Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Revolutionary Designer Pierre Cardin Has Died

Pierre Cardin, the prolific, avant-garde French designer best known for his geometric, space-age couture and his impulse for disruption has died in hospital in Neuilly, his family told the AFP news agency. He was 98 years old.

“I don’t like to stop, I like to continually prove myself,” Cardin said in an interview with CBS back in 2012 – and certainly, his work ethic from a young age right up to his death has been testament to that. Renowned throughout his career for having had perpetual irons in the fire, his skills were not limited to fashion. In fact, he built an ignominious empire based on a legion of then unprecedented licenses, the contracts of which he began signing in the 1970s, and which eventually ranged from automobiles to restaurants (he turned Maxim’s, the historic Parisian Belle Époque restaurant, into a global brand), to hotels, jewellery, glasses, fragrances, furniture and even tableware. By 1985, for instance, he had authorised 840 licensing arrangements in 125 countries. Though the practice of lending one’s name to different concepts and product lines is now commonplace, it certainly was not when Cardin began putting his name to all manner of products – and for many, his still serves as a cautionary tale of how a high-fashion label can quickly become devalued.

Born “Pietro” Cardin in Treviso, in the northeast of Italy, in 1922, Cardin’s French parents escaped Italy’s fascist regime, settling in St Etienne, a city in eastern-central France, two years after their son’s birth. In spite of his wine merchant father’s desire that he should pursue architecture, from childhood Cardin knew he was interested in fashion. Indeed he took an apprenticeship as early as 14, before moving to Vichy in 1944, where he subsequently trained as a tailor.

Soon after completing his apprenticeship, Cardin moved to Paris, where he worked with the most famous couture houses of the time, Paquin and Schiaparelli, as well as the decorative artist Christian Bérard, designing costumes and masks for Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête. By 1947, Cardin had become the head of Christian Dior’s tailleure atelier during the revolutionary New Look era. It was expected that Cardin would succeed Dior, but in 1950, Cardin left to set up his own company in an attic on 10 rue Richepanse.

Though it was the costumes created for an elaborate masquerade ball hosted by art collector Carlos de Beistegui at Venice’s Palazzo Labia in 1951 that “launched” Cardin’s career – the ball was known as “the party of the century” – it was his futuristic approach for which Cardin will be remembered. Most famous of all is his bubble dress (named because of the way it flared from below the waist and ruched together along the hemline), launched in 1954. His 1960s dresses – square-cut, with large, circular cutouts and geometric sleeves – continue to define space age chic to this day. His landmark Cosmos collection in 1964 anticipated unisex clothing, while his preference for crisp but agile textiles, such as jersey and wool crepe, transformed fashion entirely. (Vinyl and felt were also firm favourites, though he developed his own fabric, “Cardine”, too, which was famously worn by Lauren Bacall in 1968.) 

He dressed stars of the day, including Audrey Hepburn, Jeanne Moreau (with whom he had a four-year relationship), The Beatles and Mia Farrow. Speaking of his early days in fashion, the designer quipped in a documentary released this year: “I was quite a good-looking young man, so everyone wanted to sleep with me.”

Beyond his cut, cloth and construction choices, Cardin was in many ways responsible for creating the fashion world of today. He was determined to push the envelope. “The clothes that I prefer are those I invent for a life that doesn’t exist yet – the world of tomorrow,” the designer said, ahead of a retrospective of his work, held at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition in 1990. He launched ready-to-wear as a concept in 1959, an egalitarian move which scandalised the fashion world and ended in his expulsion from the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, couture’s ruling body. In bringing high fashion to the masses, however, he effectively transformed a couture house into the first-ever designer label. He was also one of the first to take his show on the road, by way of destination showcases hosted in locations that western high fashion hadn’t reached out to before: China, India, Vietnam and even Moscow’s Red Square.

The fortune he amassed by way of his fashion line and his licensing deals was readily invested in classic French real estate, including the Marquis de Sade’s castle in Provence, where he held annual cultural events. He also famously purchased the architect Antti Lovag’s Palais Bulles, “the Bubble Palace”, following the death of its original owner. (Cardin had in fact helped to design the Palais, an exemplar of his fascination with eccentric geometrical designs.)

During his lifetime, Cardin received various awards for his contributions to French design and culture, including the Commander Order of Cultural Merit from Monaco Principauté. He was also made a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in January 1991. Indeed, age did nothing to slow the eternal futurist. In 2014, he launched a permanent museum, the Past-Present-Future Museum, in central Paris to showcase his most iconic designs. In 2016, he held a showcase of his work in the south of France, while in October 2017, the then-95-year-old launched a pop-up shop at London’s Maison Assouline.

Cardin once told The Telegraph: “Clothes are important, everyone has to dress. It’s like plants, like trees, you change your cover every season [...] To know whether a designer’s left a mark on fashion you need to close your eyes and think what they represent. Chanel left her little suit, Paco Rabanne’s about metal. Courrèges left a mark as did Elsa Schiaparelli, Madeleine Vionnet…” And as for Cardin himself? There is little doubt that he has left quite a mark.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Legendary British Model Stella Tennant Has Died

The model and designer Stella Tennant has died suddenly at the age of 50, according to a statement released by her family. “It is with great sadness we announce the sudden death of Stella Tennant on 22 December 2020,” it read.

“Stella was a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed. Her family ask for their privacy to be respected. Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.”

A regular in the pages and on the cover of British Vogue, Tennant last appeared on the cover of the December 2018 issue, strikingly handsome as always in a dramatic blue Valentino evening gown. Hailed an “industry legend” by editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, having forged a new path in recent years as a designer at Holland & Holland, she was chosen to appear alongside three other new faces to mark 25 years to the month since her first appearance in the magazine, both photographed by Steven Meisel.

In an interview she gave to the magazine to accompany the cover story, she said: “Some of my fondest memories are of working with British Vogue through the years. There was my cover story with Corinne Day, just after I gave birth to my daughter – when I brought my childhood nanny down from the [Scottish] Borders with me to take care of the baby. There was the shoot with my grandmother Debo, the Duchess of Devonshire, at Chatsworth, the ultimate family portrait, and the Fashion’s Force cover from January 2002 – a sort of yearbook for the modelling world at the time. (A belated confession: my schedule was so hectic at that point that I missed the actual day and had to be Photoshopped in later.)”

Tennant began her modelling career “pretty much by accident”, as she herself put it, in 1993. Having just wound up a sculpture degree at Winchester School of Art, her first modelling job was at the age of 22 for the December 1993 issue of British Vogue. “A friend of mine happened to know Plum Sykes, then an assistant at the magazine, and Plum was working with Isabella Blow on a portfolio of English roses with an edge,” she recalled. 

Tennant had just had her septum pierced, and boasted the aristocratic lineage to boot. The resulting shoot, “Anglo-Saxon Attitude”, photographed by Steven Meisel, launched her career. “At that point, I had no real idea who Steven was,” she said. A week later, she was shooting a Versace campaign in Paris – and her career exploded. “I turned up and found Linda Evangelista, Shalom Harlow, and Kristen McMenamy in the studio. I cannot tell you how intimidating it was! Steven photographed me standing there while Linda and Kristen danced around me because I was too nervous to move,” she said. Those images then became the cover choices for Italian Vogue. “And my life changed overnight.” She went on to work with the most influential photographers of the century, including Paolo Roversi, Mario Testino, David Sims, Arthur Elgort and Tim Walker.

“The first time I met her, I was fashion director at i-D magazine, so I must have been 18 or 19,” recalls Edward Enninful. “I got a call from Select Model Management saying they’d taken on this model who was a punk, and that I should meet her. At the time I was on crutches and couldn’t leave my house, so she came to my home in London for a casting. She had a nose ring at the time, which was very unusual – she reminded me of Isabelle Adjani in the film Subway. I was blown away by this aristocratic punk.

“Our careers took off at the same time, and we worked on many fashion stories and covers together over the years. She was always so stylish, so together, so kind, so polite. At one time, she was every designer’s muse – she was the ultimate chameleon, one moment a down-town Brit, next, a stunning debutante. She went on to have four children and was a fantastic mother – family always came first. She worked so hard to care for her family, run an estate, keep up her modelling, before her second career came, designing at Holland & Holland.

