On 31 August 1876, the Manchester Guardian published a letter from ‘Miserable Woman’ about the subject of women’s rights and fashion:
Sir, – Next week the British Association meets in Glasgow and I suppose women’s rights ladies will be having a grand field day. Do you think they could possibly be persuaded to give up this “franchise,” or something of that sort they are for ever talking about, and devote their able minds to the re-modelling of female dress? Talk of slavery! when we are going about like “hobbled” donkeys because it is the fashion.
The following day, the letters column carried a reply from correspondent ‘Women’s Rights’:
A real woman’s wrong
To the Editor of the Manchester Guardian
Sir, – Your correspondent “Miserable Woman” has struck the keynote of one of our greatest grievances when she complains of the slavery women endure from the shackles of dress. I can assure her that women who ask for the franchise do so in the hope and belief that this is the readiest and only effectual way to remove all injurious restrictions under which women suffer. We deem it a much more hopeful enterprise to persuade men to give women votes in the election of members of Parliament, and thereby recognise them as human beings, with personal rights equal to their own, than before women are so recognised to induce men to acquiesce in the removal of the shackles of drapery which bind their limbs as befits beings in a condition of social and political servitude.
Your own remarks in the letter seem to imply that men would willingly help women to dress in a rational way. If such is their object they take a singularly ill-judged method of accomplishing it. When women walk out in cumbrous lengthy skirts which sweep the ground and gather a mass of mud or dirt round the unhappy wearer, they rail at women for being so weak-minded as to be slaves to custom, and fashion. If women venture to walk out in short skirts they hoot at them for being so strong-minded as to disregard custom and fashion. If men really desire to see women adopt a rational, becoming and economical style of dress, they must hold the tongue of hostile criticism while the process of evolution is going on, and they must be prepared to tolerate the appearance of few deviations from the orthodox mode.
The long-trained skirt is perfectly appropriate for a fashionable promenade and for ladies who can ride in carriage, but is inexcusably absurd for women to wear as an ordinary walking dress when pursuing avocations which require them to carry parcel.
The progress of fashion since the extinction of of the bell crinoline - itself a merciful device to relieve the burden of huge skirts with which women were formerly laden - has been the gradual evolution of the human form from the mass of folds in which it lay hidden; the successive curtailments of superfluous “breadths” and the constant pushing back the remainder, till at present the sole excrescence of drapery remains the form of the fish tail prolongation of the lower skirt which now exercises the minds of those who love convention and cleanliness. But doubtless this is destined to disappear under the same influences that have been beneficially at work hitherto, and the superfluous excrescence may be found to have vanished next season, like the tails of tadpoles in the process of development.
Burberry To Put On A Major Photographic Exhibition
Burberry has announced the location of its upcoming September show and has also revealed plans to host a 'major photographic exhibition' within the space.
Moving away from Maker's House in Soho – which they have called home for two seasons – the British brand will now be showing at Old Session's House in Clerkenwell.
The photographic exhibition, entitled 'Here We Are' has been co-curated by president and chief creative officer of Burberry, Christopher Bailey, alongside Lucy Kumara Moore and Alasdair McLellan.
It is a collection of the work of over 30 of the most celebrated social and documentary photographers of the 20th century, including Dafyyd Jones, Martin Parr, Ken Russell and McLellan, who – it was also announced today – is embarking on a new creative collaboration with the house.
'When we started thinking about curating 'Here We Are', I knew I wanted it to celebrate a certain strand of British photography that I have always loved, one which documents the many and varied tribes and clans and classes that make up this island of ours,' Bailey said on Instagram today. 'It has been an extraordinary privilege to gather together this collection of photographs, that have influenced me so much over the years. They provide a portrait of British life, in all its nuances, both exceptional and mundane, beautiful and harsh.'
In conjunction with the exhibition, Burberry's September collection will be inspired by 'the spirit captured in British social portraiture' and will be unveiled on Saturday 16 September.
The exhibition is free for entry to the general public and opens two days after the show on Monday 18 September.
WE MAY be experiencing something of a late summer heat wave but a fabric previously described by Britain's fashion gurus as "a great palate-cleanser for autumn" is undergoing a remarkable renaissance.
