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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rosemount Australian Fashion Week

(Erm, why can't they just call it Sydney Fashion Week?) Backstage photos by Sonny Vandevelde...



Therese Rawsthorne


Nicola Finetti

Kate Sylvester

Friedrich Gray


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rock the Boat

Grace Jones would kick our hungover asses if we told you why she was so late to take the stage at last night's boat party to launch Matthew Williamson's summer collection for H&M, hitting stores May 14. So we won't. Instead, we'll show you clips from her four-song set with three hat changes (Philip Treacy), a little conversation with DJ Michel Gaubert and the hottie sailors who welcomed us all aboard. Who needs a long black limousine when you have a big pink ship?...

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Greater Tokyo

Tokyo-based illustrator and Hint contributor Przemek Sobocki took these snaps at the launch of Superflat First Love, a prepubescent-inspired (we guess) collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Takashi Murakami. LV's Omotesando flagship was stuffed with Murakami-like toys, gadgets and a $33,000 handmade rug. Also on view was a special animation by Murakami, available only on Japanese mobile phone and, of course, YouTube...

Takashi Murakami & Tomoyuki Tanaka (aka Fantastic Plastic Machine), who composed the animation's soundtrack

Ako Tanaka, editor-in-chief of Numero Tokyo, and Shun Watanabe of Vogue Hommes Japan
Guillaume Davin, senior vice-president of LV, and the rug

Actor Hiroki Nirimiya and fashion designer & stylist Anthony Moynihan
Photographer & film director Mika Ninagawa and actress, singer & model Anna Tsuchiya

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Monday, April 27, 2009

The Reel Thing

We knew Gucci was genius at restoring the luster of style hits from years past—fur chubbies, disco dresses, the Jackie bag—but the luxury house doesn’t stop its good work there. Last night at the San Francisco Film Festival, Gucci and The Film Foundation, in partnership with the San Francisco Film Society, presented two freshly restored classics of the screen, John Cassavetes' ever-cheerful A Woman Under the Influence and Michelangelo Antonioni’s fashion-centric Le Amiche (if you haven't seen it, it's like a grittier 1950s version of Sex and the City, complete with a suicide plot line). Next in line to get spiffed up courtesy of Gucci: Barbara Loden's Wanda and Luchino Visconti's Senso. “It's important to restore the works of John Cassavetes and other filmmakers who had such a major impact on cinema,” said Foundation founder and chair Martin Scorcese. “A Woman Under the Influence still feels as powerful and vital as when it was made.” Kind of like the Jackie bag, non?

—Nancy MacDonell

Le Amiche

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California Teens

Hedi Slimane's latest...


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hooked: Ruby & Maison Martin Margiela

Leave it to the French to transform a dowdy safety precaution, the bike helmet, into a coveted accessory. Since 1996, Ruby has been keeping fashionable noggins cozy and cushioned with its slick line of Jet Helmets. Now the culprit behind dreaded helmet hair has been reinvented into a vision straight out of Speed Racer (the original, not the crappy remake), with the added bonus that it can withstand a high-impact collision. Can you say that about your Speedy bag or gladiator sandals?

For its latest venture, Ruby has enlisted the help of Maison Maison Margiela, which is apparently feeling extra frisky in the wake of its twentieth anniversary celebration. The result is a limited-edition carbon shell painted in Margiela's inimitable Meudon White (that familiar white coat over boots, jeans, jackets, etc. that you've doled out big bucks for), which Margiela and his studio elves at rue St. Maur have scribbled with their tiny signatures for a sublime graffiti effect. The Ruby & Maison Martin Margiela helmet promises to make your flash down the road that much more dashing. Limited to 600, available in Paris at Colette.

—Franklin Melendez

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Noise Job

Whether or not John Varvatos is acting out a lifelong ambition to be a rock star by putting actual rock stars (Iggy Pop, Velvet Revolver, Cheap Trick) in his ad campaigns, while at the same time scooping up the old CBGB's and turning it into a men's store, at least the man is putting his money where his mouth is. The winner of Free the Noise, his battle-of-the-bands-style search for the next great rock band, will be featured in a JV ad campaign and perform at his new Bowery store (formerly CBGB's) during Fashion Week, not to mention sign with Island Records. Okay, so a rock star John isn't, but in his own way he kind of is...

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hint Tip: Fringe Projects

Fringe Projects, Henrik Vibskov's conceptual collaboration with artist Andreas Emenius, is now available in book form, documenting their first ten exhibits. Shredded cover included...

