LABELLED A RIP-OFF; Design guru Wayne Hemingway hits out at the fashion industry for its over-the-top policy on prices.Byline: Merle merle
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DESIGNER gear isn't worth the cloth it's made from - according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. leading style consultant Wayne Hemingway Wayne Hemingway (b. Morecambe, 19 January 1961) is an English fashion designer and co-founder of Red or Dead.
Wayne Hemingway was born in 1961 in Morecambe. Wayne’s earliest memories are of his mum and Nan dressing him up as Elvis, a Beatle or Tarzan and being paraded .
At last, a fashion industry insider has asked the question we've all been posing for years: are these clothes really worth these exorbitant prices?
Well, according to British designer Wayne, the answer is a firm `no'.
It's time to forget all about Armani, give up on Gucci, pass on the Prada and get back into the High Street, where hot stores such as Top Shop, H&M and Warehouse copy the catwalk looks immediately and offer you designer looks for a fraction of the price.
Hemingway, the man behind the Red or Dead label, a major player in the Eighties fashion scene in Britain, has launched a scathing attack on the industry he admits he is ashamed to be a part of.
In a Channel 4 documentary, Revolt in Fashion, to be shown later this month, 41- year-old Hemingway, who now works as a consultant to Top Shop and has sat on Government task forces about fashion and retail, holds nothing back as he attacks the design houses for `ripping off' the public.
He goes on to describe the fashion industry as "sick and out of touch with ordinary people".
He also claims that "spending pounds 400 on a jacket that costs a fraction of that to make shows you've got more money than sense and you simply like funding big marketing campaigns and ostentatious os·ten·ta·tious
Characterized by or given to ostentation; pretentious. See Synonyms at showy.
os flagship stores".
Hemingway knows the ins and outs ins and outs
1. The intricate details of a situation, decision, or process.
2. The windings of a road or path. of the business, and claims that a man's suit costing pounds 80 to make, or a dress costing pounds 100 to make would be sold in the shops with an extra zero added - a huge mark-up.
And to make matters worse for us, the customers, Wayne insists there isn't much difference between high street and designer clothes.
"Designers might use a better fabric that doesn't crease or hangs better," he explains. "But not always and that wouldn't push the cost up by a great deal. They might upgrade the quality a bit, or make it on a machine that is a little neater, but, very often, the designer labels use the same machinists, the same pattern- cutters, and designers who have trained in the same design schools.
"There's just no way you can explain away price differences like pounds 1000, except that the labels spend so much on advertising and marketing and massaging their image.
"The bigger the advertising budget, the bigger the rip-off."
Asked which labels were the worst offenders Hemingway named LVHM, which owns Kenzo, Christian Dior Noun 1. Christian Dior - French couturier whose first collection in 1947 created a style that became known as the New Look (1905-1957)
Dior , Christian Lacroix Christian Marie Marc Lacroix (May 16 1951 in Arles, France) is a French fashion designer. Early life
In early childhood, Lacroix attended bullfighting events and enjoyed Gypsy and Provencal traditions as well. , Givenchy, Louis Vuitton The Louis Vuitton Company (more commonly known simply as Louis Vuitton) is a luxury French fashion and leather goods brand and company, headquartered in Paris, France. It is a division of the French holding company, LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy S.A. and Celine, and Gucci which incorporates Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Gucci, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. However, he added: "It's all of them really."
When we asked the big name designers for their views on Hemingway's claims, they, unsurprisingly, declined to comment.
Much of the Channel 4 documentary was filmed at this year's Spring Summer 2003 London Fashion Week, as Hemingway scoured the shows for signs of all he hates about the industry. At British designer Julien MacDonald's show, a favourite of Naomi Campbell, Martine McCutcheon and Kylie, the cameras show models wearing dresses that leave little to the imagination.
