Thursday, September 23, 2021

Fendi’s Studio 54-Inspired S/S'22 Show

For his first live show since joining Fendi, artistic director Kim Jones was inspired by the late Puerto Rican fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez, and the spirit of Studio 54. Here, British Vogue’s fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen breaks down the five key takeaways from the spring/ summer 2022 collection.

It was Kim Jones’s first Fendi show with a live audience

For Kim Jones, who joined Fendi as artistic director between the two lockdowns, and had to present his first collections to a digital audience, his sophomore ready-to-wear show was a special occasion. “This is my first live show for Fendi, and it’s a celebration. Our woman has let loose a bit – she’s going out, dressing up. We’ve all been locked away for so long that I think that’s what we all need right now,” he said.

It was inspired by Antonio Lopez

Jones found in the Fendi archives a logo hand-sketched by the late Puerto Rican fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez, whose work was defined by the spirits of the 1960s and ’70s. A friend of Karl Lagerfeld – Jones’s predecessor at Fendi – Lopez embodied the decadence and glamour of New York City in the ’70s, and frequented Studio 54, which became the imagined surroundings of Jones’s collection.

Pieces were imbued with Lopez’s sketches

“Lopez was a friend of Karl’s, and has always been someone who inspired me. He was forward thinking; inclusive; looked up to by everyone from Andy Warhol to Steven Meisel and David Hockney. I wanted to introduce him to a new generation,” Jones said. He applied the illustrator’s work to kaftans and shirts, transformed them in intarsia leathers and jacquards, and interpreted them in handbags and hairclips.

It was post-pandemic power suiting

More than anything, the collection felt devoted to suiting: a kind of tailoring so empowering and glamorous it had left the territory of office-wear and entered the evening realm. If post-pandemic appetites call for a “dressed” approach to fashion, but aren’t quite ready for a cocktail dress, this was the happy medium (although Jones had a few cocktail options up his sleeve as well).

Fendi is for everyone

“My Fendi is multi-generational. It’s for all different kinds of women – anyone who wants to feel good about themselves. The Lopez woman, and the Fendi woman, is empowered; she’s someone of her own making,” Jones said, drawing a parallel between the diverse stars of the Studio 54 dance floor and the customer base he is creating at Fendi.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Gigi And Joan Are Sensational In Rihanna’s New Savage X Fenty Show

Welcome to the latest instalment of We Are Not Worthy Of Rihanna. The world’s best bad gal announced details of her Savage X Fenty Volume 3 show with a typically jaw-dropping Insta clip, and now she’s shared an exclusive first look at the talent in action.

Nas, Ricky Martin (!) and Normani are among the performers, while a host of fabulous drag queens, including Gottmik and Symone, join Precious Lee, Soo Joo Park, Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls and Emily Ratajkowski in the 24 September Amazon Prime Video spectacular.

In the glossy imagery, Gigi – all chocolate-brown, polka-straight hair and heavy, cat-eyeliner – walks the runway in an electric-blue robe dripping in sequins, and little else. Smalls – modelling another angular fringe cut – aces Parris Goebel’s choreography in a pleated silver micro twin set, while Precious Lee is another vision in sparkling midnight-blue paillettes.

On the entertainment side, Erykah Badu gives good hat game and Jojo T Gibbs and Eartheater are pictured in a steamy embrace. It is as high-octane as you would expect from the queen of immersive shows. Rihanna herself, dripping in black lace and heavy jewellery, makes a brief appearance in the teaser clip, while the initial trailer showing her smouldering in a metallic blue “whale tail” mini dress showed once again that she never does things by halves. (Remember when she chopped her own hair into a painstakingly cool mullet for the Volume 2 promo footage? Again, we are not worthy.)

In case you needed a reminder of why the Savage X Fenty shows are a highlight of the fashion week calendar, the celebrity factor is not it. The underwear arm of Rihanna’s Fenty empire has shifted society’s perceptions of what “sexy” is, thanks to a wholly inclusive brand ethos, product proposition and casting process. Rih and her diverse cohort of savages flip the script on what a fashion show can look like, by raising one another up and having an unapologetically sassy time in the process.

The multi-layered performance pieces, which Rihanna herself calls a “fashion musical”, have become a barometer for true body positivity, and while the industry is making strides to catch up, Rihanna keeps on blazing a trail to electrifying effect. Do not miss the show on 24 September.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Jean Paul Gaultier Collaborates With Lil Nas X

Coinciding with the release of his debut album “Montero,” American rapper Lil Nas X is collaborating with Jean Paul Gaultier on a capsule collection, available for purchase online Sept. 20.

