Tuesday, May 30, 2023

“I Love The Drama!” Model Ikram Abdi Omar Brought Harris Reed’s Nina Ricci To Cannes

Ikram Abdi Omar reveals she became good friends with designer Harris Reed after she walked in his spring/summer 2023 show, held in September last year. “I always feel so comfortable and authentic working with Harris and his team,” says the model, who wore a dramatic look from Reed’s debut collection for Nina Ricci on the closing night of Cannes Film Festival over the weekend.

After an initial fitting in London, Ikram and her stylist Siân Gabari shortlisted three looks to take to the French Riviera, and ultimately the model opted for a striking striped gown and matching hat (look 36) to wear on the Croisette.

“We really wanted to wear designers we have a relationship with, especially for the carpet,” says the model, who admits the look wasn’t initially her first choice, but Siân brought it to Cannes regardless. “When I tried it all together as a whole look, with the rosette – we just knew,” she says now. “I loved it, and couldn’t wait for the closing ceremony.” (She also wore a look from the designer’s eponymous autumn/winter 2023 collection for another appearance at the festival.)

“I already felt like Vogue’s best-dressed!,” she continues. “Before even stepping out, I felt like I was wearing a masterpiece. I don’t think one person walked past me without telling me how beautiful it was. I really felt spectacular.”

As for her favourite aspect of Harris’s work as a whole? “The drama and theatrics! I also love how so much of his collection is modest, it’s the perfect balance,” she muses. Here, Vogue gets ready with the model for her major moment in the South of France.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

5 Things To Know About Alberta Ferretti’s Fellini-Infused Resort 2024 Show In Rimini

Following devastating flooding in Emilia-Romagna, Alberta Ferretti used her Resort 2024 presentation to pay tribute to the region that shaped her. Anders Christian Madsen reports from the front row in Rimini.

The show took place in Rimini following floods in the region

When the rivers of Emilia-Romagna overran this month causing devastating floods in the region, Alberta Ferretti’s first major resort show took on new importance. “We planned it before the floods. But we decided to go through with it because all the politicians of the area came to us and said, ‘It’s important to do this now,’” the designer explained. She had initially wanted to present a show in Rimini to give back to the place she comes from. Instead, her large-scale production – staged in front of the 15th-century Castel Sismondo in the city centre – emerged in a light of community and resilience. For the finale, Ferretti took her bow with a group of the volunteers who have provided relief for the thousands of people affected by the floods. They wore T-shirts to be sold in aid of local charities bearing the words Io si sono: “I am here.”

The show was a gift to Ferretti’s community

“It’s interesting to involve the people who work for me in an event,” Ferretti said before the show, referring to the Aeffe conglomerate she founded in 1972. Based in Cattolica two towns over from Rimini, it comprises her eponymous brand as well as Moschino, Pollini and Philosophy – whose creative director Lorenzo Serafini attended the show – and has made Ferretti “queen of the region”, as one local put it. Through her success, she consistently gives back to her native area, injecting money into businesses, tourism and the preservation of its history. “Normally we show in Milan or New York, and the people who work for Aeffe don’t get to see anything. It’s important they get to be involved, to see the passion that goes into a big show,” Ferretti said, gesturing at the runway she had erected in front of Castel Sismondo.

It was infused with the spirit of Fellini

Before the show, guests from near and far – who had descended upon the grand hotels of the Riviera Romagnola and the medieval hilltop palazzo of the fortified burg of the nearby Montegridolfo – were treated to a tour of the Museo Fellini housed inside the Castel Sismondo. As Rimini’s proudest son, the spirit of the director had to underpin Ferretti’s first show on the stomping grounds that founded her career. “I dedicate it to the city of Fellini because Fellini was a dreamer. And, although not in the same way, so am I. Fellini was a different epoch. Now, people speak a different language. I live in the same place he lived, but as a modern woman, I travel a lot. It’s important to my job to see which way the world goes. I want to work for the women who travel and live,” she said, noting how clients from around the world had flown to Rimini for the show.

It was signature Ferretti with cinematic pizzazz

Illuminated entirely by projections of Fellini’s films, the Castel Sismondo made for an epic backdrop as Ferretti’s models traversed the fountain of the square in front on mirrored runways that gave the impression they were walking on water, with the score of Fellini’s 8 1/2 from 1963 providing a suitably cinematic soundtrack. But, the designer said, “The collection isn’t based on Fellini as a style. It’s the dream of Fellini. Rimini and this region are very romantic, very dreamy. I want to dedicate the collection to this area because the people who know this area know that there’s a way of life that’s very unusual. They’re dreamers, and they’re very generous.” Her resort proposal was signature Ferretti, painted in the colours of the sands of the region: fluid, languid dresses dramatically cloaked in glistening hooded capes, and ethereal translucent gowns adorned with elusive prints of the Castel Sismondo.

