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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Giving the Bird

Norwegian photographer Sølve Sundsbø—whose clients include everyone from Harper's Bazaar and Numéro to Gucci and Dior—is currently exhibiting a selection of feathery photos and short films across colette. He says they're the blend of a lifelong love of nature documentaries and his later work in fashion: "Birds have a sartorial quality which, in a sense, is a pure form of fashion." Through September 27, this is his first solo show in Paris...

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Tree Hugging

Oak celebrates its first fall season on Bond Street by inviting its stable of designers—Philip Crangi, Unconditional, Hood by Air et al—to produce limited-edition designs exploring the theme of bondage. Get it? Available exclusively at said Bond St. location and online from Sept. 8 - 11.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Comme-ing Soon

The time is finally near. Next week, to celebrate thirty years in Japan, Louis Vuitton will open a three-month-long pop-up shop in the Comme des Garçons store in Omotesando, Tokyo. (Anyone interested in the Japanese obsession with LV absolutely has to read Deluxe by Dana Thomas.) These are our two faves from Rei Kawakubo's six limited-edition "party" bags, as she calls them, using the classic LV monogram—how much are you loving the kawaii animal charms, by the way? Bags are available by in-person order only (i.e. no telephone or Internet orders) and delivered to their chosen Louis Vuitton store several months later...

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Making Nice

Joe Haller and Ian Hannula of San Francisco-based Nice Collective have been a men's cult favorite for years. For fall, they debut of a full line of accessories, including waterproof suede hats, metallic wallets, canvas bags, shoulder holsters, leather rings and these very, er, nice handmade leather combat boots...


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gypsy Rose

From curator, gallerist and Hint friend Aaron Rose...

"Just wanted to drop a line and let you now about the series of workshops we're doing for the next month or so. They're called 'Make Something!!' and we're working with public schools and local youth mentoring programs, doing art classes in NY, LA and SF. The teachers are all artists associated with the Beautiful Losers film. I have to say it's been a blast so far! Below is a schedule for the remaining workshops. The actual classes aren't open to the public, but all the work made is on display in the spaces and is definitely worth a check if you're around."

LOS ANGELES / August 22nd - September 8th, 2008
The Montalban, 1615 Vine Street, Hollywood, CA 90028 (on the mezzanine)

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE: AUGUST 22 - Make A Zine with Aaron Rose / AUGUST 23 -
Film Score with Money Mark / AUGUST 28 - Skate Graphics with Ed Templeton /
AUGUST 29 - Sneaker Design with Jesse Leyva / AUGUST 31 - Make a Poster with
Mike Mills / SEPT 4 - Design a Tattoo with Mr. Cartoon / SEPT 5 - T-Shirt
Graphics with Keith Scharwath / SEPT 6 - Drawing with Geoff McFetridge

SAN FRANCISCO / August 16th - September 21, 2008
VASF, 1485 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE: AUGUST 23 - Fabric Prints with Meghan Edwards / AUGUST 24
- Make a Musical Instrument with Tommy Guerrero / SEPT 6 - Sewn Assemblage
with Thomas Campbell / SEPT 7 - Make a Zine with Aaron Rose / SEPT 13 -
Fashion Magazine Manipulation with Clare Rojas and Andrew Jeffrey Wright /
SEPT 14 - Print Making with Sara Paavo / SEPT 20 - Movie Making with Alex
Kopps / SEPT 21 - Collage with Kylea Borges

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You b, Therefore You Are

While we rarely cover sample sales (we leave it to those fashion blogs who'd otherwise have no content), an 80% discount sounds damn good to us. And since b Store is in London and we're not, it isn't like we're pulling the rug out from under ourselves. So go and stock up on extra Bernhard Willhelm, Bless, Cosmic Wonder, Ute Ploier and Siv Stoldal—among heaps more—for us. Aug 29 & 30, 10:30 am - 6:30 pm, 24a Savile Row W1, 0207 7346846.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Lunacy Is Sexy

Why you need to know Erik Dienel-Reese, by PLAY...

I was introduced to Erik at a party I threw in Zurich back in June. Pouty and skinny, with pale blue eyes and prominent cheek bones, he's a fashion wet dream come true—enough for fellow guest, photographer and living legend Walter Pfeiffer to shoot an entire roll of film on the spot, something he never does. The theme of the party was Ready-to-Play, so I asked Erik if he were up for a private session. He was, and as you can see he makes excellent plaything material.

