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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In both good and sad news, adidas' Liad (Lee) Krispin is being whisked away from New York to head up the Y-3 communications department at adidas' headquarters in Germany. At the Submercer on Saturday, fiends converged and submerged to bid Lee farewell and get some face time—his face—with these tees and totes by Dana Veraldi, seen here (left) with Y-3's Theodora Sopko...

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We like these pics and just wanted to share...

photography James Mahon
styling James Worthington DeMolet
model Kimberly Lamb @ Marilyn

black Jacket Issa, silver Jacket Y-3
dress Zero Maria Cornejo

hooded top Y-3, tank Neal Sperling, skirt McQ, bracelet Bess
t-shirt PAM, hooded top Y-3, skirt Alessandro Dell'Acqua, necklace Powerhaus

patent leather jacket Zero Maria Cornejo, tank Neal Sperling, skirt Y-3, tights Fogal
top Dress, vintage shorts, leggings adidas by Stella McCartney, bracelets Ohne Titel

cargo vest Alexander Wang, pants Y-3, bracelet Bess
jacket Y-3, top Neal Sperling, pants Ohne Titel


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ksubi has won the 2008 Interior Design Award, Australia’s foremost interior design accolade, for its "The Bombed Maché" store in Melbourne. Designed in association with Herbert & Mason Architects, the store "focuses on salvage and 'mash' culture with a cut-and-paste ethos." Eighty percent of the shop is constructed from cardboard and other refuse materials, resulting in an installation-cum-shantytown. Kudos, Ksubi!


Sunday, April 27, 2008

The new Prada Foundation revealed...

"After more than 15 years of activity, the Prada Foundation felt the need to widen its own exhibition spaces and broaden its cultural perspective. The enriched course of research we would like to undertake will be expressed through the expansion of projects realized in a dialogue with artists, and in future collaborations with leading international museums, institutes for contemporary art, architecture and design, as well as partners for temporary exhibitions. For this reason, we have commissioned the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) led by Rem Koolhaas to plan the transformation of an early 20th-century industrial site south of Milan. The Prada Foundation’s new and permanent exhibition spaces will be in a location that includes buildings dating from 1910s. Koolhaas’s project will add an exhibition building, auditorium and tower to the existing structure to house selections of works from the collection and temporary shows. It will be a unique approach to the idea of the co-existence of contemporary architecture with the regeneration of an historic area, representing the evolution of Milanese industrial development that continues through the present day. In ongoing efforts to widen the Prada Foundation’s range of activities, the new auditorium will make it possible to host various festivals, theater performances, symposia and lectures on literature, art, cinema, design, architecture, philosophy and global media." —Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli

"It is surprising that the enormous expansion of the art system has taken place in a reduced number of typologies for arts’ display. It seems that the arts’ apotheosis is unfolding in an increasingly limited repertoire of spatial conditions: the gallery (white, abstract and neutral), the industrial space (attractive because its predictable conditions do not challenge the artist’s intentions), the contemporary museum (a barely disguised version of the department store) and the purgatory of the arts fair. The new Prada Foundation is projected in a former industrial complex too, but one with unusually diverse spatial environments. We plan to add three new structures that vastly extend the range of its facilities and accomodations. The new Foundation is intended as a collection of artefacts that encounters a collection of architectural typologies. Not only will the range of spatial conditions be extended, but also the range of contents itself. Apart from spaces for assembly and performance, both Prada’s and Luna Rossa’s archives will be opened, establishing a continuity of creative and intellectual effort." —Rem Koolhaas


Saturday, April 26, 2008

More from item idem on his SWAP collaboration with Andrea Crews collective...

The opening of the SWAP SHOP at Andrea Crews was surreal. The studio is located in the red-light district of Paris, so we were surrounded by sex shops and strip bars with exquisite names like Dirty Dick and Lorelei (which had a facade straight out of Bernhard Willhelm's most Tyrolean dream). Adding to the atmosphere, a fantastic Brazilian wedding was taking place next door in a night club. We managed to have the bride pose with us (in our Louis Vuitton armor) before she got totally drunk and rode off in her wedding car.

Michel Gaubert, in Andrea Crews' Bibi Chignon hat, prepared a great musical selection for Mai Ueda to perform her hits "Don't Call Me Elephant" and "I Want to Buy Some Clothes." He also played a lot of classical music, including Stravinsky, and even some unknown tracks from Dada artist Francis Picabia. Out front, for the pleasure of many Parisian hipsters who stopped by, we set up a trampoline that I had tagged with the copyright symbol and the item idem logo, made from the Nintendo font.

Michel Gaubert, Mai Ueda

The SWAP SHOP was certainly a unique project and probably the shortest pop-up store ever, open for only an afternoon. We all like the idea of a conceptual art and fashion exhibition based on products, not artworks. We also wanted to stage an exhibition with a complex vocabulary and evolution, from its conception months ago to the launch of the SWAP SHOP and the window display at colette, ending with a party at Le Baron. Then, of course, finally immortalized on Hint.

Next, I will show you my SWAP window at colette.

Photos by PLAY

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Q&A with men's designer Juun J., Seoul's answer to Hedi Slimane (circa Dior Homme), by Virginia Jackson-Reed...

The Seoul fashion scene has yet to reach the level of global notoriety of cities like New York and Tokyo. Why do you think that is?
You're right, there isn’t a designer in South Korea who reaches that level, but the Korea fashion scene has just begun. I, too, have just begun.

Your Lone Costume line has garnered comparisons with Dior Homme and Raf Simons. Would you say this is fair, and in what ways do you stand apart?
Although I now have my collections in Paris, I had my first collection in Korea in 2000. I showed were very slim suits. I think that's why I'm compared with these two labels. But my first collection in Paris was totally different. The silhouettes may still be similar, but I guess the origin of design is different.

