Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Björk’s Summer Festival Style Is As Unconventional As Ever

When attending a Björk gig, expect the unexpected. The legendary Icelandic musician is currently touring Europe as part of her Orkestral tour, which sees her play with a different local orchestra and choir every night, reinventing some of her most beloved songs along the way – and at her latest stop in Manchester, she enlisted the city’s celebrated Hallé symphony orchestra to do the honours.

But when playing the city’s Bluedot Festival last night – billed as an “intergalactic festival of music, science, arts, culture and the exploration of space,” which already sounds perfectly Björkian – her willingness to defy expectation didn’t just end with the music. A heatwave may have gripped the UK over the past week, but that didn’t stop Björk from wearing a dramatic hooded puffer gown from Pierpaolo Piccioli’s autumn/winter 2019 collection for Moncler’s Genius project, featuring bold orange and white that seemed to pay (very event-appropriate) homage to space suits.

While Björk’s magpie eye for avant-garde fashion has seen her become a muse to the likes of Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Iris van Herpen, the typically private star has dipped her toe into some of the most cutting-edge labels of the moment with the help of her long-time stylist Edda Gudmundsdottir for a recent spate of appearances. Most notable, perhaps, was the blood-red Loewe gown by Jonathan Anderson she wore to the Reykjavik premiere of The Northman back in April, which marked her first red carpet appearance in 10 years.

This is not the first time she’s worn Piccioli’s designs, having worn a series of ravishing Valentino gowns over the course of her current tour, alongside pieces by Rick Owens, Noir Kei Ninomiya and Balenciaga. To give her look that final lift-off, Björk enlisted the help of her co-creative director James Merry, whose intricate handmade masks have become something of a signature for the musician, as well as contrasting orange eyeliner and a glittery blue lip to add a touch of extraterrestrial sparkle, courtesy of the make-up artist Johannes Jaruraak (AKA Hungry). And as for her apparent immunity to the heat? There has always been something a little otherworldly about Björk.

Chanel Celebrate's Its Ephemeral Boutique In East Hampton

While the summer Hamptons scene has been in full force since Memorial Day, on Saturday night Chanel marked a mid-season arrival in East Hampton: its ephemeral boutique.

The French luxury house welcomed an intimate group of friends out east for a celebration of the seasonal store. The evening kicked off with cocktails inside the boutique, which was unveiled in late June and will remain open through the end of the summer season. Guests including Sydney Chandler, Jessica Seinfeld, Rachel Zoe, Athena Calderone, Lizzie Tisch, Gucci Westman, Destiny Joseph and Reign Judge dropped by the store’s landmarked gray-shingled building (the work of Grey Gardens architect Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe) at 26 Newtown Lane before making their way over to the nearby Baker House, where the evening continued with an outdoor dinner.

Jimmy Chin’s career as a pro-climber, skier, and adventure documentarian has taken him to some of the world’s most inaccessible landscapes. On Saturday, his career landed him in the VIP Chanel crowd with his wife, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. “Jimmy was trying to buy everything [at the boutique], and I was trying to hold him back,” said Vasarhelyi. The married filmmaking duo, who codirected the 2019 Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo,” live in Wyoming but have a house on Long Island and happened to be in town for the party. “It’s nice to celebrate a brand [Chanel] that does so much to support artists, so of course, we love to be here,” she added. “I’m just an accessory,” quipped Chin.

Chin and Vasarhelyi recently wrapped their first fiction project, a biopic about long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, and are finishing up a documentary about their close friends Kris and Doug Tompkins, founder of The North Face and Esprit, and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. “It’s kind of a love-adventure story, but they became some of the greatest conservationists of our time,” said Chin.
“[Kris Tompkins] found the love of her life in her 40s, and then she left everything. She’s the first chief executive officer of Patagonia — she built that company for 23 years, then she runs away and flies to the real Patagonia. It’s a romantic story, but also about how we live with intention,” Vasarhelyi added.

Chin also stars in the docuseries “The Edge of the Unknown,” coming out this fall on National Geographic and Disney+. “It’s a show in response to all the shows I see about adventure and skiing and snowboarding. I wanted to get behind it all and look at really what the motivations are of these athletes, the sacrifices they’ve made, and their pursuit of transcendence that I didn’t feel like I was seeing in other narratives,” he said.