“She is very much a British Vogue icon – the definition of British style, with a tomboyish look, eclectic taste and an incredible ability to inject cool into everything she wore. I last saw her in Paris, in February, and we had a laugh together, as always. I am greatly saddened by her loss – she is utterly irreplaceable.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Introducing Marine Serre And A$AP Rocky’s Mind-Melding, Regenerated Collection

Saturn and Jupiter have come into conjunction, appearing closer together to the human eye than they have since 1226. Astrologists are heralding this heavenly event as the beginning of a new age. Coincidentally – or maybe not – a different kind of celestial moment is happening in fashion: Marine Serre’s moon is aligning with A$AP Rocky’s star. If you believe in the cosmic powers of energies, vibes, and star chart alignments, then you will definitely be impacted by the force of these two creatives coming together for a collection of mostly regenerated pieces. On sale on Serre’s website now, the collection offers a true marriage of the iconoclastic aesthetes’ work.

Serre and Rocky met in 2019, though they had been fans of each other for some time before that. “I really loved her work. It seemed like she took the streetwear etiquette and kind of put her own ‘I don’t give a fuck,’ rebellious, punk twist to it. Aesthetically, I never saw somebody be so free, especially with a monogram – something as simple as a crescent moon,” Rocky says on a conference call with Serre. “She has more of a, I would say, fashion-house approach to [her brand], but with a streetwear aesthetic. She collided both worlds. I’m an advocate for that: mixing high-end streetwear and low-end clothing, so it spoke to me, naturally. I just loved her aesthetics.”

There was one challenge: Serre is extremely particular about her partnerships. In the four years since she launched her business, she has only worked with one company to produce her filtration masks and with Jimmy Choo on shoes – never with another designer, another artist, or with anyone you’d call a celebrity. “To be honest with you, we didn’t know if she would collab with us because she doesn’t really collab or work with people!” Rocky says. “That’s what really turned me on about this collaboration. I really want to work with people who are not easy to get to.” (The artist is also fresh off another partnership with Amina Muaddi, who is similarly selective in her collaborators.)

“Also, you know,” Serre picks up, “if I had not liked Rocky, I would not have done it. Even though it’s A$AP Rocky!” she says with a laugh. “That’s really the thing, you know, we really could speak together, and I think that was the most important for me, that we can really exchange.”

“Exactly,” Rocky says, affirming that this Sagittarius (Serre) and Libra (Rocky) duo is definitely riding the same wavelength. “You gotta be careful with whom you collaborate these days because everybody is just collaborating for the sake of it, right? This was done for dope purposes only. We wanted the final product to speak for itself, not because two big names collaborated or we did some cool shit. I really wanted to execute and make sure if we did it, it was for a reason.”

“I agree, if it would have been a ‘collab,’ we would not have done it,” Serre concludes. “Better to not call it a collab.”

So let’s call it a mind-meld instead. The resulting garments certainly speak to a marriage of ideas, aesthetics and energies that transcend the typical co-branded effort. “We went really into details together,” Serre affirms. “I was asking, ‘How do you like the sleeve? Do you like when they fall on the finger, or do you like when they fall at the top of the finger? All of this is really important for me. Garments are really personal and intimate, and I know how important the length of a sleeve is. It was really about that: knowing the body so you can do something good.” (For the record, the sleeves are Rocky’s interpretation of a late 1970s Sex Pistols look, fusing a cut-off sleeve with a connected glove.)

The process of working through each item and silhouette with the artist ended up fundamentally changing the way Serre designs. Anyone familiar with her darted, waisted, and couture-inspired silhouettes can see the Rocky effect in the looser, slouchier, more relaxed but not un-tailored look. “The shape of all the garments in the collection, they are really made differently than how I design normally,” she says. “I designed them for his body. It was kind of challenging to keep your aesthetic but at the same time answer to someone else’s way to live or way to move. In a way it’s really intimate. This is what I like when I work.”

As such, it helped that the pair started working on the collection in-person long before Covid-19 locked down the globe. “It was also really important to see each other. When I saw Rocky I would look at him, look at the way he was moving, or dressing, having six or seven necklaces on top of each other, or layering things,” Serre says. “By looking at each other and by being with each other, it was what inspired the garments. And these garments, they are made for Rocky.”

They are made with Rocky and Serre’s shared environmental passion too. The musician is a true vintage collector with hundreds of archival tees and – who can forget – silk scarves on rotation. Serre has an entire warehouse of discarded garments and is a regular at the Paris flea markets. By Serre’s estimate, their collection is 75 per cent regenerated, with all the tees, leather, silk, and denim upcycled from existing garments or vintage things Serre bought specifically for this collection. “It’s also this kind of collection where you layer materials, and things can get more – how to say – more important when they are chosen,” Serre explains. “That’s the nice thing about upcycling and using all these old T-shirts; each piece is unique. No one will ever have the same pants or the same necklace. You are collecting your life a bit. That’s what I like, and when I saw Rocky, I felt he was like that: collecting his life with his clothing.”

The admiration is mutual. “I love the whole fucking collection,” Rocky says when asked to choose a favourite. “I can’t do it, I like them all!” Working with the designer has affirmed his own creative practice, emphasising the need to stay small but think big. “Marine is free – and to be honest with you, I made a new friend working with her. I’m very inspired by her. I definitely look forward to continuing our creative journey. I don’t think it should just be limited to a clothing collection. We’re two creatives, so I think that the possibilities are endless.”

“I think the same,” Serre adds. “Things happen when they have to happen. Working together was so simple and honest, that, when it goes like that, why would you stop?” Consult your star charts for when part two of the Serre-Rocky alignment might arrive. Until then, at least your wardrobe for this new cosmic era we’re entering is sorted.

Here’s Your First Look At The North Face x Gucci

After a teaser video showing a single “The North Face x Gucci” tent flag blowing in the breeze dropped in September, the collaboration of the season has finally landed. And boy, is it good. The campaign for the menswear and womenswear – plus the outdoor recreation pieces, such as tents and sleeping bags, that transport Gucci into The North Face’s world – takes us back to the ’70's.

Back then, the American retailer was changing the leisure-meets-technical performance wear game from its Berkeley, California, headquarters, which were adjacent to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s music studio. Accordingly, the American rock band’s song “Bad Moon Rising” lends the Daniel Shea-shot video nostalgic flair as Gucci models go adventuring in their hybrid looks.

So, what of the clothes? The collection is a logo enthusiast’s dream. The North Face has adapted its quarter-circle stamp, which pays homage to the famous granite Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, to include Gucci’s green-red-green stripe. The branding is splashed all over peppy padded coats, quilted jackets and windbreakers, which are based on archival The North Face outerwear silhouettes and realised in ’70s-inspired colourways. Skirts, coords, sweaters and shirts come in a bunch of floral prints conceived especially for the collaboration, and in line with both brand’s sustainable policies.

The tie-up plays into the post-pandemic appetite for “the essential”, which Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele touched upon during his “radical” restructure of the house’s output in May. Michele has previously shared his love of the great outdoors via Gucci’s Off The Grid capsule, comprised of recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials and modelled by Jane Fonda and Lil Nas X in a tree house. Its pre-fall 2020 campaign, entitled So Deer To Me, followed in the footsteps of its previous animal-populated photo shoots and featured deers, fawns, owls, bluebirds, skunks, squirrels, frogs, ducks and rabbits.

“We are a big brand, so we have a responsibility to take care of our industry,” Michele explained of the house shift towards “fashion that has a longer life”. Spreading this message by linking up with another household-name brand in a different field is a smart move. Gucci is a major step up from The North Face’s previous fashion tie-ups with brands including Junya Watanabe, Supreme and Maison Margiela.

Look out for Gucci art walls in London, which will celebrate the meeting of two brilliant brands – and two iconic logos – ahead of its release at Selfridges on 4th January.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Galliano. McQueen. Chalayan. McCartney. These London Libertines “Created Their Own Rules”

It was London, not Paris or New York that set the 1960's swinging. The city became a mecca for youth. Mary Quant dressed them in miniskirts, the Beatles made them dance. The party was epic, but so was the recovery. With the exception of punk, it wasn’t until the late 1980's and 1990's that the capital was shaken awake again by a new generation of iconoclasts. As In Vogue host Hamish Bowles summarizes: “The young London designers of the 1990s broke the rules because they wanted clothes to be a part of the world we live in, and they wanted their designs to interrogate our world as well.”

Soho was the stomping ground of these London Libertines. By day they could be found at Central Saint Martins; at night they dressed to outdo each other at clubs. Unlike established designers who were then catering to the royal set that revolved around a very proper Princess Diana, this merry band wanted to upend tradition. “We were there to challenge social and sexual mainstreams, you know, we were not only doing fashion,” says Hussein Chalayan. A driving force in their work, observes the Costume Institute’s Andrew Bolton, was “that clash between tradition and transgression, the past and the present that defines English culture.”

