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Friday, February 29, 2008

A dinner in honor of British artists Tim Noble & Sue Webster, who created the waterless, neon-blue "Electric Fountain" in front of Rockefeller Center, on view through April 4...

Sue Webster & Tim Noble, Margherita Missoni, Pam Hogg

Photos by Patrick McMullan

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Johannes Thumfart on Chanel...

For Chanel this season, Karl Lagerfeld chose to surprise by not surprising—and that's good. In the center of the stadium-like Grand Palais stood a gigantic carousel on which, instead of horses, the many symbols of Chanel circled: flacons, shoes, bijoux, bows, hats, lipstick, interlocking Cs and so on. With the merry-go-round as museum, Chanel celebrated its own myth in grand style, as if these items weren't already larger than life. The clothes, too, were decisively classic, with an air of nostalgia. Everything we've come to know, love and covet from the house were on parade, in shades of black, white, dusty pink and navy. And, for the kiddies who want to take a spin in Chanel, nerdy new-rave glasses and transparent raincoats with abstract patterns.

photos by Rachel de Joode

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Johannes Thumfart reports from Paris...

Bernhard Willhelm's fall collection was all about vegetables on sticks, fairy-tale skirts, crazy plaids, hyper-hippie bandanas and other surreal surprises—after all, he did work with Björk on her tour outfits last year. And instead of a catwalk, which he never uses, Willhelm created a stage-like setting with stairs on wheels, bags of ready-to-use clay and potted trees around which models performed a bizarre fertility ritual. It's no secret that Willhelm, with his many influences, is one of the few designers who informs tomorrow's fashion today, so this fall we look forward to wearing crime-scene hoodies and batik shirts over folkloric patterns—even if we're going to mix it with his police uniforms from the year before. Willhelm's genius will hold it all together.

photos by Rachel de Joode

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Los Angeles designer Jared Gold's spring 08 collection—which will take over the city's central train station and close L.A. Fashion Week—promises pseudo-celebrity models (Tony Ward, Chris "Leave Britney Alone!" Crocker and a losing contestant from Top Model, among others we didn't recognize) and an inflatable pop-up store where the audience can purchase the items they just saw (hence spring 08). That will probably include tutus, faux fur, glittery fabrics and other drag-queen accoutrements. Jared may just out-Heatherette Heatherette.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Some fragrances prefer to keep their gender assignment elusive; others shout it from mountaintops. Thierry Mugler's AngelMEN Pure Coffee, the sequel to his gay disco hit AngelMEN, smells like a Jack London type, a pioneering adventurer with a penchant for exotic collections. Imagine the inside of his hope chest, filled half with tackle, half with burlap sacks of coffee beans and other organic ephemera from faraway lands—and then imagine his cologne. Voila! AngelMEN Pure Coffee. $65 for 3.4 oz, available in April at most department stores.

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André do Val takes in the sights and sounds of Paris...

With the Eiffel Tower sparkling outside, the blue glow of Hussein Chalayan's runway had people fumbling for their seats at the Musée de l’Homme on the Place de Trocadero. The obscure ambience—designed by lighting guru Philippe Cerceau, with set direction by Alexandre de Betak—was to be the designer's fashion interpretation of the Big Bang, articulated by a crystal-encrusted dress of expanding lights orbiting the body.

"What should I say if they ask us if we are sisters? Should I just pretend I don't speak English and keep walking?" asked Carol Pantoliano (below right) of her model friend Daiane Conterato—both Brazilian—on the way out of Dries Van Noten's show. “Just smile. People ask me that every day. I think I'll just say yes," answered Daiane.

—André do Val

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Based on this image alone, we have high hopes for Radic/Morger, a new Austrian label showing its fall collection on Saturday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Backstage beauty at Vivienne Westwood...

Photos by Sonny Vandevelde

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We know this because we go each season: Stockholm's +46, a trade show and competition for progressive design, is easily the coolest place in all the tundra-verging territories, if not the world. We exaggerate not. Find out for yourself when they touch down in Paris to celebrate their latest winner and Hint fave, Annika Berger and her Skyward label.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Kudos to Alexandra Byrne for winning the Oscar for Best Costume Design in The Golden Age. And kudos to Stephen Jones, who created the headpieces Cate Blanchett wore...

Backstage beauty at Dior...

Photos by Sonny Vandevelde

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cesar Padilla gets lucky in Kentucky (not in that way, we think)...

After a week of watching the bony step out of their car services for a showdown of uninspired fashion at Bryant Park, I found it as refreshing as sweet tea on an August afternoon to saunter into Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky, for the National Tractor Pull Championships and America's largest farm machinery show. No pretension, no double air-kisses, no chinchilla, no ghostly black, no swish.

