Thursday, December 23, 2010

Enjoy The Show

Alber Elbaz of Lanvin is the latest to join the likes of Jimmy Choo and Comme des Garçons as a guest designer for H&M. The collection launched on November 4th of this year, and was available in stores on the 20th. I am one of the unfortunate humans who does not have regular access to an H&M (nearest one is two hours away), so I was not afforded the pleasure of waiting in a five block line and fighting with other fashion-hungry tiny people for the last extra small Lanvin for H&M frock. 

While I am currently unable to figure out which Canadian H&M stores were graced with the presence of this collection, it doesn't really matter; from what I've heard, it sold out everywhere as soon as it hit the racks. Ah well, time to hit up eBay...

Anyway, this film, called "The Show", has since hit the internet:

Interesting, right?

This is apparently meant to reflect a typical dream had by a designer. Hence the sketches and the surrealism of the whole thing. In a behind-the-scenes discussion of this promo video, Elbaz himself explains that he wanted to portray the demographic Lanvin caters to, which is both mother and daughter; the older woman is wearing the same asymmetrical yellow dress as the younger woman. Everything in this video comes in pairs, it seems, as the mistress meets the girlfriend, and the two women on their phones meet in the hallway. This is different from the usual image of uniqueness fashion labels like to uphold, but it does make me feel like even the most unfortunate of incidents can be overcome with a mutual love for a little black dress.

The most important thing here is that the dresses, which seem to be the base for the collection, are shown off. Every piece is seen from many angles, how it moves, what to pair it with, and even how to cover up a stain with a handy Lanvin for H&M necklace. 

The main problem that I noticed in terms of the actual modelling of the pieces was that the only "average" sized woman in the entire video was... on a treadmill. Now, I do not know what was behind that decision, but I am surely not the only one who had to go back and check that out again. If you're going to cater to an atypical demographic spanning across generations, let's try not to discriminate based on weight, yes? 

There are certain stigmas within the fashion world, especially when it comes to the size of models. It's sad when an industry that produces such beauty and facilitates amazing creativity is blamed for the poor body image that many of us have, and throwing the only normal-sized woman in your video on an exercise machine does nothing but pad that argument. I love you, Lanvin, but seriously, you know better.

Apart from that slight misstep, the film is beautifully shot and definitely approaches the noisy world of fashion advertising in a unique way. I have yet to see a magazine ad for Lanvin's new collection, and I have yet to see a similar viral video approach to raising awareness of a fashion line. While I do appreciate the fresh approach, I still see this film as a supplement to the guaranteed success of all H&M collaborators: accessible designer clothing that flies off racks faster than you can say, "holy crap, that's Lanvin and it's only a hundred bucks?!" Which I can say pretty fast.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A brief introduction

There is a newspaper that runs my life, and while it may be a small publication, it has a stronghold on me. Once the semester starts back up again, my life will more than likely be consumed by it. In the meantime, it is Christmas break, and I have lots of wisdom teeth-removal recovery time and avoiding-applications time to devote to things pertaining to what I love: fashion. Be it the tiny town I live in, which is filled with a surprisingly vast array of stylish people to judge and admire, or the pages of the Vogue Best Dressed I recently bought, I believe in fashion’s ability to make my world and yours a better place… or at least better to look at.

While many of us have given up our magazine subscriptions for the more economical e-fashion world, there is still the occasional impulse purchase at the checkout counter (especially when it’s Blake Lively in a gold Reed Krakoff number). No doubt, you have noticed that the first, oh, ninety pages of every magazine are devoted to advertising space. This is something I understand. I understand that print media is soon to be extinct, and that revenue has to come from somewhere. And I understand that fashion retailers and designers have to make readers aware of their offerings. Which is why I am going to put this under the microscope.

Advertisements, either in print or onscreen, can be beautiful. Recall the stunning mini-movies directed by Baz Luhrmann for Chanel, and the quirky monochrome ads photographed by Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs. They’re perfectly styled, and showcase the designers’ fare for those of us who can’t make it to New York Fashion Week. In the same way, ads can be oversexed, underwhelming, and a waste of a glossy page.

So this will be my general focus, save for the occasional rant about panty lines and Ugg boots in the dead of slushy Canadian winter. Enjoy!