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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Headline Trip

Rodarte signs with William Morris for "yet to be specified" film-related projects. Costuming a Dawn of the Dead remake? The possibilities! [WWD]

A first look at Linda Farrow’s collaboration with wunderkind Alexander Wang. The slick shades hit the runway in just a week. [Nylon]

Daisy Lowe talks about life in Williamsburg and her de rigueur jewelry line with Swarovski. [W]

Speaking of, Acne gets Crystallized at the Barbican Gallery for its spring '10 presentation. Check out the video (and, while you're at it, our Q&A with Jonny Johansson). [Style.com]

Intent on becoming the new Tyra Banks, Kate Moss is heading for the small screen. Sigh. [Vogue UK]

Daisy Lowe

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hooked: Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang wants to thin out your emaciated wallet even more this fall, but his Frankie Creeper hi-top boot is pure easy spirit. Not quite a pump, not quite a sneaker, this hefty hybrid is tricked out with a loads of hard-edged attitude, including heady-duty hardware and even a little kilt detail for good measure—perfect for faux skinhead looks or, better yet, Spinderella-inspired Nineties redux.

Christened after his model pals (Frankie, Hanne, Lara), the new kicks are available in kidskin, mock croc and our fave, stone-washed black denim. At $480–520, they’re a moderate enough splurge to ensure a meager diet for weeks to come, which means you're bound to look much better in his matching biker shorts. Available in LA at Opening Ceremony, Oak in NYC and the newly launched AlexanderWang.com.

—Franklin Melendez

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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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    Thursday, May 7, 2009

    Out of the Blue

    Tired of going green? Try blue. Spearheaded by Julie Gilhart, Barneys New York has joined forces with Elle to create Project Blue, a shop-for-charity initiative to benefit the clean-water advocacy group Oceana.

    Eight designers—including Rodarte, Stella McCartney, Versace and Alexander Wang—were given a pile of old donated denim to play with. From this mass of acid-washed, mom-jean rejects, they were asked to create totally new garments, to be auctioned off on eBay.

    The results, which aren't the patchwork-denim Franken-frights you might expect, range from a tailored dress from Bottega Veneta to Rogan's long-sleeved hooded dress. The bidding has started (Ann Demeulemeester is currently fetching $135, which won't last) and continues through May 10.

    —Pia Catton

    Versace, Rogan, Rodarte

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    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Girl Gone Wild

    By Franklin Melendez...

    The once-ubiquitous Fashion Week hangover has become a thing of the past. We used to see it all the time: stylists nodding off with pins in hand and models swaying in heels, hunched over coffee cups. But these are different times and all the chipper faces and alert smiles in the front row betray an ominous fact, that the week is almost over and there have been far too few parties to show for it. Leave it to Erin Wasson to right this unsightly wrong with a smash fete for her Erin Wasson x RVCA label in the penthouse of Milk Studios.

    The crush at the door was buzzed with anticipation. But of course Erin had more than a wine reception up her Lycra sleeve. As the elevator opened, Manhattan's well-coifed spilled out, only to be greeted by blasting Sixties' rock and garbage cans lined with hefty bags. More tailgate BBQ than snooty soiree, the order of the day was rowdy reveling, with some slutty monster-truck action thrown in—even at the bar, where the night's cocktail of choice was the good old jello shot, with jello scraped fresh from the platter.

    While handily double-fisting drinks, Erin explained the mood of the collection. "The inspiration was Stevie Ray Vaughan,” she said, citing the legendary Texas-born guitarist. “It's a little bit Texas, a little bit rock'n'roll. I just wanted to pull from my Texas roots. I like a certain kind of aesthetic, so I made something for those type of girls.”

    Those types of girls turned out in hordes, including fellow catwalkers Lara Stone and Coco Rocha, who, apparently not exempt from the recession, has taken on a gig as reporter for the E channel. Fellow bad-girl/DJ/artist Aurel Schmidt was also on hand, as well Alexander Wang, who I blamed for being a bad influence on Erin. “No, she's a bad influence on me!” he quickly retorted. Still swooning over the Proenza Schouler collection, Opening Ceremony's Humberto Leon and Carol Kim arrived, joining the bawdy fray alongside most of the perfume ads you've seen recently and the entire staff of Teen Vogue.