Instead, I was surrounded by thousands of super-hot men working their best racing gear, denim and jumpsuits. When not racing their hot rods or doing wheelies in tractors (seriously), they were slurping on ice cream cones or downing foot-long Italian sausages. I kept asking myself: Am I the only one getting how hot this is? Take that, Bryant Park.

On your mark, get set, PULL!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wow, Chloe Sevigny must be a real busy lady these days, what with launching her new Blossom-meets-The Clash line for Opening Ceremony, style advising at British Elle and providing the face for Chloé's new eau de parfum. Now she's the so-called ambassador of Samsonite Black Label's new Trunk line of vintage-style luggage, designed by creative director Quentin Mackay. Last spring Christina Ricci held this title, vamping for a cute line of rollers and carry-ons that were decked out in cheeky floral prints, à la grandma's kitchen curtains. This time Samsonite went further back in time with an articulate, handmade resurrection of the original trunk collection the Shwayder Brothers (who founded Samsonite) created in the 20s. The interiors were kept intact, but the unwieldy clunk was surrendered to cross-terminal wheel needs and overhead-compartment-era streamlining. Very diplomatic, Chloe.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

On February 26, for her latest Cover Up installation, men's designer Siv Støldal will plaster a wall of Weekday store in Stockholm (Drottninggatan 63) with plastic coats in colors inspired by her native Norway, following similar walls takeovers in cities from Reykjavik to London. Details on her website.


A look at A.P.C.'s spring imagery, shot by Bruce Weber at his home in Montauk, styled by Camille Bidault-Waddington and Christopher Niquet, and modeled by Louie Eisner (son of Lisa Eisner), Kim Noorda and an anonymous blond surfer. The concept: the emotional twists and turns of a young threesome in love, a theme repeated in the art direction by Mathias Augustiniak and Michael Amzalag of M/M (Paris)...

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A rant from Cesar Padilla, owner of Cherry vintage store in New York...

In the thick of New York Fashion Week, I really got on the idea that humanity needs to stop wearing black. I looked around at the makers, shakers and patrons of tomorrow's fashion and realized they all look depressed, uninspired, tired, too skinny, sulky and lame as they judged yet another sad black sack.

I found myself fantasizing about creating a Black Clothes Burning Day, like the disco fires in Chicago stadium in the late 1970s. Imagine Giants stadium full of Japanese chicks working smurf blue, black girls in head-to-toe pink and me, all throwing mounds of black fabric into a massive bonfire. Poof! Gone! Wearing vintage Sprouse and Versace, Bonnie Cashin, Jeremy Scott and Kansai Yamamoto, we'd stare into the inferno and chant, "Burn! Burn!" The Olsens would dislodge those black quilted Chanel bags from their elbows and, finally cracking a smile, toss them in. Tom Ford, tears streaming down his face, would appear on the jumbo screen and vow never to make anything black again. He'd promise it to us.

That's the dream anyway. More realistically, I want to set a trash can outside my West Village vintage boutique, where people can bring their tired black clothes and burn them in exchange for a sizable discount on something colorful.

As you can probably tell, I can't stand black. I don't get it. As a fat person, I can tell you there is not one piece of black clothing that is going to slim you down. I look around the streets of New York and want to shout: "Who died? No really, who the fuck died?" I'll go to that funeral wearing lime green. I want to celebrate life. We are surrounded by a beautiful experience. So why are you wearing black?


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

London Fashion Week: MAN

Daryoush Haj-Najafi reports...

First, a disclosure. This correspondent is on MAN's panel, which also includes i-D editor Ben Reardon, Dazed & Confused fashion director Nicola Formichetti and, for the first time, the mega-talented fashion writer and party animal Tim Blanks. As you may know, Tim is a menswear authority and pens the men's reports for Style.com. His brainstorm with the rest of the MAN panel was as energetic as any previous MAN meeting, but as you just can't argue with Tim (he's too knowledgeable!), this season saw three fresh names—James Long, Kesh, Hans Christian Madsen—in the line-up with Topman.

Of James Long, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, and his incredibly complicated leathers and sheepskins, British GQ's Charlie Porter (another panelist) says, "The commitment and effort put into James' collection was just extraordinary, which makes it even worse that his whole collection was stolen later that night. Hopefully the industry can rally around him, because he deserves the support." Kesh's aesthetic, meanwhile, could be described as Pharrell's Billionaire Boys Club designed by Bernhard Willhelm—the difference being that Kesh is a women, who, by the way, is the subject of a BBC documentary currently in the works.

Lulu Kennedy, director of Fashion East and MAN, was also enthusiastic, saying (while trying on James' designs backstage), "I'm in love with this show. And most of the models." Yes, let's not forget the models. Her favorite? Ryan (of D1 agency), a platinum-haired boxer on the English team and—you knew this was coming—a total knock-out.

