After earning praise for her elegance and knowledge of French style, Melania Trump continued her fashion tour de force in a custom Hervé Pierre dress for dinner at the Eiffel Tower.
The first lady joined her French counterpart, Brigitte Macron, President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron for a cozy meal at the Jules Verne Restaurant in the Parisian landmark Thursday, showing her earlier outfit was not a one-off.
The slim-fit, knee-length dress tastefully highlighted the national colors for the two countries — a fitting salute to France on the eve of Bastille Day, a national holiday akin to the 4th of July. And its made it all the more diplomatic when taking into account Pierre’s French heritage and recently-earned American citizenship.
The designer and stylist behind her inaugural gown also picked out her red Dior suit from earlier in the day, a lovely nod to the 70th anniversary of the famous fashion house.
Brigitte Macron, for her part, wore another French designer, in the form of a Louis Vuitton mini-dress.
A number of senior figures have exited the magazine in recent weeks amid reports that its new editor is making some staffing changes before he officially begins on 1 August.
Edward Enninful is taking over from Alexandra Shulman, who announced in January that she was leaving after 25 years in charge.
He is the first male editor in the magazine’s history, and is already making a few tweaks (or, removing “posh girls”, as The Times put it) to the senior editorial team.
Since his hiring was announced, Vogue veterans such as Lucinda Chambers and Emily Sheffield have announced their departure as Enninful gears up to bring in his own team.
But it hasn’t been a smooth transition so far.
Chambers, Vogue’s former fashion director, was one of the first major figures to leave.
And she did so in style.
“Lucinda has announced that she is to step down from her position,” the magazine delicately said on its website in May.
“A month and a half ago I was fired,” she said in a candid interview with fashion blog Vestoj, published this week.
“Truth be told, I haven’t read Vogue in years. The clothes are just irrelevant for most people – so ridiculously expensive.”
“Most fashion magazines leave you totally anxiety-ridden,” she said, adding: “We are always trying to make people buy something they don’t need. We don’t need any more bags, shirts or shoes. So we cajole, bully or encourage people to continue buying.”
The comments echo what Shulman herself said earlier this year.
“At the end of the day, very few people have to have another pair of trousers, another skirt, another bomber jacket, so what you are doing as an industry is creating desire,” she said.
Hilary Alexander, editor-at-large for Hello! Fashion Monthly and trustee of Graduate Fashion Week, says there’s an element of truth in Chambers’s comments.
“There’s no doubt there are too many clothes in the world, and the number of collections being pumped out month after month, you could spend the entire year going from one Fashion Week to another,” she says.
“But at the opposite end of the scale, fashion is a huge industry that employs millions of people across the world, it’s worth around £28bn a year in this country alone if you include the retail sector.”
The departure of senior figures like Chambers is to be expected, says Susie Lau, fashion blogger and journalist.
“From an industry point of view, it’s completely normal for someone like Edward Enninful to come in and say he wants a completely new team,” she tells the BBC.
“Especially at the senior level, he would want to have people that he feels can push forward the new editorial direction, and I think it is going to be a very different tone and feel to what Alex did.”
Chambers appeared to be pulling no punches with her rather honest interview, but not long after it was published, it was taken down… and then put back up again.
“Due to the sensitive nature of this article, we took the decision to temporarily remove it from the site,” Vestoj said in a statement.
“In terms of the reasons why it was removed, they are directly related to the industry pressures which Lucinda discusses in her interview.
“As you know, fashion magazines are rarely independent because their existence depends on relationships with powerful institutions and individuals. We created Vestoj to be an antidote to these pressures, but we are not always immune.”
You can see why some figures in the fashion industry may not have been best pleased with the Chambers article.
At one point in the interview, she said: “The June cover with Alexa Chung in a stupid Michael Kors T-shirt is crap. He’s a big advertiser so I knew why I had to do it. I knew it was cheesy when I was doing it, and I did it anyway.”
But Lau says the close relationship between advertisers and journalists has always been a fixture of the industry.
“[Chambers] has been in fashion for so long, she’s worked for a magazine where the commercial concerns are hugely important, and that’s not anything new,” she said
“Advertisers are of course given precedence, and maybe creative control has to be sometimes compromised – but it was ever thus. That’s part and parcel of working in a print landscape that has undergone so many changes.”
She adds that Chambers’s comments in the interview are understandable given how long she has spent working at Vogue.
“I think when you work in the industry you do become quite jaded. When you’re dealing with the mainstream side of fashion and doing it in a very commercially-minded way, it can get cynical.
“There are wonderful creative and brilliant things happening, but I guess if your day-to-day isn’t about that any more, that can wear you down.”
