Fashion Week

VANCOUVER, BC - SEPTEMBER 23:  A model walks the runway wearing ALEX S. YU at Vancouver Fashion week on September 23, 2016 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Arun Nevader/Getty Images for VFW Management INC)

Key Micro Trends from Vancouver Fashion Week

The 28th consecutive season of outsider Vancouver Fashion Week only just finished and six key trends appeared from what is considered one of the world’s top gateway fashion weeks.

Our very own Monarchs Prince William and Kate Middleton were in the host city during VFW, obvs they didn’t attend the shows, however the FROW was notably  celeb packed, cementing VFW as a fashion fringe event to pay close attention to.

282bd0a3-e08f-4196-a115-25375cb5aa0f

Silver appeared in several collections with Alex S. Yu, Evan Clayton, JKline and Maryam Niyazi all giving SS17 a silver spin on dresses, jackets and separates.

88383cbb-b4cb-4c03-a818-919da331c117-1

We al know that the 90s were the best era for both fashion and music and that trend shows no sign of abating,  90s rave influenced a handful of collections including Angus Chiang, Balaclava, Lillz Killz and Naovoe. Acid colours, playful shapes and attitude in abundance moved this trend from the fringe to the frow.

470aaefb-f6ae-4c6c-952f-7f8fe99f5c72

Texture clashing was prevalent across multiple designer shows – plastic pailettes, leather, metal, faux fur and cotton was combined, layered, juxtaposed and manipulated to create awesome contemporary looks.  With Alex S. Yu, Clio Page, HUY-HUY and Moon Choi leading the charge.

509773e4-9a59-49bc-9d11-6392c5f2d5ed-1

Simplicity came in the form of purest white – swing dresses, shirts and daywear gave a nod to purity.  With Vestige Story, TKC Design, GH by German Hernandez and Zi Xia leading the pack on all things pure and simple.

c6cac205-c229-448e-b47e-a1f9256d6056-1

Pale pink was elevated from girly to focal and ended up in an array of collections as an accent colour or focal hue. Alogon, INSOMNIA, Angus Chiang and JKline pinked up their palettes to perfection and remember the golden rule, on Wednesdays, we wear pink….

d959417e-459f-427d-8099-149dceff6773-1

Ruffles, if ever a trend was created with Lawrence llewelyn-Bowen, this is it.  Solid hues, patterns and a deconstructed shirt saw ruffles taking centre stage and not small, understated ruffles, these were super sized and in your face, made to be seen ruffles.   Hannah Vanderveen, Moon Choi, Alex S. Yu and Nuska added one of fashion’s oldest embellishments to their spring/summer collections.

With another Fashion Month over we’ve been moderately treated to a variety of new trends and even in some cases a new way of buying.  With a relatively underwhelming start to show season (mentioning no names NYFW), London came through with the lift we needed.  After Scout, MFW and PFW, Vancouver has given us a whole host of micro trends to play with and I might not even wait until spring to get started…

Pixie xo

 

nyfw-2.0

NYFW SS17 Show Schedule

Show season is almost upon us Voyeurs with only 19 days until NYFW begins and SS17 brings with it some changes, and a whole lot of excitement.  Having separated from Mercedes Benz entirely, NYFW has a lot more freedom in terms of scheduling and ultimately, streaming.  SS17 sees a big shift in delivery and NYFW will open more shows than ever before to the public, something they’ve not really done in a big way, and also there’ll be more live and post show streaming than we’ve typically seen in the past.  So Voyeurs, get ready to get involved….

Here’s your NYFW SS17 show schedule for September 2016, obviously as always, this is subject to change.  You’ll notice that Tom Ford is making an epic return to show season in New York and on opening day no less, one addition since the show schedule was published is Yeezy Season 4 which will also show on opening day.

So, armed with your NYFW SS17 show schedule and the Fashion Voyeur guide to pronunciation, I’d say you’re set for the first quarter of Fashion Month, be sure to check back for show updates, pictures and of course LFW SS17 as your next installment.

See you on the Frow!

