Prada FW08 | Fallen Shadows

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Nostalgia en vogue

Looking at the latest US VOGUE intrigued me to write this self-confessed little piece.

Those were the days - the supermodel era.

People asked me when did I get so interested in fashion. I stood there blanked out as I thought- yes, exactly when and why with whom? all these questions came to mind. I think it all started over 15 years ago... I went to a "brand" school where most kids were into fashion and brands such as Doc. Martins, Red Wings, Kickers, Classic' luggage bag, Japanese brand Hideo's breifcase, LeSportsac, Levis, Lee, Wrangler's, Polo, Lacoste... etc. You might call it a local prep outfit, if you like. It was not a posh boy school in particular, but just dunno why and how we have these "fashion minded" students from all grades. It all start from very early on, but some drifted apart as their fashion interest faded, I, however, was determined and moved on.

Like an article I read written by Ms Eunice Lam months ago, she mentioned that HK people owe a great depth of gratitude to Joyce Ma on taste & fashion, and I agree. Most weekend, I'd spend the money I save during the week by eating less on touring to Central where all the big names were and window shopping. Inspired by the local taste-making boutique JOYCE, we get to know the crazy Japs & "the Italians do it better" then: Issey Miyake, Matsuda, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garcons were in their prime time, and there was Jil Sander, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Romeo Gigli...those Italian deisgners' boutiques that belonged to JOYCE. What's more, they have a namesake magazine, which was the best fashion magazine you could get in Hong Kong, sadly they stopped publishing in the late 90s. However, I remember one issue vividly back in the early 90s, it was a black&white cover, however, your attention focus on those gigantic big eyes and two pouty lips, what's most outstanding about this face was the hawk-y nose, no doubt the cover gal was a diva and her name - Linda Evangelista. I bought that magazine, which was to me, like Naomi said about if she had bought VOGUE in her teen, "it'd be all my pocket money down the drain". However, that's what the fundamental function any model should be: to sell. Linda Evangelista certainly knows a thing or two about selling. As I flipped through the mag, I noticed that was virtually her issue- you see her on nearly every other page, be it on the catwalk photographs or backstage feature chatting away with the designer (Valentino). Then, there it was, a special story deidcated to her. The red-haired Linda was the prima donna, as an Italian at heart who was brought up in Canada, she was every gals' dream. People call her a chameleon, because she knows how to play the image game by changing her look season after season, or just between Milan & Paris in a single season by changing her hair colour, from red to blonde to brunnette, then to blonde again back to red. She's not just a pretty face and has the ability required to be a SUPERMODEL. Designers and photographers love her, medias and readers admire her, she was everywhere, you see her tripping down the runway with Naomi and the green apple Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford at Versace, those were the days...

My interest outgrew from JOYCE magazine to VOGUE, I first had no clue about this magazine as I only bought it for Linda's covers or editorials, but as I dig my head into it, I started to study page after page: reports about the latest high-end fashion, learning the inner-circle language, as well as turning myself into a Voguette while my taste grew. I still remember I used to bring VOGUE along with my text book in my school bag. Evidentally, I am a walking proof that you don't actually need a "teen VOGUE" to educate a real deal.

The reason why I like Linda the most was her love & passion to fashion, she's not any men's dream, however, she's desginers' ideal creature for great fashion. Linda doesn't need to try hard, she's the star. Even today, she supports designers by wearing their gear, be him Alber Elbaz or Stefano Pilati, she transcends the grace still. In the latest VOGUE, she bravely admitted that she has been botoxed, which I don't necessarily agree, however, one does as they wish. Anna loves her ever since long time ago and put her on the cover again at the age of 41 and pregnant. It was a step forward for VOGUE after months of putting female stars on the cover, and I love that. The cover itself was not the best one, but I am a pro-Linda fan no matter what, and by judging the picture from the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party held in London 2 weeks ago, looking at her with Yasmin leBon, both in Stefano Pilati's latest YSL. I feel over the moon about the comeback of supermodeldom.

"I decided when I was 12 that it‘s what I wanted to do and I count my blessings that I got to realize my dreams. Being a rock star was out of the question. I can‘t sing. I‘m so glad this worked out for me, I do think I know how to be a good model. And I didn‘t have a Plan B in place." Linda said in VOGUE.

Funnily enough, I was telling a friend that I used to play between rolls & rolls of fabrics at my dad's workshop when I was young, and disturbing those seamstresses while they were sewing away. Then my friend said, "you were the fashionista in the making then..." Maybe she's right...... So, the answer for the question of how I end up like this was maybe my upbringing, garment family background, JOYCE, Linda E., VOGUE all in one combo.

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