Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Will The Met Gala Red Carpet Be As Camp As We Hope?

The guest list for the Met Gala 2019 might have been publicised last week, but the industry has been quietly ruminating on it since May 8 2018 – the day after the red carpet was rolled away for another year. As soon as the photographs of the fabulous fashion are circulated, it’s on to the next one. “Who’s cool?”, “who’s on-brand?” designers ask Hollywood’s most in-demand stylists, such as Elizabeth Saltzman and and Kate Young, as email exchanges fire up the world over and the courting begins. Ticket offers must tick off friends and those who are contractually obliged to go with a brand, as well as tapping into the future zeitgeist.

By the time the theme was announced in October, one would have expected creative directors to be in a flurry of creativity and moodboards bursting with ideas for the “camp” theme. Wrong. Each brand must tentatively map out the table plan and the red-carpet line-up before they can flesh out the finer details. “Only one person can wear white, only one person can wear red for example,” Saltzman explains of her duty to piece together an entire party's image.

Then, quelle horreur! A company might prioritise showcasing “what’s hot” at the brand, rather than embark on a costly, time-consuming process of creating something custom that won’t ever go into production. “It’s not a costume ball or a fancy-dress party,” reasons Saltzman. “It’s a wonderful, glorious opportunity to create business.”

Young agrees: “Some people will go full drag and others will ignore it completely – the same as every year”. She hopes for drama – “Feathers! Capes! Sparkles! Embellishment!” – and refers to Joris-Karl Huysmans’s À rebours as her personal reference point for “camp”. The 1884 novel explores the experience of an ailing aristocrat, Jean des Esseintes, as he holes himself up in an isolated villa and indulges his taste for total luxury and excess. Camp, for Young, is a complete rejection of naturalism.

Saltzman counters that this level of fantasy can feel quite alien to some. “The Katy Perrys of the world are performers and have had stage costumes throughout their careers, so they know what the attention feels like,” she says. “Others wouldn’t feel confident because that fashion just doesn’t relate to them.” With Gucci as the official sponsor, there will be no shortage of flamboyant regalia to satiate the appetite of the Perrys of the world, however.

Then there’s the fact that the pictures outlast the event itself. “People don’t remember the theme, they just remember the dress,” comments Saltzman. “It’s my job to make sure the guests look amazing, and then adapt the look to the theme when I can.” Young’s advice is to rely on make-up to bring extremity to a classic red-carpet ensemble. Striking beauty close-ups will excite the media, while the full-length shots will remain in the archive.

“Interpreting the theme is such an individual thing,” Young muses. “It really does depend on the person.” Even Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Notes on Camp exhibition, says himself that “camp” is impossible to define as it is “an amoeba” or “liquid mercury”. The text that underlines and inspires the contents of the show, Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on Camp, is also “written as jottings” because “that’s what camp is – a series of random expressions”. Bolton might be hoping for “Bob Mackie-styled Cher looks” and “Bjork-laying-an-egg moments” on May 6, but there are lots of hoops to jump through first. Let the games begin.

Gemma Chan's Serves Up Alternative Bridal Inspiration In Hong Kong

While her Captain Marvel colleague Brie Larson continues to promote the Marvel franchise around the world, Gemma Chanhas put on the breaks to enjoy some time out with her parents at the opening of St Regis Hong Kong. The metaphorical cutting of the red tape for the luxury hotel naturally called for a photo moment, however, and Chan happily obliged in look 30 from Huishan Zhang’s autumn/winter 2019 collection.

The long-sleeved A-line silver dress with geometric print and panels of feathers bursting out of it looked bridal. It emulated the attitude of the kind of city bride who swaps her day gown for a flirty knee-length number she can dance in as soon as the family photos are ticked off and dinner is done.

In fact, Chan’s new-season frock was a diplomatic fashion choice. Chinese-born, British-based Zhang’s designs marry his Eastern heritage with his Western influences and have garnered a global fan base, including Naomi Campbell and Gwyneth Paltrow. Editor-approved, he has been shortlisted for the BFC Vogue Fashion Fund over the past two years. Chan's decision to pick his plumed party piece was thus a directional nod to the country whose craft she was there to celebrate during a trip that also saw her take the Star Ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island – the same daily commute her grandma used to do.

Moreover, this considered look surmises the public-facing persona Chan has refined over the past year with the help of stylist Rebecca Corbin-Murray. From the super-sleek, super-pared back gowns she wore on the Crazy Rich Asians tour to the voluminous showstoppers during the 2019 awards seasonand the thematic superhero dressing she dabbled with on the Captain Marveltour, the two Brits have found their stride. Or, as Vogue's Ellie Pithers coined back in January after speaking to the Corbin-Murray, they have found Chan’s sideline: decidedly dramatic dresses.

Jennifer Lopez Will Receive The Fashion Icon Honour At The CFDA Awards

It only took one dress for Jennifer Lopez to ascend to fashion icon status. In 2000, she wore a plunging jungle green Versace number to the Grammys, establishing herself as a stylish risk-taker and cementing her place in the history books. But rather than hang up her stilettos after that paradigm-shifting look, Lopez has only continued to experiment with fashion, whether it be the glittering bodysuits she wears on tour, the mint Valentino gown modelled after a dress worn by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis that Lopez chose for the 2003 Oscars, or her daily street style looks that are photographed by paparazzi and discussed ad infinitum by the fashion press. It’s fitting, then, that Lopez will be honoured with the Fashion Icon Award at the 2019 CFDA Awards.

“Jennifer Lopez uses clothes as a way to express confidence and power,” CFDA chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg said in a press release. “Both designers and fans look forward to her fashion statements.” Lopez follows in the footsteps of Naomi Campbell, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Iman, and Kate Moss, all of whom have won the prize. The honour comes at a time when Lopez is not only planning the details of her wedding to Alex Rodriguez - sure to be a highly styled affair - but also about to embark on a North American tour.

“Jennifer Lopez’s style is bold, uninhibited, and always memorable,” said Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the CFDA. “Designers, including many of our CFDA members, love to dress her for both stage and private moments.” Among her most memorable looks of late are the mirrored Tom Ford column she wore to the 2019 Academy Awards (fittingly, Ford is the incoming chairman of the CFDA), the shocking pink Giambattista Vallihaute couture gown she chose for the premiere of Second Act, and the Versace denim boots she sported this summer, which left the Internet wondering if boots that eye-catching even need trousers. (J.Lo’s answer: Hard no.)

