Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jean Shrimpton - David Bailey : The Movie

The Carnaby Street fashion scene of London's swinging '60s was dominated by hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, miniskirt designer Mary Quant and star photographer David Bailey and his model/muse, Jean Shrimpton.

Now a British-generated movie called We'll Take Manhattan depicts Bailey and Shrimpton creating iconic miniskirted fashion photos, fighting, loving and, of course, looking amazing together. Shrimpton is arguably the first supermodel and Bailey the Mario Testino of his time; he was the British equivalent of Irving Penn.

British actress Karen Gillian will play Shrimpton, and interestingly, Bailey shot her for a recent issue of British Vogue. Bailey is still actively shooting on the London scene. The film will be ready for air in early 2012 and will first appear on the BBC, then come to the States on Ovation -- and probably home video. If you like the 1960s of Mad Men, you'll love this look through the kaleidoscope of the one of the chicest decades ever.

2012 will also see the documentary on Diana Vreeland, the legendary Vogue editor. Get ready for a new influx of fashion films, which could not make us any happier!

Jean Shrimpton  and  David Bailey 


The Pirelli Calendar 2012 Launch

In front of gathered media and press from the globe, tire maker Pirelli unveiled its famed Pirelli calendar 2012 at Gustavino's this morning in New York City. With vaulted halls and the 59th Street Bridge up above as fitting backdrops,Pirelli Group CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera introduced “Swoon”, the pictorial theme for Pirelli Calendar 2012 by photographer Mario Sorrenti. Best known for his nude images for fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, Sorrenti’s exploration of human beauty is one of lifelong quest, which led him from his hometown of Naples to world of fashion in New York via London when he was just a teen. At only 21, Sorrenti garnered much accolades when he created the campaign for Calvin Klein Obsession  fragrance with the one and only Kate Moss. During those fast time, Sorrenti became confidant to other up and coming models, like Milla Jovovich, who joked that she would only get naked in front of Sorrenti.

Shot on the transformative landscape of Corsica, PIRELLI Calendar 2012 includes veterans such as Kate Moss, Milla Jovovich, and Lara Stone, as well as Margareth Made of Italy and Japan’s Rinko Kikuchi, both new to the process. The calendar also marks two important milestones – the first official unveiling in New York City and the first Italian photographer. Because of its exclusive nature, the calendar will only be available to VIPs of PIRELLI.

The Rise Of Older Models

The fashion industry is over its obsession with youth. Suddenly, the hottest models are 40-plus.

It has been said, that, when  you reach a certain age where you start to become invisible. It's an odd sensation, as if someone has thrown a Potterish invisibility cloak over you. It's a sort of inversion of the old joke of sticking a Post-it note with a daft message to your back, the joke now being that people on the street look straight through you. It has little to do with aesthetics; it's more chemical than that. It is just that women, more than men, occupy space in the world's consciousness in correlation with youth.

In the space of the last year, a curious thing has happened. Older women have become increasingly visible in the arena in which, above all others, nubile youth has long trumped all else: fashion. Of all the spheres of influence in which youth and beauty could be relied upon to rule with an iron grip, fashion has long been the most ruthless. (Best ever fashion-world horror story for pure terrifying evilness – I'm assuming it's apocryphal – is about the parties held by Rachel Zoe's mini-me starlets in LA at the height of the size-zero obsession, where the guest list consisted of a pair of weighing scales at the door, and no girls weighing more than 100lbs were allowed in.) Yet next season's Dolce & Gabbana advertising campaign, unveiled last week, stars Madonna (51). Hot label of the moment Celine – the campaign every model must have wanted this season – has chosen a veteran face from the 1990s superwaif era, Emma Balfour (40). Balenciaga stars Stella Tennant (39); Louis Vuitton, whose new collection was dubbed "And God Created Woman" by designer Marc Jacobs, featured Elle Macpherson (47) on the catwalk and stars Christy Turlington (41) in its latest print campaign. Glossy magazines at both ends of the style spectrum have chosen older models for their latest issues: Macpherson is on the cover of the new Tatler, while Dazed features Kristen McMenamy (46) as the newstand face of an issue dedicated to "iconic models" on sale tomorrow.

Madonna for Dolce&Gabbana
Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin are a Dutch photographic duo who have been working together for two decades. They recently shot a new campaign for Yves Saint Laurent starring 26-year-old Daria Werbowy. Until not long ago, 26 was very much past one's prime, as a model, but Lamsweerde and Matadin recently told that "models like Kate [Moss] and Daria are mature, they've grown up, they're women who have had a life and experience. For about five or six years now we haven't shot anyone under 18 for that reason, but also for the fact that, we feel the modelling business should not promote girls working under this age. They're not out of school – their bodies haven't developed yet and they don't have a sense of self. Sometimes they haven't had sex yet. It's hard to project all these things on someone who hasn't had that experience."

Such common sense is completely revolutionary. Until recently, few in the industry would acknowledge that there was something a teensy bit shallow and moronic and possibly even dubious about taking a 16-year-old model with a head full of Justin Bieber daydreams and GCSE revision notes and dressing her up as a sophisticated femme fatale, arranging her supine on an unmade hotel bed, while dripping with diamond bracelets and thousand-pound handbags and wearing a bored-of-it-all expression. Extreme youth was part and parcel of the fantasy of fashion.

The new visibility of older models is part of a shift in fashion from fantasy to wearability. For the past 10 years, one adjective has reigned supreme above others in fashion. If it was good – whether it was a model, a dress, a handbag, a cocktail – it was "fabulous". Fabulous, in the Oxford English Dictionary, has two meanings: extraordinary, and also "having no basis in reality; mythical". Our obsession with fabulousness was always very much about a yearning for the impossible, a boomtime obsession with pushing boundaries. The word feels, now, like a compliment from another era.

