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Monday, March 30, 2009

Hint Tip: Terence Koh

Along with aligning himself with art-world greats Jeff Koons and Mike Kelley, Terence Koh likes to use malapropisms and spoonerisms (and other jisms). It's an endearing and disarming habit, stripping away notions of propriety and formality so you can concentrate on more important questions, such as: Am I a hot skank? Am I drunk enough to pee on art? Will I get laid at the Eagle? ...

"deer kindred spirit

if yo are around next saturdae
i am making something gay fo tis i tink
perhaps you can pee on my sculpture
the secret party afterwards is at the eagle from 8pm onwards, like gay sausage party
but i don't want it to be a secret cause i am want lots of gays to be there actually no just all kinds of hot skanks girls and boys and boy girls and girl boy and boy boy

thank you

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School Crossing

This is a little like a collision of the sun and moon—both of which we love and need, but for very different reasons. On April 2, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show will host a fundraising gala for the Blue School, honoring Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin for their commitment to the school's educational vision and its mission to nurture "children as creative, joyful and compassionate inquirers." We never imagined our dual yet distinct interests in scathing political comedy and high-concept fashion photography would ever converge like this—or ever. But if our heads don't explode, we're down with it.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hans Brinker of Disaster

You've seen haute hotels, heard about love hotels and probably booked a cheap hotel or two. But have you had the distinct honor (and odor) of staying at the Hans Brinker in Amsterdam, the self-proclaimed worst hotel in the world? Only when you do can you fully appreciate the magic of cynical, gross-out marketing. Over the years they've created hilariously self-deprecating images, videos and other marketing materials, which now, because it seems all we have left these days is laughter, have been reproduced in a book called—wait for it—The Worst Hotel in the World. It's a tribute to what the Ritz will never have: zero stars and even lower standards. Plus, if you'll be in Amsterdam on April 24, you can celebrate squalor in person at what promises to be a totally lackluster book launch party, which we're gonna go ahead and assume is BYOB...

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Crystal Balls

Europeans are so lucky. They have castles, rainbow-colored currency and (most of) the good designers. Now comes news that Antony and the Johnsons will play concerts all across the continent (and Coachella) this summer with full orchestral arrangement. That's right, symphonies. We know Antony's haunting voice demands nothing less, but can't they play a single night in New York? It gets better/worse: Antony has also created a stage environment inspired by Bauhaus lighting design and dreams of crystals inside mountains. Somehow we understand that, and insist that someone send us photos.


Hint Tip: Boudicca

On Saturday, March 28, from noon to 7 pm, Boudicca will hold a sample sale, including women's, accessories, one-offs and archive pieces. At 45 Vyner Street (first floor), London E2 9DQ, +44 20 8 981 9413. And they invite you "to create beauty easily for free" and enrich your garden by bringing in a plant cutting for exchange...

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just In: Daslu's Eliana Tranchesi Sentenced

In a major scandal rocking Brazil, Eliana Tranchesi, owner of Daslu luxury store in Sao Paulo, was sentenced today to 94.5 years behind bars for fraudulent importing, organized crime and tax evasion stemming from her arrest almost four years ago. In July 2005, more than 300 federal agents raided the store and its offices in Operation Narcissus, arresting Tranchesi and her brother Antonio Carlos Piva de Albuquerque on claims they intended to burn documents related to smuggling and fiscal fraud. Later that year, nearly $1 million worth of Chanel and Gucci bags with adulterated tags were apprehended at the Guarulhos airport. According to police, Tranchesi and other Daslu employees purchased luxury goods abroad while trading offices forged documents declaring a much lower price, in effect creating a criminal network. Eliana's lawyer are requesting home imprisonment as she is in treatment for lung cancer and needs chemotherapy and daily health care.

—André do Val

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

House of Cards

MTV's new House of Style just aired and The Citizens Band's Sarah Sophie Flicker was there...

Erin Fetherston, one of my best gals, invited me to take part in the filming of the relaunched House of Style on MTV, which I loved when I was a girl. I loved everything about it. I loved Cindy Crawford—even though, in retrospect, she was a bit stiff and awkward. I loved all the scenes of New York. I loved seeing all the new designers. So naturally, I was thrilled to be a part of it.

Erin told me we were going to film a dinner party at her place with a gaggle of cool girls. It sounded dreamy! But as the day approached I got a bit nervous—what had I gotten myself into? I started worrying that it would be a weird, staged, awkward situation, and we would all look like glittery deer caught in headlights. And it was a little funny at first. We had to film our entrances—a few times—and spin around to show our outfits. It was a little dorky and embarrassing. But as we continued to shoot we all loosened up and it became so much fun! First, I was with some of my favorite ladies: Ellen Von Unwerth, her daughter Rebecca, Kate Schelter, Ingrid Sophie Schram and, of course, Erin and Chanel Iman. It was a diverse group and really showed off how adaptable and suitable Erin's clothes are for all types of girls.

Erin's house sparkled like a fairy lantern. it was so beautiful and she had put so much care into all of it. We got to wear Erin's new season fresh off the runway and we all felt super special and magical. Then someone, I think Chanel, put on some dance music and we all went bananas. I mean really nuts! It got so out of hand that at one point we were doing the limbo under a stick. I mean, the limbo—really? There were cameras filming this, but we all sort of forgot. The catering was also incredible, with beautiful elderflower drinks with lemongrass as straws and flowers floating on top. It was some sort of hybrid fairy party mixed with a little bump-and-grind dancehall madness!

Then we sat down at the table and put on the sparkly animal masks from Erin's show. I'm a huge fan of out-there headwear, so I was in hog heaven! As we ate, the cameras faded away and we got to enjoy the shimmering surroundings and wonderful food. We got really cozy and spent the rest of the night laughing and making silly poses for Ellen's camera! Oh, what a wonderful night!

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More Shades of Grey

The Grey Gardens gals never die, they just get remade. This is the trailer for HBO's Grey Gardens remake (4/18, 8:00 pm), starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. Three and a half hours of Big and Little Edie. Heaven!...


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Greater Tokyo

Dries Van Noten is betting it'll take more than a little global recession to temper the Japanese lust for fashion. He’s just unveiled a multilevel flagship in the Aoyama district of Tokyo—and here's your first peek. Like its Paris counterpart, the Japanese outpost is designed as a visual dialogue with the locale and its history. But thankfully, this doesn't involve cliches like kimono displays, cherry blossoms or the leftover sets from Memoirs of a Geisha.

No stranger to exotic destinations, Dries always opts for a more restrained approach, transforming his cultural encounters in subtle yet unexpected ways. This time around, fashion's own Lawrence of Arabia has produced a stark juxtaposition, mixing lavish 17th-century European paintings against daring reinterpretations of them by contemporary Japanese artists—all in a zen, vaguely industrial backdrop. It's a new meditation on East meets West, modernity meets tradition, that’s less like The Last Samurai and more like that Bjork/Barney thing with the whales.

Oh, and of course, the clothes—tons and tons of it: women's, men's and accessories. But get a head start now. Chances are, small sizes will sell out first.