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Your First Look: Fred Perry

Tennis and sportswear legend Frederick John Perry, who died in 1995 at the age of 86, would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. Celebrating for him, Fred Perry has released the limited-edition Centenary shirt ($95) with an enlarged version of the famous 16-leaf laurel and the number 100 embroidered beneath it. Colors come in vintage FP shades like black with champagne detailing or 1964's sky with navy detailing. Available May 15 at the Fred Perry Soho store in New York and Citizen Clothing in San Francisco. Here's to you, Fred!

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Hint Tip: BBlessing

In more this-economy-sucks news, I Heart is having, well, heart failure. The little shop on Mott will close its doors on May 24, after five years of pumping Nolita and beyond with Sonia Rykiel, Isabel Marant, United Bamboo, Karen Walker, Rachel Comey and Emma Cook. Expect markdowns through closing day and a closing party on May 30.

But at least one indie store has reason to celebrate. The unsightly scaffolding that obstructed the front of BBlessing for three years is finally coming down. And you know what that means. Yup, an afternoon party (because it's never too early to start imbibing, and don't forget the men's store was designed after an absinthe bar) and more markdowns. Ah, there's no time like a recession to have a stash of cash...

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dark Star

Before Tilda there was Andrew. That's just one takeaway from spending a few hours with the absorbing early films of Derek Jarman. Before he went on to make feature-length ruminations on beauty, homoeroticism and death (Caravaggio, Blue), the experimental British filmmaker, who himself died of AIDS in 1994, broached the same heavy themes in short works shot in the grainy, washed-out warmth of Super 8 film.

The X initiative, a year-long series of quality art programming housed in the space formerly occupied by Dia:Chelsea, is screening these rare gems on three floors, offering a perfect Saturday afternoon antidote of artsy malaise to the annoying chirpiness that befalls the city in spring. Poetic, cryptic and relentlessly melancholy (classical music helps set the tone), the nearly twenty films range from the macabre pretty-boy ballet of "Death Dance" to the high-camp artifice of "Andrew Logan Kisses the Glitterati," featuring a likely Jarman lover playing dress-up with a blasé coterie of friends. In other films, the eye is sated with images of Victorian boathouses, Stonehenge-like formations, mirrors, rituals and the distorted face of Genesis P-Orridge, frontman of cult industrial band Throbbing Gristle.

There's notable fashion too. Entire sequences recall a Helmut Newton shoot, while the getups for said dress-up party seem lifted straight out of a Saint Laurent collection circa 1975. Lovers of avant-garde sadness had better hurry though; the films are on view through the end of the month only.

—Suleman Anaya

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Hint Tip: Bauhaus

Hard times call for hard measures. In some cases, literally. Students of Bauhaus know this better than anyone, given the German school's long tradition of rectilinear radicalism. Launching today at Wok store in Milan, twelve new Bauhaus students show their wacked-out wares, like this piece, Wing Chair, by Hannes Grebin. Adding to the OMGness, the exhibit will be on view for only three days, ending April 25. Welcome to the Bauhaus, kids...

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Hooked: Alexander McQueen

No one delivers tough girl like Alexander McQueen, but for the girl on the go, fall's hobble shoes, hubcap headgear and a face full of Leigh Bowery make-up might prove a tad, um, time-consuming. For a speedier solution, opt for his Faithful bags, distilling fall's edge into more portable, practical dimensions. Inspired by the 1968 cult classic The Girl on a Motorcycle (watch the trailer on YouTube—seriously, watch it), the bags channel a rebellious Marianne Faithfull, who ditches her hubby and hits the road in skintight black leather, like a cross between Marlon Brando and Pamela Anderson.

The tote ($2295) deconstructs the classic biker jacket, offering enough zippers, studs and buckles to keep you balanced on your chopper. But our favorite is the clutch ($895), with its matching driving glove conveniently attached. It's perfect for outrunning the authorities while keeping all those bad-girl essentials handy. At Alexander McQueen stores in July, available in classic leather and, for a bit of wanderlust, an assortment of exotic skins.

—Franklin Melendez

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Talking Trash

For designers Yoshizaku Yamagata and Kentaro Tamai of the Japanese label writtenafterwards, Japan Fashion Week earlier this month was all about crumpled paper, silver foil and plastic wrap. But while radical, whimsical and made from trash, their creations are a refreshing change from Japan's ubiquitous minimalism and Eurocentrism. Think Undercover, but even more eccentric.

The fall 09 collection—their fourth—had to do with themes of personal inadequacy, triumph and transcendence. As Yamagata (formerly of John Galliano) explains, “I had this idea for a story when I was on the bus back to my hometown at the end of the year. Zero-ten-kun (literally, “the boy who is worth zero points”) despairs for himself and the world around him. But he doesn’t give up, and in this way he is very charming.”