Ferretti invited guests to her own home

“It’s a very special kind of dressing. It’s very chic and sophisticated. I think it’s important now for fashion to speak about quality,” Ferretti said, summing up a collection that was initially intended to showcase the quality of her Romagna craftsmanship but became a demonstration of the quality of the area’s community spirit. “It’s a very strong region. I think it’s the best in Italy. At the moment, it’s just a different situation. But this is important for tourism,” she concluded. Soon, the beaches of the Riviera Romagnola will be studded with parasols and sunbathers, but on the day after her show, Ferretti had something closer to home planned for her Resort guests. Demonstrating the generosity and hospitality central to the Romagna mentality, she hosted a lunch in her sprawling house in San Giovanni in Marignano.

Pharrell Williams’s Debut For Louis Vuitton Is Scheduled For The First Day Of Paris Men’s Week

Of the many designer debuts we have witnessed over the last couple of seasons, few have been as anticipated and prompted as much chatter as Pharrell Williams’s at Louis Vuitton. The multi-hyphenate musician, who is succeeding Virgil Abloh in the role, will unveil his first collection for the French house on the evening of 20 June, the first day of Paris Men’s Fashion Week.

The provisional calendar, which was published today by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, sees Louis Vuitton move up from its usual spot to the opening day, though kicking off the calendar officially, per usual, is the Bachelor of Arts show of the Institut Française de la Mode. Closing the week on 26 June is Ludovic de Saint Sernin, who recently made headlines for departing as creative director of Ann Demeulemeester after only one season. This will be the French designer’s first show after exiting the Belgian house.

Rhuigi Villaseñor finds himself in a similar position, as he will be presenting his latest collection for his label Rhude after exiting Bally last week following just two seasons at the helm. The presentation is scheduled for 21 June.

Newcomers on the presentations calendar include recently announced CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Angelo Urritía of the New York-based label 4SDesigns, International Woolmark Prize winner Adeju Thompson of the Nigerian label Lagos Space Programme, the Japanese label Bed J.W. Ford, and C. R. E. O. L. E., the label by Vincent Frédéric Colombo. Debuting on the official calendar will be Burç Akyol, who is one of the nine finalists of the LVMH Prize, the winner of which will be announced on 7 June.

Noticeably absent on the calendar is Thom Browne. The New York-based CFDA chairman often presents his spring men’s collection as part of the Paris Men’s Calendar in June. The brand has not yet shared plans for the spring/summer 2024 menswear season, though it recently presented its autumn/winter 2023 ready-to-wear collection in New York during the designer’s first season at the helm of the CFDA.

Also on the calendar are Paris Men’s Week stalwarts Walter Van Beirendonck on the 21st; Rick Owens, Givenchy, and Dries Van Noten on the 22nd; Dior Men on the 23rd; and Hermès and Loewe on the 24th. Kenzo and Marine Serre will continue to present their ready-to-wear and men’s collections during the showcase.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

5 Things To Know About Louis Vuitton’s Aquatic Fairytale Cruise Show On Isola Bella

Nicolas Ghesquière presented an enchanting Louis Vuitton cruise collection on Isola Bella that combined the ethereal (and aquatic) with motifs of centuries past. Below, Anders Christian Madsen shares five key takeaways from the destination show.

The show took place on Isola Bella

When Nicolas Ghesquière makes wetsuits, Mother Nature answers his call. On the evening of the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2024 show in the Borromean Islands, it was raining so heavily that the designer made the tough – but wise – decision to move his presentation indoors. The show was to take place against the sunset in the hanging gardens of Isola Bella off the shore of Lake Maggiore, home to a palatial 17th-century palazzo. Instead, the pictures you see here were shot in the afternoon (when it was perfectly sunny) while guests – including Oprah Winfrey, Cate Blanchett, and Emma Stone – saw it on the backdrop of the literally heavenly painted salons of the Palazzo Borromeo. It didn’t take away from the experience, nor from a water-centric collection that felt more fantastical – more fairytale – than Ghesquière’s signature travels through time.

The cruise was centred around the castles of the Borromeo family

“Surprisingly, Louis Vuitton has never shown in Italy,” Ghesquière said. “I wanted a special place, something new. Also: different architecture, a different context. The paradoxical idea of a botanical cruise really intrigued me.” On the eve of the show, guests from near and far, who stayed in the fabled hotels of Lake Como, dined in Rocca di Angera on the shore of Lake Maggiore – the 13th-century seat of the Borromeo family, which owns the nearby island – while the day of the show was spent cruising Lake Como and lunching in the picturesque Torno, before processing to the floating gardens of Isola Bella. “I had heard amazing stories about it. The very suggestion of the island is a journey, a lake, a palace, gardens… A fabulous destination, with mosaic-covered grottos, statues, a unicorn – the Borromeo family emblem – terraces, an atrium,” Ghesquière mused.