The age of austerity dawned in fashion months before George Osborne got his hands on the keys to No 11. In March, the Paris catwalks were full of grown-up clothes in sensible, wearable colours. Even before the bloodbath budget, fashion had a new buzzword to replace fabulousness – "believability". Easy-to-do ponytails and walkable-heeled shoes are hot topics in fashion right now. The issue of whether the women who can afford these clothes can also wear them without looking absurd is deemed relevant again.

Francisco Costa, designer of Calvin Klein, cast Kristen McMenamy and Stella Tennant for his most recent catwalk show in New York. "I wanted a cast that really represented a customer I design for, and that's not really a 16-year-old," he said after the show. "The woman who puts my clothes on needs a certain level of sophistication. We wanted to acknowledge the women who have always worn our clothes: women who have their own identities, have full lives, have kids."

Current industry rumour has it that the cover girls for the American giants run as follows: Julia Roberts for Elle, Halle Berry for Vogue, and Jennifer Aniston for Harpers Bazaar. If this is true, Aniston – at 41 – will be the youngest cover girl of the big three. If older women can reappear in fashion, then anything is possible. There may even be hope in Hollywood.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Malgorzata Dudek: Poland's Answer to McQueen?

For those who haven’t heard of Malgorzata Dudek, you’re in for a visual treat. Her Spring 2012  collection flirts with insanity and edges towards mad creative genius, sometimes doing so in an explosion of flower-like ruffles, other times clouding over into black, fringed darkness.

Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger was the inspiration behind this particular collection. Anyone familiar with Giger’s work will instantly recognise the alienous baby heads imprinted on some of Dudek’s gowns. Other pieces were inspired by Giger’s airbrushing techniques. The beauty of Dudek’s pieces, however, is in the transformation of Giger’s work into something entirely different: it’s inspired, but not literal.

Malgorzata Dudek: S/S 2011
 "My desire with this collection is to honor to H.R. Giger, pay him tribute, and show how his influence resonates in the world of fashion. When I started sketching this collection and planning the fabrics, I couldn’t see it complete without elements of H.R. Giger’s artwork.

And what better way for me, as a designer, to honor a man who’s Biomechanical vision has massively influenced architecture, film, music, tattoo art, fashion and industrial design. Last February, I sent sketches to H.R. Giger through his agent and to my surprise, I heard back almost immediately and was given creative freedom to incorporate a jointly agreed upon selection of Giger’s art"

You don’t have to be a Giger fan to appreciate the craftsmanship of Malgorzata Dudek’s gowns. If British creativity found its apotheosis in Alexander McQueen, then perhaps Dudek is set to be the Polish equivalent. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kate Moss' Little Sister: First Modelling Pictures

It’s with some restraint that I’m going to spare you the fashion-related puns about shoes to fill and modelling being in the genes. After all, the more Lottie Moss’ face is spread across magazine pages and the tangled web of the internet, the more those pun-filled headlines will pop up like wild mushrooms after the autumn rain. And if this debut photo shoot is anything to go by Lottie has plenty of career potential, so it’s a face we'll see more of.

Though half-sister to the world famous supermodel, it’s clear that Kate Moss and Lottie both inherited doe eyes, a small frame, and an uncanny ability to sustain deliberately dishevelled bed hair. With a head start down a modelling path paved in gold by her half-sister before her, it shouldn’t be difficult for Lottie to see the contracts rolling in. It just depends on whether she choses to pursue them or not.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rooney Mara Gets Vogue Makeover

Back in January Rooney Mara debuted a radical new look for her role as Lisbeth Salander in the movie adaptation of Stieg Larrson's Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

And now the actress, 26, is pulling another style 180, showing off her feminine side on the cover of Vogue's November issue.

Inside the magazine, Mara poses in stunning gowns by Marchesa and Vera Wang, against an enchanted fairy tale background.

Rooney Mara For Vogue

"Before, I dressed much girlier," she told Vogue of her physical transformation for the flick. "A lot of blush-colored things. Now I literally roll out of bed and put on whatever is there. I have really enjoyed being a boy this last year."

To achieve her look in the film, Rooney had to cut off all of her hair and dye it black as well as bleach her eyebrows. She also received several piercings in one day.

"The eyebrows were the biggest shock because that really changed my face, and I didn't recognize myself. But I was fine because I knew it was going to be really helpful for getting into character."

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which also stars Daniel Craig, hits theaters December 21.

Interview With Rory Lewis Portraiture Photographer On Tricks Of The Trade.

Portraiture is all about the face, the model, the muse.

The best models I have worked in the past have been confident actors. Actors who are able to work through a series of poses following the photographer’s descriptive direction or example imagery; whilst having the confidence of adding there own thoughts and felling’s and ideas. In essence being on the same wavelength of the photographer almost psychically.

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen

Model: Sam
When a photographer and model are on the same wavelength great things happen. This has occurs often in my portraiture photography. The capturing of a perfect portrait moment a split second when the model and photographer connect. You can only achieve this with the right model. As noted actor Allan Walsh says: Modelling is just another branch of acting.

Remember these moments are STAGED the model in my opinion has to be a gifted actor. This can’t be emphasised enough. Lets not forget studio portraiture is photographed in an artificial atmosphere with a specific theme and when everything slots together, the results can be stunning.

