Model Cameron Russell calls out the fashion industry on sexual harassment
Dozens of models are banding together to share anonymous accounts of sexual harassment as the controversy over Harvey Weinstein expands to other industries.
Model and activist Cameron Russell, 30, began sharing stories on her Instagramfeed last week, explaining that she wanted to shine a light on abuse of young, often inexperienced models by seasoned professionals in the business.
“Hearing about #harveyweinstein this week has sparked conversations about how widespread and how familiar his behavior is,” Russell wrote on her Instagram feed and has encouraged correspondents contributing their stories to publicly use the hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse “so the industry can see the size and scope of this problem”.
Among dozens of entries, many writers have described how, as young women often with little experience, they were left unguarded and vulnerable to predators, many of them photographers, agents, clients and bookers. One described how she was assaulted by an unnamed photographer when she was 15 years old for the sake of “making the pic look more sensual”.
As the feed has gathered stories, it has received hundreds of “likes”, including some from well-known models. But Russell wrote that the Instagram accounts should not be seen as an exposé “because nothing in these stories should be a revelation for those working in our industry”.
Russell’s call for the fashion industry to reform have been joined by supermodel Christy Turlington Burns. She told WWD that she felt fortunate that she had not been abused, but added: “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry.”
Turlington, who is married to the actor and documentary maker Edward Burns, continued: “The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experienced at some point in our careers.”
The model, who now runs a not-for-profit organization that trains midwives in Guatemala, said that there were many times early in her career when she had flown abroad for an assignment to find herself entrusted to the care of “some creepy playboy type”.
“In hindsight, I fear I may have played the ‘honeypot’ that has been described in the stories about these predators who make other women feel protected. Unknowingly, but still an accomplice of sorts.”
The Weinstein scandal is now placing the fashion industry in the crosshairs.
Weinstein is married to a fashion designer, Georgina Chapman, and was frequently seen in the front row at his wife’s catwalk shows with senior industry executives. The couple have now separated, Chapman has announced.
FASHION: Crafting a look for autumn
SADLY, we are all too familiar with stories of sweatshop labour and youth exploitation in the fashion industry.
So it is heartening to hear another tale – one where fashion is a positive force in people's lives and helps them make a fair living.
York businesswoman Anne McCrickard has been telling those stories for several years now, through her ethical clothing boutique Maude & Tommy, Grape Lane.
If clothes could talk, these garments would keep you captivated.
Take the exquisite and colourful swing coat from Bibi Hanum in Uzbekistan. It is made by craftspeople, mostly women, in the Tashkent, Ferghana Valley and the Navoi Region. The company is a social enterprise, with a mission to provide economic opportunities for women while preserving Uzbekistan’s rich heritage.
Anne explains: "The clothes are designed to incorporate the traditional crafts of Uzbek artisans. Ikat fabrics are made by master craftsmen in the Fergana Valley, whose families have employed these techniques for generations."
These techniques were almost lost forever, adds Anne, because of the imposition of modernisation during the Soviet era.
"In their style and ornamentation, Uzbek clothing reflects centuries of cross-cultural trade along the Silk Road network that crossed Central Asia, particularly from Persia, India and China."
Every garment in the boutique has to fit in with Anne's ethos of slow fashion, the antithesis of today’s throwaway fast fashion, often made in sweatshop conditions.
“I love buying from craftspeople from around the world," says Anne. "For autumn/winter, we have items handmade in York and Yorkshire, alongside pieces from India, Uzbekistan, France, Sweden and Italy.
“Some are new ventures while others keep alive techniques that have been mastered over centuries. You’re not just buying clothes, you’re supporting these people, their children and entire communities."
Another example is the block colour coat by Neeru Kumar. It looks surprisingly modern, but is based on traditional techniques and indigenous materials from India.
And how about this as an antidote to throwaway fashion – a bag made from recycled goods. The company What Daisy Did uses waste materials from various industries to create its range of bags and purses.
Anne says the designs are timeless, to outlive micro trends and seasons, and made by more than 100 artisans in rural India. "The bags are hard wearing and made to last, keeping them out of landfill for as long as possible," she adds.
Chic craft pieces made closer to home also make the cut for autumn/winter at Maude & Tommy.