On Thursday The Cords & Co - a new Stockholm-based retailer dedicated solely to premium corduroy fashions for men and women - will open a London branch in a bid to bring the functional counter-culture material to a new and fashion-aware audience.The British outlet is one of six shops it plans to open around the world dedicated to a fabric the company describes as "the desirable alternative to denim". And in embracing the material once considered the world's least sexy fabric, it joins big-hitters such as Gucci and Prada.
First spotted on the Prada catwalk in January, the durable vintage material that until recently was most closely associated with geography teachers and fashion-blind Lefties such as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also been rediscovered by upmarket clothing brands such as Mulberry, Marc Jacobs and Alexa Chung.
Meanwhile Gucci has produced a £1,610 floral jacket made of the hard-wearing fabric and you can pick up a more modest bottle-green equivalent from Mango for £90. Mulberry's offering is a £450 dusty-pink skirt, Marc Jacobs has cord flares for £275 and Alexa Chung has a £325 pinafore dress in her latest collection.
"It's practical, nonintimidating and easy to wear," says insightful Selfridges buying manager Heather Gramston
It has to be said that Corbyn was not alone in embracing corduroy in the 1980s. Diana, Princess of Wales - then the world's ultimate clotheshorse - was spotted wearing a chic pair of corduroy trousers in that period and earlier still even The Beatles went through a corduroy phase.
But these were aberrations. Corduroy hasn't been in fashion outside of a charmed circle of rural landowners and the country sports brigade since the mid-19th century.
"The hunting and fishing communities have always loved our corduroy," says Malcolm Helliwell of Lancashire-based Brisbane Moss, the UK's biggest corduroy factory. "Our fabrics and styles remain the same as they have for the 100 years we've been producing it."
But in recent decades, apart from a 1970s revival, corduroy has hardly been considered the height of sophistication. Perhaps most damaging of all for a long period was its association with children thanks to the corduroy-wearing kids who starred in the The Brady Bunch, a US sitcom about a blended family of six children. But no less an authority than fashion bible Vogue recently decreed that the fabric was on-trend once again.
"The Brady Bunch lived their lives in a wholesomeness that was dotted with mustard-hued flares and burnt sienna blazers all made from corduroy," declared a recent Vogue editorial. "But corduroy is still a cool, daytime staple."
No one knows this better than the supermodel Kate Moss. Despite its uncool reputation she has been wearing the fabric doggedly for more than two decades.
It's also been a favourite of actress Jane Birkin, famous for recording the controversially sexy chart hit Je t'aime in the 1960s, who chose to slope around Paris in a white T-shirt and a pair of pale cord jeans - fine-ridged needlecord, naturally.
And that's significant. Fine cord is acceptable, the wide geography-teacher stuff less so. The width of the cord is known as the "wale" and it's measured in ridges per inch. The lower the wale number, the thicker the ridge of the wale - 4-wale is much thicker than 11-wale, for example.
But although corduroy is believed by many to be a 20th-century fashion phenomenon, corduroy existed for more than 2,000 years before it acquired its modern name.
The Oxford English Dictionary cites 1774 as the earliest use of the word corduroy but its ancestor was a cotton weave known as "fustian", which was developed in the Egyptian city of Fustat in 200BC.
Brushed fabrics remained an Egyptian speciality until the medieval period when Italian merchants introduced the fabric to western Europe.
The growth in the cotton trade between the 12th and 14th centuries saw corduroy become popular in England and France where it gained an elite reputation. Henry VIII clamoured for the warmth of fustian in the 16th century during the chilly days before central heating
Until recently it was believed that the word corduroy came from a 17th-century English derivation of the French "corde du roi" or "cloth of the king" but it is now understood that the term is a compound of the word "cord", referring to its tufted, row-by-row pattern and "duroy" which was a coarse woollen fabric made in England in the early 18th century.
By then, the cloth had become a popular hard-wearing choice for workwear and military uniforms, while white fustian was often used for ladies' dresses. In the late 18th century, corduroy was being manufactured in Manchester as factory wear for townspeople in industrial areas and in parts of Europe corduroy is still known as "Manchester".
Now in a remarkable renaissance "poor man's velvet" is discovering a brand new audience and there is not a bellbottom in sight
In celebration of the National Gallery of Victoria’s The House of Dior: Seventy Years years of Haute Couture exhibition, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins has announced the launch of four couture cocktails set to coincide with the opening of the showcase.
