The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


The Relentless Pursuit Of Perfection …

Recently I watched a show on Netflix called ‘7 Days’.

It was about about the preparations for the presentation of Chanel’s new couture collection.

I know … I know … I am the arsenic of fashion, but for reasons no one has quite worked out yet, I am doing a bunch of work for a number of super-luxury fashion labels [thanks to my Chinese client not only is one of the biggest investors in the industry, but is seen as the Patron Saint of street culture and luxury fashion] and so I’ve had the real honour of watching these people up close in terms of how much they believe, value and protect craft in all they do.

Put simply, it’s mindblowing.

For an industry many like to label as superficial, they’re miles ahead of many of the places I’ve worked at who go on about how obsessed with craft, creativity and culture they are.

Don’t get me wrong, some truly meant.

Hell, a couple even practiced it.

But compared to how high-end fashion brands embrace it, few come close to that level of commitment and focus.

And that’s what I loved about the Chanel documentary because it showed their relentless pursuit for perfection throughout the entire creative process.

From the cutting of fabric to the very last second before a model hits the runway … they have people checking, fine-tuning, considering, questioning and executing every detail in micro-detail.

A production line of seasoned experts, all looking at the clothes through their particular area of specialisation, but always considering their choices and decisions through the lens of the chief designers vision and the needs and focus of the other experts they work alongside.

Or said another way …

Every person involved in every detail is singularly focused on delivering an experience that lives up to the standards, vision and excellence of the head designer, rather than doing whatever they think works for them.

That doesn’t mean they have to lower their standards or deny their self-expression or individual flair – if anything, the total opposite is true. Because every person involved has been specifically chosen – or approved – by the head designer because they know these experts eye, judgement, skill and obsession for excellence won’t allow anything other than the brutal, uncompromising quest and commitment for the absolute majesty of perfection.

I wrote about this recently in connection to the film director Michael Mann … and how this approach is far more about collaboration than the bullshit that passes for it inside many companies, which is why I encourage everyone to watch this magically inspiring show, because you’ll not only re-evaluate an entire industry, you’ll see what it takes to be truly great versus those who simply say they already are.


18 Comments

I watched this a while ago and was left with the same view. As someone who had always viewed the fashion industry as a unique blend of pretentiousness and superficiality, my mind was pretty majorly changed.

Same with the restaurant opening but less so about the competition, that just felt like the sequel to the mockumentary “Best in Show.”

Comment by George

well fucking done. you just made me want to watch the best in show episode but avoid the fuck out the others.

Comment by andy@cynic

Hahahaha, Jill said exactly the same thing.

I enjoyed it – even more than Best In Show, to be honest – but fashion and restaurant were brilliant. Not just for the insight, but there are some lessons in it I’ve adopted already. I particularly love the bit in the restaurant where they told the waiting staff where to stand. And when they were asked if that was a bit extreme, they said:

“Probably, but we are the best restaurant in the World and these things matter. We don’t want people to just place things on the table where they choose, we want everything to show it is a considered act”.

Yes it’s pretentious, but it is a brilliant lesson in respecting craft, quality and standards.

Comment by Rob

Your colleagues must be so happy you watched that show.

Comment by Bazza

I bet they’ve decided upon some considered acts of their own.

Comment by John

If you had told me 5 years ago you’d be so obsessed with high fashion brands, I’d have laughed till I died. I still laugh, but how it’s at the fashion brands who hire you,

Comment by DH

Do you dress a bit nicer for them or is it the usual bad t and birks? I suspect the latter but hope for the former. Though what “a bit nicer” is in relation to you is something I’m still struggling with working out.

Comment by DH

you know youre taking about campbell right?

Comment by andy@cynic

He wore birks to a meeting with Phil Knight, you think he’ll dress nice for a meeting with fashion kingpins?

Comment by Bazza

and the rest of his fashion bullshit. the tank tee he wore to the fucking military of defence meeting was a particular fucked up low point. and still that isnt the worst and ive not been in a fucking meeting with him for 10 years. plenty of time for him to reach new fucking lows.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’d like to point out I’m over the days where I wore a t-shirt for a specific client reaction. And even then it was for a genuine reason. That said, I’m still in the days where I’ll wear what I normally wear so that even when I do try and look a bit more respectable, I end up looking terrible by normal human standards. I did an interview with a Celine designer wearing a Guns n’ Roses t-shirt and the look on their face was the dictionary definition of repulsed. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

course you are campbell. course you are.

Comment by andy@cynic

@Rob – I guess with that strategy there’s no risk of “You look different than your headshot on zoom”

Comment by PiotrJ

I watched it for the models.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Even my fashion has evolved more than you Billy. Ha.

Comment by Rob

It hasn’t.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Thank you Robert. I just watched the episode and it lived up to your billing.

Comment by Lee Hill

Once you open up the behind the scenes, the true craft of what goes into delivering an experience comes into play.

I’m sure you’ve seen the BTS content of Rolls, Bentley and the like. Everyone on the same insane mission to bring someone’s dream to life.

Comment by PiotrJ




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