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Why is Kaia Gerber suddenly the centre of the fashion universe?

Le 20 septembre 2017, 11:04 dans Humeurs 0

Why is Kaia Gerber suddenly the centre of the fashion universe?

I rather enjoy, Roger, that you thought it easier to write to me with this question as opposed to typing into something I believe is called – reaches for old lady spectacles – “Google”. And jolly glad I am that you did, too, because Kaia Gerber relates to quite a few things that I’ve been wanting to talk about for a while, including and not limited to celebrities, parents, teenage girls, fashion, tabloids, exploitation and more. It may turn out to be that Kaia Gerber is now the centre of the universe, which would explain quite a lot about this universe. Because Kaia Gerber is a 16-year-old girl.

In fact, she has just turned 16 and pretty much as soon as Kaia blew out the candles on her cake she was shoved on to every other catwalk at New York fashion week. An exciting start to the autumn for a fresh-faced teenager you may, or may not, be thinking. But this was not young Kaia’s first encounter with fashion. She has already appeared in several fashion magazines and campaigns, starting with a Versace campaign when she was 10, a French Vogue cover with her mother a few years later and her first solo magazine cover when she was 14. Tabloids have been running pap photos of her for years, doing everything from going shopping with her mother when she was 14 (“with long limbs to rival her mother’s”) to putting petrol in a car when she was 15 (“Her slender model figure was covered in a mini white bandeau top and high-waisted jeans”).

The media coverage of her 16th was, shall we say somewhat thigh-rubbing, with the British tabloids in particular barely able to control their excitement that young Kaia is now legally of age – in the UK anyway, if not in her home state of California.

Perhaps you are thinking that this seems a little OTT for your run-of-the-mill pretty teenage girl, which it is. But – and you might have seen this coming – the key detail here is that Kaia is a celebrity offspring. She is the daughter of Cindy Crawford and the rather amusingly named Rande Gerber, who is also, it turns out, George Clooney’s best friend, neatly proving this column’s theory that all famous and vaguely famous people know each other.

There is a sharp divide among celebrities between those who put their kids in the limelight, and those who very much don’t, and I’m always intrigued as to which celebrity chooses which path. Because, contrary to what you might think, celebrity children don’t have to be famous: the parents just have to choose to keep them away from red-carpet events, to get their lawyers to threaten tabloids that publish unobscured photos of them and not to pose with them on the cover of French Vogue. And if you don’t believe me, think of Matt Damon: Damon has four kids and I have not a clue even what their names are and it is kind of my job to know stuff like that. Or Christy Turlington, for that matter. Does Christy have kids? Probably, but I wouldn’t recognise them if they sat next to me on the bus. By contrast, the Crawford-Gerber children, rather like the Beckham children, are by now almost as familiar to me as my own offspring, such is the amount of time they’ve spent in the spotlight. Kaia and her 18-year-old brother, Presley, have been in front of the cameras since they were little and, between the two of them, have 2.2 million followers on Instagram.

Cindy Crawford didn’t become a model until she was 19 so it’s striking that she decided to let her daughter model from the age of 10. It’s not like history is littered with successful tales of high-profile celebrity children, and the few who do end up happy and well and accomplished – Michael Douglas, Stella McCartney – were kept out of the limelight by their parents and then encouraged to make their own way, not just use their family connections. I get that all parents want to give their kids the best childhood, and a lot of people do equate “fame” with “the best”. It’s just weird when famous people do it because they, of all people, should know that being a celebrity ain’t, actually, all that great. So maybe Cindy and Rande have had nothing but positive experiences of fame. If so, they are next to unique.

As it happens, new father George Clooney has been talking about this quite a lot recently in regards to his twins, Ella and Alexander. “We didn’t want to give them one of those ridiculous Hollywood names that don’t mean anything,” he said recently, perhaps unaware that his best friend’s kids are called Kaia and Presley. Clooney added that his own children “are going to be born into a place of privilege and so they’re going to have to learn that it’s just by accident.” I’m guessing this probably means Clooney’s not going to put his kids in movies when they’re 10.

So is Clooney making a dig at his friends here? Isn’t 16 still a little young to be the star of New York fashion week, given Kaia is still in high school? These are questions we may never be able to answer in full. But good luck, Kaia. You are (nearly) an adult now, and not just your mother’s daughter, so don’t let other adults tell you what to do, OK?

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Breastfeeding on the front row: a beginner's guide

Le 18 septembre 2017, 11:22 dans Humeurs 0

Breastfeeding on the front row: a beginner's guide

When I got pregnant last year, the first thing anybody asked me was, how would I carry on working? Maternity leave was never going to be on the cards. As a fashion blogger and writer, I knew that, from a financial standpoint, work couldn’t come to a grinding halt. But I’m blessed with a mother keen on being a hands-on grandmother, who knows how to lull a baby to sleep with Cantonese nursery rhymes, and a partner who works part-time and is a firm believer in 50/50 parenting. As my due date loomed large, I blissfully thought things would just work themselves out

Back in January, a week after I gave birth to my daughter Nico, I was still working to a print deadline – dictating sentences into my iPhone and breastfeeding at the same time, before graduating to one-handed typing. Sure, I couldn’t move my bum off the sofa because it was so painful but, hurrah, I could knock out a few paragraphs about women’s tailoring.