—Franklin Melendez

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Hint Tip: Mark Borthwick

British-born, Brooklyn-based, Maria Cornejo-married, anti-fashion fashion photog Mark Borthwick launches his new book "not in fashion" (Rizzoli) with a book signing on March 26, 6-9 pm, The Journal Gallery, 168 N. 1st Street, Brooklyn...

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Made in Brazil

For his first trip to Brazil, Marc Jacobs swooped into São Paulo last week to celebrate his newest boutique, in partnership with Natalie Klein of NK Store. Of course, that wasn't all on his agenda. Newly engaged to Brazilian boy toy and ad exec Lorenzo Martone, Marc also met with his future mother-in-law over dinner at the swanky Fasano Hotel. This was followed by a day of gallery-hopping (while showing off matching left-hand rings) and another party Saturday night at a secret bar where Madonna and Michael Stipe threw parties recently, but which actually has no name. The night before, Marc and Lorenzo, along with Marc's business partner Robert Duffy, headed to cruisy gay club Cantho in an area known for its, shall we say, colorful transvestites. They stayed for about an hour and a half, sipped caipirinha and mugged for an endless parade of paparazzi, but left the Brazilian fashion flock to dance all night with go-go boys. At one point Marc told Folha magazine that he met Lorenzo in a darkroom, but we're not buying it—Marc's deadpan surely got lost in translation. Surely!

An emotional moment happened at a VIP lunch when Lorenzo's former boss, Cris Bicalho (seen here), gave a speech that ended with: "Life is short," sending Marc into tears. Aaaawww. After São Paulo, the clearly happy couple will spend a month in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. “Not to work, just for pleasure,” Marc said at a press conference, where, to a room of excitable Brazilian journos, he also talked about having good calves and ignoring the global economic crisis. When he wasn't mesmerized by Marc's calves, our ANDRE DO VAL took notes...

Do you get annoyed with the media frenzy about your relationship?
Marc Jacobs: No! I love attention! I'm an attention whore. I love it.
Are you fond of Brazilian people?
The Brazilians I have met and had the opportunity to work with, like Raquel Zimmermann, Gisele Bündchen, Daiane Conterato, Aline Weber and all the model girls I know, they have warmth, energy and a kind of innate sex appeal that I find desirable. It really rubs off. When I'm around them, I just feel the flirtation and sexuality. I wouldn’t generalize by saying all Brazilians are like this, but this has been my experience.
You are a North American superstar!
Yes, a worldwide superstar! How do you do it?
I don’t know. I guess through hard work. We work very hard. And we’re not like the new kids on the block. We’ve been around for many, many years. We had our own company, worked for Perry Ellis, now Louis Vuitton. Our place in the world of fashion, North American or any other kind, is an evolution that we built. It's something acquired.
Why this crush on kilts right now?
Because I have good calves and I want to show them off.
What comes to your mind when you think of Brazil?
(Laughs.) I'd rather not to say it. Never mind.
Are you in touch with any Brazilian fashion designers?
Not a specific designer. I think there’s a swimwear designer, Rosa Chá? They worked with my friend Naomi Campbell. And then Alexandre Herchcovitch, whose work I don't know very well, but I know him through a photographer friend. That’s it.
Do you have special products for each regional market?
We work very hard making collections we believe in. Whether it's the Marc Jacobs collection or Marc by Marc Jacobs, it's for the world. We do one collection and what each market buys is up to them. They can edit as they please.
Was the reduction of your show in New York a response to global economic crisis?
Robert Duffy: It was a necessity. But we're continuing to expand and hiring more employees. Our responsibility is with the people we work with and that is where I wanted the financial resources to go.
MJ: Creatively I try to ignore the crisis. I have the job of making beautiful things that I believe our costumers will enjoy and love. That’s my responsibility.
Why come to São Paulo?
RD: Well, Brazil has the strongest economy in South America. I’ve been to most countries in South America, and I like coming to Brazil. I feel the energy of it, I think it's the right time. Marc is on his first trip, but I think he is going to like it, too.

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Debt Collection

Just over a week ago, we ran a post about the L.A. launch of The Stephen Sprouse Book at the Chateau Marmont. Today we got an email from a hotel rep with another interesting tidbit about the late designer and artist. Turns out, way back in 1991, he moved into the hotel for a month, but couldn't pay his bill when he checked out. So Andre Balazs agreed to let him off the hook if he designed some apparel for the Chateau. A couple of months ago, Andre was going through the archives in hotel's attic and discovered a stash of six original, never-before-seen sketches Stephen made of that collection, all signed and dated. While not everything will be produced, Andre has reissued the same pieces produced in 1991—a T-shirt, baseball cap and postcard—available at the hotel and its online shop...

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Hint Tip: Jil Sander for Aloha Rag

Under the direction of Raf Simons for Jil Sander come two men's sneakers created exclusively for Aloha Rag's New York location (505 Greenwich). The label's first store collaboration is limited to 55 pairs each of low-tops ($325) and high-tops ($395). Public launch is April 2, VIP pre-shop party is April 1, 6-8 pm...

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Just In: Ingrid Sischy & Sandra Brant

Remember a year ago when, rather shockingly, Ingrid Sischy left her editor-in-chief position at Interview after eighteen years, along with publisher and gal pal Sandra Brant, who also sold her 50% stake in the parent company, Brant Publishing? Two smart and dedicated talents gone, just like that. Poof! Then Condé Nast piped up and said the duo had been hired to be International Editors of various global editions of Vanity Fair (Ingrid had already been contributing to American Vanity Fair since 1997). We remember thinking, "Oh, cool, that makes sense. And it's great they have a place to go." But then Condé Nast said they would spearhead future expansions into glamour fields, and we got all cynical and thought, "Yeah, right, because high-fashion and lesbians always go hand-in-hand." Well, it turns out it's true. Today Jonathan Newhouse, chairman of Condé Nast International, announced that Ingrid and Sandy have been named International Editors of German Vogue and Russian Vogue. (Disclaimer — We've had a thing for German Vogue ever since they featured Hint. And Russian Vogue, well, we love anything that caters to cashed-up emerging markets.) He went on to call them a "unique journalistic team...(with) considerable talents." You betcha.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Barcelona Hopping

By Cesar Padilla...

I have to admit that, with Spain recently banning skin-and-bones models, I was looking forward to some Lane Bryant big-girl action at Barcelona Fashion Week (aka 080 Barcelona Fashion). But apparently the ban has been lifted. Between the skinny models and an international selection of designers, I felt like I could have been in Paris—for better or worse. And then there's the avant-garde, Gaudi-inspired goth streak that runs through Catalonia, best exemplified by local dark star Txell Miras.

Txell Miras

Australian label materialbyproduct delivered the most classic collection of the week. Based on the House of Chanel, it started off on the drab side, but quickly gained momentum with striking lightweight black dresses with a vertical modernist print in a pale blue pattern. Unfortunately, their concept of a dressing room on the runway made for a tedious and repetitive show that left many yawning.


