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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hint Tip: Costume Institute

Here are three reasons to revisit the Model as Muse exhibit at the Costume Institute: Carmen Dell'Orefice, Dorothy McGowan and Isaac Mizrahi. They star in three fashiony films to be screened at the Met, respectively: Funny Face (July 10), Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (July 17) and Unzipped (July 22). Each of them will be introduced by Harold Koda and guest co-curator Kohle Yohannan. Click for ticket info. (BTW, we read recently that Carmen was discovered while riding a bus to ballet class at the age of 13. Amazing!)

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On the Campaign Trail: Yves Saint Laurent

Stefano Pilati serves up another clash of the titans for YSL's fall 2010 campaign featuring Christy Turlington, shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Who else could follow up the veteran glamour of Claudia Schiffer, bleached and resplendent under the Hollywood sun? Looking toned and timeless (and not in a plastic kind of way), Christy's otherworldly beauty offsets the hard elegance of fall and its slightly sinister edge. You can never go wrong with leather bustiers and biker jackets—and the bags aren't half bad either. Get ready to start fawning over Christy in your fave glossies come August.

—Franklin Melendez

courtesy YSL

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Headline Trip

  • Prada's Transformer cinema project launched in Seoul, South Korea, sans Megan Fox or other annoying starlets. [Prada]
  • Lower East Side boutique Project No. 8 to open a men's counterpart, No. 8b, at 38 Orchard St. on Thursday.
  • It was all a Blur, not mud, at the closing of Glastonbury. [NME]
  • Marlon Richards: "Glad I'm not at Jacksonbury." [Facebook]
  • A preview of Karl Lagerfeld's Hitchcockian Chanel campaign for fall, shot at his new Vermont estate for the second time...

  • Chanel, fall '09

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    Paris Men's Week: Raf Simons

    Ah, Raf, if only your show had begun really late. Instead I found myself on the other side of a firmly closed door just after it began, with the haunting piano from Eyes Wide Shut (Dominic Harlan's Musica Ricercata N°2) wafting over the garden wall. Why was I late? Just before, John Galliano had held Napoleonic court at the derelect Piscine Molitor in a sleepy neighborhood on the other side of town and there were no taxis afterward. That meant a harrowing, sweaty, doomed metro trip and, between shows the next day, a trek to Simons' showroom deep in the heart of the 9th arrondissement to finally ogle his wares.

    First of all, suck it in because you will need a waistline to wear Simons' new suits, which come with their own wide, webbed belts, or feature incorporated leather belts (some with snakehead buckles) that twist around the torso like, well, a snake. Some jackets have a layer of satin lining fabric over the sleeves, which you can roll like, well, a snake. After browsing through the racks in the showroom, it became apparent that Simons has been struck with a slithery reptilian obsession.

    The tailoring has body, thanks to high-tech constructions like a rough-edged overcoat—look ma, no hems!—in thin cotton fused with polyurethane. Imagine a filmy, slightly rubbery handkerchief. The raw-edged sweatshirts in Japanese jersey (currently Simons' favorite material, I'm told) are bonded, which stiffens them to give the wearer a chest he may or may not actually possess. The best one is in dusty pink like a blush.

    The style, at times, is downright Cavalliesque, with white canvas jeans in a coiling snake print. Only, the canvas is workwear thick with industrial zipper pockets and the cut is square—so it's really Belgian, not Neapolitan. Simons appears to be toying with menswear's smarmy side. His stint in Milan as creative director for Jil Sander, and the Italian production for his own brand, has opened the door onto a world that makes the sincerely boyish clothes of his early days seem like a lifetime ago.

    —Rebecca Voight

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    Paris Men's Week: Dior Homme

    Kris Van Assche is a realist. And the spring '10 collection he produced for Dior Homme is full of soft, flowing, even tempered modern classics for men who don't/can't/will never take it over-the-top. Transparency was the big statement, with the see-through appearing as layers, as in jackets over open shirts over tone-on-tone silk T-shirts—all in cool hues like dove grey and flesh tones. Sleeveless was the other statement. When sleeves do appear, they're in silk top shirts with rolled-up sleeves over a jacket to accentuate softness. The effect is ethereal and quite a contrast to the boldnes, or should I say brashness, elsewhere. I think this might be the guy who gets the girl after all his friends have overplayed it. Thanks to cool-hand Kris.

    —Rebecca Voight

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    Paris Men's Week: Romain Kremer

    Ever since Romain Kremer's fantastical world was first shown on a catwalk, he’s been watched with great anticipation—even by those who don't live in a computer game. His graphic sense of shape has done much to prove that Paris menswear can think beyond romantic reworkings of bourgeoisie classics. His spring '10 collection saw Kremer still focused on underpants. While this fear of trousers is interesting, and certainly spangly knit briefs are fun, it would be great to get a clearer look at his ideas for alternatives. Meanwhile, an almost-tuxedo jacket with a navel-to-neck circular opening that managed to look chic and futuristic was one of those how-did-nobody-ever-think-of-that-before moments.

    —Daryoush Haj-Najafi

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    Sunday, June 28, 2009

    Paris Men's Week: Lanvin

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Was it only last January that Lucas Ossendrijver and Alber Elbaz presented the fall 2009 collection for Lanvin in an old school courtyard: a marvel of flowing, pleated pants, billowy silk shirts, romantic neck scarves and cinched waist coats? That collection was a first response to the financial crisis and it was deemed appropriately somber. It was also very romantic.

    This time Lanvin showed in the rococo gilt Salle Wagram, looking decidedly dance-hall louche, lit in lurid red with techno blasting at 11:00 am. Gone was any trace of somber romance as models emerged like a gang of toughs in skinny, sleeveless jackets and stovepipe pants with narrow, turned-up cuffs, hair in almost punk spikes topped with visor scarves in tie silk. These new Lanvin guys meant business and one suspects it was of the shakedown variety. There were knee pants with knee coats, confirming menswear's move to a more boyish silhouette, and still more louche details like black shirts with a sliver of white handkerchief peeking out from the breast pocket. Patterned T-shirts were studded with sequins and leather blousons showed up with matching leather shorts. The new coat was aggressively cinched and worn bloused for an hourglass shape, and there was a wider trouser which was very high waisted, marked with a narrow belt and offset with ample hips in a sort of Fred Astaire dance shape. The pants were paired with 50's patterned shirts with short sleeves rolled as high as they will go.

    The end result looked like a lean, mean fighting machine, ready to seduce a younger, more body-conscious customer for Lanvin and not afraid of being pretty ferocious in the process.

    —Rebecca Voight

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    Paris Men's Week: Dunhill

    One of the biggest misjudgments I've ever made was dismissing Stefano Pilati’s talents. Though I could see his early YSL collections were meant to remind us of the greatness of the brand, I was impatient for progress—which he's delivered in spades in recent seasons. Kim Jones’ position at Dunhill is similar. Transforming one of the world’s oldest and biggest global luxury brands—they make pens out of meteorites and black diamonds!—into a fashion label for today was always going to be a lengthy, difficult project. That Jones has so quickly created a believable base to build on is commendable.