James Long (images 1 & 2), Kesh (3 & 4)...

Hans Christian Madsen (1 & 2), Topman (3 & 4)...

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Haidee Findlay-Levin makes a surprise stop in London...

I arrived toward the end of London Fashion Week with no plans of being here for the occasion. Hint Blog readers will know of my longstanding visa woes, and so a summons by U.S. immigration to attend my green card interview in London on the 19th of February—my birthday—was an event not to be missed. It was an invitation harder to get than any Fashion Week show, in fact one that transcends fashion altogether and was almost four years in the making. I was informed to arrive four days in advance, not for some welcoming cocktail party or a dinner to apologize for the long wait, but in time to attend a medical exam, after which an assortment of vaccinations would be all I could expect to find in a goody bag.

I left New York during a blizzard that resulted in a three-hour delay at the airport—not something one wants to add to a red-eye flight. A few more hours on the tarmac meant I would get into London dangerously late for my appointment with the embassy-designated doctors. I literally had three minutes to drop off my bags and change into serious attire. I chose a baggy pantsuit, which I hoped would give me an air of, well, suitability to own a green card. It was almost balmy in London. In the eight years I lived here, I don’t remember too many days like this, so much so it was making me nostalgic. I fantasized about throwing in the towel, refusing the green card and moving straight back here.

Once I was done with the tests and vaccinations, I pulled myself together and rushed eastward to Gareth Pugh's show. It was running almost as fashionably late as my American Airlines flight, but I made it in time, so I wasn’t complaining. In addition to every London club kid and club kid wannabe, I saw my New York next-door neighbor, artist Terence Koh, and his entourage of pretty young boys, a host of international fashion-show regulars and Michele Lamy, wife and muse of Rick Owens, both ardent Gareth supporters.

The show was not entirely surprising, and a very visible continuation of his previous collections. That said, I had to admire the craftsmanship: origami-like patent leather dresses and coats, plus some garments constructed entirely out of industrial zippers, creating a samurai effect. A couple of pieces were made completely from safety pins, and although neither concept is new, Gareth managed to make it his own. Remember Junya Watanabe's beautiful spring collection full of mostly gold zippers? And we all know the safety pin extends further back than Versace and Elizabeth Hurley. I was, however, mesmerized by the emerald green Swarovski-crystal tights on model Anouck Lepère's fantastic legs, only to be told by Seven's Joseph Quartana that they would retail at more than $6000. And that was just for the stockings, not the fantastic legs. At that, I turned my attention to the gravity-defying shoes that the girls wore down the seemingly endless warehouse runway, strutting to the sounds of original glam-rocker Gary Glitter (now locked away in prison—no, not by the fashion police, but for his bad behavior with young boys).

The audience was filled with heavily made-up faces—and it wasn’t the girls I'm referring to. Boys with pan-stick and raccoon eyes might just signal London's move from New Rave to Goth. Please, not so soon! While Gareth’s clothes were entirely black (except for the silver of pins and zippers), the model's faces were white with blue-shaded eyes and lips. The show make-up, by the fantastically talented Alex Box, must have sent those boys running to the powder room for a touch-up.

Only a few weeks ago I was in London to work with Alex and Eugene Souleman (one of London’s finest hair stylists) on a couple shoots for i-D, Showstudio and MUSE. Alex turned out the make-up, shot after shot, each face its own new canvas. One of my favorites was a girl with duck-egg blue hair, a completely blue face and a blue and pink floral Dries Van Noten dress. A modern “Blue Lady” like that of the master of kitsch, painter Vladimir Tretchikoff. I guess its effect was still resonating with Alex by the time of Gareth's collection.

I left the show with Anouck and her boyfriend Jefferson Hack, editor-in-chief of Another, to celebrate her 29th birthday. After a brief detour home for a remarkably quick make-up and costume change (into a fantastic peekaboo vintage velvet dress), we set off for an opulent private club in the West End where Jefferson planned a dinner party for Anouck and some of her friends. Though apparently only organized the day before, it was wonderfully decadent, especially considering it fell between a bunch of Fashion Week parties and the famous “tea party” he was hosting the next day. Jefferson is a wonderful host, who managed to take special care of Anouck while still making the rounds to each of his guests.

As the birthday evening rolled into Valentine's Day, the party moved to Sophisticats, a misleading name for a stripper bar where even pasties and G-strings seemed excessive. Besides the obvious things one observes when presented with a lap dance, I couldn’t help but notice how flexible the girls were and completely comfortable in their own skin. I vowed to return to my regime of yoga and pilates when this endless traveling was over, but I won't be trading in my YSL platforms for those plexi-heel stripper shoes anytime soon.