"Norfolk-based CoridaKnit is known for its hand-felted accessories but the business has taken the latest collection in a new direction," says Anne. "Using a fresh technique known as nuno felting, it involves bonding 70 per cent extra fine merino wool on to a printed silk gauze textile. The effect is a stunningly-detailed lightweight felt with exquisite detail."
Making Fairisle fabulous again is Galashiels-based Eribé, which describes itself as ‘a cottage industry gone global’. The business works with hand-knitters and knitwear designers who are experts in the heritage knitting technique.
Created from natural fibres, including lambswool and merino, the garments are made using knowledge handed down from one generation to the next. There’s a mix of machine-knits and hand-framed styles, with almost 90 per cent of products made in Scotland, says Anne.
Cameron Russell and Edie Campbell call out photographers who sexually assault fashion models
American model Cameron Russell has spent the last 18 hours glued to her mobile phone, reading and re-posting stories on her Instagram account from fellow fashion models who say they have suffered at the hands of photographers, casting directors, designers and other powerful men within the fashion industry.
Russell, who has walked for Prada, Louis Vuitton, Victoria's Secret and many more, has respected the privacy of every victim by blocking out names, however the accusations submitted to her include tales of alleged manipulation, harassment and sexual assault, with many saying that the abuse happened when they were just 15 or 16 years-old.
The first post that Russell shared was a friend’s story, who detailed how a male photographer had assaulted her on a test shoot at the age of 15. “A brave model (and friend) reached out to me with her story today,” Russell wrote, starting the hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse.
“She has asked to remain anonymous but asked that I share her words here because the photographer still works in the industry. She wants to encourage other women to speak up. We need a way to begin breaking the silence while remaining protected. We are not talking about one, five, or even twenty men. We are talking about a culture of exploitation and it must stop.”
All about Erdem's HM collaboration, according to Erdem Moralioglu
Last year, on a bitterly cold spring day in London, Erdem Moralioglu took guests through his resort collection in his Mayfair store. I’d flown in from much warmer Sydney, so Moralioglu pulled out a leopard-print fur coat and joked to me that it would be the perfect antidote to the London weather. I relegated that coat to the dream category of my mental shopping list, concocting instead a more fabulous existence for it, to be worn traipsing around one’s French chateau or one’s Scottish moor property.
But here at the H&M Australia showroom, I sight an Erdem x H&M leopard-print faux-fur coat that gave me the same frisson of fashion what-ifs with its design – and its price. It’s to be expected from the Scandinavian retailer, but seeing the quality and workmanship in person never ceases to surprise and delight.
“There’s something about this collaboration that feels looser than my catwalk collections, and also very democratic,” says Moralioglu, who tells Vogue how he drew on his past creations, re-working shapes and silhouettes, such as a pleated dress from a 2005 collection, rather than on a singular narrative, as he is wont to do. “With each of our collaborations, we say to the designers that we want the true essence of their brand,” says H&M’s Ann-Sofie Johansson, the woman tasked with producing the samples for the designers, who “often can’t believe what we’ve managed to achieve”. After Balmain and Kenzo, “the timing felt right for a collaboration with a British designer well known for his romantic and feminine style”, she adds. “I feel we need more beauty in the world these days.”
The Canadian-born, London-based designer also looked to his own childhood: “I was thinking about pieces that my mother wore, like when she would borrow my father’s coat to drive us to school.” Knits reference a Norwegian-style jumper that he had worn in school and styles seen in Twin Peaks, which he loved to watch as a teenager.
Of working with him, Johansson points to his warmth and friendliness. “He loves people and has such a great understanding of who wears his clothes – it’s like they are his friends,” she says. “He’s also very specific and has an eye for perfection... it was exciting for us to work with someone who cared so much about every single detail.” The main label’s delicacy and whiffs of romanticism are captured in the H&M collaboration, with a mock crocodile handbag decorated with crystal patterns, as if brooches had been attached to a vintage handbag; a white lace blouse collared with pleats and interlaced black ribbon; and a tweed skirt with the edges artfully frayed, giving the piece a sense of undone modernity.
“We always like to think big at H&M and to give our customers something special that’s completely unexpected,” says Johansson. “For us, it is always important to choose the best fabric for each garment, offering the best value for money.”