    New Order’s The Perfect Kiss, a love song to fearlessness in that optimistic 80's synth way, set the tone as boys stepped onto a revolving carousel heavy with polished aluminum luggage before traipsing down the runway. The shows predominantly blue-gray palette was modern and light, and materials were wow, but never crossed an un-English line into fey snakeskin vulgarity. It was a brilliant interpretation of traditional tailoring, military and safari blazers. Accessories included blue straw trilbies, hand-carved flint sunglasses and a holdall in carbon fiber, a material first used commercially in Rolls Royce aero engines. How absolutely right for modern Dunhill is that?

    —Daryoush Haj-Najafi

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    Paris Men's Week: Thomas Engel Hart

    Thomas Engel Hart has decided he "just isn’t going to make fashion that's about proving how rich you are." Engel Hart clearly wishes he could sell this approach to a skeptical fashion media, but their myopia only seems to make him more determined. And this season that meant acting on his lifelong love of punk. If London’s club kids, with their biker jackets and torn denim, are any measure, this looks set to be a smart move.

    Engel Hart’s presentation consisted of a short film by portrait photographer Eric Nehr, screened in a tiny Paris gallery as the models, press and cold beer mixed in the alleyway outside. While Engel Hart’s pointy blazers and shirts looked more Johnny Lydon than Rotten, he managed to combine the energy of punk with his tailoring skills, producing barely-there knits and slim white jeans dotted with eyeholes—not for the squeamish.

    —Daryoush Haj-Najafi

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    Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Paris Men's Week: John Galliano

    Deep in the heart of Paris' 16th arrondissement is the Piscine Molitor, a graffiti-covered carcass of an indoor pool, known for its deco décor and as the site where, in 1945, the bikini first appeared. Its resonance must have appealed to John Galliano, who staged another one of his epic men's shows here.

    Galliano designs for men like a wide-eyed boy steeped in tales of daring heroism. There were two characters on his mind this season: Lawrence of Arabia, as portrayed by Peter O'Toole in the 1962 classic, and Napoleon Bonaparte in Abel Gance's haunting 1927 silent film. Galliano began with Lawrence, who went native in a mix of early 20th-century military tailoring and harem-like sarouel pants—worn out, distressed, exotic. And he ended up with a goth Bonaparte as the Emperor of France, a menacing regal figure in brocade evening shirts with jet black embroidery and great coats with still more shirts wrapped around them like sashes. Somewhere in between he slipped in a Sicilian escapade inspired by the pre-WWI homoerotic portraits of Wilhelm von Gloeden, whose juvenile models with wreaths in their hair evoked Grecian antiquity. Galliano's Sicilians, however, were in floral speedos and blousy scarf-print blousons—mama mia!

    —Rebecca Voight

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    Paris Men's Week: Tim Hamilton

    Tim Hamilton is an American wunderkind. I was first alerted to this by the buzz preceding his first Paris men's show. Hamilton is from Iowa, but he's also slightly exotic (his mom is Lebanese and his dad is English-American). He's earned his design stripes with stints at J.Crew and Ralph Lauren. And, besides menswear, launched in 2007, he also has a women's collection that he debuted in Paris for fall 2009. That's pretty spectacular.

    So what can be said about Hamilton's first menswear show in Paris? He touched all the current bases: a lab-coat trench, a tailored jumpsuit, a filmy nylon parka, long johns, cropped boy pants—in short, all the musts. And yet I found the proportions slightly pinched. There were also so many trends, but not enough Hamilton. Tim, Tim, come out wherever you are! This was a first which begs the question: what's next?

    —Rebecca Voight

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    Paris Men's Week: Hermès

    It smelled liked horses, thoroughbreds of course, at the old refectory of the Cordelier convent, which had been transformed for the Hermès show with a pressed-earth floor. A dedicated team of men with these big green roller devices was on hand to constantly repress the floor until the models arrived.

    Imagine your entire spring '10 wardrobe cast in tone-on-tone shades of leafy greens and dusty browns, like the color of shade under a big tree on a scorching day. Véronique Nichanian worked such a palette of natural hues, from verdigris and taupe verging on olive drab to apple and various bronzed browns. This gave the clothes an aged patina, as though they'd been plucked from an old photograph—which isn't to say there was anything retro here.

    A blazer in solid taupe seersucker just looked like an interestingly wrinkled jacket rather than that old prep classic in blue and white pinstripes. All the pants had rolled cuffs. Calfskin shirt jackets and super-soft trench coats were practically cut with a scalpel. And the linen suit looked perfectly blasé. Sleeveless cardigans paired with sleeveless silk T-shirts over roomy trousers, or boxy Bermudas, were in such perfect French taste that one was tempted to ask, What ever happened to vulgarity? The answer is: Hermès just doesn't ever do that. Standouts were a chunky sailor-knot sweater in tart green and a windbreaker in paper-thin calfskin, as soft as a glove.

    —Rebecca Voight

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    Paris Men's Week: Bernhard Willhelm

    Conceptualism gets a rough ride, and deservedly so, but this show-installation hybrid was a real piece of theater. As people—including Willhelm's former tutor, Walter Van Beirendonck—were seated, no one seemed to know if the show had begun or not. Why? Because the models were being dressed in full view, amid the baroque magnificence of Paris' old Bourse. When the show finally began in earnest it became clear we were looking at a kind of mad artist's studio and the models were his works of art, slowly transforming into something more and more extreme. Some grew a giant Brothers Grimm-like dreadlock, others had lampshades or buckets on their heads, and all were given crazy prints and folksy patterns.

    But strip away the heavy, clowny accessorizing and the main pieces were clean and sharp enough to work in the real world. Silhouettes and cuts were slim variations on tracksuits and pajamas. Willhelm is still meditating on ways to bare flesh, with increasing success. He himself looks hot, not silly, in his little shorts.

    The show ended as it began, with the impression of chaos. Art and weirdness that resist the authority of menswear, with its rules about luxe and snobbery, are Willhelm's humanistic approach. The free-thinker is back.

    —Daryoush Haj-Najafi

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    Friday, June 26, 2009

    Paris Men's Week: Rick Owens

    A particularly hard remix of Human Resource's Dominator, which sounds like a buzz accompanied by heart-vibrating break beats, played throughout Rick Owens' second men's show. The lyrics—"I'm bigger and bolder and rougher and tougher in other words, sucker, there is no other"—perfectly summarized the strong masculine pomp that defined the show. Even many of those in the audience were styled like members of Nitzer Ebb, Front 242 and DAF. Paris has been crying out for a serious, credible challenger to Raf Simons' hold on wearable cutting-edge. Rick Owens looks to be a contender.

    The long-haired, high-heeled American hasn't sought to be another feminizing force in menswear. Instead he mines that adolescent love of tribal allegiances and rebellion. Think youth cults, i.e. skins, industrial punks and anarchists. Sure, there's an age limit to leather hoodies, just-below-the-knee denim shorts and sneakers that appear almost triangular in profile, but the sort of warrior men attracted to Owens' designs don't want to dress as feeble updates on their fathers. That’s not success, it's surrender.

    —Daryoush Haj-Najafi

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    Paris Men's Week: Walter Van Beirendonck

    Some of Walter's shows have resonated in the fashion industry; others have signaled Walter's changing style. Spring '10 was one of the latter. Day-glo cyberwear was nowhere to be found, though pastel-acid greens and blancmange were still on view. Walter also used plus-sized bear models exclusively. Even if half that bulk was muscle, the show seemed to challenge the fashion media to separate good design from good packaging.

