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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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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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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Paris Fashion Week: Day 4

By Rebecca Voight...

It was like a perfect Saturday morning in front of the TV as a child. Jeremy Scott‘s Mouse Trap collection was his best to date. He sent out a gang of Minnies and Mickeys that was cheap, cheerful and full of American staples like romper dresses, perfecto jackets and sneakers from his collection for Adidas in graphic black, white and red—with Rainbow Brites making guest appearances.

Now that his cartoon prints are in their second season on Longchamp canvas bags—the favorite tote of every young girl in Paris—Scott has reestablished his connection to the City of Light, which is where he began in the late 1990s. Since then he has perfected his own print-based style. This time he put cell phone faces on taxi-yellow T-shirts and covered the bags with big telephone receivers. His style is basic, easy and recession-proof in second-skin black and canvas. For his finale, Scott paid homage to Patrick Kelly (the black American designer from the late 80s who also made his name in Paris) by reprising Kelly's multicolored button trompe l'oeil mosaics in bustier shapes and tuxedos.


Jeremy Scott

Ann Demeulemeester is more wrapped up than ever in clothes that are tied like presents. This season she produced silky ethnic embroideries in black on black, curvy fencer's jackets in what looked like wet seal and vests made entirely of little bells. The pants she has always done, low-crotch wraparounds, couldn't be more à propos in this harem-draped season.


Ann Demeulemeester

Veronique Branquinho, who's just been made artistic director at the storied Belgian leathergoods house of Delvaux, finished off Saturday in white satin fit for, as she described it, “a warm-blooded ice queen.” All the Branquinho standards were present: capes, faux bourgeois-pleated skirts and then she took off with Mongolian lamb fur, which puffed up the collars of wrap coats, took over the sleeves and even snaked up the back of spike heels. Branquinho's hot little ice queen is very night-for-day in satin sheaths with sequin insets everywhere, 20s' flapper wraparound dresses and leggings with diamond-shaped peepholes up the back.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Something to look forward to. In September, Ann Demeulemeester will launch Collection Blanche, a limited edition of re-released pieces from her 20-year archive, back by popular demand. A few examples...


"Holly" tank top (1998) / pearl-embroidered silk top (1993)


vest, leather leggings and boots (1998) / asymmetric wool coat (1998)

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Fall tips from stylist Haidee Findlay-Levin (part one of three)...

GO SAVAGE
Everywhere I looked at the fall collections I saw fur, leather, skins and hides—from black fur stoles and cuffs at Lanvin to a tunic covered in camouflage tails at Louis Vuitton and a massive fur cardigan coat from Ann Demeulemeester. The prefurred color is blue from Dries Van Noten (left) or Anne Valérie Hash, but if blue isn't your thing, look no further than Marni for a dusty-pink cropped chubby. Exotic furs not for you? You can still discover your inner beast with Mongolian sheepskin sleeves from Toga or a lavender Mongolian sheepskin jacket from Ann Demeulemeester, as well as crocodile-skin dresses at Zucca and leather-front dresses and jackets at Yohji Yamamoto with the hide's raw edges still intact. Feathers, too, stalked the runways, starting with an asymmetric collar trimmed with the lightest of ostrich plumes at Haider Ackermann and ending with a slightly tougher black ostrich-feather skirt from Christian Lacroix. Meanwhile, pony skin was a favorite at Anne Valérie Hash, superbly cut into body-skimming turtlenecks and a jumpsuit variation.

GIVE IN TO COLOR
It's all about pastels for fall. My sights are set on mint green and powder blue cashmere, molten wool and duchess satin at Louis Vuitton. Choose from an exquisite bell-shaped blue skirt, a magnificently tailored jacket with perfectly rounded edges, a liquid silk blouse or a full-on, floor-length, positively regal evening gown, if you have the occasion for it. Marc Jacobs' own line, too, was full of the softest pastels. Vanessa Bruno, meanwhile, showed a variety of pastels in full Mongolian sheepskin hats combed out and looking like a well-conditioned punk hairdo. But best from her were the palest of antique pink and sage green marabou chubbies, the color and lightness of a butterfly's wings.

MAKE IT MOHAIR
Bundle up in hand-knit ruffled capelets and shrugs from Tao Comme des Garçons (left) in vivid shades of pink and violet, while contrasting them with blue mohair bloomers. Or keep it neutral in natural or black and wear one of her cake-layered cable dresses. If volumes of ruffles and cables aren't for you, indulge your punk side with the designer's multicolored mohair knit/silk-backed tunic tops or dresses. That is, if you haven't already indulged in Rodarte's wonderful colored mohair knit tops and bell skirts. Don’t stop until you have their mohair open-knit stockings, the best hosiery moment of the season.

SHOE AND TELL
Laddered mohair stockings wouldn't be complete without those white or rose gold studded and spiked high heels that Christian Louboutin designed for Rodarte. They can do damage! But the next wonder of the world might just be the black leather heelless thigh-highs from Antonio Berardi, a sexy homage to artist Alan Jones, whose glass tabletops rested on the back of a girl on all fours—perhaps a safer way to wear them! I was a little surprised that Louis Vuitton showed such dangerously high wedges after last season’s more reasonable winklepicker inspiration. But on closer examination, I realized there was a sliver of light passing through some of them and that there were, in fact, skinny skyscraper in the heels. Fantastic! I also loved the strength and sculptural quality in the Brancusi-looking white heels at Miu Miu. Especially when worn in sharp contrast to the minimal clothes of the collection, they could really be one of the key accessories of fall.

CLUTCH IT
If you're more about bags than shoes, make it a clutch. I'm not just talking evening bag clutches, but huge leather envelopes from Dries Van Noten worn throughout the day. Although not as large as the house's oversized collars, Maison Martin Margiela also showed a massive clutches (left), as did Véronique Leroy in both her own collection and Leonard. These clutches, of course, were fantastic printed versions.

MIX YOUR MESSAGES
The intricately printed latex dresses at Balenciaga are another way to satisfy your fetishistic side—and without dressing, predictably, in all black. Dries Van Noten's continuation of vivid and bold floral prints was big hit, particularly the pod-sleeved column dresses, although his abstract print trouser suits were also spectacular. If you prefer tiny rather than bold prints, you can't ignore his floor-length Fortuny-pleated dresses or the high-necked cap-sleeved dress completely covered in tiny printed ruffles.

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