NEW GILET JAUNES ROUND

The gilets jaunes movement shows no sign of dying down. Protests took a particularly violent turn on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, echoing the first acts of vandalism witnessed on Nov. 24.  Parts of Fouquet’s, a high-end restaurant known for having hosted former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s election party, were set on fire.
Champs-Elysées stores including Longchamp, Zara, Swarovski and Hugo Boss were pillaged and damaged. Nearby cars and magazine kiosks were also set on fire.

"Like a huge majority of French people, today I feel a great anger wrote French prime minister Edouard Philippe on Twitter.The acts committed today weren’t done by protesters, but by looters, incendiaries and criminals. No cause justifies this violence. Continue reading

LVMH BUYS RODEO DRIVE

Louis Vuitton, is ramping up activity in the hospitality sector, eyeing three recently purchased properties on and around Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for the opening of a Cheval Blanc hotel.

In March 2018, LVMH bought a 6,200-square-foot empty retail space at 456 North Rodeo Drive for $110 million. Then, in September, the luxury powerhouse headed by billionaire Bernard Arnault purchased 468 North Rodeo Drive, the massive 22,250-square-foot, multistory building at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard that was previously occupied by Brooks Brothers, for $245 million from the trust of the family of Margaret J. Anderson, who built the pink stucco Beverly Hills Hotel. In November, LVMH scooped up the 26,523-square-foot Paley Center for Media museum behind the store, at 465 North Beverly Drive, from New York private real estate investment firm Jenel Management for $80 million. Continue reading

JIANG LIU DIED AT 62

Jiang Liu, chairman, president and co-founder of Trends Media China and a pioneer in the Chinese fashion media scene has died at 62 in Beijing, according to multiple sources. Liu died from acute leukemia at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, one source said.

The company confirmed his death with an obituary via Wechat on Saturday evening. His successor hasn’t been announced, but the local industry speculates Feng Wang, who assumed the position of chief content officer of the group from May 2018 and later editorial director of Esquire China, would an ideal contender. Continue reading

FASHION MUST NEVER FORGET

Creation is the backbone of fashion houses, and although the artistic director is there to provide creative impetus, the brand image cannot be embodied by one person alone.

The passing of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s genius artistic director, gives us pause to think about the dependence of luxury fashion houses on their star designers. In particular, how do we avoid sudden gaps in succession? How do we prevent turbulence from disrupting the brand and profits in an industry where creation is the heart and soul of the business? What characterizes the haute couture fashion houses that most effectively manage the risks linked to designer dependence? Continue reading

VUITTON CONTROVERSED BY NICOLA

On Tuesday evening, guests arrived at the venue to discover a reproduction of another Paris art institution, the Centre Pompidou, built by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, in a groundbreaking style that caused an uproar when it opened in 1977.

Since Nicolas Ghesquière presented his first collection for Louis Vuitton inside the Louvre’s Cour Carrée in 2014, he has often used the historic museum as a backdrop for spectacular sets with a futuristic bent.

Why the world’s largest luxury brand would build a faithful copy of a structure that is only a mile away in real life was something of a mystery one that Ghesquière cleared after the show: The collection was inspired by his people-watching at Café Beaubourg, which overlooks the vast square in front of the Pompidou.

Indeed, the variety in the collection felt overwhelming at times, as the eye jumped from Ghesquière’s familiar jutting shoulders and ballooning sleeves, to Eighties-style power suits, to a Cyndi Lauper-esque bustier dress dotted with silver stars and polka dots. Continue reading

GIVENCHY ARSENIC AND OLD BIRD

A clear tent under moonlit trees in the Jardin de Plantes undoubtedly held appeal for Givenchy’s “Winter of Eden”-themed fashion show. But maybe think twice before cramming 1,000 people in a space the length of a city block with only one way out through a dark tunnel of dizzying lights and pounding club beats?

Pick up old British grandma styles, early 90s aristocracy, punkish girls, urban functionality, jewel gowns and shake them all together to see what should come out. Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy did it and the result was not great.

The coats and jackets were powerful with spiky or rounded big shoulders, plissé printed tight poly silk dress, long and cozy knitwear, urban functional puffy down bombers, Japanese herringbone wools, and precious evening garments and tuxedos were balanced and aesthetically catchy.

The smart idea of Waight Keller wasn’t just an over mixed crazy style, but a culture clash between young and old with a lot of differences in term of aesthetics.

CÉLINE PARIS FASHION WEEK

On Saturday night, Slimane introduced Celine’s new woman, and she is a woman chic, knowing and a direct descendant of a particular stylish archetype of years past. In a little fashion irony, Slimane always installs a modernist set. This time, his first model descended from on high in a big light box, emerging onto the runway in all her retro glory. Her look: the sort of confident, sporty élan that ruled bourgeois Parisian style, and emanated well beyond that sphere, in that well-dressed period from the mid-Seventies into the Eighties, before the latter decade turned hideous. The aura travels well, across time and through modern life.

As usual, Slimane employed a laser-sharp focus. His primary message: a great, often mannish jacket atop an easy skirt or some variation of culottes, some full enough to be called, in the language of old, a split skirt, others streamlined into walking shorts. Continue reading

CHLOÉ AFTER KARL

“Through Karl [Lagerfeld] is how I’ve known Chloé since I was a child,” said Natacha Ramsay-Levi, who selected six archival photographs and quotes representing the dearly departed designer’s 25 years at the brand and had them printed on postcards as mementos for every guest at Thursday morning’s show. “The clothes joined the personality of the woman rather than taking all the personality of a woman,” she said in praising Lagerfeld’s work, which was unstructured, weightless and totally feminine albeit of a different time. Her fall 2019 collection was less romantic romp than full gallop through the everyday wardrobe needs of today’s active women, featuring equestrian tailoring bent to a woman’s will. Chic without screaming so, it was all about wearability with considered details. Continue reading

ROCHAS COUTURE IN PARIS

Alessandro Dell’Acqua has been delving into the couture heritage of Rochas for a couple of seasons, as a form of antidote to the streetwear flooding luxury fashion. Or perhaps he was inspired by the launch of the house’s latest fragrance, Mademoiselle Rochas Couture, a bottle of which was placed on each seat.

For fall, he took the exploration in two directions. The first was fabric, with materials including a heavy speckled tweed, cloqué textures, and a jacquard covered in wool tufts that looked like tiny feathers. The second was cut, via trapeze and cocoon constructions that harked back to the heyday of post-war haute couture.

A roomy black collarless tweed coat was trimmed with a thick band of jet beads at the hem, while a pleated black cloqué skirt was worn with an oversize short-sleeved shirt in ultrafine glossy black leather. Elbow-length black gloves and skintight black leather over-the-knee boots gave the look dramatic bite.That edge was missing from some of the other outfits, like a duo of tent dresses in frothy tiered organza. Indeed, some teetered dangerously close to period costume, such as a hump-backed black skirt suit, topped with a saucer-like crinkled plastic hat by Stephen Jones. A striking silhouette, for sure. Wearable? Not so much. Continue reading