Lopez is expected to attend the ceremony on June 3 at the Brooklyn Museum. What she’ll wear is anyone’s guess, but you can bet it will be iconic.

François-Henri Pinault And Bernard Arnault Pledge A Combined €300 Million To Notre-Dame Restoration

After a fire devastated Notre-Dame Cathedral on the evening of April 15, French president Emmanuel Macron announced an international fundraising campaign to raise money to reconstruct the historic building in its entirety. François-Henri Pinault, Keringchairman and CEO, has already pledged €100 million to the restoration efforts, and Bernard Arnault, LVMH CEO, has donated €200 million.

“The Arnault family and the LVMH group would like to show their solidarity at this time of national tragedy, and are joining up to help rebuild this extraordinary cathedral, which is a symbol of France, of its heritage and of French unity,” Arnault said in a statement. Pinault, meanwhile, announced that he will pay through his family’s investment firm, Artemis, and hopes the funds will help church officials “completely rebuild Notre-Dame.”

The fire services managed to save the landmark’s rectangular bell towers and structure of the building, however, the roof has been “ravaged”, with around two thirds destroyed, according to fire-service commander Jean-Claude Galler’s report at 11pm.

Franck Riester, French minister of culture, said it was too early to determine exactly which pieces of art had been damaged, but that many of the relics had been removed from the 12th-century cathedral as firefighters worked to control the blaze. He shared photographs of officials loading art into vans via Twitter.

“Notre-Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche, the place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicentre of our lives,” Macron said in a speech delivered after he had visited the scene. “So, I solemnly say tonight: we will rebuild it together.”

His message was no doubt directed to the thousands of onlookers gathered on the left bank of the river Seine watching the flames rise high and the spire collapsing on one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations, which attracts 13 million visitors a year.

A meeting of experts and national architects took place the morning after to consider whether the building is stable and plans can be put into action, according to Laurent Nunez, deputy minister of the interior.

Alexa Chung's Barbour Collection Is The Perfect Antidote To Coachella Fashion

Alexa Chung’s collaboration with Barbour is so perfect that it begs the question: what took them so long to team up? The Voguecontributing editor was cautious about meddling with a classic, it turns out.

“I don’t like it when [fashion doesn’t] honour what something ‘is’… I think I have a fear of modernity sometimes,” she tells WWD. The chance to delve into the heritage brand’s archive and factory – “You have the greasiest hair by the end of the day, because if you touch the jackets after they’ve been freshly waxed, they’re really potent” – was too good to miss, however, and Chung has signed a two-year, four-season deal with the 125-year-old label.

Seven pieces of outerwear, three tote bags and a bucket hat will drop in early June – just in time for Glastonbury – and a second drop is scheduled for August 2, as the last wave of festivals takes place. It’s a canny marketing plan that taps into Chung as one of the poster girls for Brit girl Glasto style, which is, thankfully, lightyears away from the Coachella fashion currently infiltrating our Instagram feeds.

What’s the Chung tilt on the classic khaki countrywear? She has cropped all the sleeves, crisped up the collars, narrowed the A-lines into “B-lines” for a snugger silhouette and stitched a bold lighthouse logo combining both names into each piece. Highlights include a blue raincoat inspired by Liam Gallagher, and a quilted green coat with corduroy collars and cuffs that sings of royals in Balmoral.

Perhaps the expertise of running her own eponymous brand for two years has bolstered her confidence in the studio, but the collaboration feels like the most natural tie-up out of the string of companies Chung has aligned herself with (Superga, Marks & Spencer, AG Jeans, Vöslauer Mineralwasser) over the years. It represents “the ABCs of being ‘moi’,” she continues. “One, wear a Barbour; two, make sure the sleeves are short; and three, pretend to be French. My whole ambition, at all times, is to not look like clothes are fussy or are eating you, and to make something hang so that it flatters.”

Stocked on and, as well as select retail partners (Net-a-porter, Selfridges, Liberty), the collection will be priced from £229 - £429.

Gucci's Diversity Shake Up Will Make It More Creative Than Ever, Says CEO

It’s almost a century since Gucci was established as a luxury leather goods company by Florentine Guccio Gucci. In that time it has grown into an €8.29billion lifestyle brand, as renowned for its clothing and now interiors as its archetypal bags bearing the “GG” monogram. Driving the brand’s creative evolution over the years there has of course been Tom Ford (1994-2004) who was charged with introducing Gucci’s ready-to-wear line – instilling it with a scintillatingly sexy aesthetic. This was followed by an era of unadulterated glamour under Frieda Giannini (2006-2014). But, as many millennials would argue, Gucci really came into its golden age four years ago after the appointment of Alessandro Michele – who had worked behind the scenes at the company for 12 years – as creative director.

“With Alessandro, from the very beginning, we put creativity at the centre of everything we were doing,” Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri told Vogue’s Suzy Menkes at the Condé Nast Luxury conference in Cape Town last week. “We didn’t talk about figures or numbers because I don’t think that’s the way fashion should be managed. We're lucky in a way because at that time, many designers were stuck. Everything was very much market driven.”

Michele’s debut AW15 collection (which hit Milan’s runway in February 2015) was made in just five days according to Bizzarri – who was appointed in 2014 and hired Michele himself – demonstrating “the creativity of Alessandro and the power and the strength of people behind him". The appointment was probably one of the best business decisions in fashion that decade, and has seen Kering’s profits double and Gucci declared “the hottest brand on the planet” in the Lyst Index.

But in February 2019, a backlash ensued when a Gucci product – a black knit balaclava with red lips that encircled an opening for the wearer’s mouth – was widely condemned for evoking blackface. Dapper Dan, a Gucci collaborator took to Twitter, stating: “I am a black man before I am a brand... There cannot be inclusivity without accountability.” The incident came less than two months after Prada pulled figurines from its New York store that resembled blackface, and the same week as Adidas removed an almost entirely white pair of sneakers from a collection inspired by the Harlem Renaissance to commemorate Black History Month.