Another homage—this time to that master of all things tight and sexy, Azzedine Alaïa—came from Canadian label markfast, a come-hither collection of short body-hugging mini-dresses for the woman who probably doesn't keep her clothes on very long. After the show, the designer recoiled when I used the word "slutty." I explained that slutty isn't an insult, just a way of life, and one that I don't judge. I know plenty of women whose pubes might trickle out the bottom of his dresses—as in, not interested in wearing panties. Let's be real.


Representing the Spaniards, local talent Miriam Ponsa sent out modern urban survivalists. She used an interesting military palette to convey her Rei Kawakubo-inspired abstract designs, with a nod to innocence in the form of cute denim clamdiggers for a nice pastoral touch.

Miriam Ponsa

Japanese designer Seiko Taki was another star of the week. The clothes had no real hanger appeal, but once her romantic, sensual vision arrived, it took the room by surprise. Wild applause followed, along with an emotional moment from the designer.

Seiko Taki

MAREUNROL'S started off with an incredible, quick-cut short film reminiscent of Bonnie & Clyde. Then came out gangster-style trenches, patchwork dresses and insane wigs worthy of Cousin It from the Addams Family. Mojitos made it all the better.


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Friday, March 20, 2009

Modelizer: Agyness Deyn

After her surprise Sao Paulo Fashion Week appearance walking for Ellus last January, Agyness Deyn spared a day to shoot for Plastic Dreams, the new magazine from crazy-cool plastic shoe label Melissa, who you'll remember from their collaborations with Vivienne Westwood and Zaha Hadid. We caught up with Aggy on set...

Are you officially the new face of London fashion?
I'm always around London designers like Christopher Kane, Gareth Pugh, Jonathan Saunders and Henry Holland, who I'm really close with, so I guess I am. They're all good friends and I'm happy if we get to work together.

How often do you see the BF (Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes)?
Not much! We travel a lot. It's hard to be apart, but at least we never get fed up with each other. We're stuck together like glue when we do see each other. [Editor: um, this was before the recent breakup.]

Do you plan to take on the music business?
I've been playing music since I was sixteen. I had my own band, Lucky Knitwear, but it was just for fun. I don’t want to be a rock star.

What have you been listening to?
This band from my hometown, Manchester, called Maupa, and The Postal Service. I couldn't tell you why I like it, but I definitely recommend it.

Tried any Brazilian food yet?
I've had a lot of seafood, but I'm dying to try feijoada. I just have one day off and that's the only thing I want to do before I leave!

—André do Val

photo by Miro, styling by Dani Ueda, make-up by Robert Estevao

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Return of the Supes

For the new spring/summer issue of Vogue Hommes International, Hedi Slimane shot a portfolio of 90s-era super(male)models including Mark Vanderloo, Werner Schreyer and Larry Scott, he of sizzling Acqua Di Gio and Giorgio Armani ads. Still hot...

Larry Scott by Hedi Slimane

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just In: Marc Jacobs to Wed

It's official. After a year of speculation, persistent rumors and close calls, Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone, his hunky Brazilian beau, have announced their engagement. The happy couple went public today, arriving in Martone’s native Sao Paolo with matching rings. The official reason for the visit is to launch Marc’s new boutique, but that opened back in January, so could this be a meeting with the in-laws, the asking of the hand?

This and a lot of other details aren't known just yet, such as the date and location (see what you're missing, California?), but the ceremony promises to be the stuff of fashion legend. After all, the Marc empire has enough star power to put most royal nuptials to shame. Just imagine the guest list, the registry and who'll walk the bride down the aisle. And then there's the all-important wedding dress. Will it be a full-on Westwood punk gown, or pleated skorts, or perhaps Brazilian swim trunks for beachside vows? Obviously Aggy will flounce around as the flower girl, but will Kate be the Maid of Honor? And, if so, whose? Will Anna be ordained in time to perform the rites? And can we expect Tilda to be Best Man? Or Kim?

Not since Elton and David have we been so excited about a marriage. In fact that might be the only time we've been excited by a marriage. Which is probably why we never to cry at weddings, but we have to confess, we're seriously tearing up at this. Congrats, Marc and Lorenzo!

—Franklin Melendez

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Final Thoughts

Style correspondent PLAY rounds up Paris Fashion Week...

The Mood
So yes, Paris had to tighten its belt in this nasty economic climate, which meant more presentations and fewer runway shows. But naturellement, everyone pretended they weren't personally affected. And actually, the reality for the average fashion editor is akin to Franz Kafka’s diary entry from August 2, 1914: "Germany declares war on Russia. Afternoon: swimming lessons."

Tweet a Trend
Like anyone else, I want to know what's new. But I never thought I'd be turning to my cell phone to read pedestrian chit-chat on Twitter. This was a case of the early bird getting the trend. In fact, the trend this season was Twitter.

Celebrity Fatigue
I first spotted Kanye West and entourage gatecrashing their way into Viktor & Rolf. It turned out Kanye was causing havoc everywhere. He was the new Bruno. Meanwhile, at Chanel, I almost got crushed by paparazzi surrounding Lily Allen, before swarming around Kate Moss in the front row. It left me wondering how more celebs don't end up train wrecks like Amy Winehouse.

Queen Beth
But the celebrity had to be Love cover star Beth Ditto, as if following the season's unofficial motto: It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Apparently her mission was to show the outside world that the old cliché of fashion being a gated community for diet-obsessed, humor-free folks is out of touch. Ditto's finest moment was performing with her band The Gossip at the Fendi party. I wanted to tweet: "OMGOMG!!! ditto does britney! nipplegate any sec!!"

She's Got the Look
Sometimes the best way to see where fashion is going is to follow a fashion editor. Based on my stalking of Carine Roitfeld, Emmanuelle Alt and Anna Piaggi, you should think preppy, mix decades (i.e. 40s and 80s for a Casablanca-meets-Top Gun look), don double-breasted blazers (like Stella McCartney's), throw on a biker jacket and, I’m afraid to say, slip into harem pants. Key colors? Black, greige and noir tobacco, which is taking over for camel, now considered not crisis-appropriate—put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Anna Piaggi (©PLAY)

Big Top
If designers have their say this fall, we'll be wearing plastic bags over our heads (Hussein Chalayan), bunny ears (Louis Vuitton), S&M masks (Jean Paul Gaultier) and Leigh Bowery sex-doll lips (Alexander McQueen).

Power Failure
As an early-adopter of Maison Martin Margiela's leather leggings and 80s' shoulders for fall 08, I'm all for power looks. But after witnessing editor after editor working huge shoulders and oh-so-fierce platforms, I got over it fast. It felt like Art Basel last year, when I counted 20 Louis Vuitton Richard Prince bags in under two hours.

Fur Alarm
What the heck was the idea behind the over-presence of statement fur? Was it to prove one’s immunity to chilly economic winds? Only very few got it right, like Carine Roitfeld, who strode across Tuileries park looking fit to squash the squeeze.

