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Monday, June 29, 2009

Headline Trip

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

  • Chanel, fall '09

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    Monday, June 1, 2009

    Sign of the Times

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

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    Sunday, May 24, 2009

    Let Them Eat Models

    As if there weren't enough tasty treats on the runway, Swedish photog Therese Aldgård and prop stylist Lisa Edsälv went and baked a bunch of cupcakes in designer style. It took them three days—and no, there aren't any left...

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    Monday, May 18, 2009

    Freak Show

    Lions and tigers...er, patterns and colors and armor, oh my! Illustrations by Kuanth

    dress Christopher Kane
    dress Chanel, hat John Galliano, shoes (orange) Lanvin, shoes (yellow) Pierre Hardy, boots Bruno Frisoni

    dress & shoes Alexander McQueen, hat Dior
    dress & shoes Balmain, tights Jean Paul Gaultier

    dress Basso & Brooke
    dress Gareth Pugh

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    Sunday, April 19, 2009

    Coat of Paint

    photography Michelle Matiyow and Lians for LM studios
    paint work Vincent Sherk
    styling Rebecca Stevens
    model Paulina Wycka @ Wilhelmina
    make-up Andrea Duchesneau
    hair Kennice for Klix @ Heidi Bashar Salon

    jacket Dries Van Noten, pants Yigal Azrouel, shoes Gucci
    jacket Gucci, dress Alice + Olivia, shoes Chanel

    coat DKNY, dress Vera Wang, shoes Christian Louboutin

    jacket Prada, dress Eryn Brinie
    dress Michael Kors

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    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    Final Thoughts

    Style correspondent PLAY rounds up Paris Fashion Week...

    The Mood
    So yes, Paris had to tighten its belt in this nasty economic climate, which meant more presentations and fewer runway shows. But naturellement, everyone pretended they weren't personally affected. And actually, the reality for the average fashion editor is akin to Franz Kafka’s diary entry from August 2, 1914: "Germany declares war on Russia. Afternoon: swimming lessons."

    Tweet a Trend
    Like anyone else, I want to know what's new. But I never thought I'd be turning to my cell phone to read pedestrian chit-chat on Twitter. This was a case of the early bird getting the trend. In fact, the trend this season was Twitter.

    Celebrity Fatigue
    I first spotted Kanye West and entourage gatecrashing their way into Viktor & Rolf. It turned out Kanye was causing havoc everywhere. He was the new Bruno. Meanwhile, at Chanel, I almost got crushed by paparazzi surrounding Lily Allen, before swarming around Kate Moss in the front row. It left me wondering how more celebs don't end up train wrecks like Amy Winehouse.

    Queen Beth
    But the celebrity had to be Love cover star Beth Ditto, as if following the season's unofficial motto: It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Apparently her mission was to show the outside world that the old cliché of fashion being a gated community for diet-obsessed, humor-free folks is out of touch. Ditto's finest moment was performing with her band The Gossip at the Fendi party. I wanted to tweet: "OMGOMG!!! ditto does britney! nipplegate any sec!!"

    She's Got the Look
    Sometimes the best way to see where fashion is going is to follow a fashion editor. Based on my stalking of Carine Roitfeld, Emmanuelle Alt and Anna Piaggi, you should think preppy, mix decades (i.e. 40s and 80s for a Casablanca-meets-Top Gun look), don double-breasted blazers (like Stella McCartney's), throw on a biker jacket and, I’m afraid to say, slip into harem pants. Key colors? Black, greige and noir tobacco, which is taking over for camel, now considered not crisis-appropriate—put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Anna Piaggi (©PLAY)

    Big Top
    If designers have their say this fall, we'll be wearing plastic bags over our heads (Hussein Chalayan), bunny ears (Louis Vuitton), S&M masks (Jean Paul Gaultier) and Leigh Bowery sex-doll lips (Alexander McQueen).

    Power Failure
    As an early-adopter of Maison Martin Margiela's leather leggings and 80s' shoulders for fall 08, I'm all for power looks. But after witnessing editor after editor working huge shoulders and oh-so-fierce platforms, I got over it fast. It felt like Art Basel last year, when I counted 20 Louis Vuitton Richard Prince bags in under two hours.

    Fur Alarm
    What the heck was the idea behind the over-presence of statement fur? Was it to prove one’s immunity to chilly economic winds? Only very few got it right, like Carine Roitfeld, who strode across Tuileries park looking fit to squash the squeeze.

    Carine Roitfeld (©PLAY)

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    Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    Black Magic

    Karl Lagerfeld is a busy man. He's just finished his seasonal triumvirate of Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld and, this morning, Chanel, where we saw the usual paparazzi clusterfuck. This time they swarmed around Kate Moss, who remained cool and relaxed in her slick, noir tuxedo number. Black also dominated the runway, but colors soon progressed to pistachio green and then to ballerina pink. Suits were gussied up with accoutrements: lace, floppy bows and knit bowler hats—perhaps to match the new Mattress bag.