    True to its claim, the collection offered rocker-babe glamour (think Uma Thurman in Hysterical Blindness), replete with Lycra, spandex, leather and even crushed velvet, which is apparently the fabric of choice for next season—a bit trashy, a bit bad and totally fun. Roiling in a flash of bulbs was a luminous Leighton Meester, aka Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf, who said she's been a longtime fan of Erin's. “I love her clothes. They’re comfortable, casual but glamorous!” Would Blair approve? “I don’t think she’d approve of the cut-out spandex, but maybe she needs to have a little more fun!”

    As the party wore on, rumors surfaced of an after-party involving a bucking bronco. “Yes, there will be a mechanical bull!" confirmed Erin. "And there will be a prize for the person who stays on it the longest. But it's a secret prize” Our favorite kind.

    So the party reconvened at the LES bar Mason-Dixon, but not everyone cozied up the idea of riding a bull. Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte wondered what a bronco-tossing would do to one of their delicate confections, saying, “This might be too much of a rager for us.” I heartily agreed, fancying myself more of a lady. But some of the studlier attendee had no trouble keeping up, including one brave boy who, clearly wanting to impress our hostess, stripped down to his undies and rode in an impressive display of upper thigh-strength. Standing next to Lara Stone, I suggested she try next, but she declined, wanting to avoid sports-related injuries. But not Erin, who, in an oversized T-shirt and side-pony, rode the bull multiple times, beating any and all challengers, which means we may never know what that secret prize was!

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    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Hint Gallery: Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld

    Last night, Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld presented the works of three friends—P.C. Valmorbida (aka Theodora Richards' squeeze), David Mushegain and Salim Langatta—in an exhibit called, naturally, The Works of Three Photographers...

    Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld & Lily Donaldson / David Mushegain & Julie Gilhart

    Stefano Tonchi & Carine Roitfeld

    Mario Testino, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld & Tom Sachs

    Milla Jovovich, Alexander Wang & interior designer Ryan Korban

    Lily Donaldson, Mario Testino & Lara Stone

    Theodora Richards & PC Valmorbi (her squeeze)

    Party girl Cecile Winckler & model Elyse Taylor

    photos Rush Zimmerman

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    Monday, February 16, 2009

    Boys Will Be Boys

    By Franklin Melendez...

    While on the subject of communion with male spirits, Tim Hamilton presented his fall collection on Sunday at the lofty Lehmann Maupin Gallery. For several seasons now, Hamilton has been crafting his signature menswear just below the radar, but always attracting the attention of those in the know. Of course, a platter of teen hunks never hurts either. Assembled on risers, the boys provided swoon-worthy hangers for Hamilton's beautifully crafted, luxurious staples, which were a little like Doctor Zhivago crossed with Tom of Finland.

    Livelier than the usual runway affair, the boys actually seemed to be enjoying themselves. Many pouted, grinding to the music, with beer in hand. But before the Sunday buffet could turn into after-hours peep show, I headed backstage to reach the notoriously camera-shy designer. “There’s some early 20th-century points of departure,” he noted. “Vienna in the 20s, painterly knits, dramatic topcoats.”

    Tim Hamilton

    The presentation spilled into the evening and much of it spilled over into the notorious Club Sandwhich just a few doors down at Norwood House. With four floors of pounding music, the notorious French fete resembled something like a fashion circuit party. With Sylvester thumping in the background, I felt the primeval urge to take off my T-shirt and tuck it into a hanky-adorned back pocket—an urge I didn't act on. Partiers included Alexander Wang (with most of the Elle team), Marc Jacobs and his stud-muffin boyfriend Lorenzo Martone—who, I must admit, I wouldn't mind seeing shirtless and waving a glow stick.

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    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    Your First Look: Alexander Wang

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    Party Pooping

    By Franklin Melendez...

    Even before the first looks of fall '09 hit the catwalk, the economic downturn is already dampening the modicum of festiveness we've been able to cough up for New York Fashion Week—or rather, its parties. According to WWD, two of the week's better bashes—Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs—have been called off, and others are following suit, either opting for low-key, recession-appropriate dinners (snooze) or canceling post-show celebrations altogether. Based on similar grumbles we've been hearing from designers, expect more depressing news in the next three weeks.

