Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Fashion Bible & Its Disciples

       For years Vogue has been considered the 'Fashion Bible'. For years Vogue has been considered  the undisputed leader of all that is fashion. Elle, Harper's Bazaar and even InStyle have established their own respective places within the fashion industry but Vogue still remains the forerunner in fashion magazines. No other fashion monthly has ever managed to balance commercial appeal and high fashion editorials quite like Vogue and for that reason it is and, no doubt, always will be the 'Fashion Bible'. 


       However, alongside Vogue, exists an array of unique disciples. Alongside Vogue exists a selection of biannual and bimonthly treats created to satisfy and fulfil our fashion-led desires. Exotic surprises laid out for us to devour on demand. Magazines, which, whilst not as commercial as their monthly counterparts, stand out in their quirkiness and deserve recognition. Thus, by the means of this blog, I am going to write about a few of my favourites. I am going to promote Vogue's most notable disciples.

WONDERLAND


       Wonderland is the magazine, which is perhaps most famous for its utterly stylish fashion editor, Julia Sarr-Jamois. Luckily for Wonderland though, it is the magazine equivalent of its fashion editor. Both are visual feasts for the eyes - Sarr-Jamois for her eccentric outfit combos and Wonderland for its out-there styling and both are intelligent forces to be reckoned with - Sarr-Jamois for her creative concepts and Wonderland for its down-to-earth features and interviews. The magazine acts as an advert for all things visually pleasing and with its bimonthly release it never fails to  impress.

i-D


      i-D. From the infamous wink face, as pictured above and in its logo, to its playful photo-shoots, i-D is the rare fashion magazine that never fails to find the humour in fashion. Inside every issue is a witty theme played out through an array of anecdotes and editorials, be it Lights, Camera, Action or Whatever the Weather and each is as intriguing as the next. What's more i-D never shies away from promoting up and coming models and talents and, in doing so, allows them, like their celebrity counterparts, to decorate the news stands with great success.

HUNGER


      Hunger is the newest of Vogue's disciples and yet, in spite of this, is no less impressive than its peers. It is the love child of photographer Rankin - a portfolio of his work and, whilst this may seem somewhat self-indulgent - because, well, it is - Rankin makes up for it with his talent and the unique content of the magazine. From Tilda Swinton poetry to unlikely interviews, Hunger intrigues and engages its reader throughout its multitude of pages. Moreover, the photography is stunning and with no adverts at all this biannual magazine is well worth its on-sale price.

LOVE


        Much like Hunger, LOVE is a biannual magazine which works exclusively with a photographer and, much like Hunger, it gets away with it. Within its 7 issues on the news stands, the photographers Mert & Marcus have captured Beth Ditto - not to mention most of the world's top models - naked, Kate Moss and Lea T engaged in a kiss and Linda Evangelista aged 46 proving that she's still got that je-ne-sais-quoi. Within its 7 issues LOVE's editor Katie Grand has ignored commercial formulas in favour of controversy and creativity and for that reason is part of something rather special.

       So there we have it: four of Vogue's most notable disciples and, with the end of the month looming, new issues await us all. In fact, LOVE hits the stands July 31st - happy reading everyone.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Back to the Future

        No matter how experienced you are at something, returning to it after taking a break is daunting. For Serena Williams returning to tennis a year after her 2010 injuries was daunting. However, as Wimbledon's women's singles final proved last weekend, it was worth it. Not only did she return to a well-established career as a tennis-player but she built upon it - a year and a half after returning to the game she matched her sister's impressive feat of five Wimbledon wins and became one of the oldest women to win the title. Aged 30 she worked her way back to the top.
        Now, whilst the similarities between myself and Serena Williams are small to say the least - I too am returning to something I love after taking a break. In what has been a month of ups and downs - A-levels and end of school celebrations, I have had to put blogging to one side. In a month of biting nails and unnerving stress, the sheer escapade and enjoyment of fashion itself has been, more or less, avoided by me, in an attempt to buckle down and secure the grades I need for university.


         However, it being July, exams are over and I can, for the first time in what seems like forever, blog. For the first time in a month I can sit, inhale fashion and write. Moreover, it being July, I have plenty to blog about: shows - the shows at London's first men's fashion week, the subsequent menswear shows in Paris and Milan, the couture shows...and yet, in the midst of all of these, there is one show which stands out in particular. One show which seems a little more blog-worthy than the rest: Raf Simons' debut at Dior.
* * *

        For a year and a half Dior was leaderless. In the year and half after Galliano was asked to leave Dior, the brand wandered somewhat aimlessly in the world of fashion with no exact idea as to what it should do or what it should be post Galliano. Without a figurehead to inject it with fresh creative vision the brand seemed somewhat confused and so the announcement of Galliano's successor in April - Raf Simons - was a welcome sigh of relief for both the brand and fashion world alike. A promise of a new Dior.
       Simons, however, did appear to be a somewhat strange choice for Dior. He is, as his eponymous and Jil Sander collections prove, a master of minimalism, whereas Christian Dior himself was renowned not for his subtlety but for the thrills and trills he brought to fashion and design and Galliano, if anything, accentuated that. Galliano built upon the ball gowns and developed the theatrics of Dior so that the brand stood out  in its extravagance - one need only look at his final couture show with the label to see just how extravagant Galliano made it.



       And yet the appointment of Simons as Dior's new creative director is not as strange as it may have originally seemed. The fashion world loves modernisation and, as recent couture shows have proved, fashion has begun to lean more towards the practical side of design than the impractical. In appointing Simons at Dior, the brand made two bold but necessary statements - first that they are modernising Dior and second that they are moving on from Galliano's era of overt opulence. They are changing. 
       And boy did Simons' debut at Dior fulfil what it promised. Gone was Galliano's loveable excess and in its place came Simons' sleeker take on the Dior dame. In the form of LBDs and cropped trousers Simons established the 2012 Dior woman: a lady who oozes elegance and luxury without having to shout about it. What's more is that Simons even dared recreate Dior's infamous 'New Look' dress - he reworked it in black and yellow tie die to great success. He hailed a new Dior. A new 'New Look' and the result couldn't have been more slick.


        In his first couture show for the label Simons somehow managed to create a subtle Dior. He created a Dior in respect of its antithesis: Chanel. He took us back to the future with a restrained but beautiful take on couture and, in his hands, the future's bright, very bright indeed.