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时尚界是不是有什么东西在溃烂?

更新时间:2015-11-2 10:18:14 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Alber Elbaz Leaving Lanvin as Fashion’s Slippery Slope Claims Another Designer
时尚界是不是有什么东西在溃烂?

Is something rotten in the state of fashion?

时尚界是不是有什么东西在溃烂?

On Wednesday — six days after it was announced that the designer Raf Simons was leaving Christian Dior, and weeks after Alexander Wang’s last show for the house of Balenciaga — Lanvin, the oldest surviving French fashion house, announced that its creative director, Alber Elbaz, is also leaving the company, “on the decision of the company’s majority shareholder,” according to a statement from Mr. Elbaz.

周三(10月28日),现存的历史最悠久的法国时装公司浪凡(Lanvin)宣布,其创意总监阿尔贝·埃尔巴兹(Alber Elbaz)将离开这家公司。埃尔巴兹在声明中说,“这是公司控股股东的决定。”六天前,设计师拉夫·西蒙斯(Raf Simons)宣布将离开迪奥(Christian Dior)。几周前,王大仁完成了在巴黎世家(Balenciaga)的最后一场时装秀。

“Feels like the industry is shedding its skin right now,” Linda Fargo, the women’s fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman, wrote in an email.

“感觉这个行业正在蜕皮,”波道夫·古德曼百货公司(Bergdorf Goodman)的女装总监琳达·法戈(Linda Fargo)在接受邮件采访时说。

But unlike Mr. Simons and Mr. Wang, both of whom lasted approximately three years at Dior and Balenciaga respectively, Mr. Elbaz has been at Lanvin since 2001. He single-handedly revived the brand, making it a favorite of regular women and celebrities like Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman, in the process becoming one of fashion’s most beloved figures.

西蒙斯和王大仁分别在迪奥和巴黎世家待了大约三年,而埃尔巴兹从2001年起就为浪凡效力。他凭一己之力复兴了这个品牌,让它成为受到普通女性和名人(比如梅丽尔·斯特里普[Meryl Streep]和纳塔莉·波特曼[Natalie Portman])青睐的品牌。在此过程中,他也成为时尚界最受喜爱的人物之一。

He is known not only for his talent, but also for his generosity (he regularly sends flowers to other designers before their shows) and his self-questioning. Last week, receiving his award at the Fashion Group International Night of Stars, the Roger Vivier designer Bruno Frisoni noted that the event was especially important to him because Mr. Elbaz was also being honored. “I love you, Bruno,” Mr. Elbaz called out.

他的名声不仅在于才华,而且在于慷慨(他经常在其他设计师的时装秀之前给他们送花)和自我反省。上周,Roger Vivier的设计师布鲁诺·弗里索尼(Bruno Frisoni)在国际时尚组织(Fashion Group International)的群星之夜(Night of Stars)领奖时说,这场活动对他来说尤为重要,因为埃尔巴兹也获奖了。“我爱你,布鲁诺,”埃尔巴兹大声回应道。

In his statement Wednesday, he also expressed “gratitude and warm thoughts” and “affection” for all his colleagues. (When contacted for comment for this article, he texted a heart emoji to me, but no words).

在周三(10月28日)的声明中,埃尔巴兹也向全体同事表达了自己的“感激之情、温暖的感受”和“喜爱之情”(我请他就本文做出评论时,他回复了一个心形表情符号,没说别的)。

As a result, and though Lanvin itself is privately held (it is owned by the Taiwanese publishing magnate Shaw-Lan Wang, and Mr. Elbaz reportedly has a 10 percent stake) and relatively small, with 2014 revenues of 250 million euros, Mr. Elbaz was regularly on the shortlist for every major fashion appointment in the last five years.

虽然浪凡本身为私人所有(它属于台湾出版大亨王效兰,据说埃尔巴兹有10%的股份),规模相对较小,2014年的总收入仅为2.5亿欧元,但是在过去五年里,埃尔巴兹经常出现在所有大型时装公司的终选名单上。

But he regularly denied any impulse to leave. In 2011, when asked if he would consider moving to another brand from Lanvin, he told The Financial Times: ‘“How could I do that? The people who work there enable me to do what I do. They are my orchestra. I can’t say to them, ‘Oh, bye, Mummy’s leaving now.’ ” In the end, it was not his decision, though a pointed line in his statement — that he hoped the brand found “the business vision it needs to engage in the right way forward” — suggests disagreement between himself and his corporate colleagues.