A first for Moralioglu is menswear, which allowed him to design for himself but to also maintain a “dialogue between the two worlds” between menswear and womenswear. “I remember we were fitting the men’s jacket, and we tried it on the female model to see how she looked,” he recalls. “It was a real moment for us, because she looked so wonderful and relevant. It led to us creating a double-breasted jacket for the women’s collection, which is now my favourite in the whole collections.”
The combination of his own history and that of his brand made the collaboration a unique experience. “Because so much of the past 12 years is woven into the collection, it felt so good to have the opportunity to look at the things I’ve done in the past and redevelop them – it was so exciting. The whole project has felt so personal.”
The fashion in 1982’s “Blade Runner” still looks futuristic in 2017. Its sequel looks cliché
In the 35 years since the original Blade Runner movie came out, fashion designers have looked to its unusual mashup of retro and futurism as a regular source of inspiration. What it got right was the way it took familiar references—1940s Hollywood glamour, early 1980s punk, film noir tropes—and threw them in a dystopian blender. Each character’s wardrobe signaled a type you understood, dislocated just enough to make it something strange and new.
“I was mesmerized by the mix of what was then futuristic with what was already retro,” designer Jeremy Scott told CNN. “That is what makes Blade Runner the gold standard (among) sci-fi dystopian worlds, as it’s believable. Because we do not live in a world where everything is from today … We live in a chaotic world of various decades of architecture, automotive design and fashion, combining and colliding all (in) that same moment.”
Blade Runner offered a vision of the future nobody had articulated before, and its influence is easy to see in the work of numerous designers. Among the high-profile examples are Alexander McQueen’s 1998 collection for Givenchy, which played off the remixed 1940s look of Rachael, the near-human “replicant” android who is the movie’s female lead. There was the overt reference to the punkish hair and makeup of “basic pleasure model” replicant Pris in Jean Paul Gaultier’s 2008 couture show. This year, Raf Simons showed a men’s collection on the streets of Chinatown in New York that reproduced the dark, rainy atmosphere of Blade Runner down to the umbrellas, while Bottega Veneta’s runway stylist admitted to the Financial Times (paywall) that she was inspired by Rachael’s look.
Meghan Markle's house shoes are for wearing everywhere and you too can own them
If you want to do cosy style like a soon-to-be royal, then Meghan Markle’s laid-back slippers need to be on your shopping list.
Taking cues from pyjama dressing, Markle is a firm favourite of taking her house shoes out of the house, wearing a pair of Birdies slippers more than once out and about.
Wearing the brand’s black, loafer-style offering named The Blackbird (and opting for the shearling-free interior), Markle has been spotted everywhere from the flower market to behind-the-scenes at Suits in the shoe.
And even though they’re meant for the indoors, Markle is on the same page with getting value for money, making sure she gets every cent of value from the USD$140 slippers.
Not sure how to style slippers? Take cues from this (almost) princess and pair with jean shorts and a button up white shirt. Simple.
Martha Hunt dazzles in a satin bardot gown before changing into a tiny mini skirt as she joins leggy Josephine Skriver and Sara Sampaio to storm the runway for Redemption's Paris Fashion Week show
They're used to strutting their stuff in lingerie down the Victoria's Secret catwalk.
But Angels Martha Hunt, Josephine Skriver and Sara Sampaio proved they're just as at home on high end runways as they walked for the Redemption show during Paris Fashion Week on Friday.
Leading the way was Vogue covergirl Martha, who dazzled in an black bardot gown which skimmed over her sensational figure and featured a dramatic thigh high split that offered a look at her tanned and toned pins.
Wearing her golden locks in a side parting, the stunning starlet bore a neutral make-up palette that accentuated her flawless features, whilst she finished off the look with a pair of black leather boots cut to the calf.
Also sizzling on the outing was Josephine Skriver, who showed off her tanned and toned stomach in a flared black dress top that was fastened with one button to flaunt her cleavage and impeccably sculpted abs.
Sara Sampaio also looked phenomenal, teaming an oatmeal hued one sided jumper with a cream polka dot pencil skirt that was adorned with a navy lace trim and featured a flattering front split, whilst she layered up with a distressed denim jacket.
