Friday, July 30, 2021

Carolina Herrera’s Wes Gordon To Be Honored By FIT’s Couture Council

Wes Gordon will be in the spotlight when the Couture Council at The Museum at FIT honors him with its annual award for artistry of fashion.

Carolina Herrera’s creative director will be toasted at the group’s luncheon that is a fundraiser for The Museum at FIT. Organizers of the Couture Council’s annual luncheon are the latest to confirm that they will meet in person this fall. Barring any further shutdowns due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, New York Fashion Week’s official schedule and off-site satellite events are taking hold.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America and IMG have joined forces to present the New York Fashion Week schedule as part of the American Collections Calendar. There are plans to hold 91 shows and presentations from American and international designers from Sept. 8 to 12. The Met Gala is slated for September and the first part of a two-part exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute will bow Sept. 18. The kickoff is titled “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which will be a sociocultural examination of the rose in fashion.

Like many cultural institutions, FIT’s museum was forced to close temporarily during the shutdown. It will reopen to visitors on Aug. 6 with a major exhibition called “Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion.”

This fall’s awards luncheon will be held on Sept. 22 at Cipriani South Street. The gathering is being presented by sponsor Nordstrom. Farfetch’s president of the Americas and Couture Council vice chair Jeffery Fowler and Carolina Herrera president and Couture Council board member Emilie Rubinfeld are serving as co-chairs of this year’s event.

After graduating from Central Saint Martins in London in 2009, Gordon launched his own women’s wear label in New York City. Gordon started consulting with Carolina Herrera in 2017 and was named creative director the following year, shuttering his own company. Started 40 years ago by the company’s namesake founder, the company is marking that milestone with a campaign led by Gordon that is anchored in its home city of New York. The brand is now owned by Puig.

In an interview with WWD earlier this year, Gordon said that “Live every moment like a celebration” is the “number-one inspiration that he has taken from Mrs. Herrera.” Acknowledging the honor in a statement, Gordon noted, “This recognition, combined with the reemergence of New York Fashion Week and Carolina Herrera’s ongoing 40th anniversary celebration, is going to make this fall one to never forget.”

FIT president Dr. Joyce F. Brown described him as “a wonderful role model for emerging designers, including our own students.”

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Satta Continues To Explore Our Connection To Nature For S/S'22

London-based label Satta has returned with a first look at its Spring/Summer 2022 collection, continuing to combine workwear-inspired pieces with references to the natural world. Additionally, the label’s SS22 collection also introduces womenswear for the first time, with the same theme running across both men’s and women’s items.

The mixture of workwear and natural influences reference founder and creative director Joe Lauder’s background as a garden designer and woodworker. The workwear silhouettes include chore jackets, utility vests and overshirts, all of which come in muted and natural tones including green, ecru and brown. Satta has also incorporated a range of Japanese fabrics, covering textiles from raw organic selvedge denim to technical salt-washed nylon typewriter clothes.

Speaking on the launch of a womenswear selection, Lauder said, “Adding womenswear felt like an organic evolution to our offering, Satta was never intended to be solely menswear, and it’s a pleasure to be able to usher in a union between the two for this collection.”

Dilara Findikoglu Launches Swimwear For Your Spiritual Summertime Awakening

“I don’t want any burdens,” says Dilara Findikoglu plainly. “I just want to make people feel amazing—and I want to feel amazing. I don’t want any extra clothing. I just want body, mind, and soul.”

Less baggage, more brio is Findikoglu’s message—and the spirit of post-lockdown life in general. Free yourself, live wildly, embrace the unknown, go outside and reconnect with nature. Her recommended method? A seaside escape—and she has just the wardrobe for it too. Tomorrow, Findikoglu is launching a new swimwear collection that translates her maximalist vision of corsets, bows, and veils into its purest form yet. “We were looking for ways to feel lighter and feel more fun,” Findikoglu says. “Usually I look at politics and religion, these heavy subjects and issues. This time, after the heaviness of COVID, I don’t want to hear any of that. I want to strip back and be more minimal.”

The swimwear pieces are still as sexy, with corsets inset into one-pieces and bikinis made with many ties and straps. Much of it, in colors like cherry red and lilac, could double as ready-to-wear or bodysuits, especially a one-shoulder swimsuit and the lace-up swim leggings. Other pieces in the collection are actual ready-to-wear, like ruffled jeans, a nostalgic track jacket, and a trio of wickedly beautiful dresses in ivory, floral, and black with mirrored beading.

Even in the crowded swimwear market, Fidnikoglu’s pieces will stand out for their unabashed femininity. Making sure every person exists in a state of ultimate babedom is her goal—and she is especially in tune with the ways our bodies (and our feelings about them) have shifted during the pandemic. “We have been indoors. We couldn’t work out. I think everybody is beautiful and I want to show it,” she says, pointing to her sheer one-piece style with floral “pasties” and her corseted pieces as being particularly hot for summer.

To help show off the collection, she has enlisted the Academy Award–winning director Yorgos Lanthimos, who photographed a cast of models along the British seaside wearing the collection. Calling it a Hot Girl Summer would be reductive. It’s a Hot Coven Summer at least, a communal happening of women reconnecting with the sea, nature, and each other.

If that sounds like your ideal summer vacation, these are the swimsuits for you. But if vacationing remains out of the question, Findikoglu is bringing her vision of eclectic escapism to the metaverse too. Her first NFTs, a trio of works made in collaboration with artists Enes Güc and Zeynep Schilling called “Saint Dilara Beach Club,” go up for auction this week. “It is a place, on the way to Golden Fleece, where the sun shines in a glamorous silver, where the days are so long that you can live in an endless summer breeze, and where the nights are only for joyful dreams,” reads their description. Findikoglu hammers the idea of escapism—however you can get it—home: “I want people to have fun and feel good. That’s why this collection and project is really important for me; it’s a completely new thing for me, a breath of fresh air.”

Saint Laurent Rive Droite Honors Jean-Michel Basquiat With Artistic Rarities

Anthony Vaccarello is a huge fan of art, and consistently acknowledges this through his work at Saint Laurent with numerous collections honoring the likes of Doug Aitken for SS22 or producing a Rive Droite collection centered on Memphis’ design scene. Now, Saint Laurent Rive Droite has worked with the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Galerie Enrico Navarra for a Basquiat-indebted range and a complementing in-house exhibition.

The exhibition — which is to be shown at Saint Laurent Rive Droite’s Paris and Los Angeles stores — will showcase “a silkscreen, the 18 original lithographs, several drawings, ceramic plates which belonged to Andy Warhol, a spoon, and a denim jacket from one of the first AIDS auction[s] ever,” and these are going to be things that are exclusively hosted by the luxury label. As a result, it’s a rather special occasion.

In honor of this, Saint Laurent Rive Droite has also made a capsule collection inspired by the artist’s work and legacy. In Vaccarello’s usual ways, there’s much more than just clothes on offer — sure, there’s a tote bag, a backpack, tops, and cross-body bags, but that’s not all.

The star of the show is the Basquiat-covered skimboard and skateboard triptych which are, in standard form, already collector’s items. Now sporting Basquiat’s work, the pieces transcend the usual realm of functional items to become works of art in their own rights.

Additionally, Saint Laurent offers books on the artist, phone cases for a variety of iPhone types, posters, and even a limited range of vintage-inspired YSL-branded undergarments.

The Saint Laurent Rive Droite x Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat x Galerie Enrico Navarra capsule collection can be seen in the lookbook above and purchased in-store or online now.

Stray Rats Unveils A Retro Gaming-Inspired 'Sonic The Hedgehog' Collection

Adding to its growing lineup of collaborations, Stray Rats has now fully unveiled its retro gaming-inspired Sonic the Hedgehog collection in partnership with Sega.

The street-leaning special range heavily features graphics drawn from classic Sonic titles from past-gen consoles reinterpreted with SR’s signature visual sensibility. Aside from zip-up hoodies, crewneck, T-shirts and caps, the collaborative collection also features knit sweaters, short sleeve shirts, polos and shorts in a variety of bold color options. Standouts include a rat GRAFX zip-up hoodie, Metal Sonic T-shirt, Amy Rose ratgirl T-shirt, Sonic vs. Knuckles ringer tee and badge-covered cap. Rounding up the release are accessories like a poster, mug and pins that continue the graphics found in the apparel range.

Check out the preview above and look for the Sonic the Hedgehog collection to release on Stray Rats’ website July 29, 12 p.m. EDT.

Catherine Deneuve Sells Her Designer Shoes For Charity

Catherine Deneuve is selling her shoes for charity. Following the highly successful 2019 auction of her Yves Saint Laurent outfits, which raised $1 million, the French actress is putting up for sale around 125 pairs of shoes to benefit Les Restos du Coeur, a charity that distributes food packages and hot meals to those in need.

The online-only auction by Artcurial, set to take place from Sept. 7 to 14, will feature footwear by the likes of Christian Louboutin, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Manolo Blahnik, Prada and Roger Vivier. Estimates for the shoes, in French sizes 37 to 39.5, range from 30 euros to 150 euros.

Many pairs were worn on the red carpet or in the front row of fashion shows. Deneuve famously sported Saint Laurent outfits and Vivier shoes in her role as a bored housewife who moonlights as a high-class prostitute in the 1967 classic “Belle de Jour.”

