London has become home to Vogue‘s fourth annual festival which is taking place at the Royal College of Arts and the Royal Geographical Society in association with Harrods. The festival, which takes place over 2 days, features events by names such as Olivier Rousteing, Bobbi Brown, Alexa Chung, Christian Louboutin, and many more on its first day. This year’s festival is also featuring a Vogue Masterclass, with classes which allow participants to learn with stylists, photographers, writers and editors from the fashion industry. Here we will look at some of the events and talks that took place at the first day of this festival.
The festival began with Vogue‘s very own fashion director, Lucinda Chambers, talking about her opinions on style, how she created her career and some of the ups and downs that she faced.
Wearing a vintage dress, Dior trainers and a Topshop Bomber jacket, Chambers reminiscently revealed “I was a bit of a car crash really”, when talking about her previous style. She then said “for me dressing up is a pleasure. When I was younger it was an anxiety”, and said that she is most comfortable with her style now than she has ever been. She suggested “You have to really feel comfortable about feeling good about who you are. It’s an expression of oneself” when talking about individual style. She revealed a particular disaster that she faced in her job, when the outfit for a shoot with Emma Watson disappeared. However, through improvisation and her eye for fashion, she was able to make the shoot with Mario Testino proceed, using a sweater and other pieces she could find from people around her. Chambers then went on to talk about how she came about her career, speaking about how she met the assistant of former Vogue editor Beatrix Miller, and her first encounter with Mario Testino.
A talk with Christian Louboutin and Alexandra Shulman, editor of Vogue then ensued. Louboutin began with talking about how he met Shulman over 20 years ago at this same festival. He then recalled memories of himself at a younger age, talking about his past style. “My mother thought I dressed very badly to be out on my own, I wore shorts and pointy shoes and socks. She told me, ‘Either change the shorts or lose the shoes. They do not go'”, he laughed. He then recalled his journey from France to London., saying “Coming to London aged 15 was so different…It was refreshing to see people dress so differently”. When talking about his first steps to becoming a designer, he advised “You need to think of yourself as the destination, people don’t notice what is before or after you – they come to see you.”
Later on in the day, Jean Paul Gaultier and Erin O’Connor talked about how they met and his life. O’Connor reminisced about the time when she first met Gaultier, which was at a casting. She said, “It was like meeting the Wizard of Oz. I was like Dorothy. I realised I had met the man of my dreams.” Gaultier talked about the beginnings of his career in 1976, praising London for its eccentric fashion. He said “When I started in 1976, French journalists just didn’t care. The British and Japanese did. I love London. I think in some ways England gives me back that love… I regret not to have lived in London.”
Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing and Vogue contributing editor Alexa Chung lastly featured, talking about influence, life and social media. Rousteing said that the one person that he would like to impress most is his own father. “I’d like to impress my Dad – I don’t think he always gets what I do. He said of a naked cover I did, ‘Why are you naked? You are a designer! You like clothes!'” He was then asked about his social media influence, as it is he who is the most followed French designer on Instagram. When asked for a selfie by an audience member, he proceeded to advise about the best angle to take the picture, and how to get the best pout. He spoke about his social media influence saying “Instagrammers speak with their hearts. It’s is the new way of communicating – not everyone can afford Balmain, but they can touch the dream.” He complimented his followers by saying “the Instagram users are the ones who are really in touch.” He spoke about his closest celebrity friends, who include Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and then revealed his dream to open an orphanage. Talking about his past, he said that the ambition springs from his love for his mother who, alongside his father, had adopted him from an orphanage.
Images Source: Vogue