During the shoot, we found out we had a mutual friend in Terence Koh. Erik loves a good fashion anecdote, so he proceeded to tell me how he borrowed Terence's gold-plated Balenciaga leggings for a night of hard dancing and drinking at Berghain, the dirtiest club in Berlin. "The next morning, my legs were totally scratched up, but who cares? Lunacy is sexy," he told me, shrugging off the leggings' $30,000 price tag, a conservative estimate. His recklessness earned Erik a part in Terence's GOD film, a tale of latex, lust and death.

While he works for a top ad agency in Zurich, Erik considers his Berlin apartment his home base. But this isn't some bachelor pad. The penthouse belongs to his Jewish intellectual family, located in one of the two towers framing Frankfurter Tor square on Karl-Marx Boulevard. Built in the 1950s in typical Stalinist style, the towers were once home to Communist Party officials. Now they house the fashionable elite of the capital. Not surprisingly for Erik, even the penthouse is something of a celebrity. "I discovered our front door in one of Hedi Slimane's books," he told me. If Hedi had gone inside, he would have discovered an even more spectacular 1300-square-meter roof terrace, the perfect setting for the notorious New Year's Eve parties Erik throws for the city's bored jeunesse dorée. "Billionaire kids going overboard, aristos throwing up, A-list lawyers and champagne everywhere—the whole shebang," Erik says, recalling last year's antics. "We had to have the staircase reconstructed, but it was worth it."

But Erik isn't your typical playboy airhead. At fifteen, he received two Crosses of Merit (the highest honor the Federal Republic of Germany hands out to individuals), awarded for first aid services he and his classmates performed when their hometown of Dresden was hit by the Great Flood of 2002.

So, with looks, pedigree, intellect and glamour, it's no wonder our German whiz kid is being chased by many a prominent and moneyed aristo-girl looking to sex up her family's gene pool. Though Erik seems vaguely tempted by the prospect of an HRM title and a Brideshead Revisited lifestyle, he has no plans to give up his eligible bachelor status any time soon. He's more interested in hanging out with rock stars. There's a private Pete Doherty concert in the works, much to the delight of his mother, a huge fan.

We can safely assume the social rise of this modern-day Dorian Gray will be nothing less than meteoric. But whatever the future holds, Erik will make sure things stay naughty and vice. And since we like happy endings, we finish off with an exclusive Hint offer. Five lucky readers will be on the guest list of Erik's New Year's Eve bash to ring in 2009. Email us with why you want to go, and don't forget pictures. Start planning your outfit now.

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Model Behavior

Rogan, Giambattista Valli, Phillip Lim and Chris Benz, among others, have created limited-edition tees to help build the first solar-powered hospital in Burundi, the poorest country in the world. Starting today you can buy them for only $60 at JustOneFrickinDay.com, a charity founded by Elettra Wiedemann—yes, the model and daughter of Isabella Rossellini, but did you know she'll also attend grad school in biomedicine this fall?...

Rogan, Giambattista Valli

Rag & Bone, Phillip Lim

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Your First Look: Comme des Garçons for H&M

The collaboration is everything we hoped for: deconstructed, mismatched, ill-fitting. But how annoying that the Japanese get it first when it launches in early November. No fair!

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Bonk Statement

We must, must have this "King Bonk" chair and ottoman—named after the biggest piece in a game of marbles—from experimental furniture designers Fredrikson Stallard, on view at David Gill gallery for the London Design Festival from Sept. 15 to Oct. 19. As the duo apparently has an aversion to computers, the concept of these fiberglass beauties came simply from tying string around foam. Fashion know-it-alls may remember Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard from the large table they made for the new Chanel store in L.A.—white feathers encased in glass, alluding to the classic N°5 box.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Your First Look: Vogue Hommes Japan

Daryoush Haj-Najafi...

As a special treat for Hintsters, here's a sneak preview of the forthcoming debut issue of Vogue Hommes Japan. This samurai-inspired cover shot was taken by Hedi Slimane, with fashion direction by Nicola Formichetti, who sent us these photos. You've seen a lot of Nicola's work. He first appeared in Dazed & Confused as a model in 1999, but his early signature style of mixing sportswear with the cartoony, the graphic and the slightly kitsch on smiling twinks came to be the Alpha aesthetic of millennial menswear, a counterpoint to the Hedi's and Raf's darker Omega.

