Lucie Goulet

A bilingual (French-English) fashion editor, writer and translator living in London.

Currently: Brand copy coordinator at Burberry, branding and media strategist at start up Wandering Minds

Previously worked at Drapers magazine, on the fashion and features desk, at Delightful Media, launching its social media strategy, in the Asia department of the British Museum and in the marketing department of Walker Books. I studied international relations and history at the London School of Economics.

Diana Christensen, the fictional head of programming for the also fictional Union Broadcasting System (UBS) in Network is one of the strongest lead female characters in 1970s cinema. As the neurotic, power-hungry Christensen, Faye Dunaway won an Academy Award for best actress in a leading role.

In retrospect, Christensen’s satirical obsession with ratings, reality TV, and angry shows was prophetic. The first show we see her sell is based on a lefty revolutionary group. Her argument? People are angry, and we need to mirror their anger on TV: “I want counterculture, I want anti-establishment.”

The story takes place a decade after Mad Men, and women have moved from being secretaries to running the place. Even though no other woman has reached her level of responsibility at UBS, Christensen is not apologetic for her gender, neither does she consider it an impediment. In her own words: “I seem to be inept at everything, except my work. I’m good at my work.” As a manager, Christensen doesn’t hesitate to ruthlessly play all the cards at her disposal. She can be harsh when necessary, never hesitating to threaten to fire people who don’t share her vision, or sweet if it’s the best strategy. Time and time over, she is compared, either inadvertently, or by herself, to men, even when it comes to her sexual encounters. Her idea of romanticism and foreplay includes telling her lover, former news director Max Schumacher, about network numbers and legal issues.

Christensen sees her personal life the way she approaches her work: “which sort of script can we make out of this?” From the beginning of her affair with Schumacher to her ending it by a now mythical “I don’t like the way this script of ours has turned out. It’s turning into a seedy little drama,” she’s the heroine of her own life. The break-up scene is the only moment where Christensen shows some vulnerability: for once, she looks like she’d rather not follow the script, though she doesn’t consider it an option.

From her first appearance in the movie, Christensen only wears neutral, honey-like colours. Beiges, browns, and whites make up most of her wardrobe palette. Christensen’s outfits are a lesson in corporate chic, before women started to dress “like a woman thinks a man would dress if he was a woman.” She mostly wears separates, below-the-knee skirts and trousers, and often has a lavallière or scarf around her neck. Her only dress is a rather striking, asymmetrical, backless, white number worn to announce to shareholders, “next year we’ll be number one”. A comment on how married to her job she is? The dress might be virginal, but it is the tipping point where Christensen really becomes ready to do anything in the name of her job, even becoming a psychopath. The closer she gets to ordering murder, the whiter her clothes become, in a display of irony from costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge.

- Lucie Goulet

WORN Fashion Journal, April 5 2010

Posted at 4:53pm and tagged with: WORN fashion journal, fashion, cinema,.

As the quirky brand opens its third London store, it is seeking to deepen its diverse wholesale base.

9 January 2010

Posted at 3:02pm and tagged with: brandwatch, womenswear, fashion, Drapers,.

The massive menswear brand has joined forces with kidswear giant CWF to tackle boyswear and girlswear.

5 December 2009

Posted at 3:00pm and tagged with: kidswear, Drapers, brandwatch, fashion,.

Ask anyone in the world about Savile Row: the address is automatically associated with quintessentially British suits for men. And indeed, every elegant man around town, from Napoleon III to Winston Churchill, the Prince of Monaco to Roger Moore owned or owns a Savile Row suit. As much as a symbol of style, it’s a way of showing class, taste, power and money.

Few women are famous Savile Row customers. If you enquire about suiting for women, the most likely answer will be “we do it, but we don’t advertise it”. Byrne & Burge, founded in 2007 by Joshua Byrne and Emmeline Burge, explains on its website that it “is pleased to offer Couture for Ladies” and invites prospective customers to enquire for further details. Byrne & Burge also believes that its location, around the corner from Savile Row, makes its atelier less intimidating.

Choosing the right tailor, the right colour and the right cut can be challenging for our Topshop-educated fashion minds. To get an idea of what the final suit will look like, you have to look at some of the tailor’s previous work. This can be daunting, considering that suits will cost upwards of £3000.

Since most Savile Row tailleurs were trained in menswear, suits for women often end up being little more than a masculine design adaptated to the female body, feeling almost like a second thought. Although menswear-inspired designs have appeared on many a catwalk of late, justifying  such a considerable financial investment means that most women want to purchase the suit – a feminine classic that they’ll wear and wear again; a timeless piece.

Alistair McDonald, however opened last year House of Alistair, a couture house fully dedicated to womenswear. Like most of his Row colleagues, MacDonald can create everything, from dress to hat, shoes to clutch. In an interview with Drapers, he explained that he was “selling a lifestyle rather than a product.” Arguably contemporary women spend as long in the boardroom as their male counterparts, and in many careers earn the same salary – thus they are desirous of the same beautifully-tailored office attire.

Other tailors, like Anthony J. Hewitt, rely on their wives to dress women. Mrs Hewitt has the colourful and flamboyant sense of style perfectly adequate to the kind of extraordinary, one-off pieces created on Savile Row.

Stella McCartney, who trained at Edward Sexton, is probably one of the road’s most famous alumni. McCartney has now left the ateliers but offers, a few streets away, women-only bespoke tailoring. She is known for her sensibility to the female form and when you try a McCartney jacket or pair of trousers, the cut speaks for itself.

So what is the best thing to do if you want a Savile Row suit, but don’t know how to ask? According to a Henry Poole & Co tailor, the house credited with founding the institution you should just “go in and announce straight away that you’d like a suit”. You heard it from the best!

8 January 2010

Posted at 8:51am and tagged with: Running in Heels, fashion, menswear,.