Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant

Finally, a Courrèges Revival

Courrèges, the fabled French brand that helped ignite a Space-Age frenzy some 50 years ago, is returning to the launchpad. Following a revamp of its beauty line, today it was announced that the house had appointed Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant — designers of the emerging contemporary label Coperni — as artistic directors. They're the first to hold the position since founder André Courrèges and his wife Coqueline sold the company in 2011, and it's expected they'll inject the label with a youthful energy.

This is the latest triumph for the pair, who won last year’s ANDAM First Collections Prize and are among the finalists for this year's LVMH Prize. Courrèges' spring 2016 collection, shown this fall, will mark the beginning of their tenure.

May 06, 2015 11:13:00

Thanks for the Meme-Ories!

Barely a second after Rihanna swept into the Met Gala in a stunning crepe...sorry, cape with train by Chinese designer Guo Pei, piping-hot memes started rolling out of the oven. Because you haven't arrived if people aren't making food parodies...

Read More

May 05, 2015 12:39:00
Yves Saint Laurent 1971

The Shock and Awe of Yves Saint Laurent in 1971

The most shocking element about a new exhibition at the YSL Foundation isn't the assortment of broad-shouldered jackets, flirty dresses with bacchanalia prints, and peep-toe shoes that recalled post-war, Liberation-era garb and, when shown in 1971, scandalized some fashion professionals. The idea of retro had yet to enter the mainstream, as it had by the time Saint Laurent referenced the look again in 1996.

No, what's most shocking is the fact that journalists were bold and free enough to run such headlines as "Saint Laurent Insults Fashion" or to write that it was "truly hideous," as the Herald Tribune's Eugenia Sheppard did. You'd be hard-pressed to find such directness today.

Aside from the startling journalistic rejection, the small exhibit — curated by Olivier Saillard — is a touching reminder of a bygone couture heyday. The reprinted show notes list 93 outfits, which sounds like eternity today, and use such quaint parlance as 'afternoon dresses.' A video of the show starts with a suave warning that no "photographic device" would be accepted and loud commentary was prohibited. Another video, from a TV program, shows the models larking and playing in what looks like a Coney Island arcade. They exude an endearing Parisian insouciance and (inevitably) recall the joie de vivre of Sonia Rykiel.

These outfits from 1971 that harked back to WWII — their original sketches are displayed in large format on the walls — were conceived after Saint Laurent saw the incandescent Paloma Picasso in flea-market finds. They mark the designer's most fruitful period, when his antennae captured the buzz around him, as well as elements from the past that he knew would shock his audiences. Hedi Slimane aims to shock, too, and certainly the invitation to compare the two is not accidental.

Yves Saint Laurent 1971, March 19 - July 19, 2015, Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

May 02, 2015 15:17:00
Patsy and Edina, Absolutely Fabulous

Absolutely Fabulous Drunkenly Crawls Toward a Film

Fashion victims par excellence, Edina and Patsy are headed to the big screen — as if even that were big enough for their hilariously bumbling egos. Jennifer Saunders — who played Edina Monsoon, a boozy and loony caricature of a fashion editor (not always far from the truth), on the smash-hit BBC sitcom that debuted more than 20 years ago — said on the British talk show Loose Women that filming will begin later this year.

“There is a plot and that’s the miracle," she added. "It involves all the main characters and virtually everyone that’s ever been in the series, all those characters. And we’re in London and sometimes we might go to the South of France...It could be anywhere. I’m waiting for the budget. if it’s a big budget, it will be the Bahamas.”

In a case of life imitating satire, we have Joanna Lumley — who played the scene-stealing Patsy Stone, a fashion-world never-was who spends her days sleeping off hangovers and coming on to anyone with a pulse and a Y chromosome — to thank for coaxing Saunders into the project. “I didn’t do it for a while because I thought, Wouldn’t it be awful if it was awful? But now we’re all so old. Joanna said, 'Do it before we all die.'"