Vogue’s replenishing continued on Tuesday with reports another senior figure announced she was exiting the publication.
Deputy editor Emily Sheffield, who is also the sister of Samantha Cameron, said she was leaving her role as Vogue’s deputy director “after a very happy decade”.
She might not have updated her Twitter biog yet, but the invitations for her leaving do have gone out so we’re pretty sure it’s only a matter of time.
“Emily Sheffield was suggested as a replacement when Alex’s retirement was announced, so it’s only natural if you’re thinking you might get the top job and someone newer and younger comes in, that you would feel there isn’t really a place for you any more,” Alexander explains.
Both Lau and Alexander are looking forward to seeing what changes are made to the magazine when Enninful officially starts as editor.
“I’m excited because he is a brilliant stylist, I think Vogue will be a lot more diverse, I think we can expect surprises and shocks,” Alexander says.
“Perhaps there will be more focus on younger, newer designers, those who are working in unusual ways. I would welcome that, you don’t want to constantly read about the same old faces.”
Lau adds: “I know some of the people going in there [to Vogue], they haven’t been announced yet but I think it’s going to be a really exciting team.
“It won’t be quite as different as people are painting it, but there will be changes. Vogue is a barometer of our times, and I think it will reflect that.”
It’s not Hollywood that has a problem with Emily Ratajkowski’s body, it’s the fashion industry.
Days after she made waves after claiming she was too sexy to get work, the model-turned-actress, 26, turned to Twitter to explain that her burgeoning film career hasn’t been affected because her “boobs are too big” – only her modeling career has.
“FYI I was talking about the fashion industry not celebrating the female form, NOT Hollywood,” she tweeted.
Last week, Harper’s Bazaar Australia published an interview in which Ratajkowski, who rose to prominence after shimmying her way topless through the video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” strongly intimated that her career had been hampered by her looks.
“There’s this thing that happens to me: ‘Oh, she’s too sexy,’” she told the magazine. “It’s like an anti-woman thing, that people don’t want to work with me because my boobs are too big. What’s wrong with boobs?”
“They’re a beautiful feminine thing that needs to be celebrated. Like, who cares? They are great big, they are great small. Why should that be an issue?” she added.
While her modeling career may be in a slump, Ratjkowski, who appeared in the 2014 adaptation of “Gone Girl,” is still acting.
Last year, she appeared in an episode of the Netflix comedy “Easy,” and has also starred in two movies, “Cruise” and “In Darkness,” that are currently in post-production,according to IMDb.
Ioni’s Bonpoint debut isn’t her first exposure to the children’s wear brand. In January, the pair attended its Fall/Winter 2017 children’s fashion show, where the little girl wore a plaid coat, a wide-brimmed hat, black leggings and black boots all by Bonpoint.
“Taking @ioniconran to her very first Paris fashion show!” Rocha captioned a glamorous shot of herself and Ioni hanging out in January.
Though Ioni’s interests are clearly fashion-oriented, her mom didn’t always think it would be that way. In February 2016, Rocha told PEOPLE “I don’t think so” when asked if her daughter would become a model someday.
“You never want to do what your mom does,” explained the working mom of one. “I keep saying she’s gonna be some sort of scientist. Something crazy where I just couldn’t help her in her maths or reading skills.”
Arrivals for Giambattista Valli autumn-winter 2017-2018 haute couture fashion show in front of the Petit Palais in Paris, France.
Celine Dion (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage) The 70th Annual Academy Awards – Press Room This content is subject to copyright. 75251683 5423085 Ron Galella Collection Contributor
Celine Dion (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage) 71st Annual Academy Awards – Arrivals This content is subject to copyright. 75153935 5423038 Ron Galella Collection Contributor
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 12: Singer Celine Dion attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV – FEBRUARY 21: Celine Dion attends the Celine Dion Collection First Handbag and Accessory Collection press conference at Project Womens at Mandalay Bay on February 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 21: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Singer Celine Dion performs onstage during the 2017 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – JUNE 15: Celine Dion performs during the opening night of her Celine Dion Live 2017 tour at Royal Arena on June 15, 2017 in Copenhagen. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Celine Dion leaves the Royal Monceau hotel in Paris. 13 Jun 2017 Pictured: Celine Dion. Photo credit: KCS Presse / MEGA TheMegaAgency.com +1 888 505 6342
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 14: Singer Celine Dion is seen on June 14, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images) GC Images 700065070 695946316
Celine Dion out and about in Paris, France, on June 21, 2017. (Photo by Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***
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Celine Dion poses as she leaves her hotel in Paris, France.