Pixie x

moschino-barbie-fashion-show-1

A Lesson in Fashion Pronunciation

With New York Fashion Week and the unveiling of next season’s collections a mere three weeks away, I’ve compiled a handy guide to get you though those Fashion Week chats, namely, how to pronounce those tricky designers names.

We’ve all got that one friend who gushes about “Moschino” pronouncing it “Machine-o” and we all turn a blind eye whilst secretly shuddering inside.  Well no more!  Here’s Fashion Voyeur’s guide to nailing Fashion Week chat:

1. Moschino Let’s just dive in and get this one over and done with.  it’s ‘Mos-key-no’ end of.  Move on.

2. Hermes Often pronounced as ‘Her-mez’ Stop it.  It’s ‘Er-mez’ knowing this will score you points at Fashion Week.

3. Givenchy Given that you’re reading this, I’m assuming you have an interest in fashion and therefore know that the G here is not pronounced, if you don’t already know this then shame on you.  Usually pronounced ‘Ji-von-sheee’ Nope.  it’s ‘zji-von-shey’ often followed with ‘bitches’ in fashion circles.

4. Ralph Lauren Should come with a slap warning.  If you’re in the ‘Ralph Lau-REN’camp of pronunciation then unfortunately you’re just not fashion darling. ‘Ralph Lauren’ like it’s spelled, like the girls name. yes Lauren.  Ralph Lauren.  Simple.  like the people in the latter camp.

5. Rodarte why is this so hard? It’s ‘Ro-dar-tay’ easy.

6. Balmain Total. Minefield.  It’s not ‘Bal-main’ or ‘Bal-mine’ or even ‘Bal-man’  it’s resolutely ‘Bahl-mahhn’ and it seems even H&M employees weren’t educated on this, cue eye-roll emoji.

7. Lanvin I kind of get it with this one but let’s iron this out once and for all.  Stop saying ‘Lan-vin’ it’s longer than that ‘Laan-vahn’ then pause for effect and admiration.

8. Loewe One of my bugbears is hearing supposed Fash Folk refer to Loewe as ‘Lo-wey’  Desist immediately.  It’s ‘Lo-wave-ey’ and it’s an essential in the Fashionista’s bible, do not expect praise for getting this right.

9. Sonia Rykiel Totally underrated designer but that’s not why we’re here, often mispronounced as either ‘Sonia Ry-keel’ or ‘Sonia Ry-kel’  Correct pronunciation is ‘Sonia Ry-key-el’ if you learn one thing today, let this be it, it’s somebody’s name goddamn it.

10. Saint Laurent If you’re not au fait with this one then shame on you, its Francais and pronounced ‘San Lau-ront’

11. Balenciaga I’m only including this because of horrific pronunciation overheard by staff in Cruise recently, it’s ‘Bal-en-see-agar’ you know, as it looks.

12. Christian Louboutin If you’re pronouncing this ‘Le-BOOT-in’ then leave this page immediately, we can no longer be friends and there is literally no hope for you.  It’s ‘LOU-buh-ton’ say it, learn it, remember it.

13. Proenza Schouler Hip brand, hipper name, if pronounced correctly. ‘Pro-enza Skool-a’ there’s no ‘sh’ in there, don’t be one of THOSE people.

14. Marchesa Absolutely not ‘March -essa’ or even ‘Mar-kessa’ why would it be?? it’s ‘Mar-kay-za’

15. Hervé Léger I won’t even go into the various mispronunciations of this, people be cray with some of their interpretations of what these two short words say.  If you own a signature Léger bandage dress and have been pronouncing this incorrectly, then promptly but it, you are not fit to wear it.  The correct pronunciation is ‘Air-vay Lay-jah’

And so concludes our lesson today, if you’ve learned something please share this article and your new found knowledge!

See you on the Frow….

