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Tim Blanks Expands

Dazed talks to the Fashion Week veteran about adding womenswear to his repertoire and what menswear shows to look out for in Milan and Paris

Going from strength to strength, legendary fashion journalist Tim Blanks have decided to up the ante by taking on womenswear, as well as men's fashion, this year. As part of his fashion week coverage on, Blanks and a few chosen colleagues will take over from Sarah Mower and cover the entire fashion spectrum. Tomorrow sees the start of Milan menswear week, followed by Paris, and Blanks will be present as ever. Eleven seasons into the job, will also put archived pieces up to showcase its wealth of information and opinion. Dazed talked to Blanks, who also writes for AnOther Man, Fantastic Man and Vogue, about added pressure and what shows he's looking forward to...

Dazed Digital: How will you get the energy to do them all?
Tim Blanks: used to be the web presence of Vogue, but now that is launching and Sarah Mower is moving, Nicole Phelps and I will be reviewing the women's collections in Europe, and somehow I'll still be doing my videos. This is going to be a very interesting experiment in internal resource management, but I tend to thrive under overwhelming professional pressure. I'm not a masochist, really I'm not!

DD: How does menswear differ from women's wear for you as a journalist?
Tim Blanks: I don't see that I approach menswear in a different way from womenswear.  I'm always interested in the context, the narrative, the perverse twists and idiosyncrasies, the designer's creative evolution - or devolution. But there's much more to critique in womenswear, more stuff, which means you have to edit more to hit the high spots. I also think there's more service involved when you're writing about womenswear, because women have a more intimate involvement in fashion. So they're more engaged by what's in it for them personally. 

DD: what's your favourite fashion city and why?
Tim Blanks: As far as the shows go, my favourite fashion city is Paris. The standard is so high on every single level. The diversity of a single day can set me reeling sometimes. But the city I enjoy most as a fashion punter would be Tokyo.

DD: Name two new designers to watch:
Tim Blanks: In menswear, Umit Benan and Gustavo Lins and for womenswear the whole NEWGEN initiative in London. It's a goldmine, from already-established names like Peter Pilotto and Mary Kantrantzou, to some of the best new accessories designers in fashion.

DD: Finally, please list your Top Five shows to look out for in Paris and Milan
Tim Blanks: Prada, Antonio Marras (he's not on the Milan schedule for himself so I'll go with his Kenzo collection because those shows are the most visually tantalising in Paris), Adam Kimmel (I'm sworn to secrecy on the inspiration but it should be twisty), Miharayasuhiro and Dolce & Gabbana. It's their 20th anniversary collection - and they know how to rise to an occasion...