When the bar bells ring in Paris Fashion Week, the ruling houses of the industry's powerful conglomerates gear up for a season that wouldn't be lost on Olympe de Gouges. By Anders Christian Madsen
Riding the waves of the rebellious zeitgeist, the spring/summer 2019shows in Paris are set to be a dance of giants. As a contemporary fashion hero makes his eagerly anticipated return to the runway, local leaders and a particularly powerful guest from out of town will flex – just days apart – their woke marketing muscles in an epic reflection of the identity-driven spirit of millennialism and the defiant values of Generation Z. If the arrival of Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton signified a new day in menswear's most hallowed hall in June, this fashion week is womenswear's answer to the revolution.
Céline welcomes Hedi Slimane as its new designer on Friday September 28 at 8.30pm. Two years after he left the Kering-owned Saint Laurent, the transition marks his return to the LVMH fold, which he departed in 2007 after his wildly impactful seven years at Dior Homme. As things go with the elusive designer, his debut collection for Céline is shrouded in absolute mystery, but for the market-savvy Slimane, who basically created Dior Homme from scratch and rebranded Saint Laurent to great success, his new presence on the Paris scene will no doubt spur his competitors. The vast fan base of Phoebe Philo – who departed Céline in December – holds its breath to see if Slimane's take on the house will reflect her philosophies, or paint an entirely new portrait of this church of power-dressing. Either way, the designer is sure to up the ante on the stuff that makes the hearts of the new shopping market grow fonder. In keeping with the winds of change, Slimane will show women's and menswear together.
Gucci relocates its show from Milan to Paris for the season when Alessandro Michele takes out the legendary nightclub Le Palace on Monday September 24 at 9pm. The move marks the final chapter in a French trilogy for the house, which saw Michele commemorating the youth revolts of 1968 in a pre-fall 2018 collection shot in Paris before staging his Cruise 2019 show in Arles. Since the designer's triumphant appointment in 2015, Gucci has become one of the most successful brands in the business, with daily queues outside its worldwide stores and a prolific stream of millennially-minded campaigns and projects. Michele has been hailed as a wizard of retail, who has captured the youth-driven spirit of self-expression. For the Kering-owned brand, its march into Paris is momentous on a show schedule that's already heralding big change in fashion.
Maison Margiela debuts a new show format on Wednesday September 26 at 11am, as John Galliano announced in a podcast for his Artisanal men's show in June. "The rest of the collection will be shown with the women's in September as a co-ed show," he explained of his decision to create an entire haute couture collection for men that month, as opposed to the usual ready-to-wear, a move deeply rooted in the outlook of the millennials and Generation Z, who inspire him. "I just got so excited with the changing landscape of menswear and the new energy that's coming in at different houses," he explained, tackling head-on what every designer must be thinking these days. "I hope this is a journey to help us discover a new sensuality, a new sexuality, breaking down pre-conceived ideas of what's masculine and what's feminine through cutting skills," he reflected. Come his ready-to-wear collection, Galliano will get the chance to illustrate his new ideas of gender-nonbinary glamour and sex for the Only the Brave-owned Maison Margiela
Elsewhere on the Paris scene, the major brands of LVMH and Kering are gearing up for a season of transformation. Dior, usually scheduled on the Tuesday afternoon, moves to a 2.30pm slot of Monday September 24, retaining its position as the first big show of Paris Fashion Week ahead of Gucci that same day. Saint Laurent, which assumes its traditional show slot on Tuesday September 25 at 8pm, surprised the industry by staging a full menswear spectacular in New York in June. With the return of his predecessor Hedi Slimane at Céline four days after his show, Anthony Vaccarello gets a bolstered opportunity to paint the future of his house. On Tuesday October 2 at 6.30pm, Nicolas Ghesquière follows up a terrific Louis Vuitton cruise collection hailed by critics as a return to the spirit of his Balenciaga legacy, while on Sunday September 30 at 8pm, Clare Waight Keller will present the first co-ed ready-to-wear collection for Givenchy after gaining worldwide attention to her bridal collection with Balenciaga, which has long held the throne as the trend forecaster of Paris, will get to defend that position when the disciples flock to Demna Gvasalia's show on Sunday September 30 at 11.30am.
Ted: Hi Ray Tell me about you mountain trek through the southpole.