Pixie x

a5f6d231-6b9c-4df9-8467-8c40f68c4e78

The Grooming Room at LC:M

ANNOUNCING SECOND EDITION OF THE GROOMING ROOM AT LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN

The Grooming Room, sponsored by FARBLACK Limited, returns to London Collections: Men for Fall / Winter 2016. Taking over private members’ space, Century Club.  The Grooming Room will offer press, buyers and VIPs a secluded hub in which to relax and unwind in between shows. Discreetly hidden behind a door on Soho’s Shaftesbury Avenue and furnished Prohibition style throughout, the club is regularly billed as London’s best kept secret and will operate as an exclusive meeting spot for LC: M-goers.

Offering a range of complimentary treatments, free Wi-Fi and plenty of quiet areas for meetings, The Grooming Room is a space to browse through menswear brands, catch up on e-mails, indulge in beauty therapy, or enjoy a leisurely drink atop the venue’s expansive roof terrace.

The Grooming Room treatments will include hair and beard styling (obvs), facial treatments and mini manicures and pedicures.

The Grooming Room in partnership with Century Club is an eight-minute walk from the Hospital Club and will be open on January 9th and 10th 2016.  If you’re in Londres for LC:M, and you absolutely should be, be sure to check out The Grooming Room.

Pixie x

Universal Contour Wrap

Well it’s official, we’re into December; a  month of Christmas parties and doing everything we love to excess.  If you’ve overdone it already or you have a slinky little party dress to get into then I may just have the perfect treatment for you….

Voyeurs, I give you the Universal Contour Wrap - hugely popular in the eighties and nineties with housewives and fitness fanatics the world over, this treatment is having a bit of a revival.  In a nutshell the Universal Contour Wrap is pretty similar to mummification, minus the grizzly death.  You’re GUARANTEED an inch loss result globally of 6″ and anything above this is a bonus, what’s better is that if you’re sensible, you can maintain it for 30 days or more.

Gauranteed-Stamp-Purple

During my time at New York fashion Week in September and even the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London last year, the backstage buzz amongst the models was, yes, you guessed it: the Universal Contour Wrap.  With models stating the benefits of the Wrap in addition to their gruelling workout schedules as skin tightening and toning.

Don’t get me wrong, these girls don’t owe their bodies to this treatment, but it’s undoubtedly used for its awesome and undeniable benefits.  Whether it’s to give skin a glossy sheen, a firm touch or to shift an extra couple of inches before a big event, this treatment is about to be back on your radar in a big way.

Classic-treament

THE PROCESS

The Classic Body Wrap is a full body treatment taking around two hours and is always performed by a therapist trained in the specific process.

  1. Before the treatment, your therapist will measure you at particular points on the body.
  2. Bandages which have been pre-soaked in a Clay Solution are then applied using specialist wrapping techniques.
  3. You then wear Vinyl suit to keep warm while you lie back and relax for an hour while the treatment gets to work.
  4. After 60 minutes your bandages are removed, your therapist will re-measure and deliver your inch loss result.

Fresh from Fashion Month, I hit up Newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic to try out the Universal Contour Wrap and found it surprisingly relaxing.  I was meticulously measured at specific points which were marked with a pen so that the exact same points could be remeasured.  Then, wrapped neck to toe in bandages and wearing what can only be described as a spacesuit, I fell asleep for 45 minutes and was gently woken up when it was time to remove the bandages.

I was warned in advance that I was unlikely to see a huge inch loss result - I’m training for a boxing bout and currently shredding - but both myself and my lovely therapist Kayleigh were shocked to see that I’d actually lost a total of 7.5″ all over.  Something neither of us were expecting, me out of mild skepticism and Kayleigh out of fear there was nothing to lose.

As well as the unexpected inch loss, I can honestly say that after this treatment, my skin has never felt better.  All the Tom Ford Oud Wood Body Lotion in the world can’t replicate the effect this wrap has on your skin - toned, tightened and silky smooth but also with a soft sheen which lasts for days.  I can see why the Victoria’s Secret Angels are hooked.

Interested?  Of course you are!  Newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic in the heart of the city are offering this treatment for just £55 and better still, they have availability in the run up to Christmas.  What’s that you say, how do you contact them?  Give them a call on 0191 2322800 and get your party dress ready.

