London Fashion Week kicks off declaring itself fur-free

British luxury fashion group Burberry has stopped burning unsold products and will no longer use real fur and angora in its clothes, chief executive Marco Gobbetti revealed on September 6, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 14 September 2018
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London Fashion Week kicks off declaring itself fur-free

LONDON: London Fashion Week kicked off on Friday, declaring itself fur-free for the first time as an increasing number of designers seek to better their green credentials.
The five-day trade event, the second leg of the month-long spring/summer 2019 catwalk season, has fewer big names than New York, Milan and Paris but draws buyers, journalists and bloggers from around the world for its emerging talent and established brands such as Burberry, Christopher Kane and Erdem.
According to a survey by the British Fashion Council (BFC), no animal fur will feature on the London catwalks or in designer presentations this season.
"We ask every season whether fur will be represented on the catwalk or in presentations...This is the first time that designers have said that there will be 100 percent no fur on the catwalk," BFC Chief Executive Caroline Rush told Reuters.
"I think it just reflects a change in their creative choices and the power of the consumer and really thinking about the images that they're putting out through fashion week."
Burberry last week said it would no longer use real fur, the latest fashion house to ditch animal skin amid growing pressure from animal rights groups and younger clients' changing tastes. Other labels turning their back on fur include Italian luxury labels Versace and Gucci.
"Of the big four (fashion capitals), (London) is certainly the first that can say that we'll be 100 percent fur free this time," Rush added.
Getting the ball rolling with a bold and colourful show, designer Richard Malone chose hot pink, mustard yellow and sharp blues and greens for his edgy collection which appeared to draw on 1960s-1980s influences.
Models strutted in light jackets with exaggerated shoulders, tasselled mini-skirts and narrow over-the-knee biker shorts worn with chunky platform boots. Printed tops featured the face of a stranger in a crowd, according to show notes.
Asked to describe the line, Malone said it was "bossy and fun ... like fun for a women to wear, and also quite powerful for a women to wear."
The women's clothing market grew by 3.2 percent to 28.4 billion pounds ($37.26 billion) last year in Britain, according to market research firm Mintel, and sales are forecast to increase to 33.5 billion pounds in 2022.
Among the highlights this season is Victoria Beckham who is celebrating 10 years in fashion by bringing her catwalk show to London from New York, and the first collection by Burberry's new chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci.


A tribute to late photographer Irving Penn goes on show in Beirut

Updated 13 February 2019
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A tribute to late photographer Irving Penn goes on show in Beirut

DUBAI: The Beirut-based Mina Image Center is hosting a showcase of works by late American fashion photographer Irving Penn, marking the first time the iconic artist’s snaps have been show in the region.
Set to run until April 28, after it kicked off on Jan. 16, the exhibition focuses on ­­ Irving Penn (1917-2009), who is recognized for his high fashion images and for his portraits of the artists, writers and celebrities who defined the 20th century.
The exhibition in Beirut is titled “Untroubled” and draws inspiration from an exhibition organized by the Pinault Collection in 2014 at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.
The exhibition explores Penn’s technical and artistic commands — a set of self-devised rules he is famous for scrupulously sticking to in order to create almost flawless images.
Photos showcased in the exhibition hail from four decades of Penn’s repertoire, but rather than arrange them chronologically, the curators in Beirut chose to loosely arrange them by subject matter.
Trained as a painter, with photography as a side hobby, Penn studied commercial art and was hired in 1943 as assistant to Alexander Liberman, art director of Vogue magazine. The photographer soon established himself as the most innovative professional in the field and went on to produce his own distinctive style.
His photographs often feature simple backdrops of paper or canvas and tend to focus on the subject — be it a celebrity or a cigarette butt — with an almost scientific, unflinching glare.
“The image is decontextualized, intense and demanding of attention,” the Mina Image Center notes on its website.
Penn was known to experiment with printing techniques and investigated innovative ways to produce photographs throughout the 1960s, including platinum-palladium printing.
Practiced in the early 20th century, the platinum process created an image that is virtually unlimited in its tonal variation. The aesthetic possibilities of the platinum printing process inspired Penn to revisit earlier work and re-print images in a range of styles. The constant reworking of his photographs formed the basis of Penn’s creative approach, according to the Mina Image Center.
The Mina Image Center is a non-profit organization that aims to showcase photography and artworks from the region and around the world in its space in Beirut.