These days, Nicola is more in demand than ever and his list of titles—Dazed & Confused creative director, Another Man senior fashion editor, Vogue Hommes Japan fashion director and so on—reads like a particularly fierce drag ball competitor entering the editorial realness heat. He also consults for Uniqlo, Prada, McQ, D&G, Kim Jones, Gareth Pugh, Levi's and Romain Kremer—phew, you could break into a sweat just thinking about it.

Nicola preparing for the shot below

Photo by Oliviero Toscani—yes, he of Benetton political advertising fame

Photo by Josh Olins, fashion editor Kim Jones using Dunhill

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Listen up, Bauhaus heads. Hermès wants you to know that, kicking off New York Fashion Week on September 4, an exhibit exploring the work of photographer-painter-writer Josef Albers will go on view in the fourth floor gallery of their Madison Avenue flagship. “The aim of art is living creations,” as the exhibit is called, surveys the German artist's most important pieces from his days as a Bauhaus teacher, like these images of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius from 1930...

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More Seoul street style from yourboyhood...

Jefferson Hack (36), co-founder of Dazed & Confused & editor-in-chief of Another Magazine and Another Man

shoes _ Converse
the rest _ wouldn't tell us!

homepages: www.dazeddigital.com & www.anothermag.com

Yang Seung ho (22), Daily Projects intern

sleeveless top _ Marjan Pejoski
jeans _ Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane
shoes & bag _ Bernhard Willhelm

Nam Gung chul (25)

sleeveless top _ suh sangyoung
cardigan, pants & shoes _ vintage

Kim Hyun goog (23), student

jacket _ in the raw
t-shirt _ codes combine
jeans _ Superfine
shoes _ Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane
glasses _ Gucci
watch _ BOHLA x Beams

Moon Soung-hea (22), student

shirt _ Club Monaco
skirt _ on&on
shoes _ conflictedtendency
watch _ Casio
bag _ Basic+by codes combine

homepage: www.cyworld.com/moon353m

photographs by Hong Sukwoo, aka yourboyhood.com

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Go Figure

Can you guess the theme of Band of Outsiders' new shop-in-shop at Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles? We'll give you a hint: colorful construction toys...

Minifigure Man in Band of Outsiders

Lego Wall Display

Minifigure Man in Band of Outsiders

Brokeback Lego

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Extended Play

So genius is the idea—to take the tedious and/or revolting aspects of having a kid (booties, diaper bags) and make them cool—that we don't know why it hasn't been done before. We're talking about Quinny, a Dutch kids' line that, like everyone else these days, has gone designer, commissioning Henrik Vibskov to create a limited-edition collection of children's things. Think $40 baby wipes and $2000 strollers, no kidding. Henrik's graphical concept was to create a fairy-tale in which a group of children flee the city for the forest, where they form a music band and become world-famous. It's Peter Pan meets Partridge Family with a big dollop of whipped cream on top. The debut fall collection, shown at Copenhagen Fashion Week, will be available this October at Henrik's multi-brand store in Copenhagen, Colette, Amsterdam's SPRMRKT and Seven New York, which will throw a launch party during New York Fashion Week...

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hot Button Issue

We totally forgot to go to Patrick Griffin's opening at Journal Gallery on Thursday, which means we missed TV Baby perform with A.R.E. Weapons. But we do love us some enamel pins and pierced leather, so we will, at some point, drag our sorry asses to Brooklyn...


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


André do Val...

It was after Steven Klein's photos of him in Italian Vogue, then Steven Meisel's photos, also in Italian Vogue, followed by Numéro and Another, that the fashion world took notice of Henzo Hülle. But the more-cake-than-beef surfer and skateboarder from Espirito Santo, a little town just north of Rio de Janeiro, insists he's just a regular guy.

In Italian Vogue (left) and Key magazine

What was the worst thing that's happened to you on a shoot?
Well, once you start being a model you learn that you need to be ready for anything. Any make-up or outfit they give you is not to be ashamed of, because you don't want it to affect your personality. But there have been some funny situations, like when Steven Klein shot me for Italian Vogue in New York. I had my body all tanned by a sticky cream and I had to wear tiny swim trunks in the middle of a park. All week it had been cold and rainy, but that day it was warm and sunny, so everybody was out and about. No one wears trunks that small in real life.

What’s the funniest make-up you've ever had to wear?
It was for New York magazine. They threw sand on my face and then tried to put some make-up on. It didn’t quite work, but it was funny in the end.

