Thursday, May 2, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

The fashion news is coming at you a day early this week as I'm off for a few days break. Luckily, there's plenty to tell you about already with the first of the AW13 ads, pretty costumes and much more.

If anything, this will be the week when Nicolas Ghesquiere finally got his voice heard. After months of radio silence following his departure from Balenciaga, details of two interviews he has given to indy magazines have shed light on his feelings in the run-up to his decision to leave after 15 years at the French design house. First, Business of Fashion ran excerpts from new magazine System's piece. Ghesquiere doesn't hold back:

"It became one frustration after another. It was really that lack of culture which bothered me in the end. The strongest pieces that we made for the catwalk got ignored by the business people. They forgot that in order to get to that easily sellable biker jacket, it had to go via a technically mastered piece that had been shown on the catwalk. I started to become unhappy when I realised that there was no esteem, interest, or recognition for the research that I’d done; they only cared about what the merchandisable result would look like."

The 032c cover via
The second insight we've gleaned is from a mega long (c.14,000 words) feature in Germany's 032C publication. The Cut reports that there are quotes from the likes of Grace Coddington and Hamish Bowles on Ghesquiere's Balenciaga legacy. Kristen Stewart, who wore Ghesquiere's Balenciaga designs extensively on the red carpet, has also given her thoughts on his departure. He clearly shared his feelings with the actress. After his final SS13 show (though nobody knew it at the time), Stewart says, "he had this look like he was actually the kid who was being told he wasn't allowed to do something", seeing that he was unhappy she offered, "I will totally run away with you". 

Later, Ghesquiere himself hints that (thank god) we haven't seen the last of him yet. "I am preparing something, but I have choices to make". 

To add further intrigue to the tale, there are separate rumours of a big development soon. Yesterday, this exchange took place on Twitter...

  1. perhaps there's going to be an announcement about him going somewhere mega very soon???
I've heard a whisper but nothing confirmed...

Watch this space...

In news from a whole other side of the fashion industry, Primark announced this week that they would be offering compensation to all the families of the those affected by the Bangladesh factory collapse in which over 390 people have now been reported dead, with more still missing. The help will include "the provision of long-term aid for children who have lost parents, financial aid for those injured and payments to the families of the deceased." The disaster has prompted responses from across the spectrum, with some fashion editors questioning the provenance of the cheap clothes to which we are, arguably, addicted to the Pope criticising the working conditions of factory workers. 

Miuccia Prada with Carey Mulligan (image courtesy of Prada)
@THELOVEMAGAZINE shared a picture of the Prada/ Gatsby exhibition
The Great Gatsby is finally in proper promo mode after years of build-up. To celebrate, Prada- whose archive pieces made up many of the costumes- is putting on an exhibition entitled Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada dress Gatsby. A selection of outfits to be seen in the film, which will be released in the UK on May 16th, are on show at Prada's "epicentre"in New York until May 12th. They will then go on to Tokyo and Shanghai in June. Prada worked in conjunction with Gatsby's Costume Designer, Catherine Martin to adapt archive designs for Carey Mulligan et al. In an interview with WWD, Mrs Prada acknowledged that she had never specifically intended such broad spectrum of her dresses to fit with the twenties theme. She told Bridget Foley, “that’s what’s interesting. The point of view can transform things so much. Yes, probably a few [dresses] had that kind of edge, but almost none were meant to be the Twenties when I did them. I was really fascinated by that.”

Steven Stipelman's illustrations of The Great Gatsby costumes (via
Back to Balenciaga land once more, this time for the first ad from Alexander Wang. It's a little, well, dark. Wang's first campaign was shot by Steven Klein and apparently stars Kristen McMenamy, although you would never know that given that the model's back is turned and she seems to be about to slip out of the room. Any more than that is difficult to glean. 

Wang's first ad at Balenciaga (image via WWD)
If, like us, you didn't make it along to the Vogue Festival last weekend, then may I recommend these two options for catching up on all the goings-on? Firstly, head to DisneyRollerGirl for a catch-up. Then, you should re-live Natalie Massenet's talk about how she went from LA girl to Net-a-Porter fashion web retail extraordinaire by reading from start to finish through the Instagram feed nataporter_mystorysofar. It'll probably take you half an hour or so and you'll learn loads. 

One of Natalie Massenet's instagrams... On set as a Production Assistant on Charles Bronson's "Kinjite"
In the eeewest piece of fashion news for a while, Lady Gaga apparently once returned a Mugler dress covered in semen. There were plenty of virtual disgusted faces at this revelation. However, Fashionista is today saying that semen is really not the worst of it. PRs have tales of period and pee related return incidents. Sad times for precious sample gowns.

You've watched the lovely parties, the car crashes and the snarky wit of Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager Duchess, now it looks like you'll be able to wear the clothes. Given that we get "Get Downton Style" press releases on an almost daily basis, this seems like a very canny idea from the series producers. “It’s very rare for a British drama to have this much retail potential and merchandising value” executive producer Gareth Neame said.

Downton dress loveliness (via
Finally, this week's abdication celebrations in the Netherlands were an old school fashion extravaganza, with royals from all over the world gathering to see Queen Beatrix hand the crown to her son, now King Willem Alexander. Here are five brilliant fashion pictures for your royal scrapbook from the occasion. Happy Bank Holiday!

Willem-Alexander's wife, Maxima, on the cover of Vogue Netherlands (via
Our Camilla in Bruce Oldfield and Phillip Treacey(via

Queen Beatrix (via
The new King and Queen. She's wearing Jan Taminiau (via
Sheikh Mozah of Qatar in Valentino
And, those poor Princesses...


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