Intern Aware will protest by handing out tote bags bearing the message “Pay Your Interns” at Somerset House, headquarters of London Fashion Week. The bags will contain information about minimum wage legislation, advice for interns and information about Intern Aware’s Claim Back Your Pay scheme, as well as a letter written by Libby Page, who has worked as an unpaid fashion intern seven times.
“I started doing internships when I was 16,” said the 20-year-old from Dorset. “I would often be expected to work for six months for free, but I have never done more than a month because I couldn’t afford it. I feel now that if an intern is doing any actual work they should be paid.”
Page’s letter reads: “Mistreatment of fashion interns is something the industry should be ashamed of, and something we should be talking about. I have heard far too many stories from friends, peers and young people around the country working long hours in poor conditions and being subjected to demeaning treatment in the name of fashion. ‘The intern will do that’ is not a phrase I want to hear again.”
The campaign has collated information from students and fashion websites to gain evidence of free work schemes at leading design houses. One design student told Intern Aware of an unpaid placement with a famous label, partly based in London, where the interns slept under the workshop table.
The British Fashion Council said: “We have been working with HMRC to clarify and communicate the legal situation regarding interns and work experience. There is much misunderstanding and it is really important to ensure that we are helping those within the fashion sector, particularly the designer businesses, to be aware of their NMW obligations.
“Our main priority is to help designer businesses manage the financial implications of complying with the NMW regulations, ensuring their business can continue to develop despite potentially increased salary costs.
“It is in everyone’s interest that the broader industry is still able to create jobs, giving experience and opportunity to future employees, training them and encouraging young people to join the sector. We are confident that there is now much greater awareness about this issue across the industry.”
Once you get past the name of Chris Peters and Shane Gabler’s label, Creatures of the Wind, and embrace their awkward sense of femininity, things start to make sense. They’re great with skirts — boxed-pleated, dirndls — and even their more complicated collage effects, done with high-contrast fabrics and colors, manage to retain a sense of proportion. Their patternmaking is O.K.
But the overall result is murky. One of the nicest things they showed on Thursday was a brushed cotton minidress with a wide belt in the same fabric and elbow-length sleeves. You don’t want to tell the designers to narrow down their fabric choices or be more straightforward in their cutting, because that sounds horribly discouraging to a pair of designers who actually like to experiment.
But they ought to put more thought into what they want to achieve from a fabric or a design. You can’t improve on that little brushed cotton dress, or on a windowpane check dress, or a skirt in filmy red polyester. For now, though, too many of their garments feel like charming strays with no home.
If you see a woman walking around on the Upper East Side in a tent dress with ridiculously cheerful dots, the outfit is sure to be a Lisa Perry. You won’t get an innovative take on the ‘60s from Ms. Perry; she’s more interested in updating a style for her customers, who clearly are not down for dishwater green.
Among her new additions are double-face wool coats and suit separates, with a dot pattern on one side and glen plaid on the reverse. She has also put some waist in her tents, so all that exercising and dieting won’t be in vain. A long-sleeve, funnel-neck dress in red wool was a nice departure from her A-line shapes. Indeed, the more freely she interprets the ‘60s aesthetic, the more interesting her stuff becomes.
New York Fashion: Prabal Gurung takes cue from military.
Next-big-thing designer Prabal Gurung is in the army — and the navy — now. The Nepalese designer found inspiration in a surprising source this season: servicewomen.
“I just read the Time magazine article that one of the best inventions of 2012 was this invention of body armor for women in the military,” he explained backstage before trotting out his 36 military-inspired creations. “That kind of set me thinking, then I started reading more about it and I found out that all these women have been wearing men’s uniforms for the longest period of time, so now they’re redesigning them for women, and even the small-statured men are wearing that.”
The structured, but feminine looks featured bold peplums, sexy harnesses, asymmetrical evening gowns ans stick thin stilettos that came in black and shiny metallic gold. Some of the heels were even to-the-thigh sexy boot styles with rows of gold buckles.
Gurung said the word that summed up the collection is “empowerment,” which he defined in his own way.”The whole idea means not just being forceful, but embracing your femininity and being a woman in a man’s world and ruling it. You no longer need to look like a man to compete like a man. That’s the power and tool that women have that men don’t have: femininity.”
Saturday’s show is just the beginning of a busy 72 hours for Gurung that will see him launch his capsule collection at Target stores nationwide tomorrow and put on another show Monday for his lower-priced line ICB.
“I’m grateful that I’m busy,” he said humbly pre-show. “I feel good that I have a platform like Target that I can reach out to all these people. Even if they’re not able to buy (the more expensive designer line), they understand the passion and my story, and hopefully they’ll explore that and be inspired themselves.”
In a neighboring room, Jennifer Meyer showed her newest creations amongst a setting of lush palm fronds. For Meyer, who’s sold her delicate array of fine jewelry in stores like Barney’s New York since 2004, the fund offered an opportunity to look outside of her already well-established box. “To be honest it gave me the confidence to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things and experiment,” she explained of the experience. Once solely revered for her tiny gold pendants, Meyer’s recent efforts have exhibited an adept hand at colored stones and sophisticated, geometric shapes. As her husband, actor Tobey Maguire circulated the floor with his Great Gatsby co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, she waxed poetic about a different celebrity. “I have the most incredible mentor, Diane Von Furstenberg. I scored so big time I can’t event tell you…within the first week of me becoming runner-up she spent three hours in my office. She filled a book of notes…her advice is incredible.”
The fund’s final 2012 class member, Tabitha Simmons, occupied Milk’s largest block of space in an elegant room overlooking the Hudson, which she filled with industry luminaries like J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons, buyer Ikram Goldman, and designer Tory Burch. “Looking at Tabitha, who I think is one of the most talented footwear designers out there, it’s really exiting to see that she was a finalist and now you can come see her presentation here,” Burch said of Simmons, who created the shoes for her fall 2013 collection. Simmons, who’s long served as a Vogue contributing stylist, leaned towards a bit of the Ziggy Stardust magic for fall by peppering her classic shoes with electric glitter and rhinestones. “I think what we’ve done is expand,” she enthused of her brand in post-fund mode between takes of congratulatory praise from Goldman and beyond.
Cox wants to start dating.
Actress Courtney Cox is appealing for potential suitors to step up and ask her out – because she realises “it’s time” for her to move on from her estranged husband David Arquette.
The former Friends star split from Arquette in 2010 and, while the actor has now found happiness with TV reporter Christina McLarty, Cox admits her love life is basically non-existent.
Appearing on shock jock Howard Stern’s satellite radio show on Wednesday, Cox said, “I’ve not had a man since David… No guy’s asked me out. I’m not saying I’m not ready to have a make-out session, it just makes me nervous. I don’t like to go out in general.”
She adds, “I have sexual feelings, there’s ways to deal with that. It’s time for me to get out there. It’s not easy to meet people. They don’t call me.”
And Cox isn’t sure if she’s strong enough emotionally to open up to a new man: “I’m really not ready… it’s hard. I was in a marriage for a very long time… I’m just not there.”
The actress did confess to one romantic encounter, admitting, “I’ve made out with one guy” – although she remained coy when asked to confirm reports of a fling with her Cougar Town co-star Josh Hopkins.
But she’s still close to Arquette and admits that even he has encouraged her to start dating.
She adds, “He even says to me, ‘Courteney, it’s time, get out there.’ He’s comfortable with whoever that would be with.”