Pixie x

 

 

 

f1200256-abf7-4705-b0d0-e0952aa057bc

Hot Tip - Vancouver Fashion Week

Vancouver Fashion Week is now globally the fifth largest Fashion Week - right behind Milan - and the Spring/Summer 2016 season will take place from September 28th to October 4th.  VFW will open its doors to designers, media, buyers and agents to explore and discover seven days of ready-to-wear from around the globe.

Supported by the Prime Minister of Canada and the Mayor of Vancouver, Vancouver Fashion Week is widely recognised as a global platform for both established and emerging designers, founded by producer, Jamal Abdourahman in 2001, the principal Canadian Fashion Week is lauded worldwide as the fastest growing Fashion Week and the only industry event that actively seeks to showcase international award-winning talent alongside its homegrown designers and emerging talent.  VFW brings together important partnerships from around the world and its own influential local community, who along with VFW, are committed to fostering the growth of the fashion industry and celebrating the arts - exciting times right?

Sure, commercial Fashion Month is aces.  In fact, twice a year it’s the absolute highlight of my calendar but looking outside of the box at smaller Fashion Weeks is exciting too and this one in particular is growing at a rapid pace.  With SS16 on the horizon there’s a real industry buzz about what to expect from Canada’s homegrown talent this VFW, known as an incubator for international innovation and talent, SS16 will be VFW’s 26th season and they’re some pretty great credentials.

01311299-62f5-48c9-aa8c-e56400a4acc1

This season, VFW has partnered with The Metro Show, a platform that has over 130 apparel and footwear agencies and retail-related businesses.  (The Metro Show is a Canadian Association of Wholesale Sales Representatives affiliated show)

Known internationally as the ‘Gateway to Global Fashion,’ Vancouver Fashion Week, held in the capital of Canada’s most creative and international province, is a true gateway to Asian markets.  It’s a Fashion Week that gets the buyers in a tizzy and relatively commercially unspoiled, it’s one which allows show-goers to concentrate on the garments.  The platform is charged with supporting innovative, cutting edge talent from around the world and the stage has been shared with some of the heavyweights.  Versace, Anna Sui and Roca Wear have appeared on VFW’s catwalks alongside edited selections of mature to developing designers.

So, if you’re streaming, social media stalking, reading my posts (obvs.) or even lucky enough to be attending Fashion Month, then don’t forget about Vancouver Fashion Week.  it may be small, but it’s definitely mighty and while all eyes will be on Paris and the major players, make sure you check out Persicope for updates on VFW too - you can thank me later….

Pixie x

 

AW15_CAMPAIGN_SP_LOGO_150DPI_9

Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2015 Campaign

Hold the phones people, Tom ford just dropped the opener for his Fall/Winter 2015 ad campaign and it’s all kinds of wonderful.  Cast your memory back to a sunny evening in LA this February and the throwback to rich seventies splendour that was the Tom ford Fall/Winter 2015 runway show….

We saw fringing, flares, suede, leather, a whole load of animal print and some seriously “shagable eyes” (Tom’s words, not mine), and now you can buy from those runway looks!  Yes, the Fall/Winter 2015 collections are landing as weak speak and the campaigns are huge. With Marc Jacobs casting stars of 80’s and 90’s movies in a genius move, Tom Ford has kept things pared back and simple and let his garments do the talking…..

Shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring models Ondria Hardin and Lucky Blue, the campaign is striking for all the right reasons.  Cast your eyes over this little lot and see what you think….

Pixie x

BUR_0855

Show Me Some Skin….

The Fall Winter 2015 runways were awash with lavish suede and leather.  From fringed suede at Burberry to patchwork suede and leather at Tom Ford and everything in-between, it was clear to see that skin is most definitely in.

I’ve always been a huge fan of heavy luxury fabrics - velvet, crepe and now leather and suede, they have a way of upping the glam factor of any outfit and have the weight behind them to hang amazingly.  I couldn’t wait to write about how to jump ahead of the pack and get in on the trend early by working it into your Summer wardrobe too.  Both fabrics can be surprisingly versatile and easier to wear than you might imagine, coloured pieces can add drama; leather separates in bold primary colours can look rich and vibrant and soft, pastel coloured suede can be toughened up to create a great juxtaposition of textures.

