This Month In Fashion: Guess Knocks-off Telfar Tote, Alber Elbaz Dies of COVID-19, The Oscars Best Dressed & More

BRICKS editorial assistant Letizia Consiglio breaks down the leading industry stories from April.

Guess rips off iconic Telfar bag

The latest bag drop by Guess has caused online controversy for its very suspicious design. Look familiar? The American brand has completely ripped off the signature Telfar shopping tote, even replacing the iconic ‘T’ logo with a ‘G’ for Guess. Every detail that has turned the Telfar version into an it-bag was copied and relentlessly sold for a meagre price. To no surprise, the knock-off was met with much criticism and disbelief from online onlookers who were stunned by Guess’ blatant plagiarism. Almost instantly, the fashion retailer withdrew the copycat from sale. It seems that Guess completely disregarded the reason for the original bag’s it-status being the culture around it and clearly underestimated the public’s strong reaction. 

Mugler celebrates diversity and trans visibility in SS21 show

The Mugler SS21 show was an ode to the original designer’s groundbreaking devotion towards celebrating queerness in fashion. Adapting to modern media, the 7-minute film showcasing the Part 02 collection for the SS21 season included a variety of acrobatic stunts, artificial rain elements and most impressively — a diverse cast of models. Presented on Transgender Day of Visibility, the performance featured transgender actresses Hunter Schafer and Dominque Jackson. Alluding to Thierry Mugler’s avant garde designs, Creative Director Casey Cadwallader celebrated the feminine silhouette of diverse body shapes through figure-hugging catsuits and provocatively cut-out dresses. 

Gucci and Balenciaga unite for the collab of the decade 

For its 100th anniversary, Gucci has collaborated with Balenciaga for a cross-over collection, fusing the signature logos and styles from both fashion houses. The collection was showcased in a 15-minute film dubbed Gucci Aria that celebrated Gucci’s centenary evolution in the fashion industry by remembering its early beginnings under founder Guccio Gucci. The ‘hacking’ of Balenciaga, as Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele likes to call it, was received with much praise from online platforms and fashion enthusiasts. It seems that a collaboration between two fashion houses of equal calibre is one of the many steps the Italian label is taking to further venture out into a more democratised and globalised brand. 

K-Pop stars take over the luxury market 

The pop sensations BTS and BLACKPINK have not only taken over the global music scene and millions of fans’ hearts but are now venturing into the luxury market. Just last weekend the luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton announced the boys of BTS as its latest ambassadors. Creative Director Virgil Abloh is excited about “merging luxury and contemporary culture” and transforming Louis V into a modern fashion house with the help of the trailblazing boy band and their loyal stans. A few days prior, jewellery label Tiffany & Co have chosen Rosé from the girl band BLACKPINK as their new face of global campaigns. As the K-pop mania grows, luxury markets are catching on and making power moves. 

Fashion Revolution Week remembers Rana Plaza 

Every year, Fashion Revolution Week takes place during the week coinciding with the anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse on 24 April. We remember the tragic incident eight years ago that killed over 1,100 Bangladeshi garment factory workers and injured many more when the factory collapsed after warnings about the building’s safety had been ignored. Fashion Revolution, the world’s largest fashion activism movement, was founded in the wake of the collapse and continues to advocate for workers’ rights by nurturing a global community of ethical fashion consumers. While promoting research, education and collaboration the activist group aims to amplify the voices of marginalised communities in fashion and hopes to achieve positive change with the help of their three million participants each year. 

Adidas designs dye-less, glue-less, fully recyclable shoe for Earth Day

To commemorate this year’s Earth Day, Adidas has launched a series of environmentally conscious and sustainably produced projects to combat plastic waste. The new ‘Made to Be Remade Ultraboost’ running shoes are made out of 100% TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) — a fully recyclable and zero-waste material — which can be returned and remade when worn out. Alongside their ‘Made to Be Remade’ program, the sportswear conglomerate has collaborated with Parley for the Oceans, an environmental protection group, to create a collection of weather-resistant clothes made from ocean plastic. Adidas has proven that sustainable designs can also be functional and fashionable options. 

Beloved designer Alber Elbaz dies at 59

Last Saturday, the French designer Alber Elbaz died in Paris from Covid-19 at 59 years old. Shortly before, he launched a new label, AZ Factory, with Richemont. We remember his bright talent and groundbreaking work as Creative Director at Lanvin where he transformed and revived France’s oldest couture house. His 14-year reign at Lanvin was driven by his ‘woman-first’ approach and glamorous gowns which blended traditional Parisian elegance and modern female empowerment. “[Fashion’s] essence is simple: to make the woman look beautiful, to make her fly,” Elbaz said. The news of his death prompted many industry members to pay tribute to the late designer and his warm and loving personality.

Oscars 2021: The best red-carpet looks 

Closing this year’s unconventional Zoom-heavy award season are the 93rd Academy Awards which sported some fittingly spectacular looks. Best Original Score-nominated artist H.E.R paid homage to Prince’s iconic 1985 look with her sparkling purple cape-and-jumpsuit ensemble by Peter Dundas. A personal favourite was Lakeith Stanfield, nominated for Best Supporting Actor, who strutted down the red carpet in true 60s fashion wearing a figure-hugging, ‘Le Smoking’-inspired jumpsuit by Saint Laurent. Notable mentions include an ethereal Zendaya and show-stopping Carey Mulligan both clad in Valentino Haute Couture gowns. A night of fabulous gowns and history-making winners (Chloé Zhao becomes the first Woman of Colour to win Best Director) leaves us excited for next year’s award season — hopefully without face masks as red carpet accessories. 

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