Test your knowledge with this cheeky short video — created by filmmaker Christian Borstlap with creative agency The Ambassadors — showing the couturière's famous firsts, from the use of trompe l'oeil to her collaboration with Salvador Dali. Most of her designs and actions were, of course, intended to be "shocking" — a word that, with an exclamation mark at the end, became the name of her best-selling fragrance, launched in 1937. Nowadays the revived label is directed by Marco Zanini, whose first couture collection last month stayed true to Schiap's surrealist tendencies. The future looks...pink.
If F. Scott Fitzgerald invented the Jazz Age, then David Bailey invented the Sixties — his Sixties, an iconic black and white world full of glamour and possibility. The decade when everybody could be famous for fifteen minutes was reinvented to include East End gangsters and burds like Twiggy with estuary accents.
Bailey is the sexy East End boy who grew up to marry Catherine Deneuve, an ice queen who never married anyone else. Vogue frizzbomb and ex-model Grace Coddington described Bailey as better-looking than the Beatles, though to be fair, the Fab Four would not have been so easy on the eyes without their mod suits and Hamburg haircuts.
Bailey brought Vogue into the 20th century during an era when photographers had been upper class, or tried to be, like Princess Margaret's husband Tony Armstrong Jones and Garbo's mate, Cecil Beaton. He gave the Sixties their swing, creating the coolest decade of the century. Plus, he invented the first supermodel, Jean Shrimpton, a shy girl with a swan neck whom Vogue at first thought was funny lookin' until they saw his images of her in Manhattan.
The Shrimp became the first model as famous as a pop star like Mick Jagger, who was dating her sister. Without Jean there couldn't have been Twiggy, or even Kate. The Shrimp has long since retired to Cornwall to run her own hotel, but even if you don't know her name, you would recognize her face on a bag sold in the gift shop of London's National Portrait Gallery, where Bailey's photo exhibit has just opened. The title of the show, Stardust, comes from the notion that, as he says, "We are all made from and return to stardust."
Bailey became as famous as the people he photographed and he photographed everyone, from the Beatles and the Stones to the Kray twins. Would the East End gangsters, who probably "did" his father, giving him an ear-to-mouth scar, have been glamorous enough to be celebrities without the iconic Bailey image of them that now adorns a mug at the NPG? Apparently god isn't in the details, he's in the souvenirs.
Like most glamorous people, glamour doesn't interest Bailey. He has an obsession with skulls, which predates that of Damien Hirst, another one of his subjects. Like Chanel, he thinks style is more important than fashion. "Whatever you see in the photograph, whether you call it glamour or edge, it's already in that person. I can't put it there. It's finding it and bringing it out."
What is he bringing out in Marianne Faithfull, photographed alarmingly in her bra and pants, no longer looking like the tarnished angel of her Rolling Stones days? Did Ma Faithfull do something to upset him?
Stardust, despite covering the entire ground floor of the NPG, isn't even close to representing his entire body of work. Anyway, the dude's still in demand, having recently turned down Lady Gaga because she sounded like a headache.
His pictures of Kate Moss give her a sophisticated but innocent allure, but a lot of his best pin-ups are boys. Damon Albarn, Noel Gallagher and Karl Lagerfeld are just some of his 21st-century portraits. And Johnny Depp never looked more beautiful that when Bailey shot him showing his Betty Sue tattoo.
Andy Warhol insisted on going to bed with Bailey when he was interviewed by him for a documentary that was banned. But Andy wouldn't take off his clothes, confiding, "I have more stitches than a Dior dress."
Bailey selected the 250 images in this show himself, so there's no annoying curatorial spin. Only one picture of Deneuve, whom he was married to for seven years, but an entire room is devoted to current wife Catherine Bailey, including nude shots which are more sexy saint than Readers' Wives.
