THE SUBLIME AND THE RIDICULOUS
A s journalists writing about the luxury industry, we o en find ourselves in those murky waters midway between the sublime and the ridiculous. Truth be told, it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. Case in point: the Saint Laurent stiletto-skates that feature in our fashion shoot (page 38). A towering, pop-art-emblazoned, high-heeled shoe balances precariously on three immovable wheels, in what can only be described as an act of madness. But we love them because, to us, they are a big conspiratorial wink from this fun-loving luxury brand – a reminder that fashion needn’t always take itself quite so seriously. Plus, how cool would they look encased in a Perspex box on your bedroom wall? It is the role of designers to play and to push boundaries – to put wheels onto stilettos or, in the case of Maison Jeff & Jeka, to create pendants shaped like bullets from a Kalashnikov assault rifle, and then cover them in a beautifully delicate rose gold tattoo (page 14). “We consider ourselves more as artists, and jewellery is our medium,” Jeka Anatolevich, co-founder of the fledgling jewellery brand, tells us. Those who question fashion’s credentials as a bona fide art form may be swayed by two museums opening next month, in Paris and in Marrakech, dedicated to the oeuvre of the legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. We explore his longstanding ties to the Moroccan city, and look at how its colours, cra s and creative energy informed his work time and time again (page 34).
The mini-me trend was one that we had placed squarely in the ridiculous category. As far as we could see, mothers dressing their children in outfits identical to their own was the ultimate vanity – especially if those designer outfits cost a small fortune, and were chosen specifically for their Instagram-ability. What we hadn’t considered was “the emotional component”, as Candice Fragis, buying and merchandising director at Farfetch. com, puts it. “The moment of dressing up with your child is a real draw for some,” she points out. The luxury childrenswear sector is experiencing massive growth at present, and we explore some of the factors driving that surge in popularity in Rise of the MiniMe (page 30), so this is a look we’ll probably all have to get used to.
Sublime or ridiculous? You decide.