Early on, Lone Costume had a womenswear component. Why did you stop?
Actually, there's never been womenswear in my collections. However, I used to let the female models wear men’s outfits or make a little bit of women's just for the men's show. At present, my women clients wear small sizes of my Juun. J men's collection.

Your line balances both refinement and edge. How do you achieve this?
Before I started my own line, I worked at other brands for ten years. I worked hard to bring out the true spirit of those brands rather than always creating something new. It was a great experience for me and I have a firm belief that fashion is an art and a business at the same time.

You've collaborated with English artist Simon Henwood and Japanese artist Nuts several times. What draws you to their work?
I’m a big fan of these artists, especially Simon. My inspirations are from people always. And as you know, Simon draws the “Real People.”

Trench coats are a recurring theme. Are they your signature?
I love trench coats a lot. When you are styling with a trench coat, all the other items have to be very simple as it has a fairly unique presence by itself.

What three things would you say sum up the vibe of your label?
Trench coat, structural transformation and novelty.

Who best embodies your aesthetic and why?
Ironically, my muse is Charlotte Gainsbourg. Her tomboy image is very attractive and has strong power in it.

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Hint recommends...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Something to look forward to. In September, Ann Demeulemeester will launch Collection Blanche, a limited edition of re-released pieces from her 20-year archive, back by popular demand. A few examples...

"Holly" tank top (1998) / pearl-embroidered silk top (1993)

vest, leather leggings and boots (1998) / asymmetric wool coat (1998)


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Seoul street style from yourboyhood...

March 24, 2008
An Jimin (21), student

trenchcoat _
United Bamboo
cardigan _
Tommy Hilfiger
shirt _
Comme des Garçons
pants _
shoes _
tie _
socks _
American Apparel

March 16, 2008
Back Se wook (23), fashion student
place: Independent Now exhibition, Daily Projects

parka _ Bernhard Willhelm
pants _ pre-owned garments by Japan
shoes _ Belly Button by Tokyo Bopper
bag _ KTZ Kokon to zai

homepage: www.cyworld.com/01093816881

March 28, 2008
Seo Han-Young (23) shop staff

jacket _ vintage
t-shirt _ vintage
pants _ no brand
shoes _ vintage
bag _ there's
tights _

March 16, 2008
Lee Jungeun (26), student
Independent Now exhibition, Daily Projects

jacket _
Vivienne Westwood MAN
sweater _
United Bamboo
pants _
Vivienne Westwood MAN
shoes _
Kris Van Assche

March 16, 2008
Choi Jee young (25), vmd
place: Independent Now exhibition, Daily Projects

all clothes bought by her friend in London

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

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Monday, April 21, 2008

You saw a few baubles on John Galliano's fall runway, but here's your first good look at the dagger, flower and coin motifs that make up the high-end new line...

And here's what John has to say...

“Attention to every detail has always been so important, from the dress, the hair, the heels, the handbag, every detail matters. Top to toe, I want to know every detail of her story, so I am really excited that we are launching our own jewelry line this autumn. It's something that I have wanted to do for a long time."

“We looked at trinkets, secrets, forbidden objects and disguises. I wanted to create something new, a new treasure for her to covet. I like to mix what people expect from Galliano with what they don’t. I like my designs to be provocative, to mix romance with attitude, decadence with eccentricity, the refined with the raw. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all.”

“The inspiration is very much the essence of Galliano. It combines art and myths, baroque and gothic influences, beauty and elegance, all the things I love in three key themes.”

“I have always thought of myself as an adventurer. I plunder the globe looking for inspiration. A pirate is glamorous and charming, so the dagger collection takes inspiration from this seductive personality, as well as the famous dagger of Topkapi.”

“The flower collection shows the softer, more romantic side of Galliano. This is ultra luxe, ultra feminine for that perfect final precious bloom to add sparkle to flounces and frills.”

“The coin collection really mixes elements of vintage and travel, of all the exotic coins you collect, barter and exchange, old and new. We have even franked our own Galliano mint, and its own rich heraldic refinement.”

“I am so thrilled to have been able to produce this jewelry line. I think it shows another side to Galliano. Galliano girls are very ethereal, very romantic, and very after-dark. It's good they now have their own jewels to set of their unique style!”


Kendall Herbst on her great day with a Great Dane...

After logging over fifty blue-chip runways (Balenciaga, Miu Miu, Burberry, Chanel, etc.) at the fall collections and nabbing editorials in Harper's Bazaar (June), W (April), Italian Vogue (March, plus the cover in February), 20-year-old Danish model Agnete Hegelund is breathing the rarefied air her 5'9 stature affords her. Curious about the view up there, I tagged along with the blonde beanpole—and Hint's Model Mania obsession for December—one day last week.

9:00 am: Agnete's alarm clock wakes her up in the midtown model apartment where she's temporarily crashing while she's in town. Seven other girls are also bunking there at the moment, so it's a full house. After getting up, she has breakfast by herself, or in her words: "took some yogurt with a cut banana." She slings on her Miu Miu bag (she needs a smaller one so her arm "won't go twice as long as the other") and heads out on errands.

