Tucked in The Avant/Garde Diaries Project Space in Soho is Le Cabinet de Curiosités of Thomas Erber—a compilation of limited-edition goods curated by Mr. Erber, a journalist and consultant. Le Cabinet de Curiosités (or CDC) is an annual collaborative affair whereby Erber brings together approximately fifty independent artists, brands, and designers, and gives them carte blanche to create (and, of course, sell) items that are alluring and exclusive.
New York is his fourth installment (Colette in Paris, Browns in London, and Andreas Murkudis in Berlin were CDC’s previous venues), with Bangkok as its next. And last night’s launch was hosted by one of the CDC’s very first permanent guests, Parisian label Maison Kitsuné, who produced a special black flight jacket with shearling. “It’s a very American style that’s perfect for New York,” Maison Kitsuné creative director and co-founder Masaya Kuroki (co-founder Gildas Loaëc was also in attendance), who’s been friends with Erber for fifteen years, said of the topper. “Thomas has style, and he’s sharp,” added Kuroki. “He has his modern eye but still appreciates all the old traditional things, which is so Maison Kitsuné.”
The designer’s sentiments were echoed by second-time participant, House of Waris founder Waris Ahluwalia: “Mr. Erber is great. He really pulls it all together,” Ahluwalia said. “It’s nice to be in the company with other artists, and CDC is always a great show of mixed media, of everything from jewelry to caviar.”
Notable items on offer include a French caviar-leather rolling case by Want Les Essentiels de la Vie, a rare copper-encased Marquis de Montesquiou Armagnac, twelve unique Vulcain timepieces, and a Moulinette x Højmark bicycle with graphic details etched into its steel frame.
“I have seen many young entrepreneurs and brand founders who put a lot of heart and soul into their [products], and on the opposite, I have seen many artists who are dealing with their own career as entrepreneurs,” Erber said. “My role is to define the limit between both and to curate them with authentic enthusiasm and sincerity.”
Le Cabinet de Curiosités of Thomas Erber is open through December 23 at 372 Broome Street, in New York.
“When you choose your lingerie, you think about somebody who is going to look at it…” purrs model Malgosia Bela in La Perla’s latest drop, a short backstage video, debuting here, which accompanies the underwear label’s Spring ’14 campaign. “Or take it off, actually, if the evening goes well.”
Bela, Cara Delevingne, and Liu Wen star in La Perla’s newest promo to showcase “multiple styles of femininity” via their notably different personalities. Bela, the veteran, Delevingne, the wild child, and Wen, the willowy middle-grounder. Lensed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott (with art direction by Fabien Baron and styling by Ludivine Poiblanc), the ads and the video convey a new rawness for La Perla, yet they’re entirely relatable. Bela’s above-mentioned sound bite notwithstanding, each model can be seen taking a selfie or two in the clip. And despite the vid’s grayscale eroticism and somewhat ominous electro soundtrack, Delevingne’s sound-off captures the campaign’s overarching ethos: “Don’t worry, be happy, basically.”
Italo Zucchelli, the creative director of Calvin Klein Collection’s menswear, was unexpectedly enthusiastic about a subject in fashion—at least in men’s fashion—that most prefer to ignore: pre-collections. “It’s kind of new for men,” Zucchelli said. Not long ago, the situation was much the same for womenswear: Pre-collections were commercial lines, meant to bolster store buys (in practice, they often make up to 70 percent, or more, of many retailers’ annual purchases) and distill the themes of the mainline “editorial” collections presented on the runway into more wearable, salable form. But anyone reading Style.com over the past few years has seen pre-collections boom, often into runway shows of their own. (See our complete coverage if you disbelieve.)
ould the same happen for menswear? Zucchelli, for one, makes such a thing seem possible. (His sales, he reports, are split fifty-fifty between pre-collections and Spring and Fall collections.) “The pre-collections became bigger and bigger,” he said. “Now I’m injecting fashion.” The Pre-Fall 2014 collection, debuting here, makes the point. The airy palette of the Spring ’14 collection, inspired in part by the work of James Turrell, turned darker, but blue remained dominant. Makes sense: Navy is a color no man is afraid to buy. But Zucchelli made good on his promise of more fashion in this traditionally sales-friendly offering. A bonded flannel car coat, easy and approachable, was spliced together with a panel of contrast fabric. “Techy” was Zucchelli’s word for it. That future-leaning, technological bent, which has characterized many of his collections for the label, was evident throughout: In the moire jacquard motif on suits and jackets, the slash details worked into the seams of tailored garments, and, most of all, the printed graphic sweatshirts and tees that the designer said were already attracting significant sales attention. They featured blue-tinted aerial illustrations of one of the world’s techiest cities: Tokyo.
An army of mannequins clad in vibrant plaids, masks, and cowboy hats. A cherry-red assemblage fashioned from a Coca-Cola cart. A photograph of a giant ear. These are just a few of the works one encounters while touring German artist Isa Genzken’s new show at the Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition marks Genzken’s first retrospective stateside, presented with support from Céline. (Creative director Phoebe Philo is a huge Genzken fan, and flew to New York to toast the opening with a party.) “It’s past time,” says MoMA curator Laura Hoptman. “It’s a goldmine of innovative work by a strong woman artist that had never been seen in the United States. It was kind of a curator’s dream.” Indeed, visitors unfamiliar with Genzken who, now 65, has been producing art for the past forty years, are given much to explore, from the artist’s minimal wooden Ellipsoids to her unsettling found-object sculptures to her imposing comments on metropolitan architecture.
“Genzken has a broad brush. She’s moved from one language to another with alacrity,” says Hoptman. “There’s a seamlessness to how she looks at how we live every day—the junk we see on Canal Street, the construction sites, the cool clothes, the beat of techno music—that’s embedded in this very lofty ideal of what culture is. For me, that is the future of contemporary culture—it’s high, low, and everything in between. She’s very much a banner woman for that.”
Isa Genzken: Retrospective runs through March 10 at the Museum of Modern Art, moma.org .