I admit it. I’m old and my jowls are sagging, but I still enjoy fashion. In my youth, runway models were celebrities in their own right. Today, actresses seem to have replaced the super models. I’m not surprised. Glamour shines brightest at the nexus between fashion and stardom. The partnership probably began with Audrey Hepburn and her collaboration with designer, Hubert de Givenchy. To think of one was to think of the other like tacos and hot sauce.
For a designer, having his or her gowns worn by someone beautiful and famous is a plus, and fashion houses pay large sums to that end. Writer Vanessa Gigoriadis revealed that Gwyneth Paltrow was offered $1 million dollars to wear the jewelry of Chinese designer Anna Hu. (“Slaves of the Red Carpet,” by Vanessa Grigoriadis, Vanity Fair, 3/14, pg.236.) Actresses no doubt welcome these opportunities because, as Grigoriadis notes, film salaries are on the decline.
Oddly enough, the dreaded paparazzi are responsible for this new partnership between fashion and film. Photos of celebrities on the red carpet flash across the globe creating a fashion buying frenzy, particularly among Middle Eastern royals. As designers vie for the attention of a finite number of actresses, the circle of stardom has widened to include young women like the Kardishans or Paris Hilton, women who have no blockbusters to their credit but do garner a good deal of notoriety.
This competition for divas is so fierce, a new middleman has come upon the scene: the stylist. He or she now negotiates deals between celebrity clients and designers. It’s a lucrative career but a precarious one as stylists work without contract and are only as good as their relationships with the temperamental stars. (Ibid pg. 210.) .
Given that climate change is about to destroy the planet as we know it and given the war in Syria, or that North Korea and Iran’s have nuclear pretentions, the saga of who wears whose gown on the red carpet may seem downright comic. Still, fashion is a huge industry in the world economy and anywhere money flows must be point of notice. So I refuse to blush for taking an interest in it. Nonetheless, when it comes to everyday wear, I follow the advice of former comic Gilda Radner. If it doesn’t itch, wear it.
(Courtesy of www.haus-of-fashion.com)