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Celine Dion leaves the Hotel Royal Monceau in Paris wearing HermËs handbag for value of 75.000 Euros. 25 Jun 2017 Pictured: Celine Dion. Photo credit: KCS Presse / MEGA TheMegaAgency.com +1 888 505 6342
PARIS — Past the plush Napoleon III sofas, through a forest of orchids and under the keen eye of doormen in pillbox hats, a guest crept out of the Ritz Paris hotel on a mortifying mission.
The guest, dear reader, was me (while working on an article about the Ritz during fashion season some years ago), and this was not a walk of shame.
With a lumpy bag humped over my shoulder, I was headed to a coin-operated laundromat, surely the first guest at this storied establishment to take out his own washing.
I had my reasons.
Packing strategies take on an urgency when your occupation requires you to spend as much as a month at a time following the fashion caravan through some of the most beautiful and expensive cities in the world, as hundreds of retailers, journalists, stylists and photographers routinely do.
If you seek to make a daily fashion statement like Alex Badia, the style director of Women’s Wear Daily and an Instagram darling, you pack the way 19th-century swells did for the Grand Tour: with oversize suitcases and outfits arranged in advance.
“Fashion Week is like an expedition, an adventure, like mountain climbing,” Mr. Badia said at a Balenciaga show in the Bois de Boulogne.
From two immense North Face bags crammed with his outfits, Mr. Badia had selected on that torrid morning a Joseph coat, a Juun.J shirt, Bottega Veneta trousers and Yeezy sneakers, all in polar white.
“I really, really love clothes,” Mr. Badia added. “Though when I get home, I wear the same navy T-shirt for, like, a month.”
If your intention, however, is not to set shutters whirring but, rather, to stay presentable during the weeks crammed with runway shows and industry events, the system you develop is a matter of self-preservation and budget maintenance.
For Greg Kessler, a photographer who has spent 15 years documenting backstage life at men’s and women’s fashion shows in New York and Europe, clean laundry is key to survival. “We always rent an apartment in Paris, and the first thing we ask is if there’s a washer-dryer,” said Mr. Kessler, whose personal style might be characterized as that of a natty slacker.
“One problem is that, being from the United States, you never know if the setting is on the right cycle,” he added.
Calibrated on the metric system, temperatures on European washers can play tricks on the unaware. Run delicates through a wash cycle at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and you end up, as Ms. Kessler said, “with doll clothes.”
In most seasons, Nick Sullivan, the style director of Esquire, arrives in Milan on a Friday evening direct from the men’s wear shows in London, checks into his hotel and immediately tosses his dirty laundry on the floor.
“Then I stuff a bag,” he said, “and on the way to the first Saturday show, I get the driver to stop at Lavasecco di Santa Croce,” one of Milan’s wash-and-dry establishments. “You have to time it right, because if I miss the drop-off, the clothes aren’t ready” to be picked up in time for the next leg of a journey leading to Paris.
Typically, the risk pays off. Not only does having everything washed, pressed and folded at Mr. Sullivan’s preferred spot cost an employer-friendly 60 euros rather than the exorbitant €300 charged by a hotel, “everything comes back folded in cellophane and packaged like a 1950s Christmas present. Plus, I resent spending €300 to wash my smalls.”
These sensitive items and the jeans that no European hotel ever gets right — creases! — are why I creep through lobbies to my favorite laundromat here, a generically named (a sign above the door says “Laverie automatique”) 16-washer holdout wedged between a restaurant and a Martin Margiela boutique on a tiny square in the First Arrondissement.
A full load at this place costs €4.50, and dryer time is calculated in 10-minute increments, each costing a single euro. Since I prefer my jeans air-dried, I bypass this step and take my clothes back to my hotel room to be strung up from shower rods and towel racks and even, during this particular week, the chandelier until the place starts to look like a Neapolitan alley.
Some people would consider it sinful to squander an hour dully observing a wash-and-spin cycle when all around lie the splendors of the City of Lights. Yet a steady diet of fabulousness can leave one aching for mundane pleasures. And when business trips stretch to a month, it is essential, as Madeleine Weeks, the fashion editor of GQ, said, “to do your laundry, pick up Greek yogurt or buy some flowers, whatever you can to make you feel more normal.”
The fashion industry’s impact on technology has not yet surpassed its high point of 1804 with the invention of the mechanical loom. As the world’s first programmed machine, the Jacquard loom revolutionised manufacturing, predating and inspiring Babbage’s inventions, and forming the basis for modern computing.