Carine Roitfeld (©PLAY)

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

V Day

As if you didn't already know, tonight is the New York premiere of Valentino: The Last Emperor at MOMA (opens to the public tomorrow at Film Forum). Produced and directed by Vanity Fair's Matt Tyrnauer, this is the feature-length docu-draaaama of the Italian couturier and his emotional retirement last year from the house he spent 45 years building—and which made him one of the richest men in Italy. The best part—besides the pugs, if you're a dog lover—is watching Valentino's co-dependent relationship with his business partner and loffer of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti, who says brutally honest things like, "You're a little bit too tan." But then, as you wait for the bitch slap, Valentino just sits quietly and takes it. We should all be as whipped in our golden years.

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Hint Tip: Band of Outsiders

Fresh off his CFDA nom last night, Scott Sternberg released his spring imagery for Band of Outsiders—or rather Boy, the women's line. Always a polaroid, it features Sarah Silverman, who's not just our all-time favorite comic, but might just be our all-time favorite person. Just a few days ago we stumbled upon an episode of her show on Comedy Central we hadn't seen before, unbelievably, and nearly died. But wait, why is she doing the sad clown thing?...

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Hint Tip: CFDA Awards

We had the privilege of serving on the 2009 CFDA Awards selection committee—can you tell which nominees below smack of Hint? They were announced tonight in a swanky little party on top of Rockefeller Center. Of course, all anyone could talk about was the tanking economy, it being an industry gig and all. But to them, the ultimate fashion survivor and CFDA prez Diane von Furstenberg had a message: "We will surf out the tsunami in style." So there.

Womenswear Designer of the Year
- Marc Jacobs
- Narciso Rodriguez
- Rodarte

Menswear Designer of the Year
- Italo Zucchelli for Calvin Klein
- Michael Bastian
- Scott Sternberg for Band of Outsiders

Accessory Designer of the Year
- Marc Jacobs
- Vera Wang
- Proenza Schouler

Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent in Womenswear
- Thakoon Panichgul
- Alexander Wang
- Jason Wu

Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent in Menswear
- Patrik Ervell
- Robert Geller
- Tim Hamilton

Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent in Accessories
- Albertus Q. Swanepoel
- Alejandro Ingelmo
- Justin Giunta for Subversive Jewelry

Additional honors go to Michelle Obama (Board of Directors special tribute), Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton (International Award), Anna Sui (Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award), WWD's Edward Nardoza (Eugenia Sheppard Award for Journalism) and GQ creative director Jim Moore (Eleanor Lambert Award).

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Goyard Girl

Christopher Bailey may have been running late to the airport, but that didn't stop us from grabbing a pic of him with Julie Gilhart—not to mention Simon Doonan sporting his new monogrammed Goyard bags—at a Barneys party to celebrate Burberry menswear and Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick...

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Mad for Madrid

By Anh Tuan Pham...

In recent years, the international jet-set has begun to appreciate Madrid for more than nightly rioja-fueled escapades in tapas bars, after-hour dance clubs and early morning crawls through the side streets of Chueca. With the help of a world-class art fair (ARCO), a slew of contemporary art spaces and an explosion of building projects by all-star architects, Madrid has blown up into a no-joke arts and culture destination.

Spanish fashion, too, has quietly cultivated its own growing number of unique voices looking to break onto the international scene. Here, I bring you highlights from the fall collections of Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week, with backgrounds made up from detail shots of the CaixaForum cultural center, which Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron masterfully converted from an old electrical plant...

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1. Hungrier than a werewolf under a full moon, Jose Castro's opening night show was a dark and macabre line-up of 80s' power silhouettes decked with fur, feathers, satin and reptilian patterning and other animalia. To pre-empt a possible PETA protest, Castro's closing looks came pre-splattered with blood—red paint, we hope.

2. For gals of the nightcrawler kind, Jose Miro kept things above the knee yet texturally down to earth. Loose, bunched, natural wools in blue-brown hues were draped over that urban staple: shiny black leggings.

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3. For global nomads walking through today's cold, dark, hostile world, Jan iu Mes' menswear provides warmth, comfort... and more darkness. The Barcelona design duo paired bulging, super-chunky knits with sharply tailored charcoal tweeds and wools.

4. Carlos Diez is Spain's bad-boy designer—and a lovable one, with his ear-to-ear smile and lumberjack beard. Diez started his show with an amphibious attack of pleated camo dresses and round-shouldered neoprene wetsuits. A later salvo of loose, web-like knits contrasted against shiny and sequined black textures. With models shrouded, mummy-like, in strands of
mustard yellow hair, men's and women's looks confusingly and deliberately blended into one another.

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5. Two design labels shined at the El Ego shows, Madrid Fashion Week's showcase for new talent. Karlotalaspalas delivered a modern, rustic take on menswear, incorporating loose, oversized silhouettes in myriad shades of brown and beige. I imagined chic alpine yodelers on their way to a fondue bar.

6. Meanwhile, Marta Montono re-interpreted early-80s' b-boy style into a collection of adorably plush, boy-stuffed animals. Sporting a pair of teddy-bear Air Jordan bedslippers and a squeeze-ably soft ghetto-blaster, these outfits are perfect for busting a few headspins and windmills before bed.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hint Video: Dries Van Noten

For his fall collection of "strange beauties," Dries Van Noten says he looked to the colors of artist Francis Bacon. And Sasha Pivovarova finally cracks a smile...

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Hint Postcard: Rodarte

Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy taking a breather from market appointments in Paris to take in a show at the Musée de l'Orangerie of French avant-garde painter and Picasso pal Marie Laurencin. Perhaps inspiration for spring '10? Polaroid by Kimball Hastings...

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Hooked: Jil Sander

Leave it to Raf Simons to transform the lowly utility belt—usually reserved for portly repairmen and outdoorsy lesbians—into spring's most daring accessory. But not quite a utility belt, and not quite a purse, fanny pack or holster, the inventive hybrid is made up of three various detachable compartments that give order to all those loose ends crammed untidily into your clutch or pocket: iPhone, concealer and credit card. Of course, in Raf’s expert hands the utilitarian goes full-on luxe with supple calfskin in shocking red, yellow and blue, as well as the more minimal-friendly black and white. $965 at Jil Sander boutiques worldwide.

—Franklin Melendez

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Camping Out

The man of the hour was surely smiling at the motley crew who assembled at the Chateau Marmont last night for the L.A. launch of The Stephen Sprouse Book (Rizzoli), by Mauricio and Roger Padilha. Only in L.A. could you get Courtney Love, Dita Von Teese, super-stylist Arianne Phillips, Tony Ward, Tatum O'Neal, original catwoman Julie Newmar, 70-something sex bomb Mamie Van Doren and the trantastic Holly Woodlawn in the same room.

Some moments: When asked by photogs if they could take her pic, Courtney Love shouted, "Fuck yeah! I'm skinny. Take it!" Later she went up to Phillipe Blond, who was wearing custom-made Christian (as in Louboutin) for Phillipe feather shoes, and said "Omigod, where did you get those?" "Christian made them for me." "You're a man girl!" And with that, she gave him a huge kiss....