    Valentino may be retired, but the brand marches on with Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccoli at the helm. Well, sort of. Sure, they stayed true to the archives with fancy opera coats, little black dresses and expensive fox-fur trim, but where was the famous Valentino red? A shocking statement, to say the least, but considering the dismal economy, it's probably better to do as every accountant wants: avoid the red, stay in the black.


    —Bee-Shyuan Chang

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    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Chanel on the Brain

    More from Rebecca Voight's convo with Karl Lagerfeld at the Monnaie de Paris...

    Lagerfeld says he "helped out" Anna Mouglalis with her costumes for the role of Chanel in the upcoming biopic "Chanel and Stravinsky, L'Histoire Secrete," directed by Jan Kounen. But he's much more excited about his own Chanel opus, to be screened in December as the opener to the house's Paris-Moscow Métiers d'Art pre-fall collection at Paris's Ranelagh theater. He cast Lithuanian model Edita Vilkeviciute (seen here), his latest discovery, as Chanel, along with the house muse Lady Amanda Harlech and her actress daughter Tallulah.

    "It's a little Max Sennett type film," Lagerfeld explained to me (think flickering black and white silent slapstick), "about the life of Chanel from 1913 to 1923. And I've spliced in newsreel footage of WWI because I think it's interesting to juxtapose fashion with the horrible images of the trenches." He had originally planned to put the show on in Moscow, "but they (Russian customs) wanted to have the clothes three weeks in advance, which means we wouldn't have been ready and the situation seemed risky, so we cancelled."

    Lagerfeld has recently returned from a visit to his new 1843 home away from home in Vermont, where he shot the Chanel spring campaign. He said he loves the house, which friends scouted for him. "It's perfect for all my Biedermeier furniture from my childhood days," he added. "I had to find somewhere to put it."

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    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Showing the Money

    By Rebecca Voight...

    At least somebody's still making money these days. The Monnaie de Paris, the storied mint that churns out France's euro coins, went into full birthday mode on Wednesday to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, issuing a solid-gold coin with a face value of 5 euros, in reference to the house's iconic N°5 fragrance. The 5 oz. coin, limited to 99, features a Lagerfeld-made portrait of Chanel in trademark hat and pearls on one side and a quilted 5 on the other.

    The cost for a gold coin is €5,900, but for those who find the price a bit steep in these copper-pinching times, the news from the mint is the coins have all been pre-sold—and we have a good idea who to. Anyway, the smaller silver coins are only €45. In total, the mint is issuing 11,900 pieces of Chanel money, which goes on sale December 1.

    And so workwear-clad coin-makers milled with Paris paparazzi and fashion fanatics deep in the old Monnaie's workrooms while the gold heated up in the minting machine as we waited for the ever fashionably late Lagerfeld to arrive with France's Minister of Culture.

    "Money sells," Lagerfeld later mused, after the first piece popped out of the machine. We then followed Chanel's Marie-Louise de Clermont-Tonnerre upstairs to the mint's gilt ballroom to quaff champagne before noon, of which Gabrielle would no doubt approve. As Karl Lagerfeld pointed out, "After 125 years, it's high time to celebrate."

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    Friday, October 3, 2008

    Paris Fashion Week: Chanel

    Pia Catton...

    Karl Lagerfeld is known to be a music obsessive. And at the show today, the only thing that topped his guitar case made of white Chanel quilting was a pair Elvis sunglasses with plastic sideburns.

    But the two models-as-rockers were only one part of the tableau. To the pop strains of "Our House" by Madness, models emerged from a giant replica of the house of Chanel at 31 rue Cambon. After leaving the façade, they walked down a gray runway painted to resemble a sidewalk. And the collection seemed to reflect the catch-all democracy of the street. There were classic suits (some in blown-out proportions) for the ladies, sweaters and leggings for les jeunes filles and a sublime gray evening gown for the princesses. Even a group of gents emerged, looking ever so Karl-like with their jeans, tuxedo jackets and high collars.

    With the natural light flowing in from the glass ceilings of the Grand Palais, the show looked every bit the ideal day: a street of chic where everyone is coming from or going to Chanel.

    Lagerfeld has a way of celebrating the tradition of Chanel without devolving into brand narcissism, if such a thing exists. After last year's carousel of giant-sized Chanel objects, this was an homage to—with apologies to Led Zeppelin—"Houses of the Holy."

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    Saturday, August 23, 2008

    Bonk Statement

    We must, must have this "King Bonk" chair and ottoman—named after the biggest piece in a game of marbles—from experimental furniture designers Fredrikson Stallard, on view at David Gill gallery for the London Design Festival from Sept. 15 to Oct. 19. As the duo apparently has an aversion to computers, the concept of these fiberglass beauties came simply from tying string around foam. Fashion know-it-alls may remember Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard from the large table they made for the new Chanel store in L.A.—white feathers encased in glass, alluding to the classic N°5 box.