Isola Bella inspired a collection founded in the myths of nature

The lakes of Northern Italy are – and historically were – a place of leisure and beauty. Nothing illustrates that better than the folly of Isola Bella: an out-of-this-world, almost sci-fi-esque creation created solely for the sake of beauty; a fantasy brought to life. (Star Wars was even filmed there.) It triggered a different approach for Ghesquière, who sounded positively swept away by the fairytale woman the island inspired: “It beckons more dreamlike reflections. I see this collection as a tale devoid of nostalgia. A story of anticipation. A kind of archaeology of the future. The mystery of lakes that one imagines might be populated by fantastical creatures,” he said. “A post-modern wyvern, a legendary creature, a kind of freshwater mermaid that lives in rivers, ponds and lakes. A very beautiful, mythical woman.”

It was a wardrobe for time-travelling ballroom divers

Like the Borromean visionaries that dreamed up the floating paradise of Isola Bella, Ghesquière brought his own fantasy to life in a collection that spliced modern and mythical aquatic motifs – divers and mermaids, if you will – with botanical themes, and drew on the majestic parties and wardrobes the island has played host to over the centuries. Dresses, suits and jumpsuits were hybrids of the weather-appropriate scuba material of wetsuits and the couture-like fabrics of the formal wardrobe, expressed in silhouettes that both referenced and transcended the last five centuries: crop tops and flounce miniskirts cut like armour; Renaissance-sleeved tops and ruffled collars; sweeping, regal robes worn over robotic bathing suits, and sculptural tops and skirts that looked as though they were about to metamorphose into enormous flowers.

The show concluded with epic eveningwear

Anyone who’s seen the trailer for the live-action version of The Little Mermaid (which happened to premiere on the night of the Louis Vuitton Cruise show) and heard Ariel’s heart-piercing “ah-ah-ahs” will have been transported back to the fairytales of childhood. The finale of Ghesquière’s show hit the same emotional buttons: a series of blushing, cascading, effervescent ballgowns ruffled like the foam and froth of waves, and rendered in the same pretty pastels as the conches Disney mermaids sleep in. Paired with crown-like headpieces that Ghesquière likened to the horns of fauns – created by an expert atelier in Rome which makes costumes for the Italian cinema and opera – they added an infectious, childlike sense of wonder to the show, which no torrential rain could drown out.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Ludovic De Saint Sernin Out At Ann Demeulemeester After One Season

Ludovic de Saint Sernin is exiting Ann Demeulemeester it was reported over the weekend, a little over two months after showing his debut autumn/winter 2023 collection for the label in Paris. Neither De Saint Sernin nor Claudio Antonioli, who bought the Demeulemeester label in 2020 (and is close with Ann Demeulemeester, the woman), released a statement.

The news comes just a few days after it was announced that Rhuigi Villaseñor would be exiting Bally, although Villaseñor had two seasons to put his own spin on the Swiss label.

Previously, the Ann Demeulemeester label was run by its creative design team. De Saint Sernin’s debut collection, which hewed closely to the gender-fluid approach to dressing he works with at his own brand, quickly made a splash among the internet’s favourite It-girls. Most notable was the actor Hunter Schafer, who wore the show’s opening look, a long bias cut white silk skirt and a singular extra long feather delicately covering the breasts, at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party. “It’s my way of saying that after this first step I’ll be spreading my wings and then be able to express myself,” De Saint Sernin told Nicole Phelps of the look.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Labrum London Is The 2023 Winner Of The Queen Elizabeth II Award

Labrum London is the 2023 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. During an event at 180 Studios on Thursday, King Charles III presented founder Foday Dumbuya with the prize (established in honour of the King’s late mother) in front of the press, industry insiders and fashion talent, who were invited to celebrate the positive impact of the British Fashion Council Foundation and its initiatives.

His Majesty said in a speech before announcing Labrum as the winner: “I just wanted to use this moment to congratulate all those who I know are working so hard having been through their colleges and done all their courses, and received some help at least from the British Fashion Council Foundation. I do hope you do really well, and I shall be watching – from a distance.”

As the crowd whooped and cheered, a visibly emotional Dumbuya took to the stage. “Growing up in Sierra Leone, my deep love and appreciation for my country, the rich and vibrant culture inspired me to create Labrum,” he said. “I saw how fashion can be a powerful tool for self expression, cultural identity and economic growth. With that in mind, I set out to create pieces that are not only beautiful, but also empower local communities while preserving the culture,” he went on.