12:00 pm: Agnete takes the subway down to Ford, her agency. We're introduced, and I learn how to properly say her name: Ow-ned He-lund. "Yeah, it's an unusual name, even in Denmark," she reassures me. "People always ask if I have a nickname or something easier. But that would be Aggy, and that's already taken." She then reviews the month's options (industry term for work that could pan out, but doesn't always), after which her agents take her shopping for a Blackberry; she chooses sparkly red. Back at the agency, her agents spend a while getting the phone hooked up while I take the opportunity to ask her about herself. She still lives in Denmark and wants to study medicine after modeling because both of her parents are eye doctors—plus she's a whiz at math and science. "I didn't think it was ever that hard," she tells me, "I like that you have a problem and you have to solve it. It's fun. If I thought history was fun, I'd probably be good at that, but I don't." What does she think is fun? Last week she went to her first Knicks game. "I'm not so sure about the rules, but we got to relax in this private lounge where we could have whatever we wanted. So I like basketball when I get to watch it like that, for sure."

4:00 pm: Agnete and I are off to her first appointment of the day, at Katy Barker agency in the West Village. But first, a pit stop at Starbucks—she's a bit of a coffee nut, as I'll come to see. With a skinny, tall cup in hand (how very fitting), she and I head to the L train. Underground, people stare at the ethereal beauty hovering a foot above me.

4:45 pm: Agnete dips into the Katy Barker agency and chats with a photographer about the weather and her life back in Denmark. She reemerges on the windy street just fifteen minutes later. "It went well," she tells me. "We talked, and he took a few pictures with his digital camera. But you don't know what they're looking at you for, so you never know."

5:00 pm: We hurry to grab a cab because she has to get to a meeting with Terry Richardson before 5:30. Not surprisingly, it takes Agnete, in a short dress and ankle boots, all of four seconds to hail a taxi on Seventh Avenue. Moments later she rushes into the photographer's office on Bowery and meets the man behind the famous instamatic and oversized glasses. They banter a bit, take a few photos and she's out the door by 5:43. "Easy, breezy," she sighs. And so ends her work day.

6:15 pm: With her appointments over, what does Agnete do? She walks to a Starbucks, of course, to meet up with another Danish model. The two will soon meet other friends for dinner and then hit up Ryan McGinley's gallery opening in Soho, along with a flood of other downtowners. But she won't be out too late; she has a Bloomingdales shoot in the early morning.

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As if you didn't have enough Acne (okay, we'll speak for ourselves), on 4/17 the Swedish phenomenon launched its latest miracle prod, Pop Chinos, at their new Paris shop in the Jardins du Palais Royal. In case you're wondering, the line is inspired by pop art, not the art of zit removal...


Londoners missing the fun, frolic and jazz hands of cool-Britannia fashion label House of Jazz should throw on their "Donatella Says More" T-shirts once again and pop down to The George and Dragon tonight. The duo is reuniting and rocking out for one night only, instigated by Richard Mortimer, who programs every Monday night at the East End boozerie under the moniker Mortimer Loves Mondays. None other than designers Pablo Flack and Hazel Robinson of the Katie Grand-styled label will lead the fun ce soir, with Julie Jazz serving, yes, Jazzy cocktails. Party like it's 2000... Hic!

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cesar Padilla hits the Humana Festival...

Unlikely though it is, given its red-state location, the Humana Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the country's most prestigious forums for new American plays, attracting the best contemporary playwrights from far and wide. With plans to be in the area—and a theater critic only in the sense that this was my fifth time attending the festival—I decided to catch three of the eight plays on offer.

First, the negative review. The Break/s, by Marc Bumuthi Joseph, was billed as an autobiographical odyssey set to a hip-hop soundtrack. Fair enough, but before the show started, his drummer walked around the stage and asked a mostly Caucasian audience what they thought about "white people in hip hop." In true dorky fashion, most responded with the unimaginative, "I think it's great!" I was bothered by this for some time; it was so vanilla. Joseph is a talented-enough performer, but his artsy-fartsy journey out of the Bronx—not to mention the experimental, Alvin-Aileyesque dance moves—is an exercise in what's wrong with hip hop today: there's too much and it's too broad. Modern hip hop has become a verbal, sonic and visual case of diarrhea.

On the other hand, the other two new plays I saw were outstanding. In Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, new playwright Jennifer Haley blurred the line between reality and video games, crafting an incredible suburban nightmare in which soulless children stare into the void and annihilate their parents.

And finally, an irreverent little love story called Becky Shaw appears to be the breakout play of the season, a hysterical roller coaster focusing on Max, a waspy self-made man holding a financially strapped family together. When his half-sister and her husband set him up with the tarty title character, portrayed by a flawless Annie Parisse, the damage becomes pleasantly irreparable.


Friday, April 18, 2008

item idem, with an update on his SWAP collaboration with Andrea Crews collective...

The core of my aesthetic is being slowly, methodically dissected by the Andrea Crews team, while Jean-Michel Bertin, an up-and-coming set designer and collaborator with Louis Vuitton, Lacroix, Pharrell Williams and Justice, is bringing clever and creative solutions to the mix, with a smart understanding of time, space and budget constraints. Currently, we are setting up a gold and black dance floor tile for Mai Ueda to perform on—it's very slick. The rest of the space at SWAP SHOP is full of huge monolithic styrofoam blocks and colorful Louis Vuitton patterns mixed with copyright and anarchy symbols. On April 21, we'll launch our colette window, where we'll display a fleet of rebranded products, including colette stationery, shopping bags, a limited-edition tee, art notebooks (already a must-have!), sunglasses with wigs and a fake Rolex in the shape of a Coke container (inspired by my classic Caniche Courage watch, sold for a long time at colette and Palais de Tokyo). Meanwhile, Laurène Vernet, who heads up the graphic design team of Andrea Crews, has created a new totem—inspired by my emblematical "robo logo"—that will cover an entire wall of the exhibition space. And tomorrow, Andrea Crews founder Maroussia Rebecq will shoot a new outfit produced by her studio and inspired by my latest sculptural piece of clothing: Louis Vuitton bags converted into samurai armor and decorated with TV test patterns. You can see it here. More later!