Inspired directly by the French fashion house, the ‘Code of Conduct’ cocktails will be made available from Thursday September 1 – which just so happens to line up with Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out, taking place across the CBD – to Saturday November 4.
Curated by mixologist Marc Dasan, the first cocktail was inspired by the original Miss Dior perfume and combines Remy Martin VSOP, Tanqueray gin and earl grey syrup with a hint of Pernod and grapefruit bitters, served in a glass perfume bottle. The second cocktail references Dior’s love of 18th century French history with its incorporation of Kettle One vodka, Crème de Cassis, Crème de Mure with lime juice, white chocolate and Persian saffron fairy floss.
“The deep red colouring with gold accents resembles the opulence of the 18th century, whilst the fairy floss pays homage to Marie Antoinette’s most famous hairstyle – the pouf,” explains Dasan.
Playing on the fashion house’s iconic silhouettes, the third cocktail will consist of spiced rum, Pedro Ximenez and Mozart Dark which will be garnished with fresh fig and served in a structured martini glass. Finally, the fourth cocktail incorporates elements of the flower – a symbol which inspired the structure of Dior’s garments – with its use of Grey Goose Le Citron, Lillet Blanc, Crème de Violette and rosewater-infused ice spheres and frozen pink roses.
Also as part of the exhibition, as NGV’s official accommodation partner Sofitel will be offering two tickets to the exhibition, overnight accommodation and breakfast for two at No.35 Restaurant via it’s ‘So Cultural’ package.
Plymouth's very own fashion week will take place in the city next month.
The event will be held at various venues across the city from September 9 to 17, kicking off with a glamorous launch night which includes a mini catwalk show, canapes and champagne.
In addition to seeing models parade this year's new Autumn and winter collections from top high street retailers, designed outlets and local fashion houses, the shows will also offer stylist advice, hair and beauty demos.
Meanwhile, students from Plymouth College of art will also be getting on the catwalk to showcase collections of their latest work.
The aim of the week - organised jointly by the Plymouth City Centre Company and the event’s main sponsor Drake Circus - is to highlight the city’s growing reputation as a brilliant shopping venue, as well as a great holiday destination.
It will end with a weekend of catwalk shows in the Drake Circus Shopping Centre, which last year attracted a staggering 25,000 people and saw 45,000 people taking to social media to tweet about the event.
Other attractions include special fashion brunches in local cafes, bars and restaurants, colourful and eye-catching student window displays and a fashion photography exhibition – Fashion in Focus - at venues around the city.
There will also be Beauty Spots dotted around the city centre offering mini makeovers and free pampering sessions for the weary shopper.
What’s hot and what’s not in fashion this week
Isaac Newton We’re sure he would be thrilled to know he’d helped inspire Lucky Blue Smith and Stormi Bree’s baby name. Fingers crossed Gravity doesn’t have too bad a time at school.
Adidas Adilette velvet pool sliders The aesthetic mid-point between Liberace and Mark Zuckerberg. Not to be worn near water, obviously.
Shell necklaces See the Prada AW17 catwalk, as well as your wardrobe during that trip to the French seaside, aged 17, for details. This is souvenir chic at its beachy best.
Flight Of The Navigator The 1986 film has a liquid-looking metallic spaceshipremarkably like the one in the new Gucci ad. Time for a rewatch.
The emoji with a line for a mouth Acne has dedicated a whole collection to this guy. Find it on sweatshirts, shorts and polo shirts – and, of course, on your keyboard.
Slicked-back ponytails Instead, go with hair wisps, face-framing bits of hair. Flattering, fun, the styling tic at Zara for AW17, and on Alexa, too.
Sans serif We have reached the peak, appaz. Outdoor Voices, Airbnb and Missguided, you’ve been warned.
Mid-blue On both Hadid sisters, at Ikea, fast-tracking its way to being as ubiquitous as millennial pink.
Plandid Term coined by Man Repeller to describe the Instagram trend for planned candid selfies – as in, posed pictures of you taken by someone else. Genius word, depressing thing.
