Stars in their eyes

15/04/2016

While being a nutritionist or health guru seems to be less in vogue, celebrities are focusing their attention on another job opportunity beyond the area of their expertise resembling contestants of a popular British show, Stars in Their Eyes. When posed with a question: "Who would you like to be tonight" the teachers and secretaries, doctors and housewives would choose a showbiz star and respond with "Tonight I am going to be..." Nowadays, it is the actresses and singers who put their scripts and microphones aside. Instead they choose to be... fashion designers. Not even because they really want to, but because they can.

But is it a valid enough reason to explore new possibilities or a desperate attempt to remain famous at all costs? And what does it really mean for fashion?

***

I was in a car listening to Freddie's Don't Stop Me Now when the idea first came to fruition.  As the the immortal Queen tunes swirled around me, I said to my husband: "Imagine, if Freddie was around these days, he'd probably be bombarded with "Smell like Mercury" perfume collaborations, "Dress like Freddie" and "Eat like Queen" Turkish-inspired meal deal offers, right? And he'd most likely smiled at them and said "F$ck Off!" Because he lived for his music and nothing but music... And this is why he was so brilliant..."

Husband nodded in complete agreement. And so we continued our journey listening to Queen's Greatest Hits on repeat... 

I reminded myself of the little conversation today after reading about Gwyneth Paltrow turning fashion designer. Obviously, she wasn't alone in this. First there was Carrie Bradshaw (oh, pardon me, Sarah Jessica Parker) and her shoes. Then there was a disastrous Lindsay Lohan and Ungaro affair.  Katie Holmes tried to find herself in the creative field, too, but it was too much for her to be a designer and a mum. They swiftly followed by legally blonde Reese Witherspoon and Kate Hudson with dull-and-floral Draper James and lycra-powered Fabletics respectively while the music world responded with Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Kanye, Rihanna and Beyonce, just to name a few.

And now Gwyneth... An actress slash health guru slash singer slash beauty brand slash cook book writer slash... fashion designer. She just couldn't help filling the goop, pardon me, gap... How did she do so well without being formally educated or particularly good in any of those fields is a puzzle (I guess, the clue was in the brand's name), but I'll leave it up to you to digest. 

Right now the subject I would like to discuss is why all these people who tried to convince us for years that it was the acting they were born for, are jumping from one area to another and, sadly, having a seal of approval from both the corporations and public to continue their hip-hopping? Do they really believe that selling yourself piece by piece is going to create anything good? Do people really buy that stuff? Or does it even matter these days? Perhaps, it's good to sell yourself to every opportunity whether it involves perfumes, tampons, toilet cleaners, book deals or, well, clothing lines as long as it pays well?

And why is it the fashion that has to deal with a contant flow of unskilled and uneducated wannabes?

I mentioned Freddie Mercury at the very beginning because he and his music are like certain fashion designers and their craft. They deserve to be called "fashion designers" or "musician" because they've done it for the love of fashion or music, were born to do it and died doing it. Money didn't matter.  Luxuries didn't matter. Nothing mattered, in fact. Freddie wasn't the only one, of course. In his biography Ferragamo talked about his dream of becoming a shoe designer since he was 3 years old! Against all odds. McQueen, Galliano, Versace and Saint Laurent couldn't imagine their life without making beautiful clothes either. When I talked to Kinder Aggugini, he also said that fashion was the thing he always wanted to do, nothing else mattered. These are the people who deserve to be called "fashion designers". And there are plenty of talented kids out there equally passionate about fashion and hoping for their big break, too. 

So how does it make them feel knowing that Gwyneth or any other bored actress suddenly decides to become one of them? A fashion designer? And, what's worse, not only has the means to supplement her whim, but a flock of magazines and celebrities to boost her venture?

Granted, by creating any of her projects an actress like this would also create job opportunities for people who can cook, write, photograph, design and advertise, but do we really need yet another line of clothing nobody ever cared for in the first place?

Another issue I feel very uneasy about is, of course, the environment, the impact of fast fashion and the confusion that rises from it. On one hand I have Gwyneth (and others) fighting for being all-natural, environment-friendly, minimal and literally down to Earth - on the other hand, this is the same person now polluting that very space and giving up her own believes (if they were ever her own) for the line of dresses and tops and whatever else she will be advised to produce.

When the fashion industry is truly struggling and already flooded with mediocrity, clothes nobody wants and designers nobody appreciates, do we really need to add to the problem by bringing in a flock of celebrities who aren't even good at anything in particular they do, let alone, fashion design?

Food for thought to marinate over the weekend. Opinions will be much welcomed.

Photo source: Sibui Nazarenko by Estevez & Belloso for Qvest magazine December 2013

5 comments:

  1. This is indeed the end of craftsman and the era of celebrities. Who ever has the biggest drum and instagram following wins. Quite sad indeed.

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  2. Sigh. All of this nonsense makes me sad. Particularly as it really seems to be people who are most famous for their appearance, rather than their talent, who increasingly try to diversify and convince us all that everything they touch will turn to gold - when in reality, they are just making increasingly desperate attempts to remain relevant after Hollywood or the music industry has realized there is nothing left for them to do. I could not be any less interested in anything Gwyneth does that is not acting, and even her acting never interested me much...
    xox,
    Cee

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  3. This 'trend' is very common in the US. There you have soap actors and reality TV 'stars' who launch fashion lines or other products. You have the same with bloggers; some blog not because they enjoy the process and the community. Their goal is to receive gifts and / or other benefits. But yes, you recognise the Freddies - those who live for art's sake.

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  4. Excellent food for thought! I'm a little tired of all the celebrities turned designers. Sometimes I'll find something I like from a celebrity "designer", but if I buy it, it's because I like it not because of the celebrity name attached.

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  5. I dislike the lack of commitment to a project! They're there for a couple of seasons (if that) and then they are on to something else. I admire Victoria Beckham. She continues each season in the fashion industry. She's committed to her fashion line. Loved Queen :D
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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