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A selection of snapshots by Fred Butler and K A B I R, capturing the energy of London Fashion Week...

Noki and Lulu Kennedy of Fashion East (in Louise Gray) at Norton & Sons' Savile Row preview
Model backstage at Gareth Pugh, with makeup transformation by Alex Box
K A B I R and model Tallulah at the Mulberry launch party for Hadley Freeman's new book

Skin closing the Noki/NHS show wearing a crochet creation
K A B I R, fashion editor, and yours truly
Alexis Knox, fashion editor of Notion magazine and door-whore extraordinaire at Circus

Maki Lou Lou hiding in Andy Hillman's tent set for Peter Jensen's "Nuts in May"-inspired show

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

A shout-out to men's line Q.E.D., winner of the Karstadt New Generation Award at Berlin Fashion Week, beating out Mongrels in Common (which gets our vote for best name), Miroike and Pulver. The three designers of Q.E.D. (which stands for quod erat demonstrandum, a latin phrase meaning, approximately, The End), swayed the judges with their minimal cuts, slim pants, emphasis on black, biker boots and heavy knits—all a nod to Belgian conceptualism...

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London Fashion Week: The Block

Racing to House of Holland, it became clear that the day was going to be an intense one. Why? Two words: The Block, a track of the East End where each of the designers in publicist Mandi Lennard's stable would show within trotting distance of each other. Even more convenient, a bar-equipped contraption called the Moet Tour Bus would be available to zip people from venue to venue should their stiletto-shod feet give out. It was going to be a bubbly ride.

With last season's Axl & Stephanie leather à gogo collection, Henry Holland deftly moved from slogan tees to tailored clothing, but without forsaking the unique irreverence that has made the House of Holland a home for many of his bright young fans. Literally. For fall, Henry took the tartan kilt, stuck a pin through its nose and put a tab on its tongue in a retina-burning show that, as one onlooker observed, launched Henry as Britain's Jeremy Scott.

I then hotfooted it from Great Eastern Street to Brick Lane’s Old Truman Brewery for Lulu Kennedy's Fashion East show, featuring Noki, David David (staging his first catwalk show) and my favorite young Londoner, Louise Gray. Noki punched us in the face with a serious bass soundtrack and heaps of fuck-off attitude in another warrior take on recycling (his line, NHS, is short for Noki House of Sustainability). But here, the ethical on parade wasn't Bono's wife "designing" organic yet boring, overpriced day dresses; it was a slow swagger, killer stares and menacing fashion-art hybrids. It was “f-i-e-r-c-e,” as Wonderland magazine's Kit kept telling me, especially when Skin walked out in a crochet and leather pouffy white floor-length wonder. Erin O’Connor, beaming from the front row, looked like she was having as great a time as we were.

Turning sportswear on its head, artist-turned-designer David Saunders of David David distilled his familiar op-art patterns into a collection revolving around outerwear. Highlights included a three-piece look (T-shirt, padded jacket and pants) in his signature triangular dark-cherry print, an Yves Klein-reminiscent blue rubber mackintosh and hiking bags with a sports bottle and coordinated David David blanket.

Lancôme Colour and Texture Award winner Louise Gray continued her soulful journey, in this, her second consecutive Fashion East season. Clever though naïve appliquéd shift dresses, suspenders and her brilliant eye for color were here, as was, for the first time, a selection of all-black looks and tailoring in the form of ankle-length pants. A black coat with colored pockets will surely get her on the backs of new clients. Needless to say I loved it all, yet again.

After a quick chat in the lobby of ANdAZ hotel with Caryn Franklin (i-D alumna and a legend from the BBC's The Clothes Show), it was time for Roksanda Ilincic. Known for her clean, crisp femininity and precious dresses, Roksanda said she was inspired this season by a recent trip to Brazil. Thus her colors were richer and even tastier, and their application was acute in a collection with a breadth of sculptural, sometimes voluminous shapes. Like so many designers this season, she also included fantastic fur.

A quick swig of water and it was back to Brick Lane for Gareth Pugh, where the queue was already building. I bumped into Seven’s Joseph Quartana and his glamorous wife Sophie Na. To say I was slightly jealous of Joe's Raf Simons coat would be an understatement, not only for its gorgeously lacquered black sheen, but because in my oh-the-weather-will-be-great-today haste, I had on only a T-shirt and a neon green hoodie from Hedi Slimane's "Luster" Dior Homme collection.