    The collection concentrated less on Walter's imagination and more on the sort of clothes he, or the heavyset objects of his lust, might wish to wear. Baggy, loose lines dominated, with galabiya-style shirts and multi-pocketed jumpsuits very much in abundance. A blazer in a blue croc print proved Walter isn't short of ideas.

    As if to push home the practical appeal of the collection, Walter modeled the last look himself. Anyone who’s had the misfortune of seeing certain fashion editors squeezing themselves into menswear’s edgier designers will be thankful for Walter's example. All this gave time for half of Walter's bears to gather on a stage previously hidden by a curtain and reemerge in Walter’s new line of underwear—filled out rather splendidly.

    —Daryoush Haj-Najafi

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    Paris Men's Week: Louis Vuitton

    Maybe it's because Marc Jacobs has been baring his tanned legs in skorts lately that Louis Vuitton studio director Paul Helbers has picked up on menswear's current bike vibe in such a big way that he dedicated the entire spring collection to New York messengers—or, as they refer to them in the show notes, "Gentlemen Papillons" (butterfly men). Nigerian singer Keziah Jones, who I discovered I'm in love with after the Yves Saint Laurent show, was back, sitting right across the runway from me and looking sublime in a T-shirt, trilby and skinny suit with contrast edging, no doubt from LV because similar models showed up for the show's finale.

    This was a great collection, an about face from all that triple-ply luxury LV has specialized in up until now. It's not that these clothes are any less elegant, but they're younger, less concerned with luxe and more interested in young men in their physical prime. The standouts: taxi-cab yellow racing jackets in washed linen, rolled-cuff shorts, a Taiga leather bum bag, an ottoman nylon trench coat, anything in tricky tech fabrics, a braided straw hat with a reflective band and those keychain necklaces worn with everything—even suits.

    —Rebecca Voight

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    Thursday, June 25, 2009

    Paris Men's Week: Adam Kimmel

    Adam Kimmel and his fiancée, the actress Leelee Sobieski, are heading down to the Camargue in southeastern France, where French cowboys herd bulls in the salt marshes and where Leelee's father, the painter John Sobieski lives. This couldn't be more timely as Kimmel has just finished one of his big dreams, a cowboy collection inspired by Roy Rogers and the Marlboro Man. Kimmel worked with Jim Krantz, the Marlboro campaign's original photographer, on the look book, featuring real-live modern cowboys, and video artist Meredith Danluck shot the making-of on the original Marlboro ranch with bull-riding champion Rocky McDonald.

    What's particularly nice about Kimmel's westernwear is that it's actually wearable compared to the real thing, which is usually a bit heavy on the embroidery, or heading towards polyester. At Yvon Lambert's Paris gallery, where Kimmel held an informal collection fete, Charlotte Rampling, actor Gaspard Ulliel and the transatlantic art crowd picked out their favorite pieces while Stefano Pilati recalled his first visit to Texas at the age of eighteen. "I didn't know much about cowboy clothes when I was growing up. I just wore jeans," he said, "but later on I discovered it all in Texas—the boots, the shirts, everything—and brought it all home with me."

    —Rebecca Voight

    photo Karl Hab

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    Paris Men's Week: Jean Paul Gaultier

    Jean Paul Gaultier can't stop putting boys in girls' clothes. Following skirts, his new feminine preoccupations are bustiers and halter tops, which he pairs with broad-shouldered suits for men who want to show off their pecs and don't mind if they have to dress like a girl to do it. His sailor boys look kind of girlish, too, in pants so wide they could almost be skirts and school uniform-style midi blouses. The collection's masculine side comes through in 60s futuristic-style tailoring—à la Pierre Cardin or André Courrèges—in sparkling white, brights and candy stripes.

    —Rebecca Voight

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    Paris Men's Week: Dries Van Noten

    Even Dries Van Noten, who has never been the flashy type, has toned it down this season. For spring, he's taken a megadose of prints and put them everywhere, from pocket scarves to thongs. The print parade works because they're quiet, often bleached out prints in muted colors, i.e. dark plaids for raincoats and faded ikats in super-thin cottons for his new three-pleat trouser. Like Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent, Van Noten is perfecting a sharp-shouldered, double-breasted jacket that's cut very close to the body, giving the wearer a delicate, gangly look, like a young man who is growing too fast.

    —Rebecca Voight

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    Hooked: Tatty Devine for Peter Jensen

    The quirky lasses at Tatty Devine have teamed up with Peter Jensen to bring to life (or at least three dimensions) his too-cute-for-words bunny logo. In the spirit of previous collaborations, the gals have tapped into their cartoonish whimsy, whipping up a line of accessories and prints for Jensen’s 2010 resort collection. You can find the silly rabbit, designed by illustrator (and longtime Jensen pal) Charlotte Mann, frolicking on everything from shift dresses and swimsuits to oversized tees and charm bracelets. But our favorite, hands down, are the plastic rabbit sunglasses, available in black and a variety of pastels. Daring yet adorable, the wacky frames are perfect for poolside lounging or foiling the plans of a wabbit-hunting baldy. A limited number will be released into the wild in November.

    —Franklin Melendez

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    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Just In: Giles Wins ANDAM

    Decided today by an international jury in Paris, Giles Deacon has won the 2009 ANDAM Award and its prize of €160,000, following fellow Brit Gareth Pugh last year. Details are scant as a press release won't be issued until tomorrow, but we do know this means he'll be showing in Paris. Congrats, Giles!

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    Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 6

    —Franklin Melendez

    Last day of shows and everyone is in a complete daze. Telltale signs a fashion journalist is burnt out: an eerily attentive face, overly styled ensembles (drop crotches, gladiators), a disregard for the cardinal sin of a repeat outfit or no outfit in favor of sweats, frazzled laughter followed by some reference to your editor. We suffer acutely from all of these symptoms, but soldier on.

    Isabela Capeto provided a haunting presentation, with a bare backdrop and elaborate choreography that culminated with a ghostly line-up of models. The collection continued the week's strongest trends: slouchy tailoring executed in killer prints, which the Brazilians excel at. Later, Movimiento was exactly what you'd expect from Brazilian swimwear, including tropical foliage headpieces and wooden jewelry. The effect was slutty Chiquita Banana, but in the best way possible.

    But the day's highlight was, of course, Alexandre Herchcovitch menswear, separate from women's and surprisingly restrained. “I wanted to play with the idea of dress up,” Alexandre said after the show. And true to his word the collection was a witty unraveling of a suit, replete with references to Clockwork Orange and Magritte.

    Alexandre Herchcovitch

    We headed backstage to document the glory. Despite the generous bounty of hunks, we quickly discovered that interviewing male models is a difficult science. Rather than providing witty sound bites, they prefer to rough-house, dig into their backpacks, blast their earphones or make stupid jokes. It's all very charming, but not very interesting. I was about to settle for leering when one of the veterans, 22-year-old Alex Schulz. Asked for reasons to love Sao Paulo, he gave us an extensive list, becoming for a moment an impromptu Goodwill Ambassador. He offered up historical tidbits, restaurant recommendations, and even a travel tip (allegedly a small island off the southern coast remains a paradise unspoiled by tourists). “You should definitely stay another week,” he urged. We thanked him profusely; I may have offered a marriage of convenience in gratitude. We turned to leave when Alex, recalling another reason to enjoy the city, said, “I forgot to mention, there’s a lot of good-looking boys, no?” Maybe I can manage another week.

