El Efecto Balements - Luster Magazine

Originalmente publicado en Lustermagazine

¿Será la velocidad con la cual se mueve el mundo actual?, ¿el abominable culto al selfie? ¿o el nuevo individualismo que, por encima, pareciera no seguir los fenómenos de las masas? Tan diversos fueron los mensajes entregados durante la semana de la moda de París, que atrás quedó aquello clasificar a una firma dentro de la estética del lujo austero de Céline o dentro de la abundancia decorativa y nostálgica que caracteriza a Prada.
Ahora bien, si hubo un mensaje que se sobrepuso a todo el ruido fue el de Demna Gvasalia, el creador de Vêtements y el nuevo diseñador de Balenciaga: “streetwear es el nuevo couture”,  o algo por esas líneas. Sin embargo, aun al evocar los volúmenes del maestro Cristóbal, resulta difícil digerir la colección como Balenciaga. Desde luego, queda claro el alto potencial comercial de la muestra y que se beneficiará del bombo actual que goza el reciclaje “margielista” de su nuevo director.
Lógicamente, Gvasalia proviene de la famosa escuela de Antwerp y de las filas de Martin Margiela y Louis Vuitton. No en vano su retoño, Vêtements, no es más que una recreación de la estética deconstructiva y urbana de Margiela en sus inicios. Evidentemente, la hazaña de Gvasaglia no radica en reinterpretar al diseñador belga, sino en haber logrado conectar con el público joven como nadie lo ha hecho recientemente.
Como consecuencia, el efecto Vêtements no solo ha llegado a Balenciaga, sino que se ha colado tanto en marcas debutantes (Off White) como veteranas (Kenzo y Miu Miu). Centrarse en el producto y divorciase de cualquier concepto pretencioso ha sido la bandera y éxito de Vêtements, pero ello no implica que funcione para todos. Sin embargo, deja en el aire la pregunta de si es momento de simplificar el mensaje a la hora de vender.
La realidad es que Balenciaga o ‘Balements’, según sea su preferencia, hará sonar las cajas registradoras y pondrá una sonrisa en la cara de François Henri-Pinault, actual presidente del conglomerado Kering, anteriormente llamado PPR (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute). Mientras tanto, Martin Margiela observa como hacen fortunas con su legado y como John Galliano utiliza su nombre para dar rienda suelta a su circo de fantasías frustradas.

Luca Larenza’s Street Art Inspired Menswear

Originally published in The Business of Fashion

Comment: Can 'Carbon Funds' Help Fashion Brands Tackle Their Environmental Impact? by BoF

Link to Article on The Business of Fashion

 Interesting article. "Fashion is the world's second most polluting industry, exceeded only by oil." Yikes!

However, "taxing" companies for producing carbon is not the solution. The solution or at least something that would alleviate the problem goes completely against the nature of the business itself (which is to churn out new clothes every second) and it involves, obviously, all participants of the chain: from the governments, to the designers, companies, producers, manufacturers, suppliers and of course the consumer.
Yes,  it is a positive step. It’s at least some form of acknowledging the environmental impact of the company and creating funds to help reduce their own emissions. It’s more than most companies are willing to do. But as the article says, it needs to be a much wider set of initiatives.

And back to the consumer,  the only real “solution” (or a huge part of it) lies in each and every human being becoming more conscious of what they buy and how much they buy. How much do we really need? Nobody needs to renovate their wardrobe every season (despite of what magazines tell you). It’s a problem deeply rooted in education and culture, the praise of the new. The culture of conspicuous consumption, shop! shop! you need this!, you need that! (specially Christmas and every commercial holiday of this nature).

Companies produce what people want to buy. That’s why you keep seeing those Louis Vuitton monogram bags and their imitations. Unfortunately, furs are more popular than ever, yet again, because the demand from the final consumer has risen considerably in the past years. If people don’t buy it, companies won’t produce it. No one wants to have unsold merchandise in their shops. As simple as that.

