Alaïa Trash-Talks Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld


By dint of his talent, the loyalty he inspires, and his enviable sell-through rates, Azzedine Alaïa has earned an unusual degree of autonomy within the somewhat hidebound confines of the fashion industry. He shows when he wants and when he is ready — not when there’s a fashion week on the schedule. He does the same with his seasonal deliveries. He doesn’t advertise, and doesn’t seem to care one way or the other about editorial mentions, either. For this congenial contrarianism, Alaïa has earned the admiration of many an influential fashion critic, and, you know, Michelle Obama wears his stuff. So here’s his unvarnished take on Anna Wintour: “She runs the business [of Vogue] very well, but not the fashion part. When I see how she is dressed, I don’t believe in her tastes one second. I can say it loudly! She hasn’t photographed my work in years even if I am a best seller in the U.S. and I have 140 square meters at Barneys. American women love me; I don’t need her support at all. Anna Wintour doesn’t deal with pictures; she is just doing PR and business, and she scares everybody. But when she sees me, she is the scared one. [Laughs.] Other people think like me, but don’t say it because they are afraid that Vogue won’t photograph them. Anyway, who will remember Anna Wintour in the history of fashion? No one. Take Diana Vreeland, she is remembered because she was so chic. What she did with the magazine was great.” In 2009, Wintour presided over an exhibition at the Met that celebrated “The Model As Muse,” and Alaïa, who is well known for his enduring friendships with (particularly) the 90s supermodels, was excluded. (Naomi Campbell refused to attend the Met Ball in protest.) At the time, Alaïa said of Wintour, “she behaves like a dictator and everyone is terrified of her…but I’m not scared of her or anyone.” (The Met’s show was a total hash, anyway.) Alaïa also isn’t such a big fan of Karl Lagerfeld. In the same new interview, he says: “I don’t like his fashion, his spirit, his attitude. It’s too much caricature. Karl Lagerfeld never touched a pair of scissors in his life. That doesn’t mean that he’s not great, but he’s part of another system. He has capacity. One day he does photography, the next he does advertisements for Coca-Cola. I would rather die than see my face in a car advertisement. We don’t do the same work.” [Virgine]
And in more news of fashion designers being ornery, Giorgio Armani had an “outburst” after his Milan men’s wear show. Although Women’s Wear Daily timidly denies us the full, exact quote, the designer is understood to have criticized Dolce & Gabbana and Prada for making men “look ridiculous and blamed the press for not being more critical about clownish styles that men don’t wear.” Here’s one thing Armani said: “fashion today is in the hands of the banks and of the stock market and not of their owners.” He also said that he doesn’t need to do an IPO because his company is independent and isn’t in debt — an obvious dig at Prada, which is lurching towards an IPO later this month after lowering its share price guidance due to lack of demand from retail investors. [WWD]

Jil Sander and Uniqlo are ending their three-year partnership. The last +J collection will be this fall’s. “Ms. Sander and [Uniqlo] agreed that they had fully explored the possibilities of their creative collaboration and accomplished what they had set out to do,” said the company via press release. This is bad news bears for anyone who loves cheap and lovely Jil Sander clothes (and who lives near a Uniqlo unit). [WWD]

Chanel’s fall eyewear ads feature Claudia Schiffer. [Fashionologie]

K-Mart is hoping to get all hipsterrific with this new ad campaign. It features “bloggers.” [WWD]

If Gucci outlet store employees really are using their store discounts to buy up merchandise and re-sell it on eBay, then that is so fucking bad-ass and hilarious and we love it. They probably shouldn’t take the auction pictures in the aforementioned store, though. That’s just lazy. [Racked]

Stephen Webster cast Daisy Lowe and her impressive cleavage in his latest campaign. [WWD]

  • Here’s more of John Galliano in his own words, at yesterday’s trial, talking about his abuse of sleeping pills, valium, and alcohol: “I started to have panic attacks and anxiety attacks, and I couldn’t go to work without taking Valium. My body was becoming so used to the pills, so my intake increased to an amount where I can’t actually remember how many I was taking. Sometimes I was taking sleeping pills during the day.” This began in 2007, after the sudden death of his longtime assistant and right-hand man, Steven Robinson. “Steven protected me from everything so I could just concentrate on being creative. With his death, I found I had no more protection…When Steven died, his parents and I buried him, then we went to the crematorium, and then I went back to do my fittings. The same thing happened with my father’s death. I had to go and bury him and then come back that very night and work on the haute couture. I really didn’t take the time to mourn.” Robinson suffered a heart attack at age 38; Galliano’s father passed away in 2003. “I had two children. One was inherited — Dior — and the other was my own, the Galliano company. Dior is a big machine and I didn’t want to lose Galliano. At this point, in order for the house of Galliano to survive, I met with many businessmen and signed many licenses.” [WWD]
  • Galliano’s trial on hate crimes charges was adjourned yesterday until September 8, when the panel of three judges will deliver its verdict. [@cpassariello]
  • More than one month after the fact, Al Arabiya has noticed that Vogue disappeared its cringe-inducing profile of Asma Al-Assad, the wife of Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad. (She told the magazine that she hoped to “change the mindset of six million Syrians under 18, encourage them to engage in active citizenship.” Well, one reading of the current situation in Syria would be that she got her wish. [Al Arabiya]
  • Today in Captain Obvious Explains It All: “Brands Use ‘Vanity Sizing’ To Boost Self-Esteem.” [USAToday]
  • Sorry, everyone who wants Pippa Middleton‘s green Temperley dress from the wedding reception. “We’d made it specifically for her and I wasn’t going to start trying to capitalise on that,” says designer Alice Temperley. [Telegraph]
  • Women’s Wear Daily reports that Alexander Wang‘s first full men’s wear collection includes “glazed nylons, cottons treated with a salt finish and a paper-thin lambskin he’s dubbed ‘leather chiffon.’” Leather. Chiffon. [WWD]
  • Stylist Katie Grand reminisces about Central St. Martins fashion school, where her ex-boyfriend Giles Deacon was apparently a total heartthrob: “Giles was final year when I was in my first year and he was so swooned over by all the female tutors who were very used to 90 per cent of the year being gay. He drew so well — you kind of knew that he was the star of his year. Anita Pallenberg was in my class and I remember her turning up in the foyer with a diamante-encrusted Rolling Stones tour jacket on. I remember thinking: ‘Oh my God, here we go.'” [Vogue UK]
  • A group of incurable Australians who work in fashion got together in New York City to spread their pathetic pro-Down Under propaganda and be served canapés by caterers whom they made wear “Australians Do It Better” t-shirts. (There should be laws against making your caterer wear a novelty t-shirt.) In Australia, said model Nicole Trunfio, “it’s not about money or winning or ego, it’s about the quality of life and having fun with it.…We’re hard workers. I come from a farm, so I’m a really hard worker. Fashion to me is like a farm.” [WWD]
  • Thirty years after the first HIV/AIDS diagnosis was made, and after it has caused countless deaths in the fashion industry and around the world, Dazed & Confused profiles some people who are currently living with the virus. Always use a condom. (The article comes with a weird editor’s note that the piece was “sponsored and commissioned” by a pharmaceutical company. Is that really the only way to fund reporting on HIV/AIDS?) [Dazed Digital]
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