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    Headline Trip

  • Adam Kimmel goes west for spring '10, roping Marlboro Man photographer Jim Krantz into shooting his look book. [WWD]
  • Despite bankruptcy, Christian Lacroix forges ahead with a couture show on July 7. Couture, daahleen! [The Cut]
  • Patricia Field can't follow Vivienne Westwood's "mind-process." [The Advocate]
  • Guy Trebay improves model and race relations backstage in Milan. [NY Times]
  • Billy Eichner thinks that Black Eyed Pea should change his name to Will.i.am.probably.gay. [Facebook]
  • Priest and drag queen bursts out of the closet with a hit dance single. [On Top]

  • Father Anthony, aka Big Mama Capretta

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    Your First Look: Woolrich Woolen Mills

    Daiki Suzuki's surf-inspired spring '10 collection for Woolrich Woolen Mills...

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    Monday, June 22, 2009

    Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 5

    —Franklin Melendez

    Like a true fashion editor, today I refused to take off my glasses, but mostly because I’m dreadfully hungover, so much so that I have the shakes. Jeremy is faring a bit better, though he still dons industrial-sized shades. Hovering between the living and the dead, I drag myself to the shows. Thankfully, I'm immediately perked up by two of the best collections so far. The first homerun comes courtesy of Neon designers Dudu Bertholini (a legend in Brazil) and Rita Comparato. The show, staged outside, included a live band playing a medley of James Bond themes. Fittingly, the show served up resort wear in the truest sense of the term, all caftans and turbans—the kind you'd see on Peggy Guggenheim in the 40s, lounging on a Riviera yacht, or perhaps Lou Lou de la Falaise in the 70s, reclining poolside with Yves in Morocco. There might be a little with Mrs. Roper thrown in, but I'm not one to judge, and the result is still lush and chic. The crowd went bananas when a particularly nubile model stomped out in a full-body flouro thong—now that's Brazil.


    Next is Ronaldo Fraga, who is the polar opposite. He falls somewhere between the Brazilian Junya Watanabe and Henrik Vibskov, but like all the best shows so far he takes culturally specific references and twists them into his own rich, sexy idiom. With Day of the Dead paper decorations as its reference, the collection offered a strong point of view, blending an unmistakable Latin flair with a conceptual edge. Highlights included woven fabric crosses, cutout paper skirts and hammered-tin necklaces.

    Ronaldo Fraga

    The rest of the day is a blur, but a bit of fashion grit shamed me out of my torpor. Allegedly, one overzealous Russian editor walked nose first into a glass door at the hotel, fracturing her Slavic schnoz on the spot, much to the dismay of the PR crew. Asked if she’d like to go to the emergency room, she simply shrugged and said, “Mmm…later?” And there she was, front row, in five-inch Lanvin pumps. And that, my friends, is dedication.

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    Hint Tip: Yves Saint Laurent

    Stefano Pilati has recruited French director, actor and writer Samuel Benchetrit to create a moody short film (pictured below) for his Yves Saint Laurent men's show on Wednesday, following a similar cinematic gesture from Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin last season, featuring Michael Pitt. This time around, the star is none other than Benchetrit's 11-year-old son, Jules. The three-fold presentation will include the fashion show, film screening and a private after-party for friends of the house...

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    Bubble Rap

    Slava Mogutin filmed Sissy Nobby and Big Freedia, rising stars of the New Orleans bounce rap scene, Friday night at The Knitting Factory—naturally sponsored by Butt...

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    Sunday, June 21, 2009

    Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 4

    —Franklin Melendez

    Today in Sao Paulo, there was a single word on everyone's lips: Raquel. The hometown gal was to make her sole appearance, opening and closing the Animale show, a premium denim brand, and the anticipation was electric. Everywhere I turned I overheard the purr of those two syllables like some divine incantation. Rrrrah-quel. There was wild speculation over her fees, outlandish diva demands (reportedly no one could use her mirror) and even political aspirations. I swooned at the thought of an entire nation under her iron rule, and made it my sole mission to get a sound bite.

    Now, what follows is a true chronicle of the misfortunes that befell your humble narrator. When we got to Animale, naturally I squeezed myself backstage, joining a cramped pen where the international press had been rounded up like a herd of famished predators. The plan was that we'd be escorted into another room and allotted a few seconds of Raquel's royal attention. But as we were lead in, the sight of a make-up artist attentively smudging kohl over Raquel's eyelid proved too much for one Bolivian editor, who cracked on the spot and bum-rushed. Logically, the rest of us followed and chaos ensued. I was trampled by photographers and we were promptly escorted out. Later on, bruised and defeated, I settled into my seat. The lights came on to illuminate her 5’11 Amazonian splendor. The crown erupted, somebody wept.


    Besides Animale, the day's shows were a mixed bag. With its emphasis on denim, the Brazilian market can sometimes encroach into Real Housewives territory. Erika Ikezili had some charming pieces—balloon shorts, rompers—despite the cluttered styling. Maria Garcia offered playful cocktail attire in short flouncy proportions and Fause Haten served up some serious space-gladiator action, somewhere between Clash of the Titans and Barbarella, replete with antennae accessories.

    Later that evening, I met up with photographer and fellow Hint contributor Jeremy Kost. He tried to console me by introducing me to Sao Paulo nightlife, which basically means mega-plex clubs. The multi-levels, lasers and writhing male go-go dancers, with their ripped and shirtless torsos, looked oddly familiar and I realized this could have been an episode of Queer as Folk. We were quickly ushered into the VIP lounge, brimming with young, undiscovered male models. This brought me solace, and in that instant I knew that somewhere Raquel was watching over me.

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    Hint Gallery: A Magazine

    The ninth and latest A Magazine is out, this time guest-curated by Proenza Schouler (previously Riccardo Tisci, originally Martin Margiela). And the duo isn't shy about who their influences are, at least judging from all the art and photography they filled the pages with...

    Cover of Chloe Sevigny by Richard Burbridge

    Eye Sore Sun Tunneling With Throbbing Penumbras by David Sherry

    Double Entrance / Double Exit by Kon Trubkovich

    One day at the Spiral Jetty by Florian Maier-Aichen

    Untitled, 1980 (Exterior) by Jimmy DeSana

    Style Noir Photography Craig McDean, Styling Karl Templer

    Missy in Furs in Western Mass, March 28-29 2009 by Roe Ethridge

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    Saturday, June 20, 2009

    Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 3

    —Franklin Melendez

    Today we devised a helpful little game, assigning Brazilian designers with an American equivalent. We put the system to the test at the first show, Reinaldo Lourenço, who we estimated was the Brazilian Narciso Rodriguez. Which didn't come without a heated dispute, so take it with a grain of salt. Staged at the picturesque FAAP art school, the collection used a Edwardian jacket as its premise, gathered in the back and cleverly elaborated in an array of colors and tailoring options—short, long, cropped, etc. The gathering motif also provided some inventive cocktail dresses in fabrics that look a bit like raffia, evoking Junya Watanabe's adventures in Africa. While exiting, we stumbled onto the art students and immediately started “street casting,” which has become the code name for blatantly leering at the local goods—and there are plenty.

