Alexander Wang is ushering in a whole new era at Balenciaga, and with it, a revamped website. Made in collaboration with Yoox, the new site is "nimble, intuitive and visually elegant," says the company, "a dynamic hub for e-commerce and communication."
The navigation is indeed satisfyingly nimble, plus pictures are bigger and easier on the eyes. It's the online store, though, that appears to have seen the most revamping. Chiefly, the site is now compatible with all devices. WIth more and more people buying high-end etail (no 'r') straight from their smartphone or tablet, that's a no-brainer. And there are nice smaller tweaks, too. For instance, the user can rotate the models — both men's and women's — for a complete 360-degree view of what they're wearing. Simple, clean stuff — so clean that there isn't a Kardashian in sight.
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
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.
Shop Proenza Schouler or select from below...
Selima, the Paris-New York eyewear label, already had a bestseller on its hands with the Andy, frames based on those Andy Warhol wore. Now Selima has teamed up with Colette on a mini-range of the sunglasses in hyper-saturated pop-art Technicolor, inspired by the late 70s, when disco gave way to new wave and art punk. "Think Fiorucci meets Blondie, or the Talking Heads and Lizzie Mercier Descloux," says founder Selima Salaun. Handmade in France, the seven shades are intended to be worn both outside and in — adding a little more velvet to your underground this summer.
$385 at Selima Optique in New York and Colette in Paris
Don't sweat the sweatshirt. It's still all about comfort. But should you require a pop, trompe l'oeil or other statement, take your pick...
$430 at Barneys New York
$490 at Barneys New York
$675 at Alexander McQueen
Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag of the cultishly followed French creative agency M/M (Paris) are all about secret messages, the more coded the better. An aversion to the obvious is the calling card of the press-shy duo who, over 22 years, have worked with virtually everyone in the fashion arena, most notably Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci and Nicolas Ghesquière, now of Louis Vuitton. M/M's new T-shirt collaboration with A.P.C. is no exception.
Needless to say, the designs are highly yet delightfully complicated. But it begins simply enough, with a T-shirt called Mister T, in reference to A.P.C. founder and designer Jean Touitou. With its recursive mise en abyme effect, it is also a drawing of a character in the shape of a T-Shirt. Meta much?
M/M also designed 'Jean' and 'Judith' motifs, another reference to Jean Touitou, as well as his wife. A bit of wordplay is at work here, naturally. As dogs are sometimes called toutous in French, the Jean motif resembles little black dogs while spelling out his name. This is in addition to a whole new typeface M/M created for the collaboration — which they do with most of their projects, to get into the right frame of mind. So this spring and summer, why not confound everyone around you with slogan tees that look like anything but?
$110-155 (men's or women's sizing) at A.P.C. stores and online.
Raf Simons has gone graphic for his 9th collaboration with Fred Perry. For spring, Raf Simons X Fred Perry consists of polos, jackets, and light sweaters, each piece exploring color, pattern, and proportion in its own bold way. Combine them for amplified effect.
$160-$550 at Fred Perry stores and online store.
Watch a (very) short video for the collection by Willy Vanderperre...
British photographer David Bailey — whom our Vivien Lash credits for inventing the Swinging Sixties, no less — is having a moment. A retrospective of his nearly 60-year career, Stardust, has just opened at London's National Portrait Gallery. Culled by the man himself, it's a must-stop for the fashion pack en route from the New York shows.
A commemorative series of unisex T-shirts has also launched, made in collaboration with the East London creative agency The Bleach Room. One per decade, the six fronts — comprised of tweaked versions of his famous portraits of Mick Jagger, Boy George, Michael Caine, Grace Jones, John Lennon, and Johnny Depp — show the breadth and persistence of the still-working lensman.
Hard as it is to believe, Zero + Maria Cornejo turns 15 this year. To celebrate, the Chilean-American designer asked fifteen of the brand’s nearest and dearest (clients, friends, artists) to choose a favorite piece of clothing from their own Zero wardrobes — including one in Zero's first print — to be re-issued in new colors or new fabrics for spring. A hangtag will tell a personal anecdote from the artist who wore it.
Working in a wide range of disciplines, these elite fifteen include Cindy Sherman, Tilda Swinton, Wangechi Mutu, Kara Walker, Cat Power, Karen O, and Miranda July, each embodying the Zero spirit of originality and nonconformity. The capsule collection will launch at Barneys locations in the US and Zero + Maria Cornejo stores on Bleecker Street (New York) and Melrose Place (Los Angeles), as well as Zero's newly designed e-store.