Do you wear any of the designers you model? What's your personal style?
I’m a simple guy, so it depends on the occasion. In general, I wear dark jeans, a nice T-shirt and a jacket to look more fashionable. At home or at the beach I like surfer shorts and a sleeveless top.

Do you prefer to work on men's shows only, or mixed?
Both are great, but it's always more fun when there are girls with us.

Is it true you're going out with Daiane Conterato?
No, not true. I’m single and very happy.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Peggy and Poly

Liz Armstrong...

After catching my breath from a whirlwind road trip to Chicago, where some friends and I spent a weekend partying with CSS, I caught up with Kansas City's Peggy Noland, who designs costumes for the band's frontwoman, Lovefoxxx. (Peggy has also designed costumes for Ssion frontman—and half-Boy London dreamboat, half-gypsy lion tamer—Cody Critcheloe.) We met on CSS's bus, parked behind the bare-fleshed fairgrounds of Lollapalooza, munching on candy necklaces while watching the band freak out laughing and singing wild songs in Portuguese. Clear outsiders, we became instant friends...

Peggy in her store / Ssion onstage

You looked absolutely perfect throughout our trip, even in the melting hot sun, even after partying all day and night, even when harassed by frat boys, even getting champagne poured all over you. The rest of us looked like we were ridden hard and put away wet. How do you pull it off?
ColorStay make up! I swear by it! What am I going to do if they discontinue it? Shit!

Wanna tell me the basics of how you got started designing?
The path I have found is completely unexpected. I had not intended to make clothing or own a store. My major in college, after an experience working in New Delhi, was Religious Studies. Then I applied for the Peace Corps and didn't get in, and now I am here.

Um, you were on a religious path and then you found god in designing spandex jumpsuits?
(Laughs.) You know, I'm still figuring that one out, too. I had an amazing job after high school working for a clothing line in New Delhi that required me to be there by myself for extended periods of time. It's probably pretty easy to imagine why my priorities changed. All of a sudden, clothing and fashion were a very low priority for me. It’s a Third World country and here I was, this middle-class white girl making clothes. It felt sooooo trite. Honestly, I was ashamed. Long story short: as soon as I was rejected from the Peace Corps and back in Kansas City, my priorities obviously shifted once again. A retail space opened up, and I fought hard for it and got it. Then I learned how to sew. Crazy, I know. And here I am today.

Why stay in Kansas City?
I have a retail store here that I am in love with, and it completely changes every four to six months: the environment, the clothing and otherwise. The newest installation is floor-to-ceiling Polyfil. We wanted to confuse the typical idea of what retail is so we lowered the ceiling four feet—good or bad, comfortable or not. Other than my store, Kansas City is a weird place to be. I stay focused and inspired here. A community that supports its artists is hard to find, and harder to leave. If you can get here, and if you can tap into this energy, you’ll see an incredible ambition—perhaps spiraling from an angry, even jealous boredom that attracts and demands attention. When you find yourself in a city whose energy isn't particularly invested in its youth culture, you find your source of creativity is completely unique and, perhaps more importantly, unaffected.

What's the proper name of your retail store, and what’s in it? Do you actually sell garments made of that Polyfil stuff?
Oh yeah, babe! People think it's weird, or a joke, or stupid—and I guess it kind of is all of those things. The name of the store is Peggy Noland—Kansas City, although there is no name on the window.

Word on the street is you make a lot of your own prints. Is that true?
Yes ma'am! It's true!

It seems like you're into giving form to freeform materials. Is this something you do consciously?
No, I guess not, although there is an intentional sculptural element to what I do. “Soft sculpture” is a category that many of my designs fit into.

You teach at an art school?
I’ve just accepted a teaching position at the Kansas City Art Institute. I'm the Sewn Construction teacher. I'm replacing a woman who has been teaching in the Fibers department for some time now, so I have big shoes to fill. Also this year I'm collaborating with a number of artists. Of particular interest is a capsule collection with Malcolm Stewart and Bec Stupac of the Brazilian collective avaf [assume vivid astro focus]. It's an expansion of personal work for all of us, with an emphasis on the unwearable wearable.

Let’s expand on the topic of the unwearable wardrobe. What's the point? I ain't being sassy, I'm just asking questions like a journalist. How the hell would you sell this stuff? Know what I mean?
I like sass, girl! Yeah, I get what you're saying. These pieces appeal to a customer who's an art collector more than a ready-to-wear buyer. The design and price reflect that. Having a retail space in Kansas City has been challenging, but the challenge isn't finding a customer. Customers exist here, there just aren't many of them. It's been an “If you build it, they will come” experience.