Dumbuya also acknowledged the dedication of “countless individuals who have supported me and my vision throughout my career”. The designer, who presented his striking autumn/winter 2023 collection in Brixton Village earlier this year, also thanked His Majesty, the British Fashion Council, his family, his wife, his team and friends. “I think this award is for all young British and Sierra Leonean kids who continue to dream. Please don’t stop dreaming.”

Founded in 2018, the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design spotlights designers “who make a difference to society through either sustainable practices or community engagement”, according to the BFC. The first award was presented by the late Queen to Richard Quinn, and it has since been won by Bethany Williams (2019), Rosh Mahtani (2020), Priya Ahluwalia (2021) and Saul Nash (2022).

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Martha Stewart Makes History As Sports Illustrated’s Oldest Cover Star

This week, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit unveiled its four new 2023 cover stars. Per the magazine, this year’s issues aimed to celebrate powerful women who “live in a world where they feel no limitations, internally or externally”. On the roster of its iconic swimsuit models? Actor Megan Fox, singer Kim Petras, model Brooks Nader, and business and lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart. It’s the latter cover star who made history today: Stewart is now Sports Illustrated’s oldest cover model ever, at 81.

“My motto has always been: ‘when you’re through changing, you’re through,’ so I thought, why not be up for this opportunity of a lifetime?” Stewart wrote on Instagram. “I hope this cover inspires you to challenge yourself to try new things, no matter what stage of life you are in.”

Stewart first rose to fame in the 1980s after a slew of successful cookbooks; She’s since written over 99 books and launched her own magazine, restaurant, podcast, and television programs. “Never in her life has she let her circumstances dictate her outcome,” said Sports Illustrated editor-in-chief MJ Day. “She’s changed with the times – always one step ahead, it seems – to build a wide-reaching business empire.”

For the magazine’s striking cover photo, Stewart was photographed in the Dominican Republic: She’s seen wearing a white bathing suit by Monday Swimwear with an orange cover-up by Torso Creations. Inside, her editorial spread features 10 beachy photographs, in which she sports pieces from Isa Boulder, Eres, Zimmermann, and Norma Kamali. At 81, she’s clearly as fabulous as ever – and she attributes the glamorous photo shoot to one key beauty secret of her own. “For me, it is a testament to good living,” Stewart said. “All of us should think about good living, successful living – and not about ageing. The whole ageing thing is so boring.”

5 Things To Know About Gucci’s Sensational, Ceremonious Cruise 2024 Show In Seoul

At Gucci’s cruise 2024 show in Seoul, the brand’s studio team delivered a spectacle that celebrated hybrid global fashion with a stellar cast that included the likes of Kai, Sora Choi, and Karen Elson. Below, Anders Christian Madsen reports five key takeaways from the show.

The show took place at Gyeongbokgung Palace

On Tuesday evening in Seoul, Gucci became the first-ever brand to present a fashion show within the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. Originally built in the 14th century, the vast compound – a kind of Versailles of the Far East – was home to the kings of the Joseon dynasty. Today, after centuries of bombings, the buildings are reconstructed but the ceremonial courtyard where Gucci staged its cruise 2024 show looks the same as it did six centuries ago. Seeing the illustrious cast march around it – Kai, Sora Choi, Karen Elson, SeungChan Lee, Hanne Gaby, Tasha Tilberg, Taemin Park – was regal pageantry through another lens: a hypnotising clash of eras and cultures through the global-minded gaze of Gucci, and a majestic tribute to the international impact of contemporary South Korean style, music and art.

It was a time-transcending parade

Huge spotlights illuminated the towering pagodas of Gyeongbokgung. A breeze cut through the hot summer evening. Every tile of the panoramic palace courtyard lit up with tiny lights as models paraded through the magenta cloisters - the pagodas’ hand-painted green, blue and red ceilings hovering celestially over their heads - carrying skateboards and surfboards as if they were ceremonies shields. The soundtrack featured music by the South Korean composer Jung Jae-il, who scored the likes of Okja, Parasite and Squid Game: shining examples of the current global propagation of South Korean film and TV, which have made international audiences well-versed in the traits and idiosyncrasies of South Korean mentality.

The collection was based on global city dressing

Earlier this year, the Italian designer Sabato de Sarno – who comes from Valentino – was confirmed as the new creative director of Gucci. His debut collection will show in September. Like the last women’s and men’s ready-to-wear collections, the cruise proposal was designed by the Gucci studio. The team approached their destination show through the eyes of the global fashion community of the digital age, asking the question: what binds the contemporary city wardrobe together across continents and cultures? Inspired by the street style of Seoul, they presented a multicultural cosmopolitan look spliced from a wealth of genres, cultures and subcultures, culminating in a magnetic, sassy, sexy aesthetic that transcended geography.

