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Monday, June 1, 2009

Headline Trip

  • Following Burberry last week, today it was announced that Matthew Williamson will return to London Fashion Week in September, celebrating LFW's 25th anniversary, after seven years in New York.
  • John Galliano, too, will show his Christian Dior couture collection at the Dior salon on Avenue Montaigne for the first time in ten years. [WWD]
  • Forgetting who's modeled in her collections, Vivienne Westwood asked "Who is Daisy Lowe?" at her son's art opening. But really, who can keep track? [The Sun]
  • Apparently Forbes can. They've counted down the highest paid models in the last year. Even without Victoria's Secret, Gisele scores an easy win. [Forbes]
  • What better time than retirement (yes, people, it's true) for a monograph on Maison Martin Margiela? Conceived as a work of art—with an embroidered white-linen cover, ribbon markers, twelve booklets and silver ink—it drops in October. [Rizzoli]
  • Giedre Dukauskaite, Lithuanian model and face of Prada, heads to Women agency.

  • Giedre Dukauskaite

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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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    Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    Accessory to Murder

    The contents of some handbags are quite mysterious, but are they worthy of a movie? If it's a Dior bag, then probably so. The company has been taunting us with this Lady Dior viral trailer, sending us cryptic tweets on a par with Cold War spy communiqués: "Remember this secret number: N°751B43" and "Someone is trying to unscrew the lock on the door." It's a kind of whodunnit nouveau-noir thriller with steamy close-ups of Dior pumps, a gunshot and some somewhat gratuitous bondage, all of which revolve around what may or may not be inside Marion Cotillard's bag. (It's directed by Olivier Dahan, her director in La Vie en Rose.) We wish we could know right now what, exactly, is in that damn bag, but with all the cinematic gestures in fragrance marketing right now, we're thinking it's a perfume. Maybe. Whatever it is, it's sure to be killer when the full six and a half minutes are finally released on May 20.

    —Liz Armstrong

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    Saturday, May 9, 2009

    Bohaning Up

    Christian Dior has remained one of the most enduring names in modern fashion since his first collection in 1947, in which he reversed the codes of femininity with his famous New Look. Upon his death ten years later, a gifted teenager—perhaps too gifted—took the reins: Yves Saint Laurent. A remarkable shift occurred, but Saint Laurent didn't last long before he exited in a brouhaha involving the army, a broken promise, a lawsuit and another designer by the name of Marc Bohan.

    Dior's new star couturier, Bohan remained at the helm for the next 28 years before the arrival of Gianfranco Ferré and John Galliano. A new exhibit at Musée Christian Dior (that's right, he has his own museum) in Grandville, Normandy, showcases Bohan's contributions to Dior over three decades, from the classic elegance of the 1960s, through the bohemian chic of the 70s, to the baroque extravagance of the 80s—and of course his famous collaborations with photographer Dominique Issermann. Through September 20, 2009.

    —Laurent Dombrowicz

    photo by Dominique Issermann

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    Friday, March 6, 2009

    Paris Fashion Week: Christian Dior

    No matter what John Galliano throws down the catwalk at Christian Dior, the lead-up is enjoyment enough. Where's Waldo could entertain us for hours. Waldo, of course being the celebrity guest, difficult to spot among the throng of photographers, flashing lights and the innocent bystanders just trying to find their seats. But apart from Charlize Theron, Milla Jovovich and Eva Green, there were some clothes, too.

    Galliano is on an Oriental trip for fall '09, a collection rich with Imperialism, with a flap of the 20s. The show opened subtly with Astrakhan lambswool, rich brocade, Ikat jacquard, pinstripes and ottoman wool—all in the signature Dior gray—but it soon transformed through paisley print dresses into a China of the 20s. Fur capes and tulle jackets were belted tightly over heavy silk harem trousers in dove gray, exaggerated floral prints and binding heels.

    But the final stop of the tour had more of an Indian vibe, as a bright flurry of embroidered chiffon dresses in peach, purple, blue, cerise and white swept down the runway. Milla gasped and clutched her chest; others were more taken with the heavy silver neckpieces. Galliano, of course, took to the runway after a long pause, a build-up of expensive lighting and what might as well have been a drumroll, but his top hat and Japanese tails were, for him, a disappointment. We'd have much preferred if he took his bow as a Chinese emperor—well, a Dior Emperor at least.