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An introduction to SWAP by item idem (aka Cyril Duval), a self-described international conceptualist puppeteer...

The last few days in Paris have seen the launch of SWAP, a multi-disciplinary-art-meets-D.I.Y-fashion project, and the brainchild of myself and Maroussia Rebecq of the Parisian fashion collective Andrea Crews. SWAP is a concept rooted in Bernhard Willhelm's boutique in Tokyo (which I had the pleasure of designing) and it started from a simple question: If an artist can create a shop for a fashion designer, can a fashion designer produce an artist's exhibition? Thus, teaming up with retail legend colette, online fashion nexus Hintmag.com, Michel Gaubert and Japanese musician Mai Ueda, SWAP presents no art, appearing only through ephemeral interiors and events that examine the role of the artist through marketing and branding.

Stay tuned for more posts on the evolution of the SWAP project, including the opening of the SWAP SHOP at Andrea Crews (April 19), the spectacular SWAP WINDOW at colette (April 21 - 26) and the SWAP DANCE at Le Baron club.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Franklin Melendez reports from Los Angeles Art Weekend...

Turns out Los Angeles is more than the glittery backdrop of The Hills; there's at least more on its cultural radar than Spencer and Heidi's cinematic spats on the stairwells of Area. Tucked away in the L.A. basin's massive sprawl is an ever-expanding art and fashion scene that's transforming the land of wayward starlets into a veritable cultural epicenter, helped along with the second annual Los Angeles Art Weekend—a festival of art-related events, exhibits and soirees.

The weekend kicked off with an East Coast seal of approval when fashion mecca Opening Ceremony celebrated its West Coast location with the addition of a second floor, an homage to the Southland's most venerable and ubiquitous landmark: the mini-mall, with in-store shops from Acne, Topshop, Mayle and Nom de Guerre, as well as the boutique's eponymous line. Sporting a rereleased Maui & Sons surf tee, co-owner Humberto Leon explained, “It's something we always wanted to do as part of the original concept of the store. We wanted to showcase our selections with a multi-level, multi-label store. It's a different way of looking at the traditional department store.” Definitely cooler than the Beverly Center, yet still living up to that lovable adage from Clueless—Cher: "I have direction,” Josh: “Yeah, to the mall.”

left: Vogue editor Lawren Howell, designer Katy Rodriguez, Jeremy Scott, Katy's partner Mark Haddaway
right: photographer Vivan Joyner, artist Agathe Snow

Despite its modest La Cienega location, Opening Ceremony has proven to be quite a draw for celebrities, who are notoriously skittish of venturing east of Robertson. The mini-mall launch party was no exception, with a crowd as hand-picked as the store's designer offerings. Jason Schwartzman, demure in glasses, cracked jokes in the back with East Coast fixture Leo Fitzpatrick. Flavie, from neighboring boutique Scout, browsed the Acne offerings, while the Nom de Guerre boys held court in their section, trading nautical tales. The bubbly flowed, with treats provided by Humberto's caterer-extraordinaire mom. New York’s DJ Kingdom waited in the hallway, ready to ambush the egg rolls, while a reveling Jeremy Scott summed things up: “I think it looks amazing! All the super cool kids love it, and all the tabloid sluts love it. I know Lindsay loves it! So you know they should be set!” A truth for the ages.

The intimate in-store reception was followed by a proper bash on Friday night at the Echoplex, in the heart of Echo Park. As expected, madness abounded with a line trailing around the corner, calling to mind the barricades scene from Les Miserables. But before we could launch into an impromptu rendition of “One Day More,” we were rescued, deus ex machina-style, and ushered inside. The trilby-wearing crowd was bouncing along to tunes by Benjamin Cho, as Angeleno designer Brian Lichtenberg, resembling a woodland nymph en route to aerobics class, danced with New York transplant and photographer Brandon Herman. Thanks to an overzealous Voguer with an impressive arm span (weeerk, indeed), I receive a fan-related injury on the dance floor. The rest is a day-glo blur.

Saturday came, which meant it was time for some serious art observing. Or at least something more conceptual, as we started the day with a brunch hosted by Maison Martin Margiela in Beverly Hills. Everyone, it seemed, had received a secret memo to don their L’Incognito sunglasses. I felt naked and defenseless in my Dior Homme aviators, plagued by a gnawing feeling of démodé. The scene inside could best be described as a restrained fembot convention, complete with lab-coated attendants and suitably rigorous cube-shaped hors d'oeuvres. Whitney Museum curator Shamin Momin lounged leisurely with Biennial artist Drew Heitzler. I inquired about her weekend itinerary, but her glowing tan already spoke volumes: “I'm heading back to the beach, yo. And you can quote me on that.” Fair enough. As if to punctuate the point, Visionaire's Cecilia Dean arrived casually at the last minute in linen cargo pants, flip flops and luxurious beach hair.

The festivities continued closer to the shore, on the ever-expanding strip of galleries on La Cienega, near Venice. Kim Light gallery presented a group show featuring Deitch gallery director Kathy Grayson, whose paintings make me swoon. And it seemed Kathy brought along most of the Lower East Side, ever so cool as they hung around outside taking in tacos and cigarettes, a feat of hand-eye coordination. A few doors down, one of Margiela's fembots guarded the door of the Honor Fraser gallery, where the former model was presenting the work of Andre Ethier, most notably a series of miniature clay dioramas that resembled Gumby gone feral.

