PARIS, France — Strange people in the fashion world. Take Dior. The couturier who founded the house with money provided by Marcel Boussac, the cotton baron, was secretive and superstitious, always looking for traitors hiding behind curtains. And nothing much seems to have changed since the man described by Cecil Beaton as “the Watteau of couturiers” first took the fashion world by storm in 1947, the year in which Christian Dior
LONDON, United Kingdom — “Bill Cunningham New York,” the ‘fly on the wall’ documentary devoted to the octogenarian photographer is very gentle. Pleasingly so, as he has gone from being a well-loved eccentric of the international fashion scene to public property. I saw the film in an art house cinema in London’s West End, where the size of the audience can normally be counted on the fingers of two hands. But for Bill, it was packed.
LONDON, United Kingdom — Now that the dust has settled on the last of the four major international runways, it’s time to take stock. Watching the shows, I was reminded of British artist Richard Hamilton’s comment on Pop Art, which he described as “transient, expendable, low-cost, mass-produced and… big business.” This seems an almost spookily apt description of at least 70 percent of the collections I have seen this season,
LONDON, United Kingdom — There are two ways in which a fashion magazine can be successful: either by featuring clothes with which the reader can identify or by stimulating the reader’s imagination. It is the old tussle between commerciality and creativity. Except, of course, it isn’t a tussle that existed before fashion magazines became mass market and needed to chase and keep readers who, for most of the twentieth century, never
Legendary fashion writer and BoF contributing editor Colin McDowell has been attending and reviewing fashion shows for more than 30 years. Who better to give us the lowdown on one of the best London Fashion Weeks in recent memory? LONDON, United Kingdom — Each season, despite challenges, London continues to raise the stakes, in terms of both creativity and, dare I say it, commercial potential. Here, I’ve assembled my top choices of
LONDON, United Kingdom — Death and disgrace do not often darken the world of fashion. In the case of the first, a designer normally dies long after retirement and his demise is of only local interest. In the case of the second, it rarely happens and can usually be covered up by one means or another. But in the last eighteen months there have been two tragedies that can neither be covered up, nor ignored. They are, of course, the
LONDON, United Kingdom — Design is generally about function leading form in a problem-solving exercise that almost always starts with a sense of discontent with what is generally available and a strong determination to make it better and even change radically a template that might have been used for many years. The result, in the hands of the right practitioner, is a completely new solution to the problem, a solution that works for
Today we are honoured to welcome Colin McDowell to our team of contributing editors at The Business of Fashion. In his regular column, we will hear his personal stories, reflections, and insights from over thirty years working in fashion as a designer, educator, critic and commentator. PARIS, France — In the wake of the couture shows in Paris, I have been thinking about what is wrong with current couture and, indeed, fashion