The collection includes 666 units of a remixed version of the French brand’s archival mesh top, which became popular in the 1990s. Sharing a “gothic glamour” aesthetic with Lil Nas X’s “Montero” album art, the shirt is an adapted archive print from the brand’s Spring/Summer 2001 collection, according to the brand.

Lil Nas X, who has become known for being a provocateur as much as an artist, has been increasingly heralded for his marketing prowess, leveraging controversy — like a legal snafu with Nike over his “Satan” shoes — for his own benefit. The approach has boosted not only his own star power but also the power he offers the fashion brands with whom he collaborates. During the Met Gala last week, for example, Lil Nas X, who wore a three-piece Versace ensemble, generated the highest media impact value (a measure of marketing activity across digital channels) of any celebrity at the event according to marketing measurement company LaunchMetrics.

After a Brooklyn company sold 666 pairs of customised Nike Air Max 97s as ‘Satan Shoes’ in collaboration with queer rapper Lil Nas X, the sportswear giant sued to protect its brand. Was it the right move?

Richard Buckley, Longtime Fashion Journalist, Dies At 72

“It is with great sadness that Tom Ford announces the death of his beloved husband of 35 years, Richard Buckley,” a statement from the designer said. “Richard passed away peacefully at their home in Los Angeles last night with Tom and their son Jack by his side. He died of natural causes after a long illness.”

Buckley was born in Binghamton, N.Y., in 1948 and was raised as part of a military family in New York, France and Germany. After graduating from the University of Maryland in Munich, he began to pursue a career in journalism in 1979 at New York Magazine. In 1982, he moved to Paris as the European editor of Fairchild Publications’ Daily News Record, the men’s wear counterpart to WWD. In that and subsequent roles, he had the uncanny ability to spot what was “next” — the young designer who would become the Next Big Thing; a club everyone would soon be flocking to, or a musician, actor or actress set to explode onto the scene.

A man with ramrod straight posture and piercing blue eyes, Buckley’s inquisitiveness knew few, if any, bounds, and he somehow managed to tap into what would be influencing men’s fashions not only a season ahead, but several seasons ahead. And he would do it all with a quietly diligent, soft-spoken manner that endeared him to almost everyone he met — and that hid a sense of humor that delighted in spotting the absurd, or that could make even the most cutting remark come across with seeming kindness.

In 1986, Buckley was called back to New York by editorial director John B. Fairchild to be editor in chief of the company’s newest publication, Scene, which was aimed at the twentysomething daughter of the reader of Fairchild’s W magazine. He also held the title of fashion editor at WWD. While Scene — which was meant to have the gritty feel of the downtown world it supposedly covered — never took off in the way Fairchild hoped, Buckley still managed to carve out a niche for it as an insider’s must-read to learn about the newest trends in fashion, music, art, culture and more.

After Scene shuttered, Buckley left Fairchild in 1988 to join Tina Brown at Vanity Fair, where he became social editor and, again, rapidly turned that beat into more than just a party page. In 1990, he and Ford would move to Milan, where Buckley became European editor of Mirabella magazine and contributing editor at Italian Vogue, while Ford joined the design staff at Gucci. After the couple relocated to Paris, Buckley became editor in chief of Vogue Hommes International. He would continue to contribute the occasional fashion article even after the couple moved to London. Buckley most recently lived in Los Angeles, New York and Santa Fe. He is survived by his husband, Tom Ford, as well as their son, Alexander John Buckley Ford.

Monday, September 20, 2021

5 Things To Know About Matty Bovan’s “Hypercraft” S/S'22 Collection

For spring/summer 2022, Matty Bovan presented his collection inside a dolls house – superimposing the likes of Erin O’Connor and Rosemary Ferguson inside its tiny rooms. Here, British Vogue’s fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen breaks down the five key takeaways from the digital show.

Matty Bovan is feeling domestic

The world may be reopening, but, true to character, Matty Bovan marches to the beat of his own drum. Last season, when we were all in lockdown, he designed a collection founded in an outdoors sensibility. Now that we’ve emerged from our confinements, he did the very opposite. “Subconsciously, working on the last winter collection, I was trying to escape mentally by putting these characters in the middle of nowhere. Now that we’re getting freedom, subconsciously, I’ve created my own home, in a way. I wanted to do something very domestic; inside, building rooms inside your head,” he said on the phone from his native York.

