Why ‘It’ Bags Are Out
Luxury bags fall victim to their own success; exclusive over ostentatious
By CHERYL LU-LIEN TAN and RACHEL DODES
Irene Weisburd used to buy 20 handbags a year, dutifully getting on waiting lists for the season’s designated “it” bag and filling her “bag wardrobe” with Fendi Baguettes, a Louis Vuitton Murakami bag and Prada nylon backpacks.Recently, however, she has bypassed popular styles such as last fall’s Gucci Indy bag and the ubiquitous Fendi ‘B’ bag in favor of unadorned pieces from Bottega Veneta and lesser-known labels such as New York’s MZ Wallace.
“I felt like, ‘Gee, all these bags are so attainable by a lot of people that everyone’s carrying around that bag,’ ” says Ms. Weisburd, a 59-year-old homemaker who lives in New York City. “I wanted something that was more exclusive.”
For the past 10 years or so, fashion houses have churned out expensive bags with distinctive shapes and logos in the hopes that they’d catch on as that season’s sensation. Consumers, seeking the status a recognizable bag conferred, flocked to buy them, helping to fuel the recent luxury boom.
But as big luxury brands have expanded world-wide, offering more entry-level products to reach more consumers, some high-end shoppers are getting turned off. The proliferation of knockoffs has helped erode the mystique of owning a high-end bag. Affluent customers have grown confident in their own sense of style and increasingly turning to unique accessories to set themselves apart from the crowd. On top of that, the recent stock market selloff and downturn in consumer spending has many consumers shunning spending that could be considered ostentatious. As retailers head into the new year, some are declaring that “it” is over.
“The ‘it’ bag isn’t important any more,” says Stephanie Solomon, women’s fashion director at Bloomingdale’s. “It’s all about looking different from your neighbor.”
Instead of one hot, recognizable style, retailers this spring will be pushing a variety of styles and brands, many of them lesser-known. Intermix, a high-end New York-based retail chain, is making a big push for handbags from labels such as Zagliani and Lanvin. Scoop is stressing Jamin Puech, Whiting & Davis and other relatively unknown, expensive brands. For spring, Henri Bendel is picking up LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s brand Loewe, which is popular in Asia but hasn’t been widely sold in the U.S.
Adriana Sassoon has a Handbag Company with the focus in Minimalist Design. The main ingredient is to help a Charity founded by her father and mentor as well as charities that work with children of developing countries “.The bags are very exclusive and they range between $295 – $1,000.
Adriana Sassoon red tote $1,000. At FIDM fashion Museum store Los Angeles, The studio, Boston.
Vidal Sassoon, the hairdresser whose styles became synonymous with the Swinging Sixties, has become a CBE on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Now 81, he revolutionised hairdressing and went on to found a multi-million-pound international hair and beauty products empire.
Born in London, he spent eight years in an orphanage before becoming a hairdresser.
He started his career as a shampoo boy in a barber’s shop.
Sassoon’s father left when he was five, and his mother had to put him and his brother into a Jewish orphanage because she could not afford to keep them. Vidal began working for the famous hairstylist Teasy Weasy Raymond, in Mayfair, eventually opening his own shop in 1958.
His clients included the Duchess of Bedford, and models Jean Shrimpton and Mary Quant.
His straight, geometric cut became a staple on every high street in Britain – bringing in the era of the “wash and go” haircut.
Later in the 1960s, he moved to California, where he still lives.
In the 1980s, Sassoon lent his name to manufacturers of haircare products and salons.
Married four times, Sassoon had four children with his first wife Beverly Adams.
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PETER LINDBERG GOES LIGHT ON RETOUCHING
THIS TIME WITH SUPERMODEL’S FROM 90′S
Peter Lindbergh seems to be quite taken with this no-makeup, minimal-to-no retouching concept: In April, he captured Eva Herzigova, Ines de la Fressange, and a slew of European actresses without makeup or retouching for French Elle. A month after, he told the New York Times that he was tired of subjects in fashion magazines looking like overly-Photoshopped “objects from Mars”: “My feeling is that for years now it has taken a much too big part in how women are being visually defined today. Heartless retouching should not be the chosen tool to represent women in the beginning of this century.”
Lindbergh continues to lead the charge against excessive retouching, this time by capturing supermodels Amber Valletta, Nadja Auermann, Helena Christensen, Shalom Harlow, Claudia Schiffer, Tatjana Patitz, Cindy Crawford, and Kristen McMenamy without makeup or excessive retouching for Harper’s Bazaar‘s September 2009 issue.
