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Vogue Festival creates buzz with newsworthy designers

March 10, 2015

Promotional image for 2015 Vogue Festival Promotional image for 2015 Vogue Festival


British Vogue is drumming up interest in its upcoming festival with the announcement of fashionable speakers who found themselves in the headlines many times this past year.

John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier are among the designers giving talks at the fourth annual weekend-long event, presented in collaboration with retailer Harrods. The festival is designed to appeal to both fashion fans and insiders, with some career-centered classes, and these appearances by designers may help forge a link between a brand and a potential future employee.

"From global fashion players like Olivier Rousteing, Tim Walker, John Galliano and Christian Louboutin, to the beauty industry’s grand dame Bobbi Brown and some of London’s biggest fashion week designers incuding Erdem and Roksanda Ilinicic – this fourth year of the Vogue Festival in association with Harrods is bigger than ever before," said Serena Hood, executive fashion editor at Vogue, London. From one on one talks, to larger panel discussions, the topics span British Vogue’s editorial content with fashion, beauty and for the first time ever wellbeing.

"Ticket holders have the rare opportunity to learn the highs--and lows--of what it takes to build brand from the likes of Henry Holland or whether you can really Dress for Success?" she said. "Hair stylist to the stars Josh Wood and Vogue’s Laura Bailey will share their views.

"For the first time ever, the Vogue Festival will feature Vogue Masterclasses, round table intimate tutorials with the best in the industry. Calling all aspiring editors get top tips on The Art of Editing from Vogue’s features editor Susie Rushton– and if a career in fashion styling has always been your dream then sign up to learn from Vogue contributing fashion editor Kate Phelan on how to become a successful fashion editor. End the day starring in your own Vogue cover shoot–does it get any better than that?"

Famous faces
This is the second time British Vogue and Harrods are teaming up to host the Vogue Festival at the Royal College of Art in London.

The festival will give attendees the opportunity to listen to international designers, photographers, models and writers in the fashion industry. The annual affair gives Vogue a chance to showcase top individuals in fashion and interact with readers on a more personal level (see story).

Held from April 25-26, the festival offers fashion hopefuls opportunities to gain career advice, through talks and interactive sessions. Consumers can attend sessions to learn "how to be" a fashion journalist, photographer or editor, or "show and tell" their designs to industry experts to get feedback.

Vogue Festival 2015

Promotional image for Vogue Festival

Both British Vogue and Harrods promoted the full lineup when it became available March 9, the same day consumers could first purchase tickets.

For those looking to break into the industry, seeing a design idol may help spur ticket purchases.

Former creative director of French couture house Christian Dior, Mr. Galliano has been in the news this past year due to a lawsuit with his previous employer. Following a court decision, he was ordered to pay an undisclosed sum to Dior in the wake of his dismissal in 2011.

The British fashion designer was excused from his 17-year tenure at Dior after he was overheard making racist and anti-semitic remarks in a Paris cafe. In response to his firing, Mr. Galliano asked the court for damages ranging between $3 million and $16 million (see story).

In January, Mr. Galliano showed his first collection for Maison Margiela, after being appointed the house’s creative director last October.

Vogue Festival John Galliano tweet

Tweet from British Vogue

At the festival, the designer will be talking with Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman about couture craftsmanship.

Other confirmed speakers have made waves in the fashion industry for their uncommon choices.

Mr. Gaultier’s spring/summer 2015 runway show in September for his eponymous Jean Paul Gaultier label was the brand’s last ready-to-wear presentation.

The designer is stopping his ready-to-wear line to give more attention to his couture collection and fragrances, among other ventures (see story).

At the festival, Mr. Gaultier will look back on his four decade career in a talk with model Erin O’Connor.

Other speakers will draw attention due to a massive social following.

Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, who just reached 1 million followers on his personal Instagram (see story), will be talking social media with Longchamp face Alexa Chung.

Olivier Rousteing Instagram

Olivier Rousteing Instagram

Christian Louboutin, who just expanded into beauty (see story), will be sharing “Tales From Beyond The Red Sole.”

On social media, consumers are sharing how excited they are to see particular designers at this year's event.

In addition to the talks, the Vogue Festival has shared information about other activities consumers can take part in. For instance, attendees can have their own Vogue cover shoot decked out in Chanel accessories and makeup or hang out in the Harrods Cafe.

Vogue Festival makeup tutorials

Vogue Festival 2014

"We enjoyed a successful partnership with Harrods in 2014 and look forward to working together on this year’s Vogue Festival once again," Ms. Hood said. "Harrods is a landmark luxury department store recognized the world over for its covetable selection of the best in fashion and accessories.

"Harrods and British Vogue share an understanding of the important in nurturing British talent and recognize the value in celebrating the past and embracing the future."

Talent outreach
British Vogue parent Condé Nast has created other initiatives for those looking for a fashion career to get feedback and advice.

Due to the successful growth of its educational offerings, Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design is expanding upon the classes available.

After noting an interest from younger readers between the ages of 16 and 18, Condé Nast has decided to begin offering “Miss Vogue” weekend courses. Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design’s main courses help to curate young talent among students interest in fashion journalism and styling (see story).

These types of events bring the publisher's titles to life.

"The Vogue Festival is an incredibly successful and innovative extension of the British Vogue brand, pioneered by Condé Nast," Ms. Hood said. "It allows us to reach the British Vogue reader in an intimate and live setting and provide our valued readers with a two day live experience packed with activities, from styling demonstrations and trends talks from British Vogue editors to hair styling and beauty makeovers."

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York