GWAND Coffee Break with Diane Pernet

GWAND Coffee Break interview series W

GWAND Coffee Break is a short interview series

GWAND Coffee Break is a short interview series dealing with current developments of the creative industry and society in general. We interview global thought leaders in the atmosphere of a quick coffee break at the office; a face or phone call, WhatsApp voice mails or actually in a tête-à-tête over a cup of coffee. Explore the transcribed interview with Diane Pernet below. Interview by Nicole Stein.

GWAND Coffee Break with Diane Pernet
Photographer: Ruven Afanador
  • What is your favorite communication tool these days ? How do you work with your team?

Diane Pernet: Instagram, IGTV and Zoom.

  • How are you spending your days? Books/series/movies (any reco?)

Diane Pernet: I came up with two projects during the lock down period of two months, it is lifted today thing is the virus is still out there so lifting it is totally arbitrary. I am very happy with the films I’m receiving for my #LOCKDOWNHOMEMOVIES and the drawings for the competition for illustrations of the healing monster Amabie.

As far as films, books, I have access to the Criterion Channel with endless films and documentaries separated by genres, decades, countries and directors. Yesterday I watched a Turkish film The Edge of Heaven which was excellent. I enjoyed re-watching the films of Satyajit Ray, Akira Kurosawa and  documentaries. Books like A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, not exactly joyful but a powerful book.

  • How did Corona affect sustainability efforts? Do you think these are short-term/long term effects?

Diane Pernet: I certainly hope it is not short term and that people are forced into the reality of how their lifestyle has impacted our planet. Designers are thinking of how they produce and how they put on shows and the waste that has gone into these big productions. Alex de Betak had some thoughts on show production in this article.

Maybe I’m a dreamer but I do not think people want to go back to life as it was before.

  • Do you think Corona contradicts or supports sustainability efforts?

Diane Pernet: Absolutely supports sustainability efforts. Everyone is forced, as mentioned above, to analyse how what they do effects the planet and it goes beyond bringing a cloth bag to the supermarket and not drinking from plastic water bottles. Maybe I’m a dreamer but I do not think people want to go back to life as it was before. The planet is crying, the cries have been heard now from the top down people have to do what ever they can to change the damage that they have already done.

Probably bikes will be an industry that sees an upswing in their earnings. I for one question the lifting of the quarantine when there is no vaccine what has changed? The virus is out there alive and well that has not changed every surface your touch could be infected, the air you breath… Today they lifted the quarantine in Paris a friend told me the metros are crowded so no one is paying any attention to social distancing. Cafés and restaurants are still not open and probably won’t be till mid-July. I for one do not want to commute unless absolutely necessary. Also businesses are seeing that people can work effectively from home. Consumers should look into what they are consuming, and do they really need to consume to have a good life and what in fact is their idea of a good life?

I like the idea that Saint Laurent will be more like Azzedine always was, show when you are ready to show and not be a part of the fashion system.

  • What is your prediction for the future of sustainable fashion and the creative industry in general?

Diane Pernet: Buy better buy less is my prediction for the future. Hopefully the end to fashion pollution and the endless cycle of unnecessary seasons. I like the idea that Saint Laurent will be more like Azzedine always was, show when you are ready to show and not be a part of the fashion system. Collections shown when clothes are in the shops makes more sense. I am of course in favour of fashion films over fashion shows which I think are very last century or make them a public entertainment where they are a spectacle once or twice a year which are open to the public which will pay to go and attend at the same time they can buy the clothes in shops. Stores and shopping malls are suffering, with COVID19 how willing are you to go into a shop and try on clothes that were just on someone else? Online shopping has been growing for years and probably will continue to grow.

  • What do you think about digital events? Chance to cut cost or loss of cultural impact?

Diane Pernet: That is a big question. I think until there is a vaccine people are not going to jump at the idea of being in an enclosed space with a lot of people watching catwalks or movies. The question is how to make the digital experience more interesting than just a bunch of talking heads. Zoom events have filled a gap and great for the more intimate contact maybe too intimate as do we really need to see the inside of people’s homes? I don’t know I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make the experience dynamic because I don’t see groups of people, be it in a cinema or an event space, as something I personally would be anxious to do for the rest of the year, how about you?


JUDITH directed by Ari Seth Cohen LOCK DOWN HOME MOVIE


JE VIS JE MEURS directed by Mia Tomlinson/co-directed by Marcus Tomlinson #LOCK DOWN HOME MOVIES

About Diane Pernet

Diane Pernet is a world-renowned fashion critic and video journalist based in Paris. Previously a photographer and fashion designer, she now acts as documentary filmmaker, talent scout and fashion blogger. Pernet was one of the earliest fashion journalists to embrace the power of the internet, first through a column in online editions of Elle and Vogue and later through her own site, A SHADED VIEW ON FASHION which since its inception in 2005 has become a ‘must-read’ in fashion and creative industry circles.

Pernet was recognised in 2008 for being a pioneer in digital media when she was chosen as one of three influential bloggers to take part in a panel celebrating a seminal fashion exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.  As one of the most recognisable faces in fashion, she has also been captured on the other side of the movie camera through cameo appearances in Robert Altman’s film ‘Prêt-à-Porter’, Ben Stiller’s ‘Zoolander 2’ and in Roman Polanski’s ‘The Ninth Gate’.

Pernet launched ASVOFF in 2008.  As the founder of the world’s first film festival dedicated to fashion, style and beauty, she is widely considered to have incubated the ‘fashion film’ from its infancy to the popular genre that it has become today.  “Diane has never ceased to amaze me with her amazing curiosity about things, her ability to synthesize arcane information and make it palatable for everyone else,” says Tim Blanks, editor-at-large for The Business of Fashion.  “So actually, Diane is a conduit between now and what’s to come.”