There are some simple pieces you can pick up on the high street to update your wardrobe and they’re all hard working and not at all scary!  Not just for play, both fabrics are smart enough to be worn as workwear and with some clever dressing and accessorising, can take you from day to night in a flash.  Consider this my guide to the simplest way to get in on this trend, I’ve done the hard work and found you your dream pieces which will take you through Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter…..

First of all, dress to your usual style, you need to be comfortable, think of this as simply substituting textures rather than a complete style overhaul.  Personally, I like to play with textures and finishes and often like to mix a soft tailored piece with something that has more of a ‘rock’ vibe for a street style look, but there’s no reason why you can’t wear a suede jacket and a suede skirt, hey, it’s 2015 - anything goes!

I love wearing a structured pencil skirt with an oversized tank so let’s start with a suede skirt; this particular one is from ASOS, at £70 it’s a great way to get in on the trend without shelling out too much initially.  This one is a wrap over style so it’s real flattering and it has a D-ring fastener which gives it a high end finish.  I like to juxtapose this skirt with a tank and recently wore it to a fashion event with a Givenchy tee (minus the original sleeves).

Tempted by that gorgeous tan suede skirt from Marks and Spencer, you know, the one that’s been featured in Vogue, Elle, Look, Grazia, Marie Claire etc.?  Stop right there!  There are two reasons to proceed with caution: 1. You’re very unlikely to find it anywhere as it’s the most coveted suede piece around, and,  2.  If you are lucky enough to find it, you’re going to bump into at least four carbon copies of yourself the first time you wear it making you wish you’d kept the £200 in your purse.

So, in light of this, for really great unique leather and suede fashion pieces, my top tip is to try vintage and thrift stores first (make sure you check each piece thoroughly before buying).  We’ve all got at least one leather biker jacket in our wardrobes but I’ve picket up some amazing ones in thrift stores, and the great thing is, you won’t bump into another version of yourself on the high street.  Every time I go to the states, I come back with at least one great vintage leather or suede piece and last time was this super cute suede Pocahontas style fringed skirt.  It cost me $60 (a snip at around £30) and it attracts compliments every time I wear it, plus it makes me feel like Carrie Bradshaw and who doesn’t want that, right?!

IMG_0919

A black leather skirt is a really hard working, versatile option.  If you haven’t got one of these in your wardrobe then you need one, pronto!  Smart enough to be worn for the office but rock chick enough to be worn for a night out this is one item you’ll pull out of your wardrobe time and time again.  This one is from Year One Collective, priced at £120, it’s great quality leather and if you’re patriotic you’ll like this one as it’s made by a British designer.  Things to look for when shopping for a leather skirt: 1. A good strong zip - the last thing you want is your zip failing on you after a heavy dinner, and, 2. A split. Front or back it doesn’t matter as long as there’s a split. We’ve all seen that YouTube clip of the super glamorous girl who can’t traverse the staircase because of her unfeasibly tight skirt right?  Don’t let that be you.  River Island do a great leather skirt, it’s a repeat style which usually comes in to store around September and there are new colour ways added each year, this is last years red one and I’d highly recommend it, at £90 it’s a great buy but the downside is you’ll have to wait until later in the year to get it.

On the high street there are a gazillion options for a black leather pencil skirt, choose wisely.  On the investment end of the scale ASOS with a wide variety of shapes, styles and finishes.  From real leather to PU they’ve got you covered and if you head on over there now you’ll find that a lot of these styles are in the sale just waiting to be snapped up.

Not a fan of skirts?  Then maybe culottes are your thing.  Since Spring Summer 2014 the trend for culottes has grown exponentially and now they’re everywhere.  From New Look to Margiela, culottes are more than just a trend, they’re here to stay and with new leather and suede styles hitting the high street it’s easier than ever to tap road test this look.

