Taylor Russell Graduates to Fashion It-Girl

Taylor Russell Graduates to Fashion It-Girl

by Evan Ross Katz

I’m Amy Schumer. Go with me here. "Did I miss anything? There’s like a different vibe in here," Schumer told the crowd at the Dolby Theater after Will slapped Chris at this year's Oscars. That’s how it feels in the fashion world right now. No, I’m not talking about 68 sets of twins that walked the runway at Gucci. No, I’m not talking about Sarah Sanderson’s costume in Hocus Pocus 2 or Kathy Hilton in Barbie-core Oscar de La Renta for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion. And no, I’m not talking about the announcement that our next Met Gala would be Karl Lagerfeld-themed (sorry, but Jameela’s not wrong). I’m talking, but of course, about...

Ye at Paris Fashion Week... Let's Get It Out of the Way

"I’m staying away from the dumpster fire that is Fashion Week," one creative director told me referring to Paris Fashion Week. "Or at least trying to," they admitted, owning the fact that they, by circumstance, couldn't stay away entirely. "Yesterday was a new low."

We were catching up on Tuesday, the day after the YEEZY Season 9 show had been held at the Avenue de la Grande Armée, a show that was only rumored to even exist 24 hours before it came to be. There — and mind you the mere mention feels, at this point, redundant — West unveiled, among his collection, his "White Lives Matter" T-shirt, one that was quickly called "incredibly irresponsible and dangerous,” insensitive, problematic and racist amongst a flurry of pushback from a fashion world not typically known for condemning those with as much power and influence as West.

West launched an attack not on the myriad critics who dared to speak out against the collection, and in particular the T-shirt, but on one, stylist and global Vogue global fashion editor-at-large Gabriella Karefa-Johnson. His attacks on her, personal and not at all related to the work, were, to borrow terms Karefa-Johnson used to describe West’s show, incredibly irresponsible and dangerous. "While the internet has long had a mixed position on how to respond to Ye’s online tantrums over the years, this was an act of bullying far more unequivocal and clear-cut than, say, a divorced celeb ranting about his ex-wife on Instagram Live," Vanity Fair’s Delia Cai wrote.

West claimed in a now-deleted Instagram post that director Baz Luhrmann filmed a meet-up between he and GKJ for Vogue. There’s footage floating online of a meeting between the two, though nothing has been confirmed as to what or how this footage will be used. For her part, GKJ has said nothing since, only an Instagram post not addressing the conversation, but instead the fatphobia lobbed at her as a result of West’s posts. "I've fielded some serious volatility over the last couple days but nothing has been quite as bad as what people have said about my body and the way I look. The fat phobia JUMPED out. Yes, I am fat. No, I am not humiliated to show up as my authentic self in the world."

Many questions remain. Here are some. When will this meeting air? Where will it air? Was it moderated? Who asked for the meeting? Who set up the meeting? In another of West’s now-deleted posts, he claimed that both and GKJ apologized. What did GKJ apologize for? Will the fashion world continue to cover West’s antics? I keep coming back to this Recho Omondi tweet: "i know yall dont believe this... but it will disappear when you stop giving it life. i promise."

Coperni: A Stunt With Substance?

In Season 1, Episode 5 of The Comeback, Lisa Kudrow’s Valerie Cherish is walking down Montana Avenue in LA when she discovers the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly on a newsstand with the headline, "Is Reality TV Dying? Sex and Stuns the Necessary I.V. for Reality TV." Later, at Starbucks, she tells her hairdresser, "Unless I'm willing to have drunk sex in a hot tub or eat a bowl full of cow testicles, no one is going to watch. It’s sex and stunts, sex and stunts, that’s it."

From a muddy runway at Balenciaga and Cher at Balmain to 68 matching sets of twins at Gucci, stunts were on high display during Fashion Month Spring 2023. But perhaps no stunt gained more attention than Coperni’s spray-on dress at their runway show which saw the month’s most frequently working model, Bella Hadid, emerge in a pair of underwear only to have a team meticulously spray her with Fabrican, an instant spray-on made of polymers and natural or synthetic fibers than dry up, resulting in a non-woven fabric when in contact with skin.

"It’s our duty as designers to try new things and show a possible future,” Coperni Co-Founders Sébastien Meyer toldVogue Business, noting that though they weren’t going to make money on the dress. "But it’s a beautiful moment — an experience that creates emotion."

The technology itself is over a decade old, having been invented in 2010, and has managed to outlast others that came in its wake, namely Electroloom. But this was the first time that Fabrican was put to work in real time on the Fashion Week stage. Of course, we’ve had similar stunts, most notably Shalom Harlow at the Alexander McQueen Spring 1999 show which positioned her on a rotating platform while robots doused her (and her dress) in spray paint, thus creating a new dress entirely. Or, less obvious but no less notably, Hussein Chalayan’s Fall 2000 show, which featured 1950s-style furniture that the models then removed the slip covering from and adapted it into clothing.

Both of those examples received high praise for their execution and end result. Was this the case for Coperni?

In her review for Harper’s Bazaar, Rachel Tashjian called it an "empty trick," writing, "I struggled to see or feel anything other than discomfort at Hadid bending her arms and legs to the whims of these two men and their canisters." In the comments of Tashjina’s accompanying Instagram post, writer/activist Céline Semaan added, "Spraying polymer (another word for polyester, nylon if they used synthetic polymers) is yet another plastic we don’t want out in the environment along with its microplastics that covered her feet." Vogue, meanwhile, deemed it "fashion alchemy."

If only there was a RottenTomatoes equivalent for fashion shows that one could reference...

I loved it, mainly because the end result gave us a dress that was a genuine marvel. But, not to go full Carrie Bradshaw here and now: I couldn’t help but wonder if what was really being admired here was Bella Hadid, herself. Would this dress look quite the same on a body differently proportioned than hers? Certainly not. I’d love to see this dress on, say, Celeste Barber. That to me was maybe a missing ingredient here: Humor.

Is the dress in and of itself an achievement in design? No. An achievement in technology? Certainly, especially that it could be done live, and so quickly. Is that to the credit of the designers of Coperni vs. Fabrican founder, Dr. Manel Torres? So many questions worth pondering. More than anything, I’m left grateful for figures like Tashjian and other fashion critics who dare to make us question the things we may otherwise have not.

Taylor Russell Graduates to Fashion It-Girl

From opening the Loewe Spring 2023 show ("I’ve never been so inspired by someone," Jonathan Anderson said about her) to her champagne double satin corset Schiaparelli look at the British Film Festival screening of Bones and All over the weekend following a green Balenciaga Fall 2022 Couture she wore at the film’s Venice premiere last month, actress Taylor Russell is emitting the necessary main character energy to lead a press tour. And wouldn’t ya know, early reviews of the film are underlining just this. "If this proves a star-making turn for Taylor Russell, the way that Call Me By Your Name proved for Chalamet, then it will be well deserved," writesIndieWire in their early review. Looking forward to more of Russell on screens and carpets alike.

Welcome to "Wear Me Out,"a column by pop culture fiend Evan Ross Katz that takes a deep dive into celebrity dressing. From award shows and movie premieres to grocery store runs, he'll keep you up to date on what your favorite celebs have recently worn to the biggest and most inconsequential events.

Photo courtesy of Loewe