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Friday, July 31, 2009

I BeBe, Therefore I Am

BeBe Zahara Benet was born and raised in the West African nation of Cameroon. But like so many before her, she high-tailed it to Paris, where she soon developed a flair for the haute art of feminine illusion. Today, BeBe is best-known for her role on RuPaul's reality show Drag Race. Her lip-synching, show-stopping, side-splitting performances clinched the competition, while endearing her to viewers and leaving more than a few well-contoured pouts agape. In New York to attend a fundraiser for an upcoming documentary on her life, BeBe sat down with Hint to discuss everything from tucking to keeping it real. By Sarah Fones

Tell me about the documentary and working with [director] Emily Branham.
We had such chemistry. To me it's an honor to find someone who wants to tell my story. And it's not only about what I do for a living or why I do it. It's about empowering people. We all go through our battles.

Did you reach any revelations?
I will tell you that you have to respect and accept yourself. This is my story, what I've had to overcome. Who says that I am not representing a man? First of all, it takes a man with a lot of guts to be able to do what I do. And a lot of men cannot do it!

Even early on in Drag Race, a lot of viewers singled you out as the winner. How confident were you?
When I went on the show I was really confident about what my persona is all about—the BeBe persona—and very comfortable in my own skin. I didn't focus too much on will I win, but will I represent BeBe the best way possible?

Some of the girls on the show were definitely more likable than others. Was there anyone you didn't get along with?
I was very upfront with everybody and I let it go. I wouldn't go behind anyone's back and badmouth them. I've had so many interviews where people ask me about Rebecca [Glasscock]. There were things about Rebecca I didn't care for, but I made sure I told her.

You kept it real?
All these characters I met, all these drag entertainers, are the same people out of drag. That's how Shannel is, that's how Rebecca is, Akashia, Nina Flowers. Genuine.

What are some of the less glamorous aspects of drag?
All that underwear! The make-up is one thing, but when you have to go through all the undergarments just to look like that.

Do you wear Spanx?
Oh, no! But you have to tuck, and then sometimes you have to wear, like, corsets to make your waist really small. It can be really tricky because you want to make sure everything is in place!

What role does fashion play in your performances?
Drag and fashion are like husband and wife. A lot of designers get inspiration from us, just as we get inspiration from designers. But I think it's more the other way around, because drag entertainers are thinking crazy. Sometimes you look at the costumes and it's like, What were you thinking when you put this together?

Do you have any idols?
I love Beyoncé. She can go from glamour to fantasy to raw—everything! That's also my character. My character can go from African queen all the way to Chinese doll.

Who else?
Diana Ross. Love Diana Ross. And Grace Jones! Grace is so edgy. She's just so fashion-forward and makes you want to like something, even if you don't know how that thing works.

Do you watch Lifetime movies?

(Gasp). Well, if there was a movie being made, who would play you?
Oh my god! It's such a tough question. I know Grace Jones could. I know Beyoncé could. Yes, I'd like Beyoncé to play me.

If you met her, would you be starstruck?
No, I never get that way. We are all human beings. I've witnessed that from the show, how people act toward me.

Oh no! (Laughs). Oh. My. God.

Are you over that?
Do you know, I'll be in the airport and I'll hear somebody go "Camerooon!" Seriously, from nowhere. And they say it in so many different ways. You have a guy with a very deep voice saying (drops voice) "Ca-mer-oooon." And then you have (in a high voice) "Ca-me-roooon!" Or they go, "Face, face, face!"

How do you respond?
I strike a pose.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009


"Bombsite Boudiccas" was the enticing title of a website I stumbled on a few years back. Who knows what random search algorithms led me there, it was just one of those perfect accidents: a small archive of photographs documenting the 1950s London teddy girl scene shot by film director Ken Russell. Their sartorial assertiveness contrasted with the bombed out environments they occupied and their feisty appropriation of male styles (often down to the classic duck-tail haircut) set them apart from the standard Fifties Feminine. They were a revelation. I'd never even heard of a teddy girl before, let alone known anything about Russell's pre-film career as a photographer for semi-tabloids.

The website promoted a 2005 exhibition of the teddy girl photographs, part of a recently discovered archive of Russell's early work for the Picture Post, commercial photography he abandoned once his filmmaking career began. But the website eventually disappeared, leaving only traces of the intriguing Boudiccas scattered around Google or captured on blogs. Trying to recover all the images I so vividly remembered, I finally stumbled on a couple of links that helped me put the picture back together.

