As an avid fashion lover since the early teens, I hailed to Vogue as much as any other fashionista. It served as a fashion encyclopedia, my monthly source of information and, somewhat, as a fashion bible. Years later, I realized that Vogue is not that vogue at all. Filled with advertisements, it serves as a catalog rather than a magazine. It’s such an over-hyped publication that, often, serves as a sensation rather than inspiration. So, the myth about Vogue is just that- a myth. It will not feed you more than food (sorry, Ms. Bradshaw!) If you are searching for some real soul food, there are tons of other fashion magazines out there that serve to inspire people, educate, support and promote true values. Plus, when was the last time you spotted a really great fashion editorial inside its pages? If you are a collector, such as myself, then you know that 80’s and 90’s Vogue issues contain much more quality content than today. Plus, if Kendall and Gigi replaced Naomi and Claudia, I really don’t want to play anymore.
Speaking of the 80’s, aka the most notorious fashion era after the “new look”, reinventions and retrospectives are back on track. A mega fashion retrospective of Karl Lagerfeld’s work was exhibited in Germany last year. The designer has more than 30 years of experience at Chanel and 50 at Fendi. It is only natural that he was given his own fashion retrospective. The king of fashion had the chance to exhibit his work and the exhibition was described by the organizers as “the first comprehensive exhibition to explore the fashion cosmos of this exceptional designer”. Following his steps, similar was done with Missoni in London, Oscar de la Renta in Paris or Jean Paul Gaultier in Canada. The business of fashion is like a spinning wheel that keeps on turning and, eventually, landing into the same place. It is a fact that fashion keeps reinventing itself, the trends keep coming back and what used to be hideous at one point (such as the dreadful nude dresses) seems to be in trend again if the fashion’s high society decides so. Decade by decade, we witness fashion come backs. Shoulder pads are not that horrible if not made in size XXXL. If designed right, they can accentuate your figure in a really flattering way. There is nothing wrong with comebacks, unless they are more horrible than the original idea- like the Gucci leather slippers (yuck!).
There are a lot of prejudices in the world of fashion. Naturally, in such a vain industry, it is almost impossible to keep up with all the do’s and don’ts. To some, fashion industry is frivolous, a total waste of time. There are millions of articles written about the ‘beauty that comes from within’. However, it is still a leading industry- the womenswear industry only is valued at 621 billion dollars. Hate it or love it (if perceived correctly) fashion is a beautiful thing. The ones that keep the essence of its magic, and the ones that keep an archive of its evolution, trends, setbacks, ups and downs are the fashion photographers. The doyens of fashion photography, such as Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon or Peter Lindbergh serve as an inspiration to new generation of photographers. Their iconic works serve to all of us as the proof of the never ending fashion evolution. Aside from creating amazing editorials, fashion photographers today try to capture the essence of the making of, final touches, model fitting and all the craze behind the scenes of fashion shows. It might seem easy from the comfort of your own home, but it takes more than just a click to create a great photograph. Capturing the right moment is essential.
Today, it is not only about the runways. In the world of reality shows, we all love to peek behind the curtains. That is why we all spend hours online in search for models actually eating food, right? Like Ralph Lauren once stated, fashion is something that comes from within you. So, do not blindly follow the trends, maintain your own style, learn (as much as you possibly can) because fashion is ruthless. The more you know, the more you will succeed. And, in the meantime, try to have fun. Because, after all, fashion is all about having fun!
Note: Text was slightly edited/previously published at Backstage Fashion Week
Cover photo credit: Anna Ewers by Alasdair McLellan, Vogue UK, September 2015.