Page 1
ami-jogging-pant-noir
Standard

Sweatpants sold 175 euros. Swagger has a price.

Share the love

So sitting here in Ho Chi Minh City, I’m finally back online shopping as my stock of pants is running dangerously low and old. A couple of raw denim picks from A.P.C. later, I’m stumbling on AMI sweatpants – most regular: cotton and polyester, black, no special feature whatsoever, tagged at 170 euros. Seriously. These.

ami-jogging-pant-noir

Sure, designer Alexandre Mattiussi won the Grand Prize at ANDAM in 2013, but does it make a black pair of sweatpants worth 170 euros?

I’m still wondering how the menswear market went from blooming with authenticity, craft, proper added value to pure commercial premium based on trends influence – heavily shelled by online behemoths such as Hypebeast of course…

Anyhow, another pair slightly justifies its price better. 140 euros for the coolness of the Etudes Studio oversized inscription. Fair enough. The game is the game.

etudes-etoile-pant-black

 

more
how to be parisian wherever you are
Standard

To Be Parisian is to be “Fuckable”, really???

Share the love

You’ve probably read some interviews of Caroline de Maigret this week, who’s promoting her new book “How to be a Parisian”. It’s already a best-seller, apparently surfing on this French “je ne sais quoi” that seems to attract American women. According to CdM, to be Parisian involves to look always “fuckable“.   In Style.com, the argument is highly explicit:

“always be fuckable. When standing in line at the bakery on Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night or even picking the kids up from school. You never know”

Loading

One month today and still a Best Seller in the US thanks to all of you! Thank you all for your amazing support and kind words. Much love from the 4 of us! ❤️❤️❤️@howtobeparisian

View on Instagram

 

We could start by condemning the women’s objectification: we’re not really sure that judging a woman’s style through her capability to get a d*** (to keep the same semantics) is, indeed, relevant. And we’re surprized that not many journalists or bloggers reacted before on that matter. But we do thank Amazon customers’ reviews who did this job.

We could also be very angry against Style.com: why haven’t they called other Parisian women to balance this quote and get a better sense of what a Parisian woman might be (if ever there’s ONE Parisian woman who could summarize the diversity of the French capital…)? We could also ask them if they’re not fed up with a book which takes Joséphine Baker, Marie-Antoinette or Romy Schneider as examples of foreigners who suddenly became supposed-Parisian myths (hum hum)…but no mention of modern icons of femininity or inspiring women. Except if CdM wants to keep all for her and considers herself as the heir of la Parisienne. We could also ask them if they’re not bored to always take the same clichés: do you seriously think that all Parisian listen to jazz at St Germain, drink a glass of Pinot Noir, are free but in love. And on and on…

It’s an intellectual snacking; as a lot of fashion advertising films are at the moment: we can’t recall how many times we’ve seen the same two bridges in Paris displaying the exact same sort of Parisienne without any spark of genius. In this book, no mention about hip hop or street culture: is South Pigalle (SoPi) really where Parisian trends do emerge?

We could be provocative and ambiguous like Karl Lagerfeld faux feminism can be when it comes to women, suddenly declaring that CdM is right in promoting this unique asset of women: her beauty and her charms. But it would be very mediocre, and another attempt to attract publicity by trolling.

Let’s really ask THE question: to be fuckable means to be fucked by someone, right? And this “fuckability” can’t rely on which cream or powder a woman picks, as the book tries to suggest.

The American woman could teach many lessons to this “fuckable Parisian”: when it comes to fusing sex, social status and life choices, we tend to respect more Mindy Kaling or Beyoncé than another style guru. This Parisianism has very strong problems when it comes to creativity; shall we repeat that the last fashion week was mostly saved by…American designers? This non-existing Parisian face no longer interests a lot of consumers…except the publisher of Nutella recipes (yes, for real). We told you it was all about snacking.

On the other hand, Alicia Florrick, the Games of Thrones women, Amy Dune (Rosamund Pike): they all represent a new femininity which inspire us.