    Now, we don't mean to sulk, but isn't a good fete one of the reasons we undertake the trials and tribulations of the February schedule, braving arctic temperatures and even frostier PR hacks, not to mention unsightly delays in remote locations? If recent signs are any indication, it seems the most resounding trend for fall might very well be out of Zoolander. Let us fear the resounding words of Mugatu: "I show you the future of fashion, I give you Derelicte!"

    Remember, in these trying times, the most responsible course of action might be to throw on something frivolous and wash down the hard times with a few glasses of anything sparkling and bubbly.

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    Monday, November 24, 2008

    Get Your Sneak On

    By Lee Carter...

    "The closest thing I have to a dress shoe is a pair of black ostrich lace-up sneakers," said Alexander Wang at the Nike Sportswear store at 21 Mercer Street just days before winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in womenswear. "I don't really follow the usual dress codes for formal events. I think the most important thing is to feel comfortable. We're not in the Titanic days anymore."

    Clearly Nike Sportswear knew what it was doing when it invited Alex to custom-design his own Air Force 1 kicks (other styles to roll out soon) in a new service called NikeiD Bespoke, exclusive to the Mercer outlet. My own appointment came later, so I tagged along to observe and advise Alex as he worked one-on-one with Nike's Design Director, Jesse Leyva, who gave us quite the education. Did you know Nike invented the word deubré for those little shoelace tags?

    Alex moved quickly and intuitively, flicking through all 80-something swatches in a blur of denim, suede, leather and reflective materials—like an ambulance speeding down Santa Monica Boulevard. He settled on a mostly monochromatic mix of black croc skin for the upper, black patent leather for the Swoosh and in back a spotted gray/white pattern called Safari, which was introduced way back in 1987 by legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield.

    "I had no idea what I was going to do coming in," Alex said, "but I always seem to gravitate toward the same aesthetics, whether it's my own collection, an interior or whatever. I go for tone-on-tone combos and I love graphic and textural qualities."

    Every detail took on monumental importance. We gasped in horror when mock-ups came back showing red threading we thought might look interesting, but so obviously wasn't. The correction was made pronto and conversation returned to an amaaaaazing zipper on a windbreaker (which he bought) and how Michael Phelps is kind of dorky in real life, when he's not winning multiple gold medals.

    At one point Alex asked Jesse if a large metal brush he saw on the wall behind us could be used to distress the shoes after they arrived in four weeks. Hmmm, does this mean we can expect distressed Wang sneakers in the future? "Maybe. It takes the wait away from breaking in your sneakers. Nothing looks worse than brand-spanking new sneakers." This must be true because I looked down at his feet and saw scruffy old Nikes probably from the year he was born.

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    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Night Vision

    Stylist Haidee Findlay-Levin gets her party on...

    This New York Fashion Week felt like the longest ever. And no wonder. When you do the math, it was actually ten days of wall-to-wall shows, all colliding with endless parties like bumper cars. There was no soft landing. For me, it began last Wednesday with show prep for two collections, followed by an exhibition by photographer Jesse Frohman at the Soho Grand. With so much happening day and night, I thought it best to break the week down into my highlights (the parties) and, in a following blog, lowlights (most of the shows)...

    Sept. 4
    I rushed with Vogue's Mark Holgate from an event at Christie's to catch the opening of curator Valerie Steele's Gothic exhibit at FIT. Although I consider myself pretty gothic, I had chosen to wear an elegant draped back evening dress-cum-jumpsuit by Martin Margiela, leaving my pointy shoulders for another night. Many of the guests really went all out with black taffeta dresses, brocade coats and even wigs, though I wasn't entirely sure whether some of them were dressed for the occasion or this was their daily attire. A distinctly musty odor of resurrected clothing wafted around the room, noticed by more than just myself—proof that these clothes were very much loved by their original owners. The show itself was really wonderfully done, featuring themes such as Night, Cage, Ruined Castle and Laboratory, where fashion “monsters” were born. Some of the best examples were by goth favorites Alexander McQueen, Riccardo Tischi of Givenchy, Rick Owens, Hussein Chalayan and Anne Demeulemeester, all of whom revisit the theme in many of their collections. The show certainly deserves a second visit and should be on the to-do list of any aspiring designer, stylist or night-crawler.