“I’m mad about shoes! I admire people who are able to breathe life into objects. I like flat shoes, beige or colored Chanel ballet flats, and heels,” she told Madame Figaro magazine in 1989, according to a statement from Artcurial.

The lots on offer include a pair of Saint Laurent’s Tribute platform sandals, with an estimate of 80 euros to 120 euros, and the red suede Prada sandals that Deneuve wore to the screening of the movie “Les Salauds” at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013, expected to fetch 70 euros to 90 euros.

“This selection, of unparalleled elegance, is in her image. By buying into the dream, our customers will be able to help those who need it the most,” said Clara Vivien, specialist in fashion and luxury accessories at Artcurial.

AZ Factory Will Cap Off PFW With A Show Celebrating Alber Elbaz

When Alber Elbaz died in April, fashion lost not only one of its most celebrated designers but one of its best cheerleaders. Elbaz was a glue between designers, retailers and fans, often appearing in the front rows of other brands’ shows and offering words of wisdom to anyone who crossed his path. His runway shows, too, were some of fashion’s most fun, with good music, snacks, and revelry replacing the froideur that can permeate other events. At Paris Fashion Week this September, Elbaz’s label AZ Factory will commemorate his spirit with a runway show called “Love Brings Love.”

Scheduled as the closing event of the week, with an 8 pm slot on 5 October, the show “will pay tribute to Alber’s creative vision and his extraordinary love for the fashion family,” per a release. Other details are scant, but considering the many lives and hearts Elbaz touched in the industry, you can expect it will be a well-attended and emotional event.

AZ Factory, Elbaz’s direct-to-consumer brand founded at the start of 2020, has continued operations since his passing, though whether the show will feature new or archival creations has not been announced. What is certain is that there won’t be a dry eye in the building. That, and there will probably be some delicious treats… as Elbaz always said: “If it’s not edible, it’s not food. If it’s not wearable, it’s not fashion.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The House Of Gucci: A Complete History And Timeline

Gucci marks its centenary in 2021, passing through family feuds, take-over attempts, a near-bankruptcy, a public listing, storybook turnarounds and even a murder — which has sparked the Ridley Scott film “House of Gucci” starring Lady Gaga- but the allure of the brand is enduring.

Just like the long-lived mythological phoenix, Gucci has cyclically regenerated, reaching its centenary in 2021, passing through family feuds, take-over attempts, a near-bankruptcy, a public listing, storybook turnarounds and even a murder — which has sparked the Ridley Scott film “House of Gucci” starring Lady Gaga — but the allure of the brand is enduring.

An allure that was carefully crafted by the founder himself, Guccio Gucci, who in 1897 found work at London’s prestigious Savoy Hotel as a bellboy. Famously, the tale goes that he was inspired to create his company by the luxurious suitcases and trunks carried by the aristocrats staying at the hotel. The original storyteller, Gucci associated the brand with luxury and those aristocrats’ pastimes, such as horse-riding — hence the brand’s signature horsebit decorative element.

In 1921, Gucci’s first stores opened in Florence, where he founded the company. The boutique in Rome’s luxury shopping street Via Condotti opened in 1938.

Gucci was not one to lose heart and, as a result of a League of Nations embargo against Italy, he found alternatives to imported leather and other materials in the 1935-1936 period, developing a specially woven hemp from Naples, printed with the first signature print — a series of small, interconnecting diamonds in dark brown on a tan background. This served to launch the brand’s first successful suitcases.

Production of leather goods resumed after World War II, and Gucci’s son Aldo introduced the pigskin, which became a signature house material. The first bamboo-handled bag, inspired by the shape of a saddle, is thought to be produced in this period.

In addition to Aldo, Gucci and his wife Aida had two other sons, Vasco and Rodolfo.

In 1948, Maurizio Gucci was born to Rodolfo and his wife, Alessandra.

In 1951, Rodolfo opened the first Milan store, on Via Montenapoleone. Around this time, the green-red-green web became a hallmark of the company.

In 1953, a pioneer if Italian design in the U.S., Aldo Gucci opened the first American store in the Savoy Plaza Hotel on East 58th Street in New York. Guccio Gucci died at age 72, 15 days after the New York store opening. The Gucci loafer with metal horsebit was created that year and in 1985 it would be displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, becoming part of the permanent collection.

The house’s crest became a registered trademark in 1955.

In 1961, stores opened in London and Palm Beach and the bag that Jacqueline Kennedy was seen with was renamed the Jackie, which would be relaunched in 1999 in many colors and variations to great success, opening the era of the Gucci “It” bag.

In the early ‘60s, the GG logo was applied to canvas and used for bags, small leather goods, luggage and the first pieces of clothing.

In 1966, the Flora scarf print was designed for Princess Grace of Monaco. The pattern has become iconic for Gucci, revisited by creative directors Frida Giannini and, most recently by Alessandro Michele in his Aria collection.

In 1972, Gucci opened a store in Tokyo and Maurizio Gucci, Rodolfo’s son, moved to New York to work with his uncle Aldo until 1982. Around this time, the brand hit its fashion stride. A store dedicated to clothing opened at 699 Fifth Avenue in New York, while 689 Fifth Avenue focused on shoes, bags, luggage and accessories.

Gucci’s first fragrance was launched in 1975 and scents would continue to be a stronghold for the company, from Gucci Guilty and Flora by Gucci to Gucci by Gucci and Gucci Bloom.

In 1981, Gucci showed ready-to-wear for the first time at the Sala Bianca in Florence, playing heavily on the Flora print.

In 1982, leadership of the company passed on to Rodolfo Gucci and the following year to his son Maurizio, who was the first to dream of the relaunch the family brand, which had lost its exclusivity and luster, as it became associated with cheap duty-free bags.

In 1989, Maurizio Gucci teamed with Bahrain-based investment banking and asset management company Investcorp, which purchased 50 percent of Gucci shares from the family — Aldo was the last to accept to sell.

Maurizio Gucci’s intuition was to call Dawn Mello, then president of Bergdorf Goodman, to revitalize the brand. She brought Richard Lambertson, head of Bergdorf’s accessories department, to be the design director and in 1990 American designer Tom Ford joined the company to oversee women’s ready-to-wear.

Gucci’s restructuring was hit by a difficult retail market in the early ‘90s while customers had to adjust to a new and more sophisticated product, and in 1993, Maurizio Gucci transferred his shares to Investcorp, ending the family’s involvement in the firm.

In 1994 Ford was appointed creative director. His first collection, for fall 1995, focused on jet-set glamour and was a critical and commercial success, putting the label back at the forefront of fashion.

On March 27, 1995, Maurizio Gucci was gunned down in front of his office in Milan.

For nearly two years the identity of Maurizio’s killer remained a mystery, until it was revealed that his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani — through her spiritual adviser — had hired a hit man to end his life.

The year Maurizio died, Gucci went public on the New York and Amsterdam stock exchanges, as the company thrived under the lead of CEO Domenico De Sole and Ford — dubbed the Tom and Dom Dream Team, becoming architects of the ultimate luxury brand revival.

De Sole, previously CEO of Gucci America Inc., began reining in licenses, franchises and secondary lines to reverse a decade that saw the overexposure of the brand and the cheapening of its image.

In the mid-’90s, Ford’s collections set the sleek, sexy, modern style of the house’s look and established it as a brand dedicated to evening glamour, attracting Hollywood A-listers.

De Sole and Ford became friends and allies in what would become a history-making war with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

A few years after Ford’s breakout, the company piqued the interest of Prada, which took a 9.5 percent stake. Between June 1998 and February 1999, LVMH chief Bernard Arnault began to amass Gucci shares, eventually building up a stake of 34.4 percent through a series of transactions, before attempting a takeover, which was eventually foiled.

De Sole and Ford had cried foul, igniting what was one of the most dramatic corporate fashion battles of the 20th century. Gucci accused LVMH — which by then had swallowed up Prada’s stake in the company — of wanting to take “creeping control” without launching a full and fair bid to shareholders. That move would have been perfectly legal in the Netherlands, where Gucci was listed.

Arnault’s French rival François Pinault rode in as Gucci’s white knight, and brought the company into what was then PPR, and is now known as Kering.

The two companies fought bitterly in the Dutch courts — and in the international press — and swapped lawsuits and vitriol on an almost daily basis.

More lawsuits ensued following PPR’s purchase, and LVMH finally forced its French rival to launch a full and fair takeover of Gucci, which it did on Sept. 10, 2001. Ultimately, PPR won full control over Gucci.

In the ensuing years, De Sole and Ford shifted their focus: Gucci morphed into Gucci Group, and the two set about spending the $2.9 billion from the PPR deal. In less than three years, they bought Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Boucheron and Bedat.

Tensions built between the new management and Ford and De Sole, who eventually left the company in 2004 after trying — and failing — to strike a deal for management, financial and creative independence.

In 2002 Frida Giannini, previously handbag designer for Fendi, joined the label’s accessories department, contributing bold reinventions of house signatures as part of Ford’s design team.

In 2004, when Ford left, John Ray took over men’s design; Alessandra Facchinetti took on women’s, and Giannini became creative director of accessories. Robert Polet, the head of Unilever’s $7.8 billion frozen-food division, traded ice cream and fish sticks for handbags and stilettos as the new CEO of Gucci Group. Mark Lee, CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, was named Gucci CEO.