Gucci’s response wasn’t immediate, but it was considered. Around a week after the incident, following a public apology, the brand announced a four-pillar initiative for diversity and awareness, which will involve hiring global and regional directors for diversity and inclusion, setting up a multicultural design scholarship, as well as launching a diversity and inclusivity awareness programme and a global exchange programme. “You need to create the bricks and mortar infrastructure, not just the soft part, if you want to have longevity,” Bizzarri told Vogue, when we met at the conference.

At his side, speaking that day, was supermodel Naomi Campbell – who, along with Dan and the rapper, is a member of the Changemakers Council that Gucci has assembled to, in Bizzarri’s words, help them better understand “what could be relevant for new generations in different parts of the world”. The council comprises business leaders and CEOs (Ivy McGregor, Susan Chokachi, Kimberly Blackwell), activists (Bethann Hardison, DeRay McKesson), writers (Michaela Angela Davis, Yaseen Eldik), poets (Cleo Wade) and educators (Eric Avila) among others. “We want to have people who are speaking up, telling us what they feel, in order to help us in understanding,” Bizzarri says. The position of Gucci’s global director for diversity and inclusion is still open for applications.

Bizzari anticipates the fellowship programmes will increase mobility among Gucci’s 18,000 employees. “We are a big company, and this will give people the opportunity to move to Milan or vice versa, from Milan to other regions,” he explains. “I love the idea of imparting education, the chance to give to this younger generation, and give us different perspectives at the brand.”

This symbiosis should be truly international, he says, with “the influence of young designers coming from everywhere,” before citing Africa as “one part of the world that could really impact what we do creatively [at the Gucci headquarters] in Rome.” The programme will partner with up to 12 colleges around the world, four of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, including: Radford College (Accra, Ghana), Design Academy of Fashion (Cape Town, South Africa), University of Lagos (Lagos, Nigeria) and McEnsal School of Fashion Design (Nairobi, Kenya). Each college will run a contest to nominate a student who will then join Gucci for one year starting in January 2020. All students will receive board, lodging and a stipend, and ultimately the opportunity to work for Gucci.

Beyond the classroom, over the coming years, Gucci is looking to extend its retail footprint across Africa. Currently the brand has stores in South Africa, franchises in Morocco with presence in multi-brand shops in Nigeria and Egypt. They also intend to source materials from the continent.

“I really believe, especially in our industry, creativity is a consequence of diversity. And the more you are exposed to diversity, the more you are creative, because you see things from different angles,” Bizzarri explains. It should also be said, for the more market-minded CEOs reading, that recent studies have found diversity is beneficial for business, with companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.

Indicating the many high-profile figures from the luxury industries around the room, Bizzarri stresses the importance of creating a truly global network. “It cannot be done by just one company, it's something that needs to be done together,” he says. “We need to think a little bit more long term than we usually do. I'm not going to say that [our initiative] is perfect, but we’ve made a start,” he adds. “We are going to see along the way how it's going to evolve. Right now, the important thing is to stay open minded.”

Marco Bizzarri featured in talks at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference 2019 in Cape Town with editor at Vogue International, Suzy Menkes, and in an interview with Vogue.

Gigi Hadid Takes Tie-Dye For A Spin At Coachella

Gigi Hadid has been wearing a lot of tie-dye lately. The moment those swirly prints appeared on the spring 2019 runways, Hadid, like a true trendsetting model, began wearing them immediately. Back in March, just days after Fashion Month came to an end, she hit the streets of Manhattan wearing a multicoloured Polo Ralph Lauren T-shirt covered in the psychedelic pattern. Now, the model is leaning into the look for Coachella.

For the festival kick-off event, Hadid wore a Ganni tie-dye vest with a cropped white camisole underneath. The 1960s-inspired pattern – in orange, black, and pink – was an appropriately graphic piece for the event, where one goes to be seen. She styled it with floral-printed trousers and some hefty combat boots. But it was her jewellery that really took her outfit to the next level. She played up the playful aesthetic with an array of colourful accessories, including a large Jacquie Aiche pendant, tons of beaded and shell necklaces and bracelets, and a vintage Louis Vuitton pouch bag by Takashi Murakami clipped to her vest. The ensemble was bright, bold, and definitely not for the faint of heart; a striking It girl-at-Coachella moment.

Christopher Kane's Latest Project Is All About Preventing Heartache

Christopher Kane is putting his name to a charity that is close to his heart. In Scotland, his home country, cardiovascular disease causes 27 per cent of deaths, and coronary heart disease is the biggest killer, causing more than 15,000 deaths a year. As part of a new campaign, Heart of Scotland, in collaboration with Heart Research UK, Kane has designed a limited-edition T-shirt and four badges to benefit the organisation’s research.

The charity contacted Kane months after his brother died from a heart attack. “It was a no brainer that I had to do something to help,” he tells Vogueon the phone during a rare day off in London. “Heart disease is no stranger to anyone in Scotland.” His father suffered from two attacks. “Everyone is too scared to talk about it, because people are dying faster than ever,” he continues of the epidemic. “Today 41 people will die from a heart attack in Scotland, tomorrow 41 people will die, it’s ridiculous.”

Fashion, he believes, can be an instigator of change. “No one watches the news any more, but they will take watch of what a celebrity is wearing on their Instagram,” he asserts. “We’re lucky, in a way, that we live in a world that enjoys fashion and that likes celebrity interaction. We have to use any channel to get the word out there and get people talking.”

Charitable Tees might have received bad rep after some have emerged as unsustainable – such as the Spice Girls’ Comic Relief “gender justice” T-shirts, which were made in a Bangladesh factory where women earn the equivalent of 35p an hour – but, Kane is quick to state that, “This is not just another T-shirt with some bollocks slogan on”. Manufactured in a brand-approved factory in Hertfordshire, he tested multiple prototypes to ensure that the pieces would wear well. “People are buying a little piece of Christopher Kane, so the quality has to be good,” he comments. “I wanted to make something wearable that can stay in a person’s wardrobe for a long time” – something crucial in the wider conversation around sustainability.

