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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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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just In: Giles Wins ANDAM

Decided today by an international jury in Paris, Giles Deacon has won the 2009 ANDAM Award and its prize of €160,000, following fellow Brit Gareth Pugh last year. Details are scant as a press release won't be issued until tomorrow, but we do know this means he'll be showing in Paris. Congrats, Giles!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hat Spat

Last night at the V&A, eccentric English milliner Stephen Jones launched his solo show of 300 or so hats with a festive finale to London Fashion Week. Prop stylist Fred Butler told us she (yes, she) was in hat heaven as she breezed around the grand space, photographing guests in their feathered, furry and otherwise festooned (and mandatory) head tableaux. Legendary retailer Michael Kostiff was on hand, as was (UK) Harper's Bazaar editor-in-chief Lucy Yeoman, Giles Deacon and male model Callum, whose mother worked alongside Stephen in his original shop.

And then, tragedy struck. Fred, who's the loveliest of girls, collided with a less-than-charming woman and the two were inextricably entangled in a hat-lock. We don't know the ugly details, but apparently insults (and maybe a hat) were hurled, feelings were hurt and Fred, our Cinderella, fled the scene unscathed, thankfully, but before she could get her Anna Piaggi pic!...

Katie Grand & Lucy Yeoman

Erin O'Connor, Giles Deacon

Judy Blame & Philip Treacy

Namalee Bolle & Bruno Basso, Michael Kostiff

Callum & mum

Teo, set designer Simon Costin

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Monday, February 23, 2009

London Fashion Week: Giles

Giles' leitmotif for fall '09 was a celebration of New Butch, from the live music set by chunky girl rockers An Experiment on a Bird in the Airpump (currently the London band to namecheck) to the street-cast and tattooed models. Even the slicked-down hair suggested an aggressive new attitude. None of this is surprising when you consider that his best friend and the show's stylist, Katie Grand, has just featured queen dyke Beth Ditto on the cover of her new magazine, Love.

Reliably, Giles showed off his offbeat side with huge flying saucer-like hats by Stephen Jones (the subject of a V&A exhibit launching right after the show), a blow-up bolero jacket and spiked conical skirts. Then came a surreal interjection with no fanfare: a model dressed as some sort of furry Mohican crossed with a giant dildo.

Of course, Giles is still part of a wider industry at the mercy of trends. So there were lots of that very fresh blue-gray color that seems to be everywhere, here seen in rubbery silicone tops and patent leather. And lots of abstract prints and big fur, which Giles interestingly started halfway down the sleeves, while his take on the season's obsession with deconstruction saw exposed seams and detailing, bringing us back to that a less-processed woman. All things are relative, of course, as Giles' prices hardly allow for Earth Mother types.

—Daryoush Haj-Najafi


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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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Monday, November 3, 2008

Royal Flash

The run-up to the launch of Flash, a three-month pop-up restaurant in the Royal Academy of Art's regal new GSK space in London, has been well-publicized—as if its well-connected owners David Waddington and Pablo Flack, both of Bistrotheque fame, would have it any other way.

And with the launch on Saturday, the verdict is in: the hype is warranted. Not only were chef Tom Collins' creations delicious, but the guests—a tight-knit bunch—were in rare form. Giles Deacon and Katie Grand, who go back nearly twenty years with Waddington, were particularly chatty. Grand was likely still riding high on all the to-do surrounding Love, her new title with Conde Nast. But although she didn't let on if she knew who her replacement at POP would be, the rumor mill's list grows longer by the day, even if most people think trying to do POP without her would be impossible. But he/she who dares, wins. No?

Many of London's biggest fashion names were to be found across town at CSM course director Louise Wilson's OBE award celebrations, making Flash's pull all the more impressive. Arty types included everyone from the Int'l Herald Tribune's Alice Rawsthorne, megastar photographer Juergen Teller and his wife and gallerist Sadie Coles to the irreverent artist Simon Popper and trash art stars Tim Noble and Sue Webster. Also making an appearance was designer Bella Freud, daughter of the painter Lucian and great-granddaughter of the father of psychoanalysis. Rounding out the fashion contingent were Style.com's Tim Blanks, Nicki Bidder of Starworks, Dazed creative director Nicola Formichetti, i-D editor Ben Reardon, Arena Homme Plus' Jo-Ann Furniss and Lulu Kennedy of Fashion East, all of whom recognize that fashion is fueled by parties that aren't just big, but also big fun.

Following dinner, fashion's favorite bearded drag artist and playwright Johnny Woo hosted a spirited game of Gay Bingo. although everyone (see above) cheated. Woo and Grand's banter was funny, fashion types just don't argue with Grand. It's like having an inner policeman, Foucault-style.

—Daryoush Haj-Najafi

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Monday, October 27, 2008

In a Flash

It seems their last pop-up restaurant, The Reindeer (read our review of the launch party), and their lasting claim to fame, Bistrotheque, aren't enough for Pablo Flack and David Waddington. The haute-restaurateurs are set to open their latest gallery-like eatery, Flash, located within GSK Contemporary, a large-scale, cutting-edge exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in the heart of London.

Open for only 80 days beginning November 1, Flash is described, rather cryptically, as a room-within-a-room. Meaning—unlike the flashy decor of The Reindeer, with its forty snow-covered fir trees—the interior design will consist of crates used to ship works of art. On display will be specially commissioned pieces by artists Alexis Teplin and Simon Popper, a coat of armor by Gareth Pugh, a Swarovski chandelier by Giles Deacon and porcelain dishes made in collaboration between artist Will Broome and Wedgwood.

A rendering of Flash's dining room

Will Broome for Wedgwood

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

London Fashion Week: Giles

Daryoush Haj-Najafi reports...

While Gareth Pugh is set to show in Paris this season, that hardly means London's talent pool has run dry. In fact, I'd venture to say that Giles Deacon has never, ever had a duff show—and not just because his former girlfriend, Pop editor and fashion colossus Katie Grand, works alongside him. It has to do with taste, a quality not mentioned enough in show reports. Only yesterday, Fantastic Man's Charlie Porter and I were discussing the surprising lack of taste in so many young collections, but this has never been Giles' problem. He has the stuff in spades: color, cut, everything.

Giles' spring collection yesterday reflected a shift from his modernist baroque aesthetic to his hard-edged and graphic roots, when he worked at Bottega Veneta and Dazed & Confused in the 90s. Back then, his own appearance was not dissimilar to the Pet Shop Boys' Chris Lowe at his most iconic—in fact, their videos were cited as an early influence. At one time, Giles was even a Bang & Olufsen model. Now his collections have gone from angular sophistication to the embodiment of the moneyed life you imagine his dresses dancing off to, but married with a cheery English charm, hence the happy Pac Man hats.

So that's were the show came from, then mixed with a multitude of ideas, enough to sustain some designers' entire careers. There were the new season's bright colors (not primary, not pop, maybe plastic), the full spectrum of skirt lengths, a few patent materials, clean lines and, with Prada-like contrariness, gray camouflage prints—a collection both pro and anti-commercial.

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