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Body Shop

photos moo
make-up Veronica Chu @ Artist Group Ltd. using MAC
model Crista @ Next
location London


Friday, August 8, 2008

When Fashion Met Music Videos: PJ Harvey

Dean Mayo Davies pays tribute...

Polly Jean Harvey—aka PJ Harvey—is, simply, one of the greatest female recording artists of our generation, and one of the best live acts you'll ever witness. Aesthetically, she keeps fans on their toes (and ears), but she's by no means a pop-chameleon who feels the need to reinvent herself every six months. That philosophy all too often implies a lack of authenticity, a resistance to commit to something wholeheartedly. Whatever PJ’s custom-made style, her essence remains the same—and that’s the difference. Here, in celebration of the diminutive diva (in stature, not stage presence), three YouTube moments...

1. This Is Love

In head-to-toe bespoke Todd Lynn—complete with ultra-long fringe—PJ keeps it simple in this video (from her "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea" album of 2000). Pretty much all you see, besides her killer look, is a white room, a Fender Telecaster guitar and a confrontational declaration of euphoria from the lady herself. Come to think of it, maybe it's not so simple after all. Can you imagine anyone else making this work? As described on YouTube: "The best video ever."

2. The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore

Even in a bra and PVC miniskirt, Polly Jean owns the stage. While an outfit like this is charged with provocative connotation, she remains aloof to such unseemly thoughts throughout, adding even more intensity to the live performance at Reading Festival in 2004.

3. White Chalk (performed live on BBC’s Later with Jools Holland, 11/16/2007)

After having worn everything from pink Lycra catsuits in the mid '90s to two bootleg Spice Girls T-shirts sewn together as a mini-dress, PJ played her most recent shows in austere Edwardian monochrome gowns by Annie Mochnacz (in collaboration with director/photographer Maria Mochnacz and PJ herself). It's a look that goes hand-in-hand with the purist, almost folkloric nature of her new album, White Chalk.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Punk Private Eye

More detective work from Haidee Findlay-Levin...

As I suspected, the controversy surrounding Malcolm McLaren and Simon Easton [first reported here in April, then again in July] has really blown up in the press, with furious attacks from Malcolm McLaren against alleged con artist Simon Easton, followed by equally vitriolic and somewhat inconsistent retaliations. There is not only the matter of Seditionaries' provenance and punk's legacy, but huge sums of money have exchanged hands in the selling of these artifacts, threats of legal action have been hurled and now established institutions such as Sotheby’s, Christie's and the Met appear concerned with the authenticity of their collections. For the sake of simplicity, I thought it best to actually show you the differences between authentic McLaren/Westwood pieces from the '70s and fakes sold to Damien Hirst by Easton, or loaned to him for consideration, alongside notes from McLaren himself. These photos are all from Hirst's office. (By the way, if you're as intrigued by all of this as much as we are, Paul Gorman is an established authority on this period and these clothes. Check out his very informative blog.)

Click images to enlarge...

This Anarchy Shirt is a 1960's vintage Wemblex shirt that McLaren & Westwood customized. When McLaren couldn't personally wear out the lot of 50 vintage shirts they'd bought, they decided to customize the remaining 30-40 shirts and sell them in their store at 430 Kings Road. The result was called the "Anarchy Shirt" because the slogans refer to the Anarchist movements in Europe. McLaren was a student during the 1968 French student revolts, which framed his critique.

- The cut is short and square.
- The collar is rounded and has a pin through it, a popular style in the 60s.
- Parts of the shirt have been turned inside out, showing the interior pinstripe print only on the collar, shoulders, facing, cuff and bottom edging of the shirt as a key element McLaren & Westwood created was to make clothes look "wrong." The rest of the shirt is plain.
- The label is a faded original Seditionaries label.
- The color is reddish.
- The patch is a portrait of Karl Marx. Only his portrait was ever used because McLaren and Westwood liked his beard, and because he was a writer of ideas, and not a politician. It was his book that started the Socialist and workers movements in the 19th Century. He also lived in London at one point.
- Slogans are all written in neat handwriting using a twig on dyed patches which had not fully dried. All slogans refer to the Anarchist movement, i.e. "A bas de Coca Cola" (popular French anti-American graffiti), "Only Anarchists are Pretty" and "Buenaventura Durruti and the Black Hand Gang" (anarchists in the Spanish Civil War).
- Buttons have been replaced with simple studs.
- Stenciling on sleeve is in small type.
- Stripes and washes of color are hand-painted onto the shirt.
- The back of shirt does not have patches or other detailing, only simple washes of color.