    Reinaldo Lourenço

    Next up, Simone Nunes was more easily agreed upon as the Brazilian Karen Walker, replete with 60's shift dresses and quirky eyewear. The music was also right on target, though the construction was questionable at times and the styling a bit cluttered (Tim Gunn would definitely not approve), but overall girly and charming.

    But the day’s real treat was Agua de Coco, my first swimwear show. It was a major production, with elaborate staging that looked like a public art commission or the backdrop for Olympic opening ceremonies. Clearly the beach is serious business for Brazilians, treated with the care and reverence usually reserved for award show red carpets. The offerings lived up to expectations, and can best be described as evening swimwear—imagine a few strategic strips of an Oscar dress paired with bikini bottoms. The audacity is pure genius, despite doubts about underwater functionality. Highlights included some amazing pleated tops, perfect for lounging poolside or reclining on a rapper's yacht. And though it's been noted a million times, it's worth saying again: those bodies! Mathematical perfection. And for that, there is simply no American equivalent.

    Agua de Coco

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    Friday, June 19, 2009

    Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 2

    —Franklin Melendez

    So I've already made travel-besties here in Sao Paulo; it's with one of the editors of Japanese Vogue and L'Uomo Vogue Japan, who's neither Japanese nor based in Tokyo. Like all good besties, we're instant bad influences on each another and devise numerous escape plans for the beach and/or shopping. We settle for giggling in the corner and picking out Brazilian boyfriends, concocting schemes to photograph them under false pretenses. Right now she's coordinating a shoot with Mario in Rio, attacking her Blackberry with intrepid abandon.

    A few things to note about Sao Paolo Fashion Week that New York could learn from. One, they are very organized and take into account travel from different venues so that one is unlikely to miss a show because one couldn't hail a cab in Hell's Kitchen or was trampled by the editors of Teen Vogue. Two, the organizers are actually nice to the press. They let us in, tuck us into our seats and even consider some of our more outlandish requests, like interviews or backstage access. And three, they hold the main events in a centralized location, not scattered across the city like a scavenger hunt. The overall effect is not unlike a vision of Christmas Yet To Come for the New York schedule when it relocates to Lincoln Center.

    As for the shows, there were some lovely offerings from Maria Bonita, who whipped up an ode to the countryside by utilizing mantas (checked napkins) and checked market bags as the point of departure. The whimsical theme was spun into sophisticated geometric shift dresses, à la Maria Cornejo. There was a clean yet historically rich ethos reminiscent of early Herchcovitch. Rubber dresses and rubberized cotton completed the references to Brazilian plantation life. I coveted some printed, cut-out oxfords that would look perf with my new Givenchy shorts.

    But the day's main event was clearly Alexandre Herchcovitch for women (he also stages a men's show). He took current trends—structure, padded shoulders—and exploded them into piñata-like proportions. The catwalk showcased all his strengths: expertly juxtaposed print-on-print, clever uses of texture and a bit of club-kid shock value. And yet it still managed to engage tailoring on a very technical level. It's Ale’s genius. Some nice lace insets were reminiscent of Christopher Kane, as was a lovely flesh-tone and sheer jumpsuit. The last look was literally a piñata: shredded ribbons over exposed boning and football-like padding—the perfect smash hit to end the show.

    Alexandre Herchcovitch

    Forum was mostly cocktail wear, and accordingly the front row was jam-packed with ridiculously hot Brazilian telenovela stars I didn't recognize. I inquired with a seatmate, who only mumbled something in a sexy Portuguese accent. Exactly. The collection was a lovely mediation on oceanic themes—fish boning, waves, shells, fish—incorporated into the construction and decoration. There was one slight misstep with a skirt that looked like it had been encrusted with those clams and starfish traction cutouts for your tub. But aside from that, no Little Mermaid moments to report.


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    City Limits

    The kids in Antwerp are at it again, pushing fashion to the very edge. Paper, geometry, feathers, musical instruments—it's all par for the course. Here are our favorites from the graduating class of the Antwerp Royal Academy...

    Alexandra Verschueren

    Six Lee

    Stephanie d'Heygere

    Sena Yoon

    Irina Shaposhnikova

    Elise Gettliffe

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    More from Pitti...

    Florentine festivities continued last night with yet another art-meets-fashion presentation. Proenza Schouler showed their spring 2010 pre-collection at the 16th-century Villa La Petraia, marking the fourth anniversary of Pitti Woman and the launch of the latest A magazine from Belgium, which they guest curated—as if we needed any more excuses to get folly-jolly.

    “We decided to invite our three favorite artists rather than doing a runway show,” explained Jack McCollough at the press conference in the morning. Never mind that this was the duo's first European show; a crew of New York darlings was flown in, including Chloe Sevigny (who starred in Kalup Linzy’s film that screened on the terrace), Haim Steinbach (who created an indoor installation) and Kembra Pfahler, who gave Italians a raucous performance with her all-girl troupe, The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black.

    —Kasia Bobula

    Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez

    Proenza Schouler accessories exhibit

    With Liya Kabede

    The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black

    The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black

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    Thursday, June 18, 2009

    Your First Look: Acne

    Images from Acne's spring 2010 pre-collection...

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    Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 1

    —Franklin Melendez

    Brazilian fashion is much more than an excuse to idolize Gisele, refine microscopic swimwear or replenish Madonna’s cougar fodder—though the former two are juggernaut industries in their own right and revered nationally to the point of religious fervor. As the summer 09/10 season of Sao Paolo Fashion Week kicks off, it's clear that the country that elevated the G-string to a science has moved on to new territory, along the way transforming the cosmopolitan city into an international fashion destination. Colette, for example, is lending its seal of approval by feting SPFW with a pop-up shop. Colette Loves SPFW is a Parisian valentine to our tropical hosts, stocked chock-full of specially designed goodies by the likes of Genevieve Gaucklet, Fafi, Ima Galeria and Brazilian fashion rag MAG!

    Of course, there are the shows, lots of them. Today, opening day, the highlight had to be Colcci, for two reasons. One, Miss Bunchen stalked the runway in her sole catwalk appearance. And two, so did the aforementioned boy-toy, Jesus Luz. I'm told by a Columbian reporter that last year he almost stole the leggy one's spotlight by causing the type of pandemonium usually reserved for student riots or the premiere of a telenovela. This season he caused less of a problem on the runway, and all eyes were rightfully on the clothes. A superstar in Brazil, Colcci presented a frothy assortment of flesh-tone patchwork baby dolls and pastel sportswear with a slightly marooned-at-sea feel.


    But this wouldn’t be a proper fashion week without a kick-off bash. In this case, it was a celebration for Bethy Lagardère (seen here posing with a Gaultier gown designed for her in Brazil’s national colors for the 1998 Soccer World Cup), whose massive personal collection of couture was previewed in anticipation of an upcoming exhibition. Resembling a cross between Deeda Blair and Bianca Jagger, with a dash of Della Reese, Lagardère is also being honored with the documentary Bounjour Madame, which traces her adventures in life and love—and couture, including Alaïa, Ungaro and Dior, to name just a few. Guests, admirers, designer and loads of Brazilian celebrities packed into the top floor of the luxe retail palace Iguatemi. (I note with approval that, south of the equator, anything elastic and neon-hued counts as black-tie attire.) Also on hand were Anne Valerie Hash, of whom Lagardère has been a longtime patron, and Alexis Mabille, who looked surprisingly relaxed, even though his upcoming Paris menswear debut is only a week away.

