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Fashion Designers in Flux

February 24, 2016

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We all know that the world of fashion designers – especially those at the top of their game – is both rewarding and extremely challenging. Some, like Alexander McQueen or John Galliano are tragic figures that, one way or another, opted to escape the reality of their lives.

Other designers, such as Raf Simons who elected to leave Dior to focus on his personal life and Alber Elbaz, who split from Lanvin after 14 years (reportedly because he was fed up creating collections that were only for photographs) have also vanished. The digital age, it seems, has created uncertainty and fallout for some of these stellar talents.

Alber Elbaz, the former Lanvin creative director

Or, as Jo Ellison, the fashion editor of the Financial Times explains in her column titled, Is Fashion Having a Crisis? (11/7/15), “Today’s creative directors must be artists but, increasingly, they must also be magicians of merchandise, businessmen and brand-builders.”

KARL LAGERFELD DOES IT ALL

I must admit: Lagerfeld fascinates me – as he does most people. Even though he is coy about his age, he’s a dynamo that just keeps blasting away in spite of his 80-plus years. Or, as Laura Brown writes in Bazaar (11/23/15), “The madly prolific Lagerfeld produces eight annual Chanel collections and five for Fendi. Then he is involved in his own collection and shooting Chanel and Fendi campaigns plus magazine covers in addition to sketching and painting.” And, let’s not forget that he speaks German, English, French and Spanish.

The only other fashion designer who even comes close to Lagerfeld is Tom Ford who is also a film director (he has temporarily suspended his fashion shows while he directs a new film) and perfumer (his make-up line, produced by Estee Lauder, has experienced double-digit growth).

HOW DOES LAGERFELD DO IT?

As reported by Lauren Milligan in Vogue, Lagerfeld says, “I think I’m pretty lucky that I can do what I like best in perfect conditions. I don’t have to fight with anybody. Do you know that my contracts with Fendi and Chanel are for life? I don’t feel tired at all. I hate slow people. Horrible.”

LAGERFELD IS A REAL CHARMER

Now let’s look at the New York Post of 11/25/15 and Anna Wintour’s comments about the time Lagerfeld built a tennis court just for her.

She relates, “Karl built a tennis court on his property for me to visit,” she said at the British Fashion Awards. “Needless to say, this was the first and surely the last time anyone has constructed sporting turf in my honor. Karl was trying to give me somewhere I could feel at home – where I could be myself.”

WINTOUR IN HER “NEXT LIFE”

She admits she would like to come back as “Choupette, Karl’s extremely beautiful cat who has two maids, a chef, a personal hairdresser and many diamond necklaces.” The Vogue fashion editor forgot to mention that Choupette NEVER flies commercial – only private jets for her.

Choupette: Lagerfeld’s world famous cat

MAY WE SUGGEST…

Okay, we’ve had our fun (see above) now let’s get serious about your wardrobe. Take a good look and see (1) Clothes that still have the price tags attached. Meaning: you’ll never wear them. (2) What lingerie has never felt comfy and easy-to-wear. (3) What T-shirt looks a tad frayed. (4) What item you know you’ll wear some day, BUT deep down know you won’t.

It’s a new year so put your thinking cap on. It’s time to start weeding out. Then take a careful look at all of ADEA’s super-comfy, stylish and must-have fashions to replenish and refresh your closet.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick



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