Style.com

August 27 2014

styledotcom Can Anthony Vaccarello make Versus a thing? stylem.ag/1lw8rBe pic.twitter.com/xRt6Byzc5Q

Subscribe to Style Magazine

EXCLUSIVE: Scott Sternberg Spills About Canceling His Spring ’15 Show

-------

ScottIt’s no secret that fashion week is jam-packed, and the conundrum of New York’s hectic, often overlapping schedule has been at the center of industry conversations. Brands have begun to switch it up—Oscar de la Renta last season cut his invite list in half; Rag & Bone hosted a photography presentation in lieu of a runway event to debut its Spring ’15 menswear range; Gareth Pugh is this season “disrupting” New York fashion week with a secret extravaganza; and Opening Ceremony is putting on a play instead of sending models down the runway. Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg is the latest designer to take the road less traveled, this morning announcing that he won’t be showing at all. Instead, he’ll be focusing his attentions on the September 7 launch of his first New York flagship. “I mean, literally, I thought nobody would notice,” laughed Sternberg over the phone from L.A. “I just figured we’d fly under the radar and focus on the store this season,” he added. Naturally, however, his choice to forgo a runway romp instantly made headlines, in part due to comments the designer made last season condemning the “dog-and-pony show” that fashion week has become. Here, Sternberg speaks exclusively with Style.com about why he’s skipping the catwalk; his new store and collection; and why, in reality, he doesn’t mind the “dog-and-pony show” so much after all.

So why did you decide to skip the show this season?

You know, to us here in L.A. who are sort of living in our own bubble, it was so obvious. We’ve been thinking about it for a while. Somehow it became a news item. Fashion week is a platform to put ideas out there and be part of the fashion dialogue. But it’s also a really, really dense platform now. If you look at that calendar, there are a million shows a minute. What are we ultimately trying to do when we step back and think about it? We’re trying to convey a message about the brand and where the brand’s at. Normally, that’s through a collection, but it felt like this season, even just from a clarity-communication perspective, we wanted the message to be about the store. I didn’t think it was a big deal to not have a presentation. Once we started talking about it with our PR and other people in New York, they were like, “Really? Huh. OK. Maybe we should rethink this.” But ultimately, the collection’s really strong. It stands on its own, even on a rack. We’re opening a showroom behind the store, and when we have the opening event a week from Saturday, the showroom will be open as well and the collection will be in there.

So editors will still be able to go into the showroom and touch, feel, and experience the clothes?

Oh, yeah. The collection has a rich narrative behind it just like anything else we do. The beauty of me not sitting in castings and fittings and going through this laborious process of putting on a show is that I can really focus on the store and focus on the business aspects. I’m both the creative and the business leader of the company, so there’s a lot to do there. Beyond that, I’ll actually be able to take a lot of press appointments and do what we do with the pre-collections, which is talk people through the pieces.

Do you find that one-on-one experience with editors and buyers more beneficial than a show?

Yeah. For me, I think it’s more about you guys. It’s about an editor or a reviewer or a stylist. And you know, there’s always an opportunity to tell the story in a different way. I think if I just sat in a showroom season after season, holding items up and having a model walk in a look or two, that wouldn’t be so compelling. But if you look at the totality of how many collections we’ll be putting together and how many we’ve shown over the years, it seems this is a valid way to do it one season. Then, another season, we can have a rock-ish runway show and another season it can be a straightforward presentation. With menswear, we’ve tried to redefine what a fashion show is and engage editors and consumers directly during fashion week in a way that’s not so reliant on the typical format of a presentation or a runway show. I think [all these methods] are effective, and I think it’s really the totality of the message over time and the story of the brand and how all those pieces sort of play together.

Do you think that you’ll show next season, or will you try to do something a little bit different?

We’ve done shows for men where I put a model in a gallery window in Paris for three days and filmed him changing into 32 looks. We had a scavenger hunt one season. I’m a Hollywood guy, so I’ve always felt that a show, no matter if it’s a static presentation or something else, it’s gotta be a show! And listen, you don’t want to make it difficult for everybody. There are a lot of people showing, there’s a lot of great stuff out there—you guys are all busy. Ultimately, it should be convenient, for lack of a better term. Easy, but certainly not always reliant on the same format. Who knows what we’ll do next season. I’m sure it’ll be much more straightforward.

