The series on the runway program Maison Margiela has brought a lot of attention to its channel. Vlogger talks about the story of the origins of fashion, love of the record of current shows and favorite brands.
Malcolm Foster, a fashion commentator and vlogger who is best known for his ongoing exploration video series Martin MargielaThe runway shows, it doesn’t really set out to build YouTube followers. In fact, he said, he just wanted to explain to his parents why he was so excited about a pair of “very unusual pants” that he spent his holiday gift money.
“I have seen them on Instagram, and I ask people who wear them to identify them several times differently. They never respond,” he told Fashionista by telephone from “very deep blue pants, very high waisted” by Engineering Apparel it is the subject of his first YouTube video, uploaded in September 2018. “I entered a store in New York and I saw these pants in the sales department. I was like, ‘Oh, my God. This is the pants.’ It was very surprising. I originally didn’t mean to buy anything there, but I had to get it because I found them by chance. “
He recorded a video for his parents about them, and the practice finally inspired him to love fashion – which mostly occurred in online forums and Facebook groups, at the time – to new media. Fast forward almost two years later, and he has more than 17,500 subscribers on YouTube.
30 years of maintaining daily work outside the fashion industry (though, he has worked as a stylist and at Helmut Lang) is completely separate from his channel. So, for now, these videos are a kind of crowd. However, there is hope to finally make it a full time show – and to move to New York City.
Fashionista followed Foster by telephone to discuss his love of fashion, his research process, and his most famous fans Virgil Abloh. Read on.
How did you enter mode in the first place?
I have no one in my life who has become a garment, even peripherally. I remember in college, I went to The highest quite heavy, because it’s so interesting that there seems to be a large subculture around brands that grow around only T-shirts and hoodies, which is a concept that is foreign to me. Then Riccardo Tisciis working on Given away is the first thing that triggers interest [in this idea] that there is a narrative and there is a true story with clothes. I was studying literature in college, and I took the same notes as you see in very good poetry and very good literary works. I can see a number of similarities, but I can see them communicated differently. That is what fascinated me.
When did you start creating this kind of content?
I started with an educational video about a year ago. Before that, most were in forums and in the comments section for things, only participating in the online fashion community. I used to be in a lot of old fashion forums that were mostly focused on men’s clothing, but it spread a bit, because everyone tends to do it – I was on CareTags and StyleZeitgeist.
My parents gave me Christmas money and I ended up buying Engineered Garments. I am very happy about them and would like to convey the importance of these pants to my parents, who are not super into fashion. I knew that if I had just told them about the pants when we were around each other, their eyes would glaze over, so I made a short video detailing all the cool features and all the things I liked about the pants. The making of the video was really fun, so I decided to post it to High Fashion Talk on Facebook. One group moderator said, “I can’t approve this post, but are you sure you don’t want to post it to the YouTube channel or what? Because it’s really funny, and I feel this could be something you really get real internet points. “I’m like,” Oh, that’s actually an interesting idea. ”
I posted it to YouTube and decided to start making other things. Over time, my partner showed me that I always liked literary theory and cultural analysis and that I had been looking for people to connect with fashion, so this would be a cool segment for me to do it myself.
Initially, the video was rather silly – touring the closet like that, only I was funny with clothes. Slowly I began to move it more towards things that educated, researched, and looked deeper into all these things.
How did you research your video?
There is no single unique process, only because it is very difficult to get information about runway performances. Show notes are a big element of that – they are given to all participants, and they are usually a pamphlet sitting in their seats. But this is very strange, fashion houses don’t like to make it publicly available, so a lot of my time is looking for ways to make someone send them to me. I will give short instructions to anyone who is really interested in the event notes. It’s hard to do this for big brands, but for shows like Vetements big but not big, you can usually find the event notes by searching for hashtags for brands on Instagram and then taking 20 minutes to scroll down when the event actually happens. Usually someone on the show takes a photo and posts it on their profile.
Then, I usually find all the articles and reviews that are published around the event and try to unify what inspires them. From there, it’s like reading poetry, where you see the show very slowly, watching a video recording – if there is a video recording – then come back, start over and take notes, just browse and let it sink in, three or four or five or ten times. Because of my schedule, it tends to spread somewhat, but I will say together, maybe seven hours [of work.]
The process is not so much I give people knowledge. The more I share the things I notice, the things that other people say and put them together, “This is the way this fashion show tries to communicate, and this is what it communicates.”
When did you realize that your video got attention?
