@BrendaHashtag and Taylore Scarabelli on the Glam and the Bland at PFW
SUNDAY OCT. 2, 2023 6:44PM PARIS
Our senior editor makes a pit stop at a wine bar in the 10th arrondissement of Paris for a quick fashion week gossip session with influencer, Rick stan, and 032C fashion editor Brenda Hashtag.
TAYLORE SCARABELLI: So I wanted to start off by saying I went to my first Balenciaga show today, it was very exciting. Cathy [Horyn] walking the show was a big moment. It’s like the old guard is finally caving to influencer culture.
BRENDA HASHTAG: But has she ever complained about influencer culture or about non-model models walking the runway?
SCARABELLI: I don’t know. But she is definitely breaking some rules of journalism. Backstage, I was like, “Are you still going to write about the show?” And she was like, “Absolutely.”
HASHTAG: I think a girl can do both.
SCARABELLI: She most definitely can.
HASHTAG: It’s just like the saying, “Press doesn’t get dressed.”
SCARABELLI: Is that true?
HASHTAG: For me, no. But I’m kind of a hybrid. Also, I understand why you shouldn’t be dressed by a brand when it comes to journalistic integrity.
SCARABELLI: I don’t know if journalistic integrity is really a thing when it comes to fashion. There are a few proper fashion journalists and critics, but even Tim Blanks is throwing softballs backstage at every show. He’s a great fashion critic, but he also has personal relationships with a lot of the designers he reviews. There’s a blurry line between subjects and friends, even for real journalists.
HASHTAG: For sure.
SCARABELLI: Because it’s not just about this objective journalism, it’s also about helping nurture people’s careers.
HASHTAG: I agree. My favorite texts, besides super catty reviews which are so fun to read, are when I can sense that the writer likes who they’re writing about. I love when Tim Blanks talks about Rick [Owens], for example, because you can see the passion. I think the most boring texts are the ones when people try not to be so opinionated.
SCARABELLI: Sometimes there’s not a lot to say. Which brings us to this week. What shows have you gone to so far?
HASHTAG: I started with—I love opening Fashion Week with Vaquera just because everyone’s flying in and then you meet at Dover Street Market at night. It feels like a welcome cocktail to me, you’re in the dark, I love the music.
SCARABELLI: It’s when New York arrives in Paris. The coo-coo girls come through.
HASHTAG: Yeah. And Rick is always the highlight for me. This season was my first time going backstage before the show, so to see the rehearsals and everything was super exciting. I like that he sends out his press releases when the show starts so people can get a feeling for the show they’re about to see. Also, the Diana Ross soundtrack, I loved that. It just felt super emotional and feminine. But then to see these goddesses stomp down the runway, it’s tense. I’m always like, “I hope nothing happens to the models.” There’s so many stairs.
SCARABELLI: He loves dangerous surfaces, all concrete, everything. [Laughs] But it was a very optimistic show, which I thought was really refreshing, especially coming from someone at that stage in his career.
HASHTAG: My favorite part from the press release, which he wrote himself, was, “Joy is an obligation.” I love that sentence.
SCARABELLI: I also have to mention those kiss boots that looked like leg splints because that was so iconic. [Laughs] They’re for all the girls who have twisted their ankles in his platforms.
HASHTAG: I actually don’t own any kiss boots.
SCARABELLI: Me neither.
HASHTAG: Do we need some?
SCARABELLI: I need them because I’m so short. I also want the Marc Jacobs ones that make you two feel taller.
HASHTAG: I’m wearing heels like that for Margiela tomorrow, I’m a bit worried.
SCARABELLI: I didn’t get a ticket for Margiela, I’m so sad. I heard Galliano has a big documentary coming out.
HASHTAG: I heard that too. Gossip. Have you seen the supermodel documentary?
SCARABELLI: I saw it a few months ago actually, I had a screener. It’s really good.
HASHTAG: We don’t often get good fashion documentaries. So when I’m flying home, I’m putting my phone on flight mode and I’m watching that.
SCARABELLI: Just when you’re feeling jaded, you can gorge on this nice little nostalgic series.
SCARABELLI: Speaking of nostalgia, do you think there’s too much nostalgia for the fashion industry pre-Instagram.
HASHTAG: I don’t hear much about that, but maybe I’m also in my own little influencer bubble. Everyone is just complaining that it’s becoming harder and harder to get into shows because everything’s becoming about celebrities. Everyone’s getting second rowed or third rowed. And I feel like everyone’s going the Saint Laurent route of just celebrities and no influencers. The Row also doesn’t invite influencers, and if you get to go, you aren’t allowed to post.
SCARABELLI: Oh really? That’s so chic. I feel like a lot of people are just here to take photos outside of shows.
HASHTAG: Is peacocking still a thing?
SCARABELLI: Definitely. We love the peacockers. Especially the kids outside of Vivienne Westwood.
HASHTAG: Oh my god, yes. Same with Rick, because they can watch from the outside in their outfits. It’s also the only show where you see some kind of personal style, because he doesn’t dress anyone. The celebrities who are there, they’re clients. I’ve heard that when influencers ask for a fitting the reply is like, “You’re very welcome to make an appointment at the store and buy your things.”
SCARABELLI: Wow. So who do you think is the best dressed this week?
HASHTAG: I just like people with their own personal style. I love Ras Bartram, our fashion director. I love Tim Blanks being in a Hawaiian shirt in the middle of Rick.
SCARABELLI: He is always in a Hawaiian shirt. What is that about?
