Posted by: Rachel Iwaniec
Gossip surrounding Balenciaga has finally gone dormant. Mr. Wang was a success at his first presentation for the fashion house. It’s as though nothing had ever happened. But rewind the clock to November of last year and the only thing people were talking about was Nicolas Ghesquiere’s decision to step down as creative director of Balenciaga. After countless prodigious collections, Mr. Ghesquiere’s reason for leaving was mystifying. No one understood why he would leave.
Fast forward to the moment we have all been waiting for, Mr. Ghesquiere has finally decided to speak up about his reasons for leaving Balenciaga. In his first interview since the separation, Ghesquiere sits down with Jonathan Wingfield for System Magazine. He states, “Everything became an asset for the brand, trying to make it ever more corporate – it was all about branding”. With this demand for an increase in sales came a disregard for talent and creativity. Mr. Ghesquiere describes this process as “dehumanizing”.
While merchandising is a critical component to brand success, it must be bolstered by a strong creative will and vice versa. These two elements are required to establish and maintain a successful fashion house. However, the question remains, is a brand’s status more important than the creative forces behind it? Mr. Ghesquiere believes that the answer is no and that a both parties can successfully co-exist and guide each other through the process.
Posted by: Guest Contributor Rachel Iwaniec
While reading Empress of Fashion, the memoir of Diana Vreeland I realized that today we are a pretty lazy bunch. My morning ritual begins with Instagram and ends with style.com. Mrs. Vreeland’s intention to “give ‘em what they never knew they wanted” is precisely the world that we live in. As a strong believer in the powers of one’s imagination, Mrs. Vreeland relied on her assortment of memories to create her own ideal icon, someone to aspire to and to follow. She wanted nothing to do with those of her generation, so she created her own “girl”.
But today, fashion icons and their lifestyles, wardrobes and inspirations are a click away. Not only do we have access to established fashion icons, but various media platforms enable us to see the accounts of other early adopters on a global scale. More often than not, we see multiple replications of the same ideas and images in an assortment of different places. I guess my question is, has Diana Vreeland’s intention to tell consumers what they need trump her emphasis on the power and need for one’s own imagination? There is so much giving and recommending and recounting that it’s hard to figure out what was your idea or opinion and what seeped into your brain from the plethora of external stimulants.
I’m not disregarding the advances that media platforms have provided not only to fashion but all industries, but I wonder if the overwhelming level perspectives that are out there are obstructing our own ability to take a minute and fall into our own imagination. And furthermore has the co-collaborative, free for all of these media platforms inundated our capacity to step out of the confines of the present fashion industry?