Courtney Love & Arianne Phillips

Mamie Van Doren, Julie Newmar

Holly Woodlawn, Dita Von Teese

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Hint Tip: The Convenience Store

Goodbye wire hangers, hello Eames chairs. That's how the conversation will go when the Convenience Store—the little underground boutique in London that sells hard-to-find anti-labels in a deliberately low-budget, corner-store setting—pops up and spreads out at St Martins Lane from March 19 - April 9. Finally, the Philippe Starck set can get their hands on Gareth Pugh's ventilated armor or Rick Owens' backless jumpsuits, or Bruno Pieters, Hannah Marshall and Boudicca, without leaving the swanky comfort and disco-lights glam of the hotel lobby.

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Educating Lisa

You learn something new every day. This morning we got an email from Columbia University informing us that the uptown Ivy League institution "has become the educational hub for successful fashion models who want a rigorous education that mirrors their rigorous careers." Wow, okay. Who knew? But just who are these models? It turns out doe-eyed Lisa Cant, she of two consecutive Italian Vogue covers by Steven Meisel, Cameron Russell and Sara Ziff are all currently enrolled there. And apparently the industry's crush on Columbia goes back to 1957, the year Ford agency co-founder Jerry Ford graduated. So hats off to you, Columbia, for helping make fashion a less dumber place.

Lisa Cant

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Grab an umbrella. Or, for that matter, a lampshade or birdcage. In a comical yet poignant statement about recycling, Alexander McQueen's fall looks last night were a parade of everyday objects masquerading as hats. Clever accessories aside, McQueen held back none of the drama. The dress-heavy collection bore his usual hourglass shapes and swirling floor-length, red-carpet gowns, often in magnified head-to-toe houndstooth, while the flighty red and black feathery pieces were a nice departure.

Alexander McQueen

Meanwhile, today, Hannah MacGibbon's Chloé girl seems headed back to the Left Bank. After showing conservative suits for pre-fall, MacGibbons returned to more familiar (and fun) territory. Oversize, double-breasted blazers and refined Dhoti pants could have been taken from the closets of Paris' sexy young things. And the loose, cuffed shorts with black leggings—or, in this case, thigh-highs—have been a popular fashion fete standby. Bring your own champagne.


—Bee-Shyuan Chang

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Black Magic

Karl Lagerfeld is a busy man. He's just finished his seasonal triumvirate of Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld and, this morning, Chanel, where we saw the usual paparazzi clusterfuck. This time they swarmed around Kate Moss, who remained cool and relaxed in her slick, noir tuxedo number. Black also dominated the runway, but colors soon progressed to pistachio green and then to ballerina pink. Suits were gussied up with accoutrements: lace, floppy bows and knit bowler hats—perhaps to match the new Mattress bag.


Valentino may be retired, but the brand marches on with Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccoli at the helm. Well, sort of. Sure, they stayed true to the archives with fancy opera coats, little black dresses and expensive fox-fur trim, but where was the famous Valentino red? A shocking statement, to say the least, but considering the dismal economy, it's probably better to do as every accountant wants: avoid the red, stay in the black.


—Bee-Shyuan Chang

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Your First Look: Alexander McQueen

Close-ups of the Alien-versus-Predator junk heap that formed the recycled centerpiece of Alexander McQueen's New-Look-versus-Leigh-Bowery fall collection...

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Hint Tip: Prada

If you thought you knew house-flipping, Prada spins it even more. Next month in Seoul, South Korea, Prada will launch Transformer, a pavilion-like structure combining four shapes (a hexagon, cross, rectangle and circle) that flips—literally, with cranes—so that when one shape becomes the main space, the other three shapes become the walls and ceiling. For five months, the shape-shifting venue designed by OMA/Rem Koolhaas will showcase a series of cross-cultural exhibitions, interdisciplinary projects, screenings and live events. First up is Waist Down, Miuccia Prada's skirt collection, shown alongside skirts by emerging Korean fashion students. Then the space will be convert into a cinema, screening a program of films selected by Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu, followed by Beyond Control, a "magma" of works by an array of prominent contemporary artists. It's all about South Korea, didn't you know?

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Backstage Beauty

...at Paris Fashion Week. Photos by Sonny Vandevelde...

Jean Paul Gaultier

Sonia Rykiel

Viktor & Rolf

Bernhard Willhelm

Jeremy Scott

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Greed Expectations

It's tough to beat a front row that includes Salma Hayek, Thandie Newton and an enthusiastic Beatle. Stella McCartney's early morning show was a star-studded event, and the range of hits were sure to keep 'em coming. Her manned-up blazers with thigh-high leather boots were a fashiony take on corporate greed, 80s-style. But the British designer also showed slinky lingerie-inspired dresses edged with lace, and there were always the skintight bodysuits and clingy knit dresses.

Stella McCartney

Giambattista Valli was less about Lycra and more about luxury. Who else but old money can afford peacock-feather skirts and richly patterned silks these days? Necklines ran high and hemlines low. Suddenly, all those leathered-up and sequined rocker-chic looks of the season seemed downright flimsy. The collection was serious fashion for the seriously invested.

Give them a pinch on the cheeks, Viktor & Rolf's white-faced girls looked like mannequins who had come to life. The designers flitted between geometric triangles, curtain-like ruching and curvilinear sculpting on shoulders and skirts. There were no pillows attached to the models' heads or the word NO popping out of trench coats, but after six days of shows, the crazy was just crazy enough.

Viktor & Rolf

—Bee-Shyuan Chang

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Going Under

How do you know if the video for Acne's new men's underwear—inspired by the patterns in Louise Bourgeois' textile work—is any good? Because the Related Videos section says things like: Gay Twinks In Hot Movie, Homo Twinks Playing In Amateur Video, Broke Straight Boys... well, you get the picture...

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Paris Fashion Week: Day 5

By Rebecca Voight...

Sunday began in the Jardin des Tuileries, waiting outside in a light rain while the 10 am Karl Lagerfeld show was still rehearsing inside the “Ephemere” tent at 10:15. Overheard, a conversation between two American department store execs: “Do you know how much they're charging for umbrellas at the Ritz now? Thirty euros—they used to be free!” "Well, do you get the money back when you return them?” “No.”

At least seeing fashion shows is still free. Lagerfeld’s show began with electro trio Metronomy strolling down the runway with the lead singing a snappy dirge into a vocoder. What followed were beautiful motorcycle helmet by Ruby, France's most stylish two-wheel gear purveyor. Only, in Lagerfeld’s hands, they were in fur to match square-shouldered vests and coats, some with fur sleeves. And he dipped into the Christmas tinsel to cover a jersey column dress like a band leader’s jacket, shown over Lagerfeld's familiar ankle-slit satin pants in dark gray or chocolate-brown. All this building up of luxurious materials and sport staples made for a rich warrior woman look.

Karl Lagerfeld

Dries Van Noten showed in the huge courtyard of the Lycée Carnot high school. And it's clear now he's moved on from ethnic embroideries and soft draping. His new structure is centered on a boxy, rectangular jacket which he takes through textured fabrics, snake-print and crocodile skin. He did a perfect camel trench and bathrobe coats, as well as a blouson turned into a dress. His large trousers are some of the most well-tailored in Paris and every girl sported a pair of thick-framed 50s-style sunglasses. While almost everybody in the audience was wearing black, Van Noten showed hot Moroccan colors for fall: persimmon, saffron, dusty pink and lime green.

