20 YEARS IN FASHION. Loïc Prigent, December 16th 2013
Loïc Prigent, journalist and documentary film-maker.
SELF SERVICE 20 Years / 40 Issues - Spring/Summer 2014
1. L’Espace Commines for the Helmut Lang shows.
2. The dynamic rhythm of the models at the Helmut Lang shows.
3. When in doubt, the question we asked ourselves was “What would Helmut do?”
4. The time when a girl would never have worn a party dress to a party.
5. The time when a floral print was the Antichrist.
6. Watching Guillaume Dustan and his boyfriend with the Mohawk invite Karl Lagerfeld to eat spaghetti at their place.
7. That time when Tom Ford used a floral print.
8. Fendi in 2000.
9. The Polaroid of Phoebe Philo by Ezra Petronio.
10. Hussein Chalayan at the Hyéres Festival.
11. The Jacquemus “La Piscine” collection in March 2013 in Paris.
12. My first gluten-free meal with Marc Jacobs in the kitchen at the Louis Vuitton studio.
13. Hearing “We Found Love” by Rihanna for the first time (the first time- do you remember?) and thinking of the edit it could be used in (I used for a Vuitton show in an episode of Habillé(e)s that was edited by Jean Marc Manivet)
14. Mademoiselle Agnès Fendi coats.
15. The security at the shows in New York –loud and totally stupid.
16. Tom Ford’s menswear shows for Saint Laurent.
17. The blue butterflies in the window at Colette.
18. Arguing with Alexander McQueen.
19. Being shouted at by John Galliano.
20. Listening to Suzy Menkes talk about her first show and how she blagged her way in by pretending she was the cleaning lady.
21. Michel Gaubert’s symphonic orchestra at the Chanel “Last Year at Marienbad” show.
22. Hearing about George Bush’s election at Alix Browne’s apartment in New York.
23. Matthias Vriens-McGrath on the front row at Ann Demeulemeester with Richard Buckley.
24. Miles Socha’s effective line of questioning to extract information for WWD.
25. Marie-Christiane Marek’s programs, that make you feel like you were there.
26. Michel Legrand’s music at the finale of Sonia Rykiel’s 40th anniversary show.
27. Madame Martine.
28. Madame Pouzieux.
29. Pierrette Ominetti from Arte, who tol me to film the hands of the workers at Chanel.
30. The first cashmere-heavy Marc Jacobs show just after LVMH invested.
31. The faces of the editors at the “Paris-Edinburgh” Chanel show, faces which said “I want it all”
32. Wanting to film Sonia Rykiel all day long.
33. The unconventional Jean Paul Gaultier casting where he gave a dried apricot to everyone that came to see him.
34. The messengers bags, then the huge matching antitheft chains on the catwalks, and speaking to New York bike messengers who shouted they were so revolted that these were being sold for $1000
35. The moment Garance Doré multiplied herself by a thousand an then by ten thousand.
36. The walking stick of American buyer Karl Ruttenstein, who took an increasingly long time to get around.
37. Interviewing Deep Dish at a Versace show.
38. All of the Nicolas Ghesquière shows for Balenciaga.
39. My first backstage at the Sonia Rykiel show when the girls all became women.
40. Audrey Marnay and Alexandre de Betak.
41. The first AMI presentation at a restaurant behind the Place des Victoires.
42. Helmut Lang who asked me my star sign before deciding whether to talk to me or not.
43. Michael Burke who explained his vision of luxury to me at a Bulgari dinner.
44. Alber Elba’z first shows for Guy Laroche.
45. The look in Carmen Kass’ eyes when she opened the show.
46. The glasses and the smile of Gauthier Gallet, who was taking photos of everything backstage.
47. Seeing Gauthier Gallet everywhere, at every backstage, tor the three seasons after his accidental death.
48. Sofia Coppola having a coffee with Jean Touitou at Café Marly.
49. The flyers for the Respect parties.
50. The press attaché Kuki’s face upon creating a real fake traffic jam at the entrance of Raf Simon’s first show.
51. The latex Dior show.
52. Olivier Theyskens ‘ hair.
53. The blocked off roads around St.Roch Church for Yves Saint Laurent’s funeral.
54. Jelka Music in the Comme des Garcons offices, wearing exactly what was shown on the catwalk.
55. The first time the Americans turned up at a Stella McCartney show with Starbucks cups.
56. The sunny season after Barack Obama was elected.
57. The faces of the winners at the Sidaction tombola, like a barometer for knowing who is spontaneous, who is blasé, who is too snobby for their own good and who went nuts.
