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THE EXPLORATION ISSUE / 04 / OCTOBER 2018
“I LOOK PRETTY GOOD FOR 80 YEARS OLD…”
Not me, clearly, but it is GRAZIA’s global 80th anniversary. For our Exploration Issue, we ventured across the globe, from Shanghai to London to New Delhi to New York City in search of the biggest anti-trends. In this claustrophobic era of excess, fashion indexes all over the place. Am I dressing ‘50s, ‘60s or ‘70s to celebrate this milestone? What is suitable attire to wear to an 80th? Somewhere between doing the most and not doing enough is where most of us like to sit. Equal parts business and theatre. This middle ground of equilibrium, however, presents a conundrum: if everyone is talented/important/fashionable, etcetera, then surely no one is? What is the marker that makes us unique? Have we all faded into obscurity thanks to the democracy of it all?
Winnie Harlow (p.62) hasn’t. Peer support for the acceptance of different currencies in the beauty economy is being demanded – and recognised; Harlow has recently been asked to walk the Victoria’s Secret runway (along with GRAZIA cover alum Duckie Thot) and has been named one of Tommy Hilfiger’s Icons. All of this seemingly previously impossible for the rising starlet who was diagnosed with the skin condition vitiligo not long after birth, turning the previous “moo” playground taunts of her youth into moola. Legit.
Markers and branding have always been a part of my life. The logomania of my childhood in the ‘90s and early 2000s was prevalent in TV shows like Gossip Girl and The City, which dressed stars like Olivia Palermo (p.88) in Burberry-checked headbands. Cameras followed girls traipsing through their storylines, flanked by the sidewalk and a Chanel 2.55. Despite the show’s irreverent exploration of the world of luxury, Palermo’s serious business savvy and laser focus have seen her build a namesake brand on an international level that is now a decade old.
My “I’m with the brand” (p.44) ingrain is even shared by Vetements fashion great Demna Gvasalia, who told Business Of Fashion he made the DHL logo tee because the shipping company had a firm place in his life. Every day, a courier appeared at his office, the duty of care of his work placed in their hands. Rather than invent meaning, maisons like Hermès and Louis Vuitton have, over centuries, accumulated meaning by skilled craftsman. For these brands, their heritage logos are back in favour, without really ever having left.
Ralph Lauren also celebrates an anniversary this year, his 50th, choosing to defy the ironic return of the gendered, hyper-feminine, stay-at-home-vintage-glamour-for-the-woman-who-desires-to-be-seen-but-remains-domestic clothing trend. Time and again he has been criticised for not keeping up with the times, but Ralph has proven he knows more about American icons than most. You only have to look at his Polo pieces from the nineties, now treated like classic vintage garments. NYC-based costume designer Renée Ehrlich Kalfus (p.58) recently used some of Ralph’s archives to conduct a retroactive celebration in Blake Lively’s new film, A Simple Favour. The men’s tailored women’s suiting is a remapping of an era that previously fettered women with a new mode of emboldened femininity.
But fashion is a curiously dichotomous creature. For every tailored power suit this season, there’s a saccharine-sweet gown or accouterment waiting at the other end of her style spectrum. When we travelled to Greater Palm Springs to showcase a masterclass in party wear (p.116), it was Miuccia Prada’s prom pastels that we packed. After all, if you can’t express yourself sartorially by the grand age of 80, something is wrong.
— MARNE SCHWARTZ