First, a gratuitous picture of the gorgeous Natalia Vodianova that I took from my perch at Stella McCartney this morning. I’ve been thinking about doing this blog properly for too long. Time to do get on with it! And what better way to start as I mean to go on, than by kicking off with the most straight-talking women in fashion, Professor Louise Wilson, OBE, head of the MA course at St Martin’s. A significant majority of the best young designers working in the world of fashion design today are her former students, and she is held in high esteem by all (that is, if they're not scared of her). These include Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Sophia Kokosalaki and many others. This weekend Louise Wilson was invited to Paris fashion week by Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, her first trip to the Paris shows since 1986. (“Because I’m always in my f***** office.”) I caught up with her at the ‘Guy Bourdin: His Movies’ launch at Le Bon Marche, met Alber Elbaz (jeeezus!) popped a glass of Champagne into her hand, and asked for her personal reviews of the catwalk shows she has seen so far. I was laughing so much while she recounted her views on Margiela that I could barely decipher my notes afterwards. Over to you, Louise!
Louise Wilson and Alber Elbaz last night at 'Guy Bourdin: His Movies' launch at Le Bon Marche in Paris.
LOUISE WILSON ON MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA
“It was horrific on many levels. Having been a long term fan of Martin Margiela you wanted to weep at how a parent company cannot enable their designer. How anyone with a modicum of understanding of the house of Margiela could produce things as bad as that, (Style.com), I don’t know. How anyone could clap for a skirt as long as a runway I cannot imagine, unless they were the people who made the damn thing. The giggling models, and streamers that burst from the lighting rig at the end of the show also ruined it for me.”
“Martin Margiela has left his house because they could not enable him in his work. His work had integrity. I never knew he used Italian mixed jersey. [What she means is, he didn't use the fabric, ever. So further proof he is not actually working there]. The company [Staff International, owned by Diesel founder Renzo Rosso] doesn’t know the brand, and should know better. The show I saw wasn’t trying to appeal the the faithful fans of Martin Margiela, of to lure in new fans, or attract the young to the brand. I don’t know who they were trying to appeal to, maybe a motorbike rider in Rimini?”
Maison Martin Margiela photos by Chris Moore/Catwalking.com
BACKSTORY: (It was confirmed at the weekend that press-shy Belgian Martin Margiela has departed the label he founded in 1988 after it was bought by Diesel owner Renzo Rosso and both clashed on the direction of the company. Rosso told WGSN that Margiela had "left a long time ago". Meanwhile my source says he finally left the building early this year, and had little to do with his Autumn/Winter 2009 collection, and nothing whatsoever to do with the one just presented in Paris. His die-hard fans are in mourning. Though on an up-note for those still pining for genuine Margiela designs, I hear that store-buyers are finding plenty at the showroom. Small consolation, but a consolation nontheless.)
LOUISE WILSON ON LANVIN
“ What I thought of Lanvin was it restored my faith in fashion. It rocked, and it felt young. A lot of fashion is not young enough. And this also felt like an event from cocktail to final dress. What I liked was the angriness; the sexuality; the colour; the crassness of the beading. I think every young designer looking at it should endeavour to put that much work into a collection.” Lanvin SS10 photos by Chris Moore/Catwalking.com
BACKSTORY: (This was mine, and everyone else’s for that matter, show of the week (so far, anyway). Alber recieved a standing ovation at the end, and while watching it, you felt instinctively that this was the best a fashion show could get.)
AND FINALLY, LOUISE ON COMME DES GARCONS...
AND FINALLY, LOUISE ON COMME DES GARCONS...
“Loved the pieces. Loved the silhouettes, but it didn’t feel new. I am someone who is constantly searching for new, and feeling 99.9% of the time that I don’t see it. When I look at the way Comme present their shows I think it’s old fashioned. They are only talking to a certain kind of person. [She means conceptual] The clothes could be relevant for totally different people. I could see some of these as event dresses, for an audience entirely unlike the one they currently have. I am about applauding people trying to do new. If they can’t take that forward themselves what hope is there? It’s like not changing your hairstyle for years. You can get trapped in a look."
CDG SS10 photos by Chris Moore/Catwalking.com
Thank-you Louise. Now all we have to do is find that biker from Rimini you were talking about.