    Naturally, once you provide unlimited champagne to a roomful of jet-lagged, tropically dazed editors and members of the press, conversation inevitably turns to one subject: Jesus. Yes, the most favored pet of her Madgeness manages to turn world-weary editors into a pack of giggling schoolgirls—I can't even exempt myself. Topics ranged from backstage sightings to height disputes (“He has magnificent blue eyes,” purred one editor, “but he’s a tiny little man!”). Consensus is that despite his youthful missteps (best to avoid tattoos of one’s own name), we'd be willing to forgive and forget.

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    State of Grace

    The word “punk” is often used to describe Jun Takahashi’s collections for Undercover, albeit of the polite Japanese variety. And last night the designer was at his most rebellious as he presented his spring 2010 men’s collection at Pitti Uomo in Florence. Titled Less But Better, and inspired by legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams, the show was a surreal affair, with models snaking through Boboli Gardens in stark, pared-down clothing, giant backpacks and visor shades that put a futuristic twist on the all-gray, minimalist looks. The eerie vibes continued at the after-show performance, where, accompanied by a Japanese noise band, Takahashi took to making his “Grace” dolls. The contorted, freakish toys make Chucky look like your boy next door.

    —Kasia Bobula

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    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    This Is a Test

    Andy Warhol's infamous screen tests, in which he filmed unsuspecting stars and soon-to-be-stars doing and saying absolutely nothing for minutes at a time, got something of a sequel during Paris men's week last January. In a coup, men's designer Adam Kimmel persuaded Gerard Malanga, Warhol's assistant in the 60s and an artist in his own right, to recreate those awkward yet iconic moments for one of his look books. The resulting black-and-white stills of Matthew Barney, Francesco Clemente, Ryan McGinley, Dan Colen and Nate Lowman, among other pals from the art world and beyond, were also exhibited at Thaddeus Ropac gallery. And now, in case you missed it, all of them have just been uploaded to Kimmel's website.

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    Headline Trip

  • Brüno queens out as a royal guard for his London premiere. [Daily Mail]
  • Sophia Kokosolaki shifts gears at Diesel. [Vogue UK]
  • Suzy Menkes goes Black and may never come back. [IHT]
  • Kenzo enjoys the upside of downsizing his personal art collection. [Washington Examiner]
  • Get more Bang for your BUTT at the fagazine's pre-Pride concert on June 19, followed by video screenings at ASS.

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    Monday, June 15, 2009

    Class Conscious

    The fashion master class at Vienna's University of Applied Arts is in for a dramatic change with the exit of visiting professors Raf Simons and Véronique Branquinho. After nine years of Antwerp purism, Bernhard Willhelm has just been confirmed as Véronique's successor in the fall, making the university's 2009 runway show last week all the more sentimental.

    Without a doubt the next darling of Vienna's fashion scene is Tbilisi-born George Beshanizhvili, who presented his second consecutive Devendra Banhart-inspired collection, earning him a spot in London's Graduate Fashion Week...

    photos courtesy George Bezhanishvili

    Though only in her second year, Aya Nonogaki is definitely one to watch, if surreal, Schiaparelli-style humor is your thing...

    Aya Nonogaki, photos Shoji Fujii

    Dimitrije Gojkovic made a convincing case for unisex minimalism, even if we've seen a lot of that lately. It'll be interesting to see what happens under Bernhard Willhelm's guidance...

    Dimitrije Gojkovic, photos Shoji Fujii

    Leave it to graduate Franziska Fürpass to create the only sophisticated ladylike look, incredible though it may seem...

    Franziska Fürpass, photos Michael Dürr

    Another graduate, Astrid Deigner sent out a high-waisted mafioso look with comically large hats. Dick Tracy says hello...

    Astrid Deigner, photos Michael Dürr

    —Daniel Kalt for Austrianfashion.net

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    Dream Team

    Interactive art was all the rage at the 2009 Venice Art Biennale last week, and not just the marquee installations showing on the main strip at the Giardini. Set in a beautiful old palazzo off the beaten path was Ukraine's offering, titled The Steppes of Dreamers, where Ukrainian artist Ilya Chichkan collaborated with Japanese fashion designer Mihara Yasuhiro to produce a dreamlike setting, complete with a sand-filled entrance hall. (Not since Hussein Chalayan for Turkey last year has a fashion designer represented a country at the Biennale.)

    Upstairs in the palazzo, a labyrinth of smoke-filled dark rooms lured one in with an interactive system of noises and half-human kinetic installations that moved or made sounds upon entry. Themes such as travel and consciousness were examined, looking at the past, present and future of the Eastern European landscape through various cinematic metaphors inspired by Ukrainian film director Kira Muratova. The installation was made all the more spooky by the palace's grand fireplaces, flock wallpaper and huge chandeliers with multi-colored bulbs. But stranger still, the piece was curated by Volodymyr Klitchko, Ukraine's world champion boxer!


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    Friday, June 12, 2009

    Headline Trip

  • If you get your shiggles from socialite gossip, we hear that Tinsley Mortimer has left the Topster once and for all, shacking up with a penniless Euro prince.
  • Is that an anaconda he's wrestling in his new Armani underwear ad or is David Beckham happy to see you? [Guardian UK]
  • The Jane Hotel Ballroom officially launches Monday night with a CFDA Awards after-after-party, where most of the nominees are expected to show.
  • Speaking of, Laura Mulleavy is very upset about the mass extinction of frogs. [Facebook]
  • Online magazine SHIFT announces DOTMOV 2009, a digital film festival open to international filmmakers.

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    Vienna Calling, and Catwalking

    It seems like there are more Fashion Weeks around the world than there are weeks in the year. And why not? Who wouldn't want a slice of the glamour cake? Or strudel, in the case of Vienna's 9 festival, where ten days of fall collections, award ceremonies and gallery shows just wrapped. These are our runway picks...

    The show-stopper of the week—even with its impossible-to-pronounce Icelandic title—came from Vienna's best-known talent, menswear designer Ute Ploier. Intelligent, sharply tailored and perfectly sophisticated, it was the logical apogee of an evolution that started in 2003, when she won the Hyères festival.

    Ute Ploier, photos Shoji Fujii

    Queen of jersey and the brain behind Awareness & Consciousness, Christiane Gruber nevers stops reworking the free-floating silhouette of her refined yet simple jumpsuits and tunics, often hand-dyed. Her current collection earned her a one-year sponsorship.

    Christiane Gruber, photos Bettina Komenda

    Young and petite, Ali Zedwitz already spent a year at Jil Sander in Milan when she graduated from university with a collection reminiscent of Gareth Pugh, which earned her a scholarship to spend a year abroad—preferably in Japan, we hear. Konichiwa!