Ray Zahab: month ago today I stood there: 90 degrees south, the top of the bottom of the world, the Geographic South Pole. And I stood there beside two very good friends of mine, Richard Weber and Kevin Vallely. Together we had just broken the world speed recordfor a trek to the South Pole. It took us 33 days, 23 hours and 55 minutes to get there. We shaved five days off the previous best time. And in the process, I became the first person in history to make the entire 650-mile journey, from Hercules Inlet to South Pole, solely on feet, without skis.
Koko: It must have been awesome.
Ray Zahab: Now, of you are probably saying, "Wait a sec, is this tough to do?" (Laughter) Imagine, if you will, dragging a sled, as you just saw in that video clip, with 170 pounds of gear, in it everything you need to survive on your Antarctic trek. It's going to be 40 below, every single day. You'll be in a massive headwind. And at some point you're going to have to cross these cracks in the ice,these crevasses. Some of them have a very precarious thin footbridge underneath them that could give way at a moment's notice,taking your sled, you, into the abyss, never to be seen again. The punchline to your journey? Look at the horizon. Yes, it's uphill the entire way, because the South Pole is at 10,000 feet, and you're starting at sea level.
Ted: Where did your journey begin?
Ray Zahab: Our journey did not, in fact, begin at Hercules Inlet, where frozen ocean meets the land of Antarctica. It began a little less than two years ago. A couple of buddies of mine and I had finished a 111-day run across the entire Sahara desert. And while we were there we learned the seriousness of the water crisis in Northern Africa. We also learned that many of the issues facing the people of Northern Africa affected young people the most. I came home to my wife after 111 days of running in the sand, and I said, "You know, there's no doubt if this bozo can get across the desert, we are capable of doing anything we set our minds to." But if I'm going to continue doing these adventures, there has to be a reason for me to do them beyond just getting there.
Koko: It must be extraordinary?
Ray Zahab: Around that time I met an extraordinary human being, Peter Thum, who inspired me with his actions. He's trying to find and solve water issues, the crisis around the world. His dedication inspired me to come up with this expedition: a run to the South Polewhere, with an interactive website, I will be able to bring young people, students and teachers from around the world on board the expedition with me, as active members. So we would have a live website, that every single day of the 33 days, we would be blogging, telling stories of, you know, depleted ozone forcing us to cover our faces, or we will burn. Crossing miles and miles of sastrugi -- frozen ice snowdrifts that could be hip-deep. I'm telling you, crossing these things with 170-pound sled, that sled may as well have weighed 1,700 pounds, because that's what it felt like.
Ted: Are you keeping in touch with the team?
Ray Zahab: We were blogging to this live website daily to these students that were tracking us as well, about 10-hour trekking days, 15-hour trekking days, sometimes 20 hours of trekking daily to meet our goal. We'd catch cat-naps at 40 below on our sled, incidentally. In turn, students, people from around the world, would ask us questions. Young people would ask the most amazing questions.
Koko: Can you name your favorite thing about the north pole?
Ray Zahab:One of my favorite: It's 40 below, you've got to go to the bathroom, where are you going to go and how are you going to do it? I'm not going to answer that. But I will answer some of the more popular questions.
Ted: And the sleeping arrangements Where do you sleep?
Ray Zahab: We slept in a tent that was very low to the ground, because the winds on Antarctica were so extreme, it would blow anything else away.
Koko: Food was that an issue? What do you eat?
Ray Zahab: One of my favorite dishes on expedition: butter and bacon. It's about a million calories. We were burning about 8,500 a day, so we needed it.
Ted: Sources of energy for your phone how many batteries. How many batteries do you carry for all the equipment that you have?
Ray Zahab: Virtually none. All of our equipment, including film equipment, was charged by the sun.
Koko: And do you get along? .
Ray Zahab: I certainly hope so, because at some point or another on this expedition, one of your teammates is going to have to take a very big needle, and put it in an infected blister, and drain it for you.
Ted: What where the dynamics in team?
Ray Zahab: But seriously, seriously, we did get along, because we had a common goal of wanting to inspire these young people. They were our teammates! They were inspiring us. The stories we were hearing got us to the South Pole. The website worked brilliantly as a two-way street of communication. Young people in northern Canada, kids in an elementary school, dragging sleds across the school-yard, pretending they were Richard, Ray and Kevin. Amazing.
Koko: When you arrived what did you do?
