Sunday, September 5, 2010
Lanvin x H&M Designer Collaboration 2010
According to Kawamura in "Fashion as an Institutional System," Paris has been able to retain it's dominance as an internationally known fashion capital, due to it's highly structured fashion system. Furthermore, she highlights the complicated process that France goes through to maintain it's power and image, which includes "members of the organization, fashion show schedules, fashion gatekeepers, government support, the nurturing of young designers" and much more. Interestingly, one of the strongest parts of the French fashion system is it's hierarchy. Since there is a division between "Haute Couture, Pret-a-Porter for women and Pret-a-Porter for men," it's fashion system can retain a sense of exclusivity which separates it from other fashion systems in well-known fashion cities like New York, London, Milan, etc.
I found this to be really fascinating because just a few days ago, Lanvin (one of the oldest French fashion houses) announced it's new collaboration with H&M. Instantly, I thought that this kind of goes against the French fashion system, because it takes away the exclusivity of one of their strongest fashion houses. However, Alber Elbaz (the creative director for Lanvin) stated that this partnership does not mean that Lanvin is becoming "public." Instead, he argues that Lanvin is making H&M more "luxurious." In some ways, I think that this is true - because Lanvin does not need this recognition, it is H&M that needs it. Lanvin's collaboration with H&M helps to strengthen the fast fashion retailer's reputation, makes it more appealing, and essentially legitimizes it. Furthermore, it is obvious that the quality of this collaboration will not be as good as actual Lanvin clothing, which helps the fashion house retain some of it's exclusivity.
Lastly, many designers have already worked with H&M in the past (such as Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo for Commes des Garcons) on small collections.Which makes me wonder...what does this mean for the future of fashion and various fashion systems? Will Paris be able to hold on to it's reign?
PS: Watch the video! Alber Elbaz is adorable.
30 Day Challenge Update - Wow, the challenge is almost over! I still haven't purchased anything new or unnecessary, which I'm pretty happy about. For the most part, I did not find the challenge to be that difficulty, but I think that has to do with living in Davis - where there isn't really anywhere to shop, besides GAP. I'm sure that if we were living in a major metropolitan, I would have had a super difficult time. Overall, I think that this was a really good and fun experiment, and I'm definitely going to practice it more in the future. But I guess... right now... I am glad that the challenge is about to be over, just in time for Lanvin X H&M, hahahaha.
Inside Source: "Fashion as an Institutionalized System." In Fashion-ology.
Outside Source: http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/lanvin-to-make-clothes-for-h-m