Martha will soon be featured in Victoria's Secret's upcoming ad campaign that found her in the Colorado wilderness being directed by Michael Bay for a Western-themed shoot.
As one of the brand's beloved Angels, she will head to Shanghai, China in November to walk in the brand's annual fashion show which will air on CBS in December.
The blonde bombshell was signed to VS in 2012 after walking for labels like Givenchy and Prada - and walked in the VS show in 2013 and 2014 before officially becoming an Angel in 2015.
She recently opened up about getting along with the other VS Angels, explaining that they bond as they're all 'under pressure'.
'We're all under the same amount of pressure, and we all shoot and travel together. So it's very crucial for us to be there for one another,' she told Elle Canada.
'I love working out with the girls, I prefer to work out with them rather than by myself. They motivate me more and it's just more fun. It gets your mind off the pain when you have all of your girlfriends with you.'
Martha added that the biggest fitness cheerleader in the group would have to be Jasmine Tookes or Elsa Hosk.
Martha was discovered at a model search in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2004, which she entered after close friends repeatedly urged her to give modelling a try.
The catwalk queen admitted that her model potential was so obvious, a surgeon even told her to be a model when she went for an operation.
'I even had my appendix taken out, and the surgeon said to my parents, "She should try modeling!" ' she told W magazine. 'At that point we were like 'Okay, maybe we could try it.''
Adut's triumph: the Australian refugee taking on the fashion world
Adut Akech was packing her bags when we spoke on Friday. She’d finished high school just the day before, and that night the 17-year-old from Adelaide would be flying to France to take part in the Saint Laurent show, which marked the start of this year’s Paris fashion week.
On Wednesday morning shots of her marching down the runway flew across fashionistas’ social media accounts; wearing a dramatic black-and-white top, short shorts and furry boots, hers was the final outfit in the much-applauded show. Akech has arrived.
It’s a remarkable moment for any teenager – and even more so for the model now known by the moniker Adut, who was born in war-torn South Sudan and spent her early years in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya before arriving in Australia as a seven-year-old.
On the phone, she sounds giddy with her newfound freedom, admitting it hasn’t quite sunken yet in that she has finished high school and is about to become a full-time model.
In fact, she’s something of a Saint Laurent veteran. She made her international catwalk debut last September and has walked exclusively for the fashion house for the last two seasons. This year she’ll be doing the full schedule – and if Tuesday night’s show is anything to go by, she’ll be busy.
It’s a strong start for Akech, who has been photographed for ID magazine, 10 magazine and Vogue Australia in the past year. She’s also featured in the much anticipated all-black Pirelli calendar for 2018, shot by Tim Walker, styled by the incoming Vogue UK editor Edward Enniful, and starring Naomi Campbell, Diddyand Whoopi Goldberg.
Although the lineup is dazzling, the person Akech was most excited to meet was the actor Lupita Ngong’o, one of her role models, alongside Campbell and Alek Wek. It sounds as though Ngong’o may take her under her wing. “She told me to get in touch with her when I go down to New York, so I’m gonna do that,” says Akech, excitement creeping into her voice. “She said if I ever need any help or I need anything when I get to New York, just to get in touch with her.”
And so this year, after the whirl of Paris fashion week, she won’t head home to Australia. “I’ll probably come back in the next two months to visit my family but yeah, I might be in Paris for a couple of weeks and then probably head down to New York,” she says.
For a 17-year-old, Akech is well and truly a seasoned traveller. She doesn’t remember Sudan or the refugee camp but does recall the family settling in Nairobi before being transferred to Australia. She desperately wanted to attend the local school but it was too expensive for her single mother. “There were times when I’d walk to my cousin’s school to take her lunch there and I would just be at the gate, looking at all the kids playing in the playground and it kind of made me sad. I wished that was me.”School was what she was most excited about when the family found out they would be moving to Australia. “The free education and having the choice to actually go to school,” she said. “Back then I didn’t have a choice.”
The family left Kenya with nothing more than a few clothes, and it was an exciting but nerve-wracking time for the six-year-old Akech. She was curious about who she would meet. “Back in Kenya, it was rare to see any white people, and I was like, ‘Wow what is it going to be like, being in this country?’ I’d heard that there were a lot of white people but we weren’t used to seeing white people so that was one of the things that was always on my mind.”
