Alicia Drake 6:53 PM
Have you ever wondered what it is like to work in the fashion industry? Well, I can tell you with absolute certainty that 1) it is not as fun and glamorous as it looks 2) if you do not have thick skin, you are unlikely to survive or thrive in the industry.
After 8 years working in the industry, holding positions that ranged from designing collections and travelling overseas to managing a very well-known brand's online website, I'm still searching and hoping to find that GLAMOUR that once wooed me into the industry in the first place.
I've recently come across The Beautiful Fall - Fashion, Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris by Alicia Drake and finally, I've reached my aha moment in trying to understand this crazy but insanely appealing industry!
Turning the pages of the book, one can see, taste and feel the luxe accoutrements that are the lot of fashion royalty: the sumptuous residences, the sit-down dinners for a hundred, the plush privilege of a chauffeured limousine. Yet Drake also opens a door to the down side of fashion - the wounded egos as entourage members are cut loose, the heinous drug hangovers after all night parties at Le Palace, or the letdown of a fashion season fallen flat, when an anticipated collection is panned or ignored.A Beautiful Fall is beautifully written and provides outsiders with an accurate insight into the lives of our beloved fashion geniuses Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. But a book about fashion would not be complete without the intrigues, back-stabbing, love affairs, drug fuelled parties, obsession with excess and perfection and of course, Paris.
By Claire Calladine
In 1950s Paris, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld were friends, the rising stars of the fashion world. But by the late sixties the city was invaded by a new mood of liberation and hedonism, and dominated by intrigue, infidelities, addiction and parties. Each designer created his own mesmerising world, so vivid and seductive that people were drawn to the power, charisma and fame, and it was to make them bitter rivals. The Beautiful Fall is a dazzling exposé of an era and the story of the two men who were its essence and who remain its most singular survivors.So what is the aha moment?
A job in fashion comes with baggage! The fierce competition, the high pressure for success, the jealousy are all part of the journey. I guess the real GLAMOUR lies is simply embracing what is required of oneself to take part in it and to ultimately survive the pitfalls of the industry.
On another note...
After you read the book, you will find renewed appreciation in seeing photographs of Karl and Yves together as the feud got very heated when Yves fell in love with Karl's "assistant", Jacques de Bascher.
* I'd love to hear your thoughts and answer any questions you might have in regards to the Fashion industry as a career path, so please feel free to comment or contact me and I will gladly reply!