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    Monday, June 9, 2008

    Chanel and Dover, Together at Last

    Chanel has dropped in at Dover Street Market, complete with a hut-like boutique, a cardboard Eiffel Tower and life-sized Karl cutouts—ironic, considering the flesh version is possibly the most animated man in fashion. Spread across five of DSM’s six floors is a wide array of ready-to-wear, accessories and shoes from the Paris-Londres Metiers d'Arts collection, as well as edits of iconic Chanel pieces and a few limited-editions, too. Coco herself once said, “Fashion is not simply a matter of clothes. Fashion is in the air, born upon the wind. One intuits it.” Those words will ring true again on June 25, when the Parisian powerhouse packs up and only the memory of the temporary takeover will remain...

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    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Chanel Cruise Collection in Miami

    More pics from Michel Gaubert. (See also his Jetsetera diary.)...



    Karl's killer heels in action

    Spotlight tanning




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    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Chanel Cruise Collection in Miami

    Pre-show pics from by the one-and-only Michel Gaubert. (See also his Jetsetera diary.)...

    Michel on the roof of the Raleigh

    Chanel jewelry designer Laetitia Crahay

    The famous pool at the Raleigh, where the show will take place

    One of Iekeliene Stange's looks


    Karl Lagerfeld's sketched invitation and Karl holding a pistol-heeled Chanel shoe

    Chanel lifesaver

    Michel's paint-splashed shoes

    Chanel's Eagle Eye

    A Hillary Clinton nutcracker one of the models picked up at a local novelty shop

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    Monday, March 17, 2008

    Pics from the glittering opening party in Hong Kong of the Chanel Mobile Art Container, a collaboration between Karl Lagerfeld, starchitect Zaha Hadid and artists Sophie Calle, Stephen Shore, Yoko Ono and the like, who used the house's signature quilted bag as their inspiration. The cream of Hong Kong and Euro stars Anna Mouglalis and Diane Kruger turned out for the launch. From here, the group show will tour major world cities until 2010...

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    Friday, February 29, 2008

    Johannes Thumfart on Chanel...

    For Chanel this season, Karl Lagerfeld chose to surprise by not surprising—and that's good. In the center of the stadium-like Grand Palais stood a gigantic carousel on which, instead of horses, the many symbols of Chanel circled: flacons, shoes, bijoux, bows, hats, lipstick, interlocking Cs and so on. With the merry-go-round as museum, Chanel celebrated its own myth in grand style, as if these items weren't already larger than life. The clothes, too, were decisively classic, with an air of nostalgia. Everything we've come to know, love and covet from the house were on parade, in shades of black, white, dusty pink and navy. And, for the kiddies who want to take a spin in Chanel, nerdy new-rave glasses and transparent raincoats with abstract patterns.

    photos by Rachel de Joode

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    Monday, December 24, 2007

    Can't keep track of all the recent store renovations? Liz Armstrong sums up...

    When Hermès acquired more property for their expansion on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré—they now reside in not one address but three, simply so clients wouldn't have to walk up multiple flights of stairs—they threw a 24-hour bash with Indian dancers, gospel singers, classical pianists, circus entertainment, a performance by Jane Birkin and a Parisian tradition of onion soup at dawn. Hard to imagine the brand started by making saddles.

    We're not sure what it is about the tranquility of nature that makes us want to shop, but leave it to Peter Marino to tactfully exploit the connection for the Place Vendome Chanel boutique in Paris. Nine months in the making, his design of an additional 1,000 square feet—devoted to jewelry—has been outfitted with scads of crystals and an enormous atruim.

    Dolce & Gabbana
    In a total shocker, Dolce & Gabbana went big and shiny for their New York store expansion. Now every surface, including a black glass stairway and glass chandeliers, in the nearly 13,000-square-foot mall on Madison gleams like Liberace's powder room. (Heads up Chicago and San Francisco, word is you're next.)

    New York's Chloé shop, on the other hand, got a make-under. All frippery, minus the equine bronze statues on the doors, has been shipped out, replaced by beige shag carpets and, well, not much else—as if awaiting designer Paulo Melim Andersson's smart, Nancy Drew-like spring collection.

    Christian Dior
    Dare we call it a picture of Diorian gray? For its 60th anniversary, fifty-six shades of shadow now dress the flagship Dior shop in Paris, including silk rugs hand-woven in Tibet that resemble spilled mercury, walls covered in embossed metallic leather, and a hand-painted fresco of the kind of sky that makes you want to stay in and read. Far from depressing, the somber innuendo's so compounded it seems to make light of itself. All of which, of course, makes you want to spend. This is luxury and tasteful hedonism done right.

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