Kane also appreciates that £19.95 (all proceeds go to Heart Research UK) is a lot of money for some to spend on a T-shirt. “It’s not even about the donation, it’s about getting the word out there,” he comments. The dissected heart motif, which also comes in the form of £1 pins, is, accordingly, as graphic and brightly coloured as possible. “It’s a real live and kicking heart that’s breathing colour,” says Kane, who loves anatomy but can’t talk about body parts as they “freak me out”.

“People always think that fashion is so frivolous,” he muses upon saying goodbye. “But, fashion is a great way to engage with charities and their messaging.” For him, philanthropy has to be part and parcel of his job. “When you receive attention for what you make, you have to talk about something other than fashion. It’s black and white.”

Naomi Campbell On The Power Of African Talent To Sweep Racism Off The Runway

South Africa is so close to London-born Naomi Campbell’s heart that she considers it her second home. “When you think of South Africa you think of Nelson Mandela and that’s the way it will always be,” she says of her late friend (whom she affectionately calls “Grandad”) and the first democratically elected president of the country. It was with Mandela she would often stay when visiting South Africa, and to this day it’s to the Mandela family that she makes her first call when in Johannesburg.

On this occasion, the original supermodel is in the country’s Mother City, Cape Town, for 48 hours and has just come off the stage at the Condé Nast Luxury Conference, where she spoke alongside Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri about the fashion house’s recently launched initiative for diversity and inclusion, as well as the wealth of untapped design talent from the continent. We meet at this year’s conference venue, The Lookout, which has a 360-degree panoramic view of the city taking in Robben Island, where Mandela spent the majority of his 27 years in incarceration.

Campbell’s unlikely friendship with Mandela was forged in 1994, the year he became president and finally brought an end to the brutal apartheid era. Campbell had come to The Palace of the Lost City in South Africa’s North West Province to judge Miss World, and decided to donate her fee to his ANC party. “When I came off the stage I got a call to say that I was going to meet President Nelson Mandela,” she remembers. “I screamed because he was a symbol of hope for me and for so many others. [He represented] solidarity, freedom, [he was] non-judgemental, humble.”

Never did he demonstrate these qualities more than when he decided not to run for a second term. “He told me he was going to step down from being president and I asked him why,” Campbell remembers. “He explained that it was much easier for him to take care of the children of the future in South Africa being non-political [because] he could get more help from outside.”

“Grandad told me to speak my truth, to not be in fear of that and to use my voice to help others,” she continues, choosing her quotes carefully as she has to save some for an upcoming book that’s on the horizon. Although her trip is short, she has made time to visit children at the Amoyo Performing Arts centre and Marian RC Secondary School.

This Sunday 14 April, Campbell tells me, marks her 33rd year in the fashion industry – she had her first fashion shoot a month before her 16th birthday. It was the late 1980s and at that time Campbell was one of the only models of colour on the runway. “I used to have to fight for the same fee as my [white] counterparts doing the same job,” remembers the 48 year old. And were it not for her sisterhood of supers, namely Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, “jeopardising their own careers” by insisting designers “who were not into even thinking of using a model of colour at that time”, Campbell would never have been cast in their shows.

The AW19 season may have been the most racially diverse fashion month ever with 38.8 per cent of castings going to models of colour across the Big Four fashion capitals, but as Campbell notes there is still much work to be done. “It’s still not balanced completely. I’m the face of a new campaign and I was told that because of the colour of my skin a certain country would not use my picture,” she tells Vogue. “For me it was a reality check. I never believe in the hype, so it just kept things in perspective for me. Now I would like to know that models [of colour] get the same opportunities and fees in advertising.”

The answer, Campbell believes, lies in Africa. “There are agencies here, I saw some incredible models last Arise Fashion Week in Lagos,” she says. “Incredible faces who have no idea how special they are and how great they look. It’s about making them part of the bigger network by affiliating them with agencies in London, Milan, Paris and New York.” She goes on to commend the casting of the Valentino SS19 couture show where more than half the looks were modelled by women of colour: “They took four months to do the casting and you can see they put time into it. We are not a trend, we are here to stay.”

Campbell also wants to see better representation among designers and more African-based designers reaching the international fashion arena. Today she is wearing a fitted, black, knitted shift dress embroidered and fringed with colourful threads – the work of Johannesburg-based designer Marianne Fassler. Among her other favourite designers from the continent are Tiffany Amber (Nigeria), Rich Mnisi and Thebe Magugu (both South Africa), and Kenneth Ize (also Nigeria) who, along with Magugu, has been shortlisted for the 2019 LVMH Prize for young designers.

“I do believe that an African designer is going to walk away with the LVMH Prize this year,” says Campbell optimistically. “Instead of having Western designers use African designer’s textiles and not get it right, let them do it, give them the credit. Because that’s what happens, they don’t get the credit and it’s wrong.”

There are obvious setbacks for designers in Africa due to a lack of infrastructure in terms of production, mentorship and connections to the wider design community. Through the Gucci initiative – which will see partnerships with schools in Accra, Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town as part of its multicultural design scholarship programme – Campbell is determined this will change. Details of the initiative were released in February amid accusations that a balaclava-style sweater available in Gucci stores evoked blackface. Campbell – a global advisor to Bizzarri and a member of Gucci’s Changemakers Council – sees the label’s response (“listening and taking action”) as a positive one and she hopes other brands will follow suit. “This is something that will give back to them in the long run. They will now get to see the new, young, up-and-coming designers on the continent first,” she says.

More broadly speaking, a large part of the reason why African designers are under-represented in the industry, Campbell believes, is that up until recently, people have been fearful of travelling to Africa, leading to widespread misconceptions and lack of understanding about the continent. “Africa has become a vacation destination, this is a place for everyone,” she says. “Edward [Enninful] and I went to Ghana at Christmas and now I can’t tell you how many people are going – we are scurrying for places to stay. You can never rely on what others say,” she adds. “You have to go and experience it for yourself.”

Christian Dior Museum To Celebrate Grace Kelly's Enduring Relationship With The Brand

Christian Dior might be enjoying renewed publicity in the UK owing to the V&A’s largest ever exhibition charting the history of the brand, but, in the designer’s home country, Dior is pulling in visitors too. On April 29, the Christian Dior Museum in Granville, France, will open the doors to a show dedicated to celebrating Grace Kelly’s style and her enduring link to the brand.