My favourite leather culottes are from Topshop Boutique, buttery soft and smokey grey coloured, these culottes add a little luxury to any outfit, there’s just one rule with culottes: Always. Wear. Heels.  On top anything goes, I like to pair mine with a floaty black camisole, again, to juxtapose the textures but you could pair these with anything from a band tee to a cropped tee and duster coat - as long as you remember the golden rule and always wear heels.  These particular ones are pricey at £250 but River Island has some great PU alternatives for around £30.

This suede pair from this pair which are currently in the sale at Topshop for £65.

A great way to nail the trend in one piece is to try a dress.  Leather dresses have been around for ages, you may even already have one in your wardrobe, if you haven’t then your Mum is bound to so try her first.  Suede dresses however, are a relatively new concept on the high street and with so many of them sent down the runways during Fashion Month, you’d be wise to jump on this trend now.  My favourite leather dress is by Raoul, it was an investment piece at £695 but it’s my old faithful and something I come back to time and time again as it always makes me feel ‘dressed’.

There are a huge variety on the high street depending on which style you favour, ASOS has skater style, slip, pinafore, A-line and shift dresses available in leather and this one is my favourite, I’m awaiting my delivery but I know it will see me through the seasons and it’s a change from black.  At £120 I’d say it’s pretty reasonable.

In suede the style is more seventies in feel, think dropped waists and huge pockets and you’re on the right track, exposed zips also work really well with this look.  Mango does a great suede shirt dress but my best buy is this little beauty from Warehouse and at £110 it’s a complete outfit which isn’t too bad right? (It also comes in pink).

For Winter I’m a big fan of leather trousers and have two top picks:  Marks and Spencer does a great recurring style and new colourways are stocked each season.  The great thing thing about this pair is that the leather is super soft and the back section is ponte fabric meaning you don’t get the dreaded sag in the butt area and at £99 these are a steal.

Another of my favourites are the Paloma by PU) if you prefer for £290.

We all know that good quality leather and suede can be expensive and that it needs to be maintained, if you can’t stretch to either of these fabrics then alcantara makes a pretty good substitute for suede and there are some decent vegan / PU options out there instead of leather.  If you are opting for PU, bear in mind that it can, and will make you sweat so choose where you wear it and always try it first - if you can’t take the heat in a store dressing room then you’re probably not going to wear it out to dinner in the Summer.

In terms of jackets it’s simple - if you’re opting for suede then fringing is your best friend.  The high street is full of fringed and tassled suede jackets in a variety of colours - If they’re wearing it in Nashville then it’s definitely ‘in’.  For leather jackets, you can’t go wrong with a leather biker and that goes for any season.  If you want to mix it up a little then try a different colour for Summer, the SS15 runways were a parade of bold colours with cobalt blue being a standout.

So, now you’re armed and ready to hit the high street with bells on.  And probably fringing.  But most definitely a leather biker…..

Pixie x

Fashion Voyeur by Pixie Tenenbaum

FashionVoyeur.co.uk - it’s almost ready……

I’ve been in and out of photoshoots and fashion events for the past month and continuing to post on this site but I’m pleased to say that my new home: www.FashionVoyeur.co.uk is almost ready!

If you’re a follower or reader and you want to keep following then stay tuned for updates or bookmark the new address now and you’ll never miss another post!  I’ll be bringing across all of the posts from this current domain and storing them in an archive on the new site so if there’s something there that you enjoyed reading, then please, show me some love when the new site is live!

Can’t wait to see you all over there and bring you more of what you love, in the meantime if there’s anything you’d love to see more of, then hit me up at Pixie.Tenenbaum@gmail.com with a request, use the feedback form below, or if you’re a WordPress Blogger then leave it in the comments and I’ll do my best to write it into the new site.  A few people have requested a gallery of my outfits with details of where the items are from so I’m working on that.

For now though keep reading, keep letting me know what you’re enjoying and I’ll let you know when it’s Go Time!