Model: India

Professional models must have character and a photogenic consciousness, realising what looks good on camera and what does not. Whilst knowing how to use both in accordance with the direction of the photographer. As a photographer I don’t see or think like a normal person someone with good facial bone structure and looks is NOT necessarily a good model. Photographers must see everything creatively and search for models with character and confidence.

Take the time out to find your Muse your Model someone who has charisma, somebody who is confidant who can take direction and in doing so come up with their own ideas.

I teach a great deal of  one to one sessions and  workshops  with photographers who are just starting out and find that their work is let down by one key factor, the face of the person they are photographing. Don’t get me wrong no one is perfect yet, this can severally affect the shots they are trying to achieve. If photographers are looking to achieve a high standard of studio work they must not only think about lighting and makeup, but the models they are shooting.

The question you must be asking is where can I find good models? And you are probably expecting me to say a good model agency. Well you may be right but you may be surprised. There are a number of creative social networking sites on the web where models and photographers can collaborate, so signup. Ive also found models in unusual places from bus stops to bistros, keep alert and don’t be frightened to ask if you even spot someone in the street, the worst they can say is no.

Model: Kristie

In terms of model agencies take the time out to contact your local model agency. You may be amazed as agencies have a great number of new faces in need of shots. You may not be paid, but you will have the opportunity to learn with models that have experience, confidence, acting skills and good characteristics. If you take the time to find a good model the level of work you are trying to achieve will improve ten fold.

How Do Models Annoy Photographers?

It seems inevitable that when photographers have tons of experience working with models, they’re going to form some strong opinions about the things models can do right and wrong over the course of a shoot. In search of some good stories, we asked several pros, “What are your biggest pet peeves when it comes to working with models?” (In fairness, stay tuned for part two, where we’ll ask models the same question about photographers!)

Arriving In a “Bad” State

“If the model partied the night before and is tired, grumpy, looks bad and has low energy, that can really affect a shoot, as you can imagine. Makeup will only hide certain things, but generally if the model has low energy in her eyes, and is too tired or hungover from a hard work week or party, then that really can deflate the shoot.” Peter Koval

“He or she doesn’t take care of him or herself. Unless we are shooting an ‘art’ project, for most commercial work it usually involves making the models look good. So coming in looking like you haven’t slept in 3 days or heavily intoxicated is generally not recommended. There is also the distinction between being fashionably thin and starving yourself to death. Hint: The latter defeats the purpose. I have literally stopped a shoot mid-way and asked a model to rest and eat something because she was obviously starving.” Tommy Zablan

That said…Showing Up Late Or Not At All

“One of my biggest pet peeves that models can do to make the shoot more difficult is to be late. If the whole crew shows up at a call time and everyone is waiting on the model, it kinda takes a lot of steam out of the momentum and energy for the shoot.” Peter Koval

“Being really late for a shoot or cancelling a booking last minute. While there are perfectly reasonable situations when these things happen, a model can also make a reasonable effort to avoid having to do this. Nobody wants to re-schedule an entire crew or location.” Tommy Zablan

“When you’re working you’re working. Don’t leave in the middle of a session because you have to go somewhere. And show up on time.” Bernhard Kristinn.

Big Egos

“Being Italian, I cannot imagine having to deal with my business without food. It can sound odd but food is part of my culture, it is a symbol of happiness, and when I shoot in studio I want to share the same feeling with the team, starting with the model. If you cannot enjoy food and smile at it, how you can smile for my camera? But sometimes I do not choose the model and she comes from the agency. When this happens I always have a bit of fear…The face of the model, when I offer her some sweets, a bit of wine, becomes terrible and she looks at me like I was trying to kill and destroy her career! Pure fear of food and pure fear of happiness! That make me crazy and the shooting never goes as it has to be.” Massi Tiberi

“I find a lot of models don’t seem to realize there is a lot more to it then just looking good. Most of them don’t practice posing, facial expressions and conveying emotions. Time and time again I see models who have one look. They learn how to pose their body from pictures in magazines but they forget to look at the details in the facial expressions that tie everything together. There is a major difference between someone who looks good and someone who looks good and photographs well. I remember shooting a guy for his portfolio, he had all these poses but the same facial expressions. No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t get him to emote any other look but this same facial expressions over and over again. So we ended up with a set of photos that pretty much looked the same. To make matters worse he thought it would be best to tell me how to setup the lighting, so maybe models should keep their egos in check as well.” Tristan Jud.

“I’m not a therapist–don’t get in front of my lens and tell me how much weight you have gained, or you have a turkey neck, double or triple chin. I’m there to make great photos of you. And don’t force me to flirt with you. If you tell me you are bad looking or pictures of you look terrible, I’m forced to tell you the opposite.” Bernhard Kristinn

Messing With the Photographer’s Work

“My pet peeve is models walking all over my seamless backdrop. I know it is easy to fix in Photoshop, but when you are doing 50 looks for a catalog, you just start adding up the minutes of your life that are going down the drain if you have to correct it 50 times. Now, I know it annoys me, so I start by bringing the model over nicely and explaining the retouching predicament. I point to the exact spot and ask if she can take one big step to get there. I am not sure why this next thing happens. Maybe it is wolves marking their territory. But, 1 in 4 models somehow still seem to enter from the side and take six steps to get there. My beautiful white background with the first of many traces of grey.” Michael Creagh.