Grace of Monaco: Princess in Dior will showcase 85 beautifully crafted dresses, many of which were from the Hitchcock star's personal collection and have been carefully preserved in the Monaco palace since her death in 1982. When fashion historian Florence Müller, who curated the exhibition, was permitted access to the palace’s archives, she found that one third of the total pieces were from Dior. This not only shows prominence of the brand at the time, but also Kelly’s relationship with Marc Bohan, the house’s third creative director (after Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior himself). A collaborator and confidante, Bohan went on to play the role of uncle to Kelly’s two daughters, Stephanie and Caroline.

“Bohan perfectly understood her role: she needed to be stylish, but respectful of etiquette,” Müller told WWD. “Before Grace of Monaco, royalty remained a private affair: princesses weren’t seen in public as much, or photographed by the press,” explained Müller. “She represents a moment of change of etiquette, a real rupture.”

As well as the Dior pieces that are inextricably linked to Kelly’s public-facing persona as a member of Monégasque royalty – such as the gown she wore to her engagement ball held in New York’s Waldorf Astoria in 1956 and the couture autumn/winter 1956 look she chose for her first official portrait as Princess Grace of Monaco – items including tweed suits and shirtdresses show her day-to-day existence as a wife and mother. Accessories, letters and archival film footage issued by the palace also offer insights into the life of a woman whose image was cultivated by Hollywood’s desire for glamour, but who eventually gave up her screen career to become an actual princess.

"Grace of Monaco, Princess in Dior" will run from April 27 to November 17 2019 at Christian Dior Museum, 1 Rue d’Estouteville, Villa Les Rhumbs, 50400 Granville.

Has Jeremy Scott Reached Peak Pop Culture With His Sims Capsule?

Jeremy Scott, the Moschino designer who was built for the Instagram age, has upped the ante for his next capsule collection. How, you might ask, is that possible after he presented his most flamboyant collection to date for autumn/winter 2019? Well, reader, he has topped his American game show theme with another one tapping into pop culture nostalgia: The Sims. And he’s taking his pixelated designs to Coachella, a haven for social-media addicts constantly searching for content.

“I love the idea of being able to imagine, design and bring to life a world of individual personas with The Sims universe,” Scott commented on his mission to make video simulation stylish. “That concept emulates what I get to do for each collection at Moschino as I create a fantasy universe of spectacular storylines and characters.”

Rather than creating an avatar version of himself, Scott has morphed models Stella Maxwell, Aiden and Denek K into Sims characters for the campaign. Signature Moschino motifs, including the teddy bear, freezer bunny and graphics that read “I don’t speak Italian, but I do speak Moschino” have all been put through a pixelated lens, but the pièce de résistance of the bonkers edit is a pair of earrings that symbolise the plumbob (the official name for the green diamond that floats above each member of the ultra-polished Sims community).

Whether or not you'll be wish-listing pieces when they appear on Scott's 'chella crew on April 13 is besides the point – Scott's feel-good fashion is always a welcome break from reality. The big question: will Scott transform his Met Gala 2019 table into a virtual dolls' house? Bring on the first Monday in May.

Claudia Schiffer On Why Karl Lagerfeld Is The Andy Warhol Of Fashion

In her 1990s heyday, Claudia Schiffer had a bodyguard for herself and one for her underwear. “It was crazy!” she tells Vogue of the paparazzi swarming around show venues. Upon returning backstage after one particular runway appearance and finding that her smalls had been stolen, she put her foot down. “From then on, I had a bodyguard watching my underwear, too.”

It was, she concedes, an “intense and amazing time in fashion” for herself and her catwalk colleagues – Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington et al – who rose to ubiquity as the “supers” during the same era. But Schiffer – feeling reflective three decades later – doesn’t think their status boiled down to the media representation of young women who “lived fashion and loved fashion”. “We developed unprecedented control over our careers, which I think speaks to debates around female empowerment,” she asserts.

Scouted at 17 in a Düsseldorf nightclub, it was Karl Lagerfeld who booked Schiffer for her first catwalk show and, in her own words, “transformed me from a shy German teenager into a supermodel”. Schiffer went on to close many of his Chanel shows in the 1990s as a brand ambassador and muse, who vocally supported him throughout his life. “Karl was a creative genius to whom incredible abilities just came naturally,” she shares. “To watch his process and the way in which he organised everything to perfection was a privilege. He was also an incredible teacher, from whom I learnt about fashion, style and the importance of being myself.”

On the legacy of the icon, who at the core was a “very sensitive, gentle and kind” man, Schiffer says: “I’ve often described him as the Andy Warhol of fashion, because, like Warhol, his work spanned such a wide variety of media and he understood the relationship between photography, artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertising.”

Schiffer, ever the professional at 48, is still quick to namecheck the other figures who shaped her Brigitte Bardot-esque image that will now serve as the model's own legacy. “Gianni [Versace] redefined the fashion show format,” she smiles. “We’d walk out to an amazing Prince track with hundreds of photographers lining the catwalk, only to see him sitting there on the front row.” Valentino Garavani’s shows, too, “were like stepping into a cutting-edge fairytale world.” Accordingly, her most prized possessions are a hand-painted Chanel bag gifted to her by Lagerfeld after she admired it at a fitting, a 1990s Versace metallic miniskirt and her Valentino wedding dress.

Schiffer agreed to walk in Donatella Versace’s spring/summer 2018 show celebrating the life and work of Gianni on the 20th anniversary of his death, in order to pay tribute to and support the family that had welcomed a young model into its fold. But in general she doesn’t look back. “I don’t [miss anything about the 1990s] because I have the most amazing memories and I’ve been careful not to take any part of my career for granted,” she explains. “I can pick and choose projects and I’m enjoying taking different avenues, including roles where I’m designing and curating collections.”

Her current affiliation with Ba&sh, for example, came about after Schiffer, a fan of the brand dedicated to effortless Parisian style, met “smart and lovely” founders Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief. They got on like a house on fire, discussing their mutual daily uniforms of jeans, cashmere jumpers and blouses. “My style is very instinctive,” adds Schiffer, the label's spring/summer 2019 campaign face. With 400 stores worldwide, her instinct has paid off.

