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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Beauty Dupe




Thanks to a throwaway comment on a blog I follow, I learned of the recent mumsnet furore. Off I went to read it (naturally.) I don't spend much time on mumsnet, indeed my mumsnet knowledge thus far had been limited to the historic "penis beaker" episode. I found the thread fascinating (ahem, talking about the beauty thread now...) it was originally titled something regarding Caroline Hirons as the whole chat had been triggered by an innocent reader asking whether the blog posts had been sponsored or not. A character named Iamnina had proceeded to spill the beans. Allegedly, this Nina works in PR and had an axe to grind. Soon enough the bloggers being discredited got wind of this mumsnet thread, and in addition to the usual outrage and denial, they have apparently managed to get mumsnet to not only edit the title of the thread, but also completely delete every post by Iamnina and no doubt ban her. I find these draconian tactics really repellent and as I had been toying with the idea of writing a post, this made my mind up.

I wish I'd copied and pasted every post by Iamnina. I had actually thought at the time that I should do it, but I decided: I don't blog anymore - what's the point? If anyone reading this has a copy then do please get in touch and I'll incorporate her points here, hopefully blogger is a safe platform (cue MI5 suspenseful music.) And, reader I know you guessed it, as this is such a hackneyed tale, but one of the reasons I stopped blogging was because it had started as a hobby and then it became a duty. I was beginning to get sent products. Getting what feels like "presents" tumbling through your letter box every day is very different to documenting what you spend your own clutched pennies on. Knowing your blog post will be read by the PR who sent you the "present" and might get angry or upset, or told off by their boss, all because of your post... It's nothing like a blog anymore. Not that getting samples was unpleasant, far be it for me to imply, as I have read many times - that getting samples is a chore/ or a workload/ tiring - or anything like that. But all the same, it does constrain you; it gives the whole enterprise a different spin. My relationship to beauty (I am a dinosaur for saying this) was ambling over to the beauty counters, chatting to my friends (erm, I mean, the beauty counter staff) and seeing the posters and the shiny new display cases and picking out the delectable new treats. Then testing them, either loving my new purchases, or feeling angry that I'd wasted my money. And the blog would be the channel within which to record these innocuous findings.

This is what beauty blogs and YouTube channels were in those days... I'm harking back to 2007 or so. Now the popular channels and blogs are to be viewed with suspicion and there is an 'us' and a 'them' which didn't exist at the outset. I remember Zoella's blog when she wrote about working in a post office. Every entry was her little Superdrug haul or her Primark haul, or so it seemed to me (I was not a regular follower but such was the gist at the time.) Incidentally, I find it amusing that bloggers and youtubers call their PR spoils a "haul". Although far nearer the mark than they intended, the general understanding of a haul is that which they have bought themselves. But this is a side note. Of course the legacy of these humble beginnings is mercilessly and unnaturally sustained, and naive youngsters do still think of the content as independent. But a long time ago, the puppet masters arrived to take the reins. The only bloggers and YouTube popular channels who can afford to be truly independent, well, that's the word: afford. They have to be rich (£200 serums and £35 lipsticks do take their toll) either from their own pockets or from the adverts on their sites which pay by the sheer scale of readership or viewing figures and not by the content as such. As Iamnina put it, ironically these adverts allow the content maker to be independent.

But the real money comes from the euphemistic "consultancy fees". What is it that the brands consult bloggers about, what mystery? As with all Law ('the Law is an ass') there follows a loophole. And here is the loophole to the FTC. As the mumsnet discussion made clear, to any untainted mind, 'reviewing' a product and taking a consultancy fee for, mais bien sur, a wholly unrelated consultation, is quite clearly a conflict of interest. There isn't any need to expand on such an obvious point.

When the FTC first came to upset the party, many blogs and youtubers (I would say the very ones who are now at worst fault) would put resentful, falsely jesting disclaimers. Something along the lines of: 'These were sent to me by little fairy elves at X brand towers but they didn't put a gun to my head, I just happen to absolutely love these products and I wouldn't lie to you my lovely cherry buns as you're the ones I answer to not them!' Occasionally they would adopt a more hostile jokey demeanour, well how can I pastiche or better the eponymous Caroline Hirons who was criticised on the mumsnet thread for her advice after just such a disclaimer, to "chill your tits." Making light of the product being sent for free, to my mind, was never a solution. There is nothing inherently wrong with getting samples, but trivialising the disclaimer is almost akin to an admission of guilt. Misplaced guilt, but still guilt - aggressively defensive.