Last season, in an interview with Apartamento, you spoke about the “dog-and-pony show” that fashion week has become. Do you have any thoughts on what we can do to make fashion week more user-friendly and less manic?

Oh, the Apartamento me-in-a-bad-mood-giving-an-interview piece. Yes. Note to self: Don’t take interviews when you haven’t slept the night before. That all came across a little harsh. I actually think the dog-and-pony show at its best is pretty great! I mean, what a great opportunity to be wildly creative in front of all these wildly receptive, creative people in their own right! I do think it’s a bit of a grind season after season if you can’t open yourself up and have the confidence to say, “OK, I’m going to do it a little differently this time.”

When I look at a European show calendar, it definitely seems a little more sane and certainly less democratic, but probably more palatable for an editor. But look at how much fashion images have proliferated into mainstream culture. Social media is the platform—the content is so ripe, it’s so out there, and it’s great for all of us. It’s taken the exclusivity out of what this world used to be, and I think that’s for the betterment of the business. So it’s not such a bad thing, but it’s also tough when you see young designers getting trapped in the cycle and spending a lot of time and resources on a show and not backing up to think about the bigger picture.

Are you worried at all about the repercussions of not showing?

No. Listen, I’m going through the process with Elisa, our stylist. We’ll spend our Labor Day weekend creating the looks out of the products that we’ve been laboring over for months. We’re still doing the looks and we’re still shooting them. When we do the looks, we take them just as seriously—it’s the same conversation as if you’re having a runway show or a presentation or whatever it is. It’s sort of that final step before the campaign. Honestly, the images will still be on Style.com and on our social media. They’ll be as accessible as any show. People will come to the store. And in terms of the images you want out there in the world-world, the store’s the news.

You mentioned you have done some experimental presentations, and now we have Opening Ceremony doing a full-on play, Gareth Pugh coming to New York for a big production, etc. Do you think this is the new way to do things—these off-the-beaten-path presentations?

I hope so. The reality is this: Originally, the purpose of showing was for press and buyers. It was for the market. It wasn’t for the world. And now, inevitably, it’s for everyone. So I think a brand like Opening Ceremony or a brand like Band or somebody who’s not a serious European fashion house can really take this awesome platform—the world’s attention is on New York for a week—and try to do something different. But again, the flip side is there’s a wholesale business. You’re selling a collection and you’ve got to do that within a short period of time. How much time do editors have? If everybody went outside the box, nobody would be inside the box. It would be a very long fashion week with lots of commutes to, like, far out in Brooklyn.

Are there any hints you can give us about the store or the upcoming collection?

The collection is tight. The inspiration started with these graphics taken from Brazilian jazz records from the mid-’60s. They’re so rad. They’re a Tropicália-inspired world of graphics, and I took those and did a lot of research on Brazil and Tropicália in that time period. I looked at all these Louise Dahl-Wolfe photographs. It’s cool. And then the store’s just awesome. It’s like everything I want my store to be. Milk Bar is opening up in front, although that won’t be officially open for probably another week and a half, after the health department does all the things they need to do. But it’s crazy. It’s Band. You’ll see. We tried not to do any retail clichés. Not for the sake of just being different, but to try and have this clean slate in people’s heads about what a store could be. I think it should be cool.

Photo: Stefano Masse / Indigital Images

permalink     Comments
post a comment

Yohji Yamamoto Makes Us Want to Be a Part of This Soccer Team, Chelsea Handler Goes Out With a Bang, and More of the News You Missed Today

-------

adidas-sizedYamamoto for Real Madrid…
Today is a good day for fashion-crazed fans looking for another reason to justify watching sports, as Yohji Yamamoto has signed on to create jerseys for the Spanish soccer team Real Madrid. The Yamamoto-designed shirts will be the players’ third option, worn only if both the home and away uniforms are too similar to the opponents’. We guess Real Madrid agrees that your best outfits should be kept for very special occasions. [The New York Times]

