Thursday, January 23, 2014

Couture Calamity

A blogging war has broken out over a Sun Herald report last week about Chinese born Sydney fashion designer Bowie Wong. The highly likable Wong has been on a fashion promotion world tour, thrilling fans with a Facebook diary penned from some of the world's ritziest hotels like Hong Kong's Peninsular and the Hotel Georges V in Paris where he is currently ensconced.
The Sun Herald reported under the title Fashion's new immortal :"Sydney's Bowie Wong has been confirmed as the first Australian-based designer to join fashion's most exclusive club: Paris haute couture. Speaking to S from Paris, Wong revealed he'll be showing his collection, Immortality, at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week in July, alongside great names such as Chanel, Dior, Valentino and Gaultier."
Alas, all is not what it seems according to fashion expert journalist Patty Huntington writing on the influential Frockwriter website : Bowie Wong is showing during Paris haute couture week -Or how to try to sneak into fashion's most exclusive club.
 Commenting on Wong's invitation (pictured right) Huntington says :
"Just to clarify - lest anyone assume there may be some direct connection here to the world's biggest luxury brand, whose name happens to be highlighted in bold on the invitation - the Louis Vuitton Building is indeed the location of the LV flagship. But it's a large building that is also home to a variety of other totally unrelated companies, including at least one real estate agency. Level 5, coincidentally the location of Wong's show, is home to a company called Servcorp, that specialises in short-term and virtual office rentals."
Huntington has also contacted the prestige  Chambre Syndicale who zealously guard the term 'haute coutoure' much like the word Champagne is rigorously regulated by the French. The head of communications, Jimmy Pihet, has responded : "We never heard about this designer before your email and he didn't visit us at the Fédération".
Zut alors ! Where will it all end ?. The Shuttle hasn't known such excitement in the giddy world of dressmaking since a snooty social writer in London buttonholed us at a Harper's Bazaar party three years ago and said : "it really annoys me the way you Australians call gowns, 'frocks' "
Read the full story at  and watch a video of Bowie's fashion show (presumably several floors above Louis Vuitton) on Agence France-Press. And is that top UK fashion journalist Suzy Menkes taking notes ?

Our exclusive pic ( left) shows Double Bay society hairdresser Joh Bailey with a new customer - Oscar winning legendary actress Jane Fonda who checked into town for a flying visit yesterday to open a Fitness First exercise centre in the city at the ungodly hour of 6am.   Fonda did the round of Morning TV shows before fleeing the country, missing the excitement at the Gold Coast's Broadbeach Fitness First the same day where a brawl broke out with one unfortunate participant ending up in hospital with an almost severed hand.