Iamnina's posts laid bare all the agency business dealings.Blogger and YouTube stars know their worth and will not allow brands a free ride (and hurrah for that!) but to keep their audience on side, they have to pretend to not know their worth. They have to apologise for new houses, new handbags, new noses and breasts. They have to pretend or at least force friendships in line with who belongs to their agency. British Beauty Blogger piped up with characteristic journalistic nous, why don't you write a few posts on my site and see what it's really like! Iamnina scathingly told her that she was not referring to mid tier but to what were the select few bona fide "influencers": Bloggers and YouTube stars who can merely allude to a product for it to sell out instantly. I think she also meant by implication, blogs with less discerning readership. In other words, young impressionable minds who are made to feel that if they don't buy this then they have forfeited their allegiance.

What made me a blogger, and I dare say all the original early bloggers and YouTube hosts, at that point all ignorant of the freebies - let alone wealth and fame and privilege that now can be reached (I nearly said 'achieve', but frankly some of those terribly written blogs and some YouTube channels which have to lay bare every tiny detail, and to my mind are mind numbing, I don't consider enviable or worthy of the term...) - well what made us want to engage with an audience, was a camaraderie. For its own sake. Sharing favourite makeup purchases and saying why other makeup was horrid. Now nothing is without repercussion. The makeup has a PR person who is a new friend. What would happen to her if I slate the product? Will she be blamed and I'll have ruined her day? Or more accurately perhaps, it's the agency PR who is the friend, or more than friend, the employer? We, the audience, become the gift to this new friend. We are the currency for the friend who can open doors, doors not only to new makeup and dresses and plastic surgery and anything in between ("pah! chicken feed!") but holidays and all sorts of bonuses which lead to real opportunities.

One of the accusations which this Iamnina levelled, was that charities have big budgets. She added a wink face emoji to intensify this point. This must have touched a nerve because some bloggers at this point became incensed. (Sali Hughes I believe, but I didn't read her rebuttal which she linked to on mumsnet, because I found her tone very patronising and unduly harsh.) I know charities do have budgets and pay huge salaries (but this is another tirade entirely which I shall not fall into) so it's not incredible to assume some blogger charity posts are indeed paid for. It's not very nice to think of a post which talks about losing friends or family members and beseeches the reader to go and donate generously, all whilst the post has been paid for. But such is the world and it's become a case where unless expressly written "I waived a fee for this post and I have never consulted with their company or affiliated brands" we can't be chastised for assuming they have! Anyhow, this is the way the world works - if you think celebrities advising us where to put our meagre pennies aren't being paid themselves, or benefiting from the exposure for their own ends, then that's something you should really wake up to. It might be sad or cynical but that's capitalism for ya. In fact these people truly believe that their fee is merely a token, and they are still being very charitable... Later posts came and said perhaps this Iamnina was a charlatan. But each Iamnina post had had the unmistakeable ring of truth. Not only that, but she predicted every blogger retaliation; every move just as if these bloggers were robots. 

Successful bloggers and YouTube channels need to start representing themselves as what they really are: a business. No longer, a girl next door. This doesn't mean they lose their value. Although to an extent, that is what happens in that they dissociate. But in theory they could continue to be useful. Instead of being a like minded consumer, they could become a reference library and you choose the voice you feel resonates with you. The trouble is, with everyone's pay packet at risk, they all inevitably sing from the same hymn sheet at the same time, so pick one you've picked them all. Their original voice has been quashed. In this agency led tribe war system, the only way to be independent is to have faith to just allow the ad revenue to fund you and continue your own purchasing and reviewing, and hope the brands in turn feel that regardless of bad reviews they might get, not to be featured on your blog is an unimaginable offence. But for a real millionaire lifestyle, I suspect that only a seasoned agency with all the right contacts can get you there. Bloggers and YouTube hosts have become amazingly proficient at social media so who knows how long a middleman will be needed? Although every PR seems to be interconnected; one wrong move can provoke a domino effect. Presumably an agency limits such blunders. And there is always the thinly veiled suspicion that your appeal can be obliterated overnight, so better to invest via a puppet master who can keep you on the leash and avoid any ill advised opinions or photos and such.

