Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large
Huge apologies for the lack of meaty posts of late- we are very busy with a big consultancy project but should be back to normal next week. In the meantime, I've picked out some pertinent quotes from The Fashion Conspiracy, a commentary on the fashion industry penned by esteemed journalist and now President of Conde Nast, Nicholas Coleridge. I read this book while on holiday earlier this Summer and was struck by its meticulously researched breadth of the fashion world from sweatshops to couture clients. Most interesting though was how much everything has changed since then when the biggest spenders in Paris were Americans and Europeans. I've pulled out a few quotes which I love... some are very right, others so wrong. I wonder what the fashion industry will be like in another 25 years, and if the things about which we feel so sure at the moment will be rendered meaningless over time?
'It's actually become quite scary how big Calvin and Ralph [Lauren] have gotten,' says an American Elle fashion assistant. 'It's like you can't get away from them wherever you are. They're like Mr T and McDonald's.'
"If you want to break into fashion now yourself, it's pretty well impossible. The established names have sewn up the market, so new ones haven't got a prayer."
John Fairchild: "I feel very strongly that there are only four great designers: there is Yves Saint Laurent, there is Ungaro, there is Valentino and there is Giorgio Armani. Those are the power names. They're the ones where we see the influence coming from."
"The character of the English woman, and her apparent resistance to buying clothes, is the shaky foundation upon which the entire designer enterprise rests...The English woman, in fashion lore, is a distressing creature, congenitally tight with her money."
Manolo Blahnik: "The best thing for me about the English woman is that clothes are something she buys as a necessity... I find men much more refined and extravagant and dashing in their way. When an English girl has style, forget about French girls, forget about American, but there are so few."
"The British have always been a peculiar race, willing to die for their country but equally willing to die for another country's merchandise."
"The English are curious people. Our newspapers scrutinise the Princess's (of Wales) new clothes with a fascination normally reserved only for war: the new designer hero at the front, the sudden and unexpected reverse in a couturier's fortunes, the strategic retreat of a hemline."
Karl Lagerfeld: "'I came in [to Chanel], a wolf among the lambs,' he told Vanity Fair. 'And I'll very probably leave out of boredom. The mood of the salon de couture doesn't suit me.'"
"A season without Laurent is like a season without God."