Chalayan, who hails from Cyprus, was engaged in the political aspects of identity as expressed through dress, as evidenced by his repeated examination of the chador. He also works across media, engaging with technology, architecture, and even furniture design. Among the designers discussed in this podcast, he is the most minimal, and remains self-funded.

The careers of John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, who graduated from Saint Martins in 1984 and 1992 respectively, crisscrossed for years. Though their aesthetics were dramatically different each was a fantasist in his own way. McQueen, who died in 2010, used his shows to spin sci-fi horror stories or to evoke the eerie drama of Alfred Hitchcock. Galliano preferred historical romances. “I was drinking it, living and breathing it, says the designer. “And, I don’t know, I guess I was starting to get lost more in the history and illustrations and cartoons, and the way they depicted these characters and often summed up a line.”

Such was the energy in London, that it became a talent pool for newly formed luxury conglomerates with legacy brands that needed some new life. It caused a stir when John Galliano became the first Englishman to head the very Parisian house of Givenchy. When he moved to Christian Dior, McQueen took his place there. In 1997 McCartney, not yet two years out of Saint Martins, was tapped to remake Chloé. It was a job she accepted only after the house agreed that the designer, a pioneer of sustainability, did not need to use leather.

McCartney brought a female gaze to Chloé and a focus on clothes that were destined for a woman’s wardrobe, rather than a museum exhibition, say. “I wasn’t trying to editorialize my work,” she says. “I just wanted to design clothes that I could wear and that all my girlfriends could wear—and they did. And that became quite powerful.”

Galliano, McQueen, Chalayan, McCartney, each of these designers in their own way, helped shift fashion in new directions. “I think London designers always feel empowered to follow their sense of the world as much as their sense of fashion,” says Vogue’s Mark Holgate. “There’s a belief that fashion isn’t just really about pretty frocks and pretty clothes.” Instead, fashion was a vehicle to explore concepts and self-expression. Bowles observes that these designers saw fashion as a means “to create your own rules for living in the world”—no matter where the customer was in relation to England’s “scepter’d isle.”

Monday, December 21, 2020

Five Things To Know About Saint Laurent’s S/S'21 Collection

Anthony Vaccarello staged his spring/summer 2021 show for Saint Laurent in a desert setting, echoing major themes of the post-pandemic era.

The show was set in the desert

At some point during 2020, we all inevitably felt a little bit deserted in our domestic paradise. It was a mixed emotion: that almost agoraphobic feeling of losing your life structure contrasted by the safe and cozy frames of your own home, with nowhere to go. Anthony Vaccarello captured that ambivalence in a Saint Laurent show set atop a Saharan sand ridge, models trotting through the dunes – going through the motions – in this soothing yet abandoned desert landscape (nodding, of course, to the Algerian roots of Yves Saint Laurent).

It was phygicality at its core

The show touched on pretty much every theme conceived in 2020. Presented digitally, the cinematography merged the realms of physical and digital in a how-did-they-do-it filmic exercise that would have made for an excellent virtual reality experience. Vaccarello was the first designer to cancel his October Paris Fashion Week appointment, announcing in a statement last summer that he preferred to present his Saint Laurent collection at the right time, in the right way. This was his phygital Xanadu.

Anthony Vaccarello said it was about serenity

“I wanted to focus on the essence of things. I think it’s a sign of the times. But I didn’t want anything bleak or heavy,” Vaccarello commented. He titled the collection “I Wish You Were Here”, playing at once on the beautiful landscape and the separation that’s become a reality for us all. “The desert, to me, symbolises that yearn for serenity, open space, a slower rhythm. The clothes are also softer, the spirit of the collection is more gentle, stripped back.”

It made the case for comfort dressing

Comfort-wear has been fashion’s great lockdown epiphany, and it was for Vaccarello, too. Adapted to his strict, skimpy, often so evening-y lines, it was a nice experiment. Based on a “thick jersey” from the 1960s drawer in Yves’ archives, he drew a parallel between tumultuous times past and present, and how those experiences increase a desire to envelope your body in a comfy kind of self-protection. Vaccarello evoked his typical tight silhouette through these tactile materials and adorned them with plumed trims, lace collars and rosettes – Zoom dressing a la Saint Laurent.

Nightwear-as-daywear is here to stay

Cycling shorts felt like an honest take on the way we’ve actually been dressing in lockdown – sportswear – and hasn’t 2020 been all about authenticity? For those who spent entire days in pyjamas or even underwear in the spring, Vaccarello made an even bigger case for that sentiment in a series of night dresses, negligees and house gowns that would have made lockdown look like a classic pin-up postcard.

A Look At The Biggest Colour Trends Of 2021

The biggest color trends of 2021 are taking a cue from this last tumultuous year and giving people a sense of hope, optimism and the refresh that many are looking for in the new year.

The Pantone Color Institute and Shutterstock have released their 2021 color trend predictions in recent weeks, choosing bright and soothing colors that take inspiration from natural elements.

Pantone revealed on Wednesday that Illuminating — a bright yellow hue — and Ultimate Gray are its 2021 Colors of the Year, with both synchronously representing unity, stability and hope.

Illuminating and Ultimate Gray are Pantone’s Colors of 2021. Pantone

“It’s aspirational,” said Pantone’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman. “We’re not there yet, but we’re aiming for that. We’re trying to get there. When the gray clouds disperse, we see the sunshine.”

Here, we break down the 18 hues that are predicted to be the biggest color trends of 2021. Click through the above gallery to see photos of celebrities and street-style stars wearing the colors.

Pantone Color of 2021: Illuminating

The bright yellow hue is meant to evoke hope and optimism after the tumultuous year. The color goes along with Pantone’s second color of 2021, Ultimate Gray, and is said to represent sunshine coming in as clouds disperse.

Pantone Color of 2021: Ultimate Gray

Pantone’s second color of the year is said to represent dependability, as community and camaraderie became crucial during the pandemic. Paired with Illuminating, the hues convey the message of unity, stability and hope.

Shutterstock’s Color of 2021: Set Sail Champagne

The off-white color is also steeped in hope and optimism. Shutterstock expects the earthy color to be popular because it is a bright and soothing shade.

Shutterstock’s Color of 2021: Fortuna Gold

The rich yellow gold color represents “the chance happenings and happy coincidences found in life’s moments.”

Shutterstock’s Color of 2021: Tidewater Green

The deep teal hue is inspired by the calm of the ocean.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Marigold

Pantone states Marigold is typically found in the fall, but its rich color evokes a cozy and friendly vibe that will also be sought out in the spring.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Cerulean

The powdery blue hue is another color that Pantone expects to be big this spring because of its calming nature.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Rust

The burnt red-orange color is said to have a seasonless appeal. It’s also a favorite of Victoria Beckham and Meghan Markle.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: French Blue

The deep blue shade is linked to the late New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, and more recently has become a favorite of Kate Middleton. Pantone expects the hue to be popular with people who favor the color and are looking for a new shade.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Green Ash

The pastel green color goes along with the increasing trend of gardening, hiking and other outdoor activities that have become more popular during the pandemic. Pantone explains the color is restorative and regenerative and relates to nature.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Burnt Coral

The pink-orange hue is said to evoke a sense of familiarity and comfort, especially considering Coral was a recent Pantone Color of the Year. The color also relates to the preservation the coral reef, which has been a concern along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Mint

Mint is a refreshing and cleansing color, according to Pantone.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Amethyst Orchid

The bright purple color is one of Pantone’s more unique predictions for spring.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Raspberry Sorbet

The fuchsia color has both warm and cool properties.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Inkwell

The deep navy color is said to be solid and very intense and can be used as a great background color.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Buttercream

The off-white color takes inspiration from the pandemic’s craze of baking at home.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Desert Mist

The peachy color is a blend of cool and warm hues.

Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Willow

The yellow-green shade takes inspiration from nature and greenery.

Balenciaga Fall 2021

The saga of how fashion week will survive following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has seemingly become an endless creative battle on maintaining the allure and stature of runway without sacrificing any of the fantasy. Demna Gvasalia has taken this time of uncertainty and his inclination for out-of-the-box shows to new heights for his Fall 2021 collection. Titled "Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow," the house's latest collection is imagined in video game format allowing an accessible immersive runway experience for everyone, fashion editors and those at home in PJs alike. The project, which took over a hundred people to pull off, was teamed up with Unreal Engine of Epic Games in rendering the models, clothes, movements, and surroundings to create a 'phygital' world. In terms of the clothes, the collection incorporates nods to video gaming culture in the form of the coveted PS5 gaming system logo and branding that resembles Alienware computer hardware commonly used in gaming.

