Trend Proclamation Why TV Actors Are More Popular Than Models At Fashion Week
This week’s newsletter discusses how the focus has shifted from the catwalks to the spectators.
Last weekend marked the end of men’s fashion week, which is more accurately a fortnight long event. Possibly, you should care. A possibility exists that you will not. You may have seen Kylie Jenner cantering through Paris with a foam lion’s head while attending the couture shows and decided Instagram was not worth the trouble. In any case, I intended to begin this revamped issue of Fashion Statement by answering the question, “Why do we write about these shows?” I know I wondered the same thing before I started covering the industry.
Instead, I’ll describe them, as that’s the most frequent topic of inquiry. Sure, there will be catwalks, iffy climate control, and odd food at these events (ginger shots at Givenchy, scotch eggs at the Kenzo do). As far as the rest of the world is concerned, however, the people inside are the real draw. While the catwalk may represent the spotlight, the front row is where high fashion meets the masses.
One of the best parts of my time in Milan and Paris was playing bingo with the season two cast of The White Lotus and Emily. From the former, Adam DiMarco (Albie) went to his “first runway show!!!” at Prada, while Simona Tabasco (Lucia) and Sabrina Impacciatore (Valentina) shone at JW Anderson. Will Sharpe (Ethan) and Theo James (Cameron) attended Emporio Armani and Giorgio Armani. In the meantime, Camille Razat (Camille) from Emily in Paris was spotted at Kenzo, Lucien Laviscount (Alfie) in a skirt at Louis Vuitton, and Paul Forman (Nicolas) cheering on the hot chef himself, Lucas Bravo, who modelled in a show.
Before Sharpe resurfaced at Loewe and a fellow editor spotted Leo Woodall (Jack) on the Eurostar, things were looking fairly even. If you have to choose between the two, go see the White Lotus. When it comes to fashion, it also triumphed. We have to believe that Jennifer Coolidge will contribute something to the women’s shows coming up next month…
Keep in mind that the media is rarely placed in the same seats as the stars when attending events. The catwalk serves as a Stygian barrier between us, allowing us to view the performers without ever getting close enough to touch them. At Prada, however, they usually just plug in a floodlight behind their seats to ensure that no one can catch a glimpse of them without being completely blinded.
In fact, I saw more guests than anyone else thanks to director Luca Guadagnino, who managed to sneak into nearly every Milanese show and even travelled to Paris to catch Loewe. Anyone who has seen his films can attest to his keen eye for style. Think of the micro shorts worn by Elio in Call Me By Your Name or Susie’s printed dress in Suspiria, both of which were influenced by the artwork of Louise Bourgeois. Clearly Guadagnino is more interested in setting trends than in recreating period costumes; after the Prada show, we spoke, and he told me that his favourite pieces weren’t the bulky coats but the suede men’s dresses. At a later time, I saw him out to eat with Jonathan Anderson, a designer for Loewe. This is all to say that Timothée Chalamet will likely attend the Oscars dressed as a frog and wearing frog wellies.
Sometimes a star will agree to make an appearance as part of a contract because they are paid to promote a particular product. I’m not sure if the increasing visibility of K-pop stars like Taeyang at Givenchy, Jimin at Dior, and BTS’s Suga at Valentino is meant to make me feel old or to demonstrate the monetary pull of the east Asian market. It’s just more of a hassle for me to get to my seat. (The people milling about outside of Dior were insane.)
The front row at men’s shows is typically thinner than that at women’s shows, which is to be expected given the absence of Vogue titans such as Anna Wintour and Edward Enninful. The Beckhams have only ever been seen at Rick Owens and Dior shows. Because of this, sightings of famous people tend to be more sensationalised than they would be otherwise. The lack of a spoiler alert when celebrities are seen wearing the upcoming catwalk looks to be my only real complaint. For evidence, consider Kylie Jenner’s lion-themed clothing.
It’s not just about the music for record companies; if you have the right people in the front row, you’ll get more attention and more fans. For the rest of us, however, it merely confirms that we are correct in our admiration for these objects. The reason why we report on Fashion Week will be discussed in due time, so please do not worry. For your attention, I thank you.