Ray Zahab: We arrived at the South Pole. We huddled into that tent, 45 below that day, I'll never forget it. We looked at each other with these looks of disbelief at what we had just completed. And I remember looking at the guys thinking, "What do I take from this journey?" You know? Seriously. That I'm this uber-endurance guy?
Ted: What would like to say to evcryone?
Ray Zahab: As I stand here today talking to you guys, I've been running for the grand sum of five years. And a year before that I was a pack-a-day smoker, living a very sedentary lifestyle. What I take from this journey, from my journeys, is that, in fact, within every fiber of my belief standing here, I know that we can make the impossible possible. I'm learning this at 40. Can you imagine? Seriously, can you imagine? I'm learning this at 40 years of age. Imagine being 13 years old, hearing those words, and believing it. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Koko: Thanks for coming.
Isabel M Cutter
A new show, The Marvellous Mechanical Museum, celebrates kinetic sculptures. But are they more than than just end of the pier amusements? by Michael Glover
The Centre Pompidou is such a pleasingly outrageous violation of the architecture of Old Paris. There's nothing quite like seeing the colourful guts of a building on the outside. One of its principal delights is the Stravinsky Fountain, a little pond just beyond the north-west corner, which plays host to 16 kinetic sculptures by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle, all inspired by episodes from The Rite of Spring and other works by the same composer, wallowing contentedly in the shallows.
Niki's pair of red lips – it's called L'Amour – opens and closes so winningly, so beckoningly. Others spew water around like scribbles on the air for the sheer hell of it.
Sculpture that moves has been around for a long time. In the 18th century, a Frenchman called Jacques de Vaucanson created a mechanical duck which both ingested its food and then excreted it again. The aristocrats couldn't get enough of this sort of thing. The gardens of the stately homes of Europe were full of fantastical mechanised devices.
Why limited to the aristocracy though? Because they were so expensive to make. Many of them were frolicsome water features, primed to give all those wig-heads and beehive-hair-stackers a good soaking for looking so ridiculous. And how they all laughed at their humiliation!
But by the late 18th century, museums of automata had brought mechanical wonders to much wider audiences. The going into the 19thcentury, automata were often much less sophisticated, much less serious and thought-provoking; in fact, much more the kind of pure entertainment you might describe as throwaway. Why though? Could it be because by then too many men were behaving like automata in factories?
Automata also became tamed by domestication. The Victorians created mechanical dolls for the bedroom or the nursery – often on a disturbingly large scale. The Romanovs commissioned the House of Fabergé to create luxury eggs which often contained an element of mechanised surprise - the smallest exhibit in this show is a Fabergé elephant that stands 4cms tall.
By the 20th century, avant garde painters often boasted of painting's ability to emulate speed and motion - think of the fierce bluster of Marinetti's Futurist manifesto of 1909, for example. Unfortunately, the paintings themselves, being paintings, were always nothing but frozen representations of movement. They never moved themselves. Doesn't that seem a tad disappointing?
Vladimir Tatlin hoped to set kinetic art in the vanguard of the Russian Revolution, but his revolving Monument to the Third International proved unrealisable. Then along came Alexander Calder, whose mobiles and stabiles combine grace with whimsy.
One of the most delightful works at Compton Verney was brought into being by the fantastical needs of the cinema. Rowland Emett's Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Railway is one of the mechnical marvels created for the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). Part Stevenson, part toy-box absurdity, it jinks up and down upon its tiny stretch of track to the accompaniment of much whistly organ jollity.
To call automata sculpture at all raises its stature, of course. By this token, a cuckoo clock might be a sculpture too. And what culturally high-toned person does not despise the idea of a cuckoo clock? The truth is though that kinetic sculptures – Jean Tinguely's uproariously crazy and ungainly contraptions made out of bits of other contraptions, for example, which wheeze and clank and puff out gouts of smoke and threaten to fall apart – often feel more akin to those pier-end, penny-in-the-slot machines where, in exchange for a cadged copper, you could make a blue bobby almost shake off his helmet laughing.
Is an automaton nothing but popular entertainment then, a source of amusement, one spectacle amongst many, at which we gawp before strolling away towards more serious matters such as adultery in the hedgerow or politics in the chamber?
No, it's more than that because, in making the human and the animal seem to come alive and perhaps even pose a threat to humankind itself, we are not merely demonstrating how the ingenuity of individual makers enables mankind to take significant technological strides, but also tapping into primal fears, and perhaps entering unexplored realms of the uncanny.
