

…Continue Reading

Colin’s Column | Does the Format of International Talent Competitions Give English Speakers an Unfair Advantage?

Diane von Furstenberg, Donatella Versace, Franca Sozzani and Victoria Beckham at the International Woolmark Prize | Photo: Dave Benett

On the occasion of the 2013 International Woolmark Prize, Colin McDowell says it’s time to evolve international talent searches to eliminate disadvantages for non-English speakers.

…Continue Reading

Colin’s Column | Paris Couture Week, Continued

PARIS, France — The weather was vile, the taxi shortage extreme. The gutters ran with filthy water from melting snow. We slid and slithered in ankle deep slush. In short, Paris was not at its best. But this was Couture Week (well, three days, which is symptomatic of how fashion ‘weeks’ have shrunk, but old habits — and titles — die hard in fashion circles) and we felt privileged to be there. But is everything shown in Paris during

…Continue Reading

Colin’s Column | Is Haute Couture Poised for Reinvention or Irrelevance?

Christian Dior Couture S/S 2013 | Photo: BoF

PARIS, France — Couture! This magic word was all but forgotten 30-odd years ago, except in the most exalted and privileged of social circles. Since its high point in the late 1940s and 1950s, couture clients had shrivelled away just as the lifestyles the couturiers once clothed had withered as well. Fashion had taken its lead from the arts, generally, and jumped on the democratic bus called youth and freedom. Even Yves Saint

…Continue Reading