Epitomizing Youth

I know I've said it before but I'll say it again: the concept of youth is constantly being manipulated and twisted to fit a slot that sells. As a teenager heavily involved in an industry that persistently defines and redefines youth, I sometimes find it confusing when it comes to what my own youth should look like. I've found, through admittedly limited experience, that youth is what you make of it, but at the end of the day, youth is an image sold to middle aged women and pressed into innocent minds. Youth is not defined by age or beauty, but rather by a lack of concern for exactly those things. You don't wake up one day and find your youth is gone, but instead it leaves you the moment you worry its left. 

While youth exists in no physical image or definition, I find that the spirit of youth is epitomized perfectly in Kids in Love, a photo series by photographer Olivia Bee, where special moments are remembered and immortalized in the grainy tinge of film.

Hedi Slimane's Place in Fashion

While fashion has seen many designer departures as of late, none were as dragged out as Hedi Slimane's from Saint Laurent.  Rumors of both Slimane's exit and Anthony Vaccarello's appointment have been floating around for months. I've always thought Slimane's work at Saint Laurent was more curation than creation, and therefore unsuitable for a house of such a historically innovative nature, but I can't argue with the numbers, which show quite obviously how beneficial Slimane has been to YSL and its parent company, Kering. In recreating, and arguably destroying, the original aesthetic of Yves Saint Laurent to Slimane's personal, Los Angeles rock n' roll look, Hedi Slimane offered unoriginal, easy to style pieces that fit perfectly for everyday wear. While I don't think his rightful place was at Saint Laurent, I do, however, believe there is a place for Slimane in fashion. His LA-music-cool-kid crowd definitely belongs somewhere in the wide realm fashion, but under an established French fashion house, I'm not so sure. From this short, 5 year renovation, I think it's best Saint Laurent takes away their new success and relevance and Slimane takes away his uncreative aesthetic. Not away from fashion, but just away from the house of Yves Saint Laurent.

Jane Birkin.

The State of Fashion Journalism Today

Last month, Elle published an interview with fashion mastermind Rei Kawakubo. Although interviews with Kawakubo are few and far between, this one slipped under my, and many others I suspect, radar because of its, well, rather dryness. If it were to be remembered, it would be as nothing more than a wasted opportunity; unfortunate, but insignificant. That is, until the original conductor of the interview and co-author of the piece wrote a lengthy, spirited piece published on Observer.com. In his seemingly unfiltered essay, Jacques Hyzagi tore into both publications and industry moguls themselves, calling Anna Wintour's Met Ball "insufferable", labelling New York Magazine as a bore, and hitting almost every other icon in fashion publishing. Hyzagi explained, in the most unforgiving of fashions, how his "once-in-a-lifetime" interview was ignored, sabotaged, and manipulated. Hyzagi will write a small piece on Kawakubo similar to the real, insightful interview, which is to be published by the British fashion magazine 10, but the full, true interview will never be seen, as it is now complete property of Elle.

Although Hyzagi's revealing essay for Observer was borderline rant-ish, it also shed light on the treatment and, to a lesser degree, newfound power of fashion journalists. Any individual working for a publication, in the fashion field or otherwise, is subject to the priorities of said publication, which usually consist of high pageviews, "share-ability", and advertising. Journalistic integrity is barely a priority, especially today with advertisement and social media numbers existing as such a significant element in a publication's survival online or, more rarely, in print. But Hyzagi refused to let the manipulation of his own work go without acknowledgement. The tone of his essay is completely fed-up with fashion publishing's bullshit. Although he most likely burned numerous bridges in the process, he stood up for his work. Although he immaturely insulted numerous people and publications whom I respect (including, to my ultimate dismay, my fabulous favorite Hamish Bowles), he also didn't allow anyone, regardless of their position, get away with the arguable destruction of his piece. His bravery in calling out established people and publications hopefully paves the way for other fashion journalists to truly speak their mind, even if the execution of Jacques Hyzagi's outcry wasn't the most respectable.

I am by no means congratulating Hyzagi on the popularity of his shallow, exaggerating, and entertaining piece, but observing and predicting what commotions like these mean for the future of fashion journalism. Maybe Hyzagi is being completely honest, maybe he's desperate for a few minutes of fame in this age where fame seems to only last for mere minutes. The truth we will never know. But we do know now that journalists are less likely to go quietly when it comes to the validity and honor of their work. As always, honesty is the best policy.

Fashion mastermind Rei Kawakubo, photo published along with Hyzagi's Elle on Earth essay for Observer.com.