She hesitates when I ask if landing in Adelaide was a culture shock. “It was different, it was something different,” she says cautiously, “but I was really looking forward to everything.”
They settled into the community quickly, and for the most part, the family felt welcome. “Everybody has [discrimination], when you go to school and stuff, because you don’t know how to speak English that well. I had a few kids laugh at me but it’s like, we all didn’t really know how to speak English so that’s why we went to an English school.”
Akech wanted to fit in as quickly as possible: “I just worked hard, I was like, I’m going to do the work that I get given and graduate from English school, so I can actually go to a normal school like a normal person.”
From Glow Job to Orgasm: how cosmetics brands got filthy
Tom Ford’s new perfume is Fucking Fabulous – at least that’s what it’s called. Ford announced his latest fragrance during New York fashion week, and the name alone has caused a stir, with descriptions ranging from “racy” to “obscene”. Certainly, it’s a gear change for the designer, who has previously favoured more literal fragrance names – Tobacco Vanille, Tuscan Leather, Venetian Bergamot – but, in the increasingly risque world of cosmetics monikers, it is unlikely to raise eyebrows for long.
Cosmetics’ names were once chosen for sentimental, rather than shock, value. Chanel’s numbered fragrance line marked dates including her birthday (No 19) for example, and Dolce & Gabbana’s Sophia Loren No 1 lipstick was released to commemorate the actor’s 81st birthday. Meanwhile, Nars’s Jungle Red lip and nail colour reference the nail polish from 1939’s The Women (a film that memorably featured not a single man).
Yet Nars is far better known for Orgasm – a blush colour that managed to overshadow the likes of Threesome, Sex Appeal and, sadly, Mata Hari, in what is a relatively risque range – rivalled perhaps only by (the pigmentally similar) Deep Throat. This year, the brand launched an entire Orgasm collection off the back of its popularity. (Tagline: “Have more than one.”)
“François [Nars, Nars’s founder and creative director] has always wanted to give the products an identity and character,” says Magalie Parksuwan, senior vice-president of marketing at the company. “He wants people to remember the names and to provoke.”
The high street has embraced provocative and “rude” cosmetics, with brands such as Soap & Glory marketing innuendo-laden products, from Sexy Mother Pucker lip shine to Glow Job tinted foundation. Too Faced’s Boudoir Eyes palette skipped the puns entirely, with shadows titled Fuzzy Handcuffs and French Tickler, while the brand’s Better Than Sex mascara proved so popular that it inspired a line of shoes.
Unsurprisingly, the ever-“edgy” Urban Decay has its own selection of suggestive cosmetics, including a blusher in Fetish (a name shared with a lipstick by Mac) and a lip gloss in Rule 34 (Google it). Illamasqua takes a more straightforward approach, with a rubber-finish nail varnish in Kink and an eye shadow simply called Sex. But can raunch-based retail really seduce potential customers? “It definitely has an impact,” says Parksuwan, “[but] there’s more to the success of a product than just that.”When Kylie Jenner, something of a bellwether for millennial makeup trends, released her blush collection in March, she ditched the sentimental nomenclature of her Lip Kits (Mary Jo K was a tribute to her grandmother and Dolce K was named after, er, the family dog) for vastly more provocative names including X-Rated, Virginity and Hot and Bothered. But it was her rosy pink Barely Legal which proved most controversial – sparking a similar backlash to that prompted by Kat Von D’s Underage Red lipstick in 2015.
Even so, an Instagram search for #kyliecosmetics conjures more than two million posts – many of them photos of the products themselves; fully packaged, lascivious labels neatly aligned – which perhaps goes some way to explaining why suggestive stickers, no longer sheepishly consigned to the base of nail varnish pots, proliferate. “Names help to create a story and elicit a reaction [online],” says Parksuwan. And, given the epicurean competition, who would want to be #beige?
That said, the chance to be immortalised in makeup may not yet be dead. Last week, Ford also expanded his Lips & Boys collection, which now features 100 lipsticks – each named after one of the designer’s closest friends.