Taking the notion of zero-ten-kun to heart, the two Central Saint Martins grads visited Japan's fashion schools and collected fabric off-cuts with which to create their own pieces, adding other random materials. The results were indeed charming, in an unconventional sense: plastic refuse was made to look like wings, a pink cap was shaped like a sugarplum and folds of paper were whisked upward and wayward.

Championing detritus is not exactly new, and no matter how noble, it's an enterprise that attracts its fair share of critics. But Yamagata-san says the clothes are simply a reflection of their mindset. “We try to create outside the usual concept of fashion and the delicate expression associated with Japan.”

—David Stuckbury

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coat of Paint

photography Michelle Matiyow and Lians for LM studios
paint work Vincent Sherk
styling Rebecca Stevens
model Paulina Wycka @ Wilhelmina
make-up Andrea Duchesneau
hair Kennice for Klix @ Heidi Bashar Salon

jacket Dries Van Noten, pants Yigal Azrouel, shoes Gucci
jacket Gucci, dress Alice + Olivia, shoes Chanel

coat DKNY, dress Vera Wang, shoes Christian Louboutin

jacket Prada, dress Eryn Brinie
dress Michael Kors

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Piece of ASS

What's happening at Terence Koh's ASS? In one sense, there's no telling. But at his ASS (Asia Song Society) gallery last night, he presented Fuck Friends (through May 15), works on paper, paintings and video by artist Leo Fitzpatrick. While mostly a solo show, living up to the title was a smattering of collaborations with artist friends Rita Ackermann, Lizzi Bougatsos, Dan Colen, Andrew Kuo, Nate Lowman, Adam McEwen, Neckface, Dash Snow and Spencer Sweeney. Now, we don't know which friends are fucking (actually we do), nor do we advise doing that, but here's an assortment of the motley crew who came to the opening...

Nate Lowman & Mary-Kate Olsen (they're dating, in case you didn't know)

Larry Clark, Leo Fitzpatrick & Terence Koh

Rogan Gregory, artwork

Paz de la Huerta

—photos Caroline Torem-Craig

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Hint Tip: Maison Martin Margiela

This came to us through Facebook, which is exactly what we'd expect from the culty Belgian brand. MMM is having a sample sale in Paris (chez Adèle Sand, 13 Rue Jean Beausire, +33 (0) 140299324) on the dates below. Wig coat, here we come! ...

Wednesday, April 29, 11-9
Thursday, April 30, 11-7
Friday, May 1, 11-7
Saturday, May 2, 12-7

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reality Island

Miuccia Prada and architect Roberto Baciocchi are at it again, opening another Miu Miu store papered in green-gold damask, this time in Honolulu, Hawaii (1450 Ala Moana Blvd). A limited-edition bag that kind of looks like hot lava oozing down a mountain—unless we're reading into it, which is totally possible—has been made for the launch, but don't get your hopes up. Reality is, it'll probably sell out to just-off-the-plane Japanese hordes...

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Despite being surrounded by luxury at his Yves Saint Laurent digs, Stefano Pilati is a people's designer, issuing manifestos in place of campaigns, launching a reclaimed fabric line and so on. Now he's gone street, partnering with Gucci Group stablemate Puma to create this high-top sneaker in black leather or gray suede. Get your grubby, populist hands on the YSL/PUMA collaboration ($595) at YSL boutiques now or through the site later this month.

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Stranger Things

We didn't know anything about a London label called Digitaria until we got an email from them today. So we dutifully traipsed over to the website and, after being greeted with clips of strange people with statement hair doing random things, we learned that the line was started in Athens by designer Eleftheria Arapoglou, who now collaborates with the London underground performance art scene on various art and fashion projects.

Living up to the claim of "unique tailoring," the dresses seem good and witchy, and the knitted caps are adorably elf-like. Should you need to see the spring collection in person, head to their new Soho showroom (60 Berwick St.) on April 24, 5-8:30 pm for a host of experiential things, from sound installations and film screenings to gallery shows and what will probably be very strange performances by Theo Adams, Masumi Tipsy and that drag-witch herself, Scottee.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hooked: Bernhard Willhem x MYKITA

Titillated by the thrill and pageantry (and perhaps the spandex), Bernhard Willhelm whipped up an ode to winter sports for his latest men's collection—specifically, the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. The nod to sport during the disco decade might also explain Bernhard’s less than utilitarian take on the gear, which, needless to say, doesn’t follow IOC regulations, much less keep the frost from nibbling at your medals.

