There are four main Fashion Weeks which happen during the Fashion Calendar Year; Paris, Milan, London and New York. Paris is the capital of Fashion, and always shows first from the Couture collections, and almost 2 months before the ready to wear starts. Milan is a very wealthy fashion week, and has become one of the wealthiest country within the fashion industry. New York has always, and will always be very organised, polished and well thought of. Then, London is commonly still seen creative, young and innovative; however has a problem with price, large labels such as Dior have three shows: buyers, private clients, then the media. After the fashion weeks, there are then showrooms, which can be booked, where their garments can be bought.
There is one woman who has stood out to me over the years as one of the leaders of Couture, a woman whose work was so different and unique at the time, and even though art and poetry was the route in life she wanted to take, fashion took over and snatched up her talent and brought her into the ever-moving industry. Forty years after the death of Elsa Schiaparelli, her life has come back into the light as her work is reviewed and looked at again by many. Her passion and determination for doing something special with her life was such an inspiration, to not only her family, but young photographers, designers and fashion followers. From Giacometti designed ashtrays, to Dali dressing her windows, Schiaparelli was one of the most glamorous, genuine and loved designers of her time, and her mark has been left after all these years.
‘Elsa Schiaparelli was the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century. She was the first to use the art of her time in a provocative dialogue with fashion, and hoovering up elements that caught her fancy from all over the world.’
– Meredith Etherington Smith
There has recently been a book released about the life of Elsa Schiaparelli and her personal photographic collection of her family, lovers and the house she once lived in; which have all been selected by her granddaughter to bring her name back into the light and teach those about just how incredible she was. She is a name that I will always follow, and a book which I have ordered and am more than excited to read.
Early this month it was confirmed that the quirky, eccentric and all round adventurous fashion guru John Galliano is to restart his fashion career and has been appointed the Creative Director of Masion Martin Margiela. After the company having a slight quiet period over the last year or so, Margielas was ready for a creative boost, and a change within the company to boost the promotion of the famous brand, and there is no one better than Galliano for this position. He is expected to show his first deigned for Margiela in January during Paris Couture Week, including the ready to wear. Since leaving Dior, Galliano has been a loose cannon within the industry, and being under the watchful eye of the brand would do him some good – which in a statement to Vogue he very quietly agreed to! This is now something that I will be constantly watching and checking, as Galliano was one of the biggest names within Dior, and definitely left his mark
Dior offers complete package of luxury, it contains the whole product package.
Giacopelli: “Dior is a luxury brand. Christian Dior wanted a woman to feel elegant from head to toe.”
Dior has constantly found what is missing from the market.
Dior has created a dream, an essence, and a strong narrative within the company.
Just over a year ago, Dior held an event at Harrods to boost products as well as promotion for the brand. This was such an impacting event, which is still causing a push for Dior within the store. For one month in March, a ‘luxury adventure’ had been crested combining the Paris boutique with British charm. Dior opened a cafe there, and a French menu with was also similar to that of Sketch bar, as they worked in synergy to promote the brand. Special British makeup collection was first published with exclusive one-offs for those who were wealthy enough. This event is something that I think is vital to the promotional aspect to the brand, as well as raising awareness. A perfect opportunity, ands something I believe Dior should re-arrange.
These Christmas exclusives for Dior are so winery in colour, focusing on the true colours of Christmas, and the shade of eyeshadow are warm and wintery. The lipsticks are in two halves, and the packaging alone shows the individuality and the unique style is looking at. The nail varnish is a small, almost chubby bottle of luxury nail varnish, which I have been promised stays on for a minimum of 2 weeks. The products are currently not on sale, yet the first ones which have been sent from Paris can be found in the Covent Garden boutique, which is where I was fortunate to see the products for myself.
Something that Dior is really looking into is individuality with products, and I personally believe that this Christmas they’ve achieved this; just like the Christian Louboutin nail varnish, with such a fast pace market, each fashion house is looking for a new unique selling point within products; which I believe Dior has created, but have still looked at their traditional work.
Sketch in London, is situated at 9 Conduit Street, and is now a French restaurant which canals be found in Paris. This connection with France originated from the previous owners of Sketch; Dior. This townhouse used to have a design legacy around 1900’s, and was designed to be a very new, and quirky designers house. Max Clendinning was the architecture designer, but also created display cases for Dior’s ready-to-wear clothes and accessories, making a name for the ‘pop interior designer’. The whole room was painted in a mid-grey velvet to create a real sense of luxury: “throw the clothes into sharper relief, and seems to conform with the classical, refined elegance of the House of Dior itself.” This building will always be a part of the development of Dior and will also be a special place within the company.
Next I headed to the home of Madame De Pompadour’s home, the mistress of Louis XIV; now home to the Wallace Collection which is a house which burst of Paris, from the huge staircase to the ‘Gold Room’, it not only developed my understanding of Vivienne Westwood’s inspirations for a lot of her designs, but it made me incredibly excited for Paris; which was exactly one month on Sunday! Around the Wallace exhibition is home to a lot of wealthy Londoners, which suits the exhibition perfectly.
Walking back along Oxford Street, we now walked the entire street of Bond Street; both old and new. This was one of the main sections of the whole day which really stood out to be, and made an impact on my understanding of the placement within the fashion clustering. Old Bond Street is full of luxury fashion houses, such as Tiffany, Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton. Like Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton has tried to create a unique experience for the customers, and another unique selling point to the brand. This store has been redesigned to feel like you, as the consumer, are inside a jewellery box! This strange idea, is actually incredibly effective, as the tall ceilings and the sectioned store allows the store to have something extra in comparison. However, there is one more important factor which I noticed about Bond Street, There is a large Chanel store opposite to Vuitton, however, there is now a Dior being built right next door to Chanel; this push of competitiveness is key to keeping up to date with what the other is planning, and will help both to develop and continue to cluster together to re-enforce their position amongst rivals.
Mayfair is now the new fashion area in London, especially down Mount Street, where Balenciaga can now be found, along side Marc Jacobs and Celine. After many articles about Balenciaga in particular, I though it only right to have a little visit inside; not only is the brand very passionate about Luxury, but it has created a very unique changing room – the hexagonal shape was covered in mirrors, with cushions and a very simplistic yet large changing space – which for some reason reminded me of a space ship shape! This unique selling point for the brand increases the awareness as the store has something extra for the customers; which is keys within the competitive market.
Just off from Mount Street, you can find South Audley St – which is the next sub section of London to be colonised by fashion itself. A shop which I have been to visit on many occasions is Thomas Goode, where you will find the most beautiful and exotic flowers in all of London. The whole shop is split into many different sections, ceramics, books and 2 large elephants in the window, which are now insured for £1 million each! This alone tells you a lot about the price tags of products within Thomas Goode, though each product is so personal and created to the highest standard. Along from here, and heading towards Grosvenor Square you can find Browns – which was who put John Galliano a place within the fashion industry, pushing Dior forward. As well as Issey Miyake and the Mrs Bernstein boutique.
Next, I headed to the home of British Vogue – Hanover Square, which is where the Conde Nast newsagent and Vogue house itself can be found; which is in fact where you can find all of the global titles ever published by Conde Nast. This was one of the main attractions of ‘Vogue’s Night Out’, and is somewhere that I can remember visiting time after time.