    Ali Zedwitz, photos Gregor Titze

    Peter Holzinger is the creative mastermind behind Superated. With its nicely cut jackets and sexy pants, his fall collection, "Frightening & tempting," was certainly the second rather than the first. What's more, with the dotted long johns, Peter seems to be getting ready for Bernhard Willhelm, who's reported to replace Véronique Branquinho as a visiting fashion professor at Vienna's University of Applied Arts in the fall.

    Superated, photos Klaus Vyhnalek

    In a way, Thomas Kirchgrabner for Liska is Vienna's Peter Dundas for Révillon. His reinvention of fur was witty (is that a tartan pattern in the fur?), although we weren't crazy for the lacy leather cutouts dangling at the bottom of some of the dresses.

    Liska, photos Andreas Tischler & Juergen Hammerschmid

    Whoever thinks the cheeky pick 'n' mix style is exclusive to Berlin is proved wrong by Christina Berger's decidedly trashy take on fashion, for which she received a generous award provided by the City of Vienna.

    Christina Berger, photos Sonny Vandevelde

    You'll either love or hate House of the Very Island's slouchy men's silhouette, if you can call it a silhouette, but you have to respect anyone going green these days.

    House of the Very Island's, photos Klaus Vyhnalek

    —Daniel Kalt, in collaboration with Austrianfashion.net

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    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Hint Tip: Gotscho

    In this era of conglomerate-sponsored art, French artist Gotscho is that rare breed, a stylish loose cannon whose take on fashion consumption has a decidedly sinister tinge. Gotscho has been putting clothes center stage in his installations since the 90s, through collaborations with Maison Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons, to name a few.

    For this month's Carré Rive Gauche, an annual group show of 120 galleries (antiques and fine art) on Paris's Left Bank, gallerist Eric Allart turned his space over to Gotscho to show his dark and mysterious "Ladies First" series (through June 19). In one piece, fragments of silk slip through fitting-room doors as though the customer has dematerialized through the looking glass like a repentant shopaholic desperate to get out. Nearby, a silver rolling rack sports a dozen seemingly banal garment bags with a row of identical black pumps ready for transport, one atop the other. It's only on closer inspection that you find the bags have an embroidered burkha slit at eye level, and the shoes are fused together in a permanent state of travel readiness.

    Which begs the question: does Gotscho love or hate la mode? "I'm on both sides. I'm eternally attracted yet always looking for an escape," he says. "I was shocked the first time I saw a woman wearing a burkha. I didn't understand how it was possible, but I wanted to say something about it diplomatically. A garment bag is for travel and shoes are for walking, so both are about movement. What you have here is the possibility of movement, but the reality of immobility."

    For the upcoming couture shows in Paris, Bruno Frisoni, artistic director of French shoe house Roger Vivier, will unveil his own pair of Gotschoesque-fused footwear, for those who prefer to look at stilettos than wear them.

    —Rebecca Voight

    Ladies First W10 (2007), Ladies First W31 (2007)

    Odalisque (2007)

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    Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    Q&A: Stefano Pilati

    In their own selfish way, fashion victims help the world go 'round. But no one wants to see the end result of hoarding, not even the creative engine behind one of the world's great luxury brands, Yves Saint Laurent. So last night at Barneys New York, with a little encouragement from Julie Gilhart, Stefano Pilati launched New Vintage, an eco-friendly capsule collection made from unused fabrics left over from previous YSL collections, with an emphasis on wearability and affordability. Naturally all fifty limited-edition, numbered pieces sold out within minutes, including a Downtown bag in remnant khaki that Julie craftily scooped up ahead of time. But I also managed a little selfish hoarding of Stefano...

    Lee Carter: Did you just fly in?
    Stefano Pilati: No no no. I got here a few day ago.

    Have you been working nonstop or do you take breaks to romp around the city?
    I know I look tan, like I've spent the afternoon in my garden, but actually I've been working nonstop. Normally the summer is more relaxed, but this one, no way. I didn't stop one day. After this I have the cruise show, then men's, then I start to work on women's.

    Always moving.
    Always moving. I do eleven collections a year.

    That's crazy. How do you recharge yourself after a show?
    Normally I disappear.

    As in, you become a shut-in?
    No, I go to Hawaii or skiing in Idaho. You know, I can't really stop thinking about collections, but at least I'm not under so much pressure.

    Did you go to the Tony Awards last night? I thought I saw you in the audience on TV.
    No, I read about it in the papers. It's not really a part of my world, but I could see Billy Elliott a hundred times.

    Let's talk about your New Vintage project with Barneys.
    Julie approached me to consider how we could educate the customer about the environment and recycling.

    Is this the first time you've done something like this?
    Yes. Well, this is the first time I've said it so clearly. I might have considered these aspects in my collections before, but I don't always communicate it. My mission is to challenge people, not to shock or be obvious.

    New Vintage feels like it comes from the heart. How do you consider the environment on a personal level? I assume you recycle at home?
    Yes, this for sure. And also at work I tell my assistants not to waste too much. For me there are two environments. There is a woman's environment and how she wants to present herself to the world. And then there is the larger environment, which is total. There is nothing more important. We have to start disciplining ourselves. So I wanted to get rid of some fabrics, starting with the ones I like.

    Is this the start of a brave green YSL?
    I think fashion should get to a different level. But you know, it's fashion. I'm not trying to be the President of the United States.

    Or Al Gore?
    Or Al Gore.

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    Monday, June 8, 2009

    Going Dutch

    At the opening of Arnhem Mode Biennale a couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to meet some of the 43 international and national designers whose work was on display, with the show's artistic director Piet Paris as my guide. One of the young designers I met was Mattijs van Bergen, whose current summer collection—under the single name Mattijs—already sells at local concept store Coming Soon, alongside other Dutch designers such as Klavers van Engelen, Orson+Bodil and Lucas Ossendrijver of Lanvin Homme. Here's what he had to say...

    Haidee Findlay-Levin: Your work tends to be quite elaborate, with a lot of embellishment. Why did you choose to exhibit garments made from plain cotton calico and decorated with a simple biro pen?
    Mattijs: As with many young designers at the moment, I am struggling with my financial situation. Even though I am selling in certain places, for my recent collection, which inspired this installation, I wanted to be creative and challenging, and create something quite elaborate without going over budget. I start a garment in calico and from there I work on the shape and form. The biro becomes the embellishment. There is a lot of work, because it's all hand-drawn. In the end, it looks like embroidery. It's almost like a couture way of working.

    Calico has a starched quality that breaks down the shape with wear. Was this the effect you were going for?
    Firstly, I like its weird off-tone color; this color looks good on everyone. The fabric wears, changes and evolves when you wear it. You can't wash it or even dry-clean it.

    So it has a limited lifespan.
    Exactly. You can only wear it for a moment, really for no more than a few events. There is a beauty in its limited lifespan.

    You studied in Holland and London, earning your BA in Arnhem and your MA at St Martins. What did you take away from each?
    Arnhem is more about technique and how to build a garment. At St Martins, it's more about the image, about the woman. It's more about the idea of fashion, the dream. The combination has worked well for me.

    Is it true that you work with your mother on your collections?
    Yes. My mother does all the pleated metal pieces. It started at St Martins. The director, Louise Wilson, commented on a brooch I was wearing, something my mother had made. She said, "If you have a mother this talented, why don’t you work together on something.” This way I get to really spend time with her.