Still, as you're speeding down the slopes in a neon leotard and a face full of make-up, as Bernhard showed for fall, rest assured at least one thing will be protected: your vision. In collaboration with the techno-chic wizardry of MYKITA, Bernhard has produced a limited series of monochrome, mirrored aviators with ultra-lightweight sheet-metal frames. Sleek and aerodynamic, these are the jetsetting alternative to clunky goggles. Available in three athletic-y hues, they’re sure to give you that swinger's edge while deflecting snow-glare and harmful UV rays.

—Franklin Melendez

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New Magazine Alert: TIWIMUTA

If one thing is certain from the fall 09 shows, it's that the Eighties aren't going away any time soon. What better time for the re-emergence of Andre Walker, a fashion fixture of the era, and the debut of TIWIMUTA? Based entirely on collaborations (i.e. Marc Jacobs, Ryan McGinley, Victoria Bartlett), the limited-edition magazine—or objectzine, as he calls it—will be available in mid-May at Barneys New York and Dashwood, or by pre-order on the site. Here, a Q&A with the designer-turned-art director...

What does TIWIMUTA mean?
This Is What It Made Us Think About. TIWIMUTA is an inadvertent collaboration of invited guests.

What do you mean by inadvertent?
Getting together with friends, strangers and people we love and employing a bit of performance art within a magazine. Meaning the magazine itself is a performance. For the moment it is a performance of materials, including a diverse selection of contributors and their submissions. All of this individualized contribution lends itself to the magazine’s conceptual spontaneity.

How did it come about?
Haphazardly hanging out with Carlos [Taylor, Creative Editor] outside of Whole Foods. We spontaneously came up with the idea and then employed the concept based around invited collaboration. When we got our first submission it engaged us to proceed to the next, and so on and so on, until we had over 50 participants and a whole lot of work going back to June 2007.

Why are people excited about the project?
Because they know I like to entertain. Because the contributors have no idea what we are going to do or how we are going to present their work. Well, some people have seen it and their responses have been so empowering. Something I realized just from showing the project around is that we are one of the few printed publications that I know of where the individual guests get to do exactly what they have in mind without contextual interference from its organizer.

Tell us more about the Marc Jacobs/Jean-Paul Goude collaboration.
Really simple story. A chance for us to show our respect to them for preparing their submission with zero knowledge of the project. So we kind of memorialized their efforts within the magazine. You will see.

Who or what has been inspiring you lately?
Everything to do with Gerhard Richter overpainted photos, artist books, learning more about recycling, understanding contemptuous journalism surrounding Michelle Obama, acknowledging the remorse I have for my perpetually short-circuiting brain everyday.

Last question: Anna or Carine?
Duh, mutual respect for both. But seriously, Jonathan Newhouse.

—Max Berlinger

illustration by Richard Alvarez
Beat Bolliger in collaboration with Nathaniel Goldberg

photo by Marcelo Krasilcic

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Easel on the Eyes

Perhaps taking the Costume Institute's upcoming Model as Muse exhibit literally, artists and identical twin brothers Taiwo and Kehinde Adeniji—K&T, for short—painted a series of fresh London faces. Apparently the agencies had no problem sending their girls to portrait sittings. After all, is there anything more chic than being immortalized in paint? But don't be fooled by the cool thrift-store look of these large-scale works; they cost a pretty penny...

Alys Hale @ Storm
Lydia Beesley @ Storm

Imogen Morris-Clarke @ Next
Eve Guymer @ Storm

Thea Stratton @ Storm
Robyn Buttle @ Models 1

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Your First Look: Marni

Why schlep around some old canvas slogan tote when you can have a canvas travel bag, shoulder bag or shopping bag in sportier gray, blue, yellow or green? Officially they're for men, but since when has that stopped anyone?...

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hint Tip: Natalia Brilli

Natalia Brilli is on a drumroll. Not only has the Belgian designer of accessories wrapped in taut lambskin brought her traveling rock band to dead heads in Vienna with an exhibit at Park, she's also gearing up for a busy fall with her hottest collection yet. The big news? She's thinking mink...

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where the Boys Are

—Cesar Padilla

I know nothing of gay porn. Honest! But last weekend I had the chance to attend the GayVN Awards (no idea why it's called that) at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, hosted by Janice Dickinson and Margaret Cho. Reading the categories beforehand—Best Threeway, Best Oral Sex, Best Pearl Necklace—I knew I was in for a wild ride, or at least some shiggles.