Chelsea Handler signs off…
In a star-studded final episode of Chelsea Lately, Chelsea Handler said good-bye to late-night television. From a shower scene with Ellen DeGeneres to an intervention by Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock, the show had no shortage of funny moments. Our favorite part? The celebrity-packed sing-along, which featured a mix of stars including Gerard Butler, Fergie, Tim Gunn, Selena Gomez, and Gwen Stefani. [Elle]

Instagram’s new video app…
Just in time for the social media madness that is NYFW, Instagram has launched a new video app called Hyperlapse. The app features built-in stabilization technology, which allows users to create professional-looking time-lapse videos, previously only possible through the use of expensive equipment. We can’t wait to see how editors and bloggers use this one to introduce the new collections to the world. [Forbes]

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett reunite again…
They’ve created an album together, so why not front a campaign together? Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett were announced today as the stars of this year’s H&M holiday campaign. The two will be featured in a TV commercial, as well as print and online ads, due to debut at the end of November. [WWD]

Melissa McCarthy memorable moments…
Remember when she was just the adorable Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls? We sure do. (Full disclosure: There are more than a few GG fans in the Style.com offices.) In honor of her 44th birthday, a look back at McCarthy’s style evolution. Somehow, a jean jacket seems acceptable on the red carpet when it’s worn by one of the most hilarious ladies out there. [The Huffington Post]

permalink     Comments
post a comment

Claire Goldsmith Keeps It in the Family

-------

Oliver Goldsmith“A good pair of sunglasses will make you look hot no matter what,” said Claire Goldsmith—and she should know. The London-based designer is the great-granddaughter of Oliver Goldsmith, who became London’s leading creator of high-fashion frames when he launched his label in 1926. The still-family-owned-and-run brand was favored by Audrey Hepburn (remember those black stunners in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Oliver Goldsmith), Michael Caine, Peter Sellers, and Grace Kelly, who had 42 pairs. Dior and Givenchy commissioned Goldsmith to make custom shades for the runway, and Vidal Sassoon enlisted OG to design the iconic pyramid glasses, shaped specifically to complement the hairstylist’s arched bangs, featured in a 1969 campaign. “[My grandfather] broke the mold,” asserted Claire. “And he built himself a reputation of being the best.”

He may have been the best, but Goldsmith’s business, which in its prime turned out eccentric styles like butterfly frames, winking shades, and Union Jack glasses, shuttered in 1985. He was forced to close his doors due to the original logomania movement and the popularity of sunnies embellished with the emblems of big brands (Gucci, Versace, and the like). “When I was little, I actually recall saying to my dad, ‘Can you get me a pair of Gucci sunglasses?’ And I just remember his face—he was horrified,” Claire said.

Oliver Goldsmith

Years later, Claire found herself studying marketing at college, where she specialized in heritage brands. “Finally, I kind of naturally came around to thinking, Well, hang on a minute, my family has a heritage brand. Why don’t we make glasses anymore?” She couldn’t find a single reason why the market should be deprived of OG’s fit, craftsmanship, and utterly unique wares, so in 2005, Claire put Olivier Goldsmith back on the board. Today, OG offers vintage shapes as part of its Icons series, as well as ready-to-wear and custom-fit styles, all of which are handmade in England (just as her grandfather would have insisted). “Someone described us as the ‘best-kept secret in eyewear,’” Claire recalled. “But I’d really like to be less of a secret.”

Claire Goldsmith

After five years of reworking her kin’s eccentric designs, Claire had racked up her fair share of inspiration, and in 2010, she decided it was time to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and bow her own brand. CG Eyewear, a dynamic line of made-in-Italy frames, was born. “CG is a whole lot more personal and emotional,” Claire told me. “I would say with Oliver Goldsmith, I’m a narrator. But with Claire, I’m much more sensitive. I think it’s nice to have a playground of sorts where we can produce glasses at the same level of quality and care, but aesthetically, we’re free to do what we want.” Naturally, she’s influenced by her grandfather’s handwriting, but Claire insists that her own collection is younger, more colorful, and “you can clearly see that it does not look vintage.”