Dries Van Noten

So, this has been a tricky, recession-deflated season, with brands scrambling to allot limited seating. The idea seems to be that since there are fewer journalists and buyers, it's best to show in a smaller venue to maintain a full house. Sonia Rykiel did the smartest thing and showed right in her Blvd Saint Germain flagship. I hung out with stylist Patti Wilson, who downed a striped bottle of Coke Light designed by Rykiel's daughter Nathalie, and we watched as models skipped around the store repeating phrases like “Under my sweater I'm nude” in English and French—with a mostly Eastern European accent. Patchwork, color-blocked ponchos, big Lurex-knitted sweaters and multicolored ruffles on hourglass black dresses were vintage 70's Sonia.

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Fur Helmets and Leather Bums, Oh My

While locals had the luxury of sleeping in, the fashion elite braved the Paris rain on Sunday for another kind of luxury: fur helmets! To the synthesized vocals of Oslo band Metronomy, Karl Lagerfeld's fall collection started with giant, statement-y fur hats and helmets, followed by witchy, wide-collared black dresses and jackets with the exaggerated shoulder that has been the defining Paris trend. As if to reassure the clutch-pearls set, the Kaiser came out for the finale in his trademark white-powdered coif, tanned skin and fingerless gloves.

Karl Lagerfeld

At the Carousel du Louvre, Esteban Cortazar set the mood Emanuel Ungaro with crystal chandeliers and girlish pink-orange lighting. Missing from many of the Paris shows this season, a crush of paparazzi accosted the front row before a parade of ruffled polka-dot blouses and shirred dresses came down the runway. True to the Ungaro tradition, Cortazar kept the colors bright, but updated the collection with voluminous tweaks on pleated miniskirts.

Fresh from his retrospective at the Design Museum in London, Hussein Chalayan also favored thigh-baring minis. But in Chalayan's case, girlish fun was pushed aside in favor of powerful sexual silhouettes and molded neon leather bustiers and bums, created by the studio of Patrick Whitaker and Keir Malem. As usual, Chalayan also experimented with synthetic materials such as wood sequins.

Hussein Chalayan

—Bee-Shyuan Chang

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Paris Fashion Week: Day 4

By Rebecca Voight...

It was like a perfect Saturday morning in front of the TV as a child. Jeremy Scott‘s Mouse Trap collection was his best to date. He sent out a gang of Minnies and Mickeys that was cheap, cheerful and full of American staples like romper dresses, perfecto jackets and sneakers from his collection for Adidas in graphic black, white and red—with Rainbow Brites making guest appearances.

Now that his cartoon prints are in their second season on Longchamp canvas bags—the favorite tote of every young girl in Paris—Scott has reestablished his connection to the City of Light, which is where he began in the late 1990s. Since then he has perfected his own print-based style. This time he put cell phone faces on taxi-yellow T-shirts and covered the bags with big telephone receivers. His style is basic, easy and recession-proof in second-skin black and canvas. For his finale, Scott paid homage to Patrick Kelly (the black American designer from the late 80s who also made his name in Paris) by reprising Kelly's multicolored button trompe l'oeil mosaics in bustier shapes and tuxedos.

Jeremy Scott

Ann Demeulemeester is more wrapped up than ever in clothes that are tied like presents. This season she produced silky ethnic embroideries in black on black, curvy fencer's jackets in what looked like wet seal and vests made entirely of little bells. The pants she has always done, low-crotch wraparounds, couldn't be more à propos in this harem-draped season.

Ann Demeulemeester

Veronique Branquinho, who's just been made artistic director at the storied Belgian leathergoods house of Delvaux, finished off Saturday in white satin fit for, as she described it, “a warm-blooded ice queen.” All the Branquinho standards were present: capes, faux bourgeois-pleated skirts and then she took off with Mongolian lamb fur, which puffed up the collars of wrap coats, took over the sleeves and even snaked up the back of spike heels. Branquinho's hot little ice queen is very night-for-day in satin sheaths with sequin insets everywhere, 20s' flapper wraparound dresses and leggings with diamond-shaped peepholes up the back.

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A Stylish Samedi

In New York, front-row celebrity seating is not to be tampered with, but the French like to keep things mysterious, such as putting Kanye West in the second row at Comme des Garçons. While we waited for an outburst, ever-contrary Rei Kawakubo sent out blankets moonlighting as parkas. Earlier in the day, her protege Junya Watanabe had similar thoughts with swirling black parka dresses and oversized collars in a Victori-goth meets space-age presentation.

Junya Watanabe

Greece-born Sophia Kokosalaki pampered guests with champagne, strawberries and chocolate. Bubbly was a perfect way to start a sunny Paris afternoon at the Jardins des Tuileries. Kokosalaki presented her signature draping as well as a collection of party-favor hits, ranging from sheer and sculptural minidresses to bedazzled rocker-chic pants and jackets.

Later in the afternoon, Colette was a madhouse. Not only were the weekend crowds milling about among the new Alexander Wang handbags, but there was a roster of events that deserved a fashion calendar in itself. Designers Emily Current and Merrit Elliot were on hand for a trunk show, and Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin were signing their new work for Stern magazine. Meanwhile, Erin Wasson for RVCA pieces were up on mannequins and the stylish Texan model herself made an appearance.

Jeremy Scott kept his show lighthearted and childlike with color, polka dots and Mickey Mouse. The Disney motif will surely spill over into his after-party tonight at Regine's.

—Bee-Shyuan Chang

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Paris Fashion Week: Lanvin

As soon as the black curtain was pulled back last night at Lanvin's fall show, revealing another 20,000 sq ft of warehouse space, all eyes were focused on the feather-topped model walking through the incredible red-rose arch. With that, the hard concrete space was transformed into the most elegant space in Paris. Such was the power of Alber Elbaz's collection.

Dominated by black, with flashes of red, every piece had an element that appealed to the romantic, the elegant, the hard and the cool in all of us. This wasn’t just a classic Lanvin collection, this was the classic Lanvin collection. In a time when those who can afford it want subtle luxury that isn't flashy (ahem, Balmain), Lanvin delivered—and for those who want to invest in one exquisite piece of clothing.

Alber never underestimates the strength of a shoulder (not a statement shoulder, but one with seams been turned inside-out to create a soft point), the power of a well-cut skirt, a curved heel or a considered neckline. Fur and knit stoles embraced the shoulders of belted jackets, bias-cut dresses or trouser suits. A floor-length black velvet dress had half the audience planning black-tie events, just for an occasion to wear it to, while the other half couldn’t see it properly through their tears. Yes, tears. This show was a true fashion moment and exactly what Paris needed after three days of showy fanfares, blinding crystals and perilous shoes. Lanvin is the kind of glamour that will transcend the season and definitely transcend this damn recession, too.


