Thursday, March 21, 2013

Diet Coke and Fashion



When I think of Diet Coke and fashion at the same time, which I often do not, the first commonality that comes to mind is, unsurprisingly, dieting. Conceivably an entirely different taste than its full-calorie counterpart, Coca-Cola, if Diet Coke is your preferred drink, you can essentially have your cake and eat it too. All of the love, all of the flavor, without the calories. 

Reportedly, Karl Lagerfeld drinks nothing but the beverage, a habit I can't seem to wrap my head around.


Collaborations among fashion houses and accessible brands seem to debut every other week: Prabal Gurung for Target, Karl Lagerfeld for Fossil, Maison Martin Margiela for H&M, Kate Spade for Keds. Although collaboration lines are arguably much more affordable in comparison to their namesake house, some pieces still too heavily bear the costly weight of the designer's name. 

Enter Diet Coke. The company has routinely selected "celebrity" designer creative directors who sign on temporarily to design cans or bottles to the tune of their characteristic style. Big hitters like Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Diane Von Furstenberg and most recently Marc Jacobs have all applied their signature designs to the already iconic can. 

But what's the point of having a Diet Coke can with some high-end designer's latest interpretation on it? 

Rob Bayne, senior brand manager for Diet Coke in North West Europe and Nordics, answers with, "Fashion is a top interest of our fans so we started designer collaborations to create something new and exciting to our drinkers."

Yes, high-low designer collaborations are a fad, but a good one. People love their designer goods, no matter if they're from Bergdorf Goodman or H&M. Aside from the Neiman Marcus for Target collection earlier this winter (in which most merchandise ended up at 75 percent off), every collaboration with Target has been a success. 

It's ultimately about combining novelty with accessibility. Think about designer perfumes. A 1.6-ounce bottle of Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue is $69, a price that is downright affordable when comparing to their $1,025 cotton-blend lace T-shirt. The Diet Coke collaborations are similar, yet on a much less expensive and more quickly consumed level. 

Where will fashion exert its influence next?





Photo sources: top, Marc Jacobs for Diet Coke campaign; middle, Karl Lagerfeld for Diet Coke launch; bottom: Jean Paul Gaultier for Diet Coke bottles, Karl Lagerfeld for Diet Coke bottles, Diane von Furstenberg for Diet Coke bottles, Marc Jacobs for Diet Coke cans

Saturday, February 23, 2013

On Unwearables


Years ago, before I really had any artistic appreciation for fashion, I had a love-hate relationship with magazines. I've always been a reader, so I loved the articles, the interviews, the photography. What I didn't understand were the editorial shoots. Impossibly skinny models with a hair style that likely took hours and expertise, garish makeup–but that wasn't the most puzzling. It was the clothes. A shirt with a sweater and a jacket and a coat and tights and socks with a mismatched skirt and an armful of jewelry? Would anyone in their right mind ever wear that?

With a few exceptions, the answer is no, and for a number of reasons. The first is the impracticality of dressing like a fabulous, fabulous clown. So few can pull off an over embellished and strikingly on-trend ensemble. The second deals with budget. It's not rational for any given person's everyday outfits to add up to a ballpark total of $10,000. (This would exclude jewelry.) I think there are very few people in this world that can wear head-to-toe Chanel, Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton on a daily basis. 



As I've matured, I've come to understand fashion, magazines and the general ways for the world much more. Fashion is a fantastical, ever-changing world full of unpredictable and innovative creatives. It's wearable art. And just like art, you can make of it what you want. It can be everything, it can be nothing. 

So these editorials, they are works of art. They're not meant to be taken literally. Yes, if you wear that exact outfit on the street, people will stare at you and take your picture. (Yet, if you want to, you certainly can.) They're a launching point for an outfit, for a purchase. 

The same can be said of runway shows. The looks aren't necessarily meant to be worn all together, at the same time. 



Joe Zee, the creative director at Elle magazine, is frank about the disconnect. “Is every single look that you see going to be accessible and wearable? No, but that’s not the point. I would like to think that our readers are smarter than that. We’re the thinking woman’s fashion magazine. No one is going to rip out that page and re-create the outfit exactly as shown. Instead, the image will provide a point of reference.” 

Photos: All courtesy of Women's Wear Daily