58. Virginie Mouzat’s articles in Le Figaro, sometimes slating major advertisers.
59. I think that Polly Mellen started clapping all by herself in the middle of the shows but I’m not sure.
60. The strange Jean Colonna girls.
61. The first time we had to go to Milan to see a show.
62. The Terry Richardson exhibition at Perrotin in the 13th arrondissement- the firs time someone explained the rules of TV censorship to me that I knew what could be left in the edit.
63. The People who went to give Alber Elbaz a kiss after his last YSL show ant the face he made.
64. The PR Nathalie Ours when she speaks about Yohji Yamamoto.
65. The Proenza Schouler guys coming out onto the runway.
66. The debates on whether Jack or Lazaro was the sexiest.
67. When we saw 40-year-old fashion editors and we found them old, in bad taste and undefeatable.
68. Guillaume Chaillet.
69. Paquita Paquin.
70. Caroline Lebar.
71. The moment when the fashion editors started texting during the shows.
72. The first time Suzy Menkes kissed me hello.
73. Being hired.
74. Being fired.
75. The bookshop on Rue de Sévigné with all of its treasures.
76. 17-year-old bare chested kids at the entrance of the Abercrombie stores.
77. The W< show shere the masked models couldn’t see the end of the catwalk and fell off it, one after the other, into the fearful cries of a powerless audience.
78. The show when the pyramid of photographers collapsed.
79. The astounded faces of the fashion editors during Olivier Rousteing’s “Cannage” collection for Balmain.
80. Jürgi Persoons.
81. Hedi’s first Dior Homme show. Catherine Deneuve kissing Bernard Arnault who was saying hello to Pierre Bergé and YSL.
82. The Japanese saying “Vittong” and “Herméz”
83. YSL telling Bernard Arnault to get us out of this scheming mess.
84. Jane Birkin at Dries Van Noten show at Guy Môquet’s high school.
85. Nicolas Frontière, the PR at Nina Ricci, at his window at the crossroads of Avenue Montaigne, in the know about absolutely everything.
86. Kanye West stealing my seat at an Anthony Vaccarello show.
87. My first show, my first Chanel show, my first Chanel front row.
88. Vincent Darré.
89. When Michel Gaubert showed me a site called Style.com and that you could see the looks from a show the day before on your phone.
90. The deep sofas at Jean Touitou’s studio.
91. The audience peak when Nicole Kidman came to Paris.
92. John Gallianos’ India show.
93. Rick Owens ‘ building behind the French National Assembly.
94. Shazaming the morbid music at the Bizarre Love Triangle party.
95. Saying hello to Stefano Pilati in the street.
96. The battle for Gucci.
97. Epaulette mania.
98. Conversations on The September Issue over several weeks of show in a row.
102. Shows that are awful but that are done by people you like.
103. When a show with over 35 looks became too long unless the staging cost more than two million.
104. Being in a black car with Agnès on the Pont Neuf bridge when we learnt that Marc Jacobs was leaving Louis Vuitton.
105. Helmut Lang could do no wrong, but in fact could.
106. When KCD arrived.
107. The interview with Ezra, Suzanne and Claire for Self Service when Ezra repeated several times that it was off the record but then went on to print all the off the records parts, and he was right to do so.
108. The season when Suzy had an argument with Marc.
109. When friends become rich.
110. When friends from the same group become poor.
111. Whe the poor friends offered to write the rich friends’ biographies.
112. The moment when Bernhard Willhelm went out with Jeremy Scott.
113. The premiere for Jour d’Avant in Paris, with Jean Paul Gaultier, Nathalie and Sonia Rykiel, the Proenza Schoulers and Karl Lagerfeld all together.
114. The Madame Grès exhibition by Olivier Saillard.
115. The sound of Glass Candy at Balenciaga by NG at the top of a tower in the 15th arrondissement.
116. When the damn benches collapsed one after the other at the Balenciaga shows which took place with everyone standing up.
117. The Chloé T-shirts with pineapples on the breast.
118. The Alexander McQueen interview at the end of his “Dance” runway show, shen the Cameron didn’t work. On the tape you see that he says “Hello”, it cuts clean and you see that he says “Bye”. Nothing else.
