“Bought and brought.” “It’s a phrase that came up when I interviewed Jeremy Scott about his documentary, and one I keep thinking about in light of Raf Simons’s headline-making departure from Dior. The Moschino designer used it to refer to the talents who are plucked from their London, New York, or even more remote bases, and spirited off to Paris to work for luxury fashion houses. Think of J.W. Anderson, London wonder boy turned Loewe chief; Alexander Wang, trading the mean streets of Soho for takeout-filled weeks in a hotel working for Balenciaga; or Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, splitting their Opening Ceremony responsibilities with Kenzo duties.
When these collaborations work, it’s alchemy of the most beautiful sort. But just as often, there’s a parting of the ways, grimly announced via a carefully phrased statement that faults neither party. And these breakups are getting more frequent even as the relationships get Tinder-match short. These designers have studios, dollars, and huge publicity machines at their disposal, but they don’t have the luxury of time: time to develop an idea, time to set it aside, time to fail in the way that you inevitably need to when you’re starting any kind of creative enterprise. “When you do six shows a year, there’s not enough time for the whole process,” Simons told the Cut. Keep in mind that between Dior couture, ready-to-wear, menswear, his own line, and pre-collections, Simons has been doing ten collections annually. At that rate, “you have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important,” Simons reflected.”
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