- This shirt has the wrong spelling in the slogan. It says "Buanoven... durutti..." instead of "Buenaventura Durutti"
- It has poor handwriting
- The colors and buttons are wrong.
- The label is not white with black type.
- The slogan "God Save the Queen" was never used on this shirt, which had nothing to do with the Sex Pistols.
- Says McLaren: "We never put anything on the back. There's nothing more gross than that! The shirt was never meant to be a sandwich board. We didn't treat people like that. There were, believe it or not, even within the punk anti-fashion aesthetic, a certain sartorial elegance. So much on the original was considered, whereas this is a mishmash."

- This has the wrong color completely, and it has no stripes.
- The cut is different.
- The collar is pointed, not round.
- It has epaulettes and strange black buttons.
- The slogan is wrong. "Fuck the Rich Up the Arse" was a slogan used on the Oliver Twist Dickens T-shirts, but never on the Anarchy shirt, which was connected to anarchic movements in Spain, France and elsewhere.
- The patch has the portrait of the wrong man, Lenin.

- McLaren calls this shirt "absurd." He & Westwood never made any prints with American Express. It was not a card that was so common at the time. Also, the cut of shirt is totally contemporary.

Finally, here are more recent developments...
- Westwood and her son with McLaren, Joe Corre, have given their support in stopping Easton's activities.
- In an email from Damien Hirst to McLaren, Murray Fenton was confused with Murray Blewett, a former Westwood employee. Fenton, who openly manufactures reproductions, believes that some of the shirts that were bought from him were tampered with and, unbeknownst to him, passed off as authentic. Murray Fenton is not, in any way, in cahoots with Simon Easton.
- Testimony has come to light from someone who bought a fake from Easton online, argued with him about its authenticity and eventually got his money back, but not before concluding Easton is ignorant of the subject. Another person bought an alleged fake from Easton and is still waiting to be reimbursed. Meanwhile, he has sent the item to a London reporter.
- Paul Gorman, a major authority on Seditionaries, has looked at the Hirst clothes and testified they are all fakes.
- Examples from the Met exhibit Anglomania are said to be potentially fake. The Met has been contacted and said they will investigate.
- Someone at the vintage store Resurrection had a bad run-in with Easton, apparently considering doing an exhibit of his "collection" until it was realized the clothes were fake.
- Easton keeps pretending there are clothes McLaren doesn't know about because of licenses, etc. Sure, St. Marks place is filled with fakes, but that is not what Easton is selling to collectors and museums. In his postings on eBay, he claims the clothes to be not only "original" and "circa 1977" but that he is the only dealer "affiliated" with McLaren, the only dealer who has sold to the Met, and the only dealer to have his clothes photographed in Vogue.

And so the saga continues....

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

No Vacancy

Douglas Keeves, who famously Unzipped Isaac Mizrahi thirteen years ago, is still as smarty-pants as ever. The exhibitionist opened up to Lee Carter about his latest documentary, Hotel Gramercy Park, in which he exposes the drama surrounding New York's notoriously bohemian, family-owned luxury lodge recently snapped up by Ian Schrager...

Hotel Gramercy Park is a little like watching The Shining. What madness did you see while making it, and how possessed did you become?
The last days of the old hotel were eerie and sad. I wasn't chased by anyone with a hatchet—that came later—but neighbors practically came after Ian with pitchforks, axes and torches.

During your introduction of the film at the Tribeca Film Festival, you said you felt squeamish when you screened the finished product to Ian, who features prominently. But I don't remember any scenes where he comes across badly. What was it you were afraid of?
Ian is one obsessive and meticulous guy. And he is very mindful of how he is portrayed. I worried about his portrayal and how he would like the film itself. He had never let anyone near him in this way and he completely trusted us. I wanted it to be honest. After following his process for a year, I had become quite fond of him and very much in awe of his passion and dedication. He loves design. He could have cut corners and saved a truckload of money. Instead, he tweaked and re-tweaked every square inch. I'd say, "Ian, that's nuts. Nobody's going to notice." And without so much as a smile, he'd shoot back: "I would. I'd notice."