Lola Tung, the lead of Amazon Prime’s hit series “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” had just flown into town from North Carolina, where she’s filming the show’s second season. The coming-of-age teen drama, rife with a love triangle, is set in a fictional upscale summertime beach community — a world many in the dinner crowd were familiar with. “I flew in with Jenny Han — the creator [of the show] — today, and now we’re here,” said the exuberant 19-year-old actress, standing poolside as she glanced around the lush grounds. “For some reason, [Chanel] wanted me here; I’m very excited to be here. This is my first event like this, and it’s beautiful, and there are a bunch of lovely people here,” she added. “It’s stunning, it’s beautiful, everyone looks fabulous, and I can’t believe I’m wearing Chanel. It’s pretty cool.”

Tung linked up with Han shortly after her arrival; the popular young adult-lit author captured content of her young star for Instagram en route to the dinner tent, where guests had their pick of steak or whole lobster as they dined surrounded by fresh flowers and draped greenery.

After the dessert course (blueberry cobbler) hit tables, the evening concluded with a musical performance by Gracie Abrams, the 22-year-old daughter of filmmaker J.J. Abrams. “I’ve loved Chanel with my entire heart since I was a very small child, so this is surreal,” said Abrams, who was decked out in embroidered velvet pants and a glittered tweed top from the brand’s fall collection. “If I seem shaky, it’s because i can’t believe I’m lucky enough to wear these clothes right now,” she added, before launching into her romantic ballad “Friend.”

These Venetian Shoes Are Made For Walking

What many consider the Rolls-Royce of friulane comes from historic shoemaker Piedàterre, now owned by two seasoned executives — one from film, another from fashion — who are taking a step-by-step approach to nurture its expansion beyond the mythic canal city.

Stuart Parr, the producer behind Eminem’s “8 Mile” and a design guru who managed Marc Newson for more than a decade, says he first spotted Piedàterre shoes 20 years ago on the feet of “people that have great taste and great style in New York.”

His admiration grew to the point of obsession, and he is nothing if not persistent. It took three years to seal the deal, and he convinced his buddy Paul Deneve to invest alongside him. Deneve is known in the fashion industry as the Apple executive who ran fashion houses including Courrèges, Nina Ricci, Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent, before rejoining the tech giant for a second time.

Since quietly taking control of Piedàterre in May 2021, the two men have already made a few moves, including opening a flagship store in Venice’s Campo Santo Stefano, the brand’s first expansion from its historic store near the Rialto Bridge.

They also recently opened a seasonal pop-up in Forte dei Marmi, the seaside resort in Tuscany, and another at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, just ahead of the Cannes Film Festival last May. Deneve says the brand would like to open a store in Milan and “establish a foothold in the United States.” It plans to wholesale the shoes to a “handful” of multibrand retailers. “We’ll be looking for a few partners in Europe and in the States,” Deneve adds.

Both men come shod in Piedàterre slippers to an interview in Paris, lending a chic allure to their shirts and chinos. Enthusiastic walkers, they conduct their meetings during 90-minute strolls through Venice.

It’s hard not to be charmed by the backstory of the traditional Venetian slippers. After the Third Italian War of Independence, families in the Friuli region, adapting to a period of post-war austerity, combined velvet curtains from shuttered theaters and flattened bicycle tires to create elegant and practical, non-slip footwear. They were particularly appreciated by Venetians to navigate cobblestone streets, stone steps and damp boat decks.

Piedàterre friulane have been sold since 1952 — out of a cart parked on the Rialto bridge for 40 years until it expanded to a small store about a minute away.

Parr and Deneve have zhuzhed up the visual merchandising, displaying the soft and colorful shoes on densely stacked shelves, giving the mouthwatering impression of macaroons.

They also set out to improve the sole for maximum comfort and durability. “It’s a Phil Knight approach,” Parr says, referring to the founder of Nike, a runner who is forever chasing after the best performance footwear. “We walk 20,000 steps a day. We’ve engaged some of the best footwear experts on the planet to make sure what’s under your foot feels as beautiful as it looks to your eyes.”

They were adamant not to change much else, including using a network of local craftspeople to hand-stitch the shoes. All the velvets are 100 percent cotton, and production is 100 percent in Italy, “not 99.9 percent,” Deneve stresses.

Classic models retail for 89 euros while versions in fancier textiles can run up to 350 euros. For the latter, Piedàterre collaborated with Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua, a textile firm that dates back to 1499 and has supplied exceptional velvets for churches, government buildings and luxury handbags. Parr marvels that the looms are still operated by hand — and feet.