You can see all the original "Bombsite Boudiccas" reproduced here from Amateur Photographer. A few more teddy girls can be seen in this selection of signed reprints still available for sale. But best of all is reading about the determined discovery of the photos themselves by Judy Westacott, a neo-teddy girl who wanted to document the true inventiveness of the subculture and correct the perception "that teddy girls all wore circle skirts and bobby socks and listened to Rock around the Clock, and that kind of stuff."

The Sunday Times coverage of Westacott's discovery and subsequent exhibition (at which she even got some of the original girls, now in their 70s and 80s, to appear) points out the work and creativity of the teddy girl style: "The teddy girls left school at 14 or 15, worked in factories or offices, and spent their free time buying or making their trademark clothes – pencil skirts, rolled-up jeans, flat shoes, tailored jackets with velvet collars, coolie hats and long, elegant clutch bags. It was head-turning, fastidious dressing, taken from the fashion houses of the time, which had launched haute-couture clothing lines recalling the Edwardian era."

Even though I have my girls back, some mystery still remains. Russell's early photography is still being actively shown, yes, but why haven't these images been published in book form yet? Even more importantly, where is the long overdue teddy girl revival?

—Mina Estevez

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Headline Trip

  • “I wish Fashion Week for the public can be like Christmas, and maybe we'll put up green and pink lights everywhere,” said Betsey Johnson at a grim CFDA meeting concerning the fate of fashion in New York. [Observer]

  • MAN, the London men's group show, announced its spring '10 line-up: Christopher Shannon (read our Q&A), J.W. Anderson, Katie Eary and the sponsor of course, Topman Design.

  • Anouck Lepère: "Jefferson is a hero!!! My bicycle got stolen this morning, I saw it on brick lane market, and he stole it back!!!" [Facebook]

  • It's all but official: Beatrice Inn bites the dust. [Page Six]

  • The barbs are flying in response to an interview with Scott Schuman, who claims his sex with his Parisian girlfriend is so good that "hotel-room neighbours [get] pretty pissed." [Globe and Mail]

  • War is no longer a fashion inspiration. [AP]

  • Lovably nutty model Hanne Gaby Odiele owns a classic Mercedes-Benz and takes paintings from Webster Hall. [Supreme]

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    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    Screen Saver, Part III

    Next in my series of chats with big-screen costume designers is the charming, quiet and sun-kissed Michael Kaplan, who shot out of the gate with his first film, the camp classic Can't Stop the Music, in 1980. Just a couple years later he irrevocably changed the fashion vernacular with Flashdance and Blade Runner. But as he tells me, his next film and dream job, Burlesque (with Cher!), just might be his greatest moment yet. By Cesar Padilla

    Let's start with your first film.
    Yes, Can't Stop the Music, the Village People movie. There were four of us working on the film and I was assigned the Village People.

    How was the experience?
    It was the epitome of what was going on at the time. One thing I do remember, which was a first, is [producer] Allan Carr asking me to accentuate the Village People's crotches.

    So you were responsible for that?
    Yes. (Smiles.)

    Was there anyone who didn't need a little something extra?
    No, they all needed stuffing.

    Were people getting laid on set?
    It was a big job and I had my mind on work, although...well, I can't go into detail out of respect for the dead.

    Were you getting laid on set?
    No, I never combine work and play.

    Let's talk Valerie Perrine.
    Valerie was supposed to play a high fashion model and, well, it was a little bit of a stretch so I suggested having a make-up artist from the fashion industry do her make-up. Everyone thought it was great idea except Valerie. She was furious and felt challenged. When the day arrived to start filming she said okay, but on one condition. She allowed the make-up artist to do only half her face and she would do the other half because she felt she knew what worked best for her.

    How did the split face turn out?
    She did two screen tests with each half and she was right. She knew how she looked best. We have the same eye doctor and just the other day I saw her for the first time in a long time. I wondered if she remembered any of that.

