7 Days of Positive – Day 139: ‘This game of empty thrones…’

I’m so impressed by something I’ve just read, I’m posting a link to it here.

It’s a piece by the fashion writer I respect and admire above all others, the magnificent Suzy Menkes, from the British Vogue website, about the ridiculous pressure now thrust upon our greatest fashion designers, inspired by the announcement that Raf Simons has resigned from Dior after just three and a half years.

Evoking the memory of the suicide of Alexander McQueen and the disgrace of John Galliano – Mr Simons’ predecessor at Dior – who by his own admission was driven crazy bonkers by the workload, it’s an unveiled criticism of the multinational corporations which now own all the historic fashion houses and put such pressure on these hyper creatives, sensitive by definition.

Bravo, Suzy. It’s a brilliant analysis, but will the money men listen? Unlikely when there are new stores to open, new markets to exploit and share prices to consider. It’s that uncomfortable spot where art and commerce meet – and, as usual, commerce is running the show.

http://www.vogue.co.uk/suzy-menkes/2015/10/raf-simons-why-fashion-is-crashing?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Editorial-VogueDailyNews&utm_campaign=86323836&utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Vogue%20Daily%20News%20-%2026%2F10%2F2015

9 Comments
  • Lara
    October 26, 2015

    It seems that money wins again. Why is it that the things in life that don’t seem to have monetary value seem to be unimportant to the decision makers – be it the environment (clear blue skies; the sound of native birds; ‘healthy ecosystems), happy families (whatever their configuration), time (for creativity, for leisure, for listening to the birds) and other crucial social and economic factors. Surely there can be a balance.

    • maggie2015
      October 27, 2015

      I know. High fashion is now run by men who would be just as comfortable selling widgets. Suzy really laid it on them in that piece and it needed to be said. Creative people can’t work on a treadmill, however much they get paid – and that is the only measure the business people have for anything.

      • Pamela
        October 30, 2015

        Agree Maggie. This is so interesting and so sad. So much pressure – no wonder the creatives struggle. They have it all as far as fame and material things go – but no time or freedom. They’re sucked into the vortex and must struggle desperately to keep afloat. No wonder they fall apart. Best wishes, Pammie

  • WattleFlatJane
    October 27, 2015

    I read this just as I was about to hop into my car for my 20 odd minutes of contemplative driving through the countryside to my lovely job where creativity is nurtured. Good on Suzy Menkes for writing this. She has always operated on her own terms and is never scared to state the truth.

    What I find disturbing is the insidious creep of disregard for the value of nurturing creativity at the most crucial level: childhood. Yes, we hear lots about how sacred it is, but having just spent 6 years as a primary school teacher, I can say that encouraging creativity is way down the list, buried underneath demands of school performance against NAPLAN (not sure what the English equivalent is) and a curriculum constantly rejigged to reflect whatever politically correct agenda the (continually changing) government of the day wants to fling about. We cannot survive as a civilisation without building safe places for creativity – being able to ‘play’ and nourish ourselves at every point of our lives is what keeps it all worthwhile. Being placed into a box, head down and bum up, makes us into battery hens, with very limited productive life, and guaranteed burn out. But as most large organisations demonstrate, there is always someone else to wheel in as a replacement. And the rest of us, if we are lucky, survive to scuttle off and maybe recapture a life worth living.

    • maggie2015
      October 27, 2015

      The accountants have taken over the world…

    • Lara
      November 25, 2015

      Well said ! Does anyone else remember the joy as a child of a large cardboard box ? It could be a house, a boat, a car, a castle, a spaceship, …… The possibilities are endless. My best friend has a five year old and a two-and-a-half year old and we recently had the most wonderful morning collecting leaves, burying our feet in the sand and walking in strong winds at the beach. Didn’t cost a cent. No one was on a time frame. The two and a half year old ended up with no pants on and he couldn’t have been happier. Simple joys that can’t be measured by NAPLAN tests 😉

      • maggie2015
        November 30, 2015

        I remember it – and also the joy of watching my daughter doing it… She was never that interested in ‘toys’ but a cardboard box was a source of hours of fun until very recently. Also – making dens with a few blankets and chairs. When I was a kid it used to make me feel so empowered.

  • Lara
    November 25, 2015

    When will you resume your regular postings of ‘seven days of positive’ ? I desperately miss your writings / observations / wisdom ….. Nothing else comes close.

    ps I bought ‘Secret Keeping for Beginners’ yday in my local bookshop so that Santa would get it right when he comes to my house. I wasn’t sure I could rely on my husband, as wonderful as he is….. He would probably get me the Bunnings catalogue (a large hardware franchise here in Australia). It’s killing me to wait until 25 Dec !! 😉

    • maggie2015
      November 29, 2015

      Hi Lara – thanks so much for this. I’m really really sorry I haven’t been more regular recently. I would love to post every day, I have ideas all the time, but life gets in the way – and WordPress drives me MAD!!! But I’m determined to get back on to it now. It’s like my daily diary and I so miss it when I can’t get on to it x

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