The film was shot in a dolls house

Bovan chose to continue with the film format over a real-life runway show. “I felt that the last two seasons, I could do something a bit different creatively, which I couldn’t do on a runway. I wasn’t sure what was going to be happening by September,” he paused. “I mean, I’m still not!” He customised a 1970s dolls house and shot his models – including Erin O’Connor – on a green screen, superimposing them into his domestic miniature setting. “It’s kind of analogue, real, gritty… I wanted to keep that energy, but anything digital can easily feel laboured.”

The collection was titled Hypercraft

“It was interesting to have this interior world, almost introspective with yourself,” Bovan explained, acknowledging how the lockdown period kind of suited his disposition. “I’m a semi-sociable person, but I’m quite private. When I work, I like to have just one other person around. I’ve always needed some space to come up with stuff. I like to be able to focus.” Fittingly, he titled his collection Hypercraft in homage to that mindset, and the incredibly intricate craftsmanship that had gone into creating his supersized looks.

Bovan literally built houses around the body

“It’s the idea of silhouette and structure within these rooms,” Bovan explained of the magnified silhouettes. “And they got bigger and bigger. They’re ironically quite comfortable, like having a room around your body. It’s very ambitious-looking, but it’s actually relatively wearable.” Bovan constructed his shapes around huge crinolines, layering them with vintage fabrics from the ’70s, fabrics printed with personal family photos from the last century, and toys he played with as a child.

The collection came with a new invention

“There are lycras I got printed with abstract The Shining-esque carpets, which is an eternal reference of mine: the idea of the house creeping onto the body. I do like the idea of when clothes start to almost overwhelm you with print and texture. Something about that really attracts me,” Bovan said. Part of his Hypercraft included creating new textiles from paracord. “That was something I was really proud of, because I’ve never tested it before. So, things got bigger and bigger. I was wondering what Louise Wilson would have said,” Bovan paused, referring to his late legendary teacher from Central Saint Martins. “‘Push it! Go bigger! Just do it!’”

This Denim Tears Capsule Honours The Windrush Generation

As part of concept store Machine-A’s efforts to spotlight exciting independent labels from across the globe, it has unveiled a capsule from the LA-based Denim Tears to coincide with London Fashion Week. Designer Tremaine Emory joined forces with the London-based artist and curator Khalid Wildman to create a collection that reflects history and shared experiences. “It’s not a collaboration, it’s a friendship which has grown into us making art together,” says Emory of their partnership.

Inspired by the Windrush generation, as well as the experiences of the African diaspora as a consequence of British colonialism, the clothes have a depth of meaning that goes beyond the visual. Context here is important: Empire Windrush was a passenger liner that in 1948 brought the first immigrants to London from Jamaica (at that point a British colony) as well as Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean islands, to help make up for the labour shortage created by the Second World War. Many of the new arrivals became manual workers, drivers and cleaners, or took up jobs with the newly established NHS. In 2018, a political scandal broke when it emerged that members of the Windrush generation had been wrongly deported or threatened with deportation from the UK by the Home Office.

The 20-piece capsule is an homage to the history and ongoing impact of Windrush, but also speaks to identity, and takes Jamaica itself as a core focus. It features linen shirts, graphic jerseys and printed T-shirts, and an adaptation of the Union Jack with the Jamaican flag colours appears on hand-painted denim and sweatshirts. The limited capsule is available now from the Machine-A boutique in Soho, London.

Friday, September 17, 2021

These Archive Simone Rocha Fabrics Have Been Repurposed In The Best Way

To celebrate her brand’s 10-year anniversary, Simone Rocha has teamed up with long-time collaborator Dover Street Market on a series of unique installations now in situ at its London flagship. “I’m really humbled and proud to have been at Dover Street Market for a decade,” says Rocha of the project. “I’m so happy to have been invited to create this special installation.”

In collaboration with Luncheon Magazine, the designer created a limited run of 10 upcycled tablecloths, made from archive Simone Rocha fabrics such as the daisy broderie anglaise, embroidered gold-thread cherub and red embroidered Delft plate, that will be available to purchase from DSM. The pieces are “reflected in a human tactile way, to bring a sense of home to the experience,” says Rocha. “The tablecloths have also been translated into still life images by the iconic [photographer] Tessa Traeger.”

The installation at the store features a stained glass church by set designer Janina Pedan, which house Rocha’s autumn/winter 2021 collection “Winter Roses”, as well as other signature items from the past decade, and are decorated by hair pieces that replicate hairstylist Cyndia Harvey’s creations from the show. An exclusive range of products made especially for DSM – including one of a kind embellished headbands, mini bags with pearl straps – is available in store, as well as shoes and accessories from the autumn/winter 2021 collection, all of which will be on display for the next three weeks.