Oh right, Gareth Pugh. Like Noki, the vibe was fierce and warrior-like, but that's where the similarity ended. This was a different world, a world where The Wizard of Oz meets Predator. Coco Rocha opened, robotic in white facepaint and blue lipstick, wearing a highly structured silver dress that was actually made from zippers. Yes, zippers. It was stunningly executed, as was the second zipper look, this time cut as a jacket with a kick-away waist and the same huge, capped shoulders. The later looks managed to wow as much as the first, with hundreds of black leather triangles sewn into squares and contorted into cubist-like volumes. The Block, indeed!

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London Fashion Week: Richard Nicoll

Showing in a church in London's Spitalfields, Richard Nicoll expanded on the neo-Puritan tailored aesthetic he started last season with architectural dresses in contrasting fabrics and a color palette of black, cream, aubergine, navy and royal blue. Eccentric professionalism and the decadence of disco were talked about, and the romance was noticeably heightened, yet it was only at the final walk-through the sheer diversity became clear. There were even black Swarovski crystal-embellished pants—that would be the decadent disco part.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

London Fashion Week: Todd Lynn

Todd Lynn is London’s most underrated designer. Fact. His tailoring is kick-ass, the quality is sublime, the detailing is exquisite and it's all so androgynously sexalicious (apart from the Louboutins: flat lace-ups for boys and sky-high heels for girls). What's not to love?

Todd started off making clothes for rock stars and is now kindly giving everyone else a chance to live a well-cut dream. Previous customers include PJ Harvey, the Rolling Stones and Courtney Love (whom I sat opposite last season, in a little dream of my own—I seriously love the Love). For fall 08, his fourth season, Todd injected a little glam darkness into his modern classicism. Picture goatskin, shearlings (which looked divine as the models stomped down the runway), pony skin and alpaca layering over razor-sharp tailoring (I know razor-sharp is an overused cliché, but he's as talented a tailor as Lang, Simons and Slimane, thus deserving of the adjective). And the shoes were intense. I'm still thinking about a five-inch Louboutin in lizard skin with human hair sticking out at the heel.

"I started off by thinking of hybrids and mixing things together and it lead to the idea of the Chimera, a mythical beast of contrasts,” Todd told me after the show. “It's about a mix of elements—structured and unstructured, shine and matte and textures and such. Plus, of course, there's the masculine-feminine thing." Playing with androgyny has always been Todd's trademark. In fact, some pieces in the show are identical, just scaled bigger or smaller for guys or girls. The whole collection rocked; Courtney won't have it easy when she makes her selection.

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London Fashion Week: Marios Schwab

Anticipation was thick for Marios Schwab's fall collection at Topshop’s University of Westminster show space, where I was squeezed into a banquette with the Daily Rubbish’s Piers Atkinson and ex-BoomBox don Richard Mortimer (whose Ponystep.com project is under construction).

And Marios didn’t disappoint, inspired by The Yellow Wallpaper, a feminist short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in which a woman goes mad after being confined to a small room by her husband. (Marios also had a little help from the Swiss Textile Federation, whose prize of 100,000 euros he won last November). Out came models in double-layer stretch dresses (which were cut out at the hipbone to reveal fleshy patterns or skinny stonewashed jeans underneath), cropped deep-blue furs (with dramatically high funnel necklines), Swarovski beads, and even giant circular bags and variations on the peacoat (yes, Marios does bags and peacoats). Designed by Tom Gallant, the busy wallpaper-like prints were stunning, particularly on a black shredded dress.

This was Marios' strongest, most complete, most cohesive collection to date, one where his graphic leanings met soul (if tortured). London Fashion Week might have been up and running for two days, but now it feels like it's started.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

When you think about DJ Hell, Peaches and Bernhard Willhelm, you don't exactly think about love songs. Which is all the more reason to head to The Broken Hearts Club, a monthly party in Berlin where a rotating roster of guests DJs are invited to play their favorite love songs. It's big sappy fun. And now the BHC—which is Ingrid Junker Subon (fashion designer), Niki Pauls (stylist) and Conny Opper (of legendary Rio Club)—is coming to America, playing New York's Happy Ending on Valentine's Day and L.A.'s Palihouse on February 17. Here are some shots of the BHC bash during Berlin Fashion Week in January...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New York Fashion Week: Marc Jacobs

A shoeless Suleman Anaya hoofs it to Marc Jacobs...

Okay, I almost missed the show. Expecting it to start on time after the transatlantic outcry over last season's two-hour delay, I was traveling well on schedule when the heel came off my beloved vintage Redwings. Horror of horrors! But passion overrode panic and I decide to brave it. After all, a Marc show can't be missed simply because of a dumb boot. So, mortified, I entered the Armory hoping the assembled beau-monde wouldn't notice my shuffling gait, only to be caught in a flurry of flashlights. Thankfully, the paps weren't trying to capture my mishap for the "What Was He Thinking?" section of The Star; they were going crazy over Victoria Beckham in a sequined burgundy sheath. Then, in what seemed to be an unspoken accord between us, Posh struck a few mechanical iterations of her freaky sexbot pose while I discreetly minced beside her, dangling sole in tow. She really is a doll.

