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Topic Started: Mar 11 2013, 07:13 PM (977 Views)
Bailey
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A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Self Reliance (1841)
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thomas

Front pew: why churches can make perfect catwalk venues

Churches are for everyone, not just Christians. The first promise that would-be priests make to the Church of England is “to serve the community in which they are set, bringing to the church the needs and hopes of all the people”. No wiggle room there.

And, as unlikely as it seems, that rubric has extended to the world of fashion, with places of worship commonly becoming venues for shows. In most instances, it is hard to see how anyone could be offended by what is on display. Reports on Gucci’s eccentric and colourful pre-spring/summer cruise collection at Westminster Abbey and Alexa Chung’s quiet, minimal show at the Danish Church of St Katharine in Regent’s Park last summer saw them as suitable venues. Most recently, French label Jacquemus used the Church of Saint-Merri, which openly supports gay marriage, a choice that makes perfect sense. Places of worship are no longer novel venues, but rather good fits for the creative narratives of some fashion shows.

The reception has not always been positive, though. Last month at London fashion week, some of the hardcore faithful had their skirts blown up by an apparently “blasphemous” collection by rising star, Dilara Findikoglu, which took place at St Andrew Holborn, London, with reports “that models dressed as devils and vampires sashayed in front of the altar”. Among those unhappy with Findikoglu’s show was the theologian Dr Adrian Hilton, who wrote on his blog: “How is it possible that a sacred space can be used for what can only be described as Lucifer lauding? How does hosting a Satanic Fashion Show glorify God?”

At this stage, we could make some theological points: doesn’t the doctrine of the atonement (Jesus’s death on the cross) mean that devil-worship is defeated once and for all? So can’t we just laugh and point at it like a piece of Commedia Dell’Arte? And how does all this outrage over a fashion show sit with a Jesus who, according to the texts, hung out with harlots and people in rags?

There are plenty of us who believe that the church should try to emulate the medieval model and act as a secular, as well as a sacred, space during the week. True, this would have been an easier call in the days when community outreach amounted to keeping new-born lambs warm or ladling soup (though there’s precious few of us meeting even that threshold today). But what to do when we want to share our lovely churches with all sorts, including fashion designers wanting to show off their wares?

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thomas

Georgina Chapman: no longer behind Harvey Weinstein, still behind a global brand

Only days ago, Harvey Weinstein insisted that his wife, Georgina Chapman, “couldn’t be standing behind me more”. Now, after a deluge of allegations against Weinstein culminated in accusations of rape, Chapman has decided she cannot stand behind him any longer.

On Tuesday, the 41-year-old British fashion designer confirmed she had left the film producer, saying: “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions.”

Her announcement ends a 10-year marriage. But while the scandal engulfing Weinstein, 65, has made him the inevitable focus in recent days, once the dust has settled Chapman – who has two children with Weinstein, India Pearl and Dashiell – will go back to a lucrative career of her own, as co-founder of the designer label Marchesa.

The brand is a global powerhouse, claiming to be the most worn label on the red carpet last year. The supermodel Karolína Kurková wore a Marchesa frock to the Met Gala, Heidi Klum wore one to the Oscars, and Katy Perry chose Marchesa for the Cannes film festival.

But with her clothes having been highly visible at movie premieres, the question now is whether one of the biggest scandals in Hollywood’s history will affect Chapman’s business.

Chapman, who met Weinstein at a party in 2004, launched her label the same year. It made its worldwide debut at the premiere of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason the same year, when Renée Zellweger wore an embellished red bandeau sari dress. Shortly after, the previously unknown British label was sported by numerous other high-profile Weinstein associates, including Cate Blanchett at the Rome premiere of The Aviator.Chapman has battled claims that Marchesa’s success is inextricably tied to her husband’s influence. “Marchesa’s breathtaking success has the fashion world talking – and rolling its eyes, too,” wrote the Los Angeles Times in the label’s early days. “Just how much of that success, observers wonder, is due to the Harvey factor?” According to a Vogue profile, bets were placed on which would last longer: the romance between Chapman and Weinstein or her label.

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