I remember buying a highlighting powder on the recommendation of a YouTube video. It had been sent to them for free and I realised that implicitly, but I didn't think that had to compromise them. Well, the powder was horrible and chalky. The betrayal was genuinely upsetting. A pleasure in reading blogs and watching videos, is the unbridled contempt for a poor performing product. With freebies, or even more deceptively, gift vouchers, if a product isn't good, and if the blogger is 'honest', we just won't hear about it. It won't do to criticise a freebie after all. And arguably, it isn't quite right to criticise something if you didn't suffer paying for it. Reading a very measured criticism which hastily recommends another same brand product, is almost as bad as not having mentioned it. It's this guarded, measured and bland reporting which we'd celebrated blogs for avoiding. No more shall I buy magazines, we had all chanted jubilantly. Well, as the adage goes, the revolution eats its own children.


Saturday, 15 August 2015

MAC Whisper of Gilt is finally coming back!!! (Edit: no, it's just poor staff info!)

I know I neglect my blog, but I simply must share this joy - one of my favourite ever highlighters is finally being repromoted. Extra Dimension had the most exquisite liquid to cream texture that is so hard to find in other highlighters. Nonetheless, I sold mine several months ago as I couldn't resist, and I reasoned that (a) I have enough beautiful highlighters to tide me over (Guerlain springs to mind) and (b) my cynical mind was quite certain that MAC would ultimately bring it back. But as the months rolled on and especially when the Extra Dimension eyeshadows were brought back as permanent but not the skinfinishes, I began to doubt. I began to mourn.

Well - now I am vindicated!

The collection will be called Enchanted Eve and it'll hit around October. (This information has been gleaned from Instagram and general social media, in fact personally I found it through a message on Depop)


Update: the MAC chat wherein this MAC representative confirmed it was the beloved Whisper of Gilt is actually an incompetent time waster, very annoying... It's actually called Oh, Darling and supposedly is a more yellow version. Will you still pick it up? 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Z Palette Review - Large


I have a makeup cabinet (some might say: 'tower') and when none of the drawers shut, I decided it was time to depot from some of my most cumbersome and plethoric packaging. I am an atrocious depotter, and the decision resulted in many heart wrenching barbarities. However no fatalities, thanks to botched emergency reconstructive surgery. The once smooth skinned beauties might now be ugly mottled crones with scarred and ravaged faces - but where they were once elegant and pretty, shaded in a drawer, long forgotten or abandoned; they are now yes, ugly - but brought out into the open and ready to be used and enjoyed. And the plan is, once melded onto my visage, their beauty lives again. Well that's what I'm telling myself to avoid sobbing uncontrollably as I view these tragic but valiant casualties of war. Luckily I stopped short of depotting Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, but not before stabbing its fine petal. The horror, the horror!

Anyhow, I bought these separately so it came to a fairly excessive £40 total (i.e just shy of £20 per palette including standard delivery) bought from Love Makeup. I am always happy with the speed and service offered by Love Makeup. I assumed one "Large" would be sufficient, but to my mind these are in reality 'medium' and Large is a misnomer. The extra large didn't seem much larger judging from measurements so I opted to reorder a Large. In truth I would like a further 2 palettes, but the cost is prohibitive and I would say, unjustified. Nevertheless these are great palettes. The best thing about them is that they are very slimline, unlike e.g the MAC empty palettes which have more height. In addition, they also have a nice strong magnetic base, and the included magnet stickers are a welcome touch.

I am happy with my palettes but I Would Not Buy Again. I prefer my Trish McEvoy planner page (this is the old one, I must check the new ones out...though they seem black now?) The Trish McEvoy are also expensive, but they are more sturdy. Z palettes are sturdy and well made, but ultimately they are cardboard and therefore have a measured life (not to mention, one bathroom sink slip away from sodden doom.) The other palette I'd buy above the Z palette is the humble Elf palette (oh dear, seems to have changed too?). I wish the Elf ones were available in larger sizes, but take the divider away and you can store 5 MAC eyeshadows. My previous solution, a silly makeshift empty CD case, was not working. So all in all, I am glad I can now close my drawers, thanks to the Z palettes!


 
 

Fallen comrades list:

The saddest one is Givenchy Chic Camel. It was so perfect until its brutal attack. Note - this is Chic camel, it's not a, well, 'camel' colour. Evidently I have never seen a chic camel, as this shade is the most glorious purple taupe shade. A way better version of MAC Shale. Not sure if it's even still available; probably long discontinued.