Players who "transcend the Afterworld" are able to win a “real-life breathing exercise set in a virtual utopia. In the end, the hero has finally become a ‘Master of Two Worlds,’” says the house. In today's world, Balenciaga's video game runway experience is exactly as genius as it seems. With most around the world locked up in their homes until further notice, living out life in a virtual realm outside from one's own seems like the perfect method of escapism (especially if you're offering up a virtual closet of free Balenciaga). “Today’s customer does gaming. It’s an important luxury customer base. They project so much onto their character. It’s a parallel world" says Gvasalia."

Inside The "Bags: Inside Out" Exhibition At The V&A Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum is opening its first exhibition since the COVID-19 outbreak, and the subject is a feel-good one: handbags.

Originally planned for last April and redesigned with a new set of safety guidelines and one-way traffic system, the show looks at luxury and statement handbags through a cross-cultural lens over more than five centuries.

“There have been very few exhibitions on the subject in the last 30 years, yet you see how important bags are for the fashion business, and for contemporary fashion brands. There was a sort of disconnect,” said Dr. Lucia Savi, who curated the exhibition.

Over the course of a year, Savi mined the museum’s archive, which houses more than 2,000 bags from the 16th century to the modern day.

She handpicked some 300 styles, ranging from Winston Churchill’s red dispatch box to Margaret Thatcher’s signature Launer tote, and the original Birkin bag owned by Jane Birkin.

The Fendi baguette that appeared in “Sex and the City” and helped to kickstart the “It” bag phenomenon of the Nineties makes an appearance, as do social media sensations such as Off-White’s fanny packs and the Turkish label Manu Atelier’s buzzy designs.

The idea was to examine the symbolic meaning of the bags, as well as their functional purpose of carrying men’s and women’s most private and important possessions.

“There’s a kind of tension between private and public, inside and outside,” Savi said in an interview ahead of the show, which opens to the public on Saturday.

“When you step out of the house, you carry the things that you really need with you. So there’s an intimate connection, especially because you cannot see what’s inside the bag, our belongings are kept private. Then again a bag is a public accessory, it tells others who we are and who we aspire to be. It’s really about status.”

The exhibition has been split into different parts to illustrate the many facets of the bag. When looking at function, Savi points to styles that have been shaped to accommodate what they’ve been designed to hold, from coin purses, briefcases and doctors’ bags to lightweight military backpacks and gas mask bags dating to the Second World War.

“Think about coins versus banknotes: That changed the way we design bags,” she added, nodding to the array of styles for men and women, and to the fact that both genders can have intimate relationships with their bags.

“There’s this idea that men don’t ‘do’ fashion, although they do get into it, and they do get dressed,” she said.

“Not every man carries a handbag, but if we’re talking about briefcases or gym bags, then they do spend a considerable amount of money on bags. They might have a longer relationship with each bag, and in their own way they do have an attachment to their bags, and they’re quite specific about what they want and how they want it, especially nowadays with street style.”

The exhibition looks at handbags from a status point of view, showcasing some of the most recognizable styles in modern history — Hermès Birkins and Kellys; Gucci’s Jackie bag; the Chanel 2.55; the Fendi baguette and Mulberry’s Alexa — to illustrate why they became so coveted, and the origins of the “It” bag phenomenon.

“’It’ bags exploded in the late Nineties, early 2000s, but that explosion didn’t happen from one day to another, there was a build up,” said Savi, explaining that some of the most famous bags had been around for years until they shot to new levels of fame with celebrity associations and TV.

“Until that moment, brands hadn’t really thought they could have this really important means of revenue. There was no strategy about having limited-edition bags. It just got to a point where everyone was buying certain styles, the brands had no more to sell and the idea of limited-edition came about.”

The “It” bag is no longer a phenomenon, so the exhibition ponders what took its place.

“What’s happening today is social media. Nowadays, a bag needs to be Instagrammable to be successful. It’s all about the power of the image,” said Savi, adding that the rise of the social platform has made room for younger labels to claim some space in the luxury handbag sector.

That’s why she decided to highlight new bag players alongside Hermès and Chanel, such as bags designed by the Chinese influencer Mr. Bags and Manu Atelier’s signature Pristine design.

The Manu Atelier ‘Pristine’ bag on display at the V&A ‘Bags Inside Out’ exhibition Courtesy of Manu Atelier

Manu Atelier sisters and designers Merve and Beste Manastir grew up in a leather artisan workshop, watching their father design and create bags. “We always believed his talent could be international. The Pristine bag is actually based on one of his original designs that he did 20 years ago. The fact that it’s being shown today at the V&A exhibition gives us a lot of pride,” they said.

While Manu Atelier may be young, and a hit on Instagram, that hasn’t been a distraction for the sisters. “We wanted to keep focused on heritage, timeless designs and products with a story and craftsmanship” from the get-go, they said.

Savi has acquired the Manu Atelier bags for the V&A collections, “so they’re going to stay in the V&A archive,” she said.

Another section is dedicated to the craft of making bags, in a bid to shine a spotlight on the different layers of people and skills involved in the process of creation, from the designer to the leather manufacturers, to the companies dedicated to producing the hardware, to the sustainability advocates sourcing recycled materials.

“The art of making bags, especially when they reach certain prices and a certain quality, should be celebrated. But sometimes people aren’t even aware [of the process],” Savi said.

Now that consumer interest in how things are made is peaking, she hopes the exhibition can incite useful discussion around the topic of craft, the ethos of different materials — and sustainability.

“When you think about leather, most of it is a biproduct of the meat industry. While thinking about vegan leather, is it made of plastic? What’s the repairability of each material?” she said, paving the way for the possibility of a whole separate show on raw materials and recycling in fashion.

Balmain’s Pre-Fall 2021 Collection Gets A Mimi Moocher Makeover

Mia Regan has got her work-life balance down pat. Hot on the heels of her 18th birthday – which she celebrated with a wealth of ‘It’ girl staples, including an acid green Alexa Mulberry bag, a leopard-print Charlotte Simone coat, bold finger candy from La Manso and a hat by upcycling maestro Lois Saunders (@lois1xblue) – the fledgling model has welcomed her first high-fashion job. Balmain enlisted Regan to give its pre-fall 2021 collection a Mimi Moocher (her Instagram moniker) makeover, complete with buzzy Photoshop edits and plenty of logomania.

The Storm model (and loved-up girlfriend of Romeo Beckham) called upon her friend, photographer Dan Hall, to capture the campaign on film, which saw Mia star solo wearing the latest Balmain release. “We understand each other creatively so we work well together, he knows the lighting and my angles,” she tells British Vogue over the phone after spending the whole day in her mock A-level art exam.

Ever the jack-of-all-trades, she also played the role of stylist and art director for the shoot. “I wanted to connect with them as a brand and get a feel for their personality,” she says, speaking of the mood boards and research she prepared ahead of the project. “The first thing that I noticed was the colour, it really popped.”

Seen wearing a range of pastel-hued pieces – which creative director Olivier Rousteing cites as channelling a “spirit of rediscoveries” with reference to the youthful, fresh takes inspired by his first year at the helm of the Paris label 11 years ago, and recreated this season – Mia serves as the perfect Balmain muse. In one shot, pictured against a bubblegum pink backdrop, she emulates peak prep in a patterned, baby blue bomber-come-cardigan, wearing matching angular loafers.

Another frame shows the sixth-former dressed head-to-toe in the brand’s recently reintroduced BB-Labyrinth monogram, seen splayed across a jacket, trousers, boots and a clutch – also edited as a tessellating collage behind her. “I always mix and match clothes so it was nice to wear a full matching outfit, it’s a powerful statement,” she says.

The vintage-obsessed fashion aficionado is accustomed to baggy fits and boxy silhouettes, seen scattered across her IG feed, but the baby pink look that she wears for the campaign introduced her to a more feminine approach. “It was different for me,” she remarks. As for her recipe for success? “It’s about knowing the importance of the brand because these designers are so passionate about their work and clothes, so you need to respect that and learn from what they like.” 

Yoon Ahn’s Historic Nike X NBA Collection Is Inspired By ’90s Hip-Hop Queens

American sports were turned upside down this year. The pandemic caused season delays and cancellations, and for the athletes that did get to play, most did so without any fans. At NBA games, there were often digital renderings or cardboard cutouts of fans in the condensed stands, but the locals cheering on their hoops heroes and jeering the visitors were gone.

