The Genteel
March 9, 2021

Olivia Wilbury

Within the rarefied world of the luxury goods industry, Bernard Arnault is the single most influential taste maker. With a stable of over 60 prestigious brands including Givenchy, Bulgari, TAG Heuer and Dom Pérignon, LVMH is at the epicenter of the aspiration business. Behind all the champagne and diamonds, Arnault, the corporate virtuoso, has orchestrated some of fashion's most dramatic collaborations and corporate takeovers.

By Olivia Wilbury

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Olivia Wilbury

Brisbane Australia

Olivia contributes to The Genteel from Brisbane, Australia, where she is completing a dual degree in journalism and communications. Olivia loves fashion, theatre, art and grand ideas. She likes to spend her time reading great literature, writing music and meeting new people. She plans to one day ramble around the world combining all her loves.

As the couturier of the American Dream for more than 40 years, Ralph Lauren stands alone as the ideal of the patriotic sartorial aesthetic. His designs are an indelible fashion narration of the aspirations and exuberant achievements of the land of hopes and dreams. Yet, his patriotism and production sources have recently been called into question.

As Australia's largest buying and networking footwear trade event, the biannual Australian Shoe Fair always promises an exciting peek into upcoming seasonal trends, both from industry favourites and local artisans looking to debut their skills.

2012 marked a changing of the guard for some of fashion's biggest brands. As Dior, Saint Laurent Paris and Balenciaga enter a new phase of creative direction, Olivia Wilbury considers the role and expectations of the contemporary creative director.

Oscar Wilde, the literary master of the nineteenth century, once claimed, "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." One hundred years later, Wilde's point rings true with the recent lifting of Vogue magazine's illusionary curtain of couture and cultural authority. Olivia Wilbury on the controversy surrounding Joan Juliet Buck's profile on Syrian First Lady, Asma al-Assad.

Known as "the architect among dressmakers," Madeleine Vionnet changed the way women viewed fashion, feminism and their bodies. The inventor of the bias cut liberated women from the confines of 19th century couture and created an aesthetic that still resonates today.

For the past decade, Western Australia has played host to a mining boom described by The New York Times as a feat of "resource production unrivaled since the great gold rushes of the 19th century." Through a concurrent fashion boom that is attracting both local talent and international luxury brands, Perth is seeking to redress its traditional image and challenge the cultural hegemony of its east coast rivals. 

Pistols at Dawn started as a practical response to the under-attended menswear market in Brisbane. However, the hand-made, bespoke range of tailored shirts and suits has quickly expanded into a sartorial oasis.

Nomad Two Worlds started out as an artistic collaboration between famed fashion photographer Russell James and indigenous Australian artist Clifton Bieundurry. More than four years on, the project has developed into an international programme aiming to promote the economic development and cultural preservation of some of the world's most ancient yet marginalised cultures. 

In the wake of Monday's shock announcement that design wunderkind, Nicolas Ghesquière, will leave Balenciaga on at the end of the month, Olivia Wilbury delves into the maison's deliverance at the hands of one of this generation's greatest designers.

In the second act of a career-defining controversy, last week, former Vogue contributing editor Joan Juliet Buck released her own absolution for her now infamous Vogue profile of Asma al-Assad. But will the beleaguered journalist find forgiveness from the fashion fraternity? 

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