"This is just a flesh-fest," Hemingway says, as the likes of Campbell sashay down the runway in skimpy skimp·y
adj. skimp·i·er, skimp·i·est
1. Inadequate, as in size or fullness, especially through economizing or stinting: a skimpy meal.
2. Unduly thrifty; niggardly. little frocks.
AND he heaps scorn on highly-thought of young British designer Hamish Morrow, who staged his Spring Summer 2003 show in a London car park.
"Here, the designer needs to get his show talked about by the press," he states. "But oh yes, this is how I really like to see women dressed: purple industrial climbing harnesses, blue footie socks, hair like she hasn't seen hot water for a year, 200ft of climbing rope dyed pink, purple poncho cocoons, and a knitted outfit that looks like it comes from Doctor Who.
"These are clothes aspiring to be art - what a lot of rubbish. Why don't designers ask themselves who is actually going to wear these clothes?"
When we tried to ask Hamish Morrow this and his reaction to Hemingway's rant, he wouldn't comment. Giorgio Armani also refused to be drawn into a war of words with Hemingway, who was less than impressed with the Italian fashion veteran.
After a party at the Italian's Bond Street stores, Hemingway tells the viewer: "You haven't missed anything - it's blooming boring. They wouldn't let me interview the emperor himself.
"I wanted to talk to him about this quote from a recent interview he did in a broadsheet newspaper.
"Armani said: `Luxury disgusts me. I want to pay homage to the workers, to the dignity of the workers with their simplicity and straightforwardness'.
"What a lot of poppycock. I am going to come back in a year's time and and I want to see his clothes at 25 per cent of the cost they are now. Then I'll believe his little speech."
Once the darling of the fashion industry, with the label he and his wife Geraldine launched in 1982, which offered funky designer togs at reasonable prices, Hemingway reckons style magazines and the national press are conniving with designer labels to take advantage of a gullible public.
Of course, Hemingway's outburst could just be a long-held anger at the treatment his label was given at the start.
Red or Dead, a low-cost street-cred range, was repeatedly refused catwalk space at London Fashion Week on the ground that the clothes were too cheap.
HE is now firmly behind high street stores such as Top Shop, who he works for on a consultancy basis, and who are the high street's top retailer for high fashion garments.
He said: "There seems to be a seismic shift in fashion.
"Now, the coolest fashionistas are shopping on the High Street. Top Shop doesn't insult you - what you get is affordable and wearable."
And Hemingway reckons after this Channel 4 show, there won't be much future for him at the bi-annual event in the capital city, or the shows in the other fashion capitals of Milan, Paris and New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of .
"After this programme goes out, there is no way I will be allowed in to a catwalk show," he laughs.
But with his views on designer clothing, surely that's a good thing.
ARMANI:Skirt from pounds 200, top from pounds 300, shoes from pounds 159, bag from pounds 200 AVERAGE COST OF OUTFIT: pounds 859
HIGH STREET: red wraparound Wraparound
A financing device that permits an existing loan to be refinanced and new money to be advanced at an interest rate between the rate charged on the old loan and the current market interest rate. top, pounds 28, black satin pencil skirt, pounds 25, red handbag, pounds 10, all Top Shop; black satin sandals, pounds 30, M&S.
TOTAL COST: pounds 93
VERSACE: Top, pounds 2320, trousers, pounds 258.
TOTAL COST: pounds 2578
HIGH STREET: Chiffon chiffon (shĭfŏn`), plain-weave, lightweight, sheer, transparent fabric made of cotton, silk, or synthetic fiber; it is made of fine, highly twisted, strong yarn. top, pounds 35, trousers, pounds 20, both TopShop; hat, pounds 19.50 Per Una @ M&S; sunglasses, pounds 3, H&M; black mules, M&S, as before. TOTAL COST: pounds 112.50
JULIEN MACDONALD : Jacket, pounds 730, trousers, pounds 485, shirt, pounds 300.
COST: pounds 1515
HIGH STREET: jacket, pounds 75, trousers, pounds 45, silver belt worn as necklace, pounds 18, all from Warehouse; shirt, pounds 35, trilby, pounds 19, mules, pounds 35, all M&S.
TOTAL COST: pounds 227