Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fabulous No-Bodies

Ground Hog Day
The Shuttle met the designer Oscar de la Renta in Sydney a few years ago. It was at a party in a marquee erected outside the Park Hyatt Hotel with a magnificent view across to the Sydney Opera House.
Oscar arrived with the late Lady Sonia McMahon. He said he loved Sydney and Melbourne and wished he had discovered the cities much earlier. As to a question on  Australian fashion :"it shows promise" was the master's diplomatic reply.

What Oscar would think about the froth and bubble of the 2 cities seasonal fashion shows is a mystery. Same guest list, same location, same designers. Each and every show is like a repeat of the last. Just the fabrics change.
 One social writer recently resorted to trilling about the seating arrangements at the last David Jones show, excitedly reporting that they had scored a front row seat and that a fashion publicist who had incurred their displeasure had been relegated to the back row.
The inanity of the reporting (possibly influenced by the heavy advertising of Australia's 2 leading department store chains) is as vacuous as the guest list-"fabulous nobodies" in every sense. A series of alleged social faces who feature at every event as Ipad wielding publicists breathlessly inform the feverish paparazzi of  the arrival of yet another footballer or TV news announcer. At least the French champagne proffered soothes the boredom.

Now Oscar de la Renta has declared war on these guest lists and is to ban them from his New York 2014 parades : "decision-makers in the business should not have to fight their way through "30,000 people, and 10,000 who are trying to take pictures of all of those people, who are totally unrelated to the clothes". And he has allies on the New York Times including Cathy Horyn and the legendary Susy Menkes.  Perhaps it's fortunate Mr de la Renta didn't experience Sydney & Melbourne's low-rent-a-crowds and departed with fond memories of our local fashion industry.