Yesterday Cher announced over the course of several tweets that Bob Mackie, longtime collaborator and the man behind her infamous 1986 Oscars getup, would not be bringing his brand of bling to her upcoming (and perhaps truly final) tour.
“Nobody wanted to design this last tour more than I did! I am sick about it. My professional and business commitments were just too great,” Mackie said in a statement, adding that, “After all these years of collaborating, it is like turning down your own little sister, and how many guys have a little sister like Cher?”
British designer Hugh Durrant, who created the costumes for Cher’s misleadingly named 2002 Farewell Tour, will be designing in Mackie’s stead. While this news both stuns and saddens, as the Goddess of Pop assured via Twitter, “WE WILL PERSEVERE.” Steady on.
When Kate Wendelborn launched Protagonist back in October, her mission was to create a collection of pared-down, refined tops that any woman could wear. The line of silk T-shirts; crisp button-ups; and cool, deconstructed turtlenecks has been exclusively available at The Line, which was cofounded by Wendelborn’s twin sister, Morgan, and Vanessa Traina Snow (who styled Protagonist’s latest lookbook). Beginning with Fall ’14, however, the brand will be available at retailers such as Barneys, The Webster, and Isetan in Tokyo.
“We really wanted to start small and be in control, then let things grow as organically as possible rather than pushing it right away,” Wendelborn said. Clearly, she’s on the fast track. It’s smart to offer timeless classics in a contemporary market saturated with trendy designers. Call it clean, call it minimalist, call it normcore, even, but above all else, Protagonist is chic.
This season, the label is expanding into a full ready-to-wear range with pants and skirts, as well as a ramped-up knitwear program. In addition to its signature shirting staples, highlights from the new collection included sleek bodysuits with extended sleeves, chunky cashmere crewneck sweaters, cigarette trousers, and flattering pencil skirts with zippered side slits that came in either distressed leather or spongy crepe. Elsewhere, Wendelborn introduced pattern for the first time. “I thought about what a print would be for someone who doesn’t like print. Usually I stick to neutrals because I want the clothes to be blank canvases that draw the focus to your eyes and lips,” she said.
Wendelborn aims to create versatile essentials for a variety of women. “I didn’t want to design for one hard character straight down the middle. One woman will wear that shirt one way, and another woman would do it completely differently. They are two different people and two different—gosh, this sounds so corny—protagonists,” she told Style.com. While everything appears to be elemental, Wendelborn goes through a complicated process to get to a simple point. There’s a deliberate intention behind the exaggerated, seven-inch cuffs on collared dress shirts, for example, or the sliced cutouts on turtlenecks that highlight the collarbone. “We’re not necessarily trying to make a grand statement. We’re just simply trying to say something,” she said.
Protagonist’s Collection No. 3 (from $270 to $1,400) will be available at Barneys New York, The Webster, Isetan, The Line, and more. For more information, visit Protagonist.com.
Mark McNairy, the grumpy patron saint of preppy, street-smart menswear, got the full New York Times Style section treatment yesterday. It took only four seasons of runway shows and countless neon brogues to get there, but he made it! And he has, of all people, Cam’ron, who walked in his Fall 2014 show, to thank for the honor.
The Times notes that McNairy has entered into “a pantheon of designers like Jimmy Choo, Versace, and Manolo Blahnik who are venerated by hip-hop artists.”
OK. Not the selection of designers that comes to mind when you think hip-hop and fashion at the moment—Givenchy, Hood by Air, Alexander Wang, and countless others have close ties to the culture—but that’s beside the point. What’s really special is how much we were able to learn about the angry South Carolinian behind Cam’ron’s custom cape. McNairy is notoriously standoffish. Even reporter Bee Shapiro, the profile author, makes a point to note that the designer is “not exactly warm and fuzzy.” But for menswear nerds who have been following McNairy’s career, there are some wonderful nuggets of knowledge to be found. Here’s what we learned:
In addition to making a collection of capes for Cam’ron, McNairy gets a shout-out on a new track by the rapper. The lyrics: “Sitting in meetings by [BPMW co-owner] Deirdre Maloney / And Mark McNairy / I know you don’t know him / You broke and you phony.”
McNairy is 52.
He recently traveled to Japan to work on a collaboration with Édifice, a Japanese menswear shop.
Cameras make him uncomfortable.
Prior to meeting Pharrell Williams three years ago for their Bee Line collaboration, he was not a fan of hip-hop.
When he was young he amassed a large collection of G.I. Joe action figures (beginning his love for camo prints), which his mother threw away. Harsh. That explains the McNasty nickname.
At one point he “wanted to be Phil Spector and make records.”
He got a business degree from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
“He doesn’t sketch or use computer-aided design, which he believes neuters clothing.”