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Silvie Koang FASHION MUST-READS Monday, January 27, 2014 Posted by Maya Peilow and Bethan Holt Schiaparelli couture SS14 (via It's been a busy month for fashion, with the AW14 menswe... 5


Posted by Maya Peilow and Bethan Holt

Schiaparelli couture SS14 (via
It's been a busy month for fashion, with the AW14 menswear collections and the Haute Couture shows shaking us from our Christmas stupors. With the international fashion weeks just around the corner, here are our some thought-provoking reports on the biggest stories from fashion's January….

Street Style

We’re used to seeing pictures of editors and style stars looking fabulous outside fashion shows. But a recent piece in Business of Fashion, questions whether it’s really appropriate to call this street style. If you’re wearing the latest pieces off the runway and specially-made gifts from your designer friends, are you truly expressing your own personal style? The premise of great street style imagery is about seeing everyday people with innate taste and styling abilities. But if websites such as The Cut are able to release “street style bait” – suggestions of what to wear if you want to be photographed- then surely the originality behind street style is completely lost? (via Business of Fashion)

What's the point of fashion weeks?

In the latest think piece on the current state of fashion weeks from a senior editor, the FT's Vanessa Friedman wonders whether the real purpose of fashion weeks has become clouded or confused. "Maybe the reason we complain so much about fashion weeks is because what we (critics, consumers, viewers) think they are for, and what brands and designers think they are for, are no longer the same thing", she writes. Fashion weeks might be about the opportunity for journalists and buyers to form an in-depth view of the moods, thoughts and ideas coming out of the brightest minds in fashion design. But Friedman also concedes that more and more it's about creating content and buzz for social media, red carpet fodder and even a direct selling tool. Tell Friedman what you think the point of fashion week is by tweeting her @VVFriedman (via

The Dior Dream

Dior’s Raf Simons made 63 fashion students’ dreams come true this week when he invited them to the haute couture show in Paris. But this was no ordinary show. Not only were these students invited to a special show, they were treated to a tour of the ateliers the night before and a trip backstage afterwards to examine all the tiniest details and techniques used to create the collection. Simons decided “it would be a great idea to add another show especially for students and the atelier people.” Claire McKinney, one of the lucky 63 selected from schools around the world, felt inspired by the whole experience. She said, “they taught us that there will always be people who want to buy couture and there’ll always be a place for creativity.” Needless to say, I’m sure fashion students worldwide will be praying for their own invitation to the July show. (via American Vogue)

Pre-Fall is too long

Sorry, this piece is only available to WWD subscribers so let us summarise; Bridget Foley points out that the pre-fall collections run from November 13th and only wrapped up last Friday. She quite rightly calculates that is almost 20% of the calendar year through which new collections are peppered. For editors like Foley, that means a sort half-heartedly constant fashion week during that time. More generally, the consequences of such a long window of unveilings means that pre-fall never really gets a "moment". Nobody is quite sure when to write about it or cover it. By the time it's over, the A/W shows are mere weeks away and menswear and couture are also taking place. Foley proposes two solutions. Either designate a three or four week time frame in December for designers to show pre-fall and let the fashion week organisers get a schedule together between them. Or, move the shows to a smaller time frame but move 90% of them to a digital show so that editors can log in and watch from wherever they are in the world. Of course, the way the vast majority of people already get to see pre-fall is via etc. Then, keep 10% of live shows for what Foley calls "real fashion" like Chanel's Dallas show and the Lanvin and Calvin Klein collections which she also singles out for praise (via WWD)

As he made his debut at the newly revived House of Schiaparelli, Marco Zanini spoke to Alexander Fury about the house's "fashion trainspotter" heritage, modern couture and how the former Rochas designer is making Schiaparelli right for now (via The Independent)

Feminism is back in fashion

Rick Owens SS14 stepdancers (via
On the Spring/ Summer catwalks, there was extensive evidence of a newly empowered mood both in the messages of designers' shows (see Rick Owens and Prada) but also in the clothes themselves. Beyond the shows, more and more fashion figures are declaring their feminist leanings and getting involved in the debate. But, is this a mere trend or a meaningful new fashion chapter? (via the Financial Times)

Prada & Gucci

If you want to know what to expect for menswear this autumn, look at the Prada and Gucci shows. The two powerhouse Italian designers’ visions of menswear, as shown at Milan Fashion Week, offered simple silhouettes and minimalistic accessories. Their use of natural, earthy colours and limited use of brand signatures, mark a move towards a fresher, more casual AW14. (via The New York Times)

Destination Paris

Paris has become the global capital for menswear, with 35 out of the 50 designers who showcased earlier this month coming from around the globe. The Chambre Syndicale, the body which decides who makes it onto the fashion week schedule, included designers from Germany, Korea, Turkey, the UK and the USA, to name but a few. Its president, Didier Grumbach, speaking to Business of Fashion, attributed this to the increasingly international audience in Paris. “We have 23 different nationalities showing in our women’s fashion week. I haven’t counted the men’s, but it’s a similar situation. The Italians have stayed more Italian. In Paris, we believe that fashion has no nationality.” Why Paris? American designer Thom Browne, who used to show in New York, claims that Paris fashion week enables him to “show the collection earlier to get a head start on production and I also feel that Paris fashion week embraces true conceptual design.” Richard Haines, fashion illustrator, said Paris had another quality. “In terms of a level of creativity and execution, this is the ultissimo.” What better accreditation for an international designer than to present their collections on the same stage and level of creativity as the likes of Chanel, Dior and Givenchy? (via Business of Fashion)

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