If you’re more of a fashion fan than a b-ball fanatic, then you might’ve been missing the NBA’s courtside style. There were no Rihanna, Beyoncé, or Kardashian sightings at games this year. The only real sports-world swagger came by way of the players themselves, wearing Gucci hoodies and carrying Louis Vuitton bags on their way into or out of the locker room, and the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s, as seen in The Last Dance.

Ambush designer and Dior Men director of jewellery Yoon Ahn began to nurture her love of basketball a year ago when she started to design a new women’s capsule collection for Nike in partnership with the NBA. The line features parkas, track pants, fitted jersey tops, sports bras, and high-top sneakers, as well as logo-branded basketballs. The footwear will be released this Friday, while the apparel will follow on 22 December, and all will be available on the Snkrs app and through select retailers. The two teams represented in the collection are the Brooklyn Nets and the LA Lakers, highlighting the legendary East Coast versus West Coast rivalry.

The designs, according to Ahn, are inspired by women’s style in the ’90s, particularly in the world of hip-hop, when female musicians and rappers often mixed baggier menswear with their own more feminine pieces. Of course, modern-day courtside style à la Bey and Rihanna was a huge influence too. Empowerment is the key to the collection, which the designer emphasized over the phone from Tokyo. Ahn is the first woman to design a female-focused collection alongside Nike and the NBA.

“It’s about making girls feel proud without them having to compromise their style,” Ahn explained, pointing out that the vast majority of stylish sports merch is geared toward and made for men. “As a female designer, I know how it feels to wear clothes, and I was thinking about how I like to mix and match different fits and styles. I thought about how we can make these jerseys and warm-up pants and the fits work on a female body.” Ahn was struck by how many women in the ’90s wore “oversized, baggy stuff but made it look very feminine. I was inspired by that attitude of owning a men’s piece by kind of pulling in your own style instead of the clothes wearing you.”

Nike and Ahn decided that she would be the one to star in the collaboration’s campaign. The collection, she says, “is simple enough so that everyone can use the pieces to extend their self-expression when they go to the games.” Ahn is hopeful that, at some point next year, fans will return to the games, and when they do, she’s ready to dress them.

“When I first went to Portland to discuss the collection with Nike, we were doing the design session and we kept having conversations about the fact that there are so many female basketball fans who go to the games but they feel like there’s not enough team apparel that they can wear,” she notes. “So we asked, What can we do to help the female fans of basketball without compromising their style and make sure they still have fun representing their favorite teams?”

Ahn admits that she wasn’t a basketball fan before taking on this design project, but she watched games from Japan and became captivated by The Last Dance. The Nike x Ambush NBA collection is a mash-up of two different worlds that, oddly enough, do have a lot in common. “The courtside,” Ahn said, “is just like the front row in a fashion show. Right?”

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Everlasting Marriage Of High Fashion & Fine Art

There have always been those who would dismiss fashion as an insignificant or shallow frivolity, hardly akin to art. In actuality, the interwoven relations between the two crafts have been linked for years on end, nurturing a creative marriage of sorts- nourishing a fruitful and symbiotic relationship. In the 2006 cult-followed fashion film The Devil Wears Prada, the character Nigel laments, “Don’t you know that you are working at the place that published some of the greatest artists of the century? Halston, Lagerfeld, de la Renta. And what they did, what they created, was greater than art because you live your life in it.” Of course, this may very well be considered an idealistic take on the subject. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that the art of dress has the capability to express that which one would like to convey to the world; individuality.

While art has always been taken as a subjective form of expression, making that very case for fashion hasn’t always been the most straightforward. Skeptics have consistently underestimated and frequently dubbed a fashion a meaningless cog in the machine of mass production and consumerism, bereft of any substance, contradicting any and all ideologies of transcendent poetic essence. To invalidate the narrative that the industry’s financial worth somehow negates the beauty it facilitates, filmmaker and photographer Alex Prager once said, “Some of the greatest works of art were done on commission.” Of course, not all fashion is art- but to dismiss or dilute an entire field of revolutionary visionaries whose unparalleled works translate to forms of timeless expression would be to simply deny oneself of more beauty and classic sartorial statements. From Jean Cocteau's influence, Jeff Koons’ partnerships with Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney, and Coach’s Basquiat collections, to Dior’s Kim Jones finding inspiration in artist Amoako Boafo, and Helmut Lang joining Saint Laurent’s Rive Droite Project, what was once a rarity, the designer/ artist collaboration is now seen as a common and sought after pairing.

Navigating the enduring, culture-defining dialogue and calculating how the two spheres intermingle, either through collaboration or paying homage to iconic and beloved pieces, CR dives deep into a retrospective expedition on the abundant examples of fine art making its way onto the catwalk.


A partnership that would go down in fashion history, surrealist creatives, Italian couturier Elsa Schiaparelli and Spanish artist Salvador Dalí are responsible for setting the standard as a catalyst for artistic collaborations in fashion. The two avant-garde creators joined hands on a myriad of occasions, from ad campaigns and fragrance bottles, to Schiaparelli’s dresses featured in Dalí’s paintings and her notorious hat-shoe homage to the revolutionary artist. While the creative union brought about many pieces of wearable art, none have ever held a candle to their 1937 lobster gown made famous by Wallis Simpson, The Duchess of Windsor. The light and flowing silk organza A-line gown with a painted lobster sprawled across the skirt caused quite the stir at the time of its inception, due in large part to the socialite who adorned the gown. Photographs of the Duchess in the garden of the Château de Candé by Cecil Beaton came right off the heels of her highly publicized affair with Edward VIII and his subsequent abdication of the British throne in order to marry the American divorcee

The evening gown with Schiapparelli was far from Dalí’s first rodeo with the famed crustacean when a just year before, the artist completed his sculpture Lobster Telephone. The artist was known for having integrated red lobsters into his designs as an overt sex symbol, calling to mind that the sea creature is considered to be an aphrodisiac. The sexual nature of the lobster made Wallis Simpson’s debut of the gown all the more scandalous. The jaw-dropping collaborative effort has become such an influential staple in fashion and art history, Schiapparelli’s former creative director Bertrand Guyon called upon the iconic crustacean of the house’s past in his Spring/Summer 2017 Haute Couture collection to honor the frock's 80th anniversary.


An arbiter of style, fresh and budding fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent had developed quite the impressive fine art collection at a relatively young age. He and his partner, Pierre Bergé began accumulating acclaimed pieces in the early fifties from artists all around the world. The one that would make the most distinct impression on the fashion visionary would be that of the Dutch abstract impressionist Piet Mondrian. The artist’s geometric compositions of the early 1930s, dubbed Neo-Plasticism utilized contrasting shades of black and white with primary colors red, blue and yellow. Only three years after opening his very own burgeoning atelier, Yves Saint Laurent’s profound appreciation for art played a hand in the creation of his Fall/Winter 1965 Haute Couture Mondrian collection, made up of six different styles. By taking inspiration from Mondrian’s color-blocked pieces so literally and integrating such modern design elements into his clean-lined shift dresses, Yves Saint Laurent’s renderings were able to tap into the cutting-edge style of the swinging sixties' youth quake, becoming some of his most copied works.


While Yves Saint Laurent gained a reputation for having amassed a hefty and impressive collection of art, he continued on in scattering these artistic codes throughout his collections. YSL’s Spring/Summer 1988 Haute Couture presentation saw tributes paid to legendary artists from Picasso and Braque to Matisse and Van Gogh. In fact, the 1980s saw a plethora of Saint Laurent garments paying homage to the paintings, sculptures, and collages of the Spanish artist. From his wide array of Cubist depictions of guitars and violins to 1938's A Rooster, Yves Saint Laurent’s Picasso references ran the gamut.

More recently, Moschino’s Creative Director Jeremy Scott took inspiration from the famed painter in his Spring/Summer 2020 collection with models appearing to have stepped straight out of a Picasso piece. Directly referencing specific works with each garment, Scott’s sartorial takes on 1907’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1914’s Guitar, and 1932’s Girl Before a Mirror featured modelesque harlequins and even women donning actual framed canvases signed, "Moschino."


Quite possibly the most renowned artist in Western history, the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh’s influence has been seen throughout all facets of creative media. With well over 2,000 pieces of art under his belt, replicas of his works have been seen in the collections of Yves Saint Laurent, Maison Margiela, Dior, Rodarte, and more by way of prints, embellishments, and impeccably detailed embroidery.

