Category: Style

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.

Is Anything “NEW’ In Fashion?

When looking at an image of a fashionable young man from 1827, nicknamed the “poodle,” the white baggy trousers he sports bear a remarkable similarity to contemporary fashion items.

Several decades later, the look has been adapted for the Victorian lady and now takes the form of a bloomer costume, albeit with the trousers gathered at the ankle to give a cleaner overall shape when worn with a jacket.

Bloomer, circa 1850s.
Bloomer, circa 1850s.

 

 

Bloomer Costume, circa 1832
Bloomer Costume, circa 1832.

 

White Baggy Mens Trousers, circa 1817
White Baggy Mens Trousers, circa 1817.

Jump to 1922, and note an image of the glamorous Denise Poiret (complete with dangling cigarette), wife of the French designer Paul Poiret who caused a revolution in fashion design with his bold use of simple classical lines.

Denise Poiret_Pyjama de Harem, 1922
Denise Poiret Pyjama de Harem, 1922.

Denise wears an outfit that includes “Pyjama de harem”. Surely these may be seen as the precursor of the leather culottes on sale in a trendy high street store today. Mary Quant wears her flares in 1972, yet the same look is currently mooted as a “new trend,” one vying for favor in an attempt to oust out the beloved skinnies.

Mary Quant, circa 1972.
Mary Quant, circa 1972.

Fashion comes, fashion goes! The must-have NEW trend lasts maybe for a couple of seasons and then vanishes. Or does it? When placed under the microscope the above examples demonstrate an adage that can be applied to the design of garments – there is nothing new under the sun. A look comes into vogue, lasts for a season or two and then dies. But, it will be resurrected again, in another form at a later date.

 

Leather Coulottes (Topshop)
Leather Coulottes (Topshop).

 

Flared Jeans
Flared Jeans.

Love or hate culottes or flares, neither the easiest shape to wear unless processed of a pair of long legs, both looks will be purchased and worn as a badge of honor, one shouting this is the latest trend. It is NEW. Of course it isn’t. It has been around before!

A Trend for All Seasons

Recent Tweets from Elle Magazine and Vogue Magazine and various other fashion magazines have resulted in earnest cries of what is a fashion trend anyway? Just wondering if they all have a go-to Fashion Trend Fortuneteller to get their trends read.

I can’t (after a little researching) find out when the fad for fashion trends all started and what some of them are based on. I think most of them are the outcomes of knee-jerking fashion moments made by someone in the world who tries to convince us that this is the current fashion trend and we should all be openmouthed and want to follow along with it. I am not against them (and I am not mocking Fashion or Fashion Trends here) but it’s more about what differentiates a good fashion trend from a bad one. More importantly should it even be considered a fashion trend.

Gillian Anderson
Gillian Anderson at the 2001 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Take the current Thong Trend  which to me is not a trend likely to catch on and just asks the question – How low can fashion trends go? Another current fashion trend is the XXL Hat Supersize Trend which I think is the hats answer to the Beehive hairstyle. I don’t think it will be a popular trend with Airport security. Though, it would be a good hat for Paddington Bear to store his marmalade sandwiches.

Bucket Hat - Marc Jacobs Fall 2017
Marc Jacobs Fall 2017

Essentially fashion trends inform us what we should be wearing now or next season (in Fashion Code), it could be anything from wearing red or oversized or something else – but of course you are not being ordered to wear anything, it’s just fashion and nothing personal. If you missed out on any particular fashion trend then don’t feel too disheartened as fashion trends come back (if it ain’t broke…), whereas fashion code or fashion parlance is immutable. I enjoy reading about and seeing the latest fashion trends and as long as we realize that we have a choice to follow along with them or not, then they don’t do us any harm, visually or even if they appear to be seasonally discordant.

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga

Fashion is about choosing your own style, wearing the clothes that you want to, and not what fashion trends or fashion seasons hint at what you should be wearing. Most of what I like about fashion trends is how they showcase the creativity of fashion designers.  Lots of us follow our own particular fashion designer or label in the same way lots of us follow our own football teams, singers or bands. None of them are telling us to support or listen to them. I don’t think fashion trends intend to baffle us in any way – but they are like guides informing us whats currently being deemed ‘in’ or of-the-moment in terms of style.