Everything was a hybrid

With Tom Ford’s sensual 1990s sophistication for Gucci as its foundation – but invigorated by the colour language associated with Alessandro Michele – the collection explored an array of hybridisations both in garments and styling. Taking inspiration from the water-sports culture of Seoul where windsurfers frequent the enormous Han River, the Gucci studio morphed elements of wetsuits with contrasting garment types like Parisian bourgeois bouclé suits, heritage tailoring and floor-sweeping sculptural eveningwear. It was an exercise in morphing that birthed a look evocative of clubwear and youth-driven subcultures, but which was elevated by the architectonic lines of ceremonial costume, backed up by the stunning surroundings of the Gyeongbokgung Palace.

It was all about the graphic value

Images of sticky, shiny puddings and jellies glazed the surfaces of hoodies and dresses. They were part of a collaboration with the South Korean artist Ram Han, whose hyper-graphic biomorphic depictions of everyday things entered into a conversation with the collection’s electrified study of everyday city uniforms. The in-your-face effect of her artworks went hand-in-hand with accessories that were exaggerated in shape and decoration, from February’s trapezoid Chain bag - now imagined in rainbow colours - to Horsebit bags surreally skewed in form and adorned in jewels. And, of course, the triumphant return of Tom Ford’s scuba bags from Gucci’s 1990s archives. The heightened sense of form and colour reached a zenith in magnified takes on the Gucci Web – the house’s trademark green and red stripe – emblazoned across accessories and entire looks.

Monday, May 15, 2023

eBay Is Teaming Up With British Vogue’s Forces For Change Initiative

More than three years after British Vogue’s momentous September 2019 cover, guest edited by the Duchess of Sussex, Forces For Change has become a far-reaching movement, highlighting those creating change across the worlds of fashion, culture, politics and beyond.

That’s why eBay UK has become the latest to partner with Vogue on the Forces For Change initiative, spotlighting the strides that are being made when it comes to sustainable fashion. “What we have really spent a lot of time doing over the last few years is trying to create a behavioural change with consumers, and also within the industry, [to] extend the life of products,” says Kirsty Keoghan, eBay UK’s general manager of global fashion. “We’ve tried to make buying pre-loved something that’s much more mainstream and doesn’t have some of the same stigmas attached that it might have done in years gone by.”

Indeed, eBay’s sponsorship of Love Island was lauded for making second-hand fashion the “new normal”, with Islanders seen wearing preloved looks in every episode of the latest series. While the knock-on effect of the partnership is difficult to measure, even small changes in behaviour can make a difference. Research conducted by eBay and waste charity WRAP found that if everyone in the UK bought one second-hand item, instead of a new item, a month, it would save 6,000 tonnes of fashion going to landfill a year – the equivalent to 260,000 full suitcases.

In a bid to make buying second-hand as easy as possible, eBay has an authentication guarantee for its sneakers, handbags and watches – so that customers can shop with confidence. “It really gives a consumer that trust, knowing that they are buying what they think they’re buying; what condition it’s in, if it’s listed correctly,” Keoghan explains.

As well as shifting consumer behaviour, eBay is also focused on promoting circularity within the fashion industry at large, launching its Circular Fashion Innovator Fund with the British Fashion Council in 2022. “Innovation is really key,” Keoghan says. “How can we get further up the supply chain to make items more sustainable in the first place? How can we make them easier to recycle?”

Given fashion’s urgent need to address its impact on the planet, all these questions will become ever more important going forward. Watch this space to find out how eBay UK and British Vogue are working together to move the needle on sustainable fashion in the months to come.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Stylist, Designer And Television Personality Cristo Báñez Dies At 41 In His Homeland Of Spain

Members of the Spanish fashion community are mourning the death of Cristo Báñez, a designer and stylist who had helped to modernize how flamenco dancers dressed and are perceived.

The 41-year-old was reportedly found dead earlier this week at his home in Seville. The cause of death has not yet been determined. A representative from the Spanish National Police in Seville said Friday afternoon, “At this moment, we don’t have any information to confirm about the death of Cristo Báñez.”

In addition to advising celebrity clients, television personalities and socialites about their fashion choices, Báñez made on-air appearances himself on such programs as Canal Sur-produced talent show “Aguja Flamenca.” Throughout his career he stayed true to his Spanish roots, catering to high-profile Spanish women and supporting the Andalusia community.

Pepa Bueno, executive director of the Spanish Fashion Council, said Friday, “He made flamenco dressing modern, where other designers created styles [that one might see] in a museum. He did it in a more local way, but he was an interesting and funny designer. He also appeared as a judge on another television program about new designers that was very popular for about two years.”

That exposure as part of Quiero Ser with Dulceida and Madame Rosa in 2016 boosted Báñez’s fame, especially in the south of Spain in the Andalusia area, where he grew up. “He was more popular, because he was a funny figure. On television, he was also very energetic and opinionated. He was the kind of person that television producers like to have on air. When you do this kind of program, you like to have these theses type of comedic people [on-air.]” Bueno said.

