The skinny-heel pushback is well underway. The latest evidence comes from Acne Studios, whose plus-size women's Quad shoe for fall takes the best of the traditional oxford and adds an enlarged cube toe, as well as a chunky sole, for beautiful-the-way-I-am appeal. Available in white on white, black on white, and brown camo on black.
$600 at Acne Studios stores and acnestudios.com
The original Dover Street Market in London has reached its first decade — or it will on September 10 — and what a glorious ten years it's been. Judging from the swirl of launches, limited editions, and special events surrounding the tenth anniversary, Rei Kawakubo — and, by extension, her Comme des Garçons label — couldn't be happier.
In fact, on the topic of happy, Pharrell Williams has launched his new scent GIRL to coincide with the festivities, marking the occasion with a special colored box. Additionally, spaces have been constructed for Louis Vuitton's fall collection — the first by its new creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière — and for Nike Lab, including its sneaker collaboration with DSM.
Designers and friends of DSM have also created commemorative pieces, such as Simone Rocha’s pointed silver shoes, Stella McCartney's kids items, and Phoebe English’s T-shirts. Souvenir items either designed or chosen by Kawakubo — flip flops, mugs, tote bags — have been given their own stalls, while the whole store is clad in a poster installation emblazoned with quotes from Kawakubo herself.
But, in typically contrarian Comme style, the house would now like to divert your attention from its first ten years and focus on the next ten years. To that end, Kawakubo has compiled a list of future-oriented books and films for you to consume as you adopt DSM not only as a retail destination, but a life philosophy. In other words, it's pretty much mandatory.
Rick Owens doesn't do anything by dribs and drabs. So his Selfridges takeover isn't schlocky window dressing, but a storewide installation anchored by a massive, imposing monument to himself — a 25-foot, 1.5-ton sculpture of his toned torso. Created by artist and house collaborator Doug Jennings, the fiberglass statue — which took 20 members of Hot House construction crew 12 weeks to build — holds up a torch that will glow 12 hours a day and burst with flame each quarter hour. A takeover celebrating 20 years since his first collection demands nothing less than Selfridges' most exhaustive designer focus to date.
Additionally, Owens has created a series of conceptual exhibits in four key windows. Three of the four windows are inspired by Owens’ favorite opera, Salomé, with music by Richard Strauss and words by Oscar Wilde. “[Salomé] is a ridiculously lurid biblical story about obsession with beautiful purity and the drive to destroy it," says Owens. "Depravity and elegance is one of my favorite combos.” The fourth window features an 'impossible' staircase made of black wood appearing to descend to Selfridges' Concept Store, where an immersive curation of items — furniture, tableware, books, albums (Jayne County's autobiography!) — shed light on Owens' creative universe.
Finally, Owens has designed a limited-edition, 20-piece collection under his DRKSHDW label. The collection includes trans-seasonal, mostly unisex styles emblematic of his aesthetic, including the crinkled leather jacket, tunics, and do-rags. The collection will be available in various Selfridges locations.
Hedi Slimane's unlikely love affair with Los Angeles shows no signs of cooling off. Not only did he relocate Saint Laurent's atelier to Tinseltown — a major move, to say the least — upon becoming creative director of the French house last year, now he's opening the brand's largest women's store on Rodeo Drive, smack in the middle of Beverly Hills. This effectively snatches the title of global flagship from Paris.
The three-level, 10,000-square-foot space will launch in September, according to WSJ magazine, with the top floor dedicated to VIPs and, perhaps more importantly, their stylish progeny — this is Hollywood, after all. There's going to be a secret back entrance and everything. The news comes on the heels of financial reports suggesting Saint Laurent has become very profitable for parent company Kering (formerly PPR), perhaps its most profitable label. It would seem Slimane's reboot has found traction.
Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy — who told Hint a while back he aspires to make clothes for those born after 1991, the year the USSR formally ended — does not fit neatly into a box. His design sensibility is challenging not for the usual reasons (deconstruction, asymmetry, tech fabrics), but because it plays with notions of dated, obsolete, tacky glamour often associated with oligarch wives — in the way Prada refers to Germany's Stasi style.
Take these jackets, for example, the clear standouts in a collection otherwise full of skater prints and street influences. Their nubby faux-fur fadedness is undeniable, owing to the fact they're made of 100% polyester, an intentionally down-market decision. They look faux for other reasons, too. Although they're unisex, they're sized in US men's designations and made in Romania, not exactly a style hotbed or important manufacturing center.
$570 - $730 at Opening Ceremony
Except for a short gap between 2011 and 2013, Raf Simons has been going at it for Fred Perry, tweaking the sporty label's signatures to his own off-kilter ends. Fall 2014 is their 10th collection, a study in artful patch and pocket placement, Haçienda-inspired diagonal stripes (made famous by Peter Saville), and color-blocked knits.
One of the more statement pieces is the diamond-quilted Raf bomber in green, applied with patches of diagonal striped fabric. Other key pieces include the optical-stripe Raf shirt, the two-button Raf sweat, and the lace-knit Raf sweater — in autumnal shades of royal purple, burgundy, pine green, navy, and Halloween orange.
$160 - $495 in Fred Perry Laurel Wreath shops and Fred Perry
You know a new season is here, or almost here, when Proenza Schouler's new stock arrives in its e-store. A ton of new fall arrivals just went up on the site, in all their building insulation glory. So while it may sound icky and prickly now, in the summer heat, just wait until the colder months — by October, you'll be begging for some thermal foam on your body. And remember, the boys make their fabrics from scratch, so while it looks like insulation, it is not technically insulation. Concept over trends.
Also on the site, you can catch up with all the cute street posters the duo have made to promote their stores, which, with the addition of the brand-new Soho location, totals two.
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In the great tradition of the namesake designer, Sarah Burton continues to pay homage to society's damned and discarded in her Alexander McQueen collections. For men's fall 2014, she looked to the British photographer John Deakin for historical inspiration. Before dying broke and all but forgotten in 1972, Deakin regularly took photos of Lucian Freud's strange coterie, which the modern master often used to paint his lumpy, languid nudes.
As gold outlines, these works of modern art live on in the house's fall 14 offerings, as do a striking portrait of the poet Oliver Bernard on the front of a white shirt — pictured with the same collar as the shirt itself — and a self-portrait of Deakin splashed across the entirety of a tux-topcoat hybrid.
Shop Alexander McQueen men's pre-fall or select from below...
London accessories designer Anya Hindmarch has made a killing from her clever clutches that riff off consumer-pop themes — smiley faces, bags of chips and, most famously, Tony the Tiger, of children's cereal fame. She's selling these wily wares, along with her regular fine leather goods for fall, in Mini-Mart, a shop-in-her-own-shop in Mayfair. Lasting three months, Mini-Mart will also serve 99 flavors of ice cream because, well, the address is 99 Mount Street — and nothing screams pop like ice cream.