Fun Fab fact: I wrote my high school senior paper on graffiti art. I was obsessed with taggers, break dancers, Beat Street, Style Wars — everything old school. I still find the roots of the hip-hop underworld to be fascinating, even if I don't dress like a boy anymore. And Kerry Washington proves you can nod to the genre in style in her fresh Narcisco Rodriguez graffiti-inspired sheath. It may not be neon and paint-splattered, but this is high fashion's take on the urban motif. "Don't try this on your dad's stereo — only under hip hop supervision . . ."
>> Alexander McQueen, famously outspoken, spoke out in an interview for the Spring 2009 issue of Numero Homme (#17), and started by giving his interviewer, Numero editor at large Philip Utz, and fashion journalism as a whole, a dressing-down: "[it's a] thinly-veiled exercise in marketing." Then, he moved on to the British Fashion Council — "[it] doesn't know what the f*ck it's doing" — and another one of his favorite subjects to disparage — Hubert de Givenchy.
McQueen was the designer for Givenchy from 1997 to 2001, and upon his installation, he declared Hubert de Givenchy's work "irrevelant"; it seems the years have not softened his opinion: "Well what do you make of Hubert de Givenchy? He was only ever any good at ripping off [Cristobal] Balenciaga."
After seeing the Fall 2009 collection, top fashion editors are openly speculating the presence of Martin Margiela at the fashion house.
The highly anticipated Coco Avant Chanel trailer has been released--in French.
Topshop will open in New York "quietly" which, to us, can only mean police barricades and EMTs on hand.
>> INSIDER WIRE —There's been confusion a number of months about whether Martin Margiela has withdrawn from his brand, and even though Margiela execs assure he's still in place, after last week's collection, critics seem convinced he's not. As Cathy Horyn put it, "Just about everything at the show tonight — the hokey starlight projections on the ceiling, the empty design techniques, the use of beautiful young models instead of older, interesting-looking chicks — said that Mr. Margiela is no longer involved in his label, as editors have speculated for some time." WWD agreed: "Where in the world is Martin Margiela? Judging from the house’s fall collection, the designer has finally left the building." And Suzy Menkes implored a fix, fast: "Of Margiela's rigorous exploration of a personal vision, there is no sign and Renzo Rosso, chief executive of the 'Only the Brave' company that owns his Diesel empire, needs to do something fast." [NYT, WWD, IHT]
>> Martin Margiela may be to blame for the overloaded shoulders, shaggy coats, and sculptural necklines we're seeing everywhere else for Fall 2009, and his bellwhether abilities are really paying off — his Paris stores logged a 21 percent sales increase year over year in January. Despite rumors last season that he was on the brink of leaving the company, "he's still in position," Margiela chief exec Giovanni Pungetti assures, although he disclosed that the designer recently reduced his day-to-day involvement and is seldom in the company's headquarters. Instead, "He’s concentrating on more strategic projects. He’s still working with us in the key decisions of the company. This is the spirit [Martin] wanted to create; that’s his philosophy. He’s more consulting with us than designing every product. The team is more Margiela than him.”
Indeed, the Fall 2009 collection — whoever designed it — seemed the essence of Margiela. The show was about "morphing," and models walked the zigzagged catwalk, starting with a woman wearing only a bra and nude tights, graduating into greater states of dress — slashed trenches and tops, looped capes, and Margiela's newest answer to the highlighted shoulder — clear plastic shoulder pads held by black bra straps. One model wore a cotton cloud. The crowd was left speechless at the end, and a muted applause broke out amongst the bewilderment. But it is here that the seeds of future seasons are planted.
The struggling economy has some designers running for cover but not Maison Martin Margiela. The brand has reported a 21 percent increase in sales compared to last year, and by the looks of it the brand shows no sign of slowing down. Margiela chief executive, Giovanni Pungetti, credits the brand's success with its recent “good collections." Maison Martin Margiela will also debut its second fine jewelry collection later on this year. However, the brand is staying cautious and careful with spending. “We have to be prudent and careful. This is not the moment to spend too much,” said Pungetti. Finally, some good news!
Journalist Morley Safer of "60 Minutes" compared his shadowing Anna Wintour at the Dolce & Gabbana festivities in Milan to covering the Vietnam War...
Topshop lands in New York next month and gives Americans a glimpse at upcoming deliveries.
Halt the presses — Jennifer Aniston is wearing print! And doesn't it look darling on her? At the Paris premiere of Marley & Me, the actress stepped out of her comfort zone (i.e. black) and embraced her girlie side with a blue-and-white Balenciaga dress that goes perfectly with her baby blues. The gray tights, gold macho watch, and Christian Louboutin platforms toughen up her look a smidgen. Keep it up girl.
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For Martin Margiela's Artisanal Spring 2009 collection the designer used unlikely recycled materials to create elaborate one-off outfits. To the left, an a-symmetrical jumpsuit was created out of denim scraps and, to the right, a teeny tiny dress was made out of discarded plastic combs. For more on the Spring 2009 Haute Couture collections, click here.
Oatmeal sweaters used to remind me of hemp and granola, but consider me a changed woman. They have been revamped with a smashing array of cuts and textures. I love how these sweaters lend instant warmth to any ensemble.
Check out how Nicole Richie worked her oatmeal cardi into her wardrobe. The thin knit and baggy cut exude a cool vibe and the neutral color goes with everything. On a side note, I wonder what Nicole has in that Chanel bag.
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