Serendipitously, I met Max Weissberg [grandson of former owner Herbert Weissberg] the day after I saw the film. He told me that some truly scandalous stuff was left out. Can you reveal anything now that didn't make the cut? No need to name names—unless you want to, of course.
We didn't leave anything scandalous out except for the sex, drugs and murder. The film was initially more hard-hitting, but it felt too dark and heavy.

Obviously, in your documentaries, the goal is to capture people as they really are. Have you ever had to tell someone not to act for the camera?
Everyone's different when you show up with a camera and crew. The best thing is to spend a lot of time with people. Eventually you become part of the furniture and people go back to their lives and and back to being themselves. That's one reason that docs take so much time. There's a seriously heavy acclamation period. It's once you break through that things start to get interesting.

Your other documentaries include Unzipped and Seamless. Why the move away from fashion?
For me, the fashion world was like Alice Through the Looking Glass—a weird, silly, mysterious place. Above all, beautiful. Most films on fashion only scratch the surface. I'll always feel I am an outsider and certainly never cool enough, but I do get it. In a good film, you try to look beyond the obvious. Unzipped was about the creative process, and Seamless about the heartbreaking, nail-biting business of fashion. Gramercy is about a changing world and who gets left behind. Fundamentally, they're all character-driven stories. I work just as easily outside of fashion as I do in it.

Did you know at the time you were making Unzipped what a moment that Isaac Mizrahi show would be?
It was crazy. Nobody wanted the crane or the camera on the runway. It just wasn't done, but I kept asking and begging. During the show we shoved a Super 8 camera into Shalom's hand, to take it up a notch. It definitely was a moment. Linda, Kate, Cindy, Nikki, Naomi and even Carla Bruni and Padma Lakshmi all whipped up a perfect storm.

It's been thirteen years since Unzipped. These days Isaac is having a welcome comeback. Have you kept in touch with him?
I just worked with Isaac the other day for the first time in many, many years. And in all honesty, he is so fucking good—a documentarian's wet dream.

Do you miss the supermodel era? Without the benefit of hindsight, what era do you think we're in now?
It's difficult not to be nostalgic. Whenever you look back, things were seemingly simpler. Our culture has exploded exponentially and everybody is getting their fifteen minutes. Categories that delineate people, trends and events are irreversibly blurred. It's exciting and daunting. It can be trashy, but what of it? Personally, I love Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. We all need to loosen up and stop pointing fingers.

Out of all the people in your films, including yourself, who's been the biggest diva?
Take your pick. They are all divas, but not all the time. It can make things incredibly difficult. But this is fashion, what else would you expect and what else would you want? As far as I'm concerned, Naomi for president.

What's next for you?
I'm working on a TV series with a network and I'm happy to say it's way not a piece of crap. Stay tuned.

Here's the trailer, exclusively for Hint...

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Banding Together

Liz Armstrong and gang go on the road...

Recently two friends and I planned to spend Lollapalooza weekend in Chicago partying with CSS, the enthusiastic alterna-jam dance band from Brazil, and then hightail it back home to New York by Sunday night. Of course we took our sweet-ass time getting there. We stopped in a rundown mining town outside Pittsburgh for a night, then spent another at my parents’ house in the Windy City, soaking in their rave-style hot tub equipped with a 16-color light show as Lykke Li blasted through the surround-sound system.

Finally, on Friday, we arrived at Lollapalooza, with its immense fairgrounds bursting at the seams with ladies in bikini tops and shady characters (aka potential new friends) rolling joints in the bushes. We tiptoed into the CSS bus and, lo and behold, there was my soul-twin Cody Critcheloe, the wizard behind the hi-NRG prop-punk band SSION, sitting next to the fantastic Miss Peggy Noland, costume designer for CSS, Ssion and Tilly and the Wall. Peggy—who's the subject of my next blog, a Q&A—calls everyone "babe" because she really thinks everyone is one. There's a genuine smile on her face at all times, and she keeps her hair styled in an immaculately wild bouffant. Though she'd forgotten her own clothes on her bed in Kansas City, at least she remembered to bring a stash of costumes for CSS's Lovefoxxx, which she had stuffed into a dirty canvas bag and decorated with a dollar sign, like she'd just robbed a bank and decided to carry around the evidence.

