Falling Down for Art's Sake

Sandro Giordano is an Italian photographer who builds elaborate setups involving people falling down and their stuff flying everywhere. That's it. That's his thing. And why not? Humans are programmed to find faceplants funny.

"My photographs are short stories about a falling-down world," he says. "Each shot tells of worn-out characters who, as if a sudden black-out of mind and body took over, let themselves crash with no attempt to save themselves because of fatigue. They reach their limit beyond which their false self cannot go."

Sandro is gaining a huge following for his colorful schadenfreude, which also serve as a cautionary tale as we head into the Milan collections. Are you listening, designers and models? Don't forget to get your rest and take your vitamins. And when someone says 'break a leg,' please don't actually break a leg or other limb like Sandro's poor souls (who, by the way, are live models asked to hold those poses for hours). Safety first!

Sep 17, 2014 22:27:00
Vivienne Westwood

Shallow Not Stupid

As a Soho-Scottish expat, my heart shouts YES YES YES to the referendum vote. So I was ecstatic that the other Viv, Dame Westwood, dedicated her Red Label spring 2015 show, Democracy, to supporting Scotland's freedom. Even the queue was democratic, with Vivvy's son Ben Westwood — imagine Harvey Keitel in Taxi Driver, but with better boots — and his leather-clad Japanese wife waiting in line behind me.

England's other Queen has been with me at all the big moments. From my first day at school when I turned up in a punk pink Anarchy shirt worn with my midget granny's Chanel jacket and St. Trinian's-style trashed silk stockings, my place was secured as the class-fash leader.

John Waters, who describes his look as 'disaster at the dry cleaners' advises that to be a fashion leader you need to annoy your peers, not your parents. My school uniform annoyed everybody except my best accessory, Fat Cat, the flabster friend who would make even Lena Dunham look thinster if she were sitting next to her. So I sat in the front row with the cheek to wear an old — let's call it vintage — High Street red dress with, of all things, black stockings. Everyone knows it's flesh-colored tights this year. I'm so fucking rad!

The usual questions flashed through my mind the night before Queen Viv's show in Bloomsbury's Victoria House. Will I be the fattest one in the front row? Should I have taken the advice of the skeletor in Yves Saint Laurent, who suggested that I have my chest amputated to fit into a size-zero Le Smoking? Why is Westwood's youngest son called Joe Corre and not Joe McLaren? Is it because everyone shouts "Cor!" when they see his Agent Provocateur underwear? Will I be able to resist putting pins on the seats of those hacks who compete to look more bored than Victoria Beckham? And the big question, the one that haunts me every day: What will I wear?

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Sep 17, 2014 13:11:00
Urban Outfitters' Kent State vintage sweatshirt

Is Urban Outfitters Trying to Be as Offensive as It Possibly Can?

Urban Outfitters has really done it this time. The conservative-owned company (whose right-wing co-founder, president, and CEO Richard Hayne is worth nearly $2 billion) has managed to top its many previous offenses, including that Holocaust-reminiscent 'Jewish Star' shirt.

Over the weekend, the company was selling a vintage Kent State sweatshirt, complete with apparent blood splatter, on its website. The item, priced at $129, seemed to allude to the tragic 1970 campus massacre of anti-war student demonstrators by the Ohio National Guard that that left four dead and many more wounded, becoming a symbol of college activism and state brutality.

"We only have one, so get it or regret it!" read the listing. But who's regretful now? This morning Urban Outfitters issued the following apology:

"Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset."

Shortly after that, Kent State issued this statement:

"May 4, 1970, was a watershed moment for the country and especially the Kent State family. We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever.

We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.

We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future."

Sep 15, 2014 12:58:00

Unhappily Ever After by Jeff Hong

New York animation artist (and big Disney fan, he says) Jeff Hong has created less-than-rosy portrayals of Disney characters as they'd fare in today's IRL world. They are not cheery images, but they are poignant in their depictions of very real challenges, from climate change to drug addiction to ocean pollution. 