不过,他拒绝了所有离开的机会。2011年,《金融时报》(The Financial Times)问他是否考虑跳去别的品牌,他回答说:“我怎么可能那样做呢?在这里工作的人帮我实现了愿望。他们是我的管弦乐队。我不能对他们说,‘哦,再见啦,妈妈要走了。’”最后也不是他决定要离开。不过他在声明中说,希望这个品牌找到“它需要向前推进的正确商业目标”,这句尖锐的话表明他和公司同事之间存在不同想法。

Still, Mr. Elbaz has also long expressed a certain discomfort with the direction the industry at large is taking. Receiving his Fashion Group International award, he said, “We designers, we started as couturiers, with dreams, with intuition, with feeling.” Then, he said: “We became ‘creative directors,’ so we have to create, but mostly direct. And now we have to become image-makers, creating a buzz, making sure that it looks good in the pictures. The screen has to scream, baby.”

不过,很久以来,埃尔巴兹也表达了自己对这个行业总体发展方向的某种不适。在领取国际时尚组织的大奖时,他说,“我们设计师本来是裁缝,有着梦想、直觉和感受”,后来“我们成了‘创意总监’,所以我们必须去创造,不过大多是进行指导。现在,我们必须变成形象创造者,要引起轰动,确保照片拍出来很棒。屏幕必须尖叫,宝贝”。

But, he said, “I prefer whispering.” Combined with Mr. Simons’s departure for “personal reasons,” and Mr. Wang’s, this is sure to exacerbate the storm of existential self-questioning currently roiling the fashion world and focused on “the system.” Whether the constant cycle of collection after collection, far-flung store opening after far-flung store opening, Instagram after YouTube, demands too much of its creative talent. Whether, as Mr. Elbaz said at FGI, “everyone in fashion just needs a little more time.”

他说,但“我更喜欢低语”。再加上西蒙斯“因个人原因”离职和王大仁的离职,这无疑加剧了目前搅动时尚界的风暴,人们纷纷在质疑自我存在感,并把目光聚焦到“体制”上。一个又一个系列,一个又一个遥远的店铺开幕,发完Instagram又要发YouTube,这些是不是对创意人才的要求太高了。或者是否就像埃尔巴兹在国际时尚组织颁奖礼上说的,“时尚界的每个人都需要多一点时间。”

That is part of the problem, no question. But I also think it’s actually time to look a little harder at what is going on. Because, while “the system” is a disembodied, nonspecific entity that may be the most obvious culprit for our dissatisfaction, it seems to me that all these departures are also a very powerful reflection of an insidious, and potentially more destructive, trend.

毋庸置疑,这是一个问题。不过我也觉得,现在应该更仔细地研究一下到底是什么情况。因为,虽然“体制”这种空洞的东西可能是我们不满的最明显的罪魁祸首,但是在我看来,这些设计师离职也有力地反应出一股潜在的、可能更具破坏力的潮流。

That is, the current situation in which brands treat designers as “work for hire” — stewards that set a course for a style ship for a time, but who can be replaced as necessary while the ship itself sails on — and its inevitable corollary: that designers start to see themselves the same way. The result transforms the relationship from that of a marriage, where you pledge to love and care for each other through sickness and in health, into a dispassionate contract-to-contract arrangement.

目前的情况是,品牌认为设计师是“雇佣工”,是在一段时间内为一艘时尚大船导航的舵手,但是在向前行进的过程中,如果需要,他可以被取代;这种态度带来的必然结果是,设计师们也开始这样看待自己。结果,设计师和品牌的关系从原本类似婚姻的关系——发誓相互关爱,同甘共苦——变成了冷漠的合同关系。

While on the one hand this makes for a cleaner and more professional pairing — one less fraught with the highs and lows (and mood-altering drugs and rehab stints) of the generation before, like Mr. Galliano and Alexander McQueen, one where expectations between the parties are theoretically aligned — it also means that creative directors are more willing to weigh the costs and benefits of an employment situation and make a conscious judgment that it may no longer be working for them.

这样虽然能结成更简单、更职业的合作关系——不像上一代,合作过程中充满起伏(以及令人心情动荡的吸毒和戒毒事件),比如加利亚诺(Galliano)和亚历山大·麦昆(Alexander McQueen)——双方对彼此的期待从理论上讲是一致的,但它也意味着,创意总监们更容易去权衡一个职位的代价和利益,会有意识地考虑这个职位是否还适合自己。

Put another way: They can leave. And increasingly, it seems, they do.

换句话说:他们可以离开。而且他们似乎正在越来越多地这样做。

Fashion is now on a slippery slope of its own making that began with Tom Ford’s departure from Gucci Group in 2003. It was a rupture caused by disagreements over the scope of his power that was first seen as a dire event (How would Gucci survive without its superstar designer?) and latterly introduced the ascension of the brand: the idea that it was the house that mattered, and the designer served that master.