Like all good celebrations, the partying began early—as in, the night before. Masses of sculpted, well-hung porn stars and their twink hangers-on took over the Castro as nominated "actors" were put on display at the bars. The best was an ample young stud bouncing up and down on a trampoline in front of the notorious Twin Peaks. It was all very fascinating, tragic, fun, decadent, Dada.

Prior to the awards, Janice stirred up some shit in an interview when asked about bottoming for her co-host. She responded with "Margaret Cho can wash my fucking car." If only she could recognize that she isn't that funny, although she did look amazing. After weeks of going over scripts, Janice then dropped the bomb that she doesn't do scripts, which wasn't her brightest idea, nor was hitting the open bar before going onstage. Yet she managed to make it through her bits, repeatedly pumping her fist in the air, flashing her big smile and yelling something about gay shame over and over.

Margaret Cho, on the other hand, was flawless, and kept everyone in stitches with her caustic sense of humor. When we weren't cheering her on, we were erupting with laughter every time the nominees were announced, with titles like Paging Dr. Finger and Spread Dat Butta, which were up for Best Group Scene. I forgot who won, but over 100 participants took the stage.

Falcon Studios monopolized the awards, which must have sent waves of penis envy among the competition. Their new film, To The Last Man, was filmed on a ranch for a whole sixteen days. Apparently, they're changing the landscape of gay porn and heralding in a new genre—one with real acting. I guess that means the script has more dialogue than "You like that cock? Yeah! Take it!" (Speaking of cock, in line for a urinal, waiting for what seemed like forever, I overheard one hung horse say to another, and I kid you not, "Hey, nice schlong!")

For all Janice's antics, if there were a Biggest Bitch award, it might have gone to Michael Lucas, gay porn legend and king among schlongs. When on stage, he rehashed an old feud with an unscrupulous starlet who once lied about his age and, according to Michael, besmirched the industry's reputation. Later, at the afterparty, that starlet's porn-star boyfriend offered a few choice words to Mr. Lucas and found himself expelled, handcuffed and hauled off to jail. Way to suck all the fun out of the awards, guys.

Sadly, because video cameras weren't allowed inside the theater, thousands of hilarious moments were lost. The gaggle of drag queens alone, primping and cackling in the ladies room, would have provided hours of entertainment. But here's a clip we found of Margaret Cho singing about award winner (Best Top) Ricky Sinz's dick size...

And a few more snippets shot by Mat Cote...

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hint Video: Rick Owens

Over 10 minutes of Rick! Can you handle it? Here's what you'll learn: he takes a nap every day, thinks L.A. designers should get off their asses, is a terrible collaborator, used to feel like a sell-out, doesn't like press offices, will open a Tokyo store in September and can't deal with young people with cute haircuts...

And if that's not enough, read our now-legendary Hinterview.

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Rising in the East

Back in 2001, many would have thought it was Marjan Pejoski's swan song—literally—when the UK-based designer gained fashion infamy by creating Bjork's swan dress for the 2001 Academy Awards. Feathers were ruffled and the Macedonian all but disappeared. But Pejoski has actually nestled into a nice avant-garde niche, recently winning a New Gen sponsorship for his KTZ label, co-designed with Sasha Besovski for their Kokon To Zai store in London.

For fall, not unlike Alexander the Great, Pejoski has set his sights eastward, designing for Japanese label Dress Camp. Shown in Tokyo last week, the collection revolves around an old-timey American heiress on a kind of Grande Tour. The mood was dark and louche, with argyle onsies in gray and black, the ubiquitous leather pants, velvet jackets, long-haired coats favored by Martin Margiela and Gareth Pugh types, and enough sequins and minidresses to keep latter-day flappers flapping. The film-noir, Orient Express look was pure escapism—a flight of fancy.

—Bee-Shyuan Chang

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Hint Tip: Monocle

Here's a pic of Monocle's new L.A. shop, all 115 square feet of it. Following November's launch of the London store, the new and first U.S. outlet will carry the magazine's 22 issues, as well as designer collaborations including Porter bags, a Comme des Garçons fragrance, Valextra notebooks, Orlebar Brown swimming shorts and Skeppshult bikes from Sweden. Says editor-in-chief Tyler Brûlé, "We think L.A. provides a great opportunity for us... We were offered a great space in a high traffic area that possesses a similar demographic and community feel to our Marylebone store in London." We, for one, love the greige stripe—very dentist's office. Monocle, 225 26th Street, #19b, Santa Monica...