Sep 13, 2014 11:38:00
Nicole Kidman at the Tod's party

Most Annoying Celebrities at NYFW

Whenever we run one of these Most Annoying Celebrities posts, inevitably someone — the 40-year-old president-slash-treasurer of the Taylor Swift fanclub, and that sort  — shrieks, But why-y-y-y??!!! As if it isn't completely obvious. You can even see it in the stars' expressions, that telltale look that says, Crap, why did I listen to my publicist and come here? You see, we fashion folks already have a semi-mondaine of self-important VIPs to contend with. Camera-hunting Hollywood slebs just get in the way, and they know it. They've already ruined Los Angeles. Please, leave fashion to New York.

So here they are, the most annoying of the annoying celebs at the New York collections. Did we miss anyone?...

Nicole Kidman at the Tod's party...

Dakota Fanning at Rodarte...

Sarah Jessica Parker at Gareth Pugh...

Kate Bosworth at Boss...

Allison Williams at Rag & Bone...

Paris & Nicky Hilton...

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Sep 12, 2014 20:34:00
Louis Vuitton Tailoring

Planes, Trains and Louis Vuitton

Sorry, men. You can thank Louis Vuitton for having no excuse for traveling in sweats anymore — or worse, your pajamas. The ultimate luxury travel brand has launched Tailoring, a new permanent collection designed by men's creative director Kim Jones that merges comfort and functionality with the formal suit. Single- and double-breasted jackets are lined yet lightweight, with shoulders that are structured yet flexible. Three inside pockets accommodate a boarding pass, passport, and cell phone. Pants are wrinkle-resistant while slim-fit shirts are made of super-thin blue or white chambray. Mercifully, the vest has been completely left out of the equation.

Sep 03, 2014 16:35:00
The de Blasio family at the Mermaid Parade 2014

New York Gets a Boost from Its Fashion-Loving New Mayor

Surprise! The de Blasio family loves dressing up in costumes. Here they are at the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island this year (for the record, Bill de Blasio and his son Dante are not mermaids, but a pirate and Neptune, Roman god of the sea). Not even a water theme could convince Chiara to trade in her signature floral headband.

But aside from the light-hearted fun of that day, New York's new mayor is serious about his commitment to the city's fashion industry. To prove it, he's hosting a formal cocktail at Gracie Mansion for CFDA members during NYFW. Plus, earlier this year he gave a speech at the CFDA Fashion Incubator, where he spoke candidly about his maternal grandmother, who secured passage to the United States by starting an embroidery business. He's also appointed one of his deputies as a special fashion liaison.

Further, de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, is expected to hit a small number of spring collections, including Nanette Lepore, who dressed her for her husband’s inauguration.

Sep 02, 2014 15:56:00
Saint Hoax

Saint Hoax Tackles Anorexia in Advance of Fashion Week

The semi-anonymous artist who created controversial posters portraying Disney princesses as victims of rape and domestic abuse is back with a disturbing new series. Known only as Saint Hoax, she depicts Disney princesses and princes as anorexic, presumably in anticipation of Fashion Week. Just days ago, CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg sent out an email reminding members of its health guidelines regarding eating disorders...

Aug 29, 2014 13:31:00
Miranda July in Somebody

Miranda July's Meta-App for Miu Miu

Not exactly a big fan of the Internet, Miuccia Prada let her view of the digital realm be known today with the screening of the latest in Miu Miu's short-film series, Women's Tales, at the Venice Film Festival. Called Somebody, the ten-minute short tells the story of an app that lets users text emotional messages to each other, but delivered verbally by the nearest stranger, thereby rehumanizing communication between people.

The brainchild of Miranda July, the short captures the cockeyed, ironic tone of the actress-screenwriter's work, particularly her feature-length film Me and You and Everyone We Know, which won the Caméra d'Or prize at Cannes in 2005.

Naturally, pieces by Miu Miu appear throughout, a motley selection of items from the fall 2014 collection mixed with vintage and streetwear. “With this collection Miuccia Prada seemed to be drawing from the everyday, utilitarian world around her," says july. "I fantasized that I was reverse-engineering the clothes back to their origins.”

In the biggest twist of all — a meta-twist, if you will — the Somebody app has been made for real users in the real world in real time. With support from Miu Miu, July worked with a team of developers to create the free app, downloadable here. It's hard to imagine anyone using it for more than novelty reasons, but it's at least good for a few laughs in Venice today. Let's see, what could we get Lena Dunham to say to Ed Norton, both of whom are expected at the post-screening dinner at Ca’ Corner della Regina.

Aug 28, 2014 15:13:00

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