Andrew Warhola (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987), more commonly known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous worldwide for his work as a painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author, and public figure known for his membership in wildly diverse social circles that included bohemian street people, distinguished intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy aristocrats.
As stated, although Andy Warhol is most known for his paintings and films, he has authored works in many different media.
- Drawing: Warhol started his career as a commercial illustrator, producing drawings in “blotted-ink” style for advertisements and magazine articles. Best known of these early works are his drawings of shoes. Some of his personal drawings were self-published in small booklets, such as Yum, Yum, Yum (about food), Ho, Ho, Ho (about Christmas) and (of course) Shoes, Shoes, Shoes. His most artistically acclaimed book of drawings is probably A Gold Book, compiled of sensitive drawings of young men. A Gold Book is so named because of the gold leaf that decorates its pages.
- Sculpture: Warhol’s most famous sculpture is probably his Brillo Boxes, silkscreened ink on wood replicas of Brillo soap pad boxes (designed by James Harvey), part of a series of “grocery carton” sculptures that also included Heinz ketchup and Campbell’s tomato juice cases. Other famous works include the Silver Clouds – helium filled, silver mylar, pillow-shaped balloons. A Silver Cloud was included in the traveling exhibition Air Art (1968-69) curated by Willoughby Sharp. Clouds was also adapted by Warhol for avant-garde choreographer Merce Cunningham’s dance piece RainForest (1968).
- Audio: At one point Warhol carried a portable recorder with him wherever he went, taping everything everybody said and did. He referred to this device as his “wife”. Some of these tapes were the basis for his literary work. Another audio-work of Warhol’s was his “Invisible Sculpture”, a presentation in which burglar alarms would go off when entering the room. Warhol’s cooperation with the musicians of The Velvet Underground was driven by an expressed desire to become a music producer.
- Time Capsules: In 1973, Warhol began saving ephemera from his daily life – correspondence, newspapers, souvenirs, childhood objects, even used plane tickets and food – which was sealed in plain cardboard boxes dubbed Time Capsules. By the time of his death, the collection grew to include 600, individually dated “capsules”. The boxes are now housed at the Andy Warhol Museum.
- Television: Andy Warhol dreamed of a television show that he wanted to call The Nothing Special, a special about his favorite subject: Nothing. Later in his career he did create two cable television shows, Andy Warhol’s TV in 1982 and Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes (based on his famous “fifteen minutes of fame” quotation) for MTV in 1986. Besides his own shows he regularly made guest appearances on other programs, including The Love Boat wherein a Midwestern wife (Marion Ross) fears Andy Warhol will reveal to her husband (Tom Bosley, who starred alongside Ross in sitcom Happy Days) her secret past as a Warhol superstar named Marina del Rey. Warhol also produced a TV commercial for Schrafft’s Restaurants in New York City, for an ice cream dessert appropriately titled the “Underground Sundae”
- Fashion: Warhol is quoted for having said: “I’d rather buy a dress and put it up on the wall, than put a painting, wouldn’t you?”One of his most well-known Superstars, Edie Sedgwick, aspired to be a fashion designer, and his good friend Halston was a famous one. Warhol’s work in fashion includes silkscreened dresses, a short sub-career as a catwalk-model and books on fashion as well as paintings with fashion (shoes) as a subject.
- Performance Art: Warhol and his friends staged theatrical multimedia happenings at parties and public venues, combining music, film, slide projections and even Gerard Malanga in an S&M outfit cracking a whip. The Exploding Plastic Inevitable in 1966 was the culmination of this area of his work.
- Theater: Andy Warhol’s PORK opened on May 5, 1971 at LaMama theater in New York for a two week run and was brought to the Roundhouse in London for a longer run in August, 1971. Pork was based on tape-recorded conversations between Brigin Berlin and Andy during which Brigid would play for Andy tapes she had made of phone conversations between herself and her mother, socialite Honey Berlin. The play featured Jayne County as “Vulva” and Cherry Vanilla as “Amanda Pork”.
- Photography: To produce his silkscreens, Warhol made photographs or had them made by his friends and assistants. These pictures were mostly taken with a specific model of Polaroid camera that Polaroid kept in production especially for Warhol. This photographic approach to painting and his snapshot method of taking pictures has had a great effect on artistic photography. Warhol was an accomplished photographer, and took an enormous amount of photographs of Factory visitors, friends.