    Is your mother based here in Holland?
    Yes, she lives close to Arnhem. My parents met here. My father is a painter and they both met at the Academy. Initially I didn't want to study here. I didn’t want to be the baker’s son who becomes a baker. But it was unavoidable.

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    Headline Trip

  • International editions of Vogue plan simultaneous party in thirteen cities to celebrate fashion, shun recession. [AFP]
  • The High Line opens today, though the fashion flock will likely hold out until a Calvin Klein fete on June 15.
  • Glenn O'Brien expected to exit Interview only a year since joining the relaunched title as co-editorial director. [WWD]
  • Former door whore Jeanette opens shop in London.
  • Japanese artist Ari Tabei wins Sprout's emerging artist competition, will go on view at Rebecca & Drew store.
  • Happy Birthday, Prince.

  • Ari Tabei in one of her signature cocoon creations

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    Saturday, June 6, 2009

    Big Time Sensuality

    The sale racks might be bursting at the seams with misbegotten celebrity clothing lines (gee, thanks, Heidiwood), but we can always squeeze one more, especially when it's from fashion's muse-with-the-most, Beth Ditto. With her debut collection for Evans, Topshop's plus-size line, the voluptuous vixen brings some of her sexy pop-punk signatures to the ample and curvy. If you can't make it to London for the opening stampede, which should be fairly epic, Evans is setting up a special e-shop that goes live July 9, when the collection hits stores.

    —Franklin Melendez

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    New Designer Alert: Dean Quinn

    I first met Dean Quinn, who's just won the Womenswear Award at Central St Martins' BA graduation show, last year in New York when I was visiting Threeasfour, where he was interning. Having now finished his degree, he invited me to his London studio for a closer inspection, and here's what I learned.

    The circulating crests of bugle beads that's become his signature came about by happy accident from a faulty measurement when arranging them in flat lines. The flashes of light that reflect from their staggered surface was inspired by sun shining onto skin through a blind in Bladerunner. The architectural shoulder silhouette—or the "Dean Shoulder"—was designed by exposing and stacking shoulder pads. Inside the jackets of his 50% hand-sewn collection is a complex network of tape to hold each piece in place so it lies flat on the body.

    Dean's first foray into fashion was making a dress for his GCSE art project, which was lost on his conservative high school. But he sought out a mentor and, at only 16, traveled from Ireland to to London to intern with Zandra Rhodes. There he was put to work painting pattern designs and found out about applying to Central St. Martins. Fast forward eight years to his win—and on his birthday, no less.

    —Fred Butler

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    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    Headline Trip

  • Racy, lacy ads with Lydia Hearst pulled from bus stops in Chicago, Seattle and Dallas. [Observer]
  • Kate Moss threatens plus-size legal action against Now magazine for speculating she's pregnant. [Guardian UK]
  • Kitsuné offers you and your illustrated face a chance to appear on their record releases for a year. [Kitsuné]
  • Isaac Mizrahi mocked by mockingbird. [Isaac Mizrahi Vlog]
  • Kaiserin, the self-described magazine for boys with problems, launches its 6th issue on June 5 at Palais de Tokyo.
  • (Added 6/5) After only three collections, Emanuel Ungaro and Esteban Cortazar are said to be parting ways. [WWD]

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    Hint Tip: Peaches

    No matter where Peaches comes in on your approval matrix, with her balls-out sexuality and in-your-face vulgarity, no one who's met her would say she isn't extraordinarily sweet and generous in person. Judge for yourself when the potty-mouthed popstar-cum-producer makes a personal appearance at Tatty Devine's London boutique (236 Brick Lane, E2 7EB, June 27, 2-4 pm) to launch the Tatty Devine for Peaches jewelry range and sign copies of her new album, I Feel Cream.

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    Wednesday, June 3, 2009

    Comme of Silence

    The old Comme des Garçons Guerrilla store in Los Angeles has finished its transformation into M'ouments (below), which is kind of the same thing, only different. (Like we need to tell you there are no rules in Rei's universe.) Meanwhile, and this is hush hush, expect exciting news soon involving Comme and New York...

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    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    Hint Tip: Colette

    Leave it to Colette to add a little glamour to the globally conscious with its latest project. In collaboration with Bow Wow International and curator Karta Healy, the Paris boutique is staging MeWeCycle, a bicycle-themed exhibition and shop-within-shop featuring wares made from 100% recycled materials. Discarded skateboards are turned into furniture, aluminum foil fashioned into lighting fixtures and vintage grain sacks whipped into totes. Eclectic and inventive, it proves that all you need is French cachet to turn other people's trash into designer-approved treasure. The project also includes limited-edition products from the likes of Wood Wood, Opening Ceremony and Lala Berlin. Launching in time for Word Environment Day on June 5, it's a good excuse to go green—it sure beats shopping in your closet.

    —Franklin Melendez

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    Getting Lit

    "Mr. Weinstein isn't here yet, and we all know isn't a party until Mr. Weinstein arrives. So for right now, let's all drink more champagne." That was the excellent advice given by Brooke Geahan, Accompanied Literary Society's blonde doyenne, at a reading for Tom Folsom's mafia-themed book, The Mad Ones, last night. Awaiting Harvey Weinstein, the publisher of the book and host of the soiree, was a turned-out crowd in writer chic (think tweed coats, hot-nerd glasses and rakishly swept hair), preoccupying themselves with pointed chatter, namely "Who do you write for?" After star readers Matthew Modine and Steve Buscemi finished their chapters with convincing mobster chutzpah, and after Weinstein finally arrived, Geahan concluded by telling everyone: "Now let's get lit!" She hardly even needed to add: "As in literary, of course!"

    —Bee-Shyuan Chang

    Tom Folsom, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Weinstein, Brooke Geahan, Matthew Modine

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    Monday, June 1, 2009

    Headline Trip

  • Following Burberry last week, today it was announced that Matthew Williamson will return to London Fashion Week in September, celebrating LFW's 25th anniversary, after seven years in New York.
  • John Galliano, too, will show his Christian Dior couture collection at the Dior salon on Avenue Montaigne for the first time in ten years. [WWD]
  • Forgetting who's modeled in her collections, Vivienne Westwood asked "Who is Daisy Lowe?" at her son's art opening. But really, who can keep track? [The Sun]
  • Apparently Forbes can. They've counted down the highest paid models in the last year. Even without Victoria's Secret, Gisele scores an easy win. [Forbes]
  • What better time than retirement (yes, people, it's true) for a monograph on Maison Martin Margiela? Conceived as a work of art—with an embroidered white-linen cover, ribbon markers, twelve booklets and silver ink—it drops in October. [Rizzoli]
  • Giedre Dukauskaite, Lithuanian model and face of Prada, heads to Women agency.

  • Giedre Dukauskaite

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    Sign of the Times

    Why is Takashi Murakami wearing what looks like a hand brace? Oh, only because he's signing 300 "Magical Princess" posters for the Vogue Nippon launch at the old Comme des Garçons Black store in Tokyo. In its place, and now open, the new Comme des Garçons x Vogue Nippon concept shop promises exclusive klabs with Chanel, Fendi and Murakami himself. Brace yourself...

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