In 2005 Giannini was appointed creative director of women’s ready-to-wear and a year later, she added the role of creative director for men’s wear.

During the celebration for the 70th anniversary of its Roman store, the 2009 cruise collection show was live-streamed on the website.

In 2009 Patrizio di Marco, head of group-owned Bottega Veneta, joined Gucci as president and CEO succeeding Lee.

In 2010, the Singapore Paragon Gucci store reopened, and the city-state celebrated Giannini with a special orchid, the Paravanda Frida.

Giannini proposed clothes with a functional chic and a hefty dose of the essential house glamour. The designer and di Marco, who grew to become partners in life, emphasized the brand’s Italian craftsmanship, archival iconography and jet-set lifestyle.

In December 2014, following a slowdown in sales, di Marco exited the company, followed a month later by Giannini.

Di Marco was succeeded by Marco Bizzarri, a former Bottega Veneta CEO and previously head of Kering’s luxury couture and leather goods division, in January 2015. In another storybook turnaround, Bizzarri famously promoted Giannini’s deputy and head accessories designer Alessandro Michele as creative director that same January, two days after the designer showed his completely new, quirky and androgynous aesthetic for Gucci’s men’s fall 2015 season.

Quickly assembled in only a few days, following the sudden exit of Giannini a week earlier, that men’s fall 2015 collection sowed the seeds of Michele’s style, which would help return Gucci to the fashion forefront, cater to a younger customer and fueling growth exceeding 35 percent for five consecutive quarters by the first quarter of 2018, prompting Bizzarri to set a 10 billion euro revenue target for the brand in June that year.

Michele revisited Gucci’s iconic GG logo, canvas bags and horse-bit loafers, which he turned into fur-lined slippers and clogs, further driving sales of the accessories division — historically a cash cow for the brand. Logo bags came hand-painted with flowers or embroidered with big insects — a theme dear to Michele, who continued to explore it over the seasons.

Five years after his debut at Gucci, in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Michele abandoned what he has called “the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence, closer to my expressive call. We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story,” conceiving new names for the collections and inspired by the music world.

Michele directed with Gus Van Sant a series of seven episodes for his collection “Ouverture of Something That Never Ended” in November 2020, tapping the likes of Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Florence Welch, among others.

In April 2021, marking the brand’s 100th milestone, Michele presented his “Aria” collection, revisiting a number of Gucci signature designs, from the Bamboo bag to the Flora motif, and introducing an innovative tie-up with Balenciaga.

Gucci is sure to get an extra dose of attention from the “House of Gucci” movie being filmed in Italy and expected to premiere in theaters on Nov. 24, with Lady Gaga playing Patrizia Reggiani, Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci and Al Pacino in the role of Aldo Gucci. Reggiani, who was due to spend 26 years in jail, was freed after 17 years. Although she openly admitted hating her ex-husband, she denied ever wanting to kill him.

Aries FW21 "Satanic Panic" Explores Mysticism, Hybrid Aesthetics, Tailoring And More

Sofia Prantera‘s London-based genderless streetwear label Aries is on a rise, reaching new creative heights with its Fall/Winter 2021 collection “Satanic Panic.”

The majority of “Satanic Panic” is unexpected and throws one off the track you’d think Aries would go down. Sure, there’s a range of track jacket and pants, hoodies, T-shirts, and other essentials that the brand has perfected so well, but there’s also plenty of elevated garments that explore an even wilder side to Aries (alongside essentials that step further into the Aries aesthetic).

For example, technical and artisanal design details can be seen complementing and contrasting each other throughout the FW21 offering, with classic examples of traditional tailoring sporting nylon and track-panel details, or patchwork polar fleeces being worked over in artworks that explore mysticism yet still sporting technical finishing touches.

Hand-painted symbols and emblems of fertility, snakes, and runes go to show some of the intricacies on offer from Aries, but what we think is even more outstanding is its take on classic garments. The duffle-like overcoat is oversized perfectly and features red Aries-styled letters all over it, the boxy-fit white shirt fitted with mystic figures all over it is another seasonal masterpiece, and oversized mohair-mix waffle knit grandad cardigans and tank vests combine traditional cuts with their contrasting neon-hued temple logos.

Throughout the collection, you’ll find a new range of denim — some featuring all-over prints and others serving different finishes on either leg — lots of tie-dyed pieces taking over padded track pants, sweats and more, and of course, accessories playing off of cultural undertones such as the football scarves that have been given a quintessential Aries twist.

The Aries FW21 “Satanic Panic” collection can be seen above and all will be available to purchase in the coming days on Aries’ website and at select stockists worldwide.

Burberry Is "Very Confident" That Riccardo Tisci Will Stay As Creative Director

Burberry has shared its first quarter trading reports, showing a return to pre-pandemic levels of growth. As well as announcing the results — which outperformed analysts’ predictions by 13% — the London-based label also discussed the future of creative director Riccardo Tisci.

According to Business of Fashion, Burberry CFO Julie Brown revealed that the house was “very confident” Tisci would remain in post following the surprise decision of CEO Marco Gobbetti to join Ferragamo. Adding that Tisci remained “excited” about his project at Burberry, Brown did not say how long the creative director was contractually obliged to continue in his role. Last year, Tisci had been linked with a move to Versace, although that was quickly denied.

Overall, Burberry’s sales were 1% higher than the same period in 2019, bringing in $664 million USD in the quarter ending June 26. While this is a modest increase since pre-pandemic levels, it is a 90% climb since last year’s comparable period. In the call with reporters, Brown also said, “We’ve got a very clear strategy, we’ve got a very capable senior executive team, we’re very capable of managing the transition and taking the business forward.”

Ganni’s New Klub Activewear Capsule Will Take You From Pitch To Party

“Staying active has been more of a challenge recently, so we wanted to design versatile pieces to live your everyday life in, that you can look and feel good in and still express yourself,” declares Ditte Reffstrup, one half of the husband-and-wife duo behind Ganni. The brand’s fresh activewear range, Ganni Klub, comprising 19 new pieces that build on its existing ready-to-wear offering, “embodies that feeling of joy around everything that gets us moving.”

Lightweight wear-anywhere jackets, track pants, flattering pitch-to-party bodysuits and wrap tops, flippy retro-print dresses and skirts are among the pieces in the line-up. Sporty Spice-worthy shorts are embroidered with bright blue appliqué that reads, “Ganni Moves” in a nostalgic, Noughties-reminiscent font; tangerine piped detailing snakes across quarter-zip fleeces and a cherry-red sweatshirt features curved colour block panelling. Elsewhere, dappled knitted separates seen in the edit are worth bookmarking ahead of winter and the same could be said for the softcore loungewear separates.

Happily, certain staples in the Ganni Klub capsule are fit for day and night. The puffy black dress would look great with strappy sandals; try pairing the swirling orange long-sleeve with breezy linen shorts or take the tank bodysuit for a spin with wide-leg trousers.

The brand called upon London-based, all-female skate collective Skate With Sis to bring the collection to life in a campaign lensed by Sophie Jones. Founders Lenisha Benjamin and Caitlyn Espenilla assembled members of the community to star in the shoot, with some pictures presenting the group doing what they do best – rollerskating. “They are so inspiring and their energy is just magnetic,” remarks Ditte. “I want to be part of their team.”

Celine’s ‘Neo-Rave’ S/S'22 Men’s Show

The pandemic has changed us all, but boy is it evident in the Celine men’s wardrobe, finds Vogue fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen. Here, everything you need to know about the spring/summer 2022 digital showcase, from the FMX drivers to the 14 collaborative artists bringing Hedi Slimane’s vision to life.

The show was an ode to neo-rave

Neo-rave is Hedi Slimane’s newest obsession. Not to be mistaken for nu-rave – the mid-2000s reincarnation of the original rave scene – the emerging genre hits the soft spot of a post-pandemic youth hellbent on making up for lost time. His Celine men’s show celebrated the euphoria inevitably created by our re-emergence from lockdown, drawing on the 1980s’ escapism that generated the Second Summer of Love and the rave scene that framed it. It was a natural progression from the shift-up staged by Slimane in last summer’s e-boy-focused men’s collection, which set a trippier, grungier and more clubby tone for Celine Homme.

It featured FMX drivers

Shot on a Celine-ified black racetrack erected in the luxuriant surroundings of Île du Grand Gaou and Archipel des Embiez not far from Slimane’s home in the South of France, the show employed FMX – freestyle motocross, that is – as a metaphor for the fast and furious dreams of a young mind circa 2022. Cosmic Cruiser, he poetically titled the collection, nodding at the sky-is-the-limit mentality that must possess a teenage mind after more than a year in lockdown. FMX isn’t a new attraction for Slimane. In 2011, he portrayed the motocross scene in his photographic diaries, and last year, he shot both a men’s and women’s show on racetracks native to the world of speed. (Naturally, the motorcycle helmets he created for last summer’s men’s show sold out in seconds.)