Would she back her own daughters' – Clementine Poppy and Cosima Violet – potential foray into modelling? “Having me as their mum is a double-edged sword,” she says honestly. “They can learn from my experiences, but they will be under far more scrutiny.” For now, Schiffer is making sure they know that their mother is as happy at 48 as she was throughout all the other years behind her. “I think age should be celebrated and revered,” she grins again. “There’s a reason we have cakes and parties on our birthday.” Schiffer is not retiring from the spotlight yet.

Raf Simons On Why His Sights Are Set On Art After Calvin Klein

While rumours rumble on about how costly Raf Simons’s exit from Calvin Klein has been for its parent company PVH, Simons himself has been preoccupied with finalising work for his next show at Milan’s Salone de Mobile. As part of his ongoing collaboration with Danish textiles company Kvadrat, Simons has created three housing structures – based on the flat pack designs conceived by architect Jean Prouvé in the 1940s as a solution to the housing crisis in France and its colonies – within a garden in the city's Garage 21 venue. The purpose of the spaces? To show off the new fabrics Simons has created within a domestic environment. There’s even a café housed within the walls.

“It’s not a showroom, it’s an environment, a place of inspiration,” Simons tells The Guardian. “I hope it’s as good as it sounds. It’s so much more massive than anything we’ve done before.” For a man who consistently covered Paris’s Museé Rodin in flowers for his seasonal presentations as creative director of Dior, making an old mechanics workshop bloom should be a cinch, surely?

It’s certainly an antidote to the pace of the fashion industry, which he remains a part of owing to his eponymous menswear line operating out of Antwerp. “[Fashion has] been changing since the 1990s,” Simons muses. “Now, everyone sees the runway show right away, and by the time the clothes are available, people have moved on to something else. This fast communication, it’s exciting but it can be dangerous, too. Damaging.”

An ardent collector, who is a regular at London's Frieze fair, art is a growing creative outlet he can enjoy at his own stride. “I’m not exactly buying things you can ship back home in a crate and hang on the wall,” he says of looking for a space to display his treasures. “I want to make things public. I’m not interested in setting up a really private foundation. Rather something with education and collaboration built into it.”

If this seems like an about-turn, Simons has “never officially defined [himself] as a fashion designer”. “It frees you up if you go and do something different,” he says of his forays into teaching, collecting and curating exhibitions. His one discreet comment (he is subjected to an NDA) about his departure from Calvin Klein in December – “what you read and what actually happened are not always the same thing” – implies that Simons is in no rush to return to the mainstream fashion game, either.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Unseen Detailed Sketches By Karl Lagerfeld Are Up For Auction

The late Karl Lagerfeld was known for throwing away his completed fashion sketches. Now, some of the rare drawings that are still in existence are going to be auctioned in America this month. The 125 sketches, which had previously been privately owned since the 1960s, will be auctioned by Urban Culture Auctions on April 18th in Florida.

Some of the never-seen-before sketches – which were drawn by Lagerfeld while he was working as a couturier at the House of Tiziani in Rome – were drawn for well-known women such as Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Duke and Gina Lollobrigida. “These sketches are the work of one of the most brilliant couturiers of the last half century,” said Rico Baca, co-owner of Urban Culture Auctions. “They are very rare and might not have survived had they remained in Lagerfeld’s possession.” How the previous owner obtained the sketches is not known.

In 2007, Lagerfeld famously spoke of refusing to keep any posessions. “I throw everything away,” Lagerfeld told The New Yorker. “The most important piece of furniture in a house is the garbage can! I keep no archives of my own, no sketches, no photos, no clothes – nothing!”

According to the auction house, Lagerfeld’s two designs for Taylor are expected to sell for around $3,000 (£2,300) each. The other portfolio collections, dated between 1963 and 1969, carry an estimate of $2,000-$4,000 (£1,533-£3,067).

Lagerfeld died on February 19. His long-standing right-hand woman Virginie Viard has since taken the helm of Chanel. “There was so much publicity about our 2014 sale that, after Karl Lagerfeld’s passing, our phone started ringing off the hook with calls from collectors, museums and people in the fashion industry, asking if we had any more of his sketches available to purchase,” Baca said.

Alber Elbaz Is Back! After A Four-Year Hiatus, He's Teaming Up With Tod's

Alber Elbaz is back on the scene. The designer is teaming up with Tod’s for the brand’s Factory project – a series of capsule collections conceived by the industry’s leading creatives, which takes its name from Andy Warhol’s iconic New York studio.

“It’s going to be fantastic,” Tod's Group president and majority shareholder, Diego Della Valle, said of the union. “He has such vision, he is three steps ahead.” Tod’s invitation into its “creative laboratory” will be the first major work Elbaz has produced since his exit from Lanvin in October 2015 – something he has described as his “personal tragedy”.

His well-documented split from the house that he helped revive to commercial success during his 14-year tenure was an acrimonious one. Elbaz was forced to defend his work amidst poor-quality claims and his leadership was questioned due to alleged “aggressiveness”. He strenuously denied all allegations and the existing Lanvin staff revolted in support of him. Since then, Elbaz has been awarded the Officier in the Légion D'Honneur, launched a selection of scents with Frédéric Malle, the founder of Editions de Parfums, and designed an accessories collection for LeSportsac.

“I’m still in love with fashion and I miss fashion and I miss you all,” he told the crowd upon accepting the highest French honour in 2016. “One day we may be back together, but maybe another place. It’s the people I miss.”

The Factory edit, which will offer Elbaz unbridled creativity and access to the Italian house’s workshops and archives, will be unveiled in spring. “His sense of modernity is extraordinary and we are very, very happy to see him restart in fashion with us,” Della Valle enthused. “He is one of the few great designers around.”

Beyoncé Announces Partnership Of A Lifetime With Adidas

Beyoncé’s sportswear brand Ivy Park has been keeping a low profile since the performer cut her ties with Sir Philip Green, and bought back the Topshop tycoon’s 50 per cent share in the company she founded in 2016 with Arcadia.

Four months after Parkwood, the popstar’s company, acquired 100 per cent of the business, Beyoncé has announced a new partnership with Adidas. More than just a collaboration, Bey describes the wide-ranging deal, which will encompass clothing and footwear as well as the Ivy Park relaunch, as “the partnership of a lifetime”.