Plans for a memorial service were not immediately known. Earlier this year he served as a judge at the Seville International Flamenco Fashion Week. Báñez was reportedly filming for a television program a few days before his death.

Bueno speculated that Báñez would wish to be remembered as “someone who revolutionized or transformed flamenco dressing in order to make it more modern and contemporary.”

Although flamenco dresses are widely associated with the spirited and dramatic flamenco dancers, the art of flamenco has elements of singing and percussion, as well as dancing. Costumes and staging are key pieces of all performances.

Peasants and gypsies in Seville were the first to wear gypsy dresses — the precursor to flamenco dresses — starting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. What essentially was a robe or dressing gown with ruffles was what many wore for household chores. Over time, embroidery was added and brighter fabric colors were chosen. In 1847, after some Spanish gypsy women and wives of cattle dealers wore these frocks to the April Fair in Seville, the style gained attention. As time went by, the de facto dress code at the annual event drew the interest of the female social set.

Flamenco dresses reflect the the Andalusian culture, and they continue to be worn at traditional festivals and pilgrimages in the region, as well as internationally. The vibrant designs remain the signature look of flamenco dancers.

The Hispanic Society Museum & Library’s director and chief executive officer Guillaume Kientz said, “W are deeply saddened by the loss of Cristo Báñez, an artist whose profound contributions to Spanish culture, most notably through his influence on flamenco’s distinct style of fashion, have made a lasting impact on the community. The Hispanic Society prides itself in preserving the history of flamenco through art, and we will continue to honor Banez’s legacy.”

Báñez’s devotion to his Andalusian community was reciprocated. In a recent social media post, the town council of Almonte “expressed its sorrow” about the loss of the designer and stylist and offered condolences to his family and friends. “The local government team wants to publicly recognize his work in that he had always carried the name of the town of Almonte. He also announced last year’s fair,” the post read. Almonte Town Council representatives did not respond to a media request. Báñez’s survivors were not immediately known.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Victoria’s Secret Announces Its “World Tour” - It’s Not Just Another Fashion Show

It was December 2018 when the last Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show aired on CBS. A year earlier, the show garnered a billion viewers worldwide, but its size and success had blinkered the company to both the cultural shifts being brought about by a born-online generation that demanded to see itself reflected in advertising, and the upstart competitors who were building inclusion into their business plans. Rihanna’s debut Savage Fenty show in the autumn of 2018 made Victoria’s Secret’s reliance on an impossibly narrow conception of beauty – all razzle-dazzle push-up bras, highly exercised abs, and angel wings, along with the occasional culturally appropriative headpiece or other accessory – seem out of touch. Then there was its owner’s entanglements with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. On an earnings call in November 2019, it was official: the Fashion Show was cancelled.

In the years since, the company has undertaken a sweeping, ambitious rebrand, removing the architects of the original Fashion Show; swapping the Angels for a VS Collective that includes Megan Rapinoe, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Paloma Elsesser; and expanding its size range and developing the kind of products it had long neglected to make – nursing bras and mastectomy bras, for instance – because they didn’t fit its male-driven definition of “sexy”. Leslie H Wexner, the founder of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands, also stepped down as chairman and CEO, and sold his majority stake. Today, Victoria’s Secret remains the leader in the US for the intimates category and on a rolling 12 month basis the brand experienced slight growth in 2022 compared to 2021.

Now, in its biggest and most visible move yet, the brand is reinventing its annual show, producing a feature-length documentary film set to premiere in September. Though it’s a fairly radical rethink, the company is billing it as every bit as spectacular as the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows of old – there might even be wings.

“There’s no need to explain ourselves anymore,” said Raul Martinez, EVP, head creative director of Victoria’s Secret, who is spearheading the project. “We’ve evolved and we’ve moved on, but it’s not that we’re leaving anything behind. We’re touching both the storytelling, which is about our advocacy and celebrating female voices, but also that full-on, fashion entertainment [experience], because that is something that was quite iconic.”

Dubbed “Victoria’s Secret World Tour”, the new show will bring together a cast of international women creators from four cities across the globe. The “VS 20” includes filmmakers, musicians, artists and other creatives, with a quartet of fashion designers at its centre. Using Victoria’s Secret resources, London’s Supriya Lele, Lagos’s Bubu Ogisi, Tokyo’s Jenny Fax, and Bogota’s Melissa Valdes will each produce collections, the behind-the-scenes makings of which will be captured in the doc. All four narratives will come together with a filmed fashion show that will also feature a fifth segment of Victoria’s Secret-designed pieces.

