Le Journal No.2 : So...What's Next

I was questioning myself, what should I expect for the future of fashion? Due to the overexposure of everything in our daily life (well, thanks to the technology), high fashion in 21st Century is no longer just for those Bourgeois/ Bourgeoisie, which means now we still have the difference between high-Street and high fashion, but the boundary has blurred.

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High fashion becomes rather approachable with a limit of age; you will probably see an 11-old-girl wearing Dolce & Gabbana head to toe with a Chanel backpack attend the school, post classy pictures on Instagram to maker her statement. Or in the department store, you'll see a teenage girl tries to convince her parents for a pair of Manolo shoes. Fashion seems to becomes less exclusive yet much more desirable for people of all ages because of the brain-wash like adverts, promotions, and social media boosts. The fashion in 21st Century, from my interpretation, it’s a sugar-coated business game instead of creating another legend. 

The creative direction of a brand is much more crucial than ever ------ the consumers ( including me ), are much harder to please. We, the new generation ( some people call us Millennium, but I think it's too cliché to mention)
are the witnesses of the change in this business of fashion: Young or die, change or fail, what's more, important for a new collection is whether the youth market is willing to pay for those newly designed house legacy:
The " New Look " in 21 century by Maria Grazia Chiuri, the new DIOR font, the subcultural way of BALENCIAGA expression; furthermore, a neutralised GIVENCHY SS18 collection by Clare Wright Keller. Alessandro Michele is still playing a game of extravagance, regardless so many other brands are trying so hard to be cool and stay minimal, GUCCI is the only one that doesn't stand for modernism, but more about celebrating the glamorous fashion history throughout the recent collections, Reminiscent.

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                                               Dior 2018 Haute Couture is an adventure in a surreal land.

                                               Dior 2018 Haute Couture is an adventure in a surreal land.

Gucci SS18 Campaign is a perfect combination of the oil painting and Alessandro's extravagant, flamboyant design.

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The VERSACE SS18 Tribute Collection, the show made a reunion of the legendary models who worked with Gianni Versace from during 80s and 90s

So, what's happening next in this super commercialised, consumer-dominated era? Will we still have a great designer just like Charles James or Yves Saint Laurent? Or the definition has already shifted to a new page, commercially successful designers will be able to keep their seats longer in the Houses, and build their archives and put beside the legends. Donatella Versace made a tribute to her brother, the great designer, Gianni Versace, to remember his fashion dedication to women, to bodies and all the glorious sassiness. When the runway music begins, the audiences and venue are surrounded by a sexy female voice: A love letter to Gianni. Then the archival pieces, the dramatic antique gold earrings, the highly recognised VERSACE prints, and the legendary models walked in the golden gowns.  Feels like the good old times are back again, the golden age when George Michael still performing the "Freedom" on stage.

The nostalgic tribute sometimes indicates a brand new reveal for the next step. Because of those legends, we will never be afraid to embrace the newness, the challenge of creating the new chapters of fashion. A new story is yet to come, and I do expect the future will be as bright as the time when John Galliano was still making those breath-taking collections for Christian Dior, when Nicholas was still surprising the world with his futuristic vision for Balenciaga. 

“You might say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

" Nostalgic "

I was born in mid-1990s, but I miss that age when people spend hours to get dressed up fully, from work to a restaurant for dinner, from a fancy party to another. 

Christobal Balenciaga 1963

Christobal Balenciaga 1963

The old magazines always strike me, during the age which photoshop and weird beauty standard don’t really exist, fashion is the most fabulous thing in the world. I’m definitely not thinking backward, and as Anna Wintour said: “ You need to be of the moment, not too far ahead, not too far behind.”

 

Vogue Cover Then and Now: The photoshopped, commercialised beauty covers, Fan Bingbing for Vogue China (Right)

Vogue Cover Then and Now: The photoshopped, commercialised beauty covers, Fan Bingbing for Vogue China (Right)

 

I guess people from last century no matter 20’s, 30’s post-war, 60’s to 90’s, they were just living in the moment.  

