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Kids, the new accessory « DressLab : clothes+music+art
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Kids, the new accessory

Author: Estel Vilaseca

Section: NOTES

Date: 05.2012



kids, the new accessory l DressLab

Victoria Beckham has replaced her luxury handbags with a new accessory: her daughter Harper Seven. Sheathed in expensive dresses, she and the little one capture the paparazzi’s flashes and even inspire fashion features such as How I Met Your Mother published by Vogue Russia this May. Soon every Mrs Beckham fan will be able sport a Harper too; this time in the form of a bag. The ex-singer-turned-designer, has baptized a new bag from her next autumn/winter 2012 collection with her daughter’s name. When I saw these pictures I couldn’t stop asking myself ‘where is the buggy? How long can Victoria hold the girl in her arms for after the photographers are gone? And what about a bag with a bottle, nappies and all the other necessary equipment necessary to carry a baby around the world? Of course the answer was as easy as looking off camera. We widen the frame and the entourage appears.



kids, the new accessory l DressLab
When Perez Hilton, the American king of bright colours, launched Perezitos, a new blog devoted to celebrities’ children, it became clear that they sparked as much interest as their parents. Children, that before remained outside the attention of the press, are now shown with no hang ups. Suri Cruise, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s daughter, has become a style phenomenon online from a very early age and even has a blog devoted to her outfits. Her miniature high heels have created a trend. After the child actress from Mad Men appeared on a ‘best dressed’ ranking, the blogger Di por Dior asked herself: “I need somebody to explain to me what goes through someone’s mind when they consider that a 12 year old girl can be in a list of the best dressed ‘women’ of the week, no matter how very Miu Miu her dress may be. Seriously. I don’t get it.” You might feel the same perplexity when you visit blogs like Bambino Street Style and come across kids like Aila, Alexander Wang’s niece dressed with the latest fashion. But she is not the only one, once you start surfing, disturbing miniature versions of the most elaborate street styles start to pop up – never without their expensive miniature accessories.



kids, the new accessory l DressLab
Rumour has it, they say, that it was the Christmas special produced by Tom Ford and starring sophisticated child models from the December 2010 edition of Paris Vogue that cost Carine Roitfeld her position as director. For some, the disrespect had gone too far and laid the obvious topic of “the growing sexualization of girls” out on the table. The ten year old model opening the feature, Thylane Loubry Blondeau, awoke hate and passion in equal measure. Her images began to circulate on the web while her mother had to close her Facebook account due to an avalanche of angry complaints. But despite the controversy, one month later Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu didn’t hesitate to hire the actresses Hailee Steinfeld of thirteen years, and Elle Fanning of fourteen, for their worldwide image campaign. Years beforehand, little Dakota, Elle’s sister had also posed for Juergen Teller.



kids, the new accessory l DressLab
The problem usually appears when the child world gets mixed up with the adult world, generating often dubious messages. It would be absurd to deny the fact that there is a growing market of parents looking for up-to-date clothes for their children that fit a contemporary lifestyle. For this reason, there are excellent publications devoted exclusively to children’s fashion. Bruce Weber defines Kid’s Wear as “The most beautiful magazine in the world!”. The Californian photographer contributes to the magazine alongside a long list of big names in photography like Anton Corbijn, Michel Comte, Elaine Constantine, Daniel Riera… Other interesting publications for modern parents: the French magazine Milk, or the Spanish Naif and Caos Magazine.



kids, the new accessory l DressLab
In the last two years and in response to the growing demand for fashion in line with the outfits of most fashionable parents, brands like Marc Jacobs, Lanvin, Gucci, Stella McCartney, Marni, 3.1. Phillip Lim or Acne have launched a children’s collection onto the market. Some create their own world, others limit themselves to replicating the adult world in perfect and delicate miniature versions. Last week New York Times journalist Cathy Horyn devoted an article to the explosion of children’s collections “That Dress Is So Preschool”, where she consulted experts on the suitability of these designs for children. The children’s fashion designer Rachel Riley didn’t hesitate to point out the ‘buts’ about these clothes: “they are expensive”, “the fabric is mediocre” and “they’re not made for children’s bodies”. And she continues “Why does a child need anything remotely sexy? For me it’s not ethical.”



kids, the new accessory l DressLab
And because children shouldn’t be any more than just that, we will round up this article with a fantastic feature “We Don’t Need No Education” by Ryan McGinley. A good demonstration that when fashion crosses children’s path it’s fashion that should adapt itself to them and not the other way around. Published in 2009 in the magazine Purple, the little people wearing the latest are themselves and remind us that there is no need to grow up ahead of time.


Text_ Estel Vilaseca



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