Showing posts from January, 2010

Westwood Ho(me)

Vivienne Westwood

I grew up in England worshipping Vivienne Westwood. Rarely do you come across an individual who lives and breathes fashion the way Dame Viv does. She recently issued a series of wallpapers for Cole & Son to add to rugs and pillows designed for The Rug Company all of which convey the same wicked mix of tradition and perversity as her clothing design.

"Rubbish" wool rug, Cole and Son

"Pirate" pattern wallpaper, Cole and Son

VW Flag Rug, The Rug Company

Demure Couture

Dior, Couture S2010

Is high fashion about to do a 180 degree turn? If the Dior Couture S2010 show is anything to go by then it would seem so. Last season its designer John Galliano reveled in emphasizing the important role of lingerie in current fashion sending out half-dressed models wearing stockings with suspenders, corsets and basques. Many celebrities have embraced this trend with relish, eager to show-off Pilates-honed limbs and abs. Some have taken it to the extreme. Then along comes Galliano with an offering inspired by that most demure and modest female-only pursuit, riding side-saddle. Toward the end of the 19th century in what was still the Victorian age, women rode in a long bustled skirt, soft shouldered peplum jacket and a top hat with net veil. John Galliano's interpretation was faithful to the original while bringing in some wonderfully modern elements such as high heeled boots and opera-length gloves. I wonder if this is a sign of things to come for the F2010 seaso…

Nan Goldin, Fashion Photographer!

"Documentary photographer Nan Goldin, known for her exploration of gender politics and producing intimate and often autobiographical images incorporating themes of love, friendship and sexuality, recently shot her first-ever ad campaign, for Bottega Veneta. 

Creative director Tomas Maier has followed Goldin’s work and asked her to partner with the brand. “Nan’s work is intensely personal, with a sincere and unusual focus on the individual,” said Maier. Goldin shot the campaign in Staten Island, N.Y., and it will break in February fashion titles"
Amy Wicks for WWD, January 12 2010

I have long been a great fan of the photographer Nan Goldin. My career began with an internship at the Village Voice back when that newspaper was known for cool and edgy reporting. It included a monthly fashion magazine called View whose editors liked working with the sort of photographers who dance to the beat of a different drum. 
Nan Goldin was one of them. Shot in the East Village Russian Baths, &qu…

Earth to Earth

Like everyone else I am absorbed in the media coverage of the disastrous earthquake in Haiti. On one hand, the magnitude of the human suffering taking place is beyond belief. On the other hand, so is the enormous courage of the people there, from tiny children to the elderly. It has made me stop and think about nature and the place of man within it. It seems that the more we try to control it the less success we have! Some of the world's premier trend forecasters have spent the past few years contemplating this very topic. We believe that it has influenced every avenue of fashion and design, from color and print to fabrics and shapes. One early adopter was Miucca Prada. Her collection for F2007 showed a variety of garments made from intricately woven fabrics with special effects that turned mohair into moss and and shag pile into verdantly green grass.

Prada F2007

Miucca Prada appears to have re-visited this man-in-nature theme for her men's F2010 show wherein she showed a few…

Tilda, Queen of Scots

Pringle S2010

One of the best things about the beginning of the year is reviewing all of the big labels' advertising campaigns. One of my favorites is this Pringle of Scotland video. Styled by Clare Waight Keller, the brand's creative director, it stars the incomparable Tilda Swinton. Ryan McGinley photographed and filmed the Academy Award winner in the wilds of Scotland. Although it shows little of the label's S2010 Collection, the mix of history, heritage and the natural beauty of the landscape come together to create an atmospheric mood that perfectly positions the brand. The collaboration marks the start of a series of projects in which Pringle of Scotland is working to promote Scottish talent in the domains of visual arts, design and architecture. "We described our film to each other. Ryan talked of caves, I talked of Robert Bresson. He of a highland castle, me of highland woods," explains Swinton. "It was all about the process: we set ourselves a seri…

This Sporting Life

At this point, with over a decade on the job behind him, it's clear that Nicolas Ghesquière's design heart lies at the intersection of Fashion (Capital F) and active sport. His Pre-Fall 10 Collection for Balenciaga included many of the signature design devices we've seen in seasons past; technical fabrics, molded volume, leggings, sweats, skinny pants and mini wrap skirts. Most notable perhaps was the use of bold color and the sort of slightly tacky foliage prints usually associated with off-duty surfer dudes. What is somehow comforting is that delve back into the designer's widely-ranging repertoire of the past ten years and the seeds of everything shown here can be found in a previous collection.

Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2010

Nicolas Ghesquière, Trendsetter

Architectural minimalism, body-conscious bell shapes, innerwear-as-outwear, tartan and plaid, sparkle and shine: All recently popular trends, all seen first on the runway of Balenciaga. Certain designers are known for having a signature style, while others seem to spearhead whatever is the most important trend of the season. In the case of Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, he is more often than not ahead of the curve. I found some great examples when I scoured through Francisco Costa was lauded in S2009 for his architecturally-biased collection for Calvin Klein. Three years before, a very similar dress appeared in the S2006 Balenciaga show.

The innerwear-on-the-outside trend was the overwhelming success of the S2010 Collections. Balenciaga showed a version with an exposed bra back in Spring 2006!

For Pre-Fall 10 Vera Wang twinned a sparkling shift with a fine knit cardigan resembling a dress with a similar feel from Balenciaga's Spring 06 show.

Balenciaga's collection …

Balenciaga, Vogue's missing link

American Vogue glaringly omitted Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga in its "The Designers Who Defined a Decade" feature so I delved into some back issues of the magazine and found the following great shots!

This is Keira Knightley in a black wool-crepe molded dress from Balenciaga's Fall 2008 Collection. Its to-the-knee length, squared-off neckline, peplum and slit make it an L.B.D. of the most flattering sort. This fashion story, set within Berlin's art scene was called "Wanderlust", styled by Grace Coddington and shot by Mario Testino.

"Pale Fire" shot by David Sims for the March 2009 issue of Vogue focused on the tea-stained and blush-toned shades of the season. Even this high-tech, jersey-crepe jacket and pant suit gets a soft spin thanks to its vintage peachy hue. The top has attached gloves and the heels, attached tights. Grace Coddington was the fashion editor.

For the September 2009 issue, Steven Meisel photographed "In the Mood" a…

Vogue's Decade of Design

US Vogue January 10

US Vogue's featured designers for this decade
Alexander McQueen, Balmain(Christophe Decarnin), Calvin Klein (Francisco Costa),Celine (Phoebe Philo), Dior (John Galliano), Dior Homme (Hedy Slimane), Dolce & Gabbana,Dries Van Noten,Gucci(Tom Ford),Helmut Lang, Lanvin (Alber Elbaz),
Marc Jacobs, Marni, Oscar de la Renta, Prada,Proenza Schouler,Rick Owens.Rocha (Olivier Theyskens),Rodarte, Versace(Donatella Versace),YSL (Tom Ford), YSL (Stefano Pilati).

Just one GLARING omission, naturally I am referring to Nicolas Ghesquière's work for Balenciaga where he has been since 1997. More to come ...