    I then gathered the troops, which now included Hint's Lee Carter and Aric Chen, as well as knitwear designer Tom Scott, and headed for the Interview party at Andre Balazs' anticipated new hotel, The Standard. We walked the red carpet that led us along a construction site (complete with orange caution tape), through an incomplete kitchen (hey, if La Esquina can do it), into a boarded-up elevator and up to the raw space on the 18th floor. In the company of Lauren Hutton, the journey felt somewhat auspicious. Everyone was overwhelmed by the near-360-degree view of New York. Spectacular! The unfinished space was cool to look at, but not at this temperature. As the who's who of the fashion and art worlds rubbed moist shoulders, all anyone could talk about was not the newly designed and relaunched magazine, but the searing heat. Adding fuel to the fire, there was plenty of hot Asian nibblies and alcohol to sustain the crowd of models, photographers and designers, which included Donna Karan, Maria Cornejo and Victoria Bartlett of VPL, not to mention the magazine's new editorial directors Glenn O'Brien and Fabien Baron (seen here with PR guru Karla Otto). The highlight of my evening was a performance by The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, with Kembra Pfahler and her girls performing in little more than colored body paint and enormous black wigs. They added to the New York feel, and they were certainly an appropriate nod to Andy Warhol and his original Interview. Our evening ended at Beatrice Inn for the birthday party of Chiara Clemente, graciously hosted by her boyfriend, actor and jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia. It seemed like many of the guests had rolled over from the previous party but were determined to kick up their heels and dance the first night of Fashion Week away. As I said, there was no soft landing.

    Sept. 6
    After a nightmare of a day, running from show to show in a torrent of rain like drowned rats, we decided to hang out and have some real fun with Alexander Wang at his after-party. The underground garage-like venue in a Tribeca alley felt particularly unpretentious and old-school. The bright raw venue was filled with a lot of gorgeous kids and models really getting into the music. On the invite there was a promise of a special guest, but nothing prepared me for the appearance of none other than Foxxy Brown, who was not only celebrating Alexander's collection, but also her birthday. From a tiny and low platform that barely cut through the crowd, she rapped and rapped, throwing the crowd into a frenzy. The energy was incredible. And she was clearly enjoying herself as much as we were, and promised to stay all night. That wasn’t exactly the case, but she certainly went beyond her required number of songs, dressed in a hot pink Wang dress. When I asked an elated Alex how he had managed to get her, he nonchalantly told me that he just put it out there and she responded. Judging by his show response and instant popularity, despite his young age, this kid is pretty good at doing just that. As the Alexander Wang party was nearing a close, we took our already weary feet around the corner to Santos for the United Bamboo/Journal magazine party. It was so dark that running into friends was usually a result of stepping on their feet or backing into them on an over-crowded dance floor. For music we were treated to Lizzy Bougatsos of Gang Gang Dance, definitely a highlight. We never left the dance floor and we were soon joined by friends Magda Berliner, jewelry designer Philip Crangi, Felix Burricter from Pin-Up and photographers KT Auleta, Guy Aroch and Chris Clinton. They were all still at it when we rolled out well after 3 am and a little too tired to finish the evening at the Submercer for the Threeasfour after-party.