His entrancing countryside landscapes and expressive floral imagery translates with ease on a romantic sartorial palette. For the enchanting and ethereal fashion label Rodarte, designing sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy have been known to often take inspiration from high profile members of the art world, most notably the late van Gogh for their Spring/Summer 2012 collection. Filled to the brim with esoteric references, the Mulleavys rendered tea and floor length gowns depicting 1888’s Vase with Twelve Sunflowers, 1889’s The Starry Night, and 1890’s Almond Blossoms for a flourishing and whimsical array of prints.


Pop Art provocateur, multi-media artist Andy Warhol is best known for his graphic appropriations of everyday objects or previous popular culture staples. While many artists have ventured into the realm of fashion, Warhol’s works may display the most blurred lines and elusive barriers between the two creative worlds. Beginning his career illustrating for some of America’s top fashion publications, gaining notoriety philandering with New York’s fashion set at Studio 54, and helming his own fashion and culture magazine, Warhol spread his creative vices throughout the two sectors. With the replicated Campbell’s Souper Dress leaving just as much of an impact as Warhol’s 1962 installment Campbell’s Soup Cans, the artist proved that the cultural significance of both art and fashion stood formidably. Favored by distinguished designers from Halston and Versace to today’s Raf Simons, Warhol’s works have been seen traipsing the runways for years now. 

While Roy Halston and Andy Warhol had a long history of collaborating throughout the bodacious decade of the seventies, Halston’s 1972 dress made from a single length of material referencing Warhol’s Flowers stands as their most fashionable. In 1991, Gianni Versace put muses Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista in his iconic, slim-fitted, printed dress with Warhol’s depictions of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, cementing the pop artist as a high fashion staple. For her Spring/Summer 2018 showing, Donatella Versace paid homage to her late, great brother for the 20th anniversary of his untimely death by pulling from his design archives and reimagining some of his most prolific pieces and prints.

Bringing along his Warholian aesthetic to each fashion house he has been appointed, Raf Simons has highlighted his inspiration from the artist from Christian Dior to Calvin Klein. The designer featured Warhol’s early sketches throughout his Fall/Winter 2013 collection for Dior and integrated everything from vintage polaroids lensed by Warhol in his Calvin Klein collections while securing a four-year contract with the Andy Warhol Foundation, allowing him to utilize the artist’s work.


Woodblock print The Great Wave off Kanagawa by the prolific Japanese ukiyo-e painter Katsushika Hokusai has transcended generations as one of the most famous artworks in the world. Dating back to Japan’s Edo-period, the piece has been estimated to have been conceived anywhere from 1829 to 1833 as the first installment of Hokusai’s series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. Quite possibly one of history’s most seminal pieces of Asian art, The Great Wave’s influence has exceeded the boundaries of the classical art world and has seeped into pop culture and the fashion industry.

During his five year tenure at French fashion house Givenchy, avant garde designer Alexander McQueen rendered a fully fringe beaded cocktail dress with Hokusai’s wave depicted against a tangerine sky for his Spring/Summer 1998 Haute Couture collection. With John Galliano at the helm of Christian Dior, the renegade designer reimagined the house’s quintessential bar jacket for his Spring/Summer 2007 Haute Couture showing. The oversized kimono-esque piece featured origami pleats and The Great Wave hand-painted and embroidered along the skirt’s edge.


German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder’s 1526 piece, Adam and Eve depicts the first man and woman standing bare amongst a menagerie of wildlife. It appears as though Eve has just taken a bite of the apple from the tree of knowledge, contradicting the word of God while Adam considers his options, reaching to take a bite of his own. Former designing team for Italian fashion house Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli curated an exquisitely crafted collection of intricately embroidered opera gowns for their Spring/Summer 2014 Haute Couture showing, one of which classically reinterpreted the secular work of art. Highlighted in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibition, the charcoal floor-length gown donning the Renaissance painting taps into the historical and symbolic significance of the ethereal and ecclesiastical aesthetic.


Known as the “Mother of American modernism”, the intriguing and mysterious Georgia O’Keeffe garnered a reputation and admiration for her paintings of erotic and blooming flowers, graphic New York skyscrapers, and expressive New Mexico landscapes. The uniform by which she chose to present herself also became a recognizable staple of O'Keeffe's- bolo ties, gaucho hats, and an all around southwestern aesthetic. So much so, that in 2017, the Brooklyn Museum of Art hosted an exhibition on the revolutionary artist, showcasing both her work and her signature attire in Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern.

Taking sartorial cues from the American modernist, Italian fashion designer Maria Grazia Chiuri channeled Georgia O’Keeffe’s personal style for her first resort showing for Christian Dior in 2018. Topped with gaucho hats by Stephen Jones, the ever-chic collection blended and earthy and rustic elements with a unique form of stoic simplicity.

While Chiuri’s collection was rooted in O’Keeffe’s personal wardrobe, others have paid homage to the bold and enduring paintings that made her one of the most renowned artists of the 20th century. From Gareth Pugh’s Spring/Summer 2015 papier-mâché ox skull, to Michael Kors’ feminine and blooming poppies, O’Keeffe’s works as a source of inspiration proves endless.

Gabriela Hearst Named Creative Director of Chloé

Gabriela Hearst, the Uruguay-born, New York-based designer whose eponymous label turned five this year, is the new Creative Director of Chloé. CEO Riccardo Bellini welcomed her in a statement on Monday 7 December.

Hearst is the first non-European to hold this post (Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s exit was announced last week). Her craft-forward aesthetic meshes with Chloé’s, but what likely sealed the deal for Hearst was her sustainability bona fides. Last month in an interview with WWD, Bellini indicated that Chloé was seeking B Corp certification for its social and environmental performance and creating an advisory board to hold the company accountable. “What a brand stands for, its beliefs and values, will become as relevant as products and aesthetics,” he said. For many brands sustainability has become a talking point, but Hearst’s appointment cements Chloé as one of the most environmentally-minded luxury goods companies in the world. 

Hearst’s first runway show for autumn/winter 2017 was produced to have as low as an environmental impact as possible, and from there her commitment to the issue has only grown. Now, she sources deadstock materials, opts for eco-friendly fabrics like linen and cuts out more damaging ones such as cotton, and chooses to use recycled yarns whenever she can.

Recycled cashmere, as it turns out, feels just as luxurious as virgin cashmere. In fact, most customers would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Hearst’s savvy was in communicating around the subject and becoming a thought leader on the issue. Environmental awareness is her brand’s point of difference. It won her a minority investment from LVMH’s venture arm early last year, and in September of this year, she picked up the CFDA’s Womenswear Designer prize.

“I am grateful for an opportunity at such a beloved brand as Chloé,” Hearst said in a statement. “I am thankful to Natacha Ramsay-Levi and all the other extraordinary designers that have come before her and helped build on the purposeful vision of Gaby Aghion. I am excited for the opportunity to work under the leadership of Riccardo Bellini and support him in his commitment to create a business that is socially conscious and in balance with our environment.”

Hearst will continue to design the Gabriela Hearst line and plans to split her time between New York and Paris, the pandemic notwithstanding. Her first collection for Chloé will be presented next March.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Lily Collins Swapped ‘Emily In Paris’ Pink For Black Saint Laurent Latex

Lily Collins hasn’t been taking style cues from her character in arguably the most-watched Netflix show of the year, Emily In Paris. Instead, she’s sidestepped whimsical couture for YSL’s high-octane, sexed up LBD – a look to make real Parisians proud.

Walking onto the socially-distanced MTV Movie & TV Awards red carpet in a Saint Laurent latex dress, Collins wore it like a second skin. With her hair swept back into a sleek ponytail secured at the nape of her neck, the part club kid, part dominatrix look put the actor in prime position to seize the title of ultimate Saint Laurent woman (with Hailey Bieber hot on her heels). Taken from the brand’s autumn/winter 2020 collection, look 40 is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but the high-shine, wet-look number – with matching ribbon-tie vertiginous heels – by Anthony Vaccarello would be easily spotted in any one of the rooftop bars that pepper the Paris skyline.

For Collins, the night was a special one given that red-carpet appearances have been few and far between this year. “It’s been a while since I’ve stepped on a red carpet,” she shared on Instagram on 6 December. “Thanks @mtv for making this night safe and fun – and congrats to all of the #MTVMovieAwards nominees tonight!” This year, the annual event honoured the “greatest of all time” in film and TV from the ’80s up to the present day.

Collins later continued her French style streak in top-to-toe Dior leather for a guest appearance on The Today Show in Los Angeles. In a matching mini-skirt, hip-grazing leather jacket with a crisp white shirt beneath and knee-high boots, it’s clear that when the actor was filming her hit show in Paris, she was dutifully taking note of what real French-girl chic looks like.

