After weeks of speculation, followed by denials and still more speculation, the most dramatic and flamboyant of designers has joined the most reclusive and anonymous of labels. Announced today, John Galliano has been named creative director of Maison Martin Margiela.
And yet the placement is among the more logical for Galliano since his ouster from Dior and his namesake label after those public displays of affliction some years ago. He was never going to be brought back by Dior or hired by any other LVMH brand. Despite recent overtures to LVMH chief Bernard Arnault, nor could he rejoin his own company — it seems LVMH would rather see it stagnate than returned to Galliano's hands. That other great French conglomerate, Kering (formerly PPR), seems just as unwilling to take the risk. Starting a line from scratch would require an enormous amount of good will from the public, and that's just not in plentiful supply at the moment.
So that gives an outlier the opportunity to buy into Galliano's remaining cachet. And that's exactly what happened with the news that Margiela's parent company, Only the Brave, and its president Renzo Rosso had appointed Galliano as MMM's creative director, a stark turnaround for the Belgian label known for its strict adherence to anonymity and unattributed works. But the Belgian label is managed by Italians (in addition to Margiela, Only the Brave controls Diesel, Viktor & Rolf, and Marni), and it's always been more likely that an Italian or American group would invest in Galliano's comeback. As that residency at Oscar de la Renta didn't lead to a permanent position (presumably due to staffing differences), that left Rosso wide open.
Margiela had already been moving in a more commercial direction of late. The goal seems to be more reaching that holy grail, Hollywood, and its lucrative red carpet, an area Galliano knows well as Dior's couturier for 15 years. While details on the deal are still scant, it's expected he'll take charge of all of Margiela's various lines — men's, women's, couture (called Artisanal by the label) — starting with couture in January. Awards season may be awash in Margiela gowns by Galliano.
Advertising photographer Sandro Miller, whose clients include American Express, Coca-Cola, and BMW, knows his way around flawless lighting and a meticulous set. In tribute to photographic greats, Miller enlisted friend and collaborator John Malkovich to recreate some of the world's most famous images.
Recreations include Annie Leibovitz’s iconic image of a naked John Lennon wrapped around Yoko Ono (1980), Victor Skrebneski's smoking Bette Davis (1971), Bert Stern’s Marilyn Monroe with flowers (1962), Pierre et Gilles' Jean Paul Gaultier in a marinière (1990), Irving Penn’s Truman Capote in a corner (1948), Robert Mapplethorpe’s self-portrait with a gun (1982), and Richard Avedon’s beekeeper (1981).
Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich, Nov 7 - Jan 31, 2015, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Here's how the phenomenal carpet on Dries Van Noten's spring runway was created by Argentinean artist Alexandra Kehayoglou, woven and tufted entirely by hand in four weeks and shipped to Paris just in time for the show...
Bindle & Keep sounds like one of those made-to-measure old-school tailors on Savile Row. And in a way, it is, although for a different sort of gentleman. The Brooklyn-based suit-makers specializing in bespoke suits for men, women, and in-between clients of all identifying kinds recently got a major boost with a feature in the New York Times. Now it's getting an HBO documentary produced by Lena Dunham and her production company, A Casual Romance Productions, along with her Girls co-producer Jenni Konner.
Called Three Suits, the doc will explore the relatively unexplored terrain of transitioning formal attire. It will follow several transgender clients as they have custom suits made by Bindle & Keep, through the fittings and unique situations posed by unique circumstances. It will likely be every bit as charmingly awkward and gratingly heart-warming as Girls. Or as Dunham tweeted yesterday, "Breaking down binaries."
Everyone knows about Rihanna's boobie blunder on Instagram, and fashion folks are familiar with Grace Coddington's own titillating transgression on the Facebook-owned app. Even The New Yorker famously ran afoul of Facebook's censors by showing cartoon cans on a post-coital Eve in the Garden of Eden (Adam's own cartoon nipples were, of course, totally fine).