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Q&A: Vince Aletti

Music, arts and culture critic—and voracious collector of magazines and photographs—Vince Aletti has one of those tirelessly inquisitive, faultlessly analytical minds. He's widely acknowledged as the first to document the disco movement, and throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s he wrote for a variety of magazines, including Rolling Stone, the Village Voice and Artforum. These days he reviews photography exhibitions for The New Yorker and recently he's been spending a lot of time at the International Center of Photography (ICP), curating This Is Not a Fashion Photograph and co-curating Weird Beauty (both currently on view), as well as working on an upcoming Richard Avedon retrospective. Here, by phone, I interrogate the interrogator...

Lee Carter: Are you a fan of fashion?
Vince Aletti: I've been interested in fashion photography for a long time. I collected fashion magazines, issue by issue, to get a better sense of the work of photographers I'm interested in, especially Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. For me it's the best way to understand what a working photographer does.

Did you meet Penn or Avedon?
I became friendly with Avedon in the last five or six years of his life. We met a number of times, but mainly we stayed in touch by mail.

What was it like to meet the person you worshipped?
Intimidating, of course. I met Penn as well, at his studio with Peter MacGill from Pace/MacGill gallery. Then I met him separately for breakfast once or twice. It was difficult to have a conversation that wasn't just a series of questions on my part about things I'd always been curious about, but they both put me at ease. They were both very charming and intelligent men.

Twiggy by Richard Avedon

Speaking of Avedon, you're working on an upcoming show of his at the ICP, with co-curator Carol Squiers. What's been the most challenging aspect so far?
Trying to fit in all the great pictures. Avedon was a ruthless editor of his own work, so there are plenty of photographs that we'd like to include that do not exist as exhibition prints. But just making space for the available prints is turning out to be a challenge. There are so many extraordinary images, from the early Paris collections work to later sessions with Penelope Tree, Twiggy, Lauren Hutton, Barbra Streisand, Veruschka. We want to tell the most complete story about Avedon's long and prolific career in fashion, but right now we wish we had a third floor to work with!

A friend recently showed me Male, a book of male portraits you compiled. It's really beautiful.
Thanks. Yes, in addition to my collection of magazines, I have a smaller collection of photographs. I showed some of it last year at White Columns and much more of it just came out as a book, which I'm delighted to have out in the world. I also have a book of my disco columns coming out from DJhistory.com in London later this month. It's nearly 500 pages!


Yes, I'd read you were the first person to write about disco. Is that true? Were you a disco bunny?
I was probably the first established rock critic to write about the music that later became known as disco—in Rolling Stone in 1973—mainly because I'd been going out to clubs like the Loft and Tenth Floor. But I was never any kind of bunny—a little too serious for that, I'm afraid. I was one of the few people who actually went to clubs close to the time they opened, at midnight, and left before the bunnies arrived en mass around 4 am. I liked watching the dance floor fill up and overflow.

When you collect photos and magazines, what criteria do you use? What do you go for?
It sounds cliche, but something that speaks to me immediately, that grabs me and means something emotionally. This is how I went through ICP's collection and culled images for This Is Not a Fashion Photograph.

How do you think fashion photography will fare in this recession?
I hope fashion photographers continue to be inspired by whatever gets them going, no matter what the economy is doing. I hope people sail through the recession without losing sight of the role fashion has in our lives, which is to keep us diverted. We need exciting pictures to get us through the day.

Last question: which designers are you wearing right now?
Head-to-toe J. Crew and Adidas Stan Smith sneakers.

What a perfect Sunday afternoon ensemble. I'm in my pajamas, so you're clearly more fashionable than I am.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Just In: Olivier Theyskens to Halston?

Word from Paris is that Olivier Theyskens, after just showing his last collection for Nina Ricci amid a din of chatter, is heading to Halston. While this seems unlikely to us, as couture-level European designers don't typically do well at American brands, it isn't outside the realm of possibility. And since Marco Zanini left the label about six months ago—for Rochas, ironically, where Theyskens designed from 2002 to 2006—Halston's co-owner Harvey Weinstein, board member Tamara Mellon and CEO Bonnie Takhar have been on a well-publicized hunt for a replacement. One name tossed up recently was London designer Marios Schwab.

No matter who ends up coming to New York, it'll be a challenging task reviving Halston, which Weinstein bought in 2007 for $20 million, saying at the time he wanted it to be "the first American global luxury brand, an American LVMH." Yet the revolving door never seems to stop revolving. At least six designers and eight owners have pinned their hopes on Halston in the last 35 years, without much success.

