This morning, NEWGEN, the British Fashion Council’s Topshop-sponsored emerging talent scheme, announced the seven new talents who will receive sponsorship to present their Fall ’14 collections during London fashion week in February. Fledgling designers and brands including 1205, Marques’Almeida, Lucas Nascimento and Simone Rocha (left) will receive support for their runway shows while designer Ryan Lo, a Fashion East alum, will receive funding for a presentation. Meanwhile, Claire Barrow (another Fashion East grad) and Danielle Romeril will house their new collections in an exhibition space. The NEWGEN committee, chaired by journalist Sarah Mower, MBE, selects designers based on their creative strengths and distinct points of view. Past awardees have included Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders, and J.W. Anderson.
Need proof that fashion has become increasingly seasonless? Look no further than the Spring runways. Despite the spring season, there was no shortage of statement-making furs. Miuccia Prada sent out vibrant intarsia furs printed with trompe l’oeil bras and female visages, while Fendi’s Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi whipped up shaved-mink toppers that weigh mere grams, as well as fuzzy ear cuffs, handbags, and playful “buggies” charms. Elsewhere, pelts were incorporated into accessories like Michael Kors’ twisted cashmere shrugs backed in sable, and Burberry Prorsum’s shaggy clutches. Showing fur alongside summery dresses makes sense, given these collections hit stores in February, but then you have a designer like Francisco Costa, who threw that reasoning out the window by whipping up a pale lilac shearling for his latest Calvin Klein Collection Pre-Fall outing. Even if it delivers in May, that coat was covetable enough to buy now and wear later.
Last year, Gill Linton launched Byronesque.com, a comprehensive Web site that, backed by Andrew Rosen and the late Marvin Traub, offers high-end vintage wares and sharp editorials. The online platform boasts a veritable treasure trove of rare, authenticated vintage designs, like an azure Jean Paul Gaultier frock, an asymmetrical Yohji Yamamoto dress, and a bevy of Thierry Mugler and Alaïa. And while it all looks spectacular in one’s browser, Linton felt she should create an IRL experience with the digital destination’s best stock.
Enter the site’s first brick-and-mortar venture, Byronesque.com//Offline, an exhibition and boutique housed in the dilapidated annex of the James A. Farley Post Office in New York City. Offline is complete with video installations, melancholic wall art by Craig Ward, and a vault of approximately forty impeccably dressed mannequins. Yesterday evening, insiders gathered to fete the project, which was punctuated with a live Polaroid photography session by the inimitable Michèle Lamy. “It’s difficult to [decide] what is mainstream or not…but being here feels real, and what they are trying to do is very important,” Lamy said of the site.
“There’s so much potential in vintage fashion,” said Linton. “It’s made better, there’s a story behind it, and there’s a history behind it. The way I merchandise the store is through storytelling—there’s a curve of Vivienne Westwood from Pirate to Seditionaries, for example—but it’s not that it has to be a linear progression. It’s about the energy of stuff.”
The stuff on display includes a 1984 John Galliano men’s kimono coat from his graduate Central Saint Martins collection, Les Incroyables (not for sale); a burlap Alexander McQueen look from F/W ’02; a 1986 Azzedine Alaïa leather zip dress donated by Iman; and a Katharine Hamnett allover marijuana-leaf-print bodysuit.
Glenn O’Brien lent his support by co-hosting the affair. “Everybody mixes vintage in,” he said, “I can’t tell you how long I’ve had this Kilgour, French, & Stanbury coat; it must be twenty years since I bought it at Barneys. Vintage is kind of where the next ideas come from. You can be a step ahead by wearing something that’s so out that it’s just about ready to come back.”
Byronesque.com//Offline will open to the public on December 12 and run through the 15th. Located at the James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue at West 31st Street, the show will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A three-foot long hook dangles outside 33 Crosby Street. It’s the totem and marker of Miansai, the five-year-old line of men’s accessories that began with a series of hook-closed bracelets and quickly grew to include a full range of jewelry, watches, and leather goods. From his factory and offices in Miami, designer Michael Saiger has been creating the wrap bracelets that have become a micro-sensation in menswear and found homes at Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Colette, and United Arrows; now, for the first time, he has a retail store to call their own.
Saiger spent six months demolishing the existing, 950-square-foot space and custom-creating everything from the Italian ceramic floor tiles to the walnut-and-copper vitrines. “My mom had an antique store so I’ve grown up around interiors all my life,” he said. “It’s like second nature.” There is a back garden, shared with Fellow Barber next door, and up front, a tea-and-kombucha bar with Portland, Oregon’s Tea Chi Té, stocked with 20 custom tea blends and four custom kombuchas, a complement of sorts to the coffee bar at Saturdays Surf, just down the block. In addition to new products made for the store, including candles and soaps, there is the first “build your own” station, where patrons can customize bracelets, and custom-emboss leather goods.
While the store will be a lab of sorts for new experiments in product development, Saiger made one thing clear. “I always want to stay in accessories,” he said. “I don’t want to do clothing.”
Miansai is now open at 33 Crosby Street, NYC, miansai.com.
Last night at Prada’s Soho store, for an all-too-brief eight minutes, industry insiders sipped cucumber gimlets and disappeared into the wondrous world of Wes Anderson’s latest vision. The downtown fete celebrated the premiere of Anderson’s short film, Castello Cavalcanti, a playful, darkly saturated jaunt that casts Jason Schwartzman as a fifties Prada-outfitted race car driver. Italian actress and director Giada Colagrande stars alongside Schwartzman in the flick, which originally debuted at the Rome Film Festival in November.
“Wes is a very precise, clear-minded director—you can tell from his movies!” commented Colgrande from the stairs of Prada’s rather impressive in-store screening room. “So it was great fun. He tells you exactly what to do, how to do it, and I found myself copying him exactly.”
It seems that copying Anderson (who, it should be noted, collaborated with Prada and Roman Coppola earlier this year on a short for the brand’s Candy L’Eau perfume, which starred Léa Seydoux) served the cast well. The audience consensus was that the oh-so-short film was just that—quite quick and a tease for more, not to mention an enticing complement to Miuccia’s jewel-toned, street art-heavy Spring ’14 collection, whose arrival we look forward to just as much as Anderson’s next project, the forthcoming full-length The Grand Budapest Hotel. “Prada and Miu Miu really marry [their] ideas with those of the author—or in this case, the director,” concluded Colagrande. “I think that’s why they make such wonderful projects all the time.”