The collection debuted an ultra-loose silhouette

Since the pandemic, Slimane has been pushing his menswear in bolder directions, adopting and adapting the free-spirited ways of the digital youth cultures that inspire him today. It hasn’t just emboldened his silhouette but expanded it too, and Cosmic Cruiser was no exception. Enter the ‘Elephant Jean’, Celine’s most voluminous shape to date, which must be the biggest of Slimane’s career, too. Alongside contrasting skinny-skinny trousers, it made for a collection of extremes. He echoed the sentiment in supersized jackets and oversized T-shirts, words you once thought you’d never utter in relation to a Slimane collection, but which serve to embody the feelings of anti-constraint and anti-limitation key to our current collective psyche, young as well as old.

Hedi Slimane commissioned 14 artists

Unable to attend the youth-driven music, art and sports events he has historically portrayed through his photography, Slimane spent lockdown nurturing long-distance friendships with the young contemporary artists that inspire him most. He commissioned 14 of them to embellish the collection: works by Amy Dorian, Anna Hofmann, Emerson Snowe, Anne MacKenzie, Harry Wyld, Marcelo Lavin, Mary Hebert, Paige Mehrer, Paisley Verse, Sara Yukiko, Scott Daniel Ellison, Scott Reeder, Sophy Hollington and Tyler Childress appeared across T-shirt prints, knitwear motifs, slogans, denim embellishments, jewellery and shoes, emulating the collaborative and cross-cultural qualities that were always part of the rave wardrobe. (Many of the artists will feature on the walls of Celine stores in seasons to come.)

This could be Celine’s last digital show

The digital show format imposed by the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for Slimane, aligning with his study of digital youth cultures in a way that’s made perfect sense. When – or if – he returns to the real-life runway this autumn, it will be interesting to see how Slimane is going to imbue the live format with the tricks he’s picked up over the last year-and-a-half. That period has changed us all, boy is it evident in the Celine men’s wardrobe.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The World’s Gone Mad. Designers Are Sending In The Clowns

Not sure whether to laugh or cry? With the news cycle continuing to rollercoaster, it’s a common dilemma, and with the number of references to clowns and circuses in the fall ready-to-wear and couture collections, it seems designers are feeling the same way as the rest of us.

This represents a shift toward something visceral, and away from the Surrealism we saw at the beginning of the pandemic. The Surrealist art movement, which flourished between the World Wars, was focused on manifesting the subconscious in real life, and its practitioners often tried to achieve this through strange, and usually symbolic, juxtapositions of words or images that reframed accepted perceptions of the world. Famous examples include Elsa Schiaparelli’s shoe hat and the trompe l’oeil Tear dress she made in collaboration with Salvador Dalí.

The escapism that Surrealism provided at the beginning of the pandemic was strange in a pleasing and nostalgic way. The mood has changed, there’s an impatience to get on with things, but we remain in an in between state, looking towards a future that remains very much a work in progress. No one knows yet what the effects of the Delta variant will be or what hybrid work will be like. There are lots of emotions on the surface, and as people start socializing again, there’s a larger audience to hide, or share, those feelings with.

Rather than run away with the circus, many people would like to run from it. At the couture shows, designers responded with more options for day, which was refreshing and in tune with a larger desire to get back to our routines. But in more fanciful looks, they also acknowledged that there’s still a circus-mirror aspect to life in 2021. In that case, it seems only natural to send in the clowns. The same dichotomy was active in the ready-to-wear collections, many of which featured collars, which seem optimized for the horizontal existence that is life on Zoom. Talk about a circus...

PLEASURES' Latest Collab Celebrates The Influence Of New Order

Following its Unknown Pleasures 40th-anniversary Joy Division release, PLEASURES has continued its investigation of Factory Records progression in music history with a New Order collaboration.

Created in partnership with Factory Records and WEA Warner Music, the collection highlights the legacy of the iconic band formed in Machester, England back in 1980. Working with motifs by iconic designer Peter Saville synonymous with the group that delivered a seamless integration of post-punk, electronic and dance music.

The expansive New Order x PLEASURES collection features jackets, fleece, button-down shirts, polos, graphic T-shirts, pants, headwear, lifestyle items and more. A standout included is a wooden side table showcasing the celebrated Power Corruption & Lies artwork made in collaboration with Modernica in USA. Check out the lookbook above and shop the New Order collection on PLEASURES website and at select retailers.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Could There Be A Market For Men’s Couture?

Couture Week, as an event, is usually a moment that allows to pass by unannounced, focussing as it usually does on women’s eveningwear and gowns. Historically, it’s had little relevance to the menswear market: couture, which refers to handmade, one-of-a-kind garments made to the highest of luxury specifications, has generally been considered as too rarefied for the male consumer.

But this time, something different was afoot. It came first at the Balenciaga show, where around half of the looks presented by Demna Gvasalia were either men’s or gender-neutral. Shortly after that, at Fendi Couture, Kim Jones punctured his procession of women’s gowns with a range of heavily-worked men’s garments, from embroidered knitwear to embellished suits. John Galliano, too, introduced some romantic menswear looks into his ‘Folk Horror Tale’ at Maison Margiela Artisanal.

And yesterday, at Valentino’s couture presentation in Venice, the men’s looks threatened almost to overshadow the women’s: richly colored separates in almost every shade conceivable, and finished with an extraordinary level of finesse.

This is a new development. While some of the historic houses have dabbled in men’s couture before (Margiela has shown some men’s since Galliano’s arrival, and Valentino has showed some looks in its previous collections), never has so much menswear been featured at once, from so many designers.

Could this point to a new direction for men’s fashion? Certainly, it would offer a sharp contrast to the merch-heavy collections of so much of today’s menswear, which tends to focus almost entirely on printed hoodies, tees, and streetwear-lite clothing. The more elevated, refined precision of these clothes felt like something entirely fresh. And it offers the designers that can compete in couture a chance to flex their heritage and technical skill — after all, every brand can make a hoodie, but not every brand can perfectly cut a cashmere coat.

Plus, the menswear market is larger than ever — and built on an increasingly large consumer base of highly affluent younger menswear consumers, with a growing awareness of fashion. It’s safe to assume that a luxury house could find a captive audience for the stratospherically high prices that couture commands (brands are reticent to share the prices of couture pieces, which are always “priced on application”, but reasonable estimates reckon that the starting price of a single piece would be around $40,000 USD).

On the other hand, it’s not a guaranteed win. Bespoke tailoring, which is often touted as menswear’s nearest approximation to couture (focussing as it does on custom, made-to-measure garments), is hardly enjoying a surge of popularity: as recently as last September, Savile Row tailors were warning that their businesses were on the brink of closure. But couture allows – and even encourages – a greater level of exuberance and flashiness than fine tailoring, sitting it more in step with the current mood of menswear: Balenciaga’s canary-yellow “Big Bird” coat is far more likely to appeal to the Instagram generation than a stuffy tweed suit.

The actual commercial significance of couture remains a murky world, and the few houses that are officially designated as couturiers tend to keep their financial details private – both Balenciaga and Valentino declined to share any specifics about the size of their men’s couture client base. So it remains to be seen if this new development will continue and flourish. But if it means that luxury houses begin investing in real innovation and risk-taking within the menswear sphere, then it’s a welcome evolution.

This Japanese Singer’s Tomo Koizumi Olympics Gown Set The Internet Alight

Yesterday, the 2021 Tokyo Olympics finally kicked off with an opening ceremony that was thrilling enough to (at least momentarily) distract from the numerous controversies that have dogged the games this year. With stunning performances featuring thousands of dancers, lit-up drones, and nods to everything from the Japanese flag to video game culture – and, of course, Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic cauldron – it was a subdued spectacle that nevertheless offered a glimmer of hope that this year’s games might mark a step forward for the beleaguered sporting body.

But for fashion fans, there was another, more unexpected, highlight. As singer-songwriter Misia stepped out to perform the Japanese national anthem “Kimi Ga Yo” to an eerily empty stadium, attention quickly turned to her dramatic gown. Cut from dozens of layers of recycled organza and with a multicoloured ombré effect produced by spray-painting, it set Twitter aflame as many compared it to everything from snow cones to cotton candy to cherry blossoms.

The dress itself was designed by Tomo Koizumi, whose rapid rise to fashion world fame came in 2019 after stylist Katie Grand spotted his work on Instagram and swiftly set about arranging a grand debut for the designer at New York Fashion Week – staged in her friend Marc Jacobs’s Madison Avenue store as a favour, naturally. The illustrious guest list for Koizumi’s first show was matched only by the star wattage of those walking the runway, including Gwendoline Christie, Bella Hadid, Joan Smalls, and Emily Ratajkowski; it also earned rave reviews for his unique balance of frivolity, flamboyance, and couture-level craft.

Since then, Koizumi has gone from strength to strength. In 2019, his work was featured as part of the Met’s annual costume exhibition, Notes on Camp, while his most recent collection, which appeared earlier this month on the haute couture calendar, was live-streamed from an Edo-period castle in Kyoto. Still, there are few moments as sweet – in more ways than one, given the dress’s frothy, candy-coloured delights – as seeing your work beamed around the world to represent your home country on the global stage. With Koizumi’s widely-noted reverence for Japanese culture past and present, it’s a delight to see him carving out its future, too.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Obviously Isabelle Huppert Is Now A Balenciaga Campaign Star

“Ambiguity, for me, is the salt of life,” declared the inimitable Isabelle Huppert in British Vogue’s October 2018 issue. This aphorism is reflected in the actor’s sense of style: she takes an admirably fearless approach to her always unpredictable fashion choices. It makes sense, then, that she has been anointed as a face of Balenciaga, a brand with design codes that align with her own intrepid attitude.