    You also worked with Michael Jackson. What was that like?
    I did two Pepsi commercials with Michael. It was strange because all his comments had to do with food. We'd be deciding on a shirt color and mention the color peach and he'd say, "oh, peaches and cream." Or I'd mention salmon and he would say, "smoked salmon on a bagel." For the color cherry he said, "I love cherries, do you like cherries?" He asked everyone in the room. He was very childlike and sweet.

    Did you always want to be a costume designer?
    I majored in sculpture, painting and illustration, but as I was graduating I realized I wasn't meant to be a fine artist. After some soul-searching I realized costume design was something that really fascinated me. Not so much fashion design but creating characters with clothing, creating a world. Being a costume designer is such a great job, I may be unemployed at the end of every film but every time I start one it's a whole new cast of characters and a new world to create. So much better than working in a bank.

    What's your earliest fashion memory?
    There was this movie I was very interested in as a child called The Girl on the Red Velvet Swing, with Joan Collins. She played the original Gibson Girl, Evelyn Nesbit.

    Why do you think it resonated with you?
    I only saw it once, but it kicked off something.

    What was the first piece of clothing you ever made?
    It wasn't really a piece of clothing. I painted someone's body for a ball at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The first piece of actual clothing I made was for a party I was invited to at the West Hollywood Women's League. It was their first annual spring formal and all the men had to come dressed as women and all the women as men. I designed a cream-colored silk floor-length ball gown for myself.

    Sexy or demure?
    Demure, please! It was backless and on the bias. I looked ravishing. My date, Daphne Parker, wore a cream silk tailcoat and top hat. I didn't make her outfit.

    Do you still sew?
    I can, but very badly. I would be fired if I had to sew the costumes.

    What's your process for a film?
    I do lots of sketches. Early on I did all my own sketches. Now I do rough sketches and give them to an artist.

    Have you saved all your sketches?
    I've been better about it as of late. I do have most of the sketches from Blade Runner.

    What are the films you are most proud of?
    Probably Blade Runner, Flashdance and Fight Club.

    Blade Runner came very early in your career, followed immediately by Flashdance. How did your participation in those epic cinematic moments come about?
    For Blade Runner, Ridley Scott was interviewing people and most of the costume designers in the union were talking to him about silver mylar as a means to convey the future, but he wanted to meet someone young and fresh with new ideas. At the time I was the newest member of the union. Someone said he should meet the newest member, so we met. After that Ridley recommended me to Adrian Lyne and that's how Flashdance came about. I have to say, I love working with Brits.

    With Flashdance, not only did your fashion choices influence a generation, but you influenced fashion for the rest of time! How does it feel to have achieved such a global impact?
    I love it.

    American Apparel wouldn't exist without Flashdance.
    I've had directors say they're doing a movie and they want me to start a trend like Flashdance. But you have to have a good script to start with.

    How did you come up with the Flashdance look?
    I read the script and thought a lot about the characters and what they would wear. Jennifer Beals was a construction worker without a lot of money, shown reading fashion magazines. The idea of a sweatshirt covered all the areas of her life. As a dancer she would personalize her clothes and Jennifer has very beautiful shoulders. If she didn't have beautiful shoulders I would have covered them.

    Do you still have the sweatshirt?
    Yes, I kept one of the three we used.

    What's your dream film?
    I think I may be about to make it. I'm in the process of finishing The Sorcerer's Apprentice, but the film I am about to start is Burlesque.

    Burlesque, the new Cher film?
    Yes. I have worked with many beautiful people, but this is a musical with so many beautiful women. There are eighteen numbers in the entire film. It's about a young girl, played by Christina Aguilera, whose parent dies and she decides to go for it and get the fuck out of town. She heads west and winds up at a burlesque club run by Cher!

    Have you worked with Cher before?
    I worked as a sketch artist, fabric shopper and assistant costume designer on the Sonny and Cher Show, after the Cher show. It was my first job. I doubt she remembers me. We had little contact.

    What can we look forward to, clothing-wise, in Burlesque?
    I don't know yet. I need to go on my vacation next week and separate myself from this last film before I start on this one.

    How was working on the most recent Star Trek?
    It was terrible for me. I got sick in the middle of production and I wasn't able to enjoy the project as much as I would have liked. It was interesting because I never watched Star Trek and I told the director that I probably wasn't the most qualified for the job. He answered that he wanted a fresh take on Star Trek and that qualified me even more. I was so afraid I was going to wake up one morning to a legion of trekkies outside my door.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Fight Club is a very sexy movie. Was that something you were conscious of while making the film?
    [Director] David Fincher and I spoke before I started creating the look for the film. I said to him I know you don't like color and flamboyance, so how far can I go with Tyler Durden. He said not far.

