Friday, May 31, 2024

Veronica Leoni Is The New Creative Director At Calvin Klein Collection

Veronica Leoni is the new creative director at Calvin Klein Collection, the PVH Corp-owned company announced today in a move that will see the brand return to the runway.

“We are proud to name Veronica as creative director of Collection, the pinnacle expression of the Calvin Klein brand,” said global brand president, Eva Serrano. “It was clear from our first conversations that Veronica’s life’s work had been preparing her for this moment and the opportunity to define a new era for Calvin Klein. I am confident that her purposeful approach to design and work ethic, combined with our shared values, will further enrich our iconic brand and result in a collection that resonates with our consumers around the world.”

Though she is little known, Leoni has quite the resumé. An Italian based in Rome, she is a veteran of Jil Sander, Phoebe Philo’s Céline, Moncler and The Row. She founded her own label Quira three years ago, and was an LVMH Prize finalist in 2023, at which time she described her style to Vogue as a “sharp point of view on femininity with an edge.”

Calvin Klein has been designer-less since Raf Simons exited the chief creative officer role in late 2018, but after several quiet years it’s been making headlines. Jeremy Allen White’s underwear campaign coincided with his awards show victory lap for The Bear, with both the actor and the company benefiting from the exposure, and the latter reclaiming some of the sexy heat that has long been a brand signifier. The K-pop stars Jennie Kim of Blackpink and Jungkook of BTS, meanwhile, are brand ambassador choices that are resonating with Gen-Z. And the company is also making inroads on the red carpet. Zendaya wore a custom Calvin Klein suit to the Rome premiere of Challengers, and a year ago the brand dressed the basketball player Brittney Griner, recently released from a Russian prison, for her first Met Gala.

In Veronica Leoni, Calvin Klein has put a woman in a top fashion job. That’s good optics at a time when a string of white male designer appointments has gotten the industry talking about a lack of diversity in design studios, and a dearth of women designers in leadership, in particular. And Leoni’s aesthetic could make her the right woman for Calvin Klein. Her taste for the classically minimal and her focus on tailoring are aligned with the brand codes honed by the house founder in his ’90s heyday.

“I’m thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to write a new chapter of the Calvin Klein story,” said Leoni in a statement. “For decades, Calvin Klein interpreted the idea of bold self-expression, and I am willing to empower it with a strong accent on style and creativity. I’m deeply thankful to Eva Serrano for her vision and trust. My career has been marked by inspiring encounters with some of the most visionary women in fashion and she is one of them. I also want to thank PVH CEO Stefan Larsson for the amazing opportunity to celebrate one of the most influential brands of American fashion.”

According to the release, together with Serrano, Leoni will be also be responsible for taking inspiration from the Collection to the main line portfolio and the red carpet. Her first runway show will debut for autumn/winter 2025.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

La Vida Vuitton - Cruise 2025

Park Güell is a realm of enchantment, a dreamscape for any wanderer. Last evening, beneath a perfect sunset, it became the stage for Louis Vuitton's ethereal Cruise 2025 show. Nicolas Ghesquière continues his architectural pilgrimage, encouraging guests to explore or rediscover Barcelona's extraordinary Antoni Gaudí heritage, a singularly unique genius who embraced Art Nouveau, known in Spain as Modernisme, manipulating materials, particularly ceramics, to create undulating corners, edges, and columns. His structures seem almost alive, with colours that pulsate. "It's a utopia," the designer explains, "which I always find appealing! It blends nature with urban design. Gaudí represents a world unto himself, a singular and fascinating perspective, and particularly the distinctive way an architect has shaped the personality of a city." The occasion drew a distinguished crowd, including the likes of Léa Seydoux, Sophie Turner, Zaho de Sagazan, and Lous and the Yakuza.

The show began in the impressive hypostyle hall, featuring 86 massive columns and a ceiling adorned with mosaics. Jackets, seemingly simple, elegantly draped as if suspended on the models. A series of black outfits, from leather jumpsuits to full ensembles, were sharply tailored, highlighted by ‘cordobes,’ wide wicker hats that accentuated and dramatised the silhouette further. The dresses featuring a plumetis effect were truly beautiful. The boots, a hybrid between riding boots and cowboy boots, extended to the thigh and actively contributed to shaping the silhouette.