Because of the contretemps, by the time I was finally inside, security guards weren't letting people to their assigned seats—Marc wanted the show to start. So I grabbed a spot at the bottom of the bleachers right by the comely feet of Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, who smiled and graciously made room for my little derriere. (Interesting that Mlle JRR wasn't sitting in one of the VIP booths with Maman.) At least I didn't get stuck behind the bleachers like so many others, who thus totally missed the show.

Seated inside, the first thing I noticed was that everything looked very different from previous seasons. For starters, there was no runway. Missing, too, was the Met-worthy staging we've become accustomed to. Instead, the place looked like a cross between a rock venue and an old-school nightclub, with a gargantuan stage, concert lighting and tall scaffolding. Flanking the stage were black leather booths filled with the usual suspects: the Bensimons, the Baileys and the Cunninghams of the world, Marc's buddies Debbie Harry and John Currin, the obligatory indie hollywood contingent (Selma, Vincent) and this season's specimen of pop detritus (remember Lil' Kim?): K-Fed!

The clothes. Well, yes, like everyone and her PA has told you, the show started on time. At about 7:20, Sonic Youth started playing and out came the models. You couldn't miss that in a complete reversal from last season's brainy sex theme, the models were all wrapped in cocoony silhouettes in what looked like pastels. Pastels? Yes, there actually was a baby blue cashmere coat. Also on parade were burka-like headscarves, funny triangular hats, mad puffy headbands (thanks to the genius of Stephen Jones) and incredible lamé pantsuits. It was all very covered-up and cut away from the body.

It wasn't even 7:40 when the show ended and discussion shifted to the merits of the collection. As usual the audience was split into two extreme groups: "loved it" and" hated it," with no room for measured opinions. Others debated whether or not to join Marc at his after-party, where M.I.A. was slated to DJ, or head to the Jeremy Scott shindig at Mansion. Alas, for me it was time to jump in a cab home with my sad broken boot, which, by the way, nobody seems to have noticed.

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New York Fashion Week: Obedient Sons and Daughters

Backstage at a new Hint fave...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

New York Fashion Week: Rad Hourani

It's all about androgyny for French-Canadian designer Rad Hourani, whose towering models (all women, except for one, possibly) stormed out in vertical black leather sheaths, decoration-less short dresses over leggings, Japanese-like square backpacks, obsessively straight hair, and chunky scarves and other strappy bits that hung to the floor. To us, it was very futuristic shaman, à la Helmut Lang, but Rad (how much do you love the name, by the way?) told us backstage that he was inspired by Adam and Eve, and the combination thereof.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Photos from last night's party to open Juergen Teller's latest photo exhibit at Lehmann Maupin gallery...

Juergen Teller, an image from his private collection

Fabien Baron, Michael Stipe, Juergen Teller & Cathy Horyn

photos by Patrick McMullan

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

New York Fashion Week: Rodarte

You might assume, as we did, that Rodarte's fall collection was about punked-out ballerinas, with ripped stockings, studded stilettos and hot-pink tutus. But its designing sisters, the Mulleavys, use a more fine-toothed set of references. Sure enough, Kate Mulleavy told us backstage that they were inspired by kabuki theater and Japanese horror movies. We should have guessed from our peek in the goodie bag, which had a DVD of Ugetsu, director Kenji Mizoguchi's definitive Japanese ghost story from 1953.

Our video of Rodarte's spring 08 collection...

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Dark, shaky, blurry and boozy video of Colette's New York Fashion Week party—in conjunction with street label Married to the Mob and Jalouse magazine—at Beatrice Inn, with Uffie on hosting duties and a special DJ set by artist Fafi (who's the one in the feather headdress, in case you have bionic eyes)...


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New York Fashion Week: Loden Dager

Pics from Loden Dager's presentation at Hoffman Refectory...


Good for post-Fashion Week decompression...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

You may see these Nike Dunks on celebrity feet the night of the Grammys. Created in celebration of the awards (hence the glittery swoosh), the hi-tops will also be available to the purchasing public on Sunday, but in very limited quantities and only at Fred Segal in L.A.


Q&A: Frida Giannini

By now, you know all about Gucci's massive concert/auction/benefit/store launch tonight at the United Nations: the mega-draw (Madonna), the acts (Chris Rock, Alicia Keys), the slebs (Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow). I caught up with Gucci creative director Frida Giannini for some tidbits you might not know...