Guerlain Wulong (top left in hot pink palette) had already suffered in an earlier catastrophe
Guerlain Blush and Sun (bottom right, zebra palette)
MAC Pretty Baby from a holiday compact, along with its sister Sunsparked Pearl (bottom row, zebra palette)

Others suffered relatively minor injuries and stab wounds, including MAC Sringsheen, MAC Contrast, and Guerlain Terra Azzurra.

Sombre regards from the bloodbath.

...Have you tried depotting? - Please recommend any palettes down below!





Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Amazingly creative eye looks - that you haven't seen before!


Happy new year my dutiful readers!

My New Years' resolution is to blog more haha.

Ok I just spotted this and it is just so creative I had to share...

http://www.demilked.com/makeup-art-tal-peleg/

I've been stuck in a makeup rut, perhaps there is some way to adapt these looks just a tad...



Monday, 11 November 2013

That's the trouble with plastic surgery...



The Laws of attraction?


I've recently decided that although I do think cosmetic surgery is fine, it seems to me that no matter how much surgery someone has, they do usually seem to look their age - just smoother. But still clearly their age. And if it is a very expertly pumped up face, they can at best look an indiscriminate age, say, even anywhere between 27 and 50 sometimes - but as soon as they talk and their croaky 50 year old voice emanates, the cat (or rather 'the crone'?) is out of the bag. As I've said before, there is something so admirable about being able to relinquish your youth and let others have their day in the sun and just allow savage Mother Nature to diminish your looks steadily and uninterrupted. Whilst you smile. And occasionally the smile will capture the youthful beauty, just for a second or two. [Horror. I know, not very satisfying, but certainly the most dignified attitude.] But, aside from anti ageing surgery, I always thought that if you had a feature or hangup that so upset you that it seemed only surgery was the answer to a normal, happy life - that was fine too. But now... I have come to think even then it's pretty much doomed...

This story is actually tragic.

Jian Feng sued his wife after the couple’s daughter was born and he didn’t understand why she was very ugly since both he and his wife were good-looking individuals.When he found out his wife had undergone extensive surgery to alter her appearance, he sued her, saying she married him under false pretenses. This photo shows the family all together, and the children don’t look much like their mother, probably because she went to South Korea to drastically change her appearance.
Jian actually won the lawsuit, and was awarded $120,000 in the settlement.

And oddly, I agree with the fact that essentially she has crafted herself into a whole new entity and that it is thus fraud. It's very bizarre that it has been held up as fraud though... As, if you have the cash, you'll always find a surgeon who will carve you into a new creature entirely - indeed, the creature you feel you are 'inside'. And with virtually every successful model and actress having had some kind of surgery, perhaps with that logic they too are fraudsters who shouldn't be landing their hot ticket roles either! At what point does plastic surgery shift from acceptable tweaking to unacceptable fraud?





Much has been made of how cruel the husband is being by publicly decrying his children as ugly, but I suspect the real shock was that they simply did not look like either him or his wife, and that in itself is destabilizing. Breeding in animals is all about selection and mating to enhance certain features - plastic surgery irremediably skews this. I guess it's not so different for humans after all?! Or maybe this proves they didn't marry for true love. Who knows; one can only speculate. Anyway, I bet with a makeup makeover she could have looked a lot better in that way, and after all that level of 'fraud' is still acceptable! They'll be trouble if makeup overload ever became the basis for a successful divorce...

I'd welcome a day when genetic modification meant personal taste was the only thing that mattered, and even better: to look around and not know who is what age or what ethnicity. But the reality is that, much like breeding prize champion pups, we humans appear to need these indicators to decide who is our best bet to associate with. And until that changes, there will always be an unmentionable dark side to plastic surgery: how it can not simply 'improve', but outright deceive.




Thursday, 24 October 2013

New skincare Alert: Bochery Nature!

I've been testing and now relying on some new skincare... Bochery Nature. I first discovered the brand at Olympia Beauty. I always enjoy going every year, particularly to discover new ranges. Lately I have been trying to stick to natural skincare and cut down on chemicals. I liked the sound of Bochery's uncompromising pledge to fuse 'Natural' with 'Nano-Technology' and I was impressed with the expertise of their dermatologist, who was kind enough to speak to me at the show - not to mention the rest of the friendly team!