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Loft and Found

Like all good conceptual outlets, Sartorial Loft LA traffics in monochromatic palettes, precipitously low crotches and complicates silhouettes that require serious intellectual maneuvering, as well as some physical agility. Fueled largely by word of mouth, the new website has been stripped down to basics (want, click, buy), attracting a devoted clientele willing to exchange first-borns for choice pieces by hard-to-find designers such as Damir Doma, Carol Christian Poell and Carpe Diem. “The site was actually started as a means to an end,” says co-founder David Choi. “We wanted to open a boutique offering our favorite lines as they were difficult acquisitions to make.” A brick-and-mortar shop is also in the works, debuting at the end of the month. We commend them for their efforts, which is really more of a public service in a land where everyone east of La Brea has taken to looking like a dried-up Jonas Brother.

—Franklin Melendez

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Hint Gallery: Terence Koh

Turns out the sculpture Terence Koh wanted people to pee on at Mary Boone gallery was a marble urinal. That makes more sense. But no, they're not actually doing that here (maybe later at the Eagle)...

Terence Koh & Mary Boone

Terence Koh at the after-party at The Eagle

Lazaro Hernandez & Jen Brill, Yvonne Force Villareal

—photos Caroline Torem-Craig

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Camera Ready

Who's this? She lives in New York, but was born in London to a 60s' supermodel mom and a photographer dad who discovered and managed Twiggy. She's about the furthest thing from a socialite (yuck, we hate that word), although she could've worked it if she wanted to. Her illustrator-sister is named after a flower—and, actually, so is she. When trying her hand at modeling, she was photographed by Mario Testino and Juergen Teller before her 18th birthday. Now 30, she's taken after her father and works as a fashion photographer, shooting for W, American Vogue, British Vogue, Monocle and Esquire.

Okay, we hate guessing games so we're just gonna tell you: Poppy de Villeneuve, whose next solo exhibition launches May 25 in The Gallery of the Soho Grand, 310 West Broadway. It's described to us as "a specially commissioned series capturing immobile star struck people or the inert pulsating crowds watching live music." We don't know what that means either. But go, figure it out and meet a cool chick...

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Topping Point

Forget the G-20 summit in London and the grim economic news our world leaders are discussing. The U.S. Topshop/Topman four-story megaplex has finally opened its doors in Soho, christened by Kate Moss gleefully twirling on a podium in her own creations alongside Topshop owner and retail tycoon (and one of England's wealthiest men) Sir Philip Green—or Uncle Phil, as she calls him. Oh please, so would you if you could use his private jet whenever you wanted. This was amid no fewer than four frenzied days of private parties, dinners at Balthazar, gift-card grabbing on the street, VIP shopping events, billboards at every turn and very, very happy people everywhere. Happy. Happy, dammit!

Now, there was a time when this would've made us all jelly in the knees, maybe even sent us into an impromptu rendition of "At Last," à la Beyonce at Obama's inauguration. But that would have been, um, closer to last September. Since then, our hearts have been toyed with too many times, tortured with “construction delays,” “safety permits” and so on—all sounding too much like excuses from “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

Still, like all co-dependent relationships, there’s a lot to keep us going back for more. For one, an entire floor of Kate Moss for Topshop, some juicy designer collaborations with the likes of Preen and, allegedly, an on-call courier service—in case you have a life-threatening deficiency of skinnies or shrunken blazers. So we're going to ignore the part of us that agrees with what the Guardian wrote—"(It's) hard to comprehend such febrile anticipation for what is, essentially, a mid-budget fast-fashion chain store found in most high streets"—and just be happy.

—Franklin Melendez

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hint Tip: Project No. 8

GM's president was just forced out by a bigger president (America's) and the Hummer brand is about to hum no more. It's a new era for cars, and Seth Kinmont is in the driver's seat. Literally. On April 7, 7-9 pm, at Project No. 8 boutique, the artist and California native will not only launch the first in a series of three wooden electric cars—a three-seat urban touring coach, an all-terrain vehicle and a two-person coup—but he'll also drive guests around the block. Considering that Project No. 8 is way down at 138 Division St., near Little Italy, and considering the car is outfitted with Amish-made wheels and handworked wooden flourishes reminiscent of old buggies (which "absurdly decrease drivability," says Kinmont) we think we'll be channeling drunk, loud flappers fleeing a busted speakeasy. Yes, everything goes back to drunk, loud flappers...

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Royal Yell

We received this email from the Royal College of Art in London with a reminder that their graduation shows on June 10 are open to the public and made possible through ticket sales only. What, you thought the next Chris Bailey worked for free? Well, he/she probably does, but only for the next few minutes. Besides, a ticket gets you champagne and canapés—not bad for only a few £...