Are we angry against CdM? Not at all; her book is like a chocolate bar, you know you indulge yourself with too much calories in too many layers. Style snacking is a business that works, and when it does work, it deserves some interest. But we dream about new feminine books to represent a better idea of Paris beyond the Seine river.

more
AplWatch-Hero-Tumble-PRINT-2-v-09sep14_b_426x639
Standard

Are Apple’s iPhone 6 and Watch items of Fashion?

Share the love

Apple did not ninja-launch their seasonal batch of new products for sure. A few hours before the Keynote introducing yet another iPhone and a Watch seemingly tailored to tackle Samsung’s leading innovations, there was a wind of disbelief in the Fashion Press where editors, influencers and followers alike felt they would feel the full blow of Apple Marketing Superpower.

Geek is now infamously chic, but why such a sudden direct poke (copyright?) at the trendiest industry?

BoF did not take this lightly either. The respectable source about The Industry took the opportunity to present their new hub for Fashion-dash-Tech:

 


Elsewhere, behemoths like Refinery29 are dropping their unusual Top Story about the iPhone 6 and the Watch, while invitations were dropped to regional top editors (Vogue China, Italia…) to have them join San Francisco’s event venue…

Capitalizing on the obvious trend making tech objects the new Talismans of our contemporary citizens, the brand seems to make a wise business move involving fashion partners more closely, but we’re still wondering: are these new products really worth the spotlight?

Here is Suzy Menkes’ review (seriously?)

more
h&m streetstyle paris fashion week
Video

Paris Fashion Week Street Style – H&M Life: catching value chain, not people

Share the love

It’s always a tough job to try to capture the style of a city.

City dwellers swinging on the streets.

Commuters defeating the infernal time machine.

Fast movers challenging peace-keepers after 8am.

And suddenly, when offices grab their inhabitants, the city reveals a brand new face.

It can be this guy sitting on a terrace; breathing the calm wind of summer. Or this girl, finishing her late-night work and going to sleep. Or again this civil servant or banker, off for the day.

There are daily artists and on-going plasticine.

H&M shot some people of Paris; I’m not totally convinced: it could have been shot in NYC, London or Milan in any high-street.

That’s probably the only problem with super-retailer like H&M: grabbing so much inspirations to recycle them on our t-shirts that at the end, we don’t know anymore where we belong.

more
tumblr_n97t164NpA1qgvybqo1_1280
Video

How to Learn French with Camille Rowe: the reason why fashion should still love France

Share the love

Camille Rowe Pourcheresse was our hit-IT-heat-HIP girl in 2012 when our “friends” from fashion magazines were describing her body as “untypical” …Fashion history proved we were right as we now see everywhere a celebration of the diversity of women bodies. Anorexic shooting are now the realy “untypical”.

France as a brand is trying hard to redefine itself. We don’t have the American Dream, our myths and stories are moral, political. Not made for business per se.

Our know-how, our French Touch might be recognized worldwide, but who can really support this vision today? Most of the time, France is associated to a sort of Lost Paradise: Coco Chanel, Marie-Antoinette, Brigitte Bardot, even Carine Roitfeld…aren’t they from the past? Can they really root France in a contemporaneity?

That’s probably what Camille Rowe achieved in her French lesson: playing with clichés about the Frenchie (yes, in London, most of the guys think that our ladies are bipolar!), and suggesting a new interpretation…

A reconciliation of a sweet arrogance with an ultra-feminine power. A woman one might only desire, therefore respect.

As we like to be right, we believe far more in the Made in French instead of focusing on Made in France. France is a spirit before being a body. Camille Rowe proves once again that our French singularity is in this mix between a very physical attractiveness which empowers a captivating personality.

We love this sparkling Parisian woman: she’s evasive and so free. The best way to communicate about a French brand these days is not to tag it or qualify through the fact the brand is actually French. We need to leave the brand express its creativity. The most intriguing, disturbing, bizarre designers are the real French. A French brand should try to love complicated attitudes; French brands should maybe dive in absurdity. French brands should trouble its customers. That’s probably the only difference now of what French brands can bring on the table against every pop brand machine with a too clever, too simple speech. A French brand should be desired, should be tough to get.