“Adidas has had tremendous success in pushing creative boundaries,” Beyoncé continues via “We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business.” The “Run the World” singer will retain ownership of her company and will continue “her journey as one of the first black women to be the sole owner of an athleisure brand”.

“Neither ascribes to the typical stereotypes of athletes and what athleisure clothing and footwear should be,” Adidas commented of adding Ivy Park to its brand line-up, which also includes Kanye West’s Yeezy and Stella McCartney's sports line. “Instead, [it] will bring to life a shared vision of inclusion that will forever alter the opportunities and landscape for all.”

So far, there’s only an Instagram blast – yellow and black to symbolise the Beyhive, duh – to decipher. Rest assured the singer's products will launch to greater noise.

Givenchy Needs Your Voice!

For the fourth instalment of Givenchy’s spring/summer 2019 campaign, entitled “I Am Your Mirror”, the brand needs you. Clare Waight Keller has issued a worldwide open call for vocal talent via, in order to give followers of the brand a chance to do the talking.

So, how does one get in the running for this behind-the-scenes cameo? Aspiring voiceover artists must watch the below Steven Meisel-lensed campaign edit, which features models gazing at hard-boiled eggs and munching on crunchy apples, and record a unique message they see fitting for the video images. The one piece of creative direction? “Do what you want to do.” The submission must then be sent via secure transfer for consideration of a jury at Givenchy’s Paris headquarters by April 7. The winning entries will be published on the brand’s Instagram and Weibo accounts on April 10th.

Jonathan Anderson Has A New Job At The V&A

Jonathan Anderson has been named as trustee of the Victoria & Albert museum. The appointment, made by Theresa May on April 2, will see the designer take up the new role for the next four years.

Anderson, the creative director of Loewe and his own namesake brand JW Anderson, has been appointed to the board alongside three other individuals: Marc St John (a former partner and head of investor relations at CVC Capital Partners), David Bomford (a former senior restorer of paintings at the National Gallery) and Genevieve Davies (who holds a MPhil and DPhil in psychoanalysis and existentialism).

The V&A museum is governed by a board of trustees appointed by the prime minister who attend six board meetings per year, and an annual away day, too. They are also called upon to provide ad hoc advice and attend events held at the museum.

The Irish designer took to Instagram to share the exciting news, posting an image of his new work badge: "Very proud and honoured to be appointed on the board of trustees of the V&A museum. Thank you."

Madonna's Daughter Lourdes Fronts Supreme's Latest Collab With Fashion Legend Jean Paul Gaultier

Supreme has announced its latest designer collaboration: Jean Paul Gaultier. Following in the footsteps of designers who likewise need no introduction – Thom Browne (2010), Rei Kawakubo (2012), and Kim Jones during the final leg of his tenure as men's artistic director at Louis Vuitton (2017) – Gaultier sees it as a natural continuation of his fashion house’s story.

“I have been including elements of sportswear in my collections from the very beginning,” Gaultier tells Vogue. “It has been one of my codes and my obsessions, I even developed a line ‘Junior Gaultier’ at the end of the 1980s [with that focus].” He continues, “With Supreme, this inspiration will find its way to a new generation.”

Throughout his career, Gaultier has merged the worlds of fashion and performance: designing costumes for the Ballet Preljocaj production of Snow White and Luc Besson’s film The Fifth Element; dressing a roster of famous actresses from Nicole Kidman to Cate Blanchett and Marion Cotillard, who in 2008 collected her Best Actress Oscar for La Vie En Rose in a white, mermaid-like gown of his design; and last year he even put his own life to music for his Fashion Freak Show (a hybrid revue-cum-fashion show in Paris).

Most iconic of all though, he created the costumes (including those conical bra bodices) worn by Madonna for her 1990 Blond Ambition tour. And it’s this era of his ready-to-wear archive that Gaultier has chosen to revisit for his Supreme collaboration, making it all the more fitting that Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon is modelling the collection in the first-seen photos, shot by Collier Schorr, alongside the artist Sancheeto.

Bold tailoring with exaggerated shoulders for women is juxtaposed with men’s gender-blending faux fur coats in blue and red check. Gaultier is also using the opportunity to send out a powerful message to Supreme’s 12.5 million Instagram followers – perhaps as a riposte to the 17 per cent rise in hate crimes seen in the US in recent years – by reviving his ‘Fight Racism’ T-shirts.

Since it was established in 1994 by James Jebbia, Supreme has built its reputation as the king of fashion collaborations. Aside from designers, the skatewear brand has previously worked with other athletic-wear labels (North Face, Oakley, Nike), artists (Kaws, Jeff Koons, George Condo) photographers (Martha Cooper), musicians (The Clash, Public Enemy), film directors (Ralph Bakshi) and food and drinks companies (Campbell’s, Coca Cola, Budweiser).

The products of these partnerships are a rarity in ready-to-wear fashion – they tend to increase rather than decrease in value. The resale price for a pair of Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 High, which retailed for $150 in 2014, sits at around $650, while Supreme x Louis Vuitton denim jackets are selling for more than double their original £1,000 retail price. Most eye-watering of all though was a collection of all of the 248 skateboard decks made by Supreme between 1998 and 2018, including those featuring artworks by Koons and Condo, which went for a record-breaking $800,000 (£613,000) at a Sotheby’s auction in January.

Having ceased his RTW line in 2014 to focus on couture, the Supreme x Gaultier collaboration presents a rare opportunity to own a piece from the original enfant terrible of fashion that won’t set you back tens of thousands of pounds.

Louis Vuitton Cruise Show To Take Flight At JFK

Nicolas Ghesquière is persuading the international fashion set to stay in New York after the Met Gala 2019 and come fly with him at John F Kennedy International Airport. The Louis Vuittonwomenswear artistic director will stage the brand’s Cruise 2020 show in the TWA Flight Center – the first time an event has been staged in the restored building before it opens to the public.

Designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen in 1962, the mid-century modern building with its winged roof was declared a New York City landmark in 1994. Although it has been closed since 2001, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. When it opens its doors on May 15, it will be the centrepiece within the TWA Hotel surrounded by eight bars, six restaurants and multiple retail outlets.

“The TWA Flight Center, a sheer evocation of travel itself, is inherently linked to Louis Vuitton’s commitment to exclusive architectural discoveries, to its art of travel, and represents an ideal close to Nicolas Ghesquière’s inspirations,” the brand said in a statement.

