Submitted Formspring Question: "What do you think of Celebrities turned into Fashion Designers? I think most of the labels are quite tacky."
I concur; there is indeed an oversupply of rather garish, second-rate clothing lines out there solely emanating from the commercial desire to generate cold-hard cash by way of affixing a star’s stamp on products through various licensing and marketing mechanisms. That said, I am fed up with the notion of holding “celebrities” to a one-note standard; the American habit of hastily labeling someone as soon as they entire the public’s sphere of consciousness is unreasonable, thoughtless and unjust. People are entitled to flourish in multiple arenas!
[cool, timeless luxury courtesy of The Row, Fall/Winter 2011]
Case in point? Alexa Chung for Madewell, Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, Delfina Delettrez and The Row are all terrific collections held in high regard by critics and customers alike for their merits and caliber of artistry, quality and wearability—certainly not on account of their ascribed “celebrity” moniker.
Here is an excerpt from my Teen Vogue March 2011 interview with Fashion News Director Jane Keltner de Valle (who wore many hats and also photographed Bryanboy and me at the Marc Jacobs headquarters—and [as seen above, in archival MMJ wares] just across the street at Lafayette Smoke Shop):
Jane Keltner de Valle: Do you remember the first Marc by Marc Jacobs piece you ever bought?
Julia Frakes: I do! It was a proper pink ruffled teatime skirt from spring 2002 that, if I’m not mistaken, was first sported on the catwalk by Natalia Vodianova paired with a very Annie Hall corduroy vest. That ensemble’s dichotomy really struck me and spurred a whole “ladylike tomboy” wardrobe phase in middle school—highlighted by plenty of MMJ, of course.
JKdV: What’s your favorite Marc by Marc Jacobs moment from the past decade?
JF: My most prized MMJ closet staples stem from some of my favorite runway moments like the ginormous floor-grazing “super scarves" of fall 2002, the "Dustbowl chic" ditsy florals of spring 2009, the 80s Americana buffalo plaids and patchwork dresses of fall 2005, the dusty palate and 1920s side-swept hair of spring 2007, and the rather bookish fall 2007 collection ripe for an after-school ice skating romp on a frozen pond in England’s Lake District (especially befitting considering that the fall/winter 2007 MMJ show was staged in London).
JKdV: How would you describe the Marc by Marc Jacobs girl? Do you think she’s changed over the years?
JF: There is an eccentric youthful optimism at the heart of each season that—from day one of the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection—has reminded me of one of my favorite childhood stories, the Swiss national treasure Heidi by Johanna Spyri (and the 1937 film based on the novel starring Shirley Temple as the namesake character). That spry spirit and exuberant attitude may have progressively become more polished over the past decade, but its balance between sweetness and sophistication is constantly evolving in accord with the inclination of the mainstream culture at large (thereby boosting its wide-ranging accessibility with its iconic, instantly-recognizable and sought-after MMJ lifestyle goods).
JF: At the time of its dissemination, I distinctly recall reckoning how the casting of muse Iekeliene Stange in Juergen Teller's quirky Spring 2007 MMJ campaign was the quintessential embodiment of the madcap panache of the brand's targeted MMJ girl.
JKdV: What do you most love about Marc by Marc Jacobs?
JF: KCD casting director Michelle Lee's cheerful, fresh-faced casting is perpetually spot-on and in turn plays up some of my favorite facets of each collection—namely Marc by Marc Jacobs’ signature penchant for layering, an easygoing thrift-shop ethos and a lively mix-and-matchable sensibility—that anchor the line’s approachability and offers an attainable gateway into the brilliant world of Marc Jacobs.
Also, the highly-marketable Marc by Marc Jacobs accessories devised by Katie Hillier bridge the gap between all ages; they somehow lend themselves to being just as suited on a zany teen as they are on a lighthearted grown-up.
What Fran Lebowitz, Hansel from Basel woolen tights, Rachel Maddow, Peggy Guggenheim, Alexander Wang bouncy castles and Marni thigh-highs all have in common. Oh, along with a tremendously old (white-blonde) photo of me…
Take a gander at Opening Ceremony News News to see The Like performing at the Rachel Antonoff F/W 2011 high school dance presentation—which I had the honor and thrill of a lifetime styling for the fourth consecutive collection—staged this season with all the spiked punch, twinkies, mean girls, geeks and prom queens only befitting of the LaGuardia High School of Music & Performing Arts gymnasium (aka the Fame high school)!
As a longtime and dedicated Rachel Comey fan, I left her Fall 2011 show on Thursday even madder for her collection than ever—thanks to her ultra-textural prints, killer new cowboy boots and trademark oversized blazers (one of her hallmarks now honed to a T). Oh, and I caught up withTeen Vogue along the way!
My old friend, Teen Vogue Online Editor Naomi Nevitt—who, in my estimation, is the best-dressed editor in the industry with the biggest heart to match—posted this snippity snapshot and asked me a question or two…
Wow, what a lovely surprise! Thank you so much Katie for mentioning me on your Vogue UK blog. Wishing you the hippity-hoppity happiest Year of the Rabbit!
"Julia loves bunnies as much as I do and she’s an amazing fashion writer, but she also writes an amazing blog about all things cool! Not just bunnies—you must read it—it’s brilliant and obviously has a brilliant name…"
(Oh, and be sure to check out my 2010 interview with Katie Hillierhere!)
It’s feeling like an ideal Tuesday for some tip-top Leather and Lace; cheers to the fine fashfolk at 10 Towers for the reminder! I, for one, will be rethinking the Jil Sander/Céline that I had in mind for today… bring on the vintage Biba and Anna Sui!
A scented mist swirls around your feet, and a soft light falls on your face from a Tiffany lamp shrouded in a silk scarf. A doleful piano plays, a cockatoo flies past, and Stevie Nicks appears - a vision in velvet and cobwebbed lace, teetering atop a suede platform. She wants you to join her on her crusade against the mundane, against matte fabrics and blow-dried hair! Place a top hat upon your medieval mane and be done with it! Join her! Join US! Stand back (stand back), for Stevie will not be stopped by your minimal look and flat shoes!