Celebrities and billionaire financiers have been known to happily wait in line at the tiny Rialto store for their turn to buy a pair of Piedàterres, but Deneve and Parr won’t drop names, nor leverage the high-profile endorsements, preferring to flag loyal but anonymous consumers who have been buying throughout the 70 years of the brand’s existence.

Deneve says “word of mouth” has fueled the fame of Piedàterre, even though there are scores of other makers of velvet friulane at various price points.

He asserts that a singleminded focus on one product made with high quality standards convinced him to step back into a fashion-related business.

“That’s where we saw the potential,” he explains. “When you have a great heritage, when you have an exceptional product and you bring it forward, making it continuously better, and adapting it to how people live today, then I think you have a strong basis for business.”

He highlights the versatility of the shoes that have made them an integral part of the “dolce vita” lifestyle in Italy.

Parr notes that many clients cherish the shoes for traveling because they are lightweight, take up little room in a suitcase, and versatile enough to wear on the beach or to a black-tie-event

Parr’s message to the family that sold him and Deneve the company was: “We’re going to grow this brand as an artisanal product, and it’s going to grow slowly and organically as much as it can and should.”

Monday, July 25, 2022

ASVOFF XIV - Call For Submissions

ASVOFF (A Shaded View on Fashion Film) is the world’s first film festival dedicated to fashion, style and beauty. Since its launch in 2008, ASVOFF has gained critical acclaim for encouraging both emerging and established artists to reconsider the way that fashion is presented and for challenging the conventional parameters of film. 

ASVOFF tours the globe with screenings at prestigious institutions and events like the Centre Pompidou, the Guggenheim, the Barbican, Art Basel Miami, CaixaForum Barcelona, the Franz Mayer Museum and the Cannes Film Festival in a host of creative capitals such as New York, London, Tokyo, Milan, Moscow and Mexico City. 

ASVOFF is not only a competition of short fashion, style and beauty films but also a travelling international event showcasing feature films, documentaries, conferences, performances and installations – making it a must-see on both the fashion calendar and the film circuit for its genre-bending and groundbreaking program. www.asvoff.com.

Awards & Prizes


Rules & Terms

For consideration the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the undersigned (“Owner”) hereby irrevocably grants to Producer, its assignees and licensees, the non-exclusive, rights to reproduce and otherwise exploit throughout the universe all or any part of the above-referenced Material in and in connection with the indicated Program, ASVOFF compilations and best of’s. Owner agrees that the Program, including all or parts of the Material, may be reproduced, in whole or in part, and distributed, exhibited, promoted and otherwise exploited in any and all manners and media throughout the universe for one year from date of signing this agreement. This agreement does not transfer any copyrights to the producer or FNL Network. All copyrights stay with the owner.

Owner warrants and represents that: Owner is the sole owner and copyright proprietor of the Material throughout the universe; Owner has full authority and the unrestricted right to convey the rights states as granted hereunder; no consent of or payment to any other person or entity is required for the use of the Material, as set forth herein; all performers depicted in the Material are 18 years of age or older; and such use will not infringe upon or violate the rights of any third party or cause Producer to incur any obligations or liability. Owner shall indemnify and defend Producer, its assignees and licensees, from and against any and all claims or liability in connection with a breach of any agreement, representation or warranty made by Owner hereunder or the use of the Material as set forth herein. Owner is aware that Producer is proceeding in full reliance upon the foregoing.

An Interview With Marco De Rivera

The prestigious Fashion Week Haute Couture and Ready to Wear shows have just ended in Paris this week. Calm falls on all the places invested by models, teams, organizers and public. It's time to discover those who are rarely seen but who are present and active, before, during and after these moments of stress, wonder and excitement. Among these essential professionals who stand in the shadows, behind the spotlights, Marco de Rivera, whose benevolence and elegant figure are known and recognized by the entire Parisian fashion world, professionals, journalists and Parisians on the "front row”, agreed to answer our questions, even a little personal.

Marco, help us choose what we need to remember from this season...

In my opinion, first of all the return to the "real" fashion shows which almost all took place face-to-face with the audience, the podium, the models and the teams backstage then in the show room. I think it was comforting to find these moments again, that it was important for the professionals to see their customers again and to talk with the buyers. It is also important for Paris, the capital of creation, to reconnect with the excitement and emulation of these exceptional days.