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Friday, March 6, 2009

Paris Fashion Week: Day 3

By Rebecca Voight...

Romeo Gigli, the designer who made stole draping and the erased shoulder his own in the early 90s, is back after a long hiatus, which began in 2004 when he slipped away from his own label. In January, his Io Ipse Idem line—which roughly translates as "always the same me, but never quite the same"—made its debut at Paris' fall men's shows. This time he brought the women's collection to the Espace Topographique de l'Art in the Marais, in a presentation he choreographed himself. Partnered with Catherine Vautrin (a former LVMH executive who worked closely with Marc Jacobs) and Luciano Donatelli (previously with Zegna and now working on the brand's production) and backed by IP Spa, Gigli is set.

And the clothes? Ever the romantic, Gigli brought back his cocoon coats, but lighter than before, as well as narrow scrunched-up, stretch-jersey skirts and fur stoles to throw over your shoulder for dress-up. And the best pieces of all were a series of jackets with backs cut out like stained glass—his saturated colors look like no one else's.

Io Ipse Idem

For Issey Miyake, two pairs of karate champions were put on the runway to test the strength of the house’s latest A-POC (A Piece of Cloth) collection—and there wasn’t a tear anywhere. The line is increasingly turning its attention to Japanese tradition and construction. All-over pleats are a Miyake classic, but its current designer Dai Fujiwara put the pleats in strategic places this season, to give the clothes bounce.

Issey Miyake

Yohji Yamamoto, also a black belt in karate, has started a new partnership with Salvatore Ferragamo and he wasn’t quiet about it at the show. Every model sported a pair of flaming red bottines with the usual Yamamoto flowing jackets and coats over floor-grazing skirts. The result was a fire-and-ice mix, which was oddly fitting in these times when no one seems to know just how to move forward.

Yohji Yamamoto

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Paris Fashion Week: Christian Dior

No matter what John Galliano throws down the catwalk at Christian Dior, the lead-up is enjoyment enough. Where's Waldo could entertain us for hours. Waldo, of course being the celebrity guest, difficult to spot among the throng of photographers, flashing lights and the innocent bystanders just trying to find their seats. But apart from Charlize Theron, Milla Jovovich and Eva Green, there were some clothes, too.

Galliano is on an Oriental trip for fall '09, a collection rich with Imperialism, with a flap of the 20s. The show opened subtly with Astrakhan lambswool, rich brocade, Ikat jacquard, pinstripes and ottoman wool—all in the signature Dior gray—but it soon transformed through paisley print dresses into a China of the 20s. Fur capes and tulle jackets were belted tightly over heavy silk harem trousers in dove gray, exaggerated floral prints and binding heels.

But the final stop of the tour had more of an Indian vibe, as a bright flurry of embroidered chiffon dresses in peach, purple, blue, cerise and white swept down the runway. Milla gasped and clutched her chest; others were more taken with the heavy silver neckpieces. Galliano, of course, took to the runway after a long pause, a build-up of expensive lighting and what might as well have been a drumroll, but his top hat and Japanese tails were, for him, a disappointment. We'd have much preferred if he took his bow as a Chinese emperor—well, a Dior Emperor at least.


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Hint Video: Bless

Still marching to their own beat...

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Hint Video: Gareth Pugh

Gareth Pugh on the Gypsy Mafia, his "pretty boy" muse Natasa Vojnovic and those old Dior Homme rumors...

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Never Too Old for Macaroons

Pamela Anderson, the busty 42-year-old femme fatale, pranced around Vivienne Westwood's catwalk in a tutu, proving that the notion of over-the-hill is over-the-hill. There's also been a runway revival of sorts for a couple of veteran models. Erin Wasson may have RVCA, but she also walked for Balmain, and mother of two Liya Kebede opened for Balenciaga. And let's not forget those Louis Vuitton ads with Madonna. Oh, cougars.

Otherwise, Bernhard Willhelm's collection was one part greatest hits, one part more of the same. If you haven't picked up a piecey Willhelm tartan plaid dress yet, don't worry, there are plenty more to come for fall. There were also gold, life-size banana barrettes and sheer multi-colored hoods topping an array of dip-dyed tunics and argyle knits.

Like many Paris designers, Romeo Gigli spun the idea of menswear for his first collection for Io Ipse Idem: angular shoulders on blazers, impeccable men's suiting and beautifully tailored coats, many with a swing to them that the models accentuated in their dance-like presentation. We came, we saw, we coveted. And the towers of macaroons, strawberries and kumquats were a nice touch.

—Bee-Shyuan Chang

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Paris Fashion Week: Day 2

By Rebecca Voight...

Oh, the 80s ladies at Nina Ricci! In what just might be his farewell show for the house, Olivier Theyskens returned to his fetishistic roots—feet first. His bottines came in colors as bright as tinsel pink, and so high that the girls looked like they were perched on stilts. Faces were covered by half derbies pushed over the front and they were backless to show off gelled hair. But remove the shoes and the collection is full of 80s' standards: super-curvy skirt suits with peplum jackets, extra-wide skirtish trousers and skintight leggings and bustiers.

Nina Ricci

I wish Olivier Theyskens had a partner like Michele Lamy. Rick Owens' other half and the business brains behind his fashion house believes in talent first and foremost, which is why she also backs Gareth Pugh. Lamy’s calm strength is evident in the way Owens has been able to develop his style slowly but surely. For fall he continues layering earthy and cloudy tone tunics and leggings with blanket coats that look like wearable teepees in complex quilted and patchworked fabrics, plus a new silver foil that shines like a beacon.

Rick Owens

A.F. Vandevorst had a packed house—or rather, garage—for their collection of chestnut-brown wools, high-stepping shoes made to look like hooves and striped jockey blouses. Thick tights in flesh tones, huge feed bags and country-tailored pleated walking skirts had an earthy quality reminiscent of Prada's collection, with its backwoods women in thick, boiled wool suits and thigh-high rubber fishing boots.

A.F. Vandevorst

Lutz Huelle's leggy girls defy that dusty old dictum that lean times bring hemlines down. The collection he showed was an ode to the gam with plenty of fall's hooded blousons, wrap-around tailoring and flag dresses—a simple and graphic column of silk designed to wear loose and open to show off all a girl has.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Animal Attraction

It was only day two of the Paris collections and already fashion trends are trickling in. Come fall, we predict you'll be craving a pair of fur arm warmers, the kind designer Sharon Wauchob showed to a packed house that included ever-bobbed Linda Fargo of Bergdorf. Bruno Pieters liked the fur trend as well, throwing in the arm warmers among the rather serious and angsty lineup of space-age corporate workers.

Otherwise, leather is turning out to be the big winner across all the Fashion Weeks. Leather pants, deconstructured leather coats, and fabric texturized to resemble leather (like at Lutz) have been everywhere. Even romanticist Olivier Theyskens at Nina Ricci turned in a harder edge today, with little leather jackets featuring multiple silver snap closures, angular shoulders and skin-tight turtlenecks. He also showed he can cut a suit, like a particular brown silk double-breasted jacket with aggressively padded shoulders. With rumors swirling that he's already been ousted by Nina Ricci's parent company, Puig, but refuses to leave, Theyskens smartly opted to show his versatility beyond flowy on-the-bias goddess gowns. Hmmm, the Rod Blagojevich of fashion?