Strange fears swim up from the depths when we stare at machines that move somewhat as we move, do the tasks that we do, articulate life and motion.
You are now able to get up close to a display of automata of past and present at a country house in Warwickshire called Compton Verney, a sequestered estate in Warwickshire, part Capability Brown, part Robert Adam; it was brought back to life as an important art centre in 2004, having been rescued from dereliction by Peter Moores, the son of a Liverpool pools magnate.
You will discover there, in a show of 57 twitchily animated objects which range in age from the early 17th century to the present day, that automata are far from the stuff of the past.
Ting Tong Chang's mechanical birds – did his parents had some strange premonition that their son would become a celebrated maker of automata when naming him? – are particularly unnerving in a jocular sort of way. They include a computer-programmed, taxidermied goose with a restlessly twisty neck which hectors us about the bacteria in our guts.
Elsewhere, matters get darker and darker. Tim Lewis' Crimson Prince is a red-velvet-gloved, uprearing arm which smooth-glides its gaze round and about like any practised raptor. Next time it will be you.
'The Marvellous Mechanical Museum' is at Compton Verney until 30 September
You've probably seen Isle of Paradise on your Instagram feed recently. By Gemma Cartwright
The new self tan launch has been an instant hit with influencers, partly because the cute pastel packaging looks as cute on the bathroom shelf as it does on your bod. The vegan and cruelty-free brand is the brainchild of Jules von Hep, who's been a big name in the world of tanning for years. I've been spray tanned by Jules in the past, and I loved both him and the golden glow he gave me, so I was excited to try his heavily hyped range for myself.
I started with the product people are really talking about: Isle of Paradise Tanning Water. It comes in three shades, which have colour-correcting properties for the most natural result. Peach gives you a light tan, green a medium tan, and lilac a deep glow. I'm very fair-skinned, but I'm also a bit of a fake tan addict, so I went straight for the green!
This is the first tanning "water" I've tried. It goes on colourless, which is my preference when it comes to fake tan, but it can be scary for a newbie as you can't see where you've applied it. Luckily, the wet formula helps with that. It comes in a pump action bottle, and you literally just spritz it onto prepped skin until it's evenly covered, then blend it with a mitt.
The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.The package tells you to spritz until the skin is "totally saturated," which I think is a bit misleading. I totally overestimated how much I needed on the first application, and though there were no streaks as such, I ended up with orange feet and brown knees. For my second attempt, I spritzed sparingly, blended gently with a mitt, and the results were great. This seems to be quite a buildable product, and I prefer the look of a more subtle application. It's even, streak-free, and natural-looking. The first time around, I overdid it because I was expecting the water formula to be really streaky, but it's far more foolproof than you'd expect, and you really don't need as much as I splashed all over myself. An even mist is enough. Here's how it looks applied to just one leg, with my natural skin colour on the left (yep, I tanned one leg, just for you).
This product is definitely best applied in the bath or shower as the spray does get everywhere, but clean-up is quick and as it has no bronzer in it, it doesn't stain. Once I worked out I didn't need as much as I thought, I grew to really love the product and have used it multiple times in the past month or so. The colour looks really great in real life — it's never orange. It fades evenly if you moisturise, and it can be removed easily when it's past its best using a fake tan remover.
However, there are a couple of downsides to be aware of: the first is that it has a real tendency to cling to dry skin (even if you prep knees and ankles with a barrier cream), so you absolutely have to keep your skin in good condition if you want the best results. That means moisturising and exfoliating frequently (including 24 hours before). This is not unusual for fake tan, but this product is less forgiving than a number of others I've tried (especially lotions and gradual tans). I'm also not 100 percent convinced the packaging is quite there yet. It looks so pretty, and I love the idea of a water, but the pump-action spray itself is really stiff and can't really be used at an angle, which makes it hard to reach some areas without help. I ended up spritzing it straight onto the mitt to do some areas of the body, but the results weren't affected.
Overall, I'd give this 4/5. I love the branding, the colour-correcting tints are innovative, the results are lovely and natural, and it doesn't have a strong fake tan smell. It only loses a point because I think it could do with a different bottle; a trigger spray that's easier to manipulate would be amazing, if a bit less Insta-worthy!
Hundreds gather in Njoro to mark ruling that recognised the Ogiek peoples' rights to land, religion and culture.