Margot Bowman, the London-based director that’s been trailing Supriya Lele and her team, avoided the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in her youth. “I didn’t aspire to that experience because I knew I was excluded from it,” she said. “I was an overweight kid. But I still remember the images; for better or worse they were iconic images, powerful images. And for me, I see this as an opportunity to create a new set of images that more people can find themselves in.”

Will the world tune in for a new set of Victoria’s Secret images?

The company was the subject of a Matt Tyrnauer documentary, Angels and Demons, last year that investigated its former owner’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein. And a book penned by former Business of Fashion journalists, Selling Sexy: The Unstoppable Rise and Inevitable Fall of Victoria’s Secret, that is scheduled for an early 2024 release, seems poised to keep the brand’s problematic history in the news cycle. Then there’s the fact that as the company has been reimagining itself, new rivals have emerged. Kim Kardashian launched Skims in 2019. It’s now valued at over $3 billion, and thanks to her influence it’s sparked a shapewear craze on the runways. Lizzo launched the rival brand Yitty last year with a tagline about “self-love and radical inner-confidence” that exemplifies how the lingerie industry is changing.

When Victoria’s Secret announced on an earnings call in March that it would be investing in a new version of its Fashion Show, the pop star took to Twitter: “This is a win for inclusivity for inclusivity’s sake,” she wrote. “But if brands start doing this only because they’ve received backlash then what happens when the ‘trends’ change again? Do the CEOs of these companies value true inclusivity? Or do they just value money?”

Convincing people of Victoria’s Secret’s new agenda of female empowerment is where the VS20 comes in. Supriya Lele, who brings her Indian heritage to bear on her draped designs, sees synergies between her own brand and Victoria’s Secret. The VS Collective member Paloma Elsesser, whose voice can be heard in the teaser video the company is releasing today, has walked Lele’s London runway. “That was one of the reasons why I felt that I can identify with some aspects of this now – previously maybe less so – but now I feel their language is becoming more and more modern,” she said. “And after meeting with the team, I understood that this was a big decision to really push this female-centred point of view forward and I felt that was a really great opportunity.” (The company won’t be commercialising Lele or the other designers’ collections, rather the World Tour is a showcase of their talents.)

The Victoria’s Secret call took Bubu Ogisi by complete surprise. “To be honest, I kind of ignored it,” said the designer with a laugh. “My pieces are not really that fixated on lingerie, so I was a bit confused. But for this World Tour they’re experimenting, and the core element in my work is experimentation. So I thought, okay, it would be an amazing idea to confront how they normally create, and how we can edit or modify or change that structure.” Ogisi’s work showcases artisanal crafts from across Africa. “With this collection,” she explained, “everything is fixated on the idea of Yoruba and Edo mythology. Each person is going to be a divine being, a supreme higher entity, a quote/unquote goddess.”

Note that Ogisi said goddess, not “sex goddess”. So, will the Victoria’s Secret World Tour be sexy? “Yes, absolutely,” said Martinez. But with a caveat. “We are looking at it through a female lens.”

The main difference between the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows of old and the World Tour of 2023 would seem to be that women won’t just be objects for the delectation of viewers, they’ll be subjects too – the makers, each one with a different point of view about what’s sexy. “Obviously, there’s been a huge shift in representation, but I still think it’s rare to see women on screen presented in a recognisable way, especially in the framework of fashion,” observed Bowman, the director of the London portion of the documentary. “I just want people to watch it and be like, wow, there’s so many different ways that you can be a woman.”

Katy Perry Embodies Gilded Glamour In A Custom Vivienne Westwood Gown At The Coronation Concert

When it comes to fashion, Katy Perry is known as a California Gurl with a penchant for kitsch that verges on cosplay – as likely to turn up at the Met Gala dressed in a chandelier as she is to cruise down a red carpet in a sequined Bob Mackie number. While on the ground in London for the Coronation, though, the hitmaker turned to Vivienne Westwood to create a custom wardrobe for her with a distinctly British edge.

Having made a viral appearance at Westminster Abbey in a bespoke lilac suit paired with elbow-length gloves and jumbo-sized pearls on 6 May, Perry leaned into the gilded mood of the overall Coronation celebrations in a custom Vivienne Westwood gown while performing at the Coronation Concert. The corseted 18th-century silhouette, made using gold metallic leatherette, was designed to “exude baroque grandeur”, according to the brand. Specifically, the draping is inspired by a bridal look from the British house’s spring/summer 2006 Gold Label collection.

Among the fans of Katy Perry’s performance at Windsor Castle? Princess Charlotte, who happily sang along to “Roar” while Prince George waved his Union Jack flag in time with the beat. (Louis, to the devastation of royal fans everywhere, skipped the Coronation Concert in favour of an early night.) It’s the King, however, that Perry chose to dedicate her song “Firework” to, thanking His Majesty for “bringing out the firework in so many young people” through his various charitable initiatives.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Who Is That in the Giant Cat Suit?