119. The monstrous traffic jams during the fashion week when Delanoë became mayor.
120. Christopher Niquet, intern at Self Service.
121. The awful shows that everyone hates apart from you and you get annoyed.
122. The great shows that everyone hates apart from you and you look like a misogynist.
123. The moment shen the guys on the catwalks became sexy again.
124. André Leon Talley shouting a commentary on Marie Antoniette.
125. When Jennifer López did a runway show in New York and all anyone talked about was her incredible behind when she came out to take her bow at the end.
126. Adidas gazelles.
128. Stephen Todd in a Missoni blanket.
129. The extent to which Project Runway was ugly.
130. Michael Tapia suits.
131. When the former grungers fot chauffeurs.
132. When I saw a fashion editor kiss Nicolas Sarkozy hello.
133. All-nighters in the studios.
134. Carine Roitfeld at customs at JFK after a seven hour flight in 12cm heels.
135. Frédéric Sánchez suits.
136. When we realized that Salma Hayek wasn’t just nice but really nice and straight up brilliant.
137. Mademoiselle Agnès meeting Peter Kruder at a Helmut Lang show in the New York period.
138. Michel Gaubert working at night with Stephen at 60 Thompson.
139. The greenhouse in the André Citroën park.
140. The stonewalling CEOs who spoke of growth at almost three figures.
141. The fashion editor who called Saint Laurent’s New York press office on the afternoon of September 11 to check if the cocktail party planned for that evening was still taking place.
142. Inès de la Fressange’s pink office at Roger Vivier, which was in a parallel world.
143. The Christian Lacroix haute couture shows at which we grasped 5% of the references, if that.
144. Martine Sitbon’s velvet dévoré dresses.
145. The rumor that Gareth Pugh was taking over at Dior and that Le Queen was going to close.
146. The life size Jean Colonna poster in Self Service.
147. Mick Jagger was already wrinkly.
148. We were really disappointed coming out of Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter.
149. Triple combination therapy changed the world and it began to turn again.
150. We knew he was there because his golden Hummer was parked in front.
151. Jeremy Scott decamped to Paris. And his house in Los Ángeles was immense.
152. Keanu Reeves ‘ white T-shirt in Speed an we started going to see blockbusters.
153. Mylène Farmer performed live at a Shirtology show and at a Balenciaga by NG show they played “Ouragan” by Princess Sthépanie of Monaco.
154. Lindsay Lohan coming out on to the runway at Ungaro.
155. We didn’t go to see Forrest Gump an we still haven’t seen it.
156. Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s wedding dress was the only possible option.
157. Ralph Lauren ads.
158. The Marie Antoniette party with Kirsten Dunst at the Lido.
159. When Burberry started counting clicks.
160. We had lunch while reciting entire dialogues from Absolutely Fabulous.
161. Blood-covered stairs in Miami.
162. CK One.
163. Kate Moss confessed on the cover of The Face: “I lost the plot”
164. The more Kate Moss lost the plot, the more her popularity soared.
165. The crowd that applauded John Galliano at Kate Moss ‘ wedding after his “I love Hitler” scandal.
166. The time of too-high trousers and the too-low just after.
167. The first time we saw a guy unable to answer a call because his phone was in his pocket and his jeans were too tight.
168. Brand doubled their turnover.
169. Brand tripled their turnover.
170. Brands multiplied their turnover by ten.
171. The Marc Jacobs sales assistants at Palais Royal.
172. Britney shaved her head.
173. Victoria Beckham brought a hairdresser and a makeup artist with her to the LA police station to get a passport photo taken for her driver’s license.
174. The firs Kitsuné T-shirt sold at an Air convert, the first Kitsuné sweatshirt with a Daft Punk motif.
175. Going to Old England to nab the same coat Matt Damon wore in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
176. The girl in Showgirls didn’t know how to pronounce Versace. We laughed at the joke but we didn’t really know either.177. The time Donatella Versace lit her cigarette (indoors) with a lighter covered in diamonds.
178. The were never any gay people in stories and that was normal.
179. Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere bought up pages of ad space to deny a rumor about a hamster.
180. RuPaul did ads for MAC.
181. The baggy uniforms of the kids in Larry Clark’s Kids.
182. Botox became a verb.
183. And we used the verb Botox a lot.
184. The word Prozac never became a verb but we also used it a lot.
185. The bleach blond kid with a yellow T-shirt with a black bull on it in Elephant.
186. Liz Tilberis, the Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar died of ovarian cancer and the magazine did an all white edition in her memory.