The Royal College of Art (RCA) Fashion course will be hosting its annual graduate fashion shows to the public on 10 June and to press and trade on 11 June 2009.

The 36 MA students, in menswear, womenswear, footwear and accessories will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow alumni such as Ossie Clark, Philip Treacy and Christopher Bailey. More recent graduates who are making an impact on the fashion world include Erdem, Holly Fulton, milliners Justin Smith and Soren Bach, and menswear designers Aitor Throup, James Long and Katie Eary.

In the spirit of designers such as Katharine Hamnett and Vivienne Westwood, several students this year are designing with a conscience, infusing social and political messages into their collections, from the wasteful nature of the fashion industry to the crisis in Zimbabwe. Many students are incorporating recycled or found materials in their work or ensure that fabric comes from Fairtrade sources.

Collaboration with industry is a major part of a student’s time at the RCA. The results of several projects will also be presented on the catwalk and in a static display at the show. Highlights include a partnership with Italian tailoring company Brioni who have asked menswear students to re-design the travel jacket; and a new project with Swarovski & Sophie Hallette will see fashion and jewellery students teaming up to create embellished garments using crystals and lace.

Shows take place at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU
Wednesday 10 June: 4pm (£12) and 7pm (£25)
Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling 020 7590 4566 or online

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Hint Tip: The Fashion Show

Leading up to the May 7th premiere of Bravo's new fashion reality show—called, um, The Fashion Show—Isaac Mizrahi went on camera to ponder his personal style. In short: he's a slob, he wears almost nothing in a regular day, he wants to be buried in croc shoes. (Sorry for the super-loud, super-annoying ad.) ...

By the way, could this be the freakiest fashion cast ever? ...

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Q&A: Alexandre Herchcovitch

Paris, late-90s. That's when I saw my first Alexandre Herchcovitch show and witnessed the Brazilian's impeccable, abstract sense of color, shape and proportion, not to mention his knack for provocation. I remember thinking it was as if Couture and Carnaval had a steamy one-night-stand. Years later at São Paulo Fashion Week, as he, Pat Field and I donned neon wigs and sped off to the Festa de Peruca (Wig Party), I learned of his drag roots and skull collection. Which is to say, Ale is full of surprises. Here, a few more...

What's your first fashion memory?
I remember observing my mother while she was dressing to go out. I used to sit on the floor inside her closet and help her choose what to wear. I recall her wearing, in the middle of the 80s, an extra-tight stretch catsuit with leggings and a bat-sleeve sweatshirt, and always with extremely pointy high-heeled pumps. I remember another time she came home with very short hair, half blonde and half red. I thought it was beautiful!

Who were your childhood idols? Were they female like mine?
At first, there was my mother. I was always at her side. Soon after, when I was a teenager, Boy George showed through make-up and clothing that there are no physical limits when it comes to gender change.

You've told me you got your start in the drag scene of São Paulo. What's the funniest escândalo from back in the day?
I started my career as a designer by making clothes for drag queens (not being one of them), prostitutes and transvestites in São Paulo. I dressed the first and most famous Brazilian drag queen, Márcia Pantera. I've made more than 300 outfits for her, but today she has none of them. Her shows were very aggressive. She did things like hang upside down from the club’s lighting, dive into the crowd, bathe herself in beer onstage. Naturally, the clothes could not survive this. One time, Márcia started undressing and threw the accessories I'd made for her into the crowd. At the end, the hostess kindly asked the audience to return them, since they were part of my collection, but to my surprise, no one did! I was shocked and sad with the loss of those precious pieces.

Pretend you're in a beauty pageant. What would your evening gown look like? And your swimsuit?
The gown would be fairly simple, well-cut and structured, probably navy blue, and made with wool, my favorite fabric. The swimsuit would be made with fabric, probably the same as the dress, to match.

Do you wish you were less or more famous?
I never cared about doing what I do to be famous. I don't care for fame. I actually run away from it.

What does the bad economy mean for you? Will you still show your collections in New York?
Sure! I don’t believe in anything that is interrupted and doesn't have a sequence. A crisis serves only to motivate our creativity, and this is what the world needs, better ideas.

What's the most exciting thing coming up for you? Any hot news or collaborations?
I will open a big store in Rio de Janeiro within the first half of this year. Less than a year ago, I joined the management group of a Brazilian brand, InBrands, and we are in a very interesting growth process. I'm also releasing a line of bandages with Band-Aid. And 2010 will be even better!

Ale with muse Geanine Marques

Ale & Alisson Gothz

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