Sunday, December 12, 2010

Donatella Versace hosts fashion dinner in London

Donatella Versace gathers celebrities together to celebrate a new fashion fund for Central St Martins.

Donatella Versace, fresh from New York where she was voted one of Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year 2010, hosted one of London's best-dressed dinners at The Connaught, last night, to celebrate the launch of Central Saint Martins 20-20 Fashion Fund.

The fund marks both the 20th anniversary of the 1989 'marriage' between St Martin's School of Art, established in 1859, and the Central School of Art & Design, as well as the new era of fashion which will begin when CSM relocates to its new, state-of-the-art campus at King's Cross next year.
Versace , Gucci , Converse, American Express, net-a-porter, Joan Burstein and John Rocha are among the contributees who have already pledged £20,000 to the fund to secure the future of fashion education at CSM.

Guests at the dinner included a potent mix of designers, fashionistas and celebrities. Donatella Versace was escorted by Rupert Everett, who is currently working on his next book. Daisy Lowe and Shingai Shoniwa were both poured into red plaid Christopher Kane for Versus slinks. January Jones, currently filming 'X-Men:First Class' in London, wore a LBBBD (Little Black Bondage Body-Con Dress), by Versace. Also in Versace were Pixie Lott, Poppy Delavigne, the designer Louise Goldin, and Tom Parker-Bowles and his wife, Sara. Alexa Chung bucked the skin-tight trend in a floaty, white 'angel' dress by the young French designer who shows at
London Fashion Week , Charles Anastase.

The designer roll-call included John Rocha, Stephen Jones, Gareth Pugh, Roland Mouret, Christopher Kane, Richard Nicoll and Antonio Berardi, and other celebrity guests included the actor, Dominic Cooper, and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran. Central Saint Martins fielded the rector, Nigel Carrington; the dean, Anne Smith; Professor Louise Wilson OBE, course director of MA fashion; and Willie Walters, course director of BA fashion.

One of the most popular 'rooms' - apart from the suite where the dinner was held, and the bar - was the hastily-constructed 'smoking room', nicknamed 'Donatella's Den', in honour of the blonde one and her fondness for a full-strength Marlboro.

Central Saint Martins, regarded as the most famous fashion college in the world, has a blue chip portfolio of 'graduates', including John Galliano, the late Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Matthew Williamson, Stella McCartney, Giles Deacon, Stephen Jones, Luella Bartley, Zac Posen, and Christopher Kane.

Donatella Versace has a long history of supporting British talent, including Christopher Kane, whose potential she spotted while he was still a student, and who is now the designer for her diffusion range, Versus, and, more recently, the young knitwear designer, Louise Goldin.

Costume Institute to exhibit Alexander McQueen at MET.

Next year's Costume Imstitute will honour  the work of the late Alexander McQueen it has been confirmed. The exhibit " Alexander McQueen - Savage Beauty" will be on display at the Metropolitain Museum of Art from May 4th to July 31st 2011. It is set to showcase around 100 pieces from his archives.

Curator Andrew Bolton says it is not a typical retrospective, but will be based on the  many themes in McQueens many collections.

After McQueen's death, we wanted to stage an exhibition to celebrate his legacy in fashion history and his contributions to fashion. McQueen had such a singular voice and he was a remarkable technician. He really was one of the most provocative  voices  of the past 30 years in fashion.His catwalk presentations were outstanding and straddle art and fashion.

"We want to get across two elements, the spectacle of the runway presentations and  the beauty of his craftmanship." he said.

Karl Lagerfeld on the legacy of Coco Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld believes Coco Chanel's legacy may not be as great as it would originally seem.Karl Lagerfeld on the legacy of Coco Chanel."

Coco did a lot but not as much as people think or as much she herself taught at the end of her career," he says. "She survived them all - she could pretend things people like Madame Vionnet couldn't because they were not around and they didn't have the personality to say the things Chanel did. She wasn't only a designer - she was a woman of her time."

Talking at the International Herald Tribune's  Luxury Heritage conference on Tuesday, the Chanel legend said Coco made two vital mistakes towards the end of her career.

"The first was when she said 'Not one man I have spoken to likes a woman in mini skirts'. I think no one dared to tell this 86-year-old lady that miniskirts are great and really sexy," he says. "Number two was when she decided blue jeans were horrible. This was the fashion of the world at that partuclar moment - it was the Sixties. No one wanted to be told by an old lady that miniskirts and jeans weren't chic. The result was that she lost her power and in the end no one cared about what she did."

Lagerfeld says he uses the iconic label's key components to construe an aesthetic that is constantly relevant.

"I play with Chanel's elements like a musician plays with notes. You don't have to make the same music if you are a decent musician," he explains.