- Computer: Warhol used Amiga computers to generate digital art, which he helped design and build with Amiga, Inc. He also displayed the difference between slow fill and fast fill on live TV with Debby Harry as a model.
Warhol had assistants in producing his paintings. This is also true of his film-making and commercial enterprises.
He founded the gossip magazine Interview, a stage for celebrities he “endorsed” and a business staffed by his friends. He collaborated with others on all of his books (some of which were written with Pat Hackett.) He adopted the young painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the band The Velvet Underground, presenting them to the public as his latest interest, and collaborating with them. One might even say that he produced people (as in the Warholian “Superstar” and the Warholian portrait). He endorsed products, appeared in commercials, and made frequent celebrity guest appearances on television shows and in films (he appeared in everything from Love Boat to Saturday Night Live and the Richard Pryor movie, Dynamite Chicken).
In this respect Warhol was a fan of “Art Business” and “Business Art” – he, in fact, wrote about his interest in thinking about art as business in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again.
Two museums are dedicated to Andy Warhol. The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is located at 117 Sandusky Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the largest American art museum dedicated to a single artist, holding more than 12,000 works by the artist.
The other museum is the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art, established in 1991 by Andy’s brother John Warhola, the Slovak Ministry of Culture, and the Warhol Foundation in New York. It is located in the small town of Medzilaborce, Slovakia. Andy’s parents and his two brothers were born 15 kilometres away in the village of Miková. The museum houses several originals donated mainly by the Andy Warhol Foundation in New York and also personal items donated by Warhol’s relatives.
Do you love clothes? I do….How about Fashion? Are you a Fashionista?
Don’t they look good hanging in our closets? How about now……………..
WHAT IS A LANDFILL SITE?
Landfill sites are carefully designed structures built on or on top of the ground in which rubbish is being dumped. The idea is to make sure that the rubbish is kept apart from the surrounding environment, which includes groundwater, air and rain. The rubbish is kept dry and not in contact with air. Under these conditions, rubbish will not decompose very much. A landfill is not like a compost heap, where the rubbish is buried in such a way that it will rot down (decompose) quickly. Bacteria in the landfill break down the waste even though there is no oxygen present (anaerobic). A by-product of this anaerobic breakdown is landfill gas, which contains approximately 50 percent methane and 50 percent carbon dioxide with small amounts of nitrogen and oxygen. This presents a hazard because the methane can explode and or burn. So, the landfill gas must be removed. To do this, a series of pipes are placed within the landfill to collect the gas. In some landfills, this gas is vented or burned.
HOW MUCH DO WE DUMP?
When new trends and styles hit the stores each season do you throw out your old stuff to make way for the new or do you take a more fashionable approach and reuse or recycle them?
Americans throw away an estimated 10 million tons every year while over 80% of waste generated in China is land filled. The Solid Waste Management Department of Karachi in India claims that over 7,000 tons of rubbish is generated daily. Waste management is now a global concern.
Research carried out by Global Cool the climate change charity, found that women who shop online are twice as unlikely to return unwanted clothes than those that are bought in store. The charity asked 3,500 UK women who revealed that they spent an average of £470 last year on items that they did not ever wear, which is a hefty figure considering that this equates to an estimated UK total of £11.1 billion.Even scarier perhaps though, is that one in ten of the women who took the survey admitted that they just bin the unwanted clothes which actually contributes to an estimated 900,000 tonnes of landfill waste. This waste also leads to needlessly creating 8 million tonnes equivalent of CO2 through the purchase of unworn clothes.by Clare Saxon
Our “throw away attitude” contributes to the large increase in waste now being created causing, what the US Protection Agency has identified as a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, Methane Gas. Since the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700’s, the earth’s methane concentration has increased by 150%. As world population grows the consumption of resources increases and the output of waste is increased.
Fashion itself promotes consumption as each season the latest styles in clothing, shoes, handbags and the like, encourage us to throw out the old and consume the new. A report published in 2006 by the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing stated that “in 2000 the world’s consumers spent around US $1 trillion worldwide buying clothes. A third of that in Western Europe, another third in North America and about a quarter in Asia”. “Fast fashion” made from cheaper materials which may only last one season, provide affordable items aimed mostly at young women and their insatiable desire to have the season’s latest styles.