Photographed alongside other “friends and family” of Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga - including Justin Bieber - against the backdrop of a parking lot, Huppert looks wonderfully chic in the new campaign, lensed by Katy Grannan. She joins a sparse roster of celebrity Balenciaga muses, partly due to the fact that Gvasalia has previously favoured digital clones, deepfakes and video games over A-listers.

Clad in a nonchalantly-styled belted trench from the brand’s ready-to-wear line, worn asymmetrically off-the-shoulder, the actor looks the epitome of the new-age Parisian. She clutches an embossed glossy black Hourglass bag, her other arm tucked into the coat’s sleeve. Bieber, meanwhile, appears with Gvasalia’s reimagined Neo bag, dressed in the new sporty Runner trainers, leather jacket and tracksuit bottoms.

Huppert’s Balenciaga cameo arrives just weeks after she stole the show in the brand at Cannes. She glided on the red carpet in an outfit that is best described, in internet speak, as a “mood”. Gvasalia was responsible for Huppert’s viral moment, supplying her with a jet black, slinky long-sleeved gown picked by her long-time stylist Jonathan Huguet. The exposed slit that hovered towards the waistline revealed Balenciaga’s cult stretch-satin knife boots, and her oversized bug-eye shades added insouciance. Overall, it was the antithesis of the frothy tulle and diamonds that make up conventional Cannes red-carpet looks.

Friday, July 23, 2021

KLOSS Partners With Four Artists For Debut Merch Collection

London-based creative studio KLOSS has followed up the launch of its recent The Community Album book by preparing a merch drop. The new release is KLOSS’ first merch collection, and features hoodies, tees and a tote bag alongside four long-sleeves designed in collaboration with artists.

The merch continues the themes of the book, by taking inspiration from the community that surrounds KLOSS founder Alec Maxwell. The artists involved in the collaborative long-sleeves are model Aweng Ade Chuol, sculptor and designer Daniel Lismore, make-up artist Niki M’Nray and photographer Philip-Daniel Ducasse. Additionally, every item in the collection has been designed to be entirely zero waste and climate neutral.

Launching the merch collection, Maxwell said, “This will be the first time that people can buy into KLOSS. Until this point, I’ve known exactly who has KLOSS and I’ve ensured I have a direct connection with each person. I’m hoping that I’m able to connect with the people who buy the merch from Browns, and start new creative exchanges. For this drop, which coincides with the first book KLOSS The Community Album, I approached artists who have worked closely with KLOSS over the years, to collaborate with them on this drop, as a way to showcase the imagery they and the broader KLOSS community are creating, and the imagery that inspires me and my work.”

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Here Are The First-Ever Finalists In The Running For The Inaugural Changemakers Prize

Back in April, the British Fashion Council announced the launch of a brand new award, the Changemakers Prize, established in partnership with Swarovski. Now, the first set of finalists has been revealed.

There are three key pillars that comprise the Institute of Positive Fashion initiative – people, community and craftsmanship and environment – each represented by three finalists, some of whom are duos. Hairstylist Cyndia Harvey, the Zebedee Talent Agency co-founders Laura Johnson and Zoe Proctor, and designer Rahemur Rahman fall into the People category; John Hickling, Stay Wild Swim co-founders Natalie Glaze and Zanna Van Dijk, and designer Patrick McDowell are shortlisted in the Environment category; and Andrew Kenny, Cozette McCreery and Daisy Knatchbull are recognised for their dedication to the Community and Craftsmanship.

Candidates were nominated by industry peers, businesses, employers and colleagues before facing the judging panel. British Vogue editor-in-chief and European editorial director of Vogue, Edward Enninful, joins Munroe Bergdorf, Tan France, Lily Cole, Farrah Storr, Ib Kamara, Jo Ellison, chief executive of the BFC Caroline Rush and Swarovski’s creative director Giovanna Engelbert on the panel that will determine the winners of the inaugural Changemakers prize. More than 500 applicants were whittled down to the shortlist of finalists, from which three winners will be chosen in September. The winners will receive mentorship support and a cash prize, as well as global recognition.

Dolly Parton Recreates 1978 ‘Playboy’ Cover

If you’re stuck on what to get your partner for his/her/their birthday this year, Dolly Parton has a helpful suggestion. For her husband Carl Thomas Dean’s 78th on 20 July, the Queen of Country one-upped golf clubs by recreating her 1978 Playboy cover. “You’re probably wondering why I’m dressed like this,” the vaccine sponsor declared in an Instagram video, a pair of bunny ears on her head.

“Remember, some time back, I said I was going to pose for Playboy magazine when I was 75? Well, I’m 75, and they don’t have a magazine anymore, but my husband always loved the original cover of Playboy, so I was trying to think of something to do to make him happy. He still thinks I’m a hot chick after 57 years, and I’m not going to try to talk him out of that.”

Famously, Parton became the first country star ever to pose for Playboy, although her contract prohibited any nudity. Instead, the “I Will Always Love You” queen wore a bustier and rhinestone-studded bowtie. (“O-o-o-e-e-e! A Hit Interview With Country Queen Dolly Parton,” read the cover, along with intriguing teasers such as “The Best Of The West: Pac 10 Co-Eds Part II” and “How To Play The Inner Game Of Sex (And Win)”).

Dolly ditched the cover lines for her version – which sees her wearing the exact same outfit. “I had a cover made of the new Dolly, or the old new Dolly… In the first one, I was kind of a little butterball, but I’m string cheese now. He’ll probably think I’m cream cheese, I hope!” Given the pair have been together and wildly in love since before the first moon landing, we’d say there’s a good chance.

The Life And Art Of Salvador Dalí’s Surrealist isciple Steven F. Arnold

In 1974, American artist Steven F. Arnold travelled to Spain at the behest of Salvador Dalí, who was opening the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Catalonia that September and had embraced Arnold as his protégé.

The legendary surrealist, known to tire of people in a matter of minutes, was utterly enchanted with the 31-year-old artist and dubbed him the “prince” of his Court of Miracles – his eccentric, eclectic coterie that included Donyale Luna, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Ultra Violet, and Amanda Lear, as well as Arnold’s dear friends Pandora and Kaisik Wong.

“They made a scene,” says Vishnu Dass, Director of the Steven Arnold Museum and Archive. “In Spain, Dalí was occupied with getting press. He would have them dress and take them to public events as his entourage for the months leading up to the museum. There are newspaper clippings from Spanish newspapers that talk about riots with Dali’s transvestites.”

Their cosmic connection was just one of the extraordinary relationships Arnold had throughout his life. “I call Steven a Queer Mystic,” Dass says. “His ultimate goal was to create a space where he himself and all those he loved could exist in a place that wasn’t binary or judging.”

As an artist who never pursued fame, status, or wealth, Arnold was an integral figure in the American counterculture for 30 years, a true influencer whose legacy is being reexamined now, 25 years after his untimely death from complications due to Aids. In advance of an exhibition of his work at Fahey/Klein Gallery during The Photography Show presented by AIPAD – which opens today – Dass takes us on a magical journey through Arnold’s life and art.


Born in Oakland, California in 1943, Arnold spent his formative years in the attic where he would create and stage elaborate puppet theatre shows, intuitively connecting with the cosmological possibilities of art.

In high school, he met two women who would change his life: his lifelong friend and collaborator, Pandora, and art teacher Violet Chew, who introduced him to Eastern spiritual traditions, art history, and fashion. “She believed artists should use their artwork to heal themselves and the world on a soul level,” Dass says.

“Steven was a deep mystic. That showed through the love and reverence he gave to his work. He encouraged everyone around him to be artists. He loved his friends so intently and that was his service.”


In 1961, Arnold won a full scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute, then travelled to Paris to study at École des Beaux-Arts, but was bored with the constraints of classical instruction. Arnold decamped to a hippie commune on the Spanish island of Formentera, where he spent three months taking LSD.

When he came back from the trip, Arnold created his first student film, Messages, Messages, which was instantly recognised and shown at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight. Determined to make his hometown debut unforgettable, Arnold rented the Palace Theatre in San Francisco’s North Beach for the film’s hometown premiere in February 1968, selling 2,000 tickets on opening night.


After his stunning success, the theatre owners invited Arnold to return. One month later he launched the Nocturnal Dream Shows, the very first weekly midnight movies showcase in America – a cult phenomenon and counterculture sanctuary.

“They would screen old surrealist films, Betty Boop cartoons, turn of the century pornography, and sci-fi films like Metropolis. Every week had a theme and people started dressing for it. It was a happening,” Dass says.

“Steven ran the ticket booth and would dress in drag sometimes. There was a photograph of him from 1969 or 1970 that was widely spread in underground magazines and he looks like Frankenfurter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (which was later released in 1973).”

Arnold also gave the Cockettes their start – before the avant-garde hippie theatre group even named themselves. Unable to afford tickets, Arnold struck a deal on Halloween 1969: they could attend for free if they were willing to perform on stage. Lo and behold, a constellation of stars was born in San Francisco that night.