Then, as always, haute couture allowed us to discover new talents like the Spanish designers. Present in Paris for the first time with a real identity, a personality, elegant outfits and the technical know-how required to appear in the prestigious calendar. Without forgetting those that we already know with many beautiful proposals, innovative and elegant, or surprising, such as at Schiaparelli, Balenciaga… or young talents from the off-calendar.

What is your role with creators?

It's not easy to summarize because it’s multifaceted. I have exercised it with different designers and my mission is not exactly the same with everyone. I have to adapt to each personality that I advise, to their work, their needs, their requests. This is what’s exciting and, believe me, in thirty years, I’ve never get tired!

Let's say that I stand with the creator to help and advise him in different areas of his action. I can be called an artistic advisor and a strategic advisor. Which means that I try to compose alongside the creator an aesthetic and visual coherence for each collection from its conception, to prepare its visualization, its marketing and its presentation.

I am also concerned with the strategy because I think it is essential for a brand, a house, to know how it is positioned on the market, who its competitors are, which clientele it is aimed at… Answering all these questions is the result of exchanges, even of constant debates with the creator, in a careful examination of its positioning, its project and a precise analysis of its ambitions. My mission also often consists in concretizing what is not even expressed by the artist, by enlightening him, by reassuring him. And that's not the least of my duties!

We must constantly be on the go to monitor what is being done or not being done, to understand what is happening elsewhere, how fashion is changing. Strategic thinking is not an exact science but the evaluation and preparation of a dynamic within an environment itself in perpetual motion, it is therefore a subtle and constant development.

Do you have a mission to accomplish in the preparation of the great moments of the fashion shows?

Of course, because the image of a house comes above all from its parades, hence the infinite care necessary well in advance. The big fashion shows of the Eighties and Nineties in which I participated, like those of Marc Audibet discovering a new aesthetic, marked this era and continue to influence us all. They taught me how much these services, whose duration has gone from one hour to fifteen minutes, still require relentless preparation, intensive work at least six months before the fateful date. 

Upstream of these fifteen minutes, a team of 200 to 80 people, depending on the house, is at work in great tension because the slightest little problem can spoil the whole service. I therefore intervene as a conductor, so that everyone in their place can interpret the creator's score with harmony. This requires generating with the designer and then bringing to life an alchemy between all the professions and the specialists involved in the shows. As you know, casting, make-up and hair styling of the models, lights, music, access for photographers, setting and customer reception, all of these participate into the image of the house. However, each has its own identity and intimate rites.

Have you worked more for French houses or foreign designers?

I had and still have the chance to do both forever. This too is exciting. Let's never forget that Parisian fashion has been and continues to be made by many foreign designers, who came for the irreplaceable know-how and workshops present here. Since Worth in 1887, the “Parisian chic” was built by them.

Originally from Central America, I’ve been living in Paris for forty years. This allowed me to benefit from a "transversal" vision of the world of fashion and its extreme originality. I learned my job through meeting exceptional personalities, thus having the privilege to participate intensely to cultural, aesthetic, economic exchanges. I am also aware of the customs and quirks of this environment.

Having become a Parisian myself, I defend the incomparable place of Paris in the increasingly international world of fashion. It is important to help foreign houses integrate, to advise them so that they’ll be recognized by professional institutions, in a word to find their way in this extraordinary city, welcoming and creative, but sometimes difficult to decipher.

I had the opportunity to organize important fashion shows in other countries such as Korea with Lee Young Hee, Japan with Marc Audibet, but also Hong Kong with Vanina Vespérini or even Berlin, California, Pakistan… When we arrive, the Paris label accompanies us with all the prestige it offers abroad. We have to be up to it and that is tremendously stimulating!

Interview: Lyne Cohen-Solal / Marco De Rivera

Image: Copyright ASVOFF

Saint Laurent Men’s S/S'23

Riding out — way out — to the Agafay desert one hour outside Marrakech, a van full of English and American editors were gobsmacked by the sight of two camels, as still as statues, silhouetted perfectly on the crest of a rocky dune.

An hour later, seated around a circular pool for Saint Laurent’s spring 2023 show, they were mesmerized again, drinking in Anthony Vaccarello’s sensual, tuxedo-inspired silhouettes rippled by a brisk evening wind.