    It's a very homoerotic film. It caused a lot of boners.
    In the audience maybe. I just followed the road map of the screenplay.

    Speaking of boners, what was the air like on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith?
    You could cut it with a knife. I love working with them. I've worked with Brad a few times now. It was my first time working with Angelina. Once we got to know each other everything went great.

    What's been your biggest fashion faux pas?
    I don't regret any of my work.

    What's your guilty pleasure?
    You sound like Barbara Walters.

    But she can't smile like I can, Michael.
    My guilty pleasure is bacon, french fries, calamari—anything that combines fat and salt.

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    Flyer on the Wall

    Friday, July 24, 2009

    Our Favorite Things...

    about Viktor & Rolf's new Eau Mega fragrance (omega, get it?), as explained to us by top brass from International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) at a press thingy in the penthouse of the Cooper Square Hotel earlier this week. Naturally, V&R themselves couldn't make it as they're too busy with their spring collection just around the corner (but they did make a cute video for us, complete with suits and faux instructional-style delivery)...

  • Viktor & Rolf see the Eau Mega girl as a super-heroine, able to "megafy" the world and "transform reality into her own universe of beauty and glamour."

  • The campaign image, Raquel Zimmerman shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, is based on an old 80's ad that the duo found online of a woman standing over a city and owning it, but not in that power-80's way.

  • The spritzer is activated by squeezing the big V&R golden seal—or "megamizer," designed by Fabien Baron—while the nozzle is just for show. Apparently that technology took two years to develop.

  • This is taken straight from the press material: "We dreamt of an essence that could express a new feminine freshness. 'Eau' in French has a slightly surreal connotation for those who can read between the lines."

  • The juice itself represents the duality of the V&R brand as a whole, i.e. edgy luxury, a mix of floral-fruity (think violet, basil, pear) and rich-creamy (think sandalwood, cashmere, white musk).

  • Like Flowerbomb, Eau Mega is going to be a major entry in the fragrance market—just as the name suggests—when it launches in October.

  • Macaroons are delicious to eat any time of the day.

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    Headline Trip

  • Everyone knows she invented her posh provenance. But with Coco Before Chanel hitting theaters soon, just how well do you know your Mademoiselle? [Times of London]

  • At 19, British model Jourdan Dunn is preggers. What to wear? [Style]

  • Meanwhile, another Brit model, Daisy Lowe, poses for Agent Provocateur, sits with her legs spread and gets doused with dog pee in her MTV UK documentary airing Sunday. [Grazia]

  • Julia Restoin Roitfeld is no more jeigermaster... EVER. [Facebook]

  • The rest of Marc Jacobs' fall ads, once again shot by Juergen Teller, have been posted. Expect more pretty people (and a few not) doing silly things... [Marc Jacobs]

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    Scent Folder

    Celebrity-endorsed designer scents are a dime a dozen, but leave it to Nicolas Ghesquière to add a new twist to the old formula by choosing quirky screen siren Charlotte Gainsbourg as the new face of Balenciaga's soon-to-launch fragrance. The French gamine, who's been buddies with Nicolas for the better part of a decade and who's no stranger to Balenciaga's fashion advertising, can currently be seen mutilating herself into religious ecstasy in Lars von Trier's newest cinematic romp, Antichrist. Clearly, Nicolas isn't going too Hollywood anytime soon. For this very reason, the unlikely location of the fragrance's first fete had an air of mischievous irony: not Paris, but the glitzy Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, where the designer and muse are shooting the campaign.

    Though the door was sealed tighter that a submarine hull, there was no shortage of start sightings, like Robin Wright Penn, glowing post-divorce, and the dude himself, Keanu Reeves. It was an odd assortment of glitterati, which ended up resembling one of those Francesco Vezzoli art installations that mock tinseltown (see Natalie Portman in the fake Greed trailer). Nicolas described the scent as very French and very strong—bien sur! Look for it at a fragrance counter near you in February.