Pineapples The overplayed symbol of summer. We’re over it. Move on to the Matisse-approved Monstera deliciosa, or the cheese plant to you and me.
Since you’re here …
Roman jewellery brand Bulgari will be unveiling their latest collection at their second SerpentiForm exhibition this week in Singapore. The event will be held from August 19 to October 15 in the city’s Art Science Museum – the iconic lotus-inspired building that has been known to showcase works by Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol – and will welcome special guests like Alicia Vikander. Bulgari are taking their iconic serpent motif to the next level and with the theme of rebirth and transformation, are set to show how the snake itself has inspired the work of artists, designers and photographers alike. Overseen by Bulgari brand and heritage curator Lucia Boscaini, the exhibition will welcome antiquities dating back to 4th century BC, contemporary artworks including Niki de Saint Phalle’s Pouf serpent jaune, archival pieces such as the Serpenti bracelet-watch in gold with rubies and diamonds from 1954, vintage dresses and theatre and movie costumes. In response to the success of the first SerpentiForm exhibition in Rome last year, the Singapore edition will be followed by another in Tokyo from November 25 to December 25. [Vogue inbox]
Coming in hot off the hype surrounding her first Met Gala appearanceand US Vogue #CelineTakesCouture series, Celine Dion has unveiled the first line of bags from her 50 piece collection exclusive to Nordstrom. There are nine products ranging from totes and cross-body bags to clutches and backpacks available in a range of colourways including grey, black, burgundy and blue with prices starting from just AUD$104.98. Very Dion, each item is named after a musical reference and a number of the pieces feature golden honeycomb hardware accents. The 49-year-old Canadian superstar – who just wrapped her 12th concert tour – announced The Celine Dion Collection back in February and is set to release a series of small accessories and luggage in the near future. [The Cut]
Calvin Klein is set to release its latest collection and for the first time, it will be made exclusively available to Australians. Previously known as Calvin Klein collection, Calvin Klein 205W39NYC is a luxury ready-to-wear line designed by chief creative officer Raf Simons and works to reinterpret the brand’s heritage style. While Calvin Klein 205W39NYC is available to purchase in-boutique and online, the fall collection will be offered exclusively at Parlour X. [Vogue inbox]
Sarah Jessica Parker has opened her second stand-alone shoe storeinside the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, following the first opening in Washington DC and explained to Fashionista that through her partnership with global hospitality company MGM, “it's given us an opportunity that as a new business we would not have had for many, many years.” With the Las Vegas opening having broken records, Parker feels that MGM made the right choice for her brand. "When they came to us and suggested having this door here [at the Bellagio] and had such enormous confidence and belief [in it], it's hard to say no to that… I think when people come to a hotel and a property this size and have sort of decided in their heads where their dollars are going to go and what their budget is... it's a clear victory for retail.” Having helped customers with sizes on the big day, the actress and business woman added that, “for me to be a part of my business, I have to be there.” [Fashionista]
Nike has unveiled its latest collaboration, releasing a capsule collection of Nike Cortez fronted by Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas with Los Angles based brand A.L.C. The brand – who has featured the original sneaker in its past six seasons of lookbooks – has reinterpreted the style, adding suede for a high fashion twist. The sneaker will be available exclusively through Nordstrom x Nike and Nordstrom the Grove from August 25, followed closely by Net-a-Porter, Nike, Nike SNKRS app, and alcltd.com from August 28 in black, terracotta and cream colourways with the brand’s mottos of “Love More”, “Do It, Own It” and “Think How You Can” printed inside. [Business Of Fashion]
Kanye West surprised fans over the weekend when he dropped an unannounced collection on his official site, Yeezy Supply. The release features both men and women’s apparel – with everything from sports bras and T-shirts to caps, tracksuits and socks – in colours such as “hospital blue”, “mist”, “grace” and what has already proven to be a crowd favourite, “frozen yellow”. Most notably, it was the Yeezy Wave Runner 700 that had people talking, the new and already sold out style takes a sharp left from previous slim silhouettes and retails at USD$300.
Vogue US has given us a 360-degree tour of Kendall Jenner’s wardrobe as part of a new virtual reality video series called Supermodel Closets.
In the video, Jenner shows off her startlingly large collection of thigh-high boots (picking out a Vetements pair as a personal favourite), her favourite vintage Hermes bag and her Versace from the 2016 Met Gala.
