NO BOOORRING QUESTIONS!: Designers have embraced the Web and they aren’t holding anything back, from constant Twitter updates to streaming their runway shows online to posting on their Facebook pages. Next up is Donatella Versace, but she’s taking things a step further: The designer will begin taking questions today from fans of her Facebook page, and rather than simply typing replies (or having a minion do it), Versace actually will answer them via video following her show on Friday. — Amy Wicks
FASHION TV: As New York Fashion Week closed, Charlie Rose on Friday night spoke with Cathy Horyn of The New York Times, Robbie Meyers of Elle Magazine, Millard ‘’Mickey’’ Drexler of J. Crew and Narciso Rodriguez about the current state of fashion. The discussion covered everything from the economy to fashion publications to the industry’s evolution, finally touching on the suicide of Alexander McQueen.
Horyn said the fashion industry has fundamentally changed, and as a young designer on the scene, “it’s very difficult to get traction now.’’
Drexler said, “When you have huge public corporations that are being managed in fashion, by virtue of that alone, it takes away from what fashion is: it’s small artisans.’’ Drexler sees this as an even larger threat to the creative community on the whole: “Undercapitalized creativity…Picasso never would’ve been successful today because no one would’ve taken his paintings unless he guaranteed them a return,” he said.
Rodriguez concurred, saying, “I think it would be more difficult today [for me] to create a house, to create a brand, when there are so many different new companies…” Today, he said, the “hardest part is the business side…it’s tougher (because) store people are more demanding, stores buy less.” Rodriguez said, “To get the more creative pieces out there, I might have to dress a celebrity for you to see it (beyond the fashion industry).”
All agreed the Internet is having a huge impact on fashion. Given the speed of the Web, Rose questioned the viability of a fashion publication such as Elle, when readers may no longer need a magazine to view runway looks. Myers replied, “We look at how a real woman is going to dress, and how she’s going to take over 500,000 pieces that you see on the runway….We’re going to edit that for her.” Myers also added that Elle is a “media agnostic” brand with a presence in “television, online and an iPhone app.” — Lauren Benet Stephenson
FRENCH LESSONS: Need a haircut? A pair of shoes? A fine Bordeaux? Just ask Ines de la Fressange. The Roger Vivier brand ambassador, recently voted the quintessential Parisienne by readers of Le Figaro, is so used to doling out tips she has decided to gather them in a book. “I spend my life handing out addresses to friends and journalists,” she said. Though the guide is not yet written, French publisher Flammarion is already fielding enquiries from Japan, China and South America for the foreign rights, she noted. The multitasking former Chanel muse is also working on the interior design of an as-yet-unnamed 50-room hotel located not far from the Vivier flagship on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Due to open in roughly a year, the hotel will house a restaurant and spa. And de la Fressange has designed a carpet for French furniture company Artelano. With all that, she will barely have time to catch her breath before dashing off to Hong Kong for the opening of a Vivier store in the spring. — Miles Socha