“Don’t put on the Zoolander lips. I too often get the ‘blue steel’ or ‘magnum’ look, and it’s terrible.” Bernhard Kristinn

“The thing that drives me crazy is when models are skeptical. Maybe it is that they don’t quite trust your creative process or some incorrect bias on how they think the direction of their portfolio should be, but it is a recipe for disaster. Years ago, I had a young woman who loved my work and the way I made people look. But when it came to her, she micro managed everything to death. I was so frustrated with all the wrong choices from background to lighting, that in the end she actually got me to concede and hold a mirror next to the camera lens. The shoot was horrible. Why did I do it? By the time I held that mirror, I was in so deep that I would have done anything to get that shoot to end. It was funny when she came back a few days later to go over the shots. I was editing another shoot, and she was like, ‘Wow that is great. Why didn’t we do that?’ I guess it is because she hadn’t thought of it.” Michael Creagh

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Episode Fashion Management : An Interview With Grace Coddington

At the Ann Demeulemeester show for Paris Fashion Week, where Ann Chapelle showcased her Spring / Summer 2012 collection, we were honoured enough to run into Grace Coddington.

For those of you who are still not aware of the background of this visionary, then, please log off now. Grace shot to fame in the 1960's as a top fashion model, before a car crash caused her to leave the world of modelling. Then,  as chance would have it, she started as an assistant fashion editor for Vogue London. The rest as they say is history.

Recently, Grace shot to fame and became a household name,appearing in the "Fly On The Wall" Vogue documentary  "The September Issue" cataloging her creative genius and tempestuous relationship with Anna Wintour within the confines of American Vogue, heralding her by the team as "The Worlds Greatest Living Stylist".

I am delighted to say Grace comes across just as pleasantly in real life, and she took 1 minute out of her exceptional schedule to pose for a photograph and a quick Interview.

Here is what she said:

Hi Grace Welcome to Paris, how many years is this you have been coming here now?

As many as I care to remember. Nice Accent, where are you from? And nice blazer.

I am Scottish, and yes I tried to echo the Gothic theme of the Demeulemeester trend.

Politely nods and said ok.

So, what did you think of the show?

Very good, lots of drapey long sheer layers, and I loved the wide brimmed hats, and music.

Yes I loved the movement and the contrast in textures throughout the collection.

My shoes are all  sand though with the floor finish though.

Laughs. Well I need to be saying good bye.

Thank you very much for taking the time to agree to this. Please may we have a picture as well?

With pleasure.

She smiled, she posed and before the flash went off, she was off to the next show. What a lady.

Charley McDonald with Grace Coddington

Paris Fashion Week S/S 2012: The Trends And The Ones To Watch

The Blazer Vest:

Browsing through the latest Paris shows I spotted what I think will be a Key Item for the Spring 2012 season- a blazer vest in soft feminine fabrics and color.For Fall 2011, we saw the Teddy Boy look popularizing menswear items and I believe Parisian designers have an updated Spring version in the soft blazer vest.

I saw three incarnations this week by Givenchy, Issey Miyake, and  Costume National. They all represent their own take on this item but share the same feminine and soft appeal that is just right for Spring. I don’t see the menswear influence leaving anytime soon and this reincarnation of the blazer is a perfect example of the staying power of this current movement.
Givenchy S/S 2012

 The tailored blazer vest stands out among the sea of vibrant prints and fluid layers we have so far seen dominating the Spring runways.The practicality and instant cool factor of a blazer vest will capture the heart of girls looking to move along with fashion. And the femininity injected in this updated menswear look will compliment well with the vibrant colors and prints overflowing from the Spring runways.

Paris Favourites:

Because Paris is so Major League and each day is full of fan favorites and new surprises, I feel the need to feature a few of my favorites so far knowing there will be plenty more to come in the remaining days of Paris Fashion Week.

So far I’ve loved Dries Van Noten,Pedro Lourenco, and Balenciaga. Dries I have always loved and of course Balenciaga never fails. It was Pedro Lourenço who surprised me the most with improvements in his tailoring and craftmanship as well as over-all aesthetic appeal.

Dries Van Noten.

I am constantly surprised and I fall in love season after season with this designer. I am a huge admirer of Van Noten’s prints as he reinvents them each season with inspired skill and innovation. This season he collaged photo prints from different elements and time periods: seascape with baroque, wall paper with historic garden and tropical scenery.

Dries Van Noten S/S 2012 

What was really interesting was his collaboration with English photographer James Reeves. The photographer’s photos of iconoclastic landmarks at nighttime were used on the surprisingly couture like shapes toward the end of the show. Seems like the Cristobal Balenciaga exhibit  this past Spring might have had an impact on more than just Nicholas Ghesquiere.

I love how all the prints work so effortlessly together especially the on trend couture inspired shapes.

Balenciaga/ Pedro Lourenço

The other two of my favorites so far share a perculiar resemblance to each other. But since Nicholas Ghesquiere has been on the scene for much longer, one can argue that Pedro Lourenço is closely following Ghesquiere’s footsteps. Their similarities in style was one thing that I noticed ever since the name Pedro Lourenço became familiar to my ears. The way they both favor dramatic shapes, the way they handle fabric and proportions, and the manner in which sporty elements are infused with traditional technique, these are all positive elements that make both of their collections an instant winner for the women who dare to wear Fashion.
Pedro Lourenco S/S 2012
Pedro Lourenço

Pedro Lourenço has come leaps and bounds since his meteoric debut two years ago as a teenager with enormous talent. It is good to see that he is growing in maturity and in the execution of his aesthetic. His collections have diversified and shown that he is attuned to what his customers and supporters want to see and wear.


I would say the one thing that separates the two designers at the moment is Nicholas’ vast Balenciaga archive in which he can explore endlessly.This season, he once again used it wisely featuring prints from Cristobal’s famed archive of sketches and fabric. His ability to take traditions and apply them in an utterly urbane and modern manner is something that will translate well at any fashion house and it’s a modus operandi that defines much of today’s fashion elite.