Oh and Made in French don’t care about borders and territories: Camille is an American icon and / or French. Do we care?

Vive la République

 

more
pharrell
Standard

Pharrell on Elle UK. Why the controversy?

Share the love

Do you think Pharrell should not have worn a Native American head-dress on cover of Elle UK? We don’t.

Although this sparked understandable and respectable outrage from communities and commentators alike, resulting in a sincere apology by the cultural icon, we believe this new controversy shows society has figured fashion out all wrong.

pharrell

As a matter of fact, the base of controversy seems far-fetched to us, or at least most of commentators express it with little concision: most of the tweets bear judgments such as “it’s not ok”, ‘what’s wrong with you” and “this is scandalous”, only a few mention the reasons of anger:

“Urgh. Why does the fashion industry insist on turning sacred cultural items into fashion props? #NOTHappy @ELLEUK” – says @OnceAPARNATime.

Cultural appropriation seems to be the problem, as highlighted Refinery29. But the real question is where is the line to draw for offensiveness?

We believe blackfaceing a model is a mistake, but criticizing a graphic and photographic fashion job made with respect (at least benefit of that doubt can be given to the team in charge, right?) seems way over-crying. Why did fashion teams like this one chose this item? Because it bears positive symbols, it also has impeccable visual style and it may remind us that some cultures should not be lost in contemporary moments.

This cover is beautiful. It has character. It does not depict a community in any negative way. Let’s stop underestimating the fashion industry’s capacity to curate cultures. Fashion is not a superficial discipline, whatever twitter might say.

more
m-VOGUE-NIGELLA-620x930c
Standard

The limits of Vogue and why Lily Allen question was right

Share the love

So yeah, fashion circus had another reason to get a grip this week. Alexandra Shulman was interviewed on BBC Radio 2, by guest presenter and singer Lily Allen.

And of course came the question about the size – of models that Vogue (and fashion magazines in general) cast on covers.

I was shocked by Alexandra Shulman’s answers; not because of the sort of business cynical attitude but because of the lack of understanding of her own business.

“People always say ‘why do you have thin models? That’s not what real people look like’ But nobody really wants to see a real person looking like a real person on the cover of Vogue (…) I think Vogue is a magazine that’s about fantasy to some extent and dreams, and an escape from real life. People don’t want to buy a magazine like Vogue to see what they see when they look in the mirror. They can do that for free.”

It’s a traditional answer from magazines that don’t want to change. But the argument is very strange: “thin” models would then generate more fantasy than other sorts of bodies? How about the dozens of actresses that are picked on Vogue’s covers? Are they all members of the thin-club. It’s also strange for a Vogue ambassador to put the responsibility on the readers: if Vogue was really THE trendsetter, THE institution, it should be able to generate change, impose new faces…and not lag…Maybe Vogue could have a look again to All Walks beyond the Catwalk that a lot of its own “Bible” editors supported?

It’s seriously misunderstanding the new usages of Vogue’s readership (average age: 33…). Let’s talk about Instagram. Instagram is all about reality and the fantasy of this reality: filters are new creative enablers. Starring people in their whole diversities, just made of more with these effects. Rising stars with very diverse bodies and styles generate more engagement than the full circulation of Vogue per month. Just to say.

I am a bit disappointed because Vogues does not surprize me anymore. Sparks of creativity are now very rare; we still find them when external contributors or new editors are scouted and are allowed to write few lines.

 

more
gap_spr14_anna_calvi_2_cmyk_72dpi
Standard

GAP, Lived In: but where do you guys live?

Share the love

Dear GAP,

I used to be a very loyal customer when I was young. I’m French, and GAP was this sort of badass but smart brand coming from a foreign and mystic place; denims were high quality and if you were wandering around skateparks, guys were only wearing shrunk GAP or Levi’s denims. There was a sense of community, and it was not old fashioned at all to wear your outfits. Girls wearing your products were not basic. They were this bunch of aspiring people, who made our teenage years less Angst and more daring.

