Old Houses and New Designers
So the folks at Gianfranco Ferre have appointed Lars Nilsson as the new designer to take over since the house's namesake died earlier this year. Nilsson used to design the Bill Blass collection and then designed the Nina Ricci collection. Perhaps the third time will be the charm.
Earlier, the honchos at Valentino announced that Alessandra Facchinetti will take over when Valentino retires after the couture shows in January. Facchinetti, people might recall, took over the womenswear collection at Gucci after Tom Ford left and then briefly did a collection of outerwear for Moncler. Perhaps, the third time will be the charm for her as well.
Naming these designers to take over labels led to the discussion of what would be so terribly wrong with simply letting some of these houses die a peaceful death. Why does every design house have to outlive or outlast its founder? It's not as if these folks have a gaggle of kids relying on the business as their trust fund. You could argue that all the employees should be taken care of going forward, but why not give them an extremely generous severance check, a good recommendation and send them forth to possibly new and wonderful careers? That seems just as fine a choice as keeping them on at a house that in all likelihood will never be the same without the namesake.
While at dinner this evening, we all gobbled down plates of pasta while lamenting the busy day that felt more like a week. We also talked about a billboard for Nolita jeans that has everyone buzzing. It shows a photograph of a French model suffering from anorexia and is part of a campaign out to prevent eating disorders. The woman is photographed from the back and looks skeletal. It is an especially disturbing advertisement because she's pictured in a context usually reserved for glamorous - and skinny - models.
The advertisement led to a conversation about how tiny designers are making their samples these days, forcing already thin girls to get even skinnier in order to fit into the clothes. No one looks like they're going to pass out on the runway though. In fact, some of the models even look like they've put on a few pounds. Or maybe I'm just used to looking at them now. But the contrast is interesting and it's sparking some thoughtful conversations over dinner about the relationship that different cultures and generations have with food.
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