如今,时尚界正沿着自己开创的滑坡下滑。这始于2003年汤姆·福特(Tom Ford)离开古驰集团(Gucci Group)。他们关系的破裂源于对福特权限范围的不同意见。最初,人们觉得福特的离开非常可怕(没有这位超级明星设计师,古驰怎么生存下去呢?),后来,这个事件反倒拔高了这个品牌的地位:人们开始认为,重要的是这个公司,设计师只是为主人服务。

Gucci tested the theory by hiring three unknown creative directors after Mr. Ford (for women’s wear, men’s wear and accessories), a situation that lasted only until 2006, when one of them, Frida Giannini, became the sole creative director. Ms. Giannini remained at her post for nine years, before being replaced earlier this year by Alessandro Michele, also an unknown.

古驰验证了这个理论的正确性。在福特离开后,古驰聘用了三位不出名的创意总监(分别负责女装、男装和配饰)。这种状态只持续到2006年,那一年,三位总监中的弗丽达·詹尼尼(Frida Giannini)成了唯一的创意总监。詹尼尼在这个职位上待了九年,今年年初,她被同样不出名的亚历山德罗·米歇尔(Alessandro Michele)取代。

Meanwhile, other brands began to go through creative directors at a notable rate, for a variety of different reasons. Alessandra Facchinetti, Gucci’s head of women’s wear post-Ford, was let go from the brand in 2005, and joined Moncler Gamme Rouge, before jumping to Valentino, only to be replaced after two collections and hop to Pinko, where she introduced a new collection called Uniqueness in 2011, leaving in 2013 to become creative director of Tod’s following the American designer Derek Lam, who had been there for six years. (Phew.)

与此同时,其他品牌开始以惊人的速度更换创意总监,原因各不相同。取代福特负责古驰女装的亚历山德拉·法基内蒂(Alessandra Facchinetti)在2005年离开该品牌,加入Moncler Gamme Rouge,后来又跳到华伦天奴(Valentino)。她在华伦天奴只设计了两个系列就跳到了Pinko。2011年,她在Pinko推出了一个名叫Uniqueness的新系列,但是2013年就离开Pinko去Tod’s做创意总监。她在Tod’s的前任是美国设计师林达克(Derek Lam),后者在Tod’s做了六年(哇!)。

At Nina Ricci, Lars Nilsson was creative director from 2003 to 2006 before being replaced by Olivier Theyskens (2006 to 2009), who in turn was replaced by Peter Copping (2009 to 2014), who was replaced by Guillaume Henry. Mr. Theyskens resurfaced at Theory in New York in 2011, where he lasted for just over three years.

丽娜蕙姿(Nina Ricci)的创意总监也是不停地换,2003年至2006年是拉斯·尼尔森(Lars Nilsson),2006年至2009年是奥利维耶·泽斯肯斯(Olivier Theyskens),2009年至2014年是彼得·科平(Peter Copping),之后是纪尧姆·亨利(Guillaume Henry)。2011年,泽斯肯斯复出,就职于纽约的Theory,他在那里待了三年多。

(In case you were wondering, the standard term for most creative director contracts is at least three years.)

(你可能会想怎么都是三年,这是因为大部分创意总监的合同期限都是至少三年)。

At Céline, Michael Kors left in 2004, and was replaced by Roberto Menichetti, who after two seasons was replaced by Ivana Omazic, who in 2008 was replaced by Phoebe Philo, who famously insisted (after leading Chloé from 2001 to 2006, when she resigned — shades of Mr. Simons — for personal reasons) that she be allowed to stay in London with her family, and work from there.

思琳(Céline)的情况是这样的:2004年迈克尔·高仕(Michael Kors)离开后由罗伯托·梅尼凯蒂(Roberto Menichetti)接任;两季之后,他被伊万娜·奥马齐克(Ivana Omazic)取代;2008年,菲比·菲洛(Phoebe Philo)又取代了奥马齐克(2001年至2006年菲洛执掌Chloé,后来因个人原因辞职,跟西蒙斯的说法一样)。菲洛坚持要求允许自己在伦敦工作,可以和家人待在一起。

It’s a decision that has been cited often in the last week as an example of the way the current generation of designers has made an effort to prioritize their own needs along with their brands’ needs for better balance, as was Alexander Wang’s decision, made mutually with the brand, not to renew his contract with Balenciaga, in part to concentrate on his own company.