The middle series of videos that I made exploring all runways shows that Martin Margiela was produced. I took one runway show at a time, starting with Spring 1989. Each dive video was very deep – as deep as I could fit – into the theme, what he did and what made the show so special. It has been going on for about six months at this time, and will continue for the next few years, because I have to move very slowly with it.
I sort of got my first indication that it got a lot of attention when Virgil Abloh noticed it and mention it W.
Do you know he’s a fan of that W article?
I noticed that Virgil commented on one of my Instagram posts, and I assumed that it was a fake account or something. I opened my profile and saw that it really was him, and that he was, in fact, following me. I’m a little scared. I want to send him a direct message, to reach in a certain capacity, and be very strategic about the first message. I was surprised because he immediately returned me, and we began to talk a little.
He is very kind. He stumbled across the series by chance: He was looking for an original recording of the first Margiela show, and my video was the first thing that appeared. He watched through it and the rest of the series. He said, “This is what I expect from future fashion journalism.” That, of course, makes me feel extraordinary. From there, we only talk occasionally.
And he sent you a kite!
We talked a little about program notes in general, and he talked about his method for event records, which was really interesting. He has Instagram connected to his work at Louis Vuitton which he described as a record of a live performance. You can hold the bait side by side with the development of the show and see where the influences come in and connect to certain clothes. That’s just the use of brilliant technology for storytelling in fashion. I complimented him for that, and then he asked for my address so he could send me all the notes of the program they put on the chair at the actual event. So I panicked and gave him my address.
For the third show at Louis Vuitton, in each seat there is a record of the packed event as well as a custom Louis Vuitton kite for everyone. He was like, “I am very happy that it makes you excited that I sent you that because I would do something very special like that and put it on everyone’s chairs, and then the fashion show is over and half of the people leave the kite on the chair “He had some left, so he sent it to me. This is very special. I like it.
Aside from Virgil, obviously, what do you know about your audience?
I find that most are children, which I strongly encourage. There is no shortage of people who are 30 years old talking about how children don’t get it and children don’t care about things that are very important and so on. But I discovered that most of these people who really support the channel and are very hungry to learn are children. They seem to be the people who are most trying to wrestle with very big ideas [in fashion].
I’m having a great Instagram message conversation with someone who has a really good question, really, you only hear from someone very young – like, “I see Jun Takahashiis working on Secret, where he mostly uses pictures from the film and then wears them on a shirt. Then I see Valentino, very carefully making every object. I am more interested in Undercover, but I feel that it is inferior in terms of art. How do I deal with these feelings? “The question that I think is a literary teacher is,” We spend the whole class talking about this. “
The biggest way is that I have a support community Patreon. Whatever support I get on the YouTube channel is done through it. I have a Discord server that everyone can talk to. We can post memes and be silly too, and sort of hang out together. Then I would periodically travel to New York to have a meeting. My face hurts from smiling at the end of it because only everyone gathered around excitedly, traveling to talk about clothes.
Who inspires you currently in the fashion industry?
I really love Kiko KostadinovHis work really pushed the envelope on storytelling and found interesting new forms for men’s clothing, which were very much needed in that space now.
There’s a brand that premiered first at Paris Fashion Week, Hed Mayner. He is one where I don’t know much about stories – he only does one show in Paris, so I think we will see a lot of growth in the narration he plays. But the shape he made was really interesting.
Hamcus perhaps one of the most interesting brands that I have found in the last few years. Basically, it tells a science fiction storyline through the brand. Every season, something happens in the overall storyline that the creator begins to tell, and changes in the story are reflected in the clothes that he releases each season. The owner of the brand has his own factory, so he can do his daily work making clothes for other companies and then at night take the same set of machines and work on samples for his own clothes.
There’s another great brand from New York called No – on Instagram, this is @not_aligne. He did very good experimental clothes. Many are androgynous. He was one of the first designers I’ve ever seen who could find ways to tighten clothes together that I liked, “I really haven’t seen this done anywhere else.” Really brilliant.
Travail en Famille make really beautiful British gardening clothes that can be worn. There are many personal stories about their environment and things about this family life. You can know there is a lot of intimacy in clothes.
I can now find these things because I send messages to many people on Instagram who know their channel. I have a direct message policy, where if someone says even “hi” to me, I will do the heavy lifting and start a conversation with them. I really like talking to everyone. I finally learned the coolest things from all these people – everyone ended up sharing the things they liked. I finally get a big waterfall of cool stuff every day on my DM.
This interview has been edited and summarized for clarity.
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