In the intervening centuries, the fashion industry, now valued at $2.4 trillion, has not relied on research and development to stay competitive and today’s manufacturing would be familiar to any 19th-century Luddite.
“We make a shirt the same way we did 100 years ago and it’s insulting,” according to Kevin Plank, founder of sportswear brand Under Armour. But this is set to change. Mr Plank, among others, is asking: “How can we use technologies to make a better product and produce it more efficiently?”
FORCED TO INNOVATE
Inertia around innovation in fashion is lifting. Forced by the encroachment of companies such as Amazon, which hopes with the acquisition of a made-to-order manufacturing system to increase its market share from 6.6 to 16 per cent by 2021, the industry is upping its game.
Tech giants, including Google (working with Levis) and Intel (Hussein Chalayan and Opening Ceremony), are seeking partnerships with fashion brands in a bid to scope out the next manifestation rivalling the smartphone. Fabrics with circuitry and sensing capabilities woven into their fibres could be an answer, turning human bodies into dispersed computers.
Meanwhile, after years in stealth mode, a quiet revolution in biotech is finally bringing new materials to market that will transform manufacturing. Instead of stitching components of clothing with needle and thread, by 2025 a garment could be grown in the laboratory with DNA.
Looming behind this innovation is an impending crisis over resources and a long shadow cast by the industry’s dire environmental record, which positions fashion as second among the world’s most polluting industries after oil. A pair of jeans requires 7,000 litres of water to produce and tons of chemicals to dye. Annually, 60 billion square metres of cut-off material is discarded on factory floors. And a high-consumption, low-value model means that three in four garments, from an industry producing 80 billion each year, end up in landfill.
Alarmingly, synthetic fabrics – the 20th century’s main contribution to material innovation – could be more damaging to marine life than microbeads, which were recently banned from cosmetics. According to the University of New South Wales, microfibres from clothing such as fleece enter the water system through washing, make up 85 per cent of human-made debris on shorelines and are now entering food chains.
Instead of stitching components of clothing with needle and thread, by 2025 a garment could be grown in the laboratory with DNA
“Technology can enable sustainability,” says fashion technologist Amanda Parkes, and it’s a view that is increasingly shared across the industry. Dr Parkes recently joined Fashion Tech Lab, founded this year by Russian entrepreneur Miroslava Dumas, which will bridge the divide between fashion and technology, driving investment and product development, and creating partnerships between tech companies and big brands in luxury.
Couture, Dr Parkes notes, has the capacity to bear high costs of research and in surprising ways shares similarities with original science as its output is time intensive, its value is predicated on scarcity, and it is very expensive to produce. Indeed, in the luxury sector sustainability is fast beginning to occupy a position of cachet once held by artisanship and craft.
The falling cost of biotech has caused a surge in material innovation. For millennia, humans have fashioned animal hides to make clothing, but Californian-based biofabrication company Modern Meadow is synthesising leather in a lab from collagen samples and is working with several major brands to make bespoke biofabricated materials of varying textures, stretch and thickness. These will be years in development, but the platform could be revolutionary.
“The way we construct our material means we can roll several separate processes into one, creating massive savings on water, energy and chemicals, like dyes and treatments,” says Suzanne Lee, Modern Meadow’s chief creative officer.
They will join exceptionally strong and lightweight fabrics made from spider silk, which have mythologised as far back as the Greek Fable of Arachne. Japan-based Spiber has made a one-off jacket with North Face, German AMSilk has produced sneakers for adidas and Californian Bolt Threads is working on an outdoor range for Patagonia. If taken up across the industry, the potential for system change could be enormous.
In a bid to break current manufacturing and supply models, mass-market brands such as adidas, along with Uniqlo and Under Armour, are experimenting with in-store made-to-order 3D printing for shoe soles, and 3D knitting for shoe uppers and garments. At the same time, the world’s first fully automated garment making machinery, Sewbo, hopes to make fashion a high-tech industry and even return production to the United States.
Tech-enhanced apparel could address one of the most fundamental functions of clothing in temperature-controlled textiles, which Dr Parkes predicts are not far off. “The whole point of wearing clothes is to regulate your body temperature and protect you,” she says. “Anything that can warm or cool as you need is obviously incredibly useful.” But function in fashion is intimately entwined with aesthetics, and she believes designers and engineers have a lot to learn from one another.
While engineers understand technical potential, they know less about the wear of fabric and consumer appeal. Talent manager and founder of Fashion Tech Forum, Karen Harvey, expects hybrid companies to employ both engineers and designers as they vie for advantage. “Technologists need to recognise that beauty matters if they want to be in fashion. And we don’t need to sacrifice one for the other,” she concludes.