    —Franklin Melendez

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    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    On the Origin of Heal

    When the going gets tough, the tough get Darwinian. Hence, the new Paris label Heal, by Hervé Koelich and Alice Reydellet, who talk of "arachnid softness" and who put padded lobster bits on fronts of dresses. The gray sweater dress below shows an actual Darwin print of various apes on silk...

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    Hint Tip: 40 Winks

    Shabby chic, understated opulence, Alice in Wonderland on percocet. However you describe it, there's no denying that 40 Winks, the eccentric haute hotel in East London, would make a suitably outré environment to show a collection. Which is exactly what they're offering. On a daily or weekly basis for the duration of London Fashion Week, 40 Winks will stage a pop-up showroom for a maximum of five designers. It isn't free, but how better to butter up a buyer than with a random Beatles drum, a cheeky porcelain greyhound and lots of gold leaf?

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    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Center Stages

    Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris played host to a confluence of designers, artists and musicians in support of Stages exhibition, sponsored by Nike and benefitting Lance Armstrong's foundation...


    Kaws / Pucci's Peter Dundas, Emmanuel Perrotin, PR diva Karla Otto

    Stefano Pilati, Olivier Zahm

    Tom Sachs / Guillaume Salmon, Colette, Sarah

    Palais de Tokyo's Jerome Sans / Chanel PR Camille Miceli

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    Headline Trip

  • Leave it to The Cut to dissect Lady Gaga's Kermit the Frog dress by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. [The Cut]

  • Do we really need to take even a few seconds out of the president's day to ask him about his dad jeans? [Huffington Post]

  • Olivier Zahm has posted oddly foretelling photos of, and collages by, Dash Snow. [Purple Diary]

  • Henry Holland dreamt about Drew Barrymore. [Facebook]

  • Mexican drag queens are suspected in midget murders. (Because, as usual, fact is stranger than fiction.) [Daily Telegraph AU]

  • If you had any doubts about Stella McCartney's commitment to animals, just look at all the furry friends in her fall campaign, shot by Ryan McGinley... [WWD]

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    Flyer on the Wall

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Hooked: Peseta for Marc by Marc Jacobs

    For their third collaboration with Marc Jacobs, Peseta—the whimsical Spanish bag maker—revisits hobo chic with their irresistible Ukelele bag, channeling the spirit of Charlie Chaplin's iconic tramp character. Patched together from scraps of durable materials, like worn-in denim, canvas and Dust Bowl-style gingham, the bag comes outfitted with hidden pockets and charm galore. Utilitarian and unisex, it's perfect for pursuing summer wanderlust, joining a traveling vaudeville troupe or indulging in the city’s many picaresque adventures. In the spirit of the Great Depression, it's also easy on a recession budget, at only $98 a pop; it can pay for itself as a donation bin while you sing for your supper on the street. Available at Marc by Marc Jacobs boutiques in Paris and London.

    —Franklin Melendez

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    Flyer on the Wall

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Creature Feature

    From our photographer friends Pamela Reed and Matthew Rader comes this classic girl-meets-monster, girl-runs-from-monster, girl-falls-in-love-with-monster, girl-rescues-monster story. Or something like that. Plus, it's animated, so be sure to click Play...

    photography Reed + Rader
    styling Nikki Igol
    make-up Stella Kae for MAKE UP FOR EVER
    hair Nelson Vercher @ de facto
    model Alexandra Agoston-O'Connor @ NEXT
    photo assist Layla Wrencher, Gemma Fleming
    styling assist Christina Drummond

    faux fur coat Sans, shirt American Apparel, hosiery Jonathan Aston, shoes Jil Sander

    coat Dolce & Gabbana, pants Dries Van Noten, shoes Jil Sander

    faux fur jumpsuit Sans


    dress & cape AF Vandevorst

    coat & dress Wunderkind, shoes Jil Sander

    cape & pants Matohu, shoes Jil Sander

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    Headline Trip

  • New York has been spared that annoying London tradition of celebrity spawn posing as models, but that may change with an agency shake-up today. [Grazia]
  • Careful Hint readers will have noticed we used the word "fiancée" when describing Leelee Sobieski and Adam Kimmel recently. Seems celebrity sites also noticed. [Just Jared]
  • Maria Cornejo and Isabel Toledo come down on opposite sides of the piracy debate, an increasingly hot topic in fashion. [Reuters]
  • Mert Alas: "my baby is doing his first shoot today!!!! so excited!!!" [Facebook]
  • Lifetime releases a trailer from the new season of Project Runway, kicking off August 20. This time, the models get real....