This year’s Met Gala, which celebrated the exhibition “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” featured plenty of full-throated tributes to designer Karl Lagerfeld. But perhaps none felt as instantly eye-catching and memorable as when a guest walked on the red carpet in a giant furry suit made to resemble Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette. The look, completely obscured the identity of the wearer, almost like a costumed character at a theme park or Times Square. It immediately made many ask, “Who is that?”

The answer: Jared Leto. Not that much of a surprise, as he’s a noted Met Gala stunt-maker. In the past, the risk-taking actor showed up carrying a replica of his own head and majorly twinned with former Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele. This time around, Leto decided to pay tribute to Karl Lagerfeld’s famous Birman cat, Choupette, who lived quite the lavish life of private jets and iPads.

It was not the only Choupette homage of the night. Doja Cat staged her own feline moment, albeit in a very different way. The pop star turned to high-fashion make-up and prosthetics for her transformation, meowing her way throughout the night. Lil Nas X also attended in full silver paint and beaded whiskers. The night is far from over. Who knows, maybe there are more Choupettes en route. There’s plenty of room, since the real Choupette announced on Instagram that she would not be attending.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Louis Vuitton’s Spectacular Pre-Fall Show In Seoul

A windswept Jamsugyo Bridge in Seoul was the dramatic setting for Nicolas Ghesquière’s first Pre-Fall show for Louis Vuitton, complete with a water and light display masterminded by Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk, and Hoyeon Jung first onto the runway. Fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen was there.

Louis Vuitton went to Seoul for its first Pre-Fall show

Talk about getting swept away! On Saturday evening on a mile-long bridge in Seoul, a near-Arctic wind turned up the drama on Nicolas Ghesquière’s first Pre-Fall runway show for Louis Vuitton. It was the kind of epic theatre only nature could orchestrate: guests wrapped their heads in blankets and passed heat packs down the rows as the icy breeze carried his models across the Jamsugyo Bridge to a suspenseful Hitchcockian soundtrack. It climaxed in a mega-scale water show illuminated by locals surfing the pitch-black Hangang River on their neon-lit jet skis. The riveting experience framed a collection founded in the archetypes of Ghesquière’s work for Louis Vuitton.

A water and light show was created by Hwang Dong-hyuk

“I’d been thinking about it for a while: South Korea’s atmosphere suits me. Especially its cinema aesthetics. The Host is one of my favourite films and Bae Doona is a close friend,” Ghesquière said, referring to Bong Joon-ho’s cult monster film and its lead actress. Another friend opened the show: Hoyeon Jung, the Louis Vuitton model who went on to star in Squid Game directed by Hwang Dong, who – with perfect synergy – had been invited to create the scenography for Ghesquière’s first show in Seoul, turning the bridge into a massive mesmerising fountain illuminated by illusory light projections.

The Jamsugyo Bridge was perfect for Ghesquière’s philosophy

Ghesquière chose the Jamsugyo Bridge as a symbol of the “to and from” philosophy at the heart of Louis Vuitton’s travel-centric ethos. The lower level bridge, which connects the Gangnam and Gangbuk areas of the city, was built in 1976 and hovers just above the waterline.

“It disappears when the Hangang River rises during the monsoon. It’s a feat of civil engineering that creates the illusion of disappearance/reappearance,” the designer explained. The idea of a manmade structure that interacts with nature chimed with some of Ghesquière’s previous location choices, which have included the Miho Museum in the mountains of Kyoto and the hilltop Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence.

The collection captured the spirit of Ghesquière in the ease of Pre-Fall

With its time-travelling sensibilities, Ghesquière’s work never feels more at home than on a destination-show platform. On the Jamsugyo Bridge, he illustrated that fact with a collection that imbued sportswear with silhouettes lifted from the wardrobes of history and expressed in a certain Pre-Fall ease: track tops, boilers suits, techy dresses and miniskirts, graphic puffer jackets and his signature sci-fi-soled sneakers. “For our first show in Seoul, it's a way of presenting our savoir-faire, like a kind of diplomatic journey, a Louis Vuitton caravanserai that comes to South Korea to recount various chapters in its history,” he said. It culminated in dramatic supersized dress shapes and flowy shirt-and-trouser looks augmented by fine embroideries and glistening embellishments.

Jaden Smith performed at the party

After the show, guests braved the blistering breeze and made the walk to the river bank, where Louis Vuitton had taken out the Floating Islands events space – another architectural pearl – and Jaden Smith performed to an audience that included his mother Jada Pinkett Smith, Chloë Grace Moretz and Alicia Vikander. On 24 May Ghesquière will once again take his show on the road, presenting a cruise collection on Isola Bella, an island in Lago Maggiore.