As far as her hopes for her fledgling brand, Claire offered, “It would be so lovely to get people to start buying some really good, well-designed eyewear. It’s such an important accessory. People always say, ‘Oh, my God, your lenses are amazing [compared with big-name designer styles]. Like, noticeably better!’ We just have to catch [clients] first, and then we’ve got them for life.” Seeing as Oliver Goldsmith and Claire’s line are stocked at more than 300 points of sale worldwide, including Barneys New York, it seems more and more sunglass connoisseurs are falling into her well-lensed net.

For more information, visit olivergoldsmith.com and clairegoldsmith.com.

Photo: Courtesy Photos 

permalink     Comments
post a comment

Dressing for Fame: Kemal Harris, Stylist to Robin Wright and Idina Menzel, on Making Sure Her Clients Never Show Up Naked

-------

kemal-sizedIf celebrity status is conferred in red-carpet appearances, then no actress today can compete without the help of just the right stylist. As Kerry Washington once told Glamour after she noticeably upped the sartorial ante, “There were a couple of actresses whom I felt were having the upper hand careerwise—because they knew how to work that red carpet.” A carefully crafted collaboration between stylist and client, the perfect look can create an indelible impact on agents, casting directors, and those of us watching from the sidelines. Straight from the epicenter of all things celebrity, we’ve asked some of the industry’s top stylists to share their experiences and impressions from their perch above Tinseltown. With our Dressing for Fame series, we bring you an exclusive, insider look at everything it takes to create those iconic moments captured by a million photo flashes.

As one part of the bicoastal styling team of Kemal & Karla, Kemal Harris brings her New York sensibility to her enviable roster of clients. Whether she’s shaping Robin Wright’s killer figure in a custom backless Ralph Lauren jumpsuit or helping Idina Menzel realize her red-carpet potential from behind that powerhouse voice, Harris has a singular aesthetic that draws on both contemporary and historical fashion. Here, she talks exclusively with Style.com about why styling as a pair keeps clients covered, how Feist changed her career, and why she’ll never be a yes-man.

How did you originally form your partnership with Karla Welch?
We met at fashion week through a mutual friend and always kept in touch. I was working with the singer Feist here in New York and connected her with Karla for her L.A. appearances, and through that connection, our bicoastal styling team was born.

What is the process like working as a duo?
Well, clients are never in one spot for very long. Their movie will premiere in L.A., and then they fly to NYC for all the press appearances. I live in NY and Karla is in L.A., so it certainly doesn’t hurt that no matter where they go, we can make sure they’re never naked.

Do you think there is a certain sensibility you’re expected to maintain as a New York-based stylist, as opposed to being in L.A.?
It’s a fact that editorial styling is much different than styling for the red carpet. They almost require different sides of the brain, and neither is easier than the other. Regardless of what medium you’re working in, I think it helps to have a very strong sense of your aesthetic, the sensibilities and requirements of your clients, and an almost preternatural grasp of how garments will photograph.

Do you think your clients expect something specific from you, and if so, what is that?
Personally, I think it’s so important for a stylist to be honest and straightforward with their clients. They’re depending on us to make sure they look their best on their big night. An effective stylist is not a yes-man.

permalink     Comments
post a comment

Humberto Leon Weighs In on Natasha Lyonne’s Custom OC Emmy Awards Dress

-------

NBC's "66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards" - ArrivalsRed dresses flooded the red carpet at the Emmy Awards on Monday night, but Natasha Lyonne’s ocean blue, mermaid-shaped number stood out. Lacy, long-sleeved, with a hint of ’80s prom, the dress looked stunning on the Orange Is the New Black bad girl and was one of our top picks of the night. The piece was custom-made by Opening Ceremony, so we asked cofounder and designer Humberto Leon to tell us a little about it.

How did you decide on the silhouette of the dress?Natasha originally fell in love with a dress from Opening Ceremony’s Pre-Fall 2013 runway, and we worked with Karla Welch, her stylist, to adapt it for the Emmys.

Tell us about making the dress.
The process of designing the dress for Natasha was really organic and felt natural. We’ve been friends for a long time and were so excited to have her wear Opening Ceremony at the Emmys.

Anyone else you thought looked particularly great Monday night?
We loved Mindy Kaling in Kenzo, of course! Carrie Brownstein also looked amazing.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/NBC

permalink     Comments
post a comment