Balenciaga S/S 2012

Spring 2012 Paris: Ones To Watch.

And finally Paris Fashion Week starts today marking the beginning of the end of the Spring runway season. So far we’ve been seeing tons of vibrant fashion from NY, London, and Milan making the theme of fashion pretty pronounced this season. The big question is whether Paris will follow suit and present us with bright colors and a sporty vibe, or will it embrace the optimism and nostalgia of the 50s and 60s, and which designer will continue the bra top look that is popular in all the cities so far. Lots of critics and fashion editors look to Paris for the consolidation of big trends and sometimes a whole new movement can come out of this city alone, therefore it is exciting to see how the City of Lights caps off Spring 2012. But before we do that, here are a few labels that you should pay close attention to as they are very likely one of the brands that will contribute to either consolidating or setting more Spring trends.


The talented design duo Kaito Hori and Iku Furudate helm this edgy and trend leading brand. They always seem to be one step ahead of the curve, which is something I value and personally strive for. For instance, some of the hottest trends we are seeing so far such as  cut out transparency, sporty items, and intense color-blocking were all explored in Commuun’s Fall 2011 collection. I cannnot wait to see where this fun yet sensible brand will bring to the table for Spring 2012.

Commuun S/S 2012


I have often said that  Opening Ceremony  duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are taking over fashion and their latest role is their appointment as the new creative directors at Kenzo. Earlier this year amidst the fashion musical chair of exiting Head Designers, Antonio Marras parted ways with Kenzo after being the Creative Director of the brand for 6 years. Soon after, the brand released the surprising news that Leon and Lim will be taking over starting with the Spring Collection and that instantly made Kenzo one of the most anticipated shows this season.

Kenzo Duo Leon And Lim
Humberto and Caorl made Opening Ceremony a global brand and are known to have a great eye for their stores as well as creating basics with a Japanese flare for their own brand. So therefore, on paper it makes sense that they would jump at the chance to tackle a beloved Japanese brand with such a strong heritage and the jury is still out on this one but certainly interested to see how they interpret and transform the world of Kenzo.


Seems like I am leaning toward Japanese designers this year as I am also excited to see the new Undercover collection designed by Jun Takahashi.Undercover  is a super underground and avant-garde brand that is not well known in the States and I have loved this brand for a long time. Designer Takahashi has a way of making clothes with a twist that forces you to pay attention and look twice. His last Fall collection marked his return to the Runway after a few seasons of showroom presentations and the result was exquisite and nothing short of his signature. For example, a simple parka turns out to be made of drab chiffon and felt panels, and mini skirts sported extra panels and zippers that seemingly end in the middle of nowhere. I have always been a big fan of this brand of fashion and I am so glad to see what Undercover has to offer this season.

Undercover S/S 2012

Julien David

My last “Ones to Watch” is Paris resident Julien David. My Japanese obsession does not end here. As it turn out Julien studied fashion at Parsons in New York before working for Narcisco Rodriguez and Ralph Lauren but then he moved to Tokyo and launched his label of silk printed scarves that have a heavy Japanese avant-garde influence. Last season marked his first foray into a full collection and I instantly loved what I saw. The Japanese influence was apparent and besides the on trend Creepers, it included a clean color palette with a few hits of colors, sharp tailored lines with unexpected yet not outrageous proportions, and naturally his signature silk prints popped up here and there. Julien has a bright future ahead of him with new fans after each season. At this rate he is poised to become a new force in the Parisian-Japanese scene.

Julien David S/S 2012   

The New Designer To Join BVBA 32: Jean Paul Lespagnard

Jean-Paul Lespagnard is a fashion designer, costume designer for theatre and dance, visual artist and stylist for magazines. He combines a great sense of fashion with a fascination for high and low art and for popular culture in all its shapes and forms.

Jean-Paul studied visual arts and fashion design in Liège (Belgium) and Luxembourg. He was a collaborator of Anna Sui (New York) for two collections and was an assistant to Annemie Verbeke (Brussels). He has created the costumes for several theatre and dance productions and is a regular collaborator of choreographer Meg Stuart / Damaged Goods (Brussels / Berlin).

In 2008 Jean-Paul won two awards at the International Fashion Festival in Hyères (France), which led to the creation of a capsule collection for the French brand 123. He recently founded his own brand, Jean-Paul Lespagnard, and presents his first women's ready-to-wear collection during Paris Fashion Week in March 2011.

All Jean-Paul’s creations reveal an overflowing imagination and he eloquently succeeds in communicating his optimistic universe where originality and offbeat style go hand in hand with a playful irreverence for convention and the generally accepted. Jean-Paul Lespagnard wants to offer luxury, not material luxury but the real thing: the freedom to be who you want to be.

The Jean Paul Lespagnard woman is a foxy lady going her own way and making individual choices, thriving on interesting encounters and surprising experiences.

She is at the same time self-aware and knows how to make fun of herself. She celebrates life and personal freedom. Arrogance is not to be found in this girl’s dictionary. She sparkles, combining optimism with a great sense of humour.

The Jean Paul Lespagnard brand addresses individuals with an open mind and a free spirit, immune for the generally accepted and convention.

A woman wearing Jean Paul Lespagnard wants to express her animality, being fully conscious of the authenticity of his creations.

In a way Jean Paul Lespagnard offers luxury, not material luxury but the real thing: the freedom to be who you want to be!