187. Hedi granted interviews. We no longer used his surname.
188. We started texting.
189. We no longer listened to voicemails.
190. The firs time we received an enormous – and I mean enormous - sublime Parmesan from MaxMara at Christmas.
191. The slogan for Ck Be was: “Be a secret. Be a rumor” With a photo of Kate Moss. But it didn’t really work that well.
192. Brad Pitt wore sleeveless gray-and-lime green striped sweaters and managed to look okay.
193. Emmanuelle Alt and her Altettes coming out of the shows.
194. The black dinner the night before his first Saint Laurent show when Tom Ford realized that the cigarettes would be white an he had black cigarettes made.
195. Gossip magazines did rather funny spreads with a row of stars all wearing the same checked old tapestry Prada trench coat.
196. When fashion houses opened PR departments specializing in dressing celebrities.
197. The day when all the girls at work, even the accountant, were wearing a thong.
198. Carla Bruni nude.
199. Carla Bruni dressed.
200. Carla Bruni singing.
201. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
202. The 16-year-old male model interviewed at Dries Van Noten, cute as a teddy bear, the season after he was dogin all the campaigns, and the season after that he was arrested for a grocery store robbery in New York, his career already behind him.
203. An old Lariat.
204. The friend who had a bloody fight with a super aggressive paparazzo during a real fake riot around Kate Moss put in place by a cosmetics brand in front of a show.
205. Suzy Menkes’ disposable camera.
206. The fashion editors who took to Instagram because, finally, there was a purely visual social media.
207. The finales at the shows where everyone except the US Vogue team started taking photos.
208. American Apparel “Gay O.K.” T-shits.
209. The friends that said “AmAp” rather than American Apparel because they went there so often.
210. The taxi drivers who said, “Bonjour, Madame” to Benjamin Galopin when he got into the car.
211. The runway decors destroyed after five minutes of designer kissing backstage.
212. The Rykiel show after the 2008 recession at the Boulevard Saint-Germain boutique, the very essence of Rykiel’s folly.
213. Dominique Deroche’s leaving speech when she retired from YSL.
214. Bumping into Laurence Benaïm at Galignani and debriefing on the collections.
215. Anna Piaggi’s hats.
216. The idea that a label could be called “Dèvastèe”
217. Being surprised every week by the naturally concertinaing juxtaposition between the hardcore newsflashes on women’s rights with newsflashes on the new Tod’s handbag and Britney’s slip ups in Elle’s Weekly News.
218. Isabella Blow’s 12 suicide attempts.
219. The always, always enthusiastic Sarah Lerfeld.
220. When Jean-Marie Le Pen went through to the second round of the presidential elections and we looked really stupid.
221. Daphné Burki’s blond ends.
222. Seeing Dick Page’s apartment on The Selby and wainting to marry him.
223. Straight men who ended up going out with beardes guys.
224. Horrible divorces.
225. Shop openings as an event.
226. DVF coming out onto the runway, giving Barry Diller a kiss.
230. The red tie wearers with whom we never got angry, not once – and that’s crazy, quite frankly.
231. The moment when putting 25 boys in tight polo neck sweaters on a 50-meter-long path was a fascinating and cool idea.
232. The moment when everything that was fascist became cool.
233. The firs time we worked with an intern who was born in 1994.
234. PETA yelling in front on the runway.
235. Editing all-nighters with Julie, Jean Marc, Thibaut, Sylvain…
236. Olivier Lalanne on the front row at the Hermés shows by Véronique Nichanian.
237. Eric Bergère’s hand slipping round the door to press play on the cassette so that the music began and the show started. They weren’t even a dozen of us in the room and it was great and it was exactly that silhouette that Tom Ford then used to make billions.
238. Telling the makeup artist Aaron de Mey that he looked like Kurt KCobain this morning and giving him the compliment of his life.
239. Daria at Balmain.
240. Michael Kors’ first Céline show.
241. Phoebe Philo’s first Céline show.
242. Giorgio Armani in his palace.
243. The men’s castings for Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy.
244. When everyone starting doing haute couture.
245. The phone call with Victoire, the iconic Dior model, who told me that he transformed her from a clumsy Jeanne to the ultimate Parisian Victoire.
246. The almost all-nighters at Karl Lagerfeld’s photo studio.
248. The first time a guy pronounced the word “DNA” seriously.
249. Ann Demeulemeester’s feathers.
250. They said it has been 20 years but, in reality, all of this has hardly taken ten minutes.