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    Soul Searching

    With quashed rumors of a David LaChapelle cameo at the Gucci-sponsored Soul i-D book/exhibition launch at Christie's New York last night, we settled instead on a bit of artsy rumination. Specifically, the shot of his very naked, nature-loving boyfriend, whom, we're told in the caption, "could not be bought." In addition to LaChapelle, Juergen Teller, Paolo Roversi, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin also contributed to the 600-page tome.

    Of course, the fabulous coffee table book—with anecdotes and personal essays culled from i-D's archives—wouldn't be complete without a few choice quotes, hence the inclusion of sage songstress Kylie Minogue, who likens friend, designer and stylist William Baker, to her "favourite handbag." And then there's Terry Richardson, lensman and occasional font of wisdom, who, when it comes to blow, advises "Just say no!" As for getting ahead in fashion, perhaps milliner Stephen Jones is the pithiest, saying it helps to be "eccentric, homosexual, ugly, thick, suburban and egomaniacal." And finally, never one to champion the less-than-attractive, Tom Ford recommends only hiring "people that you want to have dinner with." Dinner, Tom? Or dessert?

    —Sarah Fones

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    Wednesday, July 15, 2009


    Check out this new-to-me drawing blog: Draw Serge! Curated by Guardian illustrator Jonathan Edwards, the Serge Gainsbourg tribute blog solicits and features contributions from both professional illustrators and fans alike. I'll have to contribute something. You should, too! (Found via yé-yé connoisseur Will Kane's deliciously mod blog, World of Kane, itself worth hours of viewing.)

    —Mina Estevez

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    Headline Trip

  • Two biographies on the late, great Isabella Blow to hit bookshelves next year. [NY Observer]
  • Ryan McGinley and ever-androgynous Tilda Swinton to collaborate on women's and men's ad campaigns for Pringle of Scotland. [WWD]
  • Living up to her mag's name, Katie Grand got married to longtime beau, Pulp bass player Steve Mackey, and shows us the love. [LOVE blog]
  • Johanna Stickland "gives a big fuck you to the dude outside my window late last night singing the song from Cats." [Facebook]
  • A miniature greenhouse, taxidermy and the British flag defaced by John Galliano are just some of the props for sale at SHOWstudio. [SHOWstudio]

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    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    Rocket Men

    One small step for man, one giant trek to the National History Museum to fete the newest face of Louis Vuitton's heritage campaign. Nope, not Lady Madge in tantric contortions, but a lunar twofer: astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell. Of course, there was more to celebrate than just some glossy snapshops; the party also commemorated the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, the beginning of the space race and, perhaps most importantly, the ushering in of space-age fashion. The great moment inspired the likes of André Courrèges and Paco Rabanne, who gave us a decade of graphic shapes, metallic accents, optic whites and silver galore—for this we are eternally grateful.

    So the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the museum was decked out like a swinging space pad, and those in attendance took a cue from the occasion, donning their spacey best: Cassie in a sheer top and bubble skirt (in the future modesty is démodé), Estelle in a gunmetal Louis Vuitton shift and Buzz Aldrin's wife, Lois, looking like a gracefully-aged Judy Jetson. Lance Bass also made a cameo, perhaps a bit forlorn for his own dashed space trip. Here’s hoping there’ll be a seat for him at the next shuttle launch, or at the very least a bit part in the Star Trek sequel, or prequel, or whatever.

    —Franklin Melendez

    Buzz & Lois Aldrin, Cassie

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    Hint Video: NewGen Winners, 7/7

    A few minutes with Henry Holland, who, ever the tease, is coy about meetings in France, future partnerships and his inspiration for spring, which apparently has something to do with supermodel divorces...