Episode Fashion Management : The Style Beyond The Staff

Six different days, six different looks. This is what our very own Managing Director Charley Daniel McDonald and Creative Director Lisa Keenan wore.

Day 1: Vintage Gothic

Black Skinny Jeans : Emporio  Armani
Black Skinny Vest Top : Emporio Armani
Emerald Green Vintage Velvet Smoking Jacket: Camden Market
Chunky Pewter Belt: Diesel
Black Leather Gloves: Red Or Dead
Black Boots: All Saints

Day 2:   Urban  Military

Black Skinny Jeans : Emporio  Armani
Black Skinny Vest Top : Emporio Armani
Pale Grey Military Jacket: Zara
Chunky Pewter Belt: Diesel
Black Leather Vintage Cap: Camden Market
Black Boots: Raval

Day 3:  Fine And Dandy

Black Trousers  : Dolce And Gabbana
Black Shirt : Dolce And Gabbana
Emerald Green Vintage Velvet Smoking Jacket: Camden Market
Stiletto Belt: Zara
Black Boots: Raval
Ruby Red Silk Cravat: H and M

 Day 4: Fade Away Or Radiate

Shirt: Hugo Boss
Trousers: Hugo Boss
Belt: Zara
Shoes: Raval
Sunglasses: Rayban

Day 5:   City Slicker

Shirt: Hugo Boss
Trousers: Dolce And Gabbana
Tie: Zara
Waistcoat: Salvatore Ferragamo
Belt: Zara
Shoes: Raval
Sunglasses: Rayban

Day 6:  Monochrome Magic

Black Shirt : Dolce And Gabbana
Black Trousers  : Dolce And Gabbana
Chunky Knit Jumper: Reiss
Black Boots: Raval
Stiletto Belt: Zara

And one for the Ladie's : Here is what our effortlessly chic Artistic Director, Lisa, wore.

Day 1: Utilitarian Chic

Short Dress: Zara
Black Leather Gloves: Red Or Dead
Black Shoes:  Nine West

Day 2: Casual Refinement

Navy Jumpsuit:  H and M
Gold Wedges: Office

Day 3: Patiently Patterned

Dress: Zara
Shoes:  Office
Bag: House Of Fraser

Day 4: Nautical But Nice

Dress: Jane Norman
Shoes:  Office
Bag: House Of Fraser

Day 5: Autumnal Attitude

Top: Zara
Skirt: Zara
Shoes: Dune
Necklace: Vintage

Day 6: Velvet Victory

Dress : River Island
Necklace: Vintage
Shoes: Dune

Spotted : At Paris Fashion Week S/S 2012

The list of celebrity attendees at Paris Fashion Week would rival that of the Oscars. You'd think with that many beautiful people roaming around, fashion faux pas would be at a minimum, and thankfully it was.


Hilary Alexander
Grace Coddington
Nina Garcia
Lara Croft 
Elton John
Suzie Menkes
Anna Sui 
Dries Van Noten
Allega Versace

Friday, September 23, 2011

Spring 2012: Runway Beauty: Colourful Hair

Spring’s exuberantly bright colors and shining metallics extend literally head to toe, with bold hair appearing on several runways in New York and London.

While we’ve been seeing the colors for some time – from designer Chris Benz’s neat, neon-pink ‘do, to Kate Bosworth’s blue tips – the trend shows no signs of slowing. A new look, however, is the gold-plated one, as seen at Topshop Unique, where an Egyptian theme ruled, and hair, nails, jewels and clothes were gilded a la Tutankhamun.

Clockwise from left: pink streaks at Mulberry; cool blue at Narciso Rodriguez; pink-encrusted locks at Thakoon; two tones at Peter Som; gilded hair at Topshop Unique.

Crystal Renn For Dutch Vogue

With regards to Crystal Renn, there is more, much more to discuss not least of which concerns her story in Vogue Deutsch October 2011 photographed by Sebastian Kim.

Crystal boasts a bit of a reputation for transforming before the camera in ways unimaginable by other models let alone actors. This Katie Mossman-styled story titled “As Time Goes by,” which clearly means something in German, is no exception and in fact presents the Barney’s Carine’s World Fall 2011 campaign model in an old Hollywood style that calls to mind Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, and Katharine Hepburn.

As if to demonstrate such 1940s styling can seduce again (verführt aufs Neue), which it clearly can, Crystal wastes no time in her brief and is seen wearing for her first look a knee-length dress with floral prints by Balenciaga by Nicholas Ghesquière, narrow belt by Salvatore Ferragamo, earrings by Camilla Dietz Bergeron; ring by David Webb, and pinching in her left hand a cigarette holder by Lynn Ban.

The story continues for another dozen pages and with each look ever more glamorous than the previous. Hair by Franco Gobbi accentuates the elegance at every turn. Standing astride a statue of a greyhound dog, a blond Crystal is seen wearing a black, high-slitted silk chiffon dress with sequins and narrow belt by Salvatore Ferragamo, earrings by RJ Graziano, diamond bracelet by Roberto Coin, diamond rings on left and right hand by Carla Amorim and Buccellati respectively, and sandals by Jason Wu.

For her final look, Crystal wears a floor-length, high-knecked dress with fur trim by Nina Ricci and various jewelry by Lynn Ban and Nicky Hilton. Suffice it to say this story, its style, and flawless execution are not only seductive, but are also personal favorites of the model herself. Considering the brilliant editorials Crystal Renn has done over the years, that speaks volumes. It is also clear from the story that no wire hangers were used. Ever.