The final destination was the opening of Royal/T, touted as the first “maid café” in the U.S. I'm still not quite sure what that means, but model/actress Leila Yavari may have put it best when she described it to me as “Colette with a Japanese fetish in Culver City.” The large space featured an exhibit called Just Love Me, which explored the idea of cuteness, a somewhat devious premise that unfolded into an impressive collection of works by major artists including John Currin, Lisa Yuskavage, Mike Kelley, Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami. The scene was a bit surreal as tiny Lolitas pranced about with trays full of goodies (candy, buttons, champagne, art catalogs). And yet, it felt appropriate for Los Angeles and its unapologetic mix of high-culture and Hollywood camp. And as the exhibit showed, surface is anything but shallow.

—Franklin Melendez

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We can't get enough of Atelier. Now comes the news that, in June, the gothy little men's store will relocate to 305 Hudson Street, adding two new lines: Damir Doma (former ass't of Raf Simons) and Julius from Tokyo. Atelier is also set to launch Rick Owens' first flagship in the U.S. You heard it here first.


Cesar Padilla meets his That Guy...

I just saw Paranoid Park, director Gus Van Sant's latest film set in a skate park, and I have to say I'm on the fence. He's been on my mind a lot recently. While discussing Paranoid Park with friends, I was berated for missing out on Elephant, his Columbine film. (To be honest, I have missed most of his recent work—clearly to my detriment). While I still have not seen Gerry, I'm convinced it is the most important film of the decade.) So while I try to be a purist and see films on the big screen, I decided to watch Elephant at home. It was absolutely sublime. I was enthralled by it, and its utter lack of morality yet elegance of execution. No other director in recent memory has been able to capture the complexity of modern youth so beautifully.

So when open casting calls were sent out a couple of months ago in San Francisco for his upcoming film on slain Bay Area politician and 70's gay-rights activist Harvey Milk, I went with script in hand. I, too, want to direct feature films—even writing two horror scripts of late—and I, too, am uninterested in morality. I thought Gus would understand what I am trying to do. I figured, with all his Good Will bullshit, that he would get me. I am, after all, a bad-ass Latino faggot raised in late 70's- early 80's Southeast Los Angeles on punk rock and horchata. I have directed a couple of award-winning short films and 3 music videos for Mexican Zapatista death metal band Brujeria.

As he sat alone in the school auditorium, and as his people busily photographed the eager young actors who came, I took the opportunity to approach him. I told him about my vintage store, Cherry, and how we had provided a substantial amount of men's clothing for Factory Girl, I'm Not There and American Gangster (yes, that is Russell Crowe wearing my vintage Levi 517s throughout the film). I suggested they call the store if they were need of period apparel and he introduced me to his costume designer. It is after this that I asked him If I could leave my script with him to read, to which he politely replied, "No."

For anyone who has ever wanted to create, there is That Guy, the dick who says no after you've summoned all your courage, the dick who watches as you walk away more hardened and vulnerable than you've ever felt before. In a way, I respect him more for his brutal honesty, but for me, Gus Van Sant is That Guy.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Q&A: Christian Louboutin

French footwear phenom Christian Louboutin was recently in New York to give a lecture at FIT about his creative process, inspirations, fetishes, designer collaborations (he famously created the sandals worn in Yves Saint Laurent's final show in 2002) and how he's built an empire in just 15 years. We tracked him down for some pearlettes of wisdom...

You're known for your red-sole trademark. What other trademarks do you have that we can't see?
Some technical secrets that have their basis in my background working with showgirls.

What's your lowest and your highest heel? Do you see them changing?
Ain’t no high heel high enough. The current range of heel heights is 1/2 - 6 inches, but one never knows.

How many hours does it take to make each pair of shoes?
The time can stretch from a day to a year. There is no rule.

Do you mind it when women refer to your shoes as Loubies?
Nicknames are often friendly, so I consider it a compliment.

We know an American heiress who wears only your shoes. Any idea how many clients like that you have?
I've never known.

When you see the Pope's red shoes, are you jealous? Could you design his shoes better?
Since I am not dreaming of designing men's shoes, then I am fine with it. Anyway, jealousy is generally a sin.

You were quoted in the NY Times as saying that parties have become like a business meeting. What was the last good party you went to?
The Rose Ball in Monaco a few weeks ago. It was in honor of Pedro Almodovar, and the whole Almodovar “family” was there, so it was a great, 100% fun party.

If we were to take you up on your MySpace invitation to "suivez-moi, jeune homme," exactly where would we end up? And what would be on our feet?
It depends on your legs, baby.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Our Zurich style correspondent PLAY hooked up with cult Swiss photographer Walter Pfeiffer for a polaroid date and to talk Walter mania....

A contemporary of Nan Goldin, Billy Name and Larry Clark, and a forerunner of Wolfgang Tillmans, Heinz Peter Knes and Ryan McGinley, Walter Pfeiffer turned the everyday into a visual diary with his candid photographs, creating a free-spirited playground for his circle of friends and models. His point-and-shoot visions of youth, beauty and sexual identity—usually with a homoerotic bent—introduced a bold and controversial aesthetic.

Walter's first major art break came with the seminal 1974 group show Transformer, a title borrowed from Lou Reed's gender-bending album of 1972. Walter's contribution were photos of Carlo, a transsexual whom Walter photographed as both male and female. This was to become the Walter's genre, not unlike the Factory superstars of the 60s or the Club 371 kids of the South Bronx whom Jamel Shabazz immortalized in the 80s.

Walter's first book, titled simply Walter Pfeiffer, hit the scene in 1980. Its kinky cover of a Ken doll with one hand thrust into his underwear set the tone for the then-shocking images inside: hustler-looking boys cruising each other, drag queens at play, and barely-legal types hanging out, occasionally undressing for the camera. These were mixed with random film stills, landscapes and images of Walter's cats (a recurring theme)—all captured in Walter's signature in-your-face, tongue-in-cheek style.