You’re struggling, as so many brands on the high streets, because you’re supposedly losing your customers. According to you and your fellows, it’s because of ASOS or Zara that you’re losing money.

I think you’re wrong, dear GAP. I think you’re just totally missing the point between what we guys expect and the way you communicate it.

So, I’ve seen your billboard ads everywhere from Shoreditch to Kensington. With your new motto: “Lived In”.

 

Basically, you’ve picked, like so many other brands emerging artists (is Birdy really emerging? I’m not sure…). And you’ve created a sort of content strategy in…social media, trying to make your words reverberate in our hearts.

But it does not work, because it’s not you. It’s not you and the guys you’re trying to talk to don’t exist. On Facebook, you posted that:

“Our Spring ads feature artists who live in their truth. Meet RJ Mitte, actor. Lives in his character. #LivedIn “

And one of your cheeky fans answers:  If he lives in his character why is he not eating breakfast?

Your Creative chief executive Richard Teideman declared:

“In a market where it’s progressively harder to gain visibility, what I love about this campaign is not so much the images, but rather what they’ve done with them (..) The fabric print deployment is such a fresh idea – and it plays right to the heart of what Gap is all about – product-centric, but also ingrained into our lives.”

I don’t want to offend anyone but seriously: in which world do you really live? Sometimes, I wonder if you don’t create ads or comms that are made to please a Vogue intern and not your consumers.

I’m fed up with brands which don’t dare any more. Yes, you should take pictures of people wearing your outfits in the kitchen. Yes, there are tons of places where we were your denims and that you never explore. Yes, creativity is not a title but a living organism.

GAP, we seriously like you; but embrace what we now expect: a bit of meaning, a bit of audacity, a bit of edge. We’re not your morons, we’re your wives…and not yet your widows.

Gap_Spr14_Theophilus_London_7_CMYK_72dpi (1)

 

more
Y-3 adidas
Standard

Few stereotypes against male fashion bloggers

Share the love

We’re not going to complain about our social condition as fashion bloggers at all. Nonetheless, after few years blogging about fashion, society and “lifestyle” as a whole, we have to face pretty regularly some clichés against us. As if a blog could now define one’s personality and identity.

Nothing too serious at the end, if we consider that it’s all part of the same circus. But still, here’s a short list of questions that we’re often asked.

Are you gay?

Yes, in 2014, having fun writing about fashion, trends, still suppose that you’re gay.

Let’s be honest: the way we write has nothing to do with our sexual preferences. Darwin would agree.

Do you know Garance Doré?

Well, star system effect also reaches fashion sphere; we’re always famous for someone as we say.

Are you really a fashion blogger?

Some of us don’t have to wear a clown outfit during fashion weeks. So sometimes, when you’re just wearing your regular outfits, people don’t understand why you’d be interested in fashion.

Bizarre.

Did you really study political science and management?

So, fashion writing is sometimes associated to shopping-list writing. I don’t blame the buddies who ask me this question when you look at some blogs or magazines (don’t ask me names) that are just e-commerce platforms. So yes, you can try to match politics and style.

Do you have a real job?

Haha. Yes, writing is associated to a life of leisure. They are the same people who can’t go out during the week because they work during the day. Mmm. Strange.

 

more
adidas-x-Kanye-West 2
Standard

Adidas x Who ??

Share the love

Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Jeremy Scott, Mark McNairy, Kazuki Kuraishi, Stella McCartney, Yohji Yamamoto, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim from Opening Ceremony/Kenzo… This never-ending list is not the next Fashion Week schedule but the list of designers who collaborate with Adidas. The Adidas roster which now also includes the designer Tom Dixon and Kanye West, will probably welcome Pharrell Williams as well, who has almost confirmed the rumor by wearing a red Adidas Track Jacket during the last Grammy Awards. adidas-x-Kanye-West (1) Thus, Adidas which has just stolen Kanye West from Nike, acts unlike his famous rival by accumulating partnerships. These collaborations are not fleeting as well as they are not only related to a specific product. In this way, for most of them, they have become side product-lines developed through several years.