Lovefoxxx rummaged through the selection and pulled out body leotard after body leotard, one a metallic silver with polyester vines and flowers dangling off the neckline like some kind of glamorous Swamp Thing, another a burgundy crushed-velvet number with a Holly Hobby-esque doll on the rump like a pervy bustle. She settled on the most outrageous of the offerings, a bright red outfit entwined with a garish garland of purple and yellow flowers, which came with a matching halo. Suddenly everyone in the band burst into a crazy Brazilian song about a guy who needs bread and tea.

Before Lovefoxxx got dressed, we all hit the press tent for free booze, pizza and some desperately needed armpit fanning. (Okay, no one provided that last service except ourselves.) Renata, creator and star of the video for “Left Behind” (the first single off CSS's new CD) and also the band's backup dancer for the weekend, strolled up wearing the exact same neon tunic as Lovefoxxx. Oops! Most stars would freak the hell out, point a finger and dismiss the duplicate, but not in this case. They simply stomped around the fairgrounds together.

From then on, the weekend was a nonstop memory-in-the-making, the kind of weekend you can't process until after it's done and you look at the photos, thinking, “When did that happen?” We danced our brains out, sang Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” at karaoke, partied on abandoned train tracks, shopped for cowgirl gear (watch out for my new fall look—yeehaw!), enjoyed a limo ride courtesy of a club where CSS was DJing and danced some more while ripping up posters and throwing them in the air like confetti.

Around 3 am on Saturday, we called it quits. We looked like we'd been hanging out in a hamster cage, covered in bits of paper stuck to our bodies with champagne. Into the car we went and, like total badasses, headed home straight from the party. We took a small break around 7 am, found a cheap motel in our new favorite town of Elkhart, Indiana (where the McDonald's has a fancy fireplace and leopard-print window treatment) and crashed for exactly three hours because one of us had the scientific notion that any more or less than that would mess with our biorhythms. So we set the alarm, made ourselves rise from the dead and got back in the car. It was total tweaker town in that vehicle, I tell ya. We talked about everything, just to stay awake. Nothing was safe or sacred. Good thing there was no recording device, except for my camera with a dwindling battery...

Dancing at Lollapalooza / Lovefoxxx checking out costumes

Lovefoxxx and Luiza onstage at Lollapalooza / Carol DJing

Lovefoxxx and Luiza in the limo / Heading home

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

After School Special

Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm is where they grow Sweden's designers of tomorrow. Here's an early look at the young seedlings (Swedelings?)...

photos Oskar Gyllenswärd
styling Hanna Kisch
make-up/hair Lady Oscar
styling ass'ts Signe Siemsen, Sara Litzén

glasses Björn Bryngelsson (2008 graduate), vest and pants Emelie Ljunggren (2008 graduate)
overalls and belt Cecilia Hummel (2008 graduate)

dress Nhu Duong (2008 graduate), bodysuit Catharina Götherström (2009 graduate)

vest Emelie Ljungren (2008 graduate), shorts Kischn'Krantz
jacket Anders Berggren (2009 graduate), pants Hope, gloves Catharina Götherström (2009 graduate)

dress Alma Ekman (2009 graduate), hat Hattbaren, mask Nhu Duong (2008 graduate)
leotard and hat with cloth E. Kellner

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tokyo Street Style

Photos by Rei Shito...

jumpsuit: Nozomi Ishiguro
backpack: Marc Jacobs

Hair stylist
pants: Maison Martin Margiela
boots: Véronique Branquinho

Office worker
dress: Undercover
bag: Corto Moltedo

top and overalls: Goocy

Hair stylist
shirt: vintage
denim: Levi's
shoes: Red Wing

photos by Rei Shito, aka STYLE from TOKYO

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Sour Kraut

Last year they published In Clouded Shrouds, a book—or fanzine, rather—of drawings by Devendra Banhart and poems by Dana Kline. Now No 6, the little concept boutique in Little Italy, is back with Kauzchensteig 10, a book of satirical collages by Jim Drain. The Miami-based artist (and former member of Forcefield collective) spent two months living on the outskirts of Berlin to create these images mocking consumer culture...

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Corn Beef

Because we can never get enough camp (and if you're reading this, you're the same), we present the most heelarious specimens from Inside/Outside (powerHouse books, $150), a two-volume book of 1950's beefcake photos by the legendary Bruce of Los Angeles, complete with a DVD with twelve of his films and text by The New Yorker's Vince Aletti. Despite the corniness, Bruce is a gay icon said to have influenced the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts and that other Bruce, Bruce Weber (we want to see his male nudes!). By the way, can you spot The Factory's Joe Dallesandro?...

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