Fashion future – Alexa Chung

In this Vogue video (available on Youtube), Alexa Chung is a charming and personable guide though the world of fashion as a career and industry.  Total must-see for anyone even potentially possibly vaguely interested in fashion as a career.

In series one, Alexa talks and walks us through:

  • her experience moving from being a model into behind the scenes
  • how new upcoming British designers are spotted and sponsored by British Fashion Council with the programme New Gen
  • Studying fashion is a more expensive course because you have to make a Collection of clothes

This is 2015 and, speaking to new designer and New Gen success, Christopher Kane, the elephant in the room for me is Alexa’s skinny size.  Everytime she shows her legs or arms, I find myself thinking “That’s not healthy”.  This is the looking good in photos – the fashion frame which makes the clothes drape and flow well.

Alexa’s questions and the “answers” which are contradictory are fascinating.

  1. As she walks with Christopher Kane, she says that people need to know that you don’t have to go to College to be ‘in fashion’ – he completely agrees – and we then have video footage which is clearly subtitled as his Central St Martin’s BA fashion show at graduation. (which IS the classical route through a London College famous for fashion.)
  2. Earlier, when speaking to the British Fashion Council New Gen spokesperson, there is talk of a positive image for fashion and we have footage of the classical, glamorous surroundings of Somerset House – but with one visual detail – the flag is flying at half-mast, ie not at the top of the pole.  When a flag is flown at half-mast in the UK, it’s a sign of national mourning e.g. the death of a well-known figure.  So the image undercuts the positivity of what she’s saying.  Her words say “health”, the image says “death”.
  3. Sarah Mower is the journalist representative for New Gen.  Alexa asks the bold question: “Do you need to have money to become a designer or work in the Fashion Industry”.  Sarah then sidesteps the question by saying that the clothing industry is worth millions and that there ‘used to be’ free university places.  Note the word “used to be”.  They were very much in the past. She’s working to raise money for scholarships to help students, now, but this can only fund a tiny proportion – and she admits that courses are ultimately expensive because the students have to get the raw materials to make their own Collection, in final year.

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