This is a very special night for Gucci. What is it you hope to achieve?
Yes, it is very special indeed. We are raising money for both UNICEF and Raising Malawi, so we hope that the event is a huge success in every way. We are underwriting the entire evening, so 100% of funds generated goes to children affected by HIV and AIDS. Of course, it is also a party, so we hope that everyone has a great time.

Is there a larger message in having the fundraiser at the UN?
There is. The UN is a completely international place. It is bigger than New York, it is bigger than the United States. This global notion parallels the cause to which we are so dedicated. AIDS is a global crisis, one with which people from every country should be concerned. It is much larger than Africa, and we need to remind people of that.

Can we expect to see more grand gestures like this from Gucci?
This is a very special celebration for a very special occasion, the opening of the new Gucci flagship. We will have to wait and see what happens in the future!

The bag collections you've created for the new store look great. What was your inspiration?
Thank you. I wanted to create something extraordinary to parallel the beauty and scale of the new store. There are two collections of bags: the Heritage collection and the New York Exclusive collection. Heritage is a one-of-a-kind collection of bags that represent the ultimate in luxury. I looked through the archives and resurrected several iconic models that I reworked in skins. Additionally I resurrected a vintage print called "Leonardo," which was first created in the '50s. For this print I was inspired by the timing, as its introduction in 1953 coincided with the opening of the first Gucci New York boutique the same year. The New York exclusive bags are more playful, but also collector's items. The Gucci Loves New York bag is of course a tribute to this fantastic city. All proceeds from the Gucci Loves NY products will go towards the care and maintenance of the playgrounds in Central Park.

Can you tell us about your own love of New York? What fond memories do you have of our city?
New York is unlike any city in the world. It has inimitable energy. It is filled with such a multitude of different kinds of people, filled with culture, and filled with history. It is the only city where you can get anything you want at any hour, which I absolutely love. I have many fond memories of coming to New York, but some of my favorites are going vintage shopping with my design team in Soho. And each time I fly into New York and see the skyline of Manhattan, I am in awe.

The new Fifth Avenue store...

The exclusive bags...

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This just in from Adidas. For today's New York store launch, Y-3 introduces a limited-edition shoe (50 pairs only) made from the Japanese denim found in Yohji Yamamoto's atelier. The unisex shoe, called Nice to Meet You, retails for $500 and is available only at the new Y-3 store (317 West 13th Street, NYC)....

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We love Glass Candy so much we could eat a whole bag of her, and not only because she contributed music to our latest multimedia fashion shoot, Bright Angles. Here she is at last night's launch of Adidas Originals' new denim line by Diesel. Chromeo, in the other photo, also performed. How much do you love his his legs (the ones on his keyboard, that is)?

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New York Fashion Week: Tom Scott

Loved for his nubby knits, Tom Scott introduced woven and coated fabrics for fall, as well as the occasional metallic and fluorescent flash. While shaggy "cassette tape" hats, multiple layers and secretary skirts evoked a child's game of dress-up, Tom's discriminating eye for asymmetry, a dark color palette and an overall sense of dishabille kept the small collection within city limits. This was the latest in the slow, deliberate evolution of a future fashion star.

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New York Fashion Week: Patrik Ervell

From the very beginning, when he made red and blue windbreakers from a silicone-coated parachute material developed by the military, Patrik Ervell has always used high-tech fabrics in his men's line—but never in an over-the-top futuristic way. For fall, as he says in this video, the California native and UC Berkeley grad reworked gold thermal emergency blankets to convey a sense of protection, by which he means both actual protection from the elements and psychological armor. Either way, it's a new gold standard.

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Street style from Seoul, South Korea, by yourboyhood...

January 07, 2008
Rickey Kim (27), editor-in-chief, Evil Monito

top jacket _ Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane
jacket _ Undercover by Jun Takahashi
shirt _ Dengue Fever
jeans _ House of Cassette
shoes _ Comme des Garçons

homepage: www.mrkimsays.com

January 13, 2008
Kang Min koo (26), student & photographer

place: myoungwallgwan, Hongik Univ. street, Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu

overalls _ Kim Jones
shoes _ New Balance
sunglasses _ Miller Beer

homepage: www.youweresleeping.com

January 08, 2008
Lee Hwan (20), band

place: select shop Flow, Garosu-gil, Sinsa-dong

jacket _ Attachment

homepage: www.cyworld.com/fffan

January 25, 2008
Lee Kyung Won (30), securities analyst

place: select shop Blush opening party

coat _ limifeu
jacket _ Thom Browne
sweater & shirt _ father's
pants _ Cycle
shoes _ Adidas (Stan Smith)
tie _ Ermenegildo Zegna

