R.I.P. Eiko Ishioka (7/12/1939 - 21/1/2012)

Being a shameless lover of both movies and clothes, it's not really that surprising that I am a complete nut for costume design, be it sumptuous or slick. And the work of the late Eiko Ishioka, one of the most brilliant and original visionaries in the field, has been my favourite thing about the films she did costumes for for over a decade now - even when they were otherwise rubbish, the chance to see her clothes up close on a 70mm theatrical screen alone made it worth the price of the ticket. To those who are unfamiliar with her, here are some samples of her designs in film:

Dracula (1992)
Sadie Frost in Dracula

dracula wedding dress full-length


On the Tweenification of Fashion

Anyone who's been anywhere near a fashion news outlet in the last few days will probably know by now that Kristen Stewart is now officially the newest celebrity spokesperson for Balenciaga, chosen by Nicolas Ghesquière to star in a campaign for a perfume that doesn't have a name yet.. 

To say this is a surprise is an understatement, for more than one reason - Balenciaga is a label that is the highest of high fashion; one that has always positioned itself as being for women, not girls, and which is usually rather judicious with its choice of celebrity endorsers - Jennifer Connelly (who featured in the Spring/Summer 2008 and Autumn/Winter 2009/10 ad campaigns) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (who has been the face of their first perfume, Balenciaga Paris, since its debut in 2010). Connelly and Gainsbourg had a longstanding association with the label well before it tapped them to feature in its campaigns, and both their public personas and filmographies reflect a sophistication and maturity that fit the label to a T. 

Stewart, on the other hand, is best known for starring in a film franchise about glittering vampires whose fans are typically very young girls. At 21, she is undoubtedly legally an adult and has worn a fair bit of Balenciaga on the red carpet, but the eyeballs she will bring to the brand are those of girls nearly a decade younger that herself - and considering the fact that celebrities are usually chosen to endorse a brand on the strength of their public images and the audience they might draw to it,  trying to appeal to the tween demographic is a radical departure from the past for Balenciaga. Though what with this and the news of Taylor Swift's Vogue cover girl status, one can only suppose the tweenification of fashion is well underway - the Powers That Be have spoken, and who are we plebeians to turn up our noses at them?

image from graziadaily.co.uk

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Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.