When Arnold released Luminous Procuress, his first full-length feature film in 1971, he received his second invitation to Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight. The film stars Arnold’s childhood friend Pandora as the procuress. It starts with the base levels of human experience, becoming increasingly surreal until gender is obliterated in a Fellini-esque romp.

Two years later, Arnold set his sights on Dalí, bringing a box of prints to the St. Regis Hotel in New York, where the surrealist held court. “Dalí’s head exploded,” Dass says.

“He arranged for it to be shown at the Rizzoli screening room. Their projector broke down and they had to reschedule, so Dalí rented the Versailles Room, the grand ballroom at the St. Regis, and they did a huge event for Luminous Procuress. Andy Warhol, Bob Colacello, and all of New York’s artistic elite came to see it.”

Arnold continued to visit Dalí at the St. Regis every day for three months, completely taken with his guru. Arnold would kneel at Dalí’s feet or by his side during dinner at Trader Vic’s. “Steven was able to hold his interest,” Dass says. “They went into worlds together for hours at a time, being in an alternate reality that they created in each other’s presence.”

The following year, Dalí invited him to Spain. Here, Arnold worked on the collages for the museum entry with Amanda Lear and on the Shrine Room with Kaisik Wong.

“A big difference between Steven and Dalí, was that Dalí was an alchemist. For him, gold was the highest manifestation. Whereas Steven would write, ‘Sell your gold for your art’” – Vishnu Dass


“A big difference between Steven and Dalí, was that Dalí was an alchemist. For him, gold was the highest manifestation,” Dass explains. “Whereas Steven would write, ‘Sell your gold for your art’. To Steven, the ultimate alchemy was creation. Gold was a means to further that.”

In the mid-1970s, Arnold rented an abandoned pretzel factory in east Los Angeles that had an old Victorian house in the back that he transformed into his studio and home. Here, he began his greatest series of work: a series of black and white tableau vivant photographs that allowed him to showcase his talents and cosmology simultaneously.

Arnold would work on two or three stages at a time, often setting up meditation cushions and a Tibetan singing bowl in front so he could sit before it and let it speak to him. Each photograph allowed Arnold the opportunity to execute his talents for painting, drawing, set design, costume, makeup, and casting in a single image. Shooting on black velvet so there would be no shadows, Arnold constructed intricate scenes crafted from found objects, detritus, and dime store products.

“The creation of each piece was a ritual. He would be drinking vermouth, bring in models, have them cut out shapes,” Dass says. “He thought of his work as thangkas, in the tradition of ancient Tibetan Buddhism, as objects for meditation. He was trying to bridge shadow and light with the all-encompassing love that he had.”


“There’s an interview of Steven on Haight-Asbury in 1965 when he was 17. He’s talking about how the old mythologies have gotten tired and people don’t want to engage with them because they have no point of reference in modern society,” Dass says.

“It’s our tendency as humans to divide everything into binaries, and he saw that within the container of spirit, all of those elements are present and no part is holier than any other. He was dissolving gender identity, instead of further separating and he saw that as a deeply spiritual mindset to inhabit because when we identify with one part of the binary everything else becomes other.”

With the advent of Aids in 1981, Los Angeles was hard hit as Arnold saw his friends begin to die of a virulent disease that was systemically ignored in the early years of the crisis. But rather than portray the holocaust happening on earth, Arnold focused his energy into sharing their ascension to heaven as ethereal spirits.

“When people started getting sick he began photographing male angels,” Dass reveals. “He said, ‘All my friends are taking their wings.’ He saw it was time, no matter how brutal and heartbreaking it was. When Steven was diagnosed in 1987, he started thinking of his art and wanting to use his art in a way that was healing to people.”


Knowing his time was limited, Arnold kept going as long as he could. But without any money, the dilapidated studio had fallen apart by 1993. His friends rallied together, renting a house near the Design Center where he could spend his final days, sketching portraits of his friends when they came to visit.

“I asked Ellen Burstyn what his reaction was when he got diagnosed, and she said, ‘He was like, “Now we’re here, this is what we’re doing, we’re dying of Aids’,” Dass says.

“Ellen showed me photographs of him after he died. They covered him in gold lame, jewels, and flowers. He looked like a holy man. There was a beautiful shrine they built around his body when he died. He was at peace. He had people he loved around him. He told her, ‘I have it all planned, my entrance into heaven’, and Ellen said, ‘What are you going to wear darling?’”


Dass recently completed Steven Arnold: Heavenly Bodies, a documentary film currently being entered into film festivals that captures the luminous vision, exquisite sensitivity, and innovative spirit of the artist. The film opens with actress Ellen Burstyn reading from Arnold’s 1967 journal, sharing the words of a young visionary at the dawn of his career, sharing faith in the power of art, expression, and community:

“We belong to a special, secret order of angel creatures and our troop is a magic company, surrounded by a veil. We are delicate animals, creatures of beauty and elegance, easily wounded so we must join forces to remind each other, to stimulate, to entertain, to create together for in creation we are the happiest and highest light to the world. Let us take the gifts given us and astound the world in the wonder our creativity. It is our role.”

Take A Look Inside Reality To Idea X Haviana's LA Pop-Up

Reality to Idea, the design studio of graphic artist Joshua Vides, is known for turning everyday objects into three-dimensional sketches. This weekend, the team scaled it up a notch and transformed an entire pop-up store (and its facade) into a monochrome, sketched reality in honor of their collaboration with Havaianas.

The collaboration, which launched last week, celebrates Reality To Idea’s and Havaianas' shared roots in coastal culture (in California and Brazil, respectively) and comprises the essentials you need for a day at the beach — flip-flops, a beach towel, a t-shirt, and socks — all of which have been reimagined in Reality To Idea’s signature black-and-white style.

The pop-up was a continuation both of the collection’s aesthetic and its spirit. A huge life-size palm tree adorned the store’s facade and stepping inside took you into a (very Instagram-able) beachside scene with a Reality To Idea twist. Palm trees and surfboards peeled away from walls painted with clouds and an ocean sunset, a beach towel in the sand decorated the floor, and beach balls carrying both brands’ logos floated through space to a summery soundtrack curated by the design studio.

New York Men’s Day Returning To In-Person Shows

New York Men’s Day is taking the plunge and will return to in-person shows in September. The emerging men’s wear showcase created by Agentry PR will once again host two separate groupings of designers on Sept. 8, from 10:30 a.m. to noon and then 4:30 to 6 p.m. This time, the event, which is being presented by Watchfinder & Co., will be held at Canoe Studios in the Starrett-Leigh building.

The showcase will feature eight returning designers and two new faces showing their spring 2022 collections of men’s wear or genderless clothing. They include A.Potts, Carter Young, Chelsea Grays, Fried Rice, KoH T, which will also show some women’s looks, Onyrmrk, Stan, Teddy Vonranson, The Stolen Garment and William Frederick. Each designer will present in an individual studio space simultaneously during the event and all 10 will also offer a look book or video on the CFDA’s Runway 360 digital platform.

Watchfinder & Co., a pre-owned luxury watch seller, will provide watches to the designers participating and will also create a pop-up shop at Canoe Studios during the event to showcase its assortment. Its team of watch experts will also be available for private consultations and watch valuations.

Other sponsors will include Sperry, which will showcase the brand’s new collaboration with John Legend, as well as De’Longhi, which will provide coffee and beverages to attendees. Other sponsors of NYMD include hair care brand, Oribe and AOFM Pro.

“We are thrilled to be bringing NYMD back to in-person events this September during New York Fashion Week,” said Agentry founder Erin Hawker. “It has been an interesting learning experience during the COVID-19 global pandemic, as we navigated digital showings for our designers. We are excited to incorporate what we have learned in the past and put forward an experience like no other in-person activation this season. Our mission remains the same, to provide a platform and voice for emerging new talent to be discovered.” New York Fashion Week, which runs Sept. 8 through Sept. 12, will be a combination of live and digital events.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A Love Story In Two-And-A-Half Minutes: Wim Wenders On His New Film For Salvatore Ferragamo

It’s heritage, not nostalgia, that’s driving some interesting projects in the industry right now. Demna Gvaslaia’s debut couture collection for Balenciaga demonstrated that fashion can be both rooted in history and forward-looking. That’s also the case at Salvatore Ferragamo. Building on the founder’s connection to the big screen (he founded the Hollywood Boot Shop in California in 1923), the brand continues with its focus on film as storytelling and marketing.

For fall 2021 the house has teamed up with Wim Wenders, the celebrated Academy Award–nominated director, to spin a tale, A Future Together, around the brand’s fall 2021 space-age Future Positive collection. The setting, Milan’s CityLife District, and the clothing and accessories speak to the sci-fi aspect of the narrative; Wenders brings warmth to the film with a focus on the “together” in the title.

He does this by creating a story within a story: We watch the Italian actress Gaia Girace, playing a director, fall head over heels for her soundman, Swedish musician Felix Sandman, in the course of filming a sci-fi that itself is being recorded. The plot is driven not by dialogue, but by hints and glances, and the audience is drawn in by the wink-wink aspects of the structure, and the promise of young love.

A Future Together is a short about looking forward, and about the promise of what could be when people stick together. “Developing a positively energetic story inside the framework of a futuristic setting is a challenge at a time when the future is generally regarded as bleak and dystopian. But sometimes, when the cards are stacked up against you and you have to fight many obstacles, the result can achieve an extra aura of beauty,” said the director in a statement, adding that the sun came out during the shoot.