Pixie x

 

FASHION VOYEUR FEEDBACK FORM

NE1's Fashion Futures - 14-05 - High Res No Logo-13

Fashion Futures Hosts Alexandra Shulman, Editor of British Vogue

NE1’s hotly anticipated Fashion Futures event began with an amazing celebration of local design talent in the form of a Graduate Fashion Show. Northumbria University Fashion Department, now in its 60th year, as seen its alumni go on to achieve great things in the world of fashion.  This time we got to see some of the amazing work undertaken by the current cohort and it was mind-blowing.

With the two day event well underway, the eyes of the North East’s Fash Pack were on the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art as Alexandra Shulman, Editor of British Vogue, took to the podium to deliver her segment of Fashion Futures Presents: Fashion Talks.  Shulman cuts a fine figure; smart and business like, with a distinct fashion edge, she gives off an air of authority.  Wearing nothing outlandish; a simple Erdem appliquéd pencil skirt and heels, she looks like she means business.

IMG_3924 IMG_3923 IMG_3927

As she takes to the stage, Shulman recounts a time when she was on a plane from NYC to London which was diverted to Newcastle during Fashion Month but didn’t manage to spend any time at all in the City and I nod fondly as I too was on this plane on my way to London Fashion Week.

She begins by telling the audience about her childhood, born into a typical London media family, her love for print media began early as she discovered comics and magazines.  Despite this, she was absolutely certain that she didn’t want to progress into a journalism career.  She tells us that she had no desire to go to university as she wanted to get out into the world and make her own money, but was made to enrol by her parents.  Rather surprisingly, she tells us that she had a poor academic career and was glad to be out of it at the end, she went on to complete a shorthand and typing course and immediately started temping which she says she loved.

Shulman is engaging and funny, she’s a great story-teller and let’s remember, she’s up there on her own with a lectern and a projector facing a room full of people who want to know all about her time at Vogue and the steps she took to cement herself at the top of her trade.  She proceeds to tell us that she was fired from her first two jobs, one after six weeks and the other after four months so for any of you budding magazine editors out there, take note, there’s not just one route to the top!

IMG_4568

Shulman talks only about her time at now defunct Over 21 magazine where she was the Editors Secretary, she puts up a picture of a front cover on which she is the featured model.  She tells us that this was one of the most pivotal times of her life, she learned everything she could about running a magazine in this role, from running errands to running photoshoots and it was here that she decided that this was her world.

From here, one of her pitches was picked up by Tina Brown, the Editor of Tatler magazine at the time.  The piece was about girls who look like they are from other periods in time and as part of the feature which ran, Shulman discovered a young Helena Bonham-Carter.

IMG_4569

She recounts with passion that she hated her time at Tatler and that she spent a lot of time crying in the restrooms.  It’s hard to imagine this strong woman being reduced to tears but as she tells us, by then she hadn’t become the woman she is today.  She was given the seemingly impossible assignment of tracking down the infamous Bounder and succeeded where others thought she would fail, following this assignment, her life changed.  She moved to The Telegraph aged 27 to take up post as Features Editor and worked there for eighteen months before she was offered a job at Vogue as Features Editor under Liz Tilberis’ Editorship.

IMG_3892

Shulman laughs as she tells us that she was given carte blanche on everything that wasn’t fashion in the magazine and how she ran some crazy pieces, pieces which she would never allow in Vogue today.  She tells us of a very different Vogue at that time, a very divided Vogue where the Fashion Department was very closed off to everything else in the magazine both in print and physically in the office space.

She tells us about her short stint at GQ Magazine shortly after its unsuccessful UK launch and how she was drafted in to pick the magazine back up.  Then how in 1992, when Liz Tilberis announced she would be leaving Vogue to move to Harpers Bazaar, she applied for the Editorship.  Shulman is very clear in stating that she had no hope of landing the job, and that it was offered to three people who turned it down before being offered to her.  She paints a bleak picture of the time, “It was 1992 and the country was in an unpleasant recession, luxury brand advertising was going to new monthly and weekly magazines as well as newspapers.  Vogue had to change.”