Yet, although hugely influential, Walter Pfeiffer’s photography remained a relatively well-kept secret for a good thirty years. But that began to change in 2007, when i-D contacted him for an interview, resulting in a twelve-page fashion spread. Around the same time, Tom Ford would have his portrait for Vanity Fair be taken only by Walter and even sent a Bentley to retrieve him. That picture of Tom at home, robe-clad against an Andy Warhol screenprint, marked a mainstream triumph for Walter.

Recently, as I also live in Zurich, I summoned the courage to call the fearless sexagenarian. Although busy with an upcoming retrospective at Fotomusueum Winterthur and preparing a major shoot involving hunks in trunks in the Swiss Alps, he picked up. Two days later we met at the University of the Arts in Zurich, where he teaches evening classes in drawing. Let me now introduce you to the weird and wonderful world of Walter Pfeiffer.

Walter on...

His personal dress code
For twenty years Walter has adamantly worn one outfit per week, throughout the week, no matter what. "Otherwise I would forever be worrying what to wear. Every Monday is a new start."

Working with amateurs
"I love shooting good-looking friends, ideally first-timers fresh from school."

Getting a daily dose of erotica
He swears by it.

Agyness Deyn
In February, Walter shot Agyness Deyn for the May issue of i-D. How did it go? Agyness had an eye problem, says Walter, so the shoot was repeatedly postponed. And instead of a day, he got three hours. Still, she was a trooper and Walter garnered one of the six cover shots.

Fashion crises
When i-D sent boxes of designer clothes for last year's Couples issue, "I was literally on my knees,“ recalls Walter‚ “begging my friends to pose for me and help me out with the styling.“ They came through. "i-D were bargaining for a sandwich," he chuckles, "I delivered a 12-course meal."

His approach
"I don't want to always deliver, deliver, deliver. It needs to be easy, easy, easy. Fun, fun, fun. If it becomes too much, I'll quit. I want to deliver what's fun to do."

The not-so-swinging Swiss Sixties
"I was one of the first Swiss hippies," claims Walter, who no doubt startled the good people of Beggingen, the tiny village in the north where he grew up. In this photo, Walter is hanging out at Zurich's first hippie convention in 1968, wearing an outfit he made in art school. Later, a keen fan of French chanteuse and André Courrèges model Françoise Hardy, young Walter worked space-age chic, walking the mean streets of Zurich in a prissy white pantsuit.

Clockwork Switzerland
While at art school in Zurich, Walter's unerring eye for style landed him a job as a buyer for GLOBUS department store, which involved frequent trips to London. Yet each time Walter presented his latest Carnaby Street finds, the reply was: Great, but it won't work here. GLOBUS finally sacked him in 1971. Walter says he then eked out a living painting film posters and illustrating for the visionary German lifestyle magazine Twen. He stumbled into photography by taking polaroids of his friends to use for these drawings. Before long he replaced his brush and pencil with a point-and-shoot camera.

His cats
"My cats have always enjoyed a jolly good life with me,“ he purrs. Indeed, cats feature prominently in his work.

Walter discovered video in 1977. Well into the Eighties, Walter would regularly film and direct home videos starring "friends and pets." As usual, the main intention was to dress up and have a laugh. These videos remained private until 1998, when a DVD compilation, again simply called Walter Pfeiffer, came out. It's almost impossible to come by now.

His idols
Walter cites Cecil Beaton, Manolo Blahnik and John Galliano as his idols, because of their personal style and sartorial flair, while back in the day it was French couturier André Courrèges, as well as U.S. fashion designer Ken Scott, whose exuberant floral prints were all the rage in the '60s and '70s.

Heidi Klum's catchphrase
"The outs of yesterday are the ins of tomorrow."

Coming out of the closet
"Everything went wrong, but I survived."

His dream shoot
"I'd like to shoot Podolski." Lukas Podolski—gasp, sputter—the German soccer star? "Yes. He looks so gorgeous, don’t you think? I want to shoot him at Bayern Munich. I just talked to Vanity Fair Germany about it."

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Last night, Phillips de Pury & Co. and Decades-owner Cameron Silver hosted a “Diamonds and Dior” cocktail party at the beyond-modern Los Feliz home of the art emporium's West Coast representative, Mimi Techentin, and her architect husband. On display, courtesy of Cameron, were four Marc Bohan-designed couture Dior gowns from the 1980s. (He said he originally acquired five from a collector in Paris, but Gwyneth Paltrow was quick to snap up the fifth.) “You don’t see craftsmanship like that any more," sniffed old-school socialite and Nancy Reagan chum Nancy Bretzfield. "Now designers have their beading done in India.”

Living up to the diamonds part, Phillips de Pury also previewed a rock collection, due to go on the block next month in partnership with French auction house Pierre Bergé & Associés. First to make the mad dash to the jewelry case for a look at the baubles, which included a $5.8 million pear diamond necklace, were actresses Natasha Wagner and Mia Kirshner, while socialites Rosetta Getty, Liseanne Frankfurt and Amanda Anka did their cooing a little later, along with art worlders Ari Wiseman (MOCA) and Erin Wright (LACMA).

The Techentins are avid collectors and have obsessively filled up their showpiece of a house in the year they've owned it. Clad in a flowery Rodarte sheath, Mimi gave a tour of their many specially commissioned works: a chandelier by Pae White, a dining table by Roy McMakin, not to mention photos and paintings by Candida Hofer and Kevin Appel. The air was thick with art speak. Yet when the insider conversation threatened to suffocate the party atmosphere, Cameron offered to break out into song. “I used to be a singer,” he said with a laugh, before reconsidering. “Never mind. It's a successful party—nothing was stolen.”