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    Monday, July 13, 2009

    Headline Trip

  • (Added 7/14) Issey Miyake gets personal for the Opinion section. [NY Times]
  • Kate Moss to join Sir Philip Green's new music venture, doubling her net worth and proving that dumb is in the eye of the beholder. [Daily Mail]
  • How many yards does it take to create a couture dress? How many fittings? Hours? The Cut did the math. [the Cut]
  • Kurt Andersen: "I feel young again. Donald Trump is attacking me [@Page Six]!" [Facebook]
  • Designer and extreme minimalist Rad Hourani to have a mystery show at the Soho Grand on July 28.
  • The Standard Hotel wants your X-rated photos, even Xier than this example... [Stan D'Arde]

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    Hint Video: NewGen Winners, 6/7

    Designer Jo Sykes, who, she says, has recently fallen for someone, champions "voyeuristic peeks of flesh," but shuns traditional sexiness like cleavage...

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    Gray Matter

    When we saw these cerebral and austere shots (that took 12 days to make) from our friends at Some/Things, a Paris-based arts and fashion magazine debuting in September, we just had to post them...

    photography Monika Bielskyte
    styling Carlo Zollo & Monika Bielskyte
    model Masha Yakovenko
    location L’Eclaireur, Paris

    leather jacket & top Haider Ackermann, pants Songzio, fingerless leather gloves Peachoo+Krejberg

    coat Rick Owens, pants Balenciaga, necklace Peachoo+Krejberg

    jacket Rick Owens, jewelry Haider Ackermann, traditional alpaca scarf from Peru

    top & silk belt Haider Ackermann, "Palais Royal" knit Rick Owens, pants Songzio

    leather jacket & top Rick Owens, pants & silk hoodie Haider Ackermann

    top & silk belt Haider Ackermann, pants Songzio

    More from Some/Things

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    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Hint Video: NewGen Winners, 5/7

    Sarah Mower, the British Fashion Council's shiny new Ambassador of Emerging Talent, waves the flag for London's fresh crop of designers and reveals a few predictions...

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    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Hint Video: NewGen Winners, 4/7

    Dominic Jones discusses his eccentric, Alice Dellal-backed jewelry line—weird creatures, throbbing hands, defense systems, oh my!

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    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Headline Trip

  • Legendary 90's supe Kristen McMenamy racks up 30ish pages in the latest Italian Vogue, shot by Steven Meisel, in a story called The Legend—what else? [Italian Vogue]
  • Jean Paul Gaultier comes to the defense of couture and Lacroix. [Reuters]
  • Rumor has it Alexander Wang has nabbed Karl Templer to style his September show. [WWD]
  • Daniel Radcliffe loves poetry and, it's just been revealed, has been writing it under a pen name. No, it has nothing to do with Harry Potter. [Rubbish]
  • Francesca Sorrenti: "Remembering my son Davide Sorrenti on the day he was born!" [Facebook]
  • If they haven't already, anyone with a heartbeat can now have Terry Richardson. Uncle York has made the pervy photog into a doll, complete with mutton chops, tats and a strategically placed camera. [Uncle York]

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    Hint Video: NewGen Winners, 3/7

    The impossibly adorable girls of LP.BG describe their "art for the body"...

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    Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Berlin Fashion Week: Patrick Mohr & Vladimir Karaleev

    As quickly as they began, the spring collections of Mercedes-Benz Fashionweek Berlin wrapped, probably because BFW isn't (yet) a full week. While big houses like Hugo Boss showed their main lines to an eager press, we went on the hunt for German talent of the younger, scrappier kind—and found two names to remember.

    After assisting Henrik Vibskov in Copenhagen, Patrick Mohr returned to his hometown of Munich to work on his own line. For his first outing at Berlin Fashion Week, he showed his designs on a mix of professional models and homeless people—sometimes you couldn't tell which was which, and surely that was the point. The collection, with its focus on unusual materials and oversized cuts, recalled Vibskov and that other fashion provocateur, Bernhard Willhelm. Nevertheless, Mohr achieved his own vision of avant-garde—as if the homeless theme wasn't unusual enough.

    Courtesy of IMG Fashion/InDigital

    Another up-and-comer is Vladimir Karaleev. Not part of the official calendar, he presented his lightweight, abstract collection at COMA gallery. Forms appeared like unfinished sketches, while contrasting materials like vinyl and paper made for pleasantly awkward draping. It'll be interesting to see how the Bulgarian in Berlin develops.

