It’s A Dog’s World
I enjoyed my first trip to Europe at the very idealistic and impressionable age of thirteen. I remember traveling by train, bus and plane across the continent with my mom, and to pass the time between historic spots and capital cities I would immerse myself for hours in the pages of fashion magazines. I spent a small fortune on Vogue and Elle at every opportunity, printed in Italian, German or French. I couldn’t understand the words, but it didn’t matter. My eyes were transfixed on the images. The most amazing clothes and accessories on the most amazing bodies I had ever seen. That experience was my first exposure to the world of high fashion.
I carried this love, this fascination, with me in the years to follow. Some of my fondest memories involve long weekends with my mom in San Francisco or in other major cities across the country, on the East Coast mostly. Mom really is a great sidekick, and I am one very lucky daughter. Our time together would always include a shopping trip or two to the finest stores. To this day I love to walk the floors and pass the clothing racks of Saks and Neiman Marcus with her, taking in the beautiful fabrics and workmanship. On our many excursions sometimes I would leave the store with nothing more than a lipstick, and sometimes I would be lucky enough to walk out with bags in hand, filled with beautiful things that would soon find a home in my closet. Regardless of how many treasures I discovered, I always left feeling a bit more enlightened.
Of course the years have passed, and I have left behind the naiveté and idealism of my teens and twenties. I instead view high fashion and its allure not as a way of life, but something, among many things, that makes life interesting. Its artists and their creations are something to be celebrated. Fashion tells a story. The journey, how a concept goes from being a creation in one’s mind to a beautiful and tangible garment hanging on a rack in the finest of establishments, simply intrigues me.
But I have grown more interested in the human and personal side of it. I have a curiosity of knowing more about the person the artist truly is. With the passage of time, wisdom is gained and priorities shift. We grow less concerned with the material and more appreciative of what truly matters. Tastes, likes and dislikes, wants and needs; they all change, as we do. And for sure one thing has remained a constant throughout my life, regardless of what has come my way: my love for animals.
And as it turns out, I have something in common with some of the major players in the fashion industry: a love of dogs.
Life is never without its challenges, for any of us. I would imagine creating several collections a year, with a terribly picky and judgmental world watching, managing the direction of a company and remaining on top of the craft must bring with it unbelievable stress. And after all of that, when the cameras and the media, and all of those people wanting a piece of you fade away at the end of the day, you want something wonderful to go home to. For these reasons, it makes perfect sense to me that dogs are a significant part of the lives of fashion designers.
“We’ve lost our contact with the earth. Dogs don’t have guilt, dogs don’t have insecurity complexes, dogs don’t think they need a bigger house than the other dog. Dogs are just completely themselves. They’re very in touch, they’re not thinking about their death. They are just rolling around on their back, enjoying what that feels like. I think that is the appeal of animals in our lives; that is what’s important.
I’ve asked myself, “If I were to die tomorrow what are the things I will remember?” and I realized that nuzzling up with my dogs is one of the most precious things in my life! That would be something I would miss so much.”
-Tom Ford, American fashion designer
Angus and India. Their dads: Tom Ford and his longtime partner, Richard Buckley. Angus and India also have a sister, a horse named Naomi.
Richard Buckley with Angus and India.
-Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez, co-founders and designers of Proenza Schouler, when interviewed separately and asked what they could not live without. Jack is dad to Buster, and Lazaro is dad to Jojo.
Diane von Furstenberg at her Connecticut home with her family dog.
Marc Jacobs, with his babies Daisy and Alfred.
Alfred at work.
Angela Missoni and Billy.
Jonathan Saunders, and his girl Amber.
Alberta Ferretti and Alfonso.
Valentino and his adored pugs.
“I don’t care much about the collections. My dogs are much more important.”- Valentino
These talented people affect style, and the industry as a whole, clear down to its basic levels. Target or any average store at the neighborhood mall may be a far cry from the exclusive boutiques of Rodeo Drive and the polished luxury of Neiman Marcus, but their influence is all around us.
Fashion may be creative, but it is also elitist in nature. To work and create at that level essentially requires it. These artists may as well live an entire world away from me. Me, in my mundane and every day corner of the universe. But they are people. Human. With lives and loves, and a realization of what is important.
So different from me, but the same.
In one very significant way.
Dog is our co-pilot.
Photo Source, Tom Ford in front of mirror (from the article My List: Tom Ford In 24 Hours): www.harpersbazaar.com (photo by Simon Perry)
Photo Source, Angus and India (together and with Richard Buckley): from the private collection of Tom Ford & Richard Buckley via www.anothermag.com
Photo Source, Proenza Schouler: www.milestostyle.com
Photo Source, Angela Missoni, Alberta Ferretti & Jonathan Saunders with their dogs (from the article Designers And Their Dogs): www.wwd.com
Photo Source, Valentino w/pugs and models: Still image from the film Valentino: The Last Emperor
Photo Source, Valentino cradling his dog: www.wwd.com (photo by Stephane Feugere)
Photo Source, Diane von Furstenberg: www.guestofaguest.com