DJ's Spinning Into Fashion Gurus

“Deejaying is the art of multitasking while reading a crowd,” says Virgil Abloh. “It’s the perfect art practice related to making fashion. I find it as a means of training my mind and instincts.”

Good luck finding a better endorsement for fashion’s growing fascination with DJs — as ambassadors, influencers and brands in their own right.

While Abloh is arguably one of the most accomplished in fashion away from the decks — with his Off-White brand, collaborations with Nike, Ikea and Mercedes-Benz, plus his role as Louis Vuitton’s men’s artistic director — more DJs are launching fashion projects.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Honey Dijon and Peggy Gou on extending their presence beyond just music, but the storytelling of their identity in their own brands. For me, it’s all a sign of modernity of fashion,” Abloh enthused, referring to Dijon’s burgeoning line with Dover Street Market Paris, and Gou’s with New Guards Group, which also holds the worldwide license to Off-White.

Simultaneously, luxury brands are unfurling playlists, with Balenciaga and Balmain among the latest making a sonic brand extension on Apple Music.

Abloh goes so far as to say, “I see fashion as a part of the music universe, not the other way around, which is probably what makes me distinct from a prototypical fashion designer. It’s all in the realm of humanity and culture. I’m very cautious of assuming from hierarchies.”


To be sure, DJs capable of igniting a dance floor with a choice track seem to be able to incite similar euphoria with the right clothes.

Take Zack Bia, a 24-year-old fixture on Los Angeles’ nightlife scene and a music producer whose Psychworld hoodies, seen on the likes of Drake, trade for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars on resale site Grailed.

The owner of burgeoning record label Field Trip Recordings, Bia spins at festivals, clubs and fashion after parties — for Moose Knuckles, Baccarat, Jimmy Choo, 424 and Nike, to name a few — and is ramping up his fashion activities.

Psychworld is hatching a holiday collaboration with BBC Icecream, the streetwear brand created by Pharrell Williams and Nigo, and Bia has partnered with a large fashion operator he’s reticent to identify, but eager to have ramp up the quality, sophistication and diversity of his product offer. He is also nurturing a second fashion brand, Puzzle in the Sky, which has a more freewheeling spirit than Psychworld’s neon, punk identity.

“I also finally locked in one of my favorite creative graphic designers and 3-D designers,” he said, demurring to reveal the name. “He’s on board, so creatively, it’ll become a lot more cohesive.”

Dijon also went from DJ-ing for Burberry and Dior — and crowds of thousands at clubs and outdoor gigs around the world — to her own fashion line, dubbed Honey F–king Dijon, launched in October 2019 with Dover Street Market Paris, a branch of Comme des Garçons that nurtures emerging brands.

“I couldn’t have dreamed of a better partner in merging dance-music culture and fashion,” said Dijon, who has widened her product offer from message T-shirts and hoodies to outerwear, sunglasses, jewelry and sophisticated leather goods. “Everything in my creative life has been made possible and formed through music and club culture. There has never been a separation for me between art, music, or fashion.”

“I believe that DJs bring a global perspective to all collaborative endeavors,” Dijon explained. “The constant touring allows you to see in real time what the kids are wearing in clubs to express themselves, experience music in different cultural settings, as well as art, food and cinema. Instead of following trends, many artists can really refine their own unique voice that can bring fresh and current perspectives to brands.”

Adrian Joffe, chief executive officer of Dover Street Market and president of Comme des Garçons International, said the HFD line is carried in about 40 doors, with Dijon’s message Ts among the bestsellers. “Be Yourself,” “We Are One” and “Legends Only” are current slogans, with the name of legendary club Paradise Garage splashed on funky tie-dye tops.

“She asked us to make her brand, and as a unique, creative, amazing person and a friend with a strong voice and a story to tell, what was there to think about?” he asked. “The success of the brand is tied to her person and her life and her vision, not only as a DJ.”

Asked what music-led creatives might bring to fashion, Joffe replied: “Just a different point of view, I guess. I don’t believe in fixed definitions and borders. I don’t think the label ‘fashion designer’ is even relevant any more. What is that?”

Bia couldn’t agree more. “At the peak of the multihyphenate age…’designer’ doesn’t really mean the same thing it once did,” he said, applauding that the “door has been broken open” for all kinds of creative people to contribute to fashion. Abloh, trained as an architect, is an example.

“Anytime you’re doing something creative, there’s obviously going to be synergy with other creative spaces,” Zia said over Zoom, rubbing his face after what was probably another late night for him. “Musical movements have always fueled stylistic movements as well.”

He echoed Dijon’s view that dance parties represent incredible focus groups and pools of inspiration. “You might have, you know, skaters and businessmen, and you have actors, and you have people in fashion and all this melting pot of all worlds. And I think being able to bring a part of that into fashion, like really having your finger on the pulse, is a nice contribution,” Bia said.

Marcelo Burlon also made the leap from the decks to clothing racks. His County of Milan brand is a mainstay of Italy’s New Guards Group, also home to the Kirin Peggy Gou brand, introduced last year.

“Everything is about music to me, so putting together a collection is comparable to making a playlist, assembling it into styled looks is like making it into a remix,” Burlon said in an interview. “Before starting my brand I was, among other things, making music for [fashion] shows: It was giving a sound to a designer’s inspirations and creating a rhythm for models to walk to. Now I do this for myself sometimes. Fashion needs music as music needs fashion — so DJs in fashion are a bridge.”

“Music is very personal and emotional and so is fashion,” Dijon agreed. “Creating a soundscape for a brand really enhances the voice of what the designer or the house is hoping to convey to its consumer. It’s an integral part of storytelling.”

“I am currently finishing my sophomore album titled ‘Black Girl Magic’ on Classic Music that will drop in early 2021,” Dijon said. “It’s been really exciting working with so many fresh new voices in music, especially young black female singers and songwriters.”

Burlon is working on an EP with Loco Dice, a Tunisian DJ and electronic music producer. “And I am thinking about starting a radio show in Ibiza as it is such a special place for me where I have been spending a lot of time,” he added.

DJs came to the fore earlier this year during coronavirus lockdowns when countless fashion brands conscripted them to create playlists as confinement content.

The Karl Lagerfeld brand, which had invited three uber-stylish female deejays — Chelina Manuhutu, Siobhan Bell and Toki Monsta — to create capsule collections, foreshadowed the project with sets streamed on Instagram Live over the summer. Their edits of the fall collection, and exclusive hoodies and other styles with each DJ’s logo and imagery, made their debuts on and last month.

Within the first 10 days of the capsules being promoted on its social channels and on, the company witnessed “a strong uplift of around 50 percent for accessories and 30 percent for ready-to-wear,” said Pierpaolo Righi, chief executive officer of Karl Lagerfeld, explaining that the deejay capsules had a “halo effect on the entire offering that we have online.”

Righi noted that the DJ project also sent a message of female empowerment: “It was important also to partner up with strong women, women that had a clear point of view.”

That said, he allowed that fashion brands “have an amazing fit to music because it’s entertaining, it’s engaging and it speaks to people, just as art does, or photography does.…I think all these creative worlds are interconnected and somehow lend themselves as a platform for people to feel more.”

Amsterdam-based Manuhutu, who grew up on hip-hop but spins house and techno, said she was always “kind of a tomboy.”

“Some DJs, we have the luck of being massively followed, and what we wear or what we do around fashion, it affects the way our followers might see the fashion trends, too,” she explained. “People can look up to a kind of energy and vibe a DJ has and maybe wanting a little piece of that, too.”

According to Bia, while the pandemic has silenced most nightclubs, it has also sped the rise of the DJ.

“As everything’s turned digital, music is another way for people to interact with a brand online,” he said. ” I love that people are making playlists, and everyone’s consuming these type of things. People are at home, they want to discover new music, they want to discover what people are curating for them.”

According to Abloh, nightlife is simply in a “recalibration” phase. “As soon as the world recovers from the pandemic, I anticipate clubs to be back with more purpose,” he said.

In the meantime, fashion brands are leaping into the void with their own playlists on Spotify and Apple Music. Burberry, Gucci, Prada and Chanel are among the luxury names that have multiple selections streaming.

During Paris Fashion Week, Balmain unveiled Signature, an editorial platform co-curated by Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing and Apple Music editors.

It is to host playlists chosen by Rousteing and friends of the Paris fashion house, and eventually videos, podcasts and other content, especially when Balmain works with artists on collaborations or music projects.

“Seeing music and fashion as completely intertwined just reflects how my generation grew up,” Rousteing said.

What If The Louis Vuitton Store Came To You?