HASHTAG: I’m not sure. Maybe he’s just on vacation mode. It’s wishful thinking.
SCARABELLI: [Laughs] I like Guram. He’s my new favorite. Did you see he posted about not being invited to Demna’s show?
HASHTAG: Oh my god.
SCARABELLI: I know. I love the family drama on Instagram.
HASHTAG: That is pretty cool.
SCARABELLI: I also keep seeing a woman with a tattoo that says “I LOVE INFO” in all caps super big on her upper back. I’m like, who is she? That’s the best look I’ve seen, just that tattoo.
SCARABELLI: Okay. So you went to the Rick dinner the other night. Who was there? What happened?
HASHTAG: Dave Chappelle was there. When I got introduced to him, he screamed at me in front of 20 people, “Taylor Swift, I love your music.” I’m not sure if it was like a compliment or an insult, but I will never recover. Normally I’m quite quick with comebacks, but I was bamboozled. I was just standing there. I didn’t know what to do.
SCARABELLI: [Laughs] I would die. What else are you going to this week?
HASHTAG: I flew back for Margiela. I missed Ann Demeulemeester yesterday because I was at a wedding. How was it?
SCARABELLI: It was good. More involved than last season. Classic Anne D.
HASHTAG: I like the idea of, for once, not pissing off the already existing customer base. Why not do what this brand is good at? Some boots and some coats and some silk.
SCARABELLI: He brought out the whole team afterwards. It was very much like, “We’re back and we’re doing what we’ve always done.”
HASHTAG: I also don’t know if he’s there to stay.
SCARABELLI: I feel he’ll stay. But I do think Ludovic should have been given another chance, another season.
HASHTAG: Something must have happened there internally. It’s been in the stores for three weeks now and he’s been gone for six months, so I think something massive—
SCARABELLI: Well, maybe it just didn’t sell.
HASHTAG: It’s also tough timing. Right now people are just worried about keeping the accounts they have. It’s not even adding new ones.
SCARABELLI: Right. Well I did go to some fun off-calendar things this week. I went to Miaou and I was like, “This is relevant. This is what the kids are buying and wearing.” It’s mostly clubwear, like latex and booty shorts and hooded dresses. But there’s some energy to it.
HASHTAG: That’s cool. I’ll look at it.
SCARABELLI: Then I went to All-In, which was really fun.
HASHTAG: That’s the new thing that’s styled by Lotta?
SCARABELLI: Yes. It’s two designers, they’re supported by the Swedish Fashion Council. It started with upcycling, they also had a magazine at the beginning. It’s very deconstructed but very sexy. The casting was crazy. Crazy walks, crazy music, an elevated platform covered in roses, covered in plastic. It felt like you were at a strip club. Everyone was cheering when the show started. It was really revitalizing to see younger designers with a point of view.
HASHTAG: I feel like a lot of the shows it’s the same people going, they’re just dressed by a different brand in a different outfit. It’s like, “Where’s the community?”
SCARABELLI: I was thinking about that after Balenciaga today because the casting included a lot of people affiliated with the brand.
HASHTAG: I was thinking that casting might be a thank you to the people who have stuck with him and supported him during this past year, giving back to people who stayed loyal because fashion is not very loyal. If you’re cool, they want to support you, and as soon as you are in some kind of scandal or falling off, people jump ship.
SCARABELLI: I think you’re right. It’s like Cathy, she gave a very poignant review last season where she essentially said, “I don’t fucking care what you say about Demna, he’s the one.”
HASHTAG: Did you go to Peter Do?
SCARABELLI: No. I came in for Dior.
HASHTAG: Were you sweating in there?
SCARABELLI: Yes! I was dying because I ran there after catching a red eye. Those big, celebrity-packed shows are so crazy, you can’t even find the entrances because they are so mobbed with fans.
HASHTAG: Yeah, the celebrity thing has really spiraled because—
SCARABELLI: Of the actor’s strike, they’re like, “We’ve got nothing else to do.” Also, they all need money.
HASHTAG: That’s why we are losing our spots to Kylie Jenner.
SCARABELLI: Well, not Kylie, but Rachel Sennott maybe.
HASHTAG: Who is that? I’ve been signed out of my Netflix for 12 months, I don’t know the password.
SCARABELLI: She was in The Idol. She was the nerdy girl that’s the assistant/bestie.
HASHTAG: Oh, her.
SCARABELLI: Yeah, she’s fun. We love her. Okay. So I feel like last season there was a lot of all black tailoring. This season there’s a lot of neutral colors as well. But I’ve been to a few shows where it really feels like they’re just throwing a lot of different girls in there. And I’m like, “What is this about?” I can’t find the through line of the collection.
SCARABELLI: Last season it was like everyone collectively decided that we needed a reset from memetic fashion. And then now it’s like, “Okay, well, now we have to do something.” But no one knows what to do. We love to complain about memetic fashion but the truth is, we’re all so addicted to it.
HASHTAG: Of course.
SCARABELLI: I’m like, “This show is boring, I need something to happen.” And especially because I’m chasing TikTok content all day.
HASHTAG: Have you seen show crashers?
SCARABELLI: Yes. Can we talk about Bryan Boy snatching the PETA sign? So crazy.
HASHTAG: Amazing. Bryan is made for content. He’s always there for the right moment.
HASHTAG: But how do they get in? I feel like it’s a bit unsafe.
SCARABELLI: I’m not sure. If you get the tea, let me know. Shit I need to leave for Y-Project now. I’m going to end the recording.