In the video, Jenner also admits she once tried to steal a pair of Marc Jacobs denim jeans from a Vogue photo shoot. “I was obsessed with the star on the butt and I shot in them … for a Vogue story actually. I did a Vogue denim story and I wore these and I was obsessed with them and I tried to steal them from set. But now that I am remembering clearly I’m not going to get in trouble because I didn’t get away with it. Then I got them sent to me because they heard I try to steal them.”
Jenner also showed off the one dress she says is going to be “part of her closet for the rest of my life.” The dress in question? Her Paris Hilton-inspired 21st birthday dress. Jenner also explained how the whole thing came about. “I found a reference photo online of someone and at the time I didn’t know who because their head was cut off. So I sent it to my stylist and had it made,” she says.
“I ended up going to my 21st birthday, Paris Hilton was there, and she goes, “Oh my god I wore this dress on my 21st birthday.” And I showed her my reference photo and she told me that that was actually her.”
“How the world works is pretty amazing and I love it,” the model adds.
Watch the whole thing below.
It used to be that if you liked the music, you got the T-shirt. Now, the band T-shirt is a fashion trend all on its own – whether you like what it stands for or not
Atour around the high street this summer would uncover a few standout trends. Pretty off-the-shoulder tops. Basket bags. Bleached denim. Even some pool-ready inflatables. And at stores including Topshop, H&M, Primark and Forever 21, T-shirts for bands including AC/DC, Metallica, the Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi. The kind of purchase once seen on merchandise stalls at gigs and market stalls in Camden Lock has gone mass.
What does it mean when something so aligned with an alternative point of view – one that prioritises your love of your favourite band as primary statement to the world – is co-opted by fashion? This year the humble band T-shirt has become something of a battleground between generations, where ideas of authenticity, image and symbolism are at loggerheads. This was writ large earlier this month when Kendall and Kylie Jenner released a series of T-shirts on their Kendall + Kylie website. On the front were designs that resembled T-shirts for Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls and Ozzy Osbourne, with selfies of the sisters superimposed on top. Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mother, was quick to denounce it on Instagram, posting an image of the T-shirt with a cross through it.
The T-shirts have since been withdrawn, with the Jenners posting identical messages of apology on each of their Twitter accounts. But they have arguably caught the flak of a change that has been happening for a while – the band T-shirt moving from merch stall to fashion item. Nicolas Ghesquière started it off in 2012, when he produced a T-shirt for Balenciaga using red font similar to that of Iron Maiden’s logo. Band shirts – or at least logos that have the look of a band shirt – were then a key part of the first Vetements collections, with T-shirts and hoodies in the spring/summer 2016 collection straight off a heavy-metal merch stall. Worn by Kanye West, Rihanna and Kylie Jenner, the look changed from fans at a gig to superstars with serious social media followings.
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From staple T-shirts to the laid-back workwear we just can’t get enough of, and everything in between, Bassike is one of those quintessentially Australian brands that just works.
And with the launch of their denim range two years ago, that signature off-duty style got a facelift, ensuring there wasn’t an occasion unmarked that Bassike couldn’t be the brand of choice — from Fridays at the office to a weekend brunch.
Now, ahead of their spring denim collection release, we spoke with co-founders and creative directors, Deborah Sams and Mary Lou Ryan about all things denim, creating a product in Japan, and how to style your favourite pair of jeans.
“The spring denim line is a play on traditional vintage denim, with custom washes across our classic cuts as well as our signature low-slung jean for men and women. There is a big focus on sustainable production with the use of eco-bleach washes, which lightens the indigo without the inclusion of harsh toxins, saving the fabrication and is less damaging to the environment,” the pair say, reiterating their ongoing support for ensuring their products are sustainable.
From the collection, Sams and Ryan name the classic crop as a must-have, a lightened indigo wash — the first time the designers have introduced a heavier weight stretch fabric into their realm.
And, as has been the case with every Bassike denim launch, Southern Japan has been the location of the production for each and every piece, ensuring the handcrafted quality of the denim goes on without fault, employing denim artisans to undertake the task.