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    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Keeping Up with Stephen Jones

    Because you asked, here's a progress report on friend and milliner (and Hinterview subject) Stephen Jones, who has a major retrospective coming up at London's Victoria & Albert museum, timed to coincide with London Fashion Week. Considering he supplies the hats (usually large, complicated, highly festooned concoctions) for a half dozen labels each season—i.e. Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, Giles—that means he's busier than a one-legged stripper, to use a drag colloquialism we know he'd appreciate.

    But first up, he's working on the hats for Dior's pre-fall collection next Thursday, as well as Dior's couture show later this month. He says the latter haven't been drawn up yet, just abstracted, which we think means wish-listed. But even before Couture Week comes Men's Week, and Stephen has Galliano Homme, Walter Van Beirendonck and Comme des Garçons booked, plus a surprise. Well, yes, a surprise, but it's the designer's first foray into menswear, so we'll give you two guesses who it could be.

    Stephen's own fall collection, called Albertopolis (Queen Victoria's nickname for South Kensington), mirrors the 300 or so hats of his V&A exhibit. The concept is a reinterpretation of past hats for today, including those inspired by Schiaparelli and geometry to familiar pieces worn by Madonna, Boy George and other slebs. It's Stephen's world; we just live in it.

    photo by Justine

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    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Paris Fashion Week: Dior

    Pia Catton flirts back...

    Oh, those swishy little skirts at Dior! John Galliano's diaphanous and pleated silk skirts—let's be accurate and call them minis—peaked out underneath studded, belted and fitted jackets, plus a few dramatic bodices. Too bad the Met's Superheroes exhibit closed already as this collection is prime material for the power-suited Wonder Woman in all of us—at least from the waist up. Below the belt, there was more flirty thigh-skimming on Dior's runway than a college cheerleading squad. Not that long skirts can't flirt: several sheer flowing skirts offered a view to the boy-cut underoos underneath.

    Galliano's tribal inspiration included the use of bright yellow, orange and blue. (And it puts Carla Bruni’s all-plum ensembles into perspective. This is a rich Dior color spectrum.) But the tribalism raises a question: how much will a Park Avenue hostess want her Dior cocktail dresses bedazzled with the same seashells from her daughter's brush with dreadlocks at spring break? Whatever, no quibbling with genius, especially when it leads to halter tops embroidered so finely that they shine like mesh. Same goes for entire coats made of python. Same goes for the sheer gown embroidered with horizontal black stripes that contrasted against the flesh to imply an animalism.

    By my count, there were two pairs of pants in 45 looks, and they were painted-on black jersey. Which makes a certain amount of sense in the Galliano-for-Dior worldview. Legs are there to be seen. Makes you wonder how long the baggy, boyfriend jean trend will last. After all, ZZ Top never wrote a song about ankles.

    —Pia Catton

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    Tuesday, July 1, 2008

    Backstage at Dior Couture

    Photos by Sonny Vandevelde...

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    Friday, April 11, 2008

    Last night, Phillips de Pury & Co. and Decades-owner Cameron Silver hosted a “Diamonds and Dior” cocktail party at the beyond-modern Los Feliz home of the art emporium's West Coast representative, Mimi Techentin, and her architect husband. On display, courtesy of Cameron, were four Marc Bohan-designed couture Dior gowns from the 1980s. (He said he originally acquired five from a collector in Paris, but Gwyneth Paltrow was quick to snap up the fifth.) “You don’t see craftsmanship like that any more," sniffed old-school socialite and Nancy Reagan chum Nancy Bretzfield. "Now designers have their beading done in India.”

    Living up to the diamonds part, Phillips de Pury also previewed a rock collection, due to go on the block next month in partnership with French auction house Pierre Bergé & Associés. First to make the mad dash to the jewelry case for a look at the baubles, which included a $5.8 million pear diamond necklace, were actresses Natasha Wagner and Mia Kirshner, while socialites Rosetta Getty, Liseanne Frankfurt and Amanda Anka did their cooing a little later, along with art worlders Ari Wiseman (MOCA) and Erin Wright (LACMA).

    The Techentins are avid collectors and have obsessively filled up their showpiece of a house in the year they've owned it. Clad in a flowery Rodarte sheath, Mimi gave a tour of their many specially commissioned works: a chandelier by Pae White, a dining table by Roy McMakin, not to mention photos and paintings by Candida Hofer and Kevin Appel. The air was thick with art speak. Yet when the insider conversation threatened to suffocate the party atmosphere, Cameron offered to break out into song. “I used to be a singer,” he said with a laugh, before reconsidering. “Never mind. It's a successful party—nothing was stolen.”

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    Monday, February 25, 2008

    Backstage beauty at Dior...

    Photos by Sonny Vandevelde

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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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