—Bee-Shyuan Chang

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Paris Fashion Week: Day 1

By Rebecca Voight...

Gareth Pugh cranked up the smoke machine before presenting his fall collection as a short film, picking up where he left off from his wicked men's collection in January, including pointy-nail studded leathers—ouch! Pugh’s always favored balloon shapes—he once had his models walk down an inflated catwalk—and this time the puffed-up looks, as well as cropped jackets and cape-like coats, came in bronze, worn by model Natasa Vojnovic.

Gareth Pugh

Kris Van Assche sent out billowy silk jumpsuits in various shades of charcoal, as well as transparent military shirts—all of which looked lighter than air. And for the girl who can't decide whether to wear a skirt or pants, he somehow managed to combine both in one piece. A skant? Pirt? Pulotte?

Kris Van Assche

Martine Sitbon had all Paris' It-girls sitting front row for her Rue du Mail show, including the lovely Zoe Cassavetes, who's currently living in Paris. Sitbon showed flesh and cream-colored hooded jackets over leggings worn with silver foil hot pants. In fact, the collection was full of hoods and black-on-black matte and shine—tough, chic and elegant.

Prada wound up its four-city Iconoclasts series with snake-charmer Carine Roitfeld's “rethink” for Paris' Avenue Montaigne store. Roitfeld, who never goes by halves, cleared out the entire place and turned it into a reptile shelter. “I thought about the snake prints in the spring collection and based the whole thing on real versus fake,” she told me. That meant live fat snakes encased in small plexi-cages and fashionably creepy snake-print rubber flooring throughout, with green lighting that gave everybody in the room a reptilian glow. The focal point was model (and dancer) Karlie Kloss, in an up-do and snake-print unitard, who slithered around the room in a hot and bothered way.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hint Tip: Barbie at Colette

Barbie may have turned 50, but you'd see a Republican in France before you'd ever see a wrinkle on her face. To celebrate 50 years of eternal youth and impossible beauty, colette has assembled a Barbie Room on the first floor with all kinds of limited-edition, Barbie-branded goodies: a line of clothes and accessories from Jeremy Scott, a Bless hairbrush (well, a brush made of hair), Stila make-up, bow ties from Alexis Mabille, a Goyard trunk, Bruno Frisoni stilettos and so on. Meanwhile, in the gallery upstairs, Karl Lagerfeld has put together a Barbie and Ken photo exhibit of a life-sized cardboard Barbie posing with male model Baptiste Giabiconi as Ken. And on March 12 only, original Barbie and Ken dolls will be on display in the main window. Don't get any ideas, though. A security guard will be watching them like his life depended on it—and it probably does.

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Hint Tip: Kitsuné

So you're not in Paris for Fashion Week. No sweat. French record label Kitsuné and its bands Guns'N'Bombs, Heartsrevolution, Classixx and Beni are coming to you with free shows. The North American Tour will hit Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Austin from March 8-12...

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Cheap Ass

Skinny jeans don't die, they just get skinnier. So Cheap Monday, the Swedish brand that probably did more to popularize skinnies than anyone else, is coming to New York for one night on March 16 to peddle a new limited-edition jean that only costs $70. Apparently only 50 were made, so showing them off at a concert party with Belgian beer could get ugly...

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Viral Load

A lot of labels are finally catching up to the Internet's viral potential and making videos that they hope will spread like, well, a virus. Problem is, a lot of them suck. But not this spine-tingling little movie from Y-3 to accompany its spring ad campaign. Filmed in collaboration with Darren Lew and Doug Lloyd, it shows menacing surveillance cameras and two people—or rather, two good-looking models—trying to escape them. Wearing really nice clothes, of course...

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Hint Tip: Jeremy Kost

Whether you look at grainy images of young, supple male skin and see art or something more carnal, you'll be sated tonight at the opening of After the Party, an exhibit of such images by Polaroid artist (and Hint contributor) Jeremy Kost, curated by Tim Goossens of PS1. Here's what the press release had to say: "Jeremy'd Polaroids are about power and desire; whether it is obtained or not, the works presented lend to the notions of instant gratification, restraint and the overall fulfillment of desires."

Tuesday, March 3, 7 - 9:30 pm, The Dactyl Foundation, 64 Grand Street (b/w West Broadway & Wooster), after-party at the Tribeca Grand, 10 pm - late

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Free Love

Recession or not, Londoners must still be in the mood for love, at least judging from the blow-kisses and heart-hands videographer Zaiba Jabbar got when she hit the fringy shows—House of Holland, Fashion East, MAN, House of Blue Eyes, Ashish, Charlie Le Mindu—at London Fashion Week. Okay, yes, she also encouraged it. Here, a video montage to Crystal Fighters' "I Love London"—because who doesn't?...

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More Seoul Street Style...

Park Do gun (28), designer of ATTIC FROM S.T.A.d

jacket _ ATTIC FROM S.T.A.d
shirt & sweater _ secondhand
pants _ suh sangyoung
shoes _ Nike
cap _ PAM (perksandmini)

Yoo jun (27), student

cape _ Henrik Vibskov
shirt _ UNIQLO
pants _ Cheap Monday
boots _ vintage

homepage: www.cyworld.com/luvissue

Kim Young Bin (28), tattoo artist

jacket & cap _ Diet Butcher Slim Skin
pants _ vintage
shoes _ Nike
bag _ TwoTom

homepage: www.cyworld.com/punkjunk

Yoni Pai (31), designer / Steve Jung (32), designer

all _ Steve J and Yoni P

homepage: www.steveyonistudio.com

Kim Chang kyu (27), illustrator

blazer _ Burberry
pants _ Dickies
tie _ Brooks Brothers
shoes _ Zara
umbrella _ Doppler

homepage: blog.naver.com/jade0905

photographs by Hong Sukwoo, aka yourboyhood.com

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American Dream

Vogue Hommes Japan, spring 09, photos by Hedi Slimane, styling by Nicola Formichetti. Out March 10...

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Backstage Beauty

... at Prada. Photos by Sonny Vandevelde...

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Hint Tip: Freudenthal & Verhagen

In cheerier art news, Dutch photographers Carmen Freudenthal and Elle Verhagen, best known for their winky work with Bernhard Willhelm, will close out Milan Fashion Week on March 3, when they launch a retrospective at Dopo Lavoro gallery...

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More Grimm News

And the fallout continues. Andreas Grimm, the gallery based in Munich and New York, will now be based in Munich only. It was one of few spaces to introduce new works by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Thomas Palme, Lisa Tan and Vito Acconci, who most memorably created a video installation in which he ate (and gagged on) a woman's hair. Here's hoping it'll grow back—the gallery, that is.

Vito Acconci

Inez van Lamsweerde, Vinoodh Matadin & Eugene van Lamsweerde

Katharina Sievering

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