Kimberly Ovitz, spring '11

Kimberly Ovitz Is Mad for Minimalism and "Sick for Press"

With minimalism returning to the fashion fore, diehard fans of the genre are begging the question: What’s different this time around? Thankfully, we have L.A.-based designer Kimberly Ovitz to offer new perspective. After honing her skills in art history and design at Brown and Parsons, respectively, coupled with a few prestigious internships including W magazine and Karl Lagerfeld, Ovitz has built a brand-new brand of minimalism, not to be confused with your tried-and-true Jil Sander turtlenecks.

Inspired by the likes of artists Robert Ryman, Sol LeWitt and Louise Nevelson, Ovitz knows her way around a camera and how design and photography inform each other. She knows which pieces will strike a chord with editors—or, as she likes to say, which looks are going to be “sick for press.”

For spring '11, Ovitz started with the most prosaic of shapes, the square. The motif showed up everywhere, from patterns cut in square shapes to a set design made of lighted cubes, down to the eye make-up. Artists choose the square for its simplicity, and as Ovitz puts it, the way the uniform shape can “make order out of chaos.”

Ovitz started her line in spring '09, at the peak of the recession, even while most young designers would be deterred by the approaching abyss. Her work isn’t intended to appeal to the upper-echelon jet set. Her muse is complex, strong, and intelligent. The Ovitz girl is not the one you see demanding her boyfriend hail her a cab; she’s taking the subway uptown for the opening of the latest Richard Serra exhibit.

Dec 22, 2010 00:00:00

A New Jewelry Line, 1-100, Has Your Number

Some, if not most, things in life are better in quantity. Bon bons, shoes, freckles, snowflakes, presents under the tree are just a few of them. Here's one more: 1-100, a new unisex jewelry line by Graham Tabor and photographer Miguel Villalobos. (Tabor also co-designs the Blouson Noir clothing label with super-stylist Melanie Ward.) Despite the plurality of the name, however, no two pieces are exactly the same, as each silver, leather or rubber number is painstakingly handcrafted in the duo's New York studio. Yet the result is a seamless blend of personalities, styles and disciplines. Here, a three-way with the twosome...

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Nov 28, 2010 00:00:00
Thomas Tait

Thomas Tait's Work Is Not About Goth, But It's Not a Box of Kittens Either

How's this for precocious? In 2007, at the age of 20, Thomas Tait became the youngest student to join Central Saint Martins' MA in womenswear. This year, freshly graduated, he was crowned the winner of the prestigious Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize, edging out Mary Katrantzou, Hermione de Paula and Louise Goldin, among other favorites to win. With a clever understanding of structure and non-fabric materials, combined with a brooding intensity and a healthy regard for couture, Tait is poised to become the UK's next design star. Oh, and get this, he's Canadian...

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Nov 17, 2010 00:00:00
Ligia Dias

Jewelry Designer Ligia Dias Is Comme-Approved

Ligia Dias started out in ready-to-wear and worked for a time at Lanvin before detouring into jewelry and winning the Andam prize for Young French Design in 2009. No sooner did Rei Kawakubo get a load of her povera approach—i.e. mounting humble washers and grapplers on grosgrain to render them haute, and mixing bourgeois pearls with run-of-the-mill chains or hand-painted wood—than she ordered a pile of pieces exclusively for the Comme des Garçons boutique in Tokyo.

Speaking of Japan, Dias is headed to Kyoto with her trusty tools for a six-month artist’s residency. Not surprisingly, her next collection will marry her industrial signature with an artisanal Japanese aesthetic. (Plus, as she notes, her ribbons are already from Mokuba.)

We caught up with the quick-moving designer...

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Oct 18, 2010 00:00:00
Mint Designs

Mint Designs Win Japan's Prestigious Mainichi Fashion Prize

Look closely at the biographies of Japan’s top fashion designers, young and old, and you’ll likely come across mention of the Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix, a prestigious industry award presented by Tokyo's Mainichi newspaper. Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo was the first to grab the honors in 1983. More recent winners have included Toga and Mina Perhonen.

