Last week there was an outrage over the picture above that appeared on the H&M website. In the past black people have been compared to monkeys so it was an awful idea for the Swedish retailer to publish pictures of a black boy modeling the top that says ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’. The scandal made such celebrities as The Weeknd and G-Eazy cut ties with the brand and completely changed my outlook on H&M as well.
However, some people are trying to make money out of this whole thing. Even though H&M apologized for making the mistake and withdrew the hoodie, someone is trying to sell his son’s second hand top on eBay for over $1000.
It is sad that racism still exists in this day of age and that such major retailers as H&M don’t look at their products careful enough.
Iris Apfel née Barrel is an American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon. Apfel attended art school at the University of Wisconsin and studied art history at New York University.
Iris Apfel has previously worked for Women’s Wear Daily and for interior designer Elinor Johnson. She also was an assistant to illustrator Robert Goodman. The American style icon is known for her black circular porthole-style glasses and her ability to pile on many accessories, wear bright coloured clothing and inspire people to be unique. Her moment in the spotlight really began only around a decade ago when the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York chose to exhibit a selection of her personal fashion collection and the book Rare Bird of Fashion was released. Nowadays Apfel consults and lectures about style and other fashion topics. In 2013, she was listed as one of the fifty “Best-Dressed over 50” by The Guardian.
Iris Apfel is really one of a kind. Even at such age she still looks fabulous and inspires so many people to stay true to themselves and don’t care about the opinion of other people.
Modern day consumer seeks to invest in something that is more personal and unique, hence luxury fashion brands are trying to create new technology that allows to make custom clothing in just a few minutes. In the new Polo Ralph Lauren store on Regent Street in London customers can get embroidered personalized patches or monogrammed blazers with only just a few taps on a tablet. At Gucci it is possible to apply designs on jackets, also in Burberry anyone can monogram a scarf. The process of customisation is so quick that for example, the design below took only 20 minutes to create on a Brother PR655 machine at Tommy Hilfiger.
Fashion brands are being forced to think of new ideas that involve personalized items since modern day consumer wants to get exactly what one desires. Moreover, customized designs feel closer to heart and allow oneself to stand out from the crowd. As José Neves, founder and CEO of online retailer Farfetch said: “Customisation will be the next revolution in luxury,” he says. “We wanted to find a way of offering luxury and bespoke products to an audience that’s increasingly knowledgeable about style and quality.”
As fashion students, me and my friends were interested in just walking around the streets in New York and taking pictures of window displays of high-end stores. What I can tell is that people in New York do take it seriously when it comes to visual merchandising. Every store has a completely different and unique window display and even the architecture of every store in midtown Manhattan is stunning. We probably spent more than an hour just walking in the 5th avenue and appreciating everything around us haha.
Some of my favourite window displays were Saint Laurent, Miu Miu and Gucci. Even though they’re all completely different, I loved them.
Last but not least, I obviously loved window displays of Bergdorf Goodman.
While in New York, I happened to cross a Victoria’s Secret store and of course walked in to take a look at some of their products and lingerie. What I realised after was that the store actually had an exhibition upstairs of the collaboration between Victoria’s Secret and the French fashion house Balmain.
I personally adore this collaboration since I’m a big fan of both Balmain and Victoria’s Secret. The collection has the right amount of glam and punk to it and that makes the lingerie items unique and stunning. As Oliver Rousteing said, “I need to make sure that this punk is glam, and to bring punk to a couture level. It can’t look like punk on the street.” In my opinion, he succeeded.
When you see the garments that models actually wore in real life rather than on television, it makes you appreciate it even more. Everything is done extremely neatly – even the smallest details look perfect.
Utility extremes is an up-coming trend story for Spring/Summer 2018. This trend story is strongly connected to history, since utility clothing was first introduced in 1941 by the British government. During World War II there was a huge shortage of clothing materials and labour in the fashion industry, hence the Board of Trade spnsored the creation of utility clothing that was marked with the tag CC41 and had to meet tight regulations regarding the amount of materials and labour used in the creation of the garments. The simple and practical designs of utility clothing were comissioned from well-known fashion designers, for example Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies.
Utility extremes suggest that fashion should be functional rather than attractive, which indicates that people in the modern society are extremely busy and fashion has to adapt to the fast pace of people’s lives. For this reason, the up-coming season must-have clothing pieces will be windbreakers, suits and shorts that are hard-wearing, modern but most importantly both practical and comfortable. However, the fabrics are going to be more luxurious than is usually associated with utalitarian garments. Shorts are a huge part of this trend story because of their origins to the military, which has strong links to utility and its extremes. The firt possible example of shorts that are worn in the contemporary society is the uniform that was worn by Gurkha soldiers of the Nepalese army in the 1880’s.
This trend can be seen on such catwalks as Tod’s, Prada, Sportmax and Gabriele Colangelo.
Yohji Yamamoto is a Japanese fashion designer that I’ve known for quite some time but did research on him only recently. He is based in Tokyo and Paris and is known for his avant-garde tailoring featuring Japanese design aesthetics. Yohji’s designs are very unique and often far from what is trending at that moment. His collections are mainly made in black, as the designer has described this colour as ”modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says this: “I don’t bother you – don’t bother me”.
I truly admire this designer because he is extraordinary. I’ve never seen another brand with similar garments as to the ones designed by Yohji Yamamoto which is quite rare, since fashion is an industry in which everyone tends to copy each other more or less.