IMG_3898 (1) IMG_3902

She tells the audience that at that time, fashion began to change and move more towards what it is today.  At that time designer brands weren’t present in London and it was then that the movement to the city began, and London began shifting and morphing into the fashion epicentre that it is now.  Shulman remembers how this was an exciting time for fashion, homegrown talent was emerging in the form of Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Kate Moss, and the beginning of the grunge movement shifted things up a gear.

IMG_3900

Having been at the helm of Vogue for twenty three years, Shulman knows her stuff, she knows that with a product like Vogue there is a need to remain creative, she discusses the quandary of enticing a new readership whilst also remaining faithful to the needs of the existing readers.  She tells the audience “it’s not just fashion, it’s the whole business of clothes and everything else.”  She’s keen to express that she feels it’s important to feature beautiful clothes, but to also feature merchandise that people can afford.  Something that vogue wouldn’t have done in the 1980’s.

I’m particularly interested when she takes a question from the audience about Bloggers and the digital age.  She accepts that there is a place in the industry for Bloggers and agrees that it’s a good outlet because it’s “real and immediate”, when she broaches the subject of payment and sponsored posts she’s diplomatic “Blogs are meant to be independent and real and most of them aren’t now, it’s becoming more like a job in the industry and the guidelines on it should be much clearer.”  From a personal point of view I think she’s right.

IMG_3904 IMG_3905

Shulman goes on to say that ‘Fashion is a touchstone” she refers back to 1993 when Vogue ran a picture of Kate Moss in underwear draped with a string of fairy lights and recounts how it was compared to paedophilia.  There are countless stories about the ethics of fashion, Shulman references the fur trade, body image, slave labour and child eroticism and how it’s very easy to blame fashion for all of this.  She talks about things that she doesn’t necessarily agree with, but can’t influence in the world of fashion, for instance she’s irritated that designers produce samples in the smallest possible sizes forcing the magazine to shoot the smallest possible models.

On the issue of body image, Shulman produced a short film called “It’s A Look” detailing how an image can be deconstructed and to highlight that what we see in the magazine isn’t reality.  The intention was that the film would be distributed to schools to be shown to thirteen year old girls.

She’s true to her early roots in journalism and outside of fashion she tells us that she uses the magazine to showcase extraordinary people doing wonderful things, she loves being able to “take these seemingly ordinary, very inspiring women and be able to dress them” and present them in the pages of Vogue.

IMG_3915 IMG_3907

When asked about access to the fashion industry for young people, Shulman says “There is no magic bullet”.  Her advice is simple: “Be prepared to start at the bottom, attitude is incredibly important.  Be interested in the world around you, read; books, papers, magazines and read really good people”.  She’s clear to point out that you have to approach it willing to put the work in and to make yourself indispensable. “Make the letter count” she says “Never have spelling mistakes!”

It’s interesting to hear that despite having 2.3 million unique users in traffic to Vogue online and a monthly print circulation of 200,000, the business is still primarily in print through revenue, cover price and of course advertising.  “It’s difficult to convert online traffic into sales” she tells us, “reading a (physical) magazine is a treat, it’s precious time in print” and that’s one statement that I can get on board with, it looks like everyone in the room agrees as there’s a Mexican wave of nods around the room when she says this.

Outside of Vogue, Schulman has a book launch in June for her first literary project and with that final shameless plug, she thanks the audience, smiles and leaves.

IMG_3920

Shulman is interesting; she recounts every story from her past with detail and fondness and it’s clear to see that from her early childhood, each of these experiences have been important to her and have helped to carve her into the successful, influential woman she is today.  She talks about the future resolutely: “Vogue isn’t Me, although it’s been a part of me.  I will leave and have a different life and Vogue will undoubtedly continue.”  I particularly love the photo she shows us of her in her younger years wearing an embroidered skirt (her own handiwork) and standing under a Vogue poster. “Ironic isn’t it?” she says.

IMG_3888 (1)

With the magazine celebrating its Centenary next year it will be interesting to see what Schulman and the team at Vogue have in store for us…

Pixie x

NE1's Fashion Futures - 14-05 - High Res No Logo-12