The skincare packaging is minimalist and gives it a pharmaceutical image, however the handmade soaps (£4.45) and aromatherapy oils by contrast are very decorative.

I chose several soaps: Avocado oil and peach (very fruity); Ocean (really does smell like an ocean!! - incredibly refreshing); Botans (a unisex, almost masculine sophisticated scent), and Cinnamon (the ultimate Christmas scent- very potent Cinammon). 

 

I also chose the intensive facial cleaning liquid facewash, (£16.50) "Cleansing, Peeling, Renewal effect using mild surfactants from Coconut, Wheat, Olive and Biotechnological Enzymes" - which I actually had to stop using as it was too potent! This is a brilliant face wash for very oily skin. It comes in a squeeze bottle so you can use it to the last. It definitely exfoliates as it cleanses.


I was lucky enough to be able to try a new product which will be launched imminently, called Acnelle. 


Described as an Innovative Natural Anti-Acne Nano-Comlpex with Liposomal Phytosphogosine. Long-lasting anti-acne action; Flax Seed Extract: Sebum regulation; White Willow Bark Extract: Natural keratolytic effect. I haven't yet noticed my pores "dimishing" but it does leave me shine free and is perfect as a makeup primer! It reminds me of a cross between La Roche Posay effaclar duo and Murad Oil Control Mattifier. It's no doubt cheaper than the Murad, and seems to work using the same key ingredient.

My utter favourite and must-have though, is the Rapid Cellular Peel Cream. From my very first try, it had that unmistakeable tingle that shows it's truly having an effect. Containing potent glycolic and lactic acids, it softens and exfoliates excellently. Described as a facial Cream made by fruit acids AHA, salicylic acid, pro-vitamin B5, chamomile, calendula and hyaluronic acid. Anti-wrinkle, moisturising and regenerating action. It absolutely feels like a salon grade product. A huge tub is £58.80 and will last and last. Very little is needed each time, as the cream is rich and not remotely drying. The packaging is very sophisticated and unisex.





I also have the hero product Eye Cream, which has already garnered rave reviews here and here and I am actually going to give this its own post or video, as it seems to actually be working! [gasp!] My eyes are less puffy and - dare I say - even the darkness appears to be less severe. It reminds me of the Origins eye cream which I love (reviewed on this blog previously) but I had to stop buying as it just finished too quickly. I was hunting for a similarly effective eye cream and finally, it's here. The best thing about this eye cream is that it comes in a huge 40ml tube but still has a narrow nozzle. This keeps the product fresh and it is sure to last and therefore represents great value at £35. Like the Rapid Cellular Peel Cream, it feels like it's tightening and firming as it's applied. 



 Currently - until the end of the month- there is a code for 30% discount from their website, just enter the following code at the checkout. 

expodis30 



The Best and most wearable of the Fashion Weeks' Makeup : Roundup

After going through various images from the several past Fashion Weeks, I've collected up some favourite makeup ideas and trends. Of course, being models, often the makeup is utterly minimal so us mere mortals can only sigh. But amongst the (yawn) 'natural' looks, 70s beauty resurgence (really?) and of course the obligatory smokey eyes, or the tanned glowy standard fodder, there were some exciting beauty looks.

 My absolute favourite is the simplest yet it does have something very modern about it: a very sharp cat eye winged black liner embellished with opulent glitter. The rest of the face is kept rather nude. Seen at Haider Ackermann [Paris]  "Stephane Marais, working with MAC Cosmetics, focused on models’ eyes, over which he painted dark wings speckled with black glitter, for texture and “sophistication.”




It worked especially well with the interesting fringe hairstyles and the monochrome.

My second favourite was the innovative gold accents at Dries Van Noten [Paris.]  I just love the gold eyebrows and hair parting! I wish this would go mainstream! Elegant and quirky (a most rare combination.)






Hairstylist Sam McKnight [...] fashioned on models’ heads a low side part lined with actual gold leaf. Makeup artist Peter Philips handc ut small gold-colored threads then glued from five to seven of them between the lashes on each models’ eyes.

“I could have gone for gold fake lashes and just cut them, but it was too clean,” he explained, calling the threads a bit more “live” and “vibrant.”

Models’ eyebrows were enhanced, and their eyelids got a dab of Chanel Ombre Essentielle in Ivory.