This is not the first time Wenders has worked with Ferragamo. In 2004 the director and his wife, Donata, showed their photographs in an exhibition called “Off Scene” at the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo. Here, the director discusses fashion vis-a-vis film and the all-important matter of love.

What can fashion do that film cannot; and vice versa?\

Wim Wenders: Fashion does a lot for creating a zeitgeist, and in that it resembles cinema. Or popular music. Like those, fashion helps to shape the mood and the “climate” of our sense of contemporaneity. Later, we remember a certain year or time period for what we were wearing then and what we were listening to. But fashion also works on a very personal level. It can boost your sense of identity, it can make you feel good or help you express to others who you are, or want to be. Your outfit, your shoes, your coat etc. can really become part of you, a bit like a second skin you’re wearing.

Movies do not work on that level, they form your view of the world and your opinions, sometimes in very subtle and unconscious ways. Which is something that fashion doesn’t really do. Then again, fashion and movies go hand in hand in many ways. What people wear in a movie can soon become the uniform of a whole generation. It’s no accident that the Ferragamo brand started with shoes, especially high heels, that were made famous by some of the great actresses of their time, and that my mother then wore a few months later. Well, everybody else’s mother, too.

What role has fashion played in your work, and how does this film relate to that?

I was developing an awareness for fashion rather late, when I got a crash course in it by making a film about Yohji Yamamoto. Notebook on Cities and Clothes. I made the film all alone, mostly as a one-man team, and was therefore very connected to Yohji’s craft. I followed him at a very close distance with my own craft, operating my machines myself, just like he took a pencil or scissors. And in doing so, we recognized that our crafts, and jobs, were very related and quite often followed the same patterns of “storytelling.” A research period followed by a writing or designing period, then going into a producing stage, then into editing, then into marketing and distribution.

Anyway, I learned so much about fashion in that year, directly from one of its great 20th-century masters, that I remained open and interested in the phenomenon afterwards. Our short film relates to that by showing a lot of fashion on one hand, but including all of that in a storyline that makes it quite obvious and natural that we see all these different outfits. So in the end, you almost do not notice watching fashion, as you enter the world of our central characters, a director and a sound engineer. They are in their world, and you enter it willingly. If you watch a fashion show, you must be willing to watch a fashion show, otherwise you’d be very bored. We showed just as much fashion as you could see on a catwalk, only you’re never really aware of it. You see it through the eyes of our protagonists.

This film documents the making of a film. How does postmodernism figure in this work?

Well, if you think it is a postmodern “touch” that our film also deals with the making of a film, there is no point arguing with you. In my case, that idea never crossed my mind. The self-reflection, so to speak, was just the best solution for an otherwise extremely difficult task. “A film with a sci-fi feeling, set slightly in the future, in Milan, but with an entirely optimistic outlook.” It might sound easy to you, at first, but if you start thinking how many sci-fi movies or near-future science fiction you know that show a positive image of the world, you’ll start realizing the difficulties. We were up against the danger of a dystopian view of the world that the genre inevitably embraces. Sci-fi is always gloomy and dark. The client wanted something joyful, sensual, and positive. I was all for that. That last year we all lived through was terrible and droopy enough. My film inside the film instantly solved these problems. And for once, it allowed me to show many pieces from the amazing new collection. My main protagonists, Angela, the director (played by the extremely talented Gaia Girace) and Paul, the sound engineer (played by the equally bright Felix Sandman), needed a whole lot of actors in front of their camera! Hey, I can handle postmodernism, if it can be by way of a love story!

Is love the answer?

Yes. It has been at all times, in the past, in the present, and love will be the answer in the future as well. In our case: You can only do so much in the course of two-and-a-half minutes. You cannot “tell a love story.” But you can let the audience catch a glimpse of something hopeful, joyful, and promising. Something very human that does more than just featuring a brand or a product.

Ludovic De Saint Sernin On The Sexiest Swimsuits Of 2021

Ludovic de Saint Sernin made a name for himself back in 2018 with his sexy fashion and "genderless" wardrobe that combines French chic with poetic design. As a finalist for the LVMH prize, he presented his first ever collection that made shockwaves with its celebration of the male body and bold designs like the jumpsuits composed of hundreds of pieces of ceramics and woolen knitted jockstraps. A year later in 2019, the designer designed his first underwear collection which featured a standout model that became an LDSS iconic piece: the eyelet brief.

The first swimwear for women

The style this summer is all about freedom after months of lockdowns and Ludovic de Saint Sernin is no exception. With his ultra desirable new swimwear collection, the designer is revisiting his iconic eyelet brief with a version for women, his first ever. We met Ludovic de Saint Sernin to learn more about these new desirable, timeless and sexy pieces.

What were the inspirations for this swimwear collection?

Ludovic de Saint Sernin: "I went to Lanzarote with my boyfriend and some friends a few months ago, and that was when we thought about launching this new swimwear collection. The landscapes were breathtaking and the colors completely otherworldly. This inspired me a lot in the choice of the color palette for this new season: brown, terracotta, khaki, beige...”

Why did you choose to introduce women's pieces for the first time in this swimwear collection?

LDSS: “Our men's swimwear has a very strong male fan base, but more women are following our work and want to wear LdSS too. So it felt like time for a female version of our famous Eyelet Brief. There are so many more possibilities on a woman's swimsuit, it was really exciting to create this bikini and discover a new universe.”

Who is the Ludovic de Saint Sernin woman?

LDSS: “I am still discovering for myself who she is. I think she will reveal herself by herself. Essentially, she is free, sensual, and in love.”

Can you describe your universe in three inspirations?

LDSS: “I like to describe LdSS as a celebration of love, sex, and freedom. These are values that are close to my heart and are directly reflected in my inspirations.”

Why are nudity and sexuality so important in your work?

LDSS: “Beyond nudity and sexuality, I think it's more about dressing and undressing the body. It's about the balance between what you want to reveal and what you want to keep secret. This balance between sensuality and elegance is essential for me to create a signature LdSS silhouette. My job is to reveal the body and accentuate it. As for sexuality, it is part of our lives and our identity, creating clothes that celebrate it is also a way for me to assert myself, to discover myself, and to share.”

Can you tell us more about the creative process behind this collection?

LDSS: “When we thought about the bikini, something rather magical happened. I took the men's briefs, the design that helped me become more well known, and I opened them on the women's stockman and gently loosened them. I placed it on the chest and it immediately created a bra shape that was quite unique and immediately recognizable.”

What a beautiful coincidence..

LDSS: “I love that kind of coincidence, it was like evidence. And for the bottom, I wanted something sexy and timeless at the same time. Each color we chose represents a destination that is close to my heart. And when you buy a bikini, it's usually with a trip in mind. Naturally, the idea of their names started from there: the terracotta swimsuit is called Sedona (it's in Arizona, a magical place where we shot the campaign), the brown is Lanzarote, the sky blue Positano, the black Fire Island, the beige Marrakech, the white Mykonos, and the khaki Tulum.”

What signatures of Ludovic de Saint Sernin can be found in this collection?

LDSS: “We obviously find the eyelets and the lace that are intrinsic to the LdSS style, as well as the shape that is inspired by our iconic men's briefs.”

What are the 5 pieces that every person should always have in their wardrobe?

A small Swarovski crystal necklace for a touch of sparkle
A cool and sexy little knit
A pair of LdSS lace-up jeans
Some sneakers
A small bag because I don't like to have stuff in my pockets

Who are your ultimate female and male icons?

I am a big fan of Kaia Gerber, she would look amazing in the swimsuit. And for the man, Justin Bieber obviously!"

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

LVMH Acquires Majority Stake In Off-White™ Brand

LVMH has agreed to purchase a majority stake in Off-White LLC, the owner of Virgil Abloh‘s Off-White™ streetwear brand. Abloh, who founded the brand, will retain 40 percent ownership in the company following the deal. The designer is set to keep his overarching creative director role for the brand, while New Guards Group who birthed Off-White™ with Abloh will still be the brand’s operating partner.

Reports stated that with a 60 percent stake, LVMH plans to work alongside Abloh to develop, create and grow new and existing brands that go beyond the fashion realm. With a partner like LVMH, Off-White™ will have a slew of tools readily available to help it expand its own brand portfolio. The French luxury conglomerate has an extensive and broad range of investments in fashion, cosmetics, jewellery, fragrances and even wines and spirits. The announcement does not affect Virgil Abloh’s role at Louis Vuitton, where he is currently still the artistic director of the menswear line. Further details regarding the deal have yet to be disclosed.

Ford Is Making A Gasoline Fragrance For EV Owners Who Miss The Smell Of Fossil Fuels

Ford appears to have the solution for electric vehicle owners who think they might miss the chemical-y gasoline smell. Ford has now created a premium fragrance to fix the craving for the evocative smells of traditional petrol cars. According to Ford, a survey stated that 70 percent of car owners say they will miss the smell of gasoline the most once they switch over to an EV. The company also found that the smell of petrol ranks as high as the scent of both cheese and wine.