January 31, 2008
Chad Burton (27), model & teacher

jacket _ Members Only
sweater _ H&M
shoes _ vintage
bag _ Heng Lee

homepage: www.myspace.com/seechadfly

photographs by Hong Sukwoo, a.k.a. yourboyhood.com

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Monday, February 4, 2008

New York Fashion Week: Band of Outsiders & Boy

For the uninitiated, Band of Outsiders is a relatively new men's line and, despite the name, Boy is its newer sister line. Both are designed by Scott Sternberg, both are based out of Los Angeles and both are about as preppy as anything you'll ever see, never more than their joint fall presentation, where prep oozed from every corner of the tableau vivant set up in a midtown showroom, from flannel-clad hunting prep to slick-haired collegiate prep. Standout pieces: navy vests with leather buttons, pleated corduroy skirts, shrunken oxfords, tartan cuffed pants and wool coat-dresses. Accessories have always been the core of both lines; for fall, they included cashmere knit ties, varsity gloves, trapper hats with raccoon trim and Band of Outsiders shoes for Sperry and Manolo Blahnik.

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Would Comme forget you, Los Angeles?

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New York Fashion Week: Robert Geller

Robert Geller never ventures far from his German roots. Even last season, when he was inspired by the fluorescence of life in California, it was Teutonically tempered with references to conceptual artist Joseph Beuys. Now, the former Cloak designer fully embraces "meaty" darkness with a nearly all-black fall collection based on "Measuring the World" by German author Daniel Kehlmann, a book about exploration of the real and spiritual wilderness. The show began with military officers in cadet pants, taut suspenders and buckled coats, and ended with nomadic monks in distressed leathers, Himalayan vests and blanket-sized scarves around their shoulders. Here, clips from the show and a backstage chat...

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Gone are the days when models dressed off the runway as they did on—in designer duds. Nowadays, it's all about slouchy-cool jeans, tees and hoodies. We asked Model Mania alumna and equestrian Cate Chant to take us through her sartorial non-tastes. "I keep a lot of things I don't wear often," she says, "figuring they'll go perfectly with some future outfit. If time travel were possible, I'd probably have a suitable outfit for every era dating back to ancient Rome. I still have outfits from my pioneer phase in grade four." The Canuck takes a pack-rat philosophy with her shoes, too. During Fashion Week, she'll sport her black converse hi-tops from the seventh grade [which can't be that long ago]. "The soles are almost completely worn out and they have big holes everywhere so my socks show through. People have tried to buy me new, cooler pairs of sneakers, but they sit unworn in my closet." We love that today's models are runway ragamuffins.

Cate backstage at Prada (with Sara Blomqvist, left, and Lovisa Ingman) and
competing at a horse show


Stockholm Fashion Week: +46

Preserving the progressive spirit of +46—a semiannual fair of hot new designers from Sweden and beyond—Annika Berger (of Skyward) created an installation for her small art-terrorist collection. Thrillingly spooky and confusing, the show was a cross between a haunted house and a construction site, entered through a dark hallway full of tree branches and blasting with strobe lights and a soundtrack of noise. This dropped you off in an enormous trashed-out room with cardboard boxes, cables that snaked into infinity, floodlights with minds of their own and random industrial ephemera. Black tarps suspended from the ceiling sectioned off small cubicles, inside which models stood motionless (minus one on a treadmill) in top-heavy, graphic-print getups that focused on headgear. White arrows on the floor directed you in circles, making the experience an unnavigable environment that, through reverse psychology, gave Annika's collection a sense of place.


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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Stockholm Fashion Week

Also seen at Stockholm Fashion Week: flannel-loving friends of Melissa Etheridge; dirty dock-workers; runaway Holly Hobbys on heroin; WWII-era homerun hitters; bearded pipe-smoking den daddies; and ball-busting working women.





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Friday, February 1, 2008

Stockholm Fashion Week: Helena Hörstedt

Helena Hörstedt—who's as much an artisan as a designer—banished us naughty children to a gloomy, low-ceilinged basement, where we crammed into rows arranged to resemble a spider's web. Models as black widows attacked from all directions, speedily weaving through the audience in all-black dresses and bonnets in fabric obsessively folded and knotted into geometric shapes. (See Helena's previous collection.)

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Stockholm Fashion Week: The Local Firm

Before I left for Stockholm someone advised me to pack all black, “or else you’re going to feel really self-conscious.” I was a little skeptical, but listened anyway. Well, that's pretty much what was on the runways (occasionally mixed with navy, petrol, gray or even—gasp!—white), and done really seriously and earnestly. That is, until The Local Firm came along and spoiled everyone's un-fun. Sweden's lighter version of Martin Margiela sent out super-sharp jeans that look like one pair from the knee up and another from the knee down, umpire-inspired knit spats, color-blocked tops & tees, baseball caps with PVC-trimmed brims and, for women, veiled with a swatch of mourning widow's tulle.

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