“Japan bridges the divide between minimalism and complexity which aligns with our approach not only to our denim collection, but the Bassike brand as a whole,” they say, going on to reveal how the country has defined two key styles from the collection.
“This influence can be seen in our deconstructed gussets detail skirt. Our denim branding also incorporates a white leather patch made with the same leather used to make baseballs – a highly regarded sport in Japan.”
Of course, despite jeans being a staple in every wardrobe, Sams and Ryan aren’t shy about why we all need a great quality pair.
“A great pair of jeans is a cornerstone of your wardrobe. Bassike denim is well-tailored and crafted using Japanese denim that ages really well. [It is] is also suited to the conscious consumer… We are very passionate about supporting small, family run operations,” they say.
And for styling? Breaking rules is all part of the fun.
“Pairing denim with understated jersey or oversized shirting is how we wear denim. We are also both firm believers in double denim when it’s done well.”
At only 36 years of age, American fashion designer Zac Posen has a long history in the fashion industry and is getting ready to give us a peak into the life he leads via an upcoming documentary, House of Z. His resume is one to envy, and at just 16 years of age, Posen attended Parson’s School of Design and only two years after the launch of his first collection, was awarded The Perry Ellis Award for Womenswear by the CFDA. With investors like Sean Combs and customers including Naomi Campbell and Kate Winslet, it’s no wonder the film has caught so much traction. However, the documentary makes an effort to note struggles undertaken by Posen, with particular attention paid to the falling ranks of his label not so many years ago. House of Z will air on September 6, exclusively at US Vogue's website.[Vogue US]
Morgan Pilcher, the Australian-born, Sydney-raised fashion all-rounder and current fashion editor of Porter magazine, has been enlisted by industry-leading luxury fashion retailer, Net-a-Porter to style their autumn/winter '17 campaign. The campaign draws on dark florals and colour confidence in suiting, disco and off-duty styles in order to provide customers with this season’s key trends. [Vogue inbox]
In other news today, campaign images for Gucci’s first women's fragrance under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele have surfaced. The Gucci Bloom images star its three faces – Dakota Johnson, Petra Collins and Hari Nef – dressed to the nines in floral numbers, all of whom were in attendance at the fragrance’s private launch party, held in May at MoMA PS1. The campaign was photographed by Glen Luchford in New York City, and according to a statement, was inspired by "urbanity and how scent can be a way to travel somewhere that does not exist, that is purely imagined. It's a surreal idea of wearing a garden."
There’s nothing easier to throw on for summer days than a classic white T-shirt. Though there seems to be a different white tee for every person and situation (seriously, there are a lot), there's one group of people out there who really only want one thing in their white shirts: opacity. When I’m shopping these days, it feels like many retailers only offer semi-sheer options that double as beach cover-ups, in blissful disregard for the fact that some of us are looking for something a little more substantial. Call me conservative, but I’ve never been truly comfortable with showing off my lingerie in public, or rocking diaphanous tees that reveal more than they conceal.
In pursuit of stylish, full-coverage white tees that I (and you!) can embrace this season, I spent hours at the mall trying on T-shirts and rejecting any of the too-transparent fabrics. Click through to see the styles that made the cut.
I just collected my new blouse from the cleaners to find it had been prematurely aged. How was this "dry" cleaned? It looks like I'd chucked in a hot wash with a slug of bleach. It's once perky frilled collar now sags like limp celery. And it's shrunk.
Now, I know there are many excellent professional and careful drycleaners out there, but my luck is not strong in this department. The universe has been telling me to kick my habit for years. My zips come back stiff (why is that?), my buttons cracked or missing, those effing tickets pinned through the silk instead of the label. Once, the elastic waist of a favourite red dress literally melted in their machines.
What are those mysterious machines anyway? And how on earth do you shrink something without wetting it?
"They do wet it," says Anna Gould, an advocate for chemical-free dry cleaning. Who knew? "Dry cleaning is a funny phrase because it doesn't actually mean the clothes stay dry, just that water is not involved." Water swells fibres, which can lead to shrinkage in the drying process. Solvents avoid this problem.
If, like me, you'd imagined the cleaners wafting your designer duds into a westerly breeze or delicately dabbing at them with a baby wipe, you'd better sit down.