Now Facebook has targeted yours truly, temporarily blocking our page. No reason has been given, but there's been a lot of waving around of their Community Standards, that end-of-discussion smokescreen that couldn't be more vague. A while back, however, Gawker got its hands on a document with a list of procedures that Facebook expects its 'monitors' to follow (we use fauxtation marks because these monitors are not full-time employees working out of FB's California HQ, but people working from home in developing countries and earning $1 an hour). Hilariously, the document says monitors must confirm an offense (meaning they must remove it) if it meets criteria like "naked 'private parts' including female nipple bulges and naked butt cracks." So that would explain two previous photo scrubs from our page: Steven Klein's underwear campaign for Dsquared and a Juergen Teller self-portrait with Charlotte Rampling, in which a small pube tuft can be seen peeking out from between his legs — although you might need a magnifying glass. Seriously, Facebook removed those from our Page.
Even more hilarious are instructions to remove "blatant depictions of camel toes and moose knuckles." Oh, god! Did we accidentally upload an image of those most unholy of crimes against decency?! We raced through recent posts and found...none. Hmmm, what other egregious displays of nudity had we inadvertently let slip through the modesty stars we've been putting over private parts for many months? We checked...still nothing.
Obviously something was up. You hear about hordes of self-righteous trolls who spend their days 'reporting' any page, any post, any pic for any reason. What could they possibly be latching onto, so sure in their belief that they know best what everyone should be exposed to? We started to wonder if our infraction stemmed from that reliable old wedge issue, eating disorders. If that were the case, could one of these pics from Tom Ford's and Calvin Klein's spring collections be the culprit, both of which garnered robust user commentary?
We simply don't know what our villainy was because Facebook won't tell us (although we've managed to achieve one small miracle —getting in touch with an actual person, but that person will only confirm the existence of the issue). If we only knew the evil we've wrought, we could change our horrid ways and get back into Facebook's good graces. Our minds wandered and wandered. Maybe it was one of our occasional anti-war views that sent a far-right nutcase into a reporting frenzy, or a pro-transgender sentiment that did the same. Digging deeper still, we found a recent post that featured the work of animation artist Jeff Hong, who portrays Disney characters in unhappy real-life scenarios. But the art cautions against climate change, against deforestation, against animal testing, against racism. Clearly there were more thought-provoking and satirical than socially delinquent and actionable.
Maybe the issue isn't complicated at all. Maybe it's as simple as someone out there finding Miley Cyrus's art for Jeremy Scott's show a sad statement on modern celebrity — in which case, join the club, buddy, don't report the messenger.
We didn't want to believe people when they dismissed Facebook as a dumping ground for quizzes, cat videos, and ice-bucket challenges. Anything with a whiff of controversy, they sneered, is better left to other social media. After this debacle, we'd have to agree. Add to that FB's ever-present algorithm that rewards G-rated posts, its ghastly anti-privacy practices, its sadistic "real name" policy that's driving performers with aliases (i.e. drag queens, who we should all cherish!) to the brink, its large donation to a virulently anti-gay politician in Utah, and you start to see a disturbing pattern of abuse — Facebook's abuse.
We'd love to know why we — a mere fashion site — were arbitrarily singled out. Because, Facebook, it isn't just us you think you're punishing. You're also punishing the designers, big and small, who kindly asked us for a FB post to help promote their spring collection, as well as the fashion school that requested, through FB, our help in showing their students' graduate work. Not to mention all the unknown, unsung names we support on a daily basis. It's not like we've never paid to boost a post, and that makes us a bona fide customer, not just a user. So won't you tell us what's up, Facebook? What gives? Don't you like us anymore?
For its finest Scotch whisky, Blue Label, Johnnie Walker keeps it mellow with a "rarer than rare" Italian boat, the British Virgin Islands, a gentlemen's wager, and a bit of hip-swaying and piano-playing from none other than Jude Law. He's joined by the Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini in this film short by British director Jake Scott...
Post sponsored by Johnnie Walker
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!
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?