“We had to start with the basics,” explained FIT graduate student and curator Kristen Haggerty. She’s talking about the origins of the university’s just-launched exhibition, Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket, a study of the motorcycle jacket’s evolution from a utilitarian Schott Bros. basic, to a symbol of post-WWII rebellion, to the modern-day fashion staple. “The first Perfecto was made in 1928 and was sold by Harley-Davidson—it’s really what everyone thinks of when they think of a biker jacket,” said Haggerty, gesturing to a 1980 replica of the late twenties belted classic with an exposed zipper. “Yes, it’s a very stylish garment, but every one of those elements means something.”
The show, which opens with an in-depth examination of the iconic Perfecto, combines documentary photography, press clippings, and a tightly curated collection of original pieces to shed light on the now 80-some-year history of the moto. Wares by Helmut Lang, Rick Owens, and a particularly memorable tutu moto jacket from Comme des Garçons’ Spring 2005 outing display the many ways in which fashion designers have appropriated and interpreted the garment. “Over the years, the Perfecto became something much more than a utilitarian biker jacket,” Haggerty told Style.com. “There were times when it was pretty subversive. Modern designers [have also] really gone above and beyond. It’s a garment that can exist in two different places at the same time, and have meaning for both of them.” All one needs to do is browse a rack at Versace, Chloé, Balmain, or Saint Laurent to see what she’s talking about. The exhibition, however, will help you understand and, dare we say, appreciate it.
Beyond Rebellion will be on view at The Museum at FIT, Tuesdays through Fridays, through April 5.
While he hasn’t yet been at the house for two years, Raf Simons already has his own Dior documentary. Dubbed Dior et Moi and directed by Frédéric Tcheng (who also worked on Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel and Valentino: The Last Emperor), the flick chronicles Simons’ first couture collection for the storied brand, which walked down the runway in 2012. Seeing as the doc is set to debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, we’re curious to know if Chanel will be inviting the cast to its annual film fest bash.
Word broke this morning that nightlife king Ian Schrager, the mind behind Studio 54, will partner with Rizzoli to share tales of the iconic club with a new coffee-table book, due out next year. As Schrager so pithily put it, “If the hunter does not tell the story, the lion will.” We can only hope that said hunter plans to air some juicy tales about Bianca and Mick.
Fashion publications are playing a game of musical chairs of late. In the wake of Eric Wilson and Cathy Horyn departing The New York Times (and former Style.com deputy editor Matthew Schneier, as well as John Koblin joining the NYT team), WWD reports that Suzy Menkes is leaving the International New York Times for a new job at Vogue. As an international editor based in London, Menkes will report for all nineteenVogue international websites, including France, Italy, China, and Spain.
“Suzy Menkes is a unique talent with superb judgment about fashion and keen insight into the business behind it. She is hugely influential and respected. Her contribution will bring even greater quality and authority to the Vogue brand,” Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International, said today.
“Change is good, it’s what fashion is all about,” Menkes said. However, things won’t be changing all that much: Menkes claims she will “be doing my same job,” so we can likely still expect her sharp runway critiques each season. Menkes’ new role also means she will have a hand in organizing an annual CNI luxury goods conference.
Olivier Saillard has struck again. For Papier Glacé, the second exhibition he has curated at Paris’ newly renovated Musée Galliera, Saillard riffled through one hundred years of Condé Nast’s photography archives, pulling mainly from a handful of international Vogues (American, British, German, French, and Italian), to spin a selective history of fashion-as-dialogue. The 150-image show scans like a who’s who of 20th-century lensmen: Images by De Meyer, Horst, Clark (above, right), Schatzberg, Penn, Man Ray, Parkinson (above, left), Beaton, Blumenfeld, Lindbergh, Meisel, Turbeville (below), and Weber, among others, feature in the show. The snaps are accompanied by a dozen or so dresses and accessories, such as an evening coat by Doucet (1913), a Mondrian cocktail dress by Yves Saint Laurent (1965), and a red molded bustier on loan from Issey Miyake (1980).
“Fashion-related exhibitions so often tend to run chronologically, looking toward the past,” offered Paris Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt, “whereas a magazine comes out every month, it’s life, and it’s constantly changing. [With this show] you see what each brings to the other.” Saillard concurred, noting that fashion magazines are akin to archeologists.
For Alt and for Paris Vogue, the eighteen months spent collaborating on Papier Glacé was far from an end in itself. Rather, it marked the beginning of a new chapter for the nearly one hundred-year-old publication, with the establishment of the Vogue Paris Fashion Fund—a new initiative that will allow the Galliera to make new acquisitions, be they photographs, garments, accessories, or beyond. Launched with a contribution of 100,000 euros, the fund will be renewed annually and receive additional backing via fundraising.
When asked for his wish list, Saillard offered names ranging from Margiela to Corinne Day, Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, Iris van Herpen, and Jurgen Teller. “I am always interested in auteurs. To look at our archives, you’d think that everyone has always worn Balenciaga,” he quipped. “I plan to shop myopically: Sometimes the exceptional can be found in an ‘ordinary’ shirt.”
It’s a fair bet that spending the Galliera’s first windfall won’t be too difficult for Saillard, but new acquisitions will be kept under wraps until July 9, the night of the first Vogue Paris Fashion Fund gala event, during haute couture.