There's some reportage, as well as sculpture influenced by his hero Picasso (whose own sculpture was influenced by Gauguin) included in Stardust, but it's his pictures of monochrome faces that seduce the eye. The camera doesn't steal your soul, but the photographer has a good try. "The camera doesn't take the picture, it's the photographer," as Bailey is quoted on my pink fridge magnet.
"I'd like to have taken more pictures of the old East End, but I was busy having a good time," he said. But Bailey doesn't take pictures, he makes them. In an age when everyone has a camera, everyone has bad pics. Instagram can't supply an imaginative eye. "The silly selfies craze will die out," he says.
Maybe. One craze replaces another. But Bailey's work endures. He isn't interested in nostalgia, but understands that "The 1960s didn't end in 1969." Once the world changed, there's no going back. Bury your past in a successful future. "I'm only interested in now. When this moment is gone, it's another moment...But I'll have a word with the devil at the crossroads and see if I can get a bit more time."
Read more about Vivien Lash in her evil twin Carole Morin’s novel Spying on Strange Men
Heineken PR responds to viewers' doubts about the authenticity of their latest film, The Odyssey. But as you'll see, it's entirely possible to spot a shark in the Thames and open a bottle using only a croissant. A man in flames on a bicycle? Practically a daily occurrence...
Sponsored by Heineken
Forget private islands, elite boarding schools, and friends of Hillary. The best club to belong to is the billionaire's club — and Michael Kors has just joined it.
Bloomberg reports that with shares of the public company jumping nearly 20% today, after posting better-than-expected quarterly profits, the designer's 2% stake in his label equalled big money, enough to take him over the B hump.
So say what you will about the less-than-cutting-edge designs, because the man's net worth has nine zeros on the end. So let's take the high road and congratulate him on 33 years worth of empire-building. Clearly, it paid off. Someone in alumni outreach at FIT is calling him right now.
Just days after after it became known that the eminent New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn would be leaving the Grey Lady to spend more time with her ailing partner, Art Ortenberg, WWD is reporting that the 87-year-old co-founder of Liz Claiborne has passed away. As vice chairman, Ortenberg helped steer the company — which bore the name of the designer, co-founder, and his wife — on a path to join the Fortune 500 group of blue-chip American businesses within ten years of launch. A cause of death has not been given.
Later in life, after taking Liz Claiborne public in 1981 and acquiring one of the largest fortunes in the fashion sphere, Ortenberg put a sizeable portion of it toward his passion, the prevention of animal extinction. Begun with his wife — who passed in 2007 — on the couple's first trip to Africa in 1987, the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation has been in operation for 27 years, and continues Ortenberg's work.
As the name suggests, New York fashion PR firm Nouveau can be counted on for scouting promising young labels from around the city and beyond. Over the years, Nouveau has grown into a much-watched font of originality. Here are the inspirations of Nouveau's current stable of designers that will inform their fall collections beginning this week. Don't be surprised if you see these sparks filter up into the mainstream...
The first annual GIFys — created by the L.A.-based ad agency CP+B — were held yesterday, celebrating the best in animated pics. No actual ceremony; rather, the public vote on its favorites, which they did in droves, amassing over half a million votes.
Unbelievably, fashion was not a category, not even runway mishaps. Snubbed! In the spirit of GIF silliness, we've compiled some of the funniest fashion-related GIFs here, randomly collected in the span 10 minutes. A little sartorial schadenfreude never hurt anyone...
Nadine Strittmatter pushes a PETA activist off the runway at Christian Dior, fall 2003...
Pat Cleveland at Thierry Mugler, fall 1982...
Martin Margiela kiss...
Lanvin campaign with Raquel Zimmermann and Karen Elson dancing to Pitbull's “I Know You Want Me”...
Anna Wintour on 60 Minutes...
Lady Gaga at ArtRave...
John Galliano during his bow, men's fall 2011...
Karl Lagerfeld around the time of the supes...
Cara Delevingne hamming it up...
Kate Moss and Rihanna...