May 02, 2015 12:21:00
Altaussee, Austria

Shallow Not Stupid

Call me weird, but I love a detox-diet. And where better to shrink than the new medical hotel Viva Modern Mayr in Altaussee, Austria? You go in fat and come out flat. It doesn't get more idyllic than that.

No alcohol, sugar, or calls from my mom until next week is easy, but I was worried about withdrawing from high heels, espresso, and Mr. Lash. At least stressing that I might be the fattest one there made me puke up enough calories to go down a dress size before I'd even started the prep work of cleansing my colon. Retoxing with pig on pita at the airport, instead of my usual breakfast of watermelon juice, was my tiny act of diet evil before drinking the Kool-Aid.

Mr. Lash doesn't understand why I can't starve at home, while Enery, my driver, offered to lock me in his garden shed until I've misplaced a few kilos. Imagine my ecstasy when I arrived at Mayr to find a bloody filet steak waiting for me instead of the glass of milk that's on the menu at the hardcore rival clinic across the Alps.

Read More
May 02, 2015 11:30:00
Bertrand Guyon, photo courtesy of Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Names a New Designer

The revival of Schiaparelli, begun several years ago, has hit its share of snags along the way. Owned by Diego Della Valle, the fledgling label hasn't managed to find its feet yet, nor even a designer. Its most recent creative director, Marco Zanini, did not return after a two-season stint.

But things seem to be looking up for the storied house. Today came the announcement that it had tapped Bertrand Guyon, a couturier hailing from Valentino, and Givenchy and Christian Lacroix before that, as its new design director. His first couture collection — or pret-a-couture, as Schiaparelli calls it — is slated for the Paris collections in July.

“Elsa Schiaparelli is an enchanting couture house," said Guyon in a statement. "I have always been fascinated by its exceptional legacy, its luminous and intimate story, its quirky and poetic world, its ultimate chic and its endless creativity. I feel honored to be part of Schiaparelli today and develop it further, respecting its heritage and tradition while adding a contemporary and modern take, something Elsa Schiaparelli has always demonstrated.”

Apr 28, 2015 11:20:00
Still from The Artist Is Absent

A Martin Margiela Documentary Debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival

Making a film about a man, Martin Margiela, who's always refused to be photographed and interviewed (to the point that some doubt his existence) presented quite the conundrum for documentarian Alison Chernick. Indeed, as she revealed to Hint, the most challenging aspect was "telling the story without any footage of your subject — and trying not to make a boring talking-head film."

"He lives a very private life and my intention was not to impose on that," she said about the short documentary, aptly titled The Artist Is Absent. "[But] when I saw the archival footage from the maison, I knew this would be anything but boring." For the film — currently premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival — Chernick said she was able to correspond with the elusive Belgian via email; Skype was, of course, out of the question. He gave her a list of trusted colleagues who respect his vision and his strict work ethos of absolute anonymity, e.g. Jean Paul Gaultier, Raf Simons, Suzy Menkes, and others from his original crew.

Chernick herself does not have a background in fashion, but was familiar with and admired the work of the designer, who retired from his namesake label in 2009 and whose current whereabouts are unknown. (The house is now owned by Italian conglomerate Only the Brave and designed by John Galliano.) The objective of the 12-minute doc, produced by Yoox Group, was simply to "share his genius with the masses and inspire originality." She adds: "I think technology now and iPhone video, for example, can make even your grandmother a documentary filmmaker. The trick is finding some sort of passion or interest in a subject because at the end of the day, it is a labor of love."

Update 4/27/15: As planned, following its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, the short documentary is now viewable in its entirety...

Apr 22, 2015 12:33:00
HIGH zine

On Weed Day, a Zine to Ogle Hot Stoner Guys

It's 420 Day. How better to observe the holiday set aside for weed appreciation than with a prolonged perusal of HIGH, the potent new zine by and of sexy stoners? The brainchild of Carlos Santolalla — New York DJ and one half of the gay-model (DKNY, Acne Studios, Moncler) couple known as Jarlos — blends smokin' pics of hot-and-high guys with educational facts about the benefits of cannabis legalization.