Credits include: Vogue Deutsch Oktober 2011; Title, “As Time Goes By”; Photography, Sebastian Kim; Styling, Katie Mossman; Hair, Franco Gobbi at Art Department; Makeup, Lisa Houghton at Jed Root; Manicure, Michina Koide at Art Department; Set design, Anne Koch at CLM; Styling assistance, Eyob Yohannes.


London Fashion Week Trends Spring 2012

At a glance, here's what you need to know for next years hottest Spring / Summer  styles from the Episode offices.

Graphic Effects

Do not adjust your screen. Intentionally distorted patterns in London extended the graphic trend that seared retinas the week before in New York. Members of the geometry club included Peter Pilotto, who combined multicolor, repeating, yet not repeating patterns to dizzying effect, and Clements Ribeiro, who surely required serious computer power (or a Spirograph) to realize his optic visions.

From left: Pringle of Scotland, Clements Ribeiro, Burberry Prorsum, Peter Pilotto 


After New York’s bold expressions of flower power, London designers took the floral trend down a romantic path make that a mist-shrouded country lane. From the watercolor botanical dresses at Richard Nicoll to the eccentric English-garden mix at Erdem, the blossoms brought a day-in-the-country spirit to clothes that could charm any modern-day Jane Austen. Green thumb optional.

From left: Nicole Fahri, Richard Nicoll, Christopher Kane, Erdem

Granted, June Cleaver never flashed as much thigh as some of the ’50s-evocative looks London runways revealed, nor was she as badass as the tough-chick looks that walked at Acne this season. But below Fashion Week's modern fabrics, bright colors and va-va-voom sexiness, the Leave It to Beaver era shone through with New Look silhouettes, buttoned-up crispness, and an infectious optimism.

From left: Jonathan Saunders, Daks, Acne, Erdem

Space Age

Is the ray gun Spring’s hottest accessory? Nothing would pair better with the space-age looks that landed in London. Antonio Berardi explored the trend with geometric cutouts and high-tech fabrics, while Richard Nicoll did Barbarella proud with clear-plastic layers. But it was Giles Deacon and his liquid-metallic flapper skirts, some beneath far-out photo prints, who really took one large step for fashion kind.

From left: Richard Nicoll, Peter Pilotto, Giles, Antonio Berardi

Frida Giannini On Gucci

“We must move on, move on, move on,”were the instructions Frida Giannini gave her staff when, in 2005, the accessories designer added womenswear to her job portfolio at Gucci.

Alex Sarginson For Vogue December 2005

A year later, Giannini assumed full creative control, bringing calm and profitability to an Italian house that had been roiled by upheaval. Giannini’s dramatic rise followed the sensational exits of, first, Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole, and then Ford’s immediate successors, Alessandra Facchinetti and John Ray.

“Creativity must create business,”said the pragmatic Giannini, whose designs soon got the cash registers ringing again—while occasionally also irking Ford-friendly critics. With her long hair and doll-like face, the young Roman designer presented a stark contrast to Ford (a handsome Texan with an artful stubble, whose hard-edged “sex sells” approach revived Gucci in the mid-1990s, making it a business-school case study).

The transition from the Ford to Giannini eras was an aesthetic volte-face, as well, but most of the naysayers eventually came to see, as a headline in The Australian put it, that “inimitable does not mean irreplaceable at Gucci.

Her History;


Frida Giannini born in Rome, the only child of an architect father and art-history professor mother. As a young child Frida will visit many museums. Architecture and interior design are her second passions in life, she later says.


Begins riding, eventually becoming an accomplished show jumper.


Falls in love with chic shoes. “I got my first pair of Gucci stilettos when I was 16, she later recalls.


Commits a big fashion faux pas as a student at the Accademia di Costume e di Moda: “I tried imitating Madonna,” she will admit in 2008. “Extremely ambitious, because who in the whole world can pull off Madonna apart from the Material Girl herself?”


Accepts a job at Fendi. “I was only a bag designer by accident. After studying fashion in Rome, I went to Fendi as a ready-to-wear designer and then was asked, out of the blue, to go into the bag department. I think they saw I have a flexible hand.”


September: Joins Gucci as design director of handbags, working under Tom Ford.


As Gucci’s creative director of accessories—a specially created post—makes a splash with the Flora line.


Launches accessories collection to benefit Unicef. March: Adds womenswear to her responsibilities and is given four weeks to create a cruise collection. July: Marries Giovanni Battista Guidi in a dress of her own design. September: Makes her runway debut with a spring collection inspired by a postwar photo of her grandmother, who in later years owned a fashion boutique.


Takes over full creative control of Gucci. June: Her first menswear show is inspired by Peter Sellers in the sixties. November: Giannini appears on The Wall Street Journal’s list of “50 Women to Watch.”


June: Named International Designer of the Year by the Fashion Editors Club of Japan. Honored as Fashion Designer of the Year at the British Glamour Women of the Year Awards. October: Receives Fashion Group International’s Design Star award.


February: Recognized by Wallpaper for her innovative spring menswear collection.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Karl Lagerfeld - Baptiste Giabiconi: The Beauty Of Violence

The Beauty of Violence is Karl Lagerfeld’s portrait of Baptiste Giabiconi acting out an erotic seizure of myriad facial and corporeal expressions. Giabiconi is a theatrical chameleon: he hides coyly behind a lock of black hair, adopts a Classical contrapposto pose, bunches his limbs vulnerably, and attempts to stuff his fist into his mouth.

He alternatively confronts the camera’s presence with a provocative sultry stare, or withdraws from it into a state of wilful self-absorption. By teasing out the facets of Giabiconi’s athletic youth, Lagerfeld removes the threat of violence and suggests its seductive, indeterminate beauty.

