Fashion Films, evolving trends and emerging designers are some of the subjects discussed with Diane Pernet. The Founder of A Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival is a regular to international fashion scenes and here she shares with May Barber her views on today’s changing fashion landscape and its new stars.

On the Shaded Side of Fashion: Interview with Diane Pernet

Interview by May Barber


Elegant Black Widow look vs. Arabian woman in black abaya, what is the difference in your opinion?


The abaya is a traditional dress where as my look is just a personal expression. The abaya is normally a loose over-garment and although my look is black and long it is not one piece but rather in layers.



Arabian fashion is not the notorious Lebanese couture only; any iconic arab designers on your radar besides the  traditional school of couture?


This past season I met Ahmed Abdelrahman in his showroom with his Thamanyah collection of traditional arab clothes with a twist. While I was there there were many people trying on his pieces and they looked amazing. He has Michele Lamy behind him as his mentor and has had her support or several years I believe.



An existentialist question: Does the world need more fashion designers?


Where there is real talent, yes , there is always room.



Is it more liberating to sport black everyday? No branding, no names, no prints or colors, do you blend or block?


In fact I just got a beautiful LUTZ spring coat that actually has some grey and white along with the black. I love black, what can I say, it is the color that I feel strong in. Lately I’ve been wearing a bit of KTZ and sometimes that has mirror or metal on it so that is a bit wild for me.


Which new comers in the fashion industry should we in the cARTel keep an eye on?


You already are a fan of Rad, I’m sure you appreciate Iris Van Herpen as well. I love the work of Norwegian Rain, it mixes function with expert tailoring and it is beautifully conceived and constructed. For accessories I love 1-100, Bijules, Bliss Lau, Shaoo, she designed my black jade ring, I am a devotee of Mario Salvucci who makes my spiders, Valentina Kova and brand new.. Cosmo Gonik and Holy Faya by Nelly Zagury.


Technology is increasingly integrated into fashion-making and the traditional design tools have been completely revamped, where is fashion going?


One of the accessory brands I just mentioned, Holy Faya makes beautiful 3-D printed accessories, that is something of the future or maybe already strong, kids in school now have 3-D printers in their class rooms. I wait for the wearable technology that looks good, for sure that is not too far away. I like the technological advances like fabrics that make you cooler, I forget the name of the producer of the black fabric that is made to make your body temperature drop. Adam Jones makes knits that have something in the cashmere that relaxes you. I think these are the techniques that make sense for the future.


What is/was the golden age of fashion?


Most decades have their moments, the 30’s were great, so were the 20’s for that matter, couture hit it’s peak in the 50’s, the 40’s put women into power dressing in the same way that the 80’s did. 60’s were about liberation, maybe the ugliest period was the 70’s. The 80’s had the contrast of disco vs Japanese couture and then the 90’s were about Belgium and deconstruction.I think most of the decades have some wonderful moments. Now it is more about technology and let’s see where we can go with that.



Fast fashion on the rise. Retailers like the cARTel are on the slower ‘more shaded’ side of fashion. Where are the speed bumps? Can we have real fashion police?


There is no protection from copiests but I think the idea of designer collaborations with high street is not necessarily a bad thing. Providing the factory workers are not children and that the conditions are decent and  the factories respect the environment.


Reality is many people love fashion but can only dream about it they could never own designer pieces so when H & M or one of the other High Street brands collaborates with a designer it is more or less a win win situation. Naturally there is no comparison between a designer piece and a cheaper version but…each is destined to a different market. I personally am not into throw-away clothes but that is not to say that I never put a foot into Uniqlo.


Have you ever been in Dubai before? Do you think Dubai can become a fashion capital one day?


I have never been to Dubai and certainly the interest in couture and fashion is there but becoming a fashion capital takes time. Look how long Paris has existed as the mecca of fashion, it does not happen over night.


Can the shifting powers of economy transform fashion capitals?


Yes, I believe so.


Will haute couture survive?


I think they have been doing a pretty good job at it so far.


What are your ‘shaded’ views on the new fashion royalty?

I guess you mean Hedi, Raf , Nicolas and Alexander Wang?  We needed new blood the old guard is not going to be around forever so let’s see where this goes. Hedi is selling like hot cakes with Saint Laurent, Raf is maturing as a couture designer something that is relatively new for him, Nicolas is doing a great job at Louis Vuitton and so is Alexander Wang at Balenciaga so I think we are in a good way.

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