The Couples of The Kooples and the Future of Magazines at Colette with Susie Bubble
Fashion Week Journal for Wednesday, March 4
Yes, Paris Fashion Week is about the shows. But who goes to Paris without seeing the sights? No, I didn’t visit the Eiffel Tower, but I will be stopping in on some showrooms while I’m here because some fashion company headquarters are cultural monuments, too.
And not unlike the Champ de Mars landmark, my first Paris Fashion Week showroom stop was also something of a romantic icon. The Paris-based brand The Kooples celebrates the sexes with modern, urban co-ed style—translated inside their homebase with marble, taxidermy, leather, and, notably, oversized black and white imagery of some of history’s chicest couples. Like Serge and Jane, above.
I mean, Sean and Madonna. Right?
Many of the images, like this one of Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg at Villa Nellcôte in 1971, were taken by French photographer Dominique Tarlé during the making of Exile on Main Street.
The Brits, the French, the rockers and the rollers. You’ve noticed the theme?
Mick and Keith. I do sort of love this moment.
(Okay, so “chicest” might not be the best word for Jackie and Aristotle, but I admire the offbeat choice all the same.)
Sure, the Kooples’ for-the-industry-only showroom is full of want-worthy shoes, perfect jackets and killer denim—all displayed as if at some sartorial Louvre, but the company runs on a different cycle than some, and I’m not at liberty to show you their fall ’15 collection just yet. If you’d like to see their spring offerings, however, I can direct you to just the place …
Now. Fashion Week is also about the sort of critical mass of fashion people and getting them to do things other than sitting on benches in rows.
Today at the cult boutique Colette, they gathered in a basement where water from around the world is served to discuss magazines and the print versus digital landscape—or rather, as moderator Susie Lau (you might know her as @susiebubble) quickly corrected herself, “the integration of print and digital.“
On the occasion of digitally enhanced new issues from Garage and AnOther magazines, Lau led an hour-long discussion with (from those publications) Charlotte Stockdale and Jefferson Hack as well as fashion/tech mastermind Liam Casey of PCH International.
Like most discussions of this kind, no real conclusions were drawn, but it was fun to hear that Hack’s original inspiration for this issue—which commemorates Alexander McQueen in a celebration of past, present and future, and which is rendered with a sort of new world hologram of Rihanna in custom McQueen—was his memory of a hologram-covered National Geographic from the ’80s.
Stockdale’s, meanwhile, is all about an ongoing desire for readers to page through a fashion feature while listening to a curated soundtrack. Yes, please.
I also loved hearing Hack say that William Gibson, the sci-fi novelist who coined the term “cyberspace”, told him that the future of magazines is in bookazines, or mooks. And that Karl Lagerfeld told him he had to make a “forever magazine”. In other words: down with the disposable, up with the tactile, necessary, memorable.
Does plugging a pair of headphones into bound pages make them memorable? Yes. Does it make them eternal? Only time will tell.
Not coincidentally, while all that was happening downstairs, upstairs on the main floor, Jeremy Scott was in leather, mesh, and faux fur, signing some new sneaker release; model Tati Cotliar was hanging out near a display of Scott’s current Moschino releases (that guy and his releases!); and outside, the Sartorialist was kicking it by a row of motorcycles.
Critical mass. You know what I mean?