Ford’s new “Mach-Eau” – an evident play on the company’s Ford Mach-E – is the company’s olfactory solution to substitute the smell. Though the fragrance is not currently for sale, Ford describes the scent to be reminiscent of gasoline, containing notes of almondy benzaldehyde, better known as a smell associated with car interiors and para-Cresol, which is similar to the smell of rubber tires. The fragrance blends a mixture of other scents such as lavender, geranium, sandalwood, and blue ginger. For a smoky and metallic scent, sandalwood is included to also give the “impression of horses.” It remains to be seen if Ford’s next EV will include the scent for their car owners.

Chanel Plans To Stage Métiers D’Art Show In Paris In December

Chanel’s love affair with Paris is going strong. The fashion house plans to unveil its next Métiers d’Art collection in the French capital on Dec. 7, it announced on Monday.

Traditionally a traveling show that has alighted in destinations including Shanghai; Rome; Edinburgh, Scotland; Salzburg, Austria, and Dallas, the Métiers d’Art show was held in Paris in December 2019 in the wake of the death of Chanel’s longtime creative director Karl Lagerfeld earlier in the year.

Faced with the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the brand filmed the collection, which celebrates the craftsmanship of the suppliers and workshops in its orbit, at the Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley last December in front of a single VIP guest: Kristen Stewart.

The collection drew long lines outside its stores in London when it dropped in June.

With the Grand Palais undergoing renovations ahead of the Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024, it’s unclear where Chanel will hold the show next December. A temporary venue has been erected near the Eiffel Tower to host events that usually take place in the Grand Palais, including the Fiac art fair and the Saut Hermès show-jumping competition.

However, Chanel creative director Virginie Viard has indicated she prefers more intimate venues, choosing to stage her fall 2021 haute couture show earlier this month, the first with a physical audience in 18 months, at the Palais Galliera fashion museum.

Unlike some of its competitors, Chanel has not staged any major events outside of its domestic market since COVID-19 triggered the first of several rounds of lockdowns in France in March 2020.

In a recent interview with WWD, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion and president of Chanel SAS, said the house plans to resume overseas events with a replica of its cruise collection, unveiled in May in the Provence region of France, though it has yet to reveal the location.

Even with larger events on the horizon, the brand — which has invested heavily in infrastructure over the last year — believes it’s too early to revert to business as usual.

“This is not a time to stage the kind of extraordinary events we did in the past,” Pavlovsky said. “We feel in our markets and among our teams the need to be closer to our customers and to do things that are more one-to-one.”

Dior's Winter 2021 Campaign Spotlights Peter Doig-Inspired Classics

Kim Jones enlisted the artist Peter Doig for a Dior collaboration throughout Fall/Winter 2021, and following this news Dior then showcased its Winter 2021 collection on the runway, debuting Doig-inspired pieces that were doused in lush colors and soft brushstrokes that frequent the artist’s work. Now, the luxury fashion house has enlisted Rafael Pavarotti to photograph the Winter 2021 campaign, backdropped against more of Doig’s work.

Speaking on the campaign, Jones said: “Photographer Rafael Pavarotti used Peter Doig’s paintings to set the tone and image color and inject a contemporary atmosphere, a masterpiece that blends modernity and melancholic poetry.”

With this in mind, we see the latest Dior pieces (notably, ones made in association with Doig) against his actual artwork. Combined, it allows certain pieces to pop: see the hand-painted berets and dome hats? Here, we find animals and natural prints decorating the headpieces in Doig’s bright yet delicate way, adding a very welcomed soft edge to the crisp tailoring seen throughout the campaign.

Once again, Kim Jones celebrates Dior’s past with various iterations of the Saddle Bag (a Cannetille gold and silver thread-embroidered piece is particularly nice), and more extravagant jewelry designed by AMBUSH’s Yoon Ahn is also served up, delivering lots of pieces that are very Renaissance in style.

The Dior Winter 2021 campaign can be seen in the gallery above, and for those interested in buying it, head over to Dior’s website or worldwide boutiques to shop the collection now.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Alled Martinez -Menswear S/S'22

Archie Alled-Martinez has done a hard pivot. “This collection is completely different from what I’ve done before,” the charismatic Spaniard says over a video chat. At first glance his spring 2022 collection looks like a sensual ode to ’70s-style cruising, but there’s more at play under the surface. The names stitched into jersey tops are of cultural arbiters who died of AIDS: Roy Halston Frowick, Sterling Saint Jacques, Jacques de Bascher, Al Parker, and Antonio Lopez. The numbers on the back are their ages at death. “I didn’t want the names to be gimmicky—maybe people won’t understand what it’s about,” says Alled-Martinez. But to the young queer designer, making a point about his unsung heroes was important. “It’s impactful when you get it,” he says.

He’s making his message evident not only via graphics but also through his new, more louche than ever silhouette. Stepping back from a total knit uniform, Alled-Martinez is incorporating denim and jersey into his collection. There are skater undertones, he explains, as well as coded design elements like jockstrap-inspired belts and single pockets on jeans to reference the hanky code. The piece he’s the most proud of is a blouson black bomber jacket, a couture-like mushroom shape with a coy wink. It sets the tone for a new kind of hustler wardrobe, as fixed on structure as it is on skin.

Valentino’s Art Exchanging A/W'21 Haute Couture Show In Venice

Pierpaolo Piccioli invited 17 artists to connect with him through the language of haute couture, allowing their works to be interpreted in his latest Valentino Des Ateliers collection. Vogue fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen reports from the Venice Biennale, where the unforgettable show was staged.

The collection was about community

In the perceptive eyes of Pierpaolo Piccioli, haute couture’s one-of-a-kind premise makes it fashion’s most powerful symbol of diversity and singularity. When he decided to stage his Valentino Des Ateliers show in the Giggiandre space at the Venice Biennale, where manmade structures harmonise with the lagoon, it was a metaphor for the relationship between fashion and art. “Venice was the natural environment for this conversation,” he said during a preview in Paris a week before the show, noting how the Floating City co-exists in dialogue with the natural elements. Curated by Gianluigi Ricuperati, Piccioli invited 17 artists to connect with him through the language of haute couture, allowing their works to be interpreted in the shape of fashion. Listening was key: “It was my need to feel people; to create a connection,” he said. “I wanted to create a conversation between points of view. When you create a community, you share values first.”

The show took place in the Biennale

Guests were sailed to the Giggiandre, currently home to Olmo, the Giuseppe Penone installation which encourages spectators to listen to the environment. Observing an all-white dress code, we were met by our own vision of community, which – under Venice’s pink evening sky, and all that beauty considered – felt a bit like a spiritual meeting. Piccioli’s creations glided across white platoons from one basin to the other, his couture volumes freely expanding and decreasing from orb shapes to magnified shirts, majestic cape structures and slight mini dresses, soft plumed hats bouncing like jellyfish. You could hear the rustling of ruffled taffeta, the sighs of crinolines brushing against the runway, the singing of dresses made entirely from dyed glass beads. Among them were Piccioli’s artist exchanges: sudden trippy hits of exoticism illuminated through the Valentino lens. Within them, he expanded his own grammar and intensified his form language, palette and motifs in ways that challenged your perception as a spectator.

Looks interpreted the works of artists

Piccioli approached his work with each artist differently. Communicating over video calls, he listened to them, got to know them, and determined how to express their voices in dressmaking. The red brushstrokes of Jamie Nares’s painting HBlues in Red were interpreted in a gown created from painstaking hand-crafted intarsia, each coloured piece inserted individually to create the three-dimensional effect of the original work. Piccioli embodied an untitled work by Alessandro Teoldi, who creates art from recycled materials, in a dress collaged entirely from Valentino Red fabric fragments found in his couture ateliers. He asked Benni Bosetto to draw on the paper patterns of the dress devoted to one of her works, only to translate her lines through meticulous decorative needlework. And he evoked the oil painting of Kerstin Brätsch in a hyper-textured anorak and deconstructed skirt ensemble, which was like a shot of energy to the optics.

This wasn’t another “artist collab”

In a fashion climate where the term “haute couture” is used more casually than in the past, Piccioli’s work both hails the old craft’s original values and pushes its relevance into the future. At its core, couture is not about supermodels, ballgowns and Instagram moments, but about evolving the technical and philosophical possibilities of fashion. Doing justice to the work of third-party artists is a much greater challenge than sticking a piece of artwork on a jumper. It takes mind-blowing artisanal expertise and, above all, experimentation. “The real link was creativity,” Piccioli said. “I didn’t want to do the couture version of the museum T-shirt. You start by creating three-dimensionality and movement, because that’s what fashion is for; not just placing a work on top of things.” His Venice collection didn’t try to inject the language of fashion with art, but instead develop the voice of fashion through that of art. And there’s a big difference between the two. It was an eye-opening demonstration of the role haute couture can serve in fashion – and beyond – if it’s used in a profound way.

The show embodied what couture means today

There was a powerful symbiosis between Piccioli’s choice of location, his artist exchanges, and the respect he demonstrates for the craft of haute couture. In the tradition of Kipling, the discussion of what defines art is as eternal as it is aimless. Quoting Kant – “Art is purposiveness without purpose” – Piccioli argued that fashion, due to its functional premise, is not the same as art. And yet, a collection like this, conceived to inspire ideas of community, connectivity and unity-through-diversity, and impact technical and artisanal ways of expression, wasn’t far removed from the bases of art. “I want to use my voice as a designer; stand for something,” Piccioli said. “I use my passion as a language.”