Tuesday, June 30, 2009
On the Campaign Trail: Yves Saint Laurent
Monday, June 29, 2009
Chanel, fall '09
Paris Men's Week: Raf Simons
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.
Paris Men's Week: Dior Homme
Paris Men's Week: Romain Kremer
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Paris Men's Week: Lanvin
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.
Paris Men's Week: Dunhill
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?
Paris Men's Week: Thomas Engel Hart
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.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Paris Men's Week: John Galliano
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!
Paris Men's Week: Tim Hamilton
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?
Paris Men's Week: Hermès
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.
Paris Men's Week: Bernhard Willhelm
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.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Paris Men's Week: Rick Owens
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.
Paris Men's Week: Walter Van Beirendonck
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.
Paris Men's Week: Louis Vuitton
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.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Paris Men's Week: Adam Kimmel
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."
photo Karl Hab
Paris Men's Week: Jean Paul Gaultier
Paris Men's Week: Dries Van Noten
Hooked: Tatty Devine for Peter Jensen
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Just In: Giles Wins ANDAM
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 6
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.
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.
Father Anthony, aka Big Mama Capretta
Your First Look: Woolrich Woolen Mills
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 5
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.
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.
Hint Tip: Yves Saint Laurent
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 4
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.
Hint Gallery: A Magazine
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
Style Noir Photography Craig McDean, Styling Karl Templer
Missy in Furs in Western Mass, March 28-29 2009 by Roe Ethridge
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 3
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.
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
Friday, June 19, 2009
Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 2
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.
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.
More from Pitti...
“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.
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
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Your First Look: Acne
Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 1
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.
State of Grace
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This Is a Test
Monday, June 15, 2009
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
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!
Friday, June 12, 2009
Vienna Calling, and Catwalking
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
Labels: 9 Festival, Ali Zedwitz, Awareness + Consciousness, Bernhard Willhelm, Christiane Gruber, Christina Berger, Daniel Kalt, House of the Very Island's, Superated, Ute Ploier, Veronique Branquinho, Vienna
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Hint Tip: Gotscho
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.
Ladies First W10 (2007), Ladies First W31 (2007)
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Q&A: Stefano Pilati
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. 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.
Monday, June 8, 2009
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.
Ari Tabei in one of her signature cocoon creations
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Big Time Sensuality
New Designer Alert: Dean Quinn
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.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Hint Tip: Peaches
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Comme of Silence
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Hint Tip: Colette
Tom Folsom, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Weinstein, Brooke Geahan, Matthew Modine
Monday, June 1, 2009
Labels: Burberry, Christian Dior, Daisy Lowe, Giedre Dukauskaite, Gisele Bundchen, Headline Trip, John Galliano, London Fashion Week, Martin Margiela, Matthew Williamson, Vivienne Westwood, Women Models