Another inventive yet almost transferable look was seen at the Anthony Vaccarello show [Paris], where Tom Pecheux used a small stencil to help craft a triangle shape over eyes. It seems to work better on some eye shapes rather than others though! I'm thinking, a good twist to a winged liner if you have hooded lids... Otherwise, it takes on a rather 'speccy' aura.



In a similar vein, makeup artist Lucia Pieroni emphasized dewy skin and dark eyes for Missoni’s show [Milan] with semi rimmed eyeliner. Eyes were rimmed in MAC Blacktrack Fluidline. “It's slightly Japanese in its essence and has a rounded-down shape," explained Pieroni. To finish, Silver Glitter eyeliner was applied with the finger over the lid and brow bone. A nude lip was finger-pressed with MAC Have a Lovely Day.



Now, we mustn't completely ignore the wealth of natural looks, for it should be acknowledged when sometimes the effect is truly dramatic. The standout for me was Oscar de la Renta [New York]. “We definitely know she has money,” said Gucci Westman when explaining the look backstage at Oscar de la Renta. Working with Revlon, Westman focused on crafting makeup that was simply pretty. For the face, Westman wanted it to appear luminous. To create the glowing canvas, she used Illuminace Cream Shadow in Not Just Nudes and Skinlights Face Illuminator in Nude. Mixing Powder Blush in Softspoken Pink and Matte Haute Pink she created a soft peachy flush on the cheeks.

The eyes were a mix of both violet and pale pink, which was placed close to the lashes and under the lid. “It has a bit of a Fifties feel,” said Westman. Finishing with a glossy lip, she mixed Super Lustrous Matte in Smoked Peach with Lip Butter in Pink Lemonade and Juicy Papaya. To top it off, she coated the lips with Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Snow Pink. “She’s elegant and polished,” said Westman. “A little Victorian.”



It's worth noting the abundance of corals and oranges, which are always pretty, albeit predictable. There was a purple lip at Marchesa which was complimented by feathers in the hair. Galliano, Fendi and DSquared all chose bright orange lips. Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury for MAC Cosmetics created a tropical, sun-kissed goddess at Dsquared2. Using a squared lip brush to create a refined edge, Tilbury lined lips in What a Blast lip pencil and filled in with Morange lipstick.

 Marchesa

DSquared

Fendi

Galliano

At Tom Ford the makeup was bland but it was fun to get a glimpse of the makeup table and spot some rogue brands including Boots Botanics and Real Techniques (anyone else chime in with your own eye spy please!) It was headed by Charlotte Tilbury.


Finally there were some breakaway trends which should be mentioned. Manish Arora and Vivienne Westwood were dependable for some novel makeup; Manish Arora with some beadwork and Vivienne Westwood with some ghoulish Halloween faces. In their ways, fairly typical.



More unexpectedly, Chanel mirrored their art gallery show theme with some very arty paint like eyes.

Inspired by a fabric in the collection that looked like a Benjamin Moore swatch card, makeup artist Peter Philips wanted to mimic the effect on the eyes. Using what he described as “finger paints” and the Chanel #21 brush, Philips painted an out-of-order rainbow of colorful brushstrokes all over the models’ eyes in lavender, red, yellow, green, pink, and blue. He even made a frame for his paintings, filling in the brows with black pencil, coating lashes in black mascara, lining the eyes top and bottom in inky black paint, and painting the nails in Chanel nail polish in Black Satin. “The black base acts like a frame, then next to that we can do all the playful colors on the eyes,” he explained. But Philips's playfulness came with rules: He and his team had to follow certain guidelines to keep the eyes from smearing or getting muddied. “The different colors don’t touch, and I won’t put more than two colors in the inner corners,” said Philips, who blotted the paints with a tissue to ensure they didn’t run. “And if I use a lot of lavender, I won’t use much green, or if I use coral, I won't do pink. I want it to contrast.” 



Rick Owens had conflicting reactions to his radical game changer. Eschewing lithe, white models, he instead chose a black sorority step show. The women looked very angry and intimidating. Opinions varied from praising the image as strong and beautiful, to ugly and aggressive. I am sure it made the audience sit up though! My feeling is to concur with this rather scathing assessment. I am instead encouraged by more prosaic evidence of inclusion, such as the news that Christian Louboutin's trademark nude shoes will be available in all sorts of skin shades



*Images and italicised  text taken from WWD, Allure.