The Beauty of Violence is both the exploration of an intense persona and the latest chapter in Lagerfeld’s ongoing photographic exploration of architectural forms made material by light, whether his subject be man-made structures, landscape, or the human form.

Karl Lagerfeld To launch Fragrance That Smells Like Books

You know print is in danger when it suddenly is exotic enough to inspire a perfume.

Designer Karl Lagerfeld  the eccentric creative director at Chanel and Fendi, as well as his own eponymous label  has announced  a new fragrance called Paper Passion, which will smell … like books. (Whether it will smell like the freshly printed and bound trade books you find at Barnes & Noble or the musty old things you unearth while rifling through used-book bins is uncertain.) His marketing company  reports that the perfume will come packaged in a hollowed-out hardcover tome.

Lagerfeld has long been known as a voracious reader: His enormous personal library  contains about 300,000 books.

Marc Jacobs Spring / Summer 2012

A giant curtain wall of gold lamé opened to reveal Marc Jacobs's collection in its entirety: 46 girls frozen in Bob Fosse attitudes on an arc of bentwood chairs—like the bar hawks in the Big Spender scene in Sweet Charity, or the flappers proffering an invitation to the Cabaret.

A fading antebellum dance hall in the Deep South was evoked by the wooden runway with the posts and beams of its central structure garlanded with yellow light bulbs (and in the many scaled gingham prints and the Amy Winehouse-ian do-rags), but although that Cabaret-era dressing informed the general silhouette of the show—the drop-waist chemise dress of indefinite shape—this was not another playful twist on period dressing (the Jerry Hall seventies or the comic-strip fifties of recent seasons for instance).

Instead, it provided a master class in classic Jacobs tailoring and enchanting dressmaking, ignited by some futuristic adventures in fabrication along the way.

The gleam of that curtain was echoed in the shimmering effect of sequins and tinsel and reflective fabrics galore—from thick, shining taffetas to something that looked like the colored translucent plastic in which florists wrap their blooms. Tiers of cellophane organza were shredded like raffia for the shimmy flounces of skirts (a device echoed in the trim of paper-thin leather coats and cardigan jackets with a Coco Chanel flavor) and leafy sequins were embroidered so thickly they resembled windswept fur. Even the shoes (in textile mixes that often included clear plastic)—pumps with a classically elegant heel, and no-nonsense two-tone loafers—and the boxy bags (in mid-century diner colors—like ice blue, maroon, lemon, and Nile green) were pragmatic in their streamlined utility.

After the Betty Page heroines who trotted the Jacobs runway last season with their hourglass jackets and hobbling pencil skirts, this collection represented a return to Jacobs’s softer side—a thrilling way to end the New York Fashion Week.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Episode Backstage : The Fashion Show Week Reports

Its one of the busiest times of the year in fashion. Spring / Summer 2012 showcases this week in New York with all other world players following suit.

This October we will be giving a detailed  account of whats hot, whats not, who's in and who's out. From Galliano's replacement at Dior, to Lagerfelds structured 50's inspired dresses. Every hot trend and style you need to look effortlessly chic next year will be here as Episode Fashion Management's very own  Charley Daniel McDonald and Lisa Keenan report from the Capital of fashion, Paris herself, directly from the shows. Along with guest interviews, the latest trends and gossip.

Look out for our fourthcoming 'Urban Cleansing' shoot, with up and coming English model, Kayleigh Jo Daffern, modelling for us  from  the sunkissed Baroque Captial of Catalunya, Barcelona.

Fashion Week Shows Schedules

Fashion shows and Fashion Week dates for New York, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Tokyo and other cities around the world;

September 6-9, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Montreal Fashion Week
Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

September 8-15, New York, NY
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Spring 2012

September 13-18, Vienna, Austria
MQ Vienna Fashion Week
Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

September 16 -21, London, United Kingdom
London Fashion Week
Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

September 16-22, London, United Kingdom
Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden
Catwalk Event

September 19-25, Washington DC
D.C. Fashion Week
Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

September 21-27, Milan, Italy
Milan Fashion Week
Women's Fashion Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

September 27-October 5, Paris, France
Paris Fashion Week (Mode à Paris)
Ready-to-Wear Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

October 14-21, Los Angeles, CA
Fashion Week Los Angeles
Spring 2012

Date TBA, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul Fashion Week
Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

Janie Taylor For Chloe

The Prima Ballerina Models the Fashion House’s Ethereal Collection

New York City Ballet principal Janie Taylor road tests Chloé’s dance-inspired spring / summer 2011 collection with choreographer and corps de ballet member Justin Peck in today’s short by director Bon Duke. Set to Philip Glass’s “String Quartet No. 3, 'Mishima': IV. 1962: Body Building," the impassioned routine was conceived by Peck in a bid to capture the multidimensional aspects of the performance on camera. “You always see ballet from the front,” he says. “Here was an opportunity to show it from the side, from the back, from every angle, and create a really unique viewing experience.”

Staged at NYCB’s studio at Lincoln Center as part of a fashion shoot for Canada’s The Block Magazine the film was styled by creative director James Worthington DeMolet, who was adamant about securing Taylor for the project. “I did some serious research because I wanted to work with one of the best dancers in America. I became obsessed with Janie,” he says. Taylor, now 30, has established herself as one of ballet's premier leading ladies in her 14 years with NYCB. Currently she is in rehearsals for the upcoming spring season, beginning in May, though she doesn’t yet know what parts she’ll be dancing. “They like to keep us on our toes,” she says.