Industry-expert Julia Muller is a woman of many talents and a well-known name within the international fashion business. After finishing her psychology study in the Netherlands, Julia moved to Paris, where she graduated from one of the most prestigious business universities in fashion and lifestyle. She has been working as an international fashion stylist for high end titles such as Vogue, L’officiel and Glamor for many years now. With the September fashion-shows fresh in her memory, Julia shares her thoughts about the latest trends and what new designers we should keep an eye on.
“When you arrive in such a majestic room where models come down on an escalator runway.
That was truly amazing”
The SS20 shows have just ended. What does fashion month look like for you?
Extremely hectic, especially since all campaign shoots for the new season also start in September, so everything runs together. One moment I’m on a plane from Milan to Paris and the next you I’m back in the Netherlands in a studio. To organize all this together is quite hectic, but I love it.
What trends have you seen this season?
It was striking that a lot of attention was paid to political issues. An example of this is at Balanciaga, where we saw entire goverments passing by wearing old suits; large and oversized. At Rick Owens, we saw Mexican influences, a bit of a “fuck you” to Trump of course. John Galliano’s collection for Maison Margiele obviously referred to Brexit. I also saw a notable trend in which everyone is becoming more aware. For example, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen was very consciously concerned about being frugal with the product. I find that extremely interesting, because fashion and what is happening around the world, those influences are always very visible within fashion.
If you look at the four major cities, what are the main differences?
Milan is more feminine, sexy, bombastic, over the top, but it is certainly characteristic for its craftsmanship. Everything is perfect, down to the details. Think of designers like D&G, with large coats and really that feminine touch. You also see that back on the street. And in Paris, of course, are all the big names, very high class, modern and edgy. Everything and everyone there is much cooler and very busy with the latest trends. New York fashion week is a bit more aesthetic, younger and more mature at the same time. Younger in the sense that there are many opportunities for young designers, and with more mature I mean slightly more wearable and mature clothing. London on the other hand really has that edgy, young, underground style and a lot of opportunity for young designers as well.
“I see couture more as an art form.
Like paintings and sculpture,
couture is the art of clothing.”
It seems that London is becoming less interesting comparing to the other cities?
I think that there is a platform for young designers there, with new insights from younger generations. I think we should look at that more often and certainly not underestimate it. London is more experimental and open-minded with creative ideas. They dare to try new things; the commercial aspect comes later.
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What do you think is the power of couture versus pret-a-porter?
I see couture more as an art form. Like paintings and sculpture, couture is the art of clothing. Pret-a-porter is much more focused on trends and more accessible, although that is not always the case. That difference should be there. A couture show is much more special, it is really a happening with beautiful handmade dresses passing the runway.
What was the most memorable show you have ever had the chance to attend?
When I was studying in Paris, I really wanted to go to Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs. I went there together with a girlfriend, hoping to be lucky enough to get in, even though we didn’t have invites. At first it didn’t seem to work, until I saw a friend who actually was invited and she pulled me with her passed the doorman by my arm. Then, when you arrive in such a majestic room where the models come down on an escalator runway in 60s style clothes. That was truly amazing. Although I was crammed somewhere in the back, this was certainly the most memorable show I was lucky enough to experience.
Victoria’s Secret has been the most coveted show since 1995, both to walk in and to attend. This year, the brand announced it could cancel the show. What are your thoughts on this?
The ratings were going down compared to 6 years ago, because people now are more focused on influencers and social media. In addition, exclusivity, of course, is something that a brand such as Victoria’s Secret can no longer be ignored. At Victoria’s Secret, all models are still super skinny, so I understand that this no longer works for the general public. Yet, the shows are always fantastic, where you end up in some kind of dream-world for a moment. I am very curious to see what will happen with the brand in the future, I hope it will be returning at some point.
How do you see the future of international fashion weeks for you?
I think the ecological aspect will take the upper hand and designers will become more aware. I also think that technology will continue to play a big part in the industry. For example, there is a young Belgian fashion designer who has created a material that can adapt to your mood. Then, you would only need one outfit, which is of course very interesting. I think that this kind of new influences from technology will play an increasing role in fashion.
Who should we keep an eye on when you look at the new generation of designers from our fashion academies in the Netherlands?
I think Ferry Schiffelers has a lot of talent He uses beautiful shapes and designs couture-like pieces. As a young designer, you must of course continue to grow and find your own identity and signature. We have a number of great talents in the Netherlands. A name like Claes Iversen is already worn by big stars and David Laport is also doing very well. We see more and more Dutch designers on international runways and we should definitely be proud of that.