    Courtesy of 8MILLIMEDIA

    —Thomas Pieper

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    In the first of our new series of arcane, inane or otherwise insane randomness, we bring you a 70's educational filmstrip of a mom who walks in on her son choking the monkey (is what they called it back then?). The set is so spartan that the only thing that stands out, other than the poor kid's erection, is the sticker on the back of the bedroom door, a hippie parent's subliminal message.

    —Mina Estevez

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    Hint Video: NewGen Winners, 2/7

    Mark Fast is turned on by underground Egyptian silent movies. Who knew there even was such a thing?...

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    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    Hint Video: NewGen Winners, 1/7

    London Fashion Week is all aflutter, as it should be, about its upcoming 25th anniversary and the return of greats Brits—Burberry, Jonathan Saunders, Matthew Williamson, etc.—to its calendar, after years of showing abroad in New York, Milan or Paris.

    Just as intriguing is the move from the cramped lawns of the Natural History Museum to the palatial Somerset House. Add to that the recently announced recipients of LFW's NewGen sponsorship, backed by Topshop in support of young design stars (previously won by Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon and Christopher Kane), and you have nothing short of hysteria.

    And so we—or rather, fashion observer Marko Matysik and videographer Bjørn Solarin—caught up with a few of them, as well as with Sarah Mower, journalistic legend and just-appointed Ambassador of Emerging Talent for the British Fashion Council. Without further ado, we present the first of seven videos in as many days...

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    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    License to Swill

    You might have partied your guts out on the Fourth of July, but in Tokyo they celebrated Independence Day of a different kind—and probably with more restraint. You see, in Japan, Marc Jacobs has been available only through a byzantine licensing system. But no more, the shackles are off, and the fashion crowd flocked to the gardens of the Q.E.D. club to show their support. Pics by illustrator and Hint contributor Przemek Sobocki...

    Common & Sense editor-in-chief Kaoru Sasaki with editors Masumi Otsuji & Kaori Oda

    Hair stylist Yuya & model Michiko

    Numero editor-in-chief Ako Tanaka & DJ Verbal of Teriyaki Boyz

    model/actress Angela Reynolds & stylist/designer Anthony Monihan

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    Monday, July 6, 2009

    Flyer on the Wall

    Headline Trip

  • Daria Werbowy reminisces about the rubber nipples and bed of nails in her shoot with Helmut Newton—his last. [Telegraph UK]
  • Americans will use any excuse to hit the Paris couture shows. [WWD]
  • Cathy Horyn kicks it with our gal Louise Wilson in London. [NY Times]
  • Yeah, there was fashion photography in the East Germany. [Vice]
  • Because hats and nudity go great together, Karl Lagerfeld got models and celebs (mostly French, bien sur) to bare skin for Maison Michel.

  • Charlotte Muhl & Sean Lennon, by Karl Lagerfeld for Maison Michel

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    New Designer Alert: Martin

    In terms of fashion, not much has been coming out of San Francisco lately (or ever?), but a new men's line has emerged that might just change that. Martin, a collaboration between Nice Collective and Mike Martin (of Mash Transit films, which documents brakeless street cycling—huge in the Bay Area), takes its cues from Nice's grungy-artisanal style, but is ultimately designed with extreme cycling in mind. Pieces are functional: hooded sweatshirts with built-in caps and secure magnetic pockets; button-up shirts with elastic in the sleeves to hold rolled cuffs; and leather belts with hidden reflective elements for nighttime rides. This is fashion-meets-function at its finest. But please, don't try brakeless cycling at home. Available at Barneys New York, Odin and Steven Alan Tribeca for fall.

    —Sydney Pfaff

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    Saturday, July 4, 2009

    Your First Look: Madonna in Givenchy

    In case buckets of money weren't enough, another excellent reason to never stop touring is the steady stream of free clothes designed for and foisted upon you. For the launch tonight of her extended Sticky & Sweet tour, already the top-grossing tour in history by a solo artist, Madonna wore this couture Givenchy cropped jacket-dress with matching vest. Naturally it's custom-designed by Riccardo Tisci, which means you can't have one, at least not by Givenchy, but you can ponder if this means Madge will appear in a Givenchy ad—in fishnets and contortions, no doubt...

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    Thursday, July 2, 2009

    Hint Video: Paris Men's Week

    Ten minutes backstage with Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Tim Hamilton, Damir Doma and Romain Kremer...

    video production by Crystal Snow Films

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    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    Flyer on the Wall