Doina Ciobanu at a launching party in London. Photo: David Benett
Ive always been fascinated by the journalists I consider at fashion week. I like how serious they seem. They are in their own world, while Im talking to my adherents on my two telephones. Were both working, but I feel like Im likely having more fun. I love print journalism; I love to feel a magazine in my hands; I know some people think its irrelevant these days, but I truly hope that is not the case.
The Guardian fashion squad asked me to make like a journalist and wear one simple attire, rather than get changed between the demonstrates. That was a freeing: no desperate hurry to discovery somewhere to change. I even had time to buy a coffee.
At the Julien Macdonald present, it felt very strange to be taking notes, rather than paintings. Its such a tight space on the front row that a notebook and pen were useless. As soon as the clapping had finished, I rushed backstage, as instructed, to grab a quotation. Macdonald was friendly, but I was in a crush of other journalists, everyone is muscling in, trying to congratulate him or ask questions. I had to manage all that, and say something intelligent, and take notes, too. Its very different from session a designer as an influencer, when Ill kiss them on the cheek and tell, I love your clothes, and theyll tell, You look beautiful, and thats it.
I wrote the review on my phone, while walking down the street between demonstrates. It was stressful. Im used to writing one thing rapidly on Instagram; I dont need to give that a lot of suppose. But a lot of people are going to read this, and theres an additional layer of stress that comes from knowing that its the Guardian.
My next assigning, an Emilia Wickstead report, was harder. We were short of time, so I didnt go backstage to speak to her and had to come up with an analysis on my own. It was the end of the day, I was hungry, I was tired, my brain wasnt working. I started writing the piece on the way home; the deadline seemed impossibly soon and I was anxious to make it good.
I analyse political science and history, so I love understanding the cause of events. Being a journalist for a day gave me a chance to flex those analytic muscles; as an influencer, you simply look at what appears good on people, what you think people would like. Id love to use my brain more in that way in the future, by getting more involved in activism, use my following for good. But I wouldnt be a journalist. Im an independent soul. Usually, when Im working, Im the brand. As a journalist, its not about you.
Doinas Julien Macdonald review
All hail female empowerment. Or so indicated designer Julien Macdonald backstage after successfully debuting his autumn/ wintertime 2017 collecting.
Female empowerment, feminism and their ilk are the terms du jour for the fashion set right now. New York fashion week dedicated collecting after collecting where womens rights were the focus. But where New Yorks decorators offered up feminism in the guise of slogan tees and underwear surely destined for renown as a hashtag, Macdonald construed it through his conception of a future where technology has such an effect on fashion that clothes are produce on demand, tailored to the shape of every individual female.
For Macdonald that is, of course, a particular style of garment and a particular type of woman. One empowered, one confident. If feminism is a thread that runs through Macdonalds winter 2017 collecting, its the same feminism that the likes of Emily Ratajkowski can be found celebrate: that a woman can express herself and her person at a time of her choosing, Laura Mulveys male gaze be damned. Appropriate, then, that Ratajkowski has done much justice to Macdonalds designs before now.
Macdonald does a style and he does it well. His hallmark spiderweb garments are still to be found, but increasingly with straighter lines and alongside attires offering a sleeker and more futuristic vision. Macdonald told him that his inspiration was modern architecture, big cities[ and] the metropolis. His autumn/ wintertime 2017 may be inspired by a future scenery, but theres also an air of the imagined future that the likes of Fritz Lang once saw for us. Nostalgia, the present, and the future always go hand in hand.