¨The sand and earth-toned outfits paired picador-inspired trousers with large stoles sweeping over the chest, ending in fringed leather booties, creating an aura of mysterious desert women. Occasionally, a harness of large dark ruffles and lace would wrap around the body, adding a dramatic touch.¨ - Charles Daniel McDonald

Among the bags, there were many, both familiar and new, including a series that echoed the columns of the venue. Additionally, there were some mesh pouches, likely a subtle tribute to Paco Rabanne, the renowned Spanish couturier, and a nod to Julien Dossena in the audience, the Artistic Director of the aforementioned house and Ghesquière's dear friend.

One of the most striking scenes came during the finale, with grand, voluminous skirts in billowing silk faille, vividly pigmented in royal blue, frenetic red, and regal green, evoking a sense of post-modern ceremonial elegance. Nicolas Ghesquière reflected, “What particularly intrigued me was the oxymoron of flamboyant austerity that is so palpable in this country. The chivalric spirit. The Moorish influences. And specifically Zurbaran, for his fantastic use of colour, the admirable drapery, the chiaroscuro, and this very luminous black.” That evening, against the dreamlike backdrop, colours took on a different kind of presence in the fading sunlight. They demanded to be spoken of long after, to be etched in memory like a painting.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Chanel Cruise 2025

As the early tendrils of summer embrace us, heralded by the months of May and June, the fashion world embarks on its glamorous odyssey known as the Cruise shows. This annual pilgrimage sees esteemed fashion houses venture to exotic locales, showcasing their latest haute-summer creations - a tradition rooted in the opulent escapades of the jet set elite of the early 20th century.

While previous seasons took us on a transcontinental journey to Mexico City, Los Angeles, and Seoul, this year's spectacle unfolds closer to home, with European destinations serving as the picturesque backdrop for sartorial splendor. Chanel kicked off the festivities in Marseille, France, with a breathtaking display on May 2, 2024. Meanwhile, the illustrious Gucci prepares to grace the iconic Tate Modern in London, Dior sets its sights on Drummond Castle in Scotland, Louis Vuitton teases an undisclosed location in Barcelona, Spain, and Max Mara promises an enchanting showcase in Venice, Italy.

For Chanel's latest Cruise extravaganza, the maison turned its gaze southward, casting a spotlight on Marseille—a storied port city, brimming with raw charm amidst the polished allure of its Riviera counterparts. Virginie Viard, the visionary creative director, expressed a deliberate intent to broaden Chanel's cultural footprint beyond the hallowed precincts of Rue Cambon in Paris and the affluent locales it typically frequents. This ethos was previously evident in the house's choice of Manchester's vibrant streets for its Métiers d'Art spectacle in December 2023, inspired by the city's pulsating underground music scene.

The stage was set atop Cité Radieuse, Le Corbusier's architectural masterpiece—a vertical oasis of concrete, adorned with bursts of vibrant hues adorning its balconies, now a revered UNESCO World Heritage site. Against this iconic backdrop, Viard unveiled a collection imbued with youthful exuberance, a testament to her creative stewardship. Airy white blouses adorned with delicate broderie anglaise motifs floated alongside whimsical crochet mini dresses and cushioned flip-flops, exuding an effortless charm. Nautical motifs danced across the runway, from charming anchor-charm jewelry to whimsical hand-drawn fish, invoking the spirit of maritime adventure.

True to the house's heritage, Chanel's signature tweed made a resplendent appearance, reimagined through the lens of Le Corbusier's vibrant palette. Grid-like patterns adorned cropped jackets and matching skirts, while bold pinafore-style blazers in hues of crimson, ochre, and pristine white made a striking statement. "Marseille is a city that ignites my senses. I sought to capture its magnetic allure, its invigorating essence, and channel the pulsating energy that permeates its streets," remarked Viard. "And what better canvas for a runway spectacle than the awe-inspiring Cité Radieuse?"