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May 17. Save the date. That's when Hedi Slimane's new photo exhibit at Musac Museum of Contemporary Art in Leon, Spain, will open. Expect his trademark mix of aesthetic purism and rock-and-roll euphoria, while documenting today's sweaty youth. (In the meantime, check out our exclusive Q&A with Hedi, from the opening of his Perfect Stranger show in Paris last November.)

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

For those who like their sunglasses to match their $20,000 necklace, or their head-to-toe African batik prints, the fine folks at Cartier have come up with the ultimate in eyewear: the Panthère de Cartier. Talk about cat eyes! Safari-inspired, the haute jeweler suped up the exotic shades with gold-mirrored lenses, gilded frames, green stones (check out the cat's eyes) and black lacquer spots. Only 1500 pieces were made, so should you have $2,200 in the kitty, you'd better pounce fast...

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Your very first look at Surface to Air's collaborative new leather jacket, conceived and designed by Justice, a band with a serious leather fetish. In fact, it's their trademark. Only 450 pieces were made across three styles, so don't say we didn't warn you...

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Q&A: Ryan McGinley

Aric Chen quizzes Ryan McGinley on the his latest show, "I Know Where the Summer Goes," at Team gallery...

Your new show consists of photographs taken on a road trip you took last summer with a van load of models. It was your third such trip—but where'd you go this time and why?

We made photos in close to forty states in ninety days this time around. There were so many locations and landscapes that I loved it's hard to name them all. A few of my favorite landscapes were The Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, Amboy Crater in California and the Grasslands, which is within The Badlands. I laughed every time we shot at indoor locations: roller-skating naked to hip-hop music pumping in the ghetto of Chicago, using a fog machine inside a supermarket at midnight (the refrigeration section kept the fog cool and low), waking up at 5 am to shoot nude bowling.

There's lots of nudity—in supermarkets, in bowling alleys, on the highway. How did the good people of America react?

I think it gives them something to talk about for the rest of their lives. It sort of feels like I've given them a gift. A story to tell at parties or holidays. I love the idea of some family driving down the highway and a bunch of naked kids streaking across it during the middle of the day. How bizarre must it be to witness that happening.

Was there any hanky-panky?

Once everyone gets naked together and then are naked every single day for months on end, sex appeal gets thrown out the window. We're together so much we become very family-oriented. It would kind of be like having sex with your brother or sister.

We hear the van was totaled. What happened?

Yeah man, the Volkswagen Eurovan that's in the picture from 2005—of all the kids on top of it with the black horse looking at them—is totally gone. Coley, one of the models, fell asleep at the wheel early in the morning. I was sleeping, and another person in the back was sleeping, so at one point we were all driving down the highway sleeping. Crazy, right? It wasn't Coley's fault. We had been driving far too long. It happened on a rural highway in North Carolina. One of those highways with bushes and grass in the middle of it. I woke up when the van had dipped down to the middle, mowing down bushes. Coley woke up and tried to pull the van back up onto the highway, but the incline was too steep and we launched into the air and flipped the van. I'm real strict about everyone buckling up every time we get in the car, so luckily no one was hurt. Just a few cuts and bruises. At the time I thought I was dead. I saw the white light, but it ended up being a big cloud of dust from the airbags. At that point in the trip we were traveling in two vans and everyone from the other van came to our rescue. Now we travel in a 15-passenger van with Chris, our professional driver.

Where are you going next?

I haven't decided yet. I'm starting to prepare for the next journey now. I like to look at pictures of landscapes that I think are beautiful and then figure out where they are. I spend a lot of time looking at pictures from all sorts of places: Google image search, Patagonia catalogs, camera annuals from every year since photography started, National Geographic, nudist publications, screengrabs from movies I like. I have lots of friends and friends of friends who lend us their summer houses. If you are reading this and know somewhere cool to shoot, or have a house we can stay at in the USA, please email me (studio@ryanmcginley.com) and let's hang out. We really rely on the kindness of strangers.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Haidee Findlay-Levin puts on her detective hat...

Recently I had a dinner with Malcolm McLaren and his girlfriend Young Kim, as well as Gene Krell, the features editor of Vogue Asia and two other of Malcolm's friends. The conversation was highly entertaining, as it always is in the company of Malcolm or Gene. In fact, I imagine the two of them could be fantastic talk show hosts, jumping from subject to subject, from past to present, regaling everyone with fantastic anecdotes from their rowdy youth.

But one story really stuck with me, so much so that I pressed Malcolm for more details when I saw him again last weekend. Given my current obsession with publishing (increasingly a lost art), I asked about a particular book he had mentioned at dinner, one that showcased one of the most comprehensive collections of the famed Seditionaries collection that he and Vivienne Westwood designed in the mid-1970s. He later showed me the book and it truly is a special object, each garment exquisitely photographed on a flat surface and perfectly curated, from graphic T-shirts to a variety of multi-colored mohair sweaters, Peter Pan-collared shirts, fat ties and, inevitably, bondage trousers. There is no title or text of any kind, just a simple black cotton slipcover and a small edition number printed on the back. Malcolm is naturally pleased with the book and impressed with the vastness of the oeuvre depicted. He couldn’t think of anyone who had bought that many pieces, except possibly Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, who would come together to his and Vivienne's store, SEX, and buy one of each style of their punk and bondage clothing. Though the book's author is uncredited, Malcolm says it was put together with his knowledge and blessing by DJ and sometime streetwear designer Hiroshi Fujiwara, probably in collaboration with Jun Takahashi of Undercover.

Not long ago, Malcolm was asked to write the foreword—and did—to another book, this one compiled and self-published by London-based collector and dealer Simon Easton, who supplies Seditionaries to a variety of vintage stores around the world. He also loaned pieces to the Met's Anglomania exhibit two years ago on the eyebrow-raising condition that he be referred to only as Simon.