This year, the prize went to quirky label Mint Designs, even if its designers and Central Saint Martins grads Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi approach the label more as product design than fashion. The designers are on a mission to create, say, a coat or a sock in the way an industrial designer might endeavor to perfect a chair. As such, each season is less about presenting a new look and more about getting nearer to this elusive ideal.

This has not made Mint Designs immediate fashion darlings. “We’ve had this concept since we started the brand, which not so many people got," they said. "But now people who are design-conscious, though not necessarily fashion-conscious, like our clothes.” Their latest collection, auspiciously titled “A New Hope,” won over the jury with voluminous pieces (like maxi dresses and coats) tempered with careful stitching and geometric prints.

Visit Mint Designs

Sep 26, 2010 00:00:00
Peter Jensen

Peter Jensen Has a Twisted Sense of Humor

“I thought I was going to piss myself,” says Peter Jensen, thinking back to a highly comedic moment on a tarmac in Nuuk, Greenland. “It was one of those situations where, by some bizarre coincidence, half the people boarding the flight had something wrong with their legs. All these people were being wheeled through a snowstorm and they were all falling over. People were really looking at me in a weird way. I am very childish, I suppose, but I can’t help but find awkward situations funny.” While the designer's twisted sense of humor usually seeps into his collections, he doubts this instance will ever make it down the runway. “I think I’d get in a lot of trouble, everyone is so PC.”

Jensen also has a thing for off-color muses—no Angelina Jolie here. Iconic outsider Sissy Spacek and figure-skating brutesse Tonya Harding have inspired previous collections, the Harding collection even shown in an ice-skating rink by competitive skaters. “I don’t take myself too seriously,” he says. “You would never find me saying I want to define the new white. It just doesn’t come natural to me.”

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Sep 08, 2010 00:00:00
Rad Hourani

Unraveling the Mystery that Is Rad Hourani

Since his Paris debut in 2007, Rad Hourani has been like a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma under a black leather tunic. Now showing in New York, he's as abstruse as ever, his models—male and female—giving nothing away as they storm down the runway sheathed in all-black, armor-like uniforms, as if they're some chic army from the future. With a photo exhibition coming up in New York and a film script in the works, it seems there's yet another layer to the designer. Here, one writer's attempt to unravel the mystery that is Rad Hourani...

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Sep 01, 2010 00:00:00
Mark Fast, fall '10

Mark Fast Actually Loves Lady Gaga

In the past year, two tremors have rocked the London fashion scene and designer Mark Fast's place in it. First, his last two catwalk shows have seen a near-sacrilegious mingling of plus-sized models with the regular minus kind, making his already-clingy Lycra knit dresses a big, bold statement on their more-to-love figures. And second, he denied Lady Gaga the use of his garments, for fear of...well, you can read his answer below. Both intensified the spotlight on the East End-toiling newbie—and helped him nab cushy sponsorships.

Next month, Fast will show his spring '11 collection at London Fashion Week's Somerset House, which has the fashion crowd wondering if another faux pas will rock their worlds. We caught up with Fast to talk about his newfound fame and just how fast he plans to go...

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Aug 25, 2010 00:00:00
Heaven Tanudiredja for Juun J

Heaven Tanudiredja Makes Jewelry That's, Well, Heaven-Sent

Harboring a strange and lifelong fascination with French military jets, Balinese-born Heaven Tanudiredja took off to study fashion design in France, but landed in neighboring Belgium. Close enough. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Antwerp with a degree in menswear, he held stints with John Galliano, Dior Couture and Dries Van Noten, with whom he often collaborates. In 2007, taking a detour from fashion, he launched a jewelry label, known for its high-end beadwork and, of course, a recurring jet motif.

More recently, South Korean men's designer Juun J asked Heaven to create the jewelry for his spring '11 collection in Paris—a mere month and half before the show. The result: giant, hyper-masculine, highly sculptural, altogether mind-blowing pieces...

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Aug 23, 2010 00:00:00

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