What’s Trending This Week?
The horrific Manchester attack has been the centre of the media for the past few weeks, and rightly so. I have attempted to pay tribute to it in some way by writing about it. I feel it is impossible for me to relate to any of the victims or their families, so I send my all best wishes and love to everyone affected. You did not deserve this horrific thing to happen to you and I am so sorry that human kind can be so cruel. Yet, the world has kept on spinning and with that more news, events and exhibitions to write about; Alexa Chung launched her very own fashion label in a highly (yet appropriately – the collection was fantastic) glittery church, Cristobal Balenciaga is taking centre stage at the V&A and Gucci has yet another collaboration. Read about it, and more, below:
Tuesday was the day Alexa Chung launched her eponymous brand: Alexachung, to the world – an event, which I unfortunately did not attend, but did watch via every fashion magazine’s Insta-story (which is practically the same thing, right?). Gathering friends, family and (of course) a selection of the fashion elite, Chung enlisted a church, choir and a lot of gold confetti to unveil her collection which she describes as “West London good girls corrupted”. Guests included Pixie Geldof, Amber Anderson, Laura Bailey, Henry Holland, Jack Guinness and Daisy Lowe – many of who sported her designs (such as a fabulous striped knit polo, many floral dresses and a re-proportionated trench) and joined her via tuk-tuks to the after party at the Aviary Bar. I’m envious to say the least.
New exhibition alert: Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion – which explores the profound and lasting influence of Cristobal Balenciaga on the fashion world – opened its doors at the V&A this week. Split into three sections called Front Of House, Workroom and Balenciaga’s Legacy, this is a retrospective like no other – one example of such that has handwriting can still be seen. Famously called “the master of us all” by Christian Dior himself, the exhibition also showcases pieces from Azzedine Alaïa, Oscar de la Renta, Comme des Garçons, Simone Rocha, JW Anderson, Celine, Iris Van Herpen, Erdem, Molly Goddard, Rick Owens, Vetements, and, of course, Nicholas Ghesquiere’s Balenciaga collections, cleverly connecting the influential dots that resonate in modern day. “He is such a mystery, because he didn’t do many interviews or write a biography,” Cassie Davies-Strodder, the curator of the much-anticipated showcase, explained. “It’s tricky because there’s a lot of mythology that builds up about someone like that. There are all these stories, but he only ever gave one interview… He was very private. For the first 10 years of his fashion house he banned the press from the first showings of his collections – they made separate journeys a month later. It could be seen as career suicide but he had such confidence.” The exhibition is on until Sunday, 18 February 2018, and I most definitely will be going. Will you?
On 22 May 2017, at around 10:30pm, a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device, packed with nuts and bolts to act as shrapnel, in the foyer area of the Manchester Arena. The attack took place after an Ariana Grande concert that was part of her 2017 Dangerous Woman Tour. The blast killed 22 people and left 59 injured as the audience left the event. Ariana Grande cancelled the remaining dates in the European leg of her world tour and tweeted that she was ‘broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.’ On the 25 May 2017, an official one minute silence was held in Manchester in tribute to all those affected by the attack; following the silence, the crowds united to sing ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ by one of the city’s most famed bands, Oasis. The terrorists will never win, and we will never let them. I send my love and support to anyone and everyone affected by it. They will be remembered.
This week Rihanna attended a benefit in aid of Parsons School of Design, where she was honoured for her philanthropic work and fashion influence – but not without taking the opportunity to encourage more support of rising creatives. “It was especially important for me to come to Parsons tonight because you are all the next generation, and we need to invest in you,” she told the students and attendees, which included designers Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan and Thom Browne. “You’re the ones who see the world with new eyes, with new perspective, who care about the future of our planet and the current state of the world. I’m here to say that I’m listening and I’m watching, and you’re up next. I don’t think you get celebrated enough,” she told the crowd. “You should be celebrated for every aspect of your growth and your growing pains. You should be celebrated for your creativity, for your fearlessness, for your persistence and determination. You should be celebrated for all the effort that you put into building your future, for being different, for not being given enough credit—for not having to use eye cream! My point is, we often tear our youth down when we should be building them up. At the end of the day, our future is in their hands.” I couldn’t agree more.
Gucci released a new limited edition T-shirt collection this week with illustrator Angelica Hicks, which is “playful and fun” commented Hicks. The design pair connected as “Alessandro and I had been following each other on Instagram for a while when Gucci sent me an email saying that they were interested in optioning the usage rights to a selection of my drawings that had been inspired by the brand.” Hicks “sort of fell into it while I was in my final term at UCL studying history of art” and now has “developed a true passion” – one that is also getting her some serious attention. The Angelica Hicks x Gucci collaboration consists of an array of unisex t-shirts and coloured tins; with only 100 of each design (which are numbered like art prints), I’d go straight to eBay if you fancy a slice of this collaboration.
The amFAR benefit – dedicated to raising money for AIDS research – took place in the south of France on Thursday, with a plethora of models (and fashion IT-ers) showing up in their finery to show their support (and be papped) for it.