Really, though, it's about the pics. As Santolalla tells Dazed magazine, "The first time I ever hooked up with a boy was because he rolled a perfect blunt for me and I found that to be an extremely attractive talent.” For those interested in ogling barely-legal, Tiger Beat-like pics of Jarlos, head over to their Instagram (called Jarlos 420, naturally), where many a Mary Jane-laced makeout pic can be found.

Read More

Apr 20, 2015 15:24:00
Patti Smith

Patti Smith Inducts Lou Reed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Patti Smith can be counted on to give good speech. Not only is she quipped with the language and cadence of a poet, but she paid attention to the gifted people and strange situations around her in the 1970s, helped by the fact that, while others indulged in excess, she chose to remain more or less sober. She can remember New York's rock heyday.

Lou Reed was one of those gifted people around her. The two were colleagues and friends, but not too close, affording her an objective take on his triumphs and struggles, kind advice and gruff foibles. Her thoughtful, poignant, emotional speech last night to induct him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (this is his first induction as a solo artist, following a group induction as the Velvet Underground in 1996, also with a speech by Smith), makes their mutual admiration abundantly clear...

"Hello, everybody. On October 27th, 2013, I was at Rockaway Beach and I got the message that Lou Reed had passed. It was a solitary moment. I was by myself and I thought of him by the ocean, and I got on the subway back to New York City. It was a 55-minute ride, and in that 55 minutes, when I returned to New York City, it was as if the whole city had transformed. People were crying on the streets. I could hear Lou's voice coming from every cafe. Everyone was playing his music. Everyone was walking around dumbfounded. Strangers came up to me and hugged me. The boy who made me coffee was crying. It was the whole city. It was more [pauses and tears up]... Sorry. I realized, at that moment, that I had forgotten, when I was on the subway, that he was not only my friend, he was the friend of New York City.

I made my first eye contact with Lou dancing to the Velvet Underground when they were playing upstairs at Max’s Kansas City in the summer of 1970. The Velvet Underground were great to dance to because they had this sort of transformative, like a surf beat, like a dissonant surf beat. They were just fantastic to dance to. And then somewhere along the line, Lou and I became friends. It was a complex friendship, sometimes antagonistic, and sometimes sweet. Lou would sometimes emerge from the shadows at CBGBs. If I did something good, he would praise me. If I made a false move, he would break it down.

One night when we were touring, separately, we wound up in the same hotel, and I got a call from him. He asked me to come to his room. He sounded a little dark, so I was a little nervous. But I went up, and the door was open. I found him in the bathtub dressed in black. So I sat on the toilet and listened to him talk. It seemed like he talked for hours, and he talked about, well, all kinds of things. He spoke compassionately about the struggles of those who fall between genders. He spoke of pre-CBS Fender amplifiers and political corruption. But most of all, he talked about poetry. He recited the great poets — Rupert Brooke, Hart Crane, Frank O’Hara. He spoke of the poets' loneliness and of the poets' dedication to the highest muses. When he fell into silence, I said, 'Please, take care of yourself so the world can have you as long as it can.' And Lou actually smiled.

Everything that Lou taught me, I remember. He was a humanist, heralding and raising the downtrodden. His subjects were his royalty that he crowned in lyrics without judgment or irony. He gave us, beyond the Velvet Underground, Transformer and 'Walk on the Wild Side,' Berlin, meditations to New York, homages to Poe and his mentor Andy Warhol and Magic and Loss. His consciousness infiltrated and illuminated our cultural voice. Lou was a poet, able to fold his poetry within his music in the most poignant and plainspoken manner.

Oh, such a perfect day [cries]... Sorry. Such a perfect day. I’m glad I spent it with you. You made me forget myself. I thought I was someone else. Someone good. You were good, Lou. You are good. True poets must often stand alone. As a poet, he must be counted as a solitary artist. And so, Lou, thank you for brutally and benevolently injecting your poetry into music. And for this, we welcome you, Lou Reed, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

Apr 19, 2015 22:07:00

Sign up for our Email Newsletter,
“A Little Hint”