You’re On. Diet PRADA

Diet PRADA the Instagram Fashion Critics whose mission is to shake up the fashion world and call out major brands in the fashion industry for what their bio reads as “ppl knocking each other off lol” was set up in 2014 by an anonymous fashion obsessive duo who have been working in the industry for about 10 years (reportedly they are Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler). They are something like the cultural Fashion Police of social media and have amassed a significant number of followers since then and outed a number of the industry’s big names, most memorably Dolce & Gabbana whom Diet Prada outed for knocking-off a Gucci collaboration. A battle of comments between the two ensued of which Diet Prada won. A request from Gabbana that the Instagram account “please say sorry to me” resulted in Diet Prada printing #PleaseSaySorryToMe on a t-shirt and which is selling very well thank you very much and none of their comments were retracted. On their Instagram account they post comparisons between brands and these posts are sarcastic, blunt and sometimes ruthless. They also make comparisons between current and past designs that are not only brutally honest and shocking but hilarious. Recently the power house of fashion Gucci were outed for copying a jacket designed by the imitation artist “Dapper Dan” who’s real name is Daniel Day who’s Harlem boutique which was a go-to place for rappers and gangsters et al in the 80’s. Gucci admitted that the jacket, Look No. 33, was a “homage”, as opposed to being a copy. They are asking many questions of the big names in the fashion industry such as the question “Who owns an idea?” which concerns the issue of intellectual property theft and copying in the fashion industry. Intellectual property itself is notoriously hard to protect, as the constant “homages” to runway looks that appear in fast-fashion retailers avouch. Diet Prada’s assessments of comparing brands and outing major brands for copying, shows that they have no compunction and that they have no problem with calling things as they see them. This has moved some fashion brands to invite Diet Prada to analyze their latest collections which should show some transparency and in a way it’s almost like they have created a court of public opinion and which is proving to be very effective. This sort of no-holes-barred criticism will only invite more voices and will hopefully make fashion more original, trustworthy and honest.

Plaid Skirt Trend Alert

If you already own some plaid skirts don’t put them back in your closet just yet. With the unusual ‘Hotumn’ weather we are experiencing you might think winter/fall hasn’t really arrived and almost feels like the mild weather is some sort of uninvited party guest that hasn’t taken the hint. Getting back to plaid skirts – they appear to semi-trending on the street. Although it seems like the world is always mad for plaid no matter what the weather is like and grungy plaid styles are versatile, endless and trusty go-to items to wear. You might complete the look with a leather jacket, an oversized plaid shirt, a touch of red lipstick and a slap of black eyeliner.

Azzedine Alaïa – A Man for No Seasons

Tunisian-born French designer Azzedine Alaïa, who’s death was announced November 18, 2017, was a very different designer. He was a recognizable silhouette in the world of fashion and he was a great couturier. He was different because he didn’t just design for a season or even think about a season, he designed for a body and he followed no schedule but his own. He would only design a collection when he was ready and only show when he was ready. He didn’t conform to the “see now/shop now” movement which he himself termed “see when it’s ready/shop later.” There was never any immediacy.

Azzedine Alaia show, Runway, Fall Winter 2017, Haute Couture Fashion
Azzedine Alaïa show, Runway, Fall Winter 2017, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France – 05 Jul 2017 (Photo by WWD/REX/Shutterstock).

He happily operated outside some of the norms of fashion but did’t completely turn his back on fashion or its trends. His creations didn’t need to have a seasonally related story – his designs, the materials did that, they told the story. It’s about the women that wore his collections, that’s were the magic and the transformation happened.

Azzedine Alaia Couture Fall 2017
Azzedine Alaïa Couture Fall 2017 (Photo by WWD/REX/Shutterstock).

One of his very last shows was in July of this year and was his first in six years. You only have to look at that collection and then ask yourself the question – who wouldn’t have been willing to wait? The imposingly gifted Azzedine Alaïa will be greatly missed.

Recognition Technology Up In Lights

A large digital billboard in Piccadilly Circus now uses Recognition Technology to deliver targeted adverts based on the make of passing vehicles, the gender and age of passers-by and even the weather. The digital billboard is a very large curved LED display with a more than 4K resolution that wraps around the windowless facade of the building. Secreted away within this display are built-in cameras and sensors that deliver targeted and responsive ads. Brands pre-program triggers so that specific adverts are played and are large enough so they won’t be missed. Named Piccadilly Lights by the company that owns it, Landsec. Some piece of mind is that no personal data is collected or stored by Landsec, which is the new brand for Land Securites. Are cities destined to be perpetually surrounded by these super-sized targeted advertisements? Who knows.

World Without a Computer

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utside of work I have thought about putting my computer and phone into semi-retirement. Or only use them when I am connected to Wi-Fi, either at home or if I am somewhere with a connection. It’s not going very well so far and if I choose to use my computer less, then I am probably more likely to edge an addiction towards my phone. At work, screen time without your computer is almost unavoidable, as you most likely need it to carry out your job. It seems like it would be impossible to put my computer into full retirement or imagine a world without one. Therefore there seems to be no break from my computer or my phone. It’s almost like they are an extension of our lives, phones even more so. We even want to express our emotions through Emojis using our phones. They are like communication shortcuts in our daily lives. When I look around outside, on the street, a crowded bus or train, it’s seems like everyone’s life is taking place on their phone. I just have to remind myself that I am one of those people and that I need to look up from my phone screen and realize that there is life beyond my phone.

The world around us appears to evolving faster than we are. Will we ever be able to keep up with technology, or will technology render more than just our jobs obsolete? Instead of asking the question “What’s the meaning of Life?” perhaps the question should be “What’s the meaning of Life with technology?”. As for right now, a world without a computer and a phone is unimaginable.