Here’s where it gets thick. More recently, Malcolm says he got a call from Damien Hirst, who apparently spent £80,000 on what he thought were original Seditionaries pieces, bought from the very same Simon Easton. Suspicious they may be fakes, Damien showed some of it to London vintage store Relick, renowned for its selection of Westwood, but alas, no confirmation. Damien also asked Kate Moss (I guess famous for wearing the stuff, though hardly an authority on it), but she, too, said she couldn’t be sure. Eventually he called Malcolm and asked him to verify the pieces' authenticity. Malcolm looked at the images he was sent and said he was certain they were not his work, but that they might have been something that Vivienne had created later on or had given permission to her team to rework. Malcolm did, however, feel what he was looking at had the fingerprints of someone young, and perhaps not one person. Damien—naturally furious at the prospect of being conned, whether he could afford to be or not—is talking with his lawyer and wants to use Malcolm's assessment in a lawsuit against Simon.

If fakes are being made, and it hasn't been proven, then it certainly raises questions about the veracity of other pieces coming from Simon. According to Malcolm, the well-regarded New York vintage store What Comes Around Goes Around unwittingly sold such knock-offs, either directly or indirectly from Simon. Which reminds me of an ex-roommate of a friend of mine in London who used to sell vintage Westwood. She had previously worked for Westwood and would keep me entertained with stories and impressions of her. I recall her asking me if I knew the store What Comes Around Goes Around in New York and to vouch for its high standards, which I did—and I do remember her mentioning that there was another man involved. At any rate, if true, it's a shame that such a respected shop could be victimized.

Another regrettable outcome of all of this is that now every Seditionaries credit comes into question. Just last week I was doing research in the London library of Condé Nast and came across an editorial in a current British Vogue featuring punk clothes with this credit: ”from the Seditionaries collection of Simon Easton." Of course I wondered if this were a dupe. After all, there weren’t many of these clothes made in the first place and those who were originally buying them were surely not saving them for posterity, but were rather performing or partying hard in them, as any true anarchist would.

Damien further told Malcolm that there is or was a small ring of Central St Martins students making these copies of Seditionaries, and that they were hired by a man who intimidated them into staying quiet about it. The alleged ringleader? Simon Easton. [Calls to Simon have not been returned.]

To add insult to injury, Malcolm finally received Simon’s self-published book, "Sex and Seditionaries," for which he had written the foreword. According to Malcolm, it's a poor imitation of Fujiwara's limited-edition book, with a cluttered layout and, in place of the black cotton slipcover, an image of pornographic playing cards similar to those sold at SEX. Worst of all, and this is where the mohair wool was really pulled over Malcolm’s eyes, he says it showcases a selection of knock-offs, which now, ironically, appear to be authenticated by him.

This wouldn't be the first time Seditionaries clothes were knocked off—a search on eBay will confirm this. So the next time someone tries to flog original Seditionaries to you, you'll want to do some serious homework first. And if you've already been suckered, I hope you find comfort in knowing you're not alone.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

The newest it-fair on the scene is the Basel Watch and Jewelry Fair, or Baselworld, which has recently clocked up plenty of column inches in luxury rags. Essentially, the cream of the timekeeping world shows off in a kind of watch version of Art Basel or the upcoming Milan Furniture Fair. At this year's show (through April 10), Donatella herself checked in, and rocking a serious slab of horology in the form of the Gianni Versace Couture watch. Handmade in Geneva with a white matte alligator strap and studded with more diamonds than a Place Vendôme window, time has never been more precious...

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

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

March 15, 2008
Ahn Jung hyun

place: Independent Now exhibition opening party, Daily Projects

jacket _ Pierre Cardin
shirt _ Raf by Raf Simons
t-shirt _ PAM
leggings _ Paul & Alice
shoes _ Spring Court
sunglasses _ Retrosuperfuture

March 15, 2008
Kim Kieun (22), student

place: Independent Now exhibition opening party, Daily Projects

coat _ Zara
sweatshirt _ Mearry
knit pants _ vintage
shoes _ MUJI
hat _ Nike

homepage: www.cyworld.com/kieun

March 15, 2008
Rok (25), fashion designer

place: Independent Now exhibition opening party, Daily Projects

coat _ Ann Demeulemeester
suit _ Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane
t-shirt _ Spastor
shoes _ Raf by Raf Simons

homepage: www.myspace.com/rokworldd

March 16, 2008
Lee Sung sig (31), vintage shop owner

place: Independent Now exhibition, Daily Projects

top _ Henrik Vibskov
pants _ April 77
socks _ Henrik Vibskov

March 16, 2008
Lee ha jung (22), student

place: Independent Now exhibition, Daily Projects

all clothes _ vintage
bag _ Chanel

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

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Curator Aaron Rose...

Last Thursday night we opened Being True at The Journal gallery in Williamsburg. Commissioned by Nike, Being True is a photography exhibition in which myself and the lovely and talented Emma Reeves asked 22 photographers to search through their archives and look for iconic images of American youth. It was a great project and the artists did not disappoint. Every time we got a new batch of photos it felt like Christmas! Some of the photographers involved are Terry Richardson, Tim Barber, Cheryl Dunn, Jamel Shabazz, Naomi Harris, Tobin Yelland and Ed Templeton. There's also an amazing little portfolio that we made in honor of the show. Art directed by design firm Work in Progress, the publication is one of those super limited-edition goodies that can't be bought. The only way to get one is to go out to The Journal and see our show!...

Emma Reeves, Aaron Rose & Nike's Christian Parkes

Artist Kaws

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