在过去一周里,这个决定经常被拿来作为一个例证,证明这一代设计师们会权衡自己和自己品牌的需要,更追求平衡。王大仁不再和巴黎世家续签合同的决定是和这个品牌共同做出的,部分原因也是为了专注于自己的公司。

Whether or not Balenciaga actually wanted him to stay (as Dior did with Mr. Simons), or it already thought things weren’t working out — and it has since appointed Demna Gvasalia of the French label Vetements to the post — Mr. Wang didn’t go quietly into that good night. He went running and jumping and practically celebrating, as all of us who were at his final Balenciaga show could see, suggesting that he was more than happy to be free of the grind.

不管巴黎世家是真的想挽留他(就像迪奥挽留西蒙斯那样)还是已经认为这样不可行——巴黎世家后来任命法国品牌Vetements的设计师戴姆娜·吉瓦萨利亚(Demna Gvasalia)接任此职——王大仁都不是悄悄地消失在美好的夜色里。在他巴黎世家的最后一场时装秀上,我们看到他又跑又跳,简直就是在庆祝,表明自己为摆脱束缚感到万分开心。

We have reached the point where designers feel as justified in leaving a brand as the brand does in leaving them — and after it has happened once, for whatever reason (as it did when Mr. Simons left Jil Sander in 2012 under cloudy circumstances), it gets easier to do.

如今,就像品牌觉得解雇某个设计师完全合乎情理,设计师们也觉得自己离开某个品牌完全合乎情理。这样的事情一旦发生过——不管因为什么原因(比如2012年,西蒙斯不太愉快地离开Jil Sander)——以后就更容易发生了。

Indeed, Ms. Philo has publicly mused about her desire to spend more time in nature, and that, combined with the fact she left Chloé at the height of her success, has made rumors of a potential departure from Céline almost impossible to squash. It’s simply too believable that she could just walk away, not because she had a different job offer or a falling out with management, but because she simply wanted a different life. Like Mr. Simons.

的确,菲洛已经公开提到想更多接触大自然,再加上她是在非常成功的时候离开Chloé的,所以关于她想离开思琳的传言几乎很难粉碎。人们太容易相信,她可以一走了之,不是因为有了其他工作机会或者和管理层不和,而仅仅是因为她想过不一样的生活。就像西蒙斯那样。

The problem is, if we divorce emotion from the creative process, if designers don’t care as much about their brand, and brands are not as wed to their designers as they were when the same name shaped a sartorial identity over decades, then the risk is that consumers will feel the same way. It’s the part of this equation that doesn’t add up.

问题是,如果创作过程中没有感情,设计师不像从前那么在乎品牌,品牌和设计师的联系也不像从前那么紧密(以前,一种独特的裁剪风格来自同一位设计师数十年的塑造。),就会出现这样的风险:消费者也会有同样的感觉。这才是这种关系不平衡的地方。

As a retailer who asked to remain anonymous because she sells many of the brands said on hearing the Lanvin news: “Why do people covet Chanel or Comme des Garçons? The brands send a consistent message about what they are and what they stand for. If you are going to invest, you invest in that. Even if you don’t like a collection or a season, you can’t deny the purity of the message. All these changes means fashion doesn’t feel pure any more. What do you say to the women?”

一位零售商(她要求匿名,因为她销售很多品牌)听到浪凡的新闻后说:“人们为什么渴望香奈儿(Chanel)或Comme des Garçons?因为关于这些品牌是什么以及它们所代表的东西,它们传递的信息是连贯一致的。你要是投资的话,你投资的是这个。即使你不喜欢某个系列或某一季的服装,你也不能否认这个信息的纯粹性。而现在这些变化表明,时尚界不再那么纯粹了。你该跟女顾客们说什么呢?”

When designers leave, by choice or not, the value proposition becomes broken. No one needs a new bag, or a fancy dress; they desire them because of what they represent. Once upon a time, Mr. Elbaz said in his Fashion Group speech, he used to ask himself: “What do women want? What do women need? What can I do for a woman to make her life better and easier?”

设计师们不管是主动离开还是被动离开,品牌的价值定位都会被打破。没有人需要一个新包或者一件漂亮的新裙子。她们想要的是这些东西所代表的价值。埃尔巴兹在国际时尚组织的获奖致辞中说,他过去常常问自己:“女人们想要什么?女人们需要什么?我能做些什么,让她们的生活变得更好、更轻松?”

Without that — the seduction and sentiment, the promise of transformation — it’s just stuff. And really, who wants that?

如果没有那些——诱惑和情感,能带来变化的承诺——那就是只是些东西而已。真的,谁需要那些呢?

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