Here was a destination show laden with history, given how much Morocco revved and shaped the aesthetic of fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent, who fell in love with Marrakech from his very first visit in 1966 with his partner Pierre Bergé. Earlier in the day, editors filed through Dar el Hanch, the riad they bought on a whim, and snapped photos of the snake the legendary designer painted in the dining room. If only the walls could talk, a tour guide snickered.

Yet Vaccarello said he sidestepped cliches around the mythology of Marrakech and YSL, preferring to elaborate on his terrific fall 2022 women’s collection, plopping similar smokings and strong-shouldered coats on men, to elegant effect. That much of the collection was black was a no-brainer.

“Black, for me, it’s the best way to see a silhouette, especially in the desert — you see it clearly, almost like a sketch,” he said before the show.

As show venues go, Saint Laurent’s was dream-like, silvery boxes erected on a Mars-like stretch of barren hills tinted orange by the sunset.

It was Dominic Fike’s first time in Morocco. “Check it out, it’s a lake,” he said, pointing to the water glinting in the last licks of daylight. “It’s beautiful. With all the camels and things, it’s exactly how I imagined. We are in Africa, right?”

Luka Sabbat disregarded the memo advising comfortable footwear for desert conditions, arriving at his seat atop towering platform boots that he quickly tossed for cork-soled sandals.

“I didn’t give up. I’m just taking a break from them. I’m doing a photo diary right now for Interview mag so I need to run around,” he said as the likes of Anja Rubik and Milena Smit struck poses before the show.

Fog machines fired up, sending haze drifting across the set as the models whisked around the man-made well. One noticed the strong shoulder line of Vaccarello’s fine tailoring, and the trousers tight on the hips and then widening out and flapping in the wind. Everything looked luxurious and compellingly soigné, executed in fine satins, velvets, grain de poudre — as YSL a fabric as there ever was — and buttery leather.

Just before the finale, a circle of light appeared in the pond, and a hulking lighting rig slowly emerged and propped itself up vertically, like some portal into another dimension. The sense of wonder reached another crescendo.

Backstage Vaccarello didn’t read too much into his design effort other than a wish to show a more fluid, rounder take on Saint Laurent menswear, with small doses of fashion folly.

“A fur coat in the desert?” he said about the hulking fluff of a coat that appeared about midway through the show. “Why not? It’s chic.”

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Leandro Cano Couture - F/W'22 Collection

Welcome to The Dance of the Excluded, where the masks stay at home and the dress code is exempt from armor and frills. Here we come to dance open-hearted, with our lights and our shadows. Our most absolute, purest “I”… for which we have been rejected and excluded, but for which we come today to celebrate and dance until the sun rises.

On July the 5th, the Andalusian designer Leandro Cano will present his next artistic collection ‘CANO: The Dance of the Excluded’, within the Haute Couture Week in Paris. As usual, the designer creates an artistic collection and a ready-to-wear collection, presented last April.

In -Hispania: land of rabbits-, Leandro Cano transported us to an invented space/time that had its roots in the Middle Ages of southern Spain, and which developed a collection in which castles and borders were the common thread, but which was nothing more than a metaphor for the convulsive and agitated times in which we live. It was an analysis of a current society, sometimes advanced and many others with a mentality older than the Middle Ages.

With CANO: the dance of the excluded, the designer from Jaén delves deeper and makes a more introspective journey into that fictional medieval society, in which those who did not belong to ‘normality’ were excluded.

This leads into the creation of 10 models + 1 (one look per year, plus one that includes the others). 11 archetypes, diff erent personalities created through the designs of Leandro Cano. These creations represent diff erent and unique characters, all of them being part of the designer’s personal journey.

Leandro Cano will present his most personal and artistic collection through the symbolic language of these garments. In the collection you could see a reinterpretation of the most iconic pieces of his 10-year career in fashion.

The most prominent materials in the collection will be cotton twill, quilted fabrics, jacquards woven with garment prints, fabrics made on handlooms, leather-based suits, and tailoring wool, gold embroidery, and crochet made with metal chains. Red, blue and gold will be the predominant colors in the collection.

As for the artisanal techniques that have been used, gold embroidery on gold and in wool stand out, elaboration of fabric made on hand looms, with Spanish merino sheep wool, crochet, crochet with mohair, work with embossed leather, elaboration ceramic fajalauza (traditional Andalusian ceramic) and hand-painted garment.