"It's not magic. It's just a system," says Gould. "You drop off your clothes, they fix a little ticket to them, then throw them in the machine. Sometimes they might sort them according to fabric or some other categorisation, for example put a whole lot of coats in together, but generally speaking it shouldn't matter because with the solvent the colours shouldn't run. Your garment isn't cleaned on its own.
"The machine soaks the clothes in solvent, then drains the liquid, and dries [the clothes] with heat. Then someone steams out the creases, covers [the garment] in plastic and hangs it up. That's the run-through."
Protest Fashion Takes Many Forms at Britain’s Port Eliot Festival
Whenever the Port Eliot Festival comes around in the last week of July, the sun somehow always shines in this idyllic part of Cornwall, so that revelers of all ages can bounce around in unabashed merriment. Around midsummer each year, Catherine St. Germans allows her ancient and lush estate to become febrile ground for a weekend of ideas and inspiration, spread across literature, art, music, food, and fashion.
That is until this year, when St. Germans was struck with torrential downpours for the most part of the weekend, turning the rolling hills into a sludgy mud-fest—but nobody was going to be deterred by a spot of rain. Out came the Hunter wellies and pack-away rain macs that enabled festival-goers to stand bravely in the rain to listen to the likes of Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis talk about the Trump election trail or take Museum of Witchcraft–hosted night walks along the scenic estuary off the River Tamar. Some even ditched clothing altogether and made like the Blitz Kids–era performance group Neo Naturists to get feral in the wet mud. Come rain or shine, Port Eliot is where minds and bodies can truly roam free.
Up in the walled garden, the Wardrobe Department was once again overseen by Vogue’s own Sarah Mower, who in the spirit of creative defiance sought to mount a fightback from fashion. There’s plenty to rile against—the increasing cuts to the arts in education in the U.K., a toxic atmosphere of conservatism and oppression post-Brexit and -Trump, and an ever uncertain future for when young graduates emerge from university, saddled with debt and fears about the job market. And so, Mower posed a question: Can fashion be utilized as a valid form of protest? Together with a whole host of creative rebels, the answer by the end of the weekend was a resounding yes.
The image of Amy Cartwright, Hannah Monkley, and Amy Towl in full suffragette costume, brandishing a placard that read Same Shit, Different Century, went viral after they were photographed at the Women’s March in London back in January. At Port Eliot, they once again donned their corsets to make a point by protesting in convincing costumes, highlighting that there are still so many gender disparity battles to be won. Ashish also led a glitter resistance of sequined slogans, which ran the gamut from the pointedly political, such as Planned Parenthood and Immigration, to the upbeat in Love Will Win and Don’t Give Up the Daydream. The demonstration here is that sequins need not diminish the message at hand.
Over in the Orangery, a new addition to the festival, was a rotating Art School, where various colleges, illustrators, and designers like Luella Bartley and Giles Deacon hosted drawing lessons to encourage people to take up the arts baton. This a response to an ongoing policy of diminishing art, music, and drama lessons in education curriculums.
Elsewhere, the pink-haired print maverick Zandra Rhodes regaled the crowds with stories of dressing everyone from Diana Ross to Princess Diana, as well as proving her archives have a second life, as an additional reissued collection of her 1970s seminal frocks has just dropped on MatchesFashion.com. Another OG provocateur, Stephen Jones, talking with journalist Alexander Fury, recalled his life through his most memorable hats, such as an English Breakfast–festooned beret and a Ms. Pac-Man helmet created for a 2008 Giles show. Tellingly, both Rhodes and Jones wouldn’t have had such illustrious careers were it not for their outward-looking ambitions. “When we were growing up, we wanted to leave England,” said Jones. “We wanted to be citizens of the world. That’s why Brexit is such a hard biscuit to take.”