It is not the first time Louis Vuitton has decamped to the States to stage its fashion displays. It has held events at the former New York Stock Exchange, the South Street Seaport, and in a pop-up shop in the Meatpacking District, as well as taking over Bob and Dolores Hope's estate in Palm Springs for Ghesquière’s first cruise show. This year, however, it is only Louis Vuitton and Prada who are convening editors in the US capital. Dior will stage its cruise display in Morocco, Gucci will invite friends of the house to Rome and Chanel will stay in Paris.

Prepare to see Ghesquière’s guests staging Catch Me If You Can-style photos at Louis Vuitton’s show, however, as the storied venue once played the background to Steven Meisel’s cat-and-mouse chase starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

Chloé To Stage Fashion Show Outside France For The First Time

Chloé is staging its first catwalk show outside France in the history of the house. On June 5, creative director Natacha Ramsay-Leviwill unveil the brand’s Resort 2020 collection in Shanghai, after a research trip to Asia in January sparked her imagination. The one-off venture eastwards also marks the first time Chloé has presented a pre collection on the runway.

So, why the move? Chinese consumers represent 33 per cent of the global market, according to global management consultancy Bain & Co, and Chloé felt underrepresented in the region. As the Chinese government encourages Chinese consumers to spend in China, rather than abroad, it's vital for the brand to have a presence there.

“During the last Chinese New Year week, we observed that the growth of Chinese consumption came mainly from mainland China as opposed to Chinese traveling abroad,” Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye, chief executive officer of Chloé, told WWD of the business strategy behind the idea to stage “something special in China for the Chinese Chloé girls.”

The announcement follows the British Fashion Council’s trip to Shanghai as part of its China partnerships strategy, which aims to facilitate access to the Chinese market for UK businesses. As Roksanda Ilinčić, who joined the visit to Asia, told Vogue, “China is so far geographically, but it’s also far removed from the PR, marketing and social-media channels that we use in Europe and America.” Understanding how to communicate with consumers there is key, she adds, because “you can’t just create things and expect people to buy them without knowing what your brand is about and who you are trying to dress".

With the uncertainty of Brexit hanging over European designers, the Asian market is a lifeline. The Chloé show might be a special activation, but it will mark the brand's continued drive to capitalise on retail potential in the region. As Ilinčić iterated: “Asia is [the] next frontier.”

The Cost Of Rebranding Calvin Klein Is Estimated At £183 Million

The mission to rebrand Calvin Klein and reconnect the label with its customers is proving more costly than PVH Corp – the parent company which also has Tommy Hilfiger in its stable – anticipated. The conglomerate first predicted that unpicking the work of former creative director Raf Simons would cost $190 million (£145 million), however, new estimates forecast the financial deficit to be $240 million (£183 million).

Since Simons exited Calvin Klein in December, the brand has disbanded the 205W39NYC line and closed the flagship store on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue, which featured a floor-to-ceiling Sterling Ruby installation showcasing an edit of Simons's catwalk designs. Fifty employees in the New York office and 50 in the Milan office were let go, and Michelle Kessler-Sanders, president of Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, is due to leave the company in June.

In a breakdown of the restructuring costs, PVH designated around $65.7 million (£50 million) for severance and termination, $55 million (£42 million) for “long-lived asset impairment,” including the shuttering of the collection business and the flagship, $45 million (£34 million) for lease and contract termination costs and $5 million (£3.8million) for inventory markdowns, according to WWD.

To realise Simons’s 205W39NYC vision, PVH invested $60 million (£46 million) to $70 million (£53 million) in the luxury collections. It did not provide the return that PVH had hoped for, as the average Calvin Klein customer failed to connect with the conceptual fashion that seemed ions away from the denim and underwear lines that used to be the brand's bread and butter.

Amidst the costing reports, PVH failed to expand on its aforementioned plan to “[offer] an unexpected mix of influences and [move] at an accelerated pace”. The rumour mill has also gone quiet regarding news of Simons’s successor – if, indeed, the new Calvin Klein era still requires that role.

The Shrimps X Warehouse Collaboration Sings Of Italian Summers

Hannah Weiland is feeling chipper. She has proven that the old adage “if you want something done, ask a busy person” is true. Last summer, she staged her own fabulous wedding in the grounds of her family home in Wiltshire (complete with the couple’s own makeshift pub, The Arthur Arms), spawned the beaded It bag of the season, celebrated her first foray into homeware with Habitat, and signed up for her first high-street collaboration. “I was on a roll,” she grins.

Fashion brands have been knocking on Shrimps’s studio door for some time, but it was Warehouse who finally tempted Weiland into the mass market. “I really like the Britishness of the brand and its unique style,” she shares. “The Warehouse business model isn’t about copying young designers, which is very important to me. I had to respect the company in order to commit.”

An initial six-hour design session threw up exciting opportunities for Weiland to develop products that Shrimps hadn’t explored before, such as hats, swimwear, jewellery and shoes (something she had only dabbled in with Converse). “Shrimps is known for faux fur, so I only ever do a small summer collection,” she explains. The chance to do an all-out celebration of “European holidays… particularly those on pebbly Southern Italian beaches” was too good to pass on, and the resulting edit is Weiland’s fantasy Riviera wardrobe – all Fifties silhouettes in lime greens and ginghams, offset by raffia and diamanté flecked accessories.

The Shrimps summer sounds most idyllic. “I was inspired by striped umbrellas, Campari Spritzes, scrabble boards and the beach scenes in the film Overboard…” Weiland says dreamily. “Then I drew prints inspired by beautiful paintings of sea beds and what I imagined under the water to look like in my dreams,” The sea creature that Weiland’s brand takes its name from brought the whole creative process full circle for her.

The London Fashion Week star sees no reason why the Warehouse tie-up will conflict with her personal brand, though. “It’s a totally different customer,” Weiland asserts. “Shrimps has a big student following and now they can have a piece of our world for a more affordable price.” She’s up for round two – if Warehouse asks her. “I have a habit of choosing the most expensive fabrics wherever I am, so I can vouch for the quality of the collection,” she justifies. With prices starting at £15, you can’t argue with that.