At the first sight, these collaborations seem to be a brilliant idea. Indeed, the fashion world keen on Hypebeast or HighSnobiety loves the announcements such as a top-designer like Raf Simons who teams up with Adidas. Thus, this kind of collaboration generates an immediate buzz. Nevertheless, in order for a partnership to be convincing, it is above all a matter of mutual passion and universes. For instance, even if the Kanye West recruitment looks like great news for Adidas, but currently Kanye West particularly matched Nike in people’s mind thanks to the most innovative and striking sneakers launches. Whereas Nike and Kanye West collaborated sporadically on a single product and distributed theirs sneakers only in a few selected retailers that created huge expectations for sneakerheads, Adidas x Kanye West, according to both of them, would be a larger collaboration on a range of unlimited products like Adidas x Opening Ceremony or Adidas x Jeremy Scott. Furthermore, at least regarding their impact on US mainstream culture, Nike and West seem to share more than the American artist and the German brand.

That is why except if they are concealing an amazing launch, a new innovative technology or a groundbreaker design, the coming collaborations between Adidas and West or Pharrell would be not relevant. Even if at the time these side lines are quite commercially successful, because of the proliferation of collaborations (and I will not tackle subjects such as one-shot partnerships with retailers like WoodWood or brands like Clot, or the integrated lines like Porsche Design or late-SLVR), because of the choice of retailers as well as the lack of coherency in the choice of designers, these partnerships do not look “honest”.

The trendsetters do not any longer rush for Y-3 and they have never done it for Adidas x Opening Ceremony (editor note: except for VQ who recently bought a fluo leopard tee from them). For a brand, the choice of the right interpreter may be difficult. It could be an artist (Adidas x Lee Quinones), a fashion designer (Adidas x Raf Simons), a sportsman (Nike x Jordan), an architect (Melissa x Zaha Hadid), or a designer (Puma x Starck)…  However, the success of a collaboration does not only rely on the fame of the interpreter, no more than in the product itself. For instance, the designer Michael Graves teamed up with Alessi and then with Target. He created almost the same kettles. Nevertheless, they sold much more Alessi one than Target one while the Alessi kettle was much more expensive. Indeed, the partnership between Alessi and Graves was approved by Alessi customers as well as Graves lovers while Graves lovers was not interested in Target and Target customers did not care about Graves.

                                                                         alessi_kettle_graves1

About this point, Nike used to act in an opposite way. Nike does not complete a lot of partnerships and the collaborations are temporary and limited. Of course, Nike teams up with Jordan on a wide range but nowadays, the Jordan brand image is quite separated from the Nike brand image and the Jumpman logo is almost as famous as the Swoosh logo. Nike is collaborating with Riccardo Tisci but only on a product that linked them through basket-ball: the Air Force One. Finally, Nike x Undercover is the only collaboration which is not limited both in time and range, however this line is related to SPORT. Whereas Dior and Chanel have created Haute-Couture sneakers for the last Haute-Couture week, Adidas creates sport products only with Stella McCartney. Adidas continues to believe in the so 00’s “retro” field: for Adidas, the most important launch of the year must be the Stan Smith come-back. Adidas does not believe in sport while it supports more athletes in more sports. Adidas creates more technologies than Nike but not the dream ones: Air vs. Adiprene, Flyknit vs. Primeknit, Lunarlon vs. Boost,… More than an umpteenth Adidas Forum customized by Jeremy Scott, we would prefer an uncrowded roster and a back to innovation and creation which it may be heralded by the Adidas x Rick Owens Tech Runner.

Less is more… rick-owens-for-adidas-2014-fallwinter-tech-runner-1  The « Interpreter » concept is taken from « Design Driven Innovation » (Roberto Verganti, Harvard Business Press).

more