From one rebellious generation to another, Mower’s selection of designers to showcase at Port Eliot prove that those emerging from fashion school aren’t content just to follow the norms of setting up their own label or working for a house. Star of the Central Saint Martins M.A. class of 2016, Richard Quinn—whose vibrant floral prints adorned the Wardrobe Department stage—has just set up an open-access print studio in South London to provide students and young designers with affordable screen-printing facilities. “Just f***king do it” is Quinn’s motto—appropriate for this year’s lineup. Conner Ives has already made a splash, dressing Adwoa Aboah for this year’s Met Gala. Ives spoke about the unlikely combination of having a cult label on his hands while still completing his fashion degree. Molly Goddard and Rottingdean Bazaar also highlighted the joys of small-scale operation and independent thought. “I wouldn’t know what to do with an unlimited budget,” said Goddard, whose dresses of inexpensive tulle began as a necessary cost-saving exercise. “I think it would be awful if I had all that money. I like having limits and boundaries.” James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks, who celebrate the beauty of found objects with their project Rottingdean Bazaar, echoed similar thoughts. “When you have less, you have to work harder to make it more beautiful,” said Buck. This sentiment behind an alternative way of working in the industry elicited cheers from the fashion-skeptic, lit-fest audience. “There was globalization 10, 15 years ago, and everyone hoped and could quickly launch themselves and be picked up by buyers all over the world,” said Mower. “But that has really trailed off in the past few years. Designers are being hired and fired at a greater rate. Young people are regrouping and making statements for themselves.”
Perhaps the talk that really cemented this year’s protest theme was a Dress to Protest extravaganza, copresented by Mower and David Serlin, a professor of communications and science studies at the University of California, San Diego. Together they made the point that visual symbols and slogans, along with clothing, have the power to communicate issues with immediacy and potency. Outfits from Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett, who is reviving her slogan tees with a to-the-point Cancel Brexit message for 2017, were featured alongside young fashion graduates who have been vocal with their designs from the onset. Menswear designer Daniel Fletcher, for instance, staged a guerrilla demonstration at London Fashion Week during the EU referendum with tracksuits emblazoned with the word Stay. “I think it’s important for young people to be heard and say, We’re not prepared to be ignored or accept what is happening,” said Fletcher.
Even when an outfit isn’t ostensibly capital-F Fashion, cloth is still being used to grab political headlines. Most recently, women dressed up as Margaret Atwood’s red-robed handmaids and descended on Capitol Hill to protest the Republican health-care bill. Their symbolic ensembles were re-created by award-winning costume designer Sandy Powell and Jones at Port Eliot to startling effect.
The more hard-core literary types might be sniffy about the Wardrobe Department’s glitter-faced, flower-strewn presence at Port Eliot, but this year, there was no denying that the message behind the floral prints, slogan tees, and art classes was one with worthy heft. “I’m so inspired by this young generation of creatives,” said Mower in the closing moments of the festival, when the sun did indeed decide to come out. “Just keep doing what you do!”
Kim Kardashian Slapped with Infringement Lawsuit Over "KKW" Trademark
On the same day as Kylie Jenner was sued for allegedly copying the artwork of London-based artist Sara Pope, her sister Kim Kardashian was slapped with a lawsuit by Kirsten Kjaer Weis, a Danish makeup artist, who alleges that Kardashian is infringing her brand by way of Kardashian's newly-launched beauty company, which bears the “KKW” trademark.
According to Weis’s lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, she has made use of her federally registered “KW” trademark since September 2010 on cosmetics and that Kim K is infringing that mark with her KKW cosmetics line.
Weis alleges in her suit that Kardashian’s use of the KKW logo is causing confusion amongst customers (the central issue for trademark infringement suits), and that such use was a "knowing, willing, and deliberate" choice made by Kardashian, whose KKW brand is a “direct competitor” of Weis’s line.
A spokesman for Weis said in a statement: "This lawsuit is about protecting our reputation and our business. We have worked hard over many years to establish our brand identity and our unique market position.”
On the other hand, a representative for Kardashian said, "There is no merit to this lawsuit. Before launching, Kim received approval for KKW, KKW BEAUTY, and KKW FRAGRANCE from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. When Ms. Weis asked for a re-examination, the USPTO again approved the brand names for Kim's company a second time. Kim has done everything by the book.”
While it is rare that we side with the Kardashian/Jenners on copying claims, in the case at hand, it appears that Weis' allegations seem extremely tenuous at best (it is hard to believe that consumers believe that Kardashian and Weis's products are in some way affiliated). Nonetheless, she has asked the court to block Kardashian from using the “KW” logo, and is also asking that the court force Kardashian to destroy all of the infringing goods and pay monetary damages including lost profits and attorneys’ fees.