Alexa Chung & ‘The Future of Fashion’

On July 15th it was announced that British Vogue in partnership with Alexa Chung would release an investigative docu-series  about The Future of Fashion.

People are often dismissive of fashion in general, it’s always seen as folly or it has connotations of vanity or indulgence…all these things when it’s actually occupied and driven by people who are highly creative and highly intelligent.

The above statement was said ever so eloquently by Alexa Chung in her initial video. She then asked viewers to comment questions they had regarding any aspect of the industry that she could then investigate and hopefully answer.

After religiously watching every episode for the last 6 weeks, I have nothing but positive things to say about what Alexa Chung and British Vogue have revolutionized here. The series was released and continues to be available on British Vogue’s Youtube channel. Youtube in its own right has redefined several industries. It allows for up-and-coming filmmakers to showcase their films, vloggers of any kind to have a platform, performers to have a stage, and journalists to have a newsroom. By producing this docu-series on Youtube, it only reinforces Chung’s mission to prove that fashion is not elitist and moreover how it “affects everyday people more than you would think.”

Through Chung’s steadfast candidness, dry humor and endearing nature the series educated viewers around the globe about the multifaceted depth of the fashion industry.

Below I have summarized Alexa Chung’s most prudent analyses and highlighted quotes from Chung and the various individuals she interviewed.

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I’ve always found the inner workings of the industry fascinating. As an art form it has the power to create social change and challenge ideas of body image and sexuality.

In the first episode, Alexa Chung visited the British Council of Fashion and discussed how contrary to popular belief any person can break into the industry regardless of status, connections, and money. She subsequently interviewed Christopher Kane who is often referred to as “The Contemporary King of British Fashion.”

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In the second installment of the series, Alexa Chung visited Central St. Martins where she talked to graduates who would soon be starting their careers. This episode is a must see for those interested in fashion design.

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Episode 3 was absolutely my favorite. It also could not have been released at a better time seeing as how that same week Gigi Hadid posted a note regarding body image on Instagram that received vast support throughout the fashion industry. Chung interviewed Cairlyn Mair who teaches psychology in regards to fashion at the London College of Fashion. Many people often overlook the direct correlation between these two subjects, but at both of their cores, they center around human behavior. Chung also interviewed Karin Franklin who feels that in terms of body image and diversity, if there was a spectrum, every one could celebrate themselves and others in their own right without comparison. Something else Franklin said, regarding revolution, particularly stood out.

People are powerful and they can create a narrative around something that is suddenly very meaningful and just maybe that is a massive power in itself.

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In the fourth episode, Alexa Chung investigated two careers many people do not know much about: buyers and trend forecasters.  Chung interviewed Laureta Roberts, Director of Brand & Proposition of the trend forecaster WGSN. She spoke about the different time we live in and how no longer do magazines or runway shows determine trends but rather everyday people.

Fashion used to be really top down. It used to be whatever someone is Paris said it was, was what it was and now its kids from the street.

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Episode 5 investigated how fashion effects social change and the emerging Fashion Films industry. She interviewed Frédéric Tcheng, Simon Porte Jacquemus and Clare Waight Kelle to explore and discuss whether fashion is art (yes it is), should it be taken more seriously (uhm yes), and if gender has an effect at the very top of the industry (MOST definitely). Clare Waight Kelle, creative director of Chloe, spoke about two very important social issues: body image and feminism.

I’m absolutely a huge advocate of it [positive body image], I do not want to use girls who are too skinny or too young. I think this is something that is really important and a way to promote women in a healthy way.

For sure there is something about men at the top that changes the way women’s fashion is run.

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Last but not least, Alexa Chung explored the idea of a legacy in the final episode of Series 1.  The fashion industry is constantly changing yet it seems as if the industry effortlessly remains true to its foundation while evolving with the new times. She talks about everything from maintaining a brand’s image to Instagram and celebrity culture with Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing. Chung also explores how celebrities have redefined fashion magazine covers with her agent Saif Mahdhi. To conclude the series, Alexa Chung reflected back on what she discovered through this project stating

The thing that I found interesting is rather than uncovering issues, its been more about scratching beneath the veneer that is presented and figuring out that fashion does have heart and soul and depth and emotion.

If you missed any of the videos be sure to watch them here. And for those of you in withdrawal, a Series 2 is in the works.

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