It was really adamance on my part to keep working. My postnatal mind was suddenly preoccupied with nappies, nap patterns and breastfeeding latch techniques. Continuing to do something familiar was my way of taking back control of my sleep-deprived, cry-addled brain. So when the requests to host panel discussions, cover shows and go on press trips started to filter in, I said yes – and delved into the conundrum of doing the fashion thing and caring for Nico.

Dressing was the least of my problems. I’ve enjoyed hunting for tops or dresses with yankable necklines and billowing hems to facilitate breastfeeding, without having to resort to dull nursing tops. Retaining my personal style was one immediate way to feel like the pre-mother me, just by pulling on, say a favourite Molly Goddard dress while worrying over Nico’s slimy green poo.

Travelling with her has had its ups and downs. There were the easy trips such as a gentle Eurostar train to Paris for the Chanel cruise show, where Nico got to stay in a hotel room bigger than my house. I chortled at her gurgling in her pram at the Prada Fondazione in Milan, with Courtney Love on the next table. On the flipside I nearly had to lock myself in the bathroom on the flight back from the Gucci cruise show in Florence, as Nico screamed relentlessly and I could see Jared Leto(who features in Gucci’s perfume ads) wincing in his seat.

When I did have to leave her behind for the Dior and Louis Vuitton cruise shows in Los Angeles and Tokyo, it required weeks of pumping like a milking cow to build up a stash in the freezer, as well as the mental preparation for doing the dastardly thing of leaving a three-month baby. The week away will be remembered for the countless lengthy trips to the toilet, pumping milk out in order to maintain supply, while looking at pictures of Nico on my phone – like a non-sexual parallel of masturbating with porn.

The fashion industry, full of inspiring women who have done the motherhood thing and managed their careers, has been a source of support in my mission to work with baby in tow. But this full-throttle life has its pitfalls. At Paris couture fashion week, stuck in traffic and late for both a show and Nico’s feeding time, I felt a failure professionally and personally.

Back home, I imagined shards of judgment from other mothers – a self-imposed guilt dictated by the construct of a conventional maternity leave where you’re supposed to be nurturing your baby 100% of the time. But will Nico remember any of those times I’ve looked at her and momentarily wished I didn’t have to shove my breast into her mouth? Not likely. Will she care that she came along for the ride with her mother and her suitcase full of frocks to eight countries in the first six months of her life? Probably not. Will she one day, eventually, understand the importance of being able to work in a vocation she is passionate about and be a mother at the same time? I hope so.

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The Power List: the faces setting 2017's fashion agenda

Le 15 septembre 2017, 10:49 dans Humeurs 0

The Power List: the faces setting 2017's fashion agenda

A$AP Rocky

His claim to have been responsible for the return of gold jewellery to the hip-hop community notwithstanding, A$AP always wears it well; an aficionado of Raf Simons and Jeremy Scott, a collaborator with JW Anderson and a dapper dresser who never disappoints.

Rihanna

If 56.3m fangirls are living for your every outfit post on Instagram, you may as well bottle it — and she has, with 10 perfumes to her name. But Ri is also a major fashion force, thanks to her Fenty x Puma range, as well as collaborations with Dior (sunglasses), Manolo Blahnik (shoes) and Chopard (fine jewellery). But her newest, and possibly most lucrative venutre is Fenty Beauty: watch it fly.

Céline Dion

Her heart will go on: thankfully for all of us, her devotion to designer labels will go on, too. Dion’s celebration of Dior, Prada, Valentino and (obvs) Céline is a joyous thing to behold, and the fun she has wearing it is a welcome antidote to all the po-faced seriousness out there, both in the fashion industry and in the world at large.

Bella Hadid

No longer just Gigi’s little sister, Hadid’s chameleon-like looks ensure she’s always in demand, whether on Tom Ford’s catwalk or Victoria’s Secret’s.

Beyoncé

For someone with the heft and majesty of Queen Bey, Knowles entered fairly cautiously into the fashion market, eschewing collaborations for the creation of an activewear range, Ivy Park. Its launch last April marked what is no doubt only the beginning of Bey’s fashion ambitions.

Skepta

‘The clothes don’t make the man, the man makes the clothes,’ Joseph Junior ‘Skepta’ Adenuga told the Evening Standard back in June at the launch of his menswear range. Grime’s golden boy rarely wears his beloved Gucci, Vuitton and Chanel these days: he usually dons his own Mains creations instead. He says you can do great things in a tracksuit, and has a Mercury and an Ivor Novello to prove it.

Cara Delevingne

With a personal fortune estimated at £14m, Cara can afford to be picky about the fashion brands she works with, such as Burberry, Rimmel and Chanel. Since her successful move into the film world (Valerian and Kids in Love) a Cara catwalk appearance is as rare as a hen’s tooth.

Kim Kardashian West

Whatever you think of this unapologetic figure, Kim shifts units, whether of husband Kanye’s Yeezy range or any other label she gets in front of the eyeballs of her 103m Instagram followers. Balmain, Givenchy and Valentino are just some of the beneficiaries of her patronage — seeing her as anything other than an astute businesswoman is a grave misjudgement.

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