Harper's Bazaar 1952

Harper's Bazaar 1952

I remember once my friend Nigel, who has worked in fashion for decades (probably the years he worked in fashion is bigger than my age number), he invited me for a home dinner after my terrible internship. I was totally surprised to see so many vintage magazines from 30 - 40 years ago and the style still looked so on trend, then we talked about fashion, fashion from his era and fashion from my era, the similarity is in two eras we both have Manolo shoes and Balenciaga’s innovative designer pieces, and Burberry’s signature coat, then I found the difference: Manolo nowadays has officially become pretentious young drama queen’s favourite (some of them have horrible implants resting inside their faces), unfortunately, Carrie’s love has officially shifted to serve many fashion victims’ foot and becomes slightly tacky to me. Balenciaga is busy with investigating the new fashion out of brand's historical archive, the commercial pieces are selling extremely well worldwide and, Demna has definitely made this original Couture brand energetic again. Young generation in their late teenage years and early 20s love consuming, many of them shop with a "subcultural" taste of fashion and, China is a big market for the reborn popular brands such as Balenciaga, Although those consumers probably don’t even know it’s a heritage french fashion house funded by a Spanish-born designer. I realised one thing: Under the lead of social media influence, people now are more educated on what to wear under a current season, but have no idea, and might not be interested in brand itself and its story behind.

As a 21st century consumer, should we be more aware or educated about the brands we are paying for? I think as a responsibility, at least, us, the fashion workers, we should keep educating ourselves more, with more exciting challenges, and try to use that knowledge to educate people around us.

This morning I saw the new Vogue cover featured the mix-raced beauty Adwoa, it is stunning and I couldn’t move my eyes away: I almost felt like a revisit of the good old times (the beautiful Vogue covers from 40s, 50s and 60s. Then I thought about Gucci, Alessandro Michele --- A man who is never afraid of spending every collection to embrace the fashion history and dare to be the max. Brands are starting to turn-up their voices and get much more fun and retrospective, Fiorucci is opening on Brewer St again, Twin Peaks has returned with the original cast and everybody is aging gracefully combining with a new story line, still so exceptional. It feels like maybe after a while of “youth culture fever”, the real, glamorous fashion is returning back to mainstream. after all, people will ultimately appreciate the true beauty that looks visually cheerful

Vogue Cover 1960s                                             New Vogue UK 2017 

Vogue Cover 1960s                                             New Vogue UK 2017 

My favourite magazine CR fashion book did a throwback fashion edition paying a tribute to the 1990s fashion and influences: Helmut Lang, Lee Alexander McQueen, featured Lily-Rose Depp who has just turned 18, the style is retrospectively chic, the casting is definitely right under the moment.

Lily-Rose Depp for CR Fashion Book Issue 11

Lily-Rose Depp for CR Fashion Book Issue 11

the contents are absolutely inspiring. In one editorial, Natasha Poly posed with a classic light colour eye makeup, covered with Gucci monogram(also some other monograms). Carine called this editorial “Logomania”. the 1990s was the time when brands’ logos were an essential element of commercial products and can be seen everywhere: Like I remember Carrie’s Fendi Baguette in 《Sex and The City》, the small canvas bag coated with double “F”. Again, it reminds one of the biggest trends lately is logo : A symbol that represents the brand image the most and suddenly after so many years they are no longer in fashion’s blacklist. 
 

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Natasha Poly posed in the "New Classic" ---- the come-back of Monograms

Natasha Poly posed in the "New Classic" ---- the come-back of Monograms

Carrie's favourite handbag brand Fendi, and the new SS18 monogram tote

Carrie's favourite handbag brand Fendi, and the new SS18 monogram tote

The best thing about trend is: no matter which trend you like and no matter how fast they will fade away, there’s always a chance for all the styles to come back and make a "revenge", even more, they will be more advanced to fit in the time, just like reincarnation.

And regardless how much we like to predict the future, our minds are forever nostalgic.