    Sept. 7
    The week belonged to Calvin Klein. Firstly, the company’s 40th anniversary celebration took place on the High Line, one of the most eagerly anticipated public spaces to open in New York in decades. The night could not have been more perfect, especially considering the downpour the day before, as the remains of hurricane Hanna tore through the city. The organizers of the reported $5 million event must have been chewing off their fingertips while pleading with Mother Nature to spare them. Their prayers were answered, and we managed to enjoy a piece of New York City history that not only looked fresh and clean but also smelled deliciously fragrant, thanks to the 7000 white roses that were planted along the sides. We entered through a temporary installation by minimalist architect John Pawson, who also designed the Calvin Klein flagship on Madison—so pure that it inspired commissions for monasteries and churches. The majority of my evening was spent outside on the High Line, suspended above the city on this magical flying carpet of white roses. The crowd was, of course, star-studded, from a fully clothed Eva Mendez, Djimon Hounsou, Brook Shields (appropriately in jeans) and Calvin Klein model Gabriel Aubrey to Halle Berry, Claire Danes, Kevin Bacon and Naomi Watts. Everyone was pretty much dressed in a minimalist color scheme of black, gray or white, mimicking the structure, as I had suspected. I chose to wear a vintage Hardy Amies long dress in tangerine. Photographer and original sartorialist Bill Cunningham, who never ceases to impress me, not only knew who the British designer from the 50s and 60s was, but also knew that he had been the designer to the Queen. I felt like one myself that night.

    We had already all been escorted out of the dark and notorious Beatrice Inn by a bevy of fireman who closed down the clearly over-crowded Purple party. While some chose to hide in the kitchen until the coast was clear, most of us moved on to Club Sandwich at The Norwood. Club Sandwich is traditionally the closing party of Paris Fashion Week, and usually filled with fashion editors, fashionistas and models finally allowed to kick up their heels and let their hair down. The fact that the night was transported to New York, during the middle of the week, only created more buzz. The Norwood was an ideal venue for this party, a decadent townhouse with many rooms to fill with under-dressed strippers, over-dressed drag queens and extremely well-dressed queens. I caught up with many friends from London and Paris, and managed a long chat with old chum Alistair Mackie from Another Man before he and his boyfriend took to the stage for a striptease with the extravagantly dressed stylist Catherine Baba between them—a sandwich! After a few flings on the dance floor with Lee Carter, Hamish Bowles of Vogue and Armand Limnander of T, I retreated to an adorable little roof garden with British photographer Lawrence Passera to cool off. Men's fragrance was soon the topic of conversation as my friend, writer Adriano Sack, showed his other skills as a "nose," surprising Lawrence by identifying his rare scent.

    Sept. 11
    The V party was a highlight, but certainly not because it was held at the Mini Rooftop, a nightmarish location all week—in fact this choice of location could easily have reduced it to a lowlight. Despite the two-floor party space and open roof deck, the ridiculous 150-person capacity door policy was a total headache for a magazine that has many more than 150 friends and contributors. The real party took place downstairs on the street as many guests and even staff, including Brian Molloy and fashion editor Jay Massacret, were unable to enter. I waited at the front for nearly an hour, along with photographers Ellen von Unwerth, Marcelo Krasilcic and Todd Cole. Models were the DJs for the night, but even Natasha Poly and Shannon Glick were having a tough time at the door. When Lykke Li arrived with her band and entourage, there was near pandemonium. Visionaire editor James Kaliardos came downstairs several times to hand-pluck his guests. Thus, I made it up, along with stylist and friend John Hullem and a few of the aforementioned photographers. Although the party was on the street, I was glad I went up as I was eager to see the band. I had previously met Swedish singer Lykke Li at Stockholm Fashion Week in July. She did not disappoint.

    Sept. 12
    Although we all limped to the end of the week, with feet full of blisters from shoes too high or too tight, Costume National's closing party was a truly special treat. The fete was in honor of photographer and director Steven Sebring, who'd devoted the last ten years to making a documentary about Patti Smith. Not only were they both present, but Patti actually performed a few chosen songs mere feet from me. It was an incredible and emotional performance, though it was odd seeing her perform in a brightly lit store full of people more eager to indulge in wine, canapés and chatter. I felt pretty embarrassed by some people's behavior, but once I was up front with fellow diehards Ryan McGinley (who constantly hugged me in disbelief), Magda Berliner, Carla Wachtveitl from Yohji Yamamoto and Tania Ruhnke from KCD, I was fully transported. Patti's voice rang true, authentic and unchanged by the years. Her style was equally timeless and as directional as any of this week's shows. She wore Costume National men's pants, an Ann Demeulemeeester shirt and leather boots, a skinny tie and a plastic-wrapped toothbrush from Duane Reade peeking out of a jacket pocket!

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