It's official. Cathy Horyn, the New York Times‘ fashion critic of 15 years, is departing the paper. With the possible exception of a handful of designers she's ruffled over the years, her exit comes with the enormous support of well-wishers near and far, exemplified in this internal letter from executive editor Jill Abramson and Styles section editor Stuart Emmrich. Her reason for leaving is simple and understandable: she wants more time to spend with her ailing partner, Liz Claiborne co-founder Art Ortenberg. But as you'll read, she isn't exactly severing ties with the Grey Lady...
It is with both deep sadness over her departure and immense gratitude for the legacy she leaves behind that we announce that Cathy Horyn, the paper’s chief fashion critic since 1999, is leaving The Times. Cathy’s reasons for leaving are personal ones, to spend more with her partner, Art Ortenberg, who has had health problems, and whom she feels would benefit greatly from her increased presence at home.
How do we measure the impact that Cathy has made at The Times? Is it in the 1,123 bylined pieces she has written in the past 15 years? The promising designers she discovered, the unoriginal ones she dismissed, the talents that she celebrated in ways that illuminated their creative process for a readership that ranged from the executive offices of LVMH to the bargain shoppers at Barneys Warehouse? We do so in all of those ways to mark the work of a woman who is the preeminent fashion critic of her generation and who has set an almost impossible standard for those who may follow.
Cathy’s is a unique voice in the fashion world, one that was immediately announced by one of her very first reviews in The Times, of the couture shows in Paris in January, 1999. Here is how she led off that piece:
"Just about everyone who comes to the haute couture collections knows that Nan is Nan Kempner, that Deeda is Deeda Blair and that Liliane Bettencourt, who was seated Wednesday in the front row at the Yves Saint Laurent show and wearing an orange muffler, is the richest woman in France. They may or may not know that the youngest couture customer at Givenchy is all of 8, or that Dodie Rosekrans, the San Francisco art patron and couture stalwart, recently bought a full-size guillotine covered with the Chanel logo for her home in Venice. But give them time. Paris is probably the only place on earth where the world’s rich, titled and tucked can always count on being connected, if only through clothes."
How can you not be immediately hooked? Times readers were, and have continued to be for the past 15 years. But Cathy was more than just a fashion critic. She was also a superb reporter, one who used fashion as her lens to look into broader cultural themes, most recently in her riveting A1 piece on Jackie Kennedy’s iconic pink suit, worn the day her husband was assassinated in Dallas and today shielded from public view, along with her blood-stained stockings, in a climate-controlled vault on the outskirts of Washington.
Cathy will be sorely missed by all of us in Styles and by the paper as a whole. But she is not leaving us completely: She will continue to work on a project that is dear to her heart: A book to be published by Rizzoli that chronicles how The New York Times has covered fashion from the 1850s to the first decades of the 21st century. No doubt it will be a great read.
Jill and Stuart
Bill Cunningham — the esteemed New York Times street-style photographer, 80-something bike enthusiast, and big-smiled living legend — has dug deep in his own archives for a series of unusual photographs he took between 1968 and 1976, which will soon go on view at the New York Historical Society.
The photos are unusual for their conflation of periods and styles; they was not intended to be a fashion shoot, but an impossible conversation, if you will, between various eras in the city's history. Cunningham, a former milliner, pairs his model (his neighbor at the time, Editta Sherman) dressed in the period costume — comprised of vintage and thrift store finds — with matching architecture. Hence the name of project, Façades.
It should be noted that this span of eight years was not a particularly glitzy period for the city, but a time when its luster was in serious decline. The city nearly went bankrupt in 1975, around the time of one particularly arresting image from Cunningham's series that shows Editta gussied up — complete with a large opera-style hat — and sitting rather uncomfortably in a subway car riddled with graffiti. It's a jarring stylistic mismatch, the only image in which Cunningham allowed the city's grit to creep into the frame.
Façades, March 16 - June 15, 2014, New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street)