Ahh!, but buying less, consuming less, investing on good quality, lasting garments that weren’t made by a kid in a poverty stricken 3rd world country, goes completely against their profitability. It doesn't  matter on which end of the spectrum you shop, whether it’s high end or high street. Like I said, it’s unnatural for an industry that is based on “newness”, and change. The “must- haves”, the “it” bag, the “trends”...

The truth is, the only way to be truly sustainable would be to never, ever buy a piece of clothing again. And obviously this is unrealistic (doable, but unrealistic). However, we can be more conscious, of what we buy, how we produce, etc. What is the point of creating if it implies so much destruction? This involves of course, a different mindset with much broader and true holistic view of us as a society, as whole planet. And we’re not just talking about clothes here anymore.

We are in times that need profound reflection and redefinition on every level. We are at the verge of disastrous climate change, and the fashion industry, as one of the most powerful and influential on earth, has not only the potential but the responsibility to create and promote sustainable change. Creation and newness has to be geared towards embracing all these environmental, social and ethical issues. If all these brilliant creative minds and forces came together to do this, combined with our individual awareness, imagine the magic.

Not So Plain Jane for #NOFILTER Magazine

 Photography: Laura Cammarata   @Laura_Cammarata - Styling: Graciela Martin @descosido_
Makeup: Virginia Bertolani @virginiamua - Hair: Shouichi Nakamichi 
Model: Sophia Goslitski at Elite Models London - Photographic assistance: Claudia Guariglia - 
Styling assistance: Flavia Souza, Viviana Attard

Liz Black for River Island

 River Island, la cadena de high street fashion inglesa , apuntó a la diseñadora de origen venezolano Liz Black como su proxima colaboradora.  

    La muestra de nueve piezas ideada por Black - que incluye vestidos, piezas separadas, abrigos y accesorios - está inspirada en la Familia Imperial Rusa, con manguitos y detalles evocativos de los huevos Fabergé.
El lanzamiento de la colección se llevará a cabo durante el próximo London Fashion Week en septiembre de este año y estará disponible tanto en las tiendas River Island como en la plataforma online.

UK high street retailer River Island enlists Venezuelan-born Liz Black as their next guest designer.

 The nine piece  capsule collection - comprising dresses, outerwear, separates and accessories - was inspired by Russia's last Imperial family, with Russian muffs and Fabergé egg cut-out detailing alongside her signature moody prints.
The collection will launch during London Fashion Week's Fashion Film event, and will arrive instores and online at www.riverisland.com in September 2014 with prices ranging from £30 to £100. 
source: Vogue.com

Words of Widsdom: Louise Wilson

Professor Louise Wilson passed away last Saturday May 17. She was a mentor to Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane and all of the great talents that have emerged from the Central Saint Martins MA Fashion course over the past 22 years. Wilson was appointed OBE in 2008 for services to education and the fashion industry, she was considered one of the most influential figures of fashion.

I never met her formally,  but I consider myself very lucky just to have heard this advice directly from her at the recent Vogue Festival Fashion Masterclass:

Photo: Chris Brooks. Vogue.co.uk

Louise Wilson's top five tips on how to get ahead in fashion:

Think long-term, not short-term, hence:
1. Have at least one skill and develop it.
2. Understand what manners are and deploy them.
3. Take risks. Failure is OK, you can learn from failure!
4. Be interested in the industry and its breadth - it's surprising how many people are not.
5. Work hard - absorb knowledge and give knowledge. 

Piensa a largo plazo, no a corto plazo, por lo tanto:  
1. Ten al menos una habilidad y desarróllala.  
2. Entiende lo que son los buenos modales y empléalos. 
3. Toma riesgos. Está bien fracasar, ¡puedes aprender del fracaso!
4. Interésate por la industria y toda su extensión - la cantidad de personas que no se interesan por ella es sorprendente. 

5. Trabaja duro - absorbe conocimiento y da conocimiento.