On Lars Nilsson Being Fired

Well, I must say that I am not in the least bit surprised by the news this morning that Lars Nilsson had been fired from Bill Blass, just days after his fall show. Even though I didn’t admit to being really disappointed with his collection on the blog (I really don’t like being mean or negative, and Lars is such a nice guy and such a gentleman- one couldn’t help rooting for him to ‘do good’)…I was.

I really haven’t been thrilled with any of his collections except for the first one, where he showed promise with chic tailoring and the casual, elegant ‘day for night’ aesthetic that had been the signature of Bill Blass. I couldn’t help but feel that Lars was projecting a bit too much of his Scandinavian folk roots (even the soundtracks accompanying the shows seemed rather folksy). And unfortunately, I don’t think he possessed that kind of ‘larger than life’ aura or personality (a la Bill Blass) that develops a loyal following.

Lars took some time prior to his show, to give me some of his thoughts on fall, and to tell me what his inspirations were for the season….and it sounded so great! Based on his animated descriptions of shape, fabric, pattern, etc, I was really hopeful that this would be a strong collection for him (which he sorely needed, because it has been obvious that he had not yet made a mark on the Bill Blass label yet…certainly, he was not really carrying on the Blass legacy nor was he really courting that customer). Of course, this is the second time in just a few years that a designer for the label had been let go immediately following the show (remember Steven Slowik?) What the label needs is a very strong designer with an aesthetic which follows in the mood of Bill Blass…there will never be another Bill, but surely, there are designers out there who can successfully carry the mantle. I certainly wish Lars the best of luck in whatever he does next.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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