Friday, October 11, 2013


Dirk Standen (Editor-in-Chief of, Iris Apfel and Vera Wang

Students and stylites alike flock to Top Shop Thursday evening for faux fur, fancy frocks and a dose of impassioned pragmatism from a trio of fashion's familiar faces. Celebrating the second edition launch of The Fashion Book, Topshop and Phaidon present Vera Wang, Iris Apfel and Dirk Standen--3 formidable favorites--in conversation with Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons. Candid responses about age, experience and innovative vision spawn waves of laughter from an eager audience. [Video clip after the jump]      

Quick clip of the conversation

Sporting a comical demeanor and a tone of persuasive urgency, Afpel emphasizes the importance of starting from the bottom and growing beyond creativity to master the actual craft of fashion. Standen echoes her sentiments, adding that once a strong foundation is built, almost everything can be inspirational. Wang voices her admiration for the conceptual creativity of various Japanese designers (Commes des Garcons, Yohji Yammamoto, Junya Watanabe) who create fashion as a reflection of oneself, adapt to their environment and yet stay true to what they believe despite the lure of wealth and flightiness of trends. All three applaud the bold statement of Rick Owens' recent runway show and agree that the streets of NYC are a strong influencer of style.

Vera Wang and Simon Collins

Here is an excerpt of the conversation around the making of an icon...

Iris: I think icon--being iconic implies having a specific image.... I think iconic people are very take it or leave it. This is what you see. This is what you get.

Vera: I think that’s totally true and profound. I have to honestly say in that regard it’s very hard to be an icon then.  Probably being an icon takes tremendous individuality, strength, courage and sort of complete belief in yourself and your vision. And I think that’s also not as easy today perhaps because there are so many trends. People are so--young people are so--overwhelmed by what’s going on and I think that probably icons are harder to achieve today than they ever were before

Simon: It feels like we know so much about everybody now. It used to be that all you saw was their public face that was in one of a handful of magazines—and that was it. But now you know everything. If they’re not tweeting and you don’t know their inside leg, then they’re probably not that famous

Pretty in pink! Cover Illustration by Dior's Mats Gustafson

Starting with a masculine black and grey font-based cover, The Fashion Book has undergone an epic makeover and adopted a more feminine identity. The gold standard of who's who in fashion now includes 72 new style icons. Keep an eye out for bloggers, street style photographers and "super stylists" hidden between the pages!

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