The Milanese’s disdain for Anna Wintour was evident. Several blonde bobbed Wintours donning ‘I Will Only Stay for 3 Days’ t-shirts flash-mobbed the venue of John Richmond and Gucci. Mario Boselli, the Italian Fashion Chamber’s president, told the Telegraph that ‘she’s [Anna] welcome in Milan. But if she only comes for a fleeting visit, perhaps it would be better if she stayed at home.”
Sandwiched between London and Paris Fashion Week, Anna Wintour told the Italian fashion industry that she could only afford three days for them this year. Many labels such as Prada and Dolce&Gabbana moved their catwalks forward to fit into Wintour’s schedule. As seen in the Milan Fashion Weeek schedule above, almost 20 shows have been squeeze into Friday, leaving only 5 shows on Monday.
The powerful American Vogue editor also made a similar request to Paris, reportedly to catch a ‘short break’ before the Oscars on the 7th March. Many of the Parisian labels – knowing their true values – refuse to budge.
Since when has Anna Wintour amassed so much power that she can bring a fashion week down to its knee? The fashion pack struggled to weave through the infamous Italian traffic, often chasing the minute-hand with many shows scrambled between a thin line of 45mins.
Ostensibly it was a catastrophe for models, stylists, make-up artists and hairdressers. There were also packs of disgruntled reporters and photographers who routinely missed first halves of shows. The most theatrical case of all, masses of people walked out of Etro before the final exits – not out of frustration, but reluctance to miss another show!
The ridiculousness is not dissimilar to a fictional situation where Patrick Wintour – Anna ‘nuclear’ Wintour’s brother, the Guardian’s political editor – to wave his pen like a wand and sees the parliament dissolved henceforth. Now that the Italian fashion industry surrendered more power to Anna Wintour, the fewer grips they’ll retain with an industry that is so world renounced.
One has to be blind to be able to ignore the shift and divergence of power. Trend summaries appear on the Fashionspot weeks, if not month before they are plaigiarised by printed publications. The Cut Blog of the New York Times delivers punchy fashion news every 5 minutes. StyleBubble is the point of call for emerging talents. Net-a-porter, the internet retail giant for luxury goods, reported a pre-tax profit of a whopping £9 million for 2009. Even outlets are going online, designer bargains can be bought at a fraction of their original prices at theOutNet. So why are the Italians fearful of the absence of Anna Wintour – a magazine editor – at their shows? Doesn’t the presence of Tavi generates more free press than the editrix, a dictator herself?
Fear is what a dictator induces. Power in a democratic world is given by the people. Since when did the designers – who created the bioshpere for Wintour’s reporting niche to exist in – allow a mere editor to reverse the food chain and consume them to the brink of breakage? How does a democratic pack keep faith in a traitor? If we can buy a house through gumtree, surely you can sell fashion through the web? It is time to stand-up for yourselves, Italians. Strip off the tiara you crowned her. The healing power is in your hands.
Pictures from top: Anna Wintour got pied in 2005 by PETA activists in Paris; AW11 Milan Fashion Week official schedule; show invitations for AW11; Etro backstage this season; Tavi Gevinson with John Galliano during Paris Couture Week; Susie Lau of SusieBubble with New York Times Style magazine contributor Lynn Yeager; President of Italian fashion chamber Mario Boselli