Louis Vuitton established his trunk business in Paris in 1854. In the decades immediately following, the titular LV, his son Georges Vuitton, and grandson Gaston-Louis Vuitton became famous for their ability to make a traveling case for just about anything. A 2017 exhibition, Volez, Voguez, Voyagez, showcased the Vuitton ingenuity at work: Trunks for carriages, trunks for expeditions, trunks to hold dishes and tea sets and jewels, and entire wardrobes built to the exact specifications of buyer’s garments.

One hundred and sixty-six years later, the most unexpected thing Louis Vuitton has customized to the exact specifications of its clients is not a trunk, but a traveling boutique. And with glass siding, quilted walls, creme carpeting, and a treasure trove of Louis Vuitton goodies inside, it promises to bring the delight of shopping at a Louis Vuitton boutique to your driveway. With glass siding, quilted walls, creme carpeting, and a treasure trove of Louis Vuitton goodies inside, the souped-up trailer promises to bring the delight of shopping at a Louis Vuitton boutique to your driveway.

There are, of course, some stipulations, chief among them that you have a driveway sized for a small caravan—or gracious neighbors who won’t mind the LV store street parking in front of their houses, as the van did when it arrived for a visit at my family’s house in suburban New Jersey. Another precondition, for now at least, is that you live in the Tri-State area: The Louis Vuitton mobile store is only available in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, though there seems to be a fair chance the program may expand as lockdowns continue across the United States.

Setting up an LV store on-the-go requires a small army of attendants: A driver, of course, several people to set up the logo-steps into the van and place the floral displays inside petite LV trunks—a gesture originated by the original Monsieur Vuitton—and two sales professionals to make sure that once you step into the trailer, you forget that you are, in fact, in the driveway and not in a brick-and-mortar shop.

Attention to detail is paramount, with a video screen playing the most recent spring 2021 womenswear show and items arranged with the utmost care. For repeat Louis Vuitton clients, the contents of the mobile store are selected to their taste—and in their size—providing the ultimate in customized at-home shopping. For a millennial Vogue editor, the Vuitton staff selected a range of womenswear from the 1854 signature collection, the latest gold and diamond jewelry from Francesca Amfitheatrof’s in-house collection, and an overdose of handbags, including Petite Malle bags from both Nicolas Ghesquière and Virgil Abloh. In the window stood a dress from Ghesquière’s most recent resort collection, A-line, with a graphic playing-card-inspired print, worn under a papery trench. “Do people try things on?” The answer is yes, the sales people can exit the trailer and shut the blinds, but when everything is selected in the shopper’s size, well, what’s the need?

The traveling LV boutique is set up quite akin to a piece of LV luggage too, with all sorts of drawers and cabinets that expose more wonders inside. Underneath a vintage LV trunk in a cabinet, a chest of drawers revealed a whole set of fur accessories stowed away. Despite being about 20 feet long, and holding a maximum of four people in masks, the store has enough tricks up its sleeve to keep the curious shopper occupied, trying on white leather puffas and mulling over the brand’s new miniature bags, for hours. And when you finally decide to buy, the brand has even considered driveway-to-door service: All purchases are swaddled in LV garment bags and shopping bags for a safe journey the several dozen feet to your front steps.

Those trying to get their holiday shopping done this way may want to book fast. Vogueeditors in the Hamptons report regular sightings of the LV van, and with likely more regulations for in-person gatherings looming, it seems the mobile Louis Vuitton store is only going to get more popular.

Chanel's Stately Métiers D’Art Show

When foreign visitors take a guided tour of the Château de Chenonceau, one of the jewels of France’s Loire Valley, they are often intrigued by the interlocking Cs that appear throughout the castle. The initials are those of Catherine de’ Medici, the former queen of France whose portrait hangs above an elaborate carved stone chimney bookended by lions. But to 21st-century eyes, they look remarkably similar to the Chanel logo.

Also known as the Ladies’ Château, Chenonceau has a history marked by a succession of powerful women, of which the Renaissance rulers, in particular, inspired the label’s founder, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. That the French fashion house chose to stage its Métiers d’Art collection there is therefore something of a full-circle moment. Are destination shows back? If you ask Chanel, which took out the Château de Chenonceau for this year’s Métiers d’art show, the answer is a resounding yes. In the Loire Valley, Virginie Viard paid homage to the powerful women who have inhabited the castle since the Renaissance.

The show took place in the Château de Chenonceau

If the recent season of The Crown made you wonder how you’d fare when put to the “Balmoral Test”, imagine how you’d dress for Château de Chenonceau. It was the challenge Virginie Viard set herself for this year’s Métiers d’art collection, which also marked Chanel’s return to destination shows after a series of Paris presentations. Staged without an audience – save for Kristen Stewart, who had the whole place to herself – models were captured on film wafting down the bridge gallery of the medieval bastion in the Loire Valley like the ladies of a noble court, floating through time and space. “It’s between the past of Chanel, and today, and tomorrow, through Virginie’s vision,” Bruno Pavlovsky, the president of fashion at Chanel, said on video call.

Virginie Viard paid tribute to the castle’s female residents

There was a certain – no doubt intentional – irony to the choice of location. Following a year spent confined to our personal spaces, a castle signifies the ultimate upgrade when “working from home”. It’s a reality that has spawned the marketing trend of “comfort-wear”: the idea that we innately dress down and more comfortably when we don’t have to be seen in public. That notion wouldn’t have flown in the day of Catherine de’ Medici and Diane de Poitiers, two of many powerful and politically ambitious women who inhabited Château de Chenonceau since it was erected in 1522. Known as the Château des Dames – the Ladies’ Castle – this made it the perfect setting for Viard’s new female-led era of Chanel, which – by the way – shows no intention of dressing down. “She is a woman designing for women. We see that in the collections, and we see that in the boutiques with our customers. There is something very special there that only a woman can give a woman,” Pavlovsky said.

The collection featured indirect nods to the Renaissance

In an article from 1936, Coco Chanel wrote about her affinity for Renaissance women. “I have always been struck by a strange feeling of sympathy and admiration towards the women who lived from François Ier to Louis XIII, perhaps because I find them all to be great, with a magnificent simplicity and a majesty imbued with onerous duties.” It would have been easy for Viard to go all in on the reference, but nearly two years into the job, it’s clear that she doesn’t approach a theme as directly as her teacher, Karl Lagerfeld, sometimes did. Rather, her Métiers d’art collection paid gentle nods to the Renaissance wardrobe and brought it into the present. Cut into her silhouette was the memory of the era’s rigorous edges, strapless shoulders, floor-length skirts, bell sleeves, and ruffled gloves. She paid homage to some of the trademarks of the era in a veiled cone hat, latticework on dresses, a leather jacket quilted with pearls, and knitwear that resembled the chainmail of armour. Those pieces – painstakingly constructed – were a treat for the artisans to whom the Métiers d’art line is devoted.

It was an optimistic look to the future

“It is a castle on a human scale. And Catherine de’ Medici’s emblem was a monogram composed of two intertwined Cs, just like that of Chanel,” Viard said, noting the similarities between the fashions of the Renaissance and Coco Chanel’s lace ruffs, as well as the spirit of her jewellery. “Deep down, this place is a part of Chanel’s history,” she said. For all its parallels to history, the show was geared towards the forward-thinking and optimistic, matching the global zeitgeist that’s manifested this December as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out, a better-behaved president is about to enter the White House, and a brighter future is on the horizon. Viard channelled that outlook in kicky chequered miniskirts (a nod to the chateau’s floors) that felt ever so rock ‘n’ roll next to the designer’s 1980s shoulders and shiny leggings.

The show signified a return to destination shows

“We could have had a large number of guests in the Château de Chenonceau,” Pavlovsky said, referring to Chanel’s initial plans for the show. “That was the first objective: to come back to the experience and the emotion of these shows. We have no choice this time so we’ll do it differently. We can do many things now, but they will never replace that emotion.” They did a pretty excellent job on plan B: on the morning of the show, guests received a book with photographs of Chenonceau by Juergen Teller, a printed essay on Chanel and the castle by scholar Fanny Arama, and a booklet with preview shots from the collection. Since the early days of the pandemic, Chanel has been resolute in its intentions to keep staging its six annual runway shows. This show heralded the return of the destination experiences we’ve known from previous Métiers d’art and Cruise collections: “I can confirm that we will return to travelling,” Pavlovsky said. “It’s part of the Chanel DNA to be able to go where it makes sense for the brand to be. It’s the vision of the brand, it’s the vision of Virginie, and I think it’s quite good to be inspired by the world we live in.”