Fendi lent its talents to Wes Anderson’s latest cinematic confection, The Grand Budapest Hotel, costuming both Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton (yep, that’s her in the middle) for their roles in the film alongside Oscar-winning costume designer Milena Canonero. At press time we can only speculate as to what Prada might think of Anderson’s infidelity, but Miuccia can’t be too upset. After all, Anderson and Fendi do have a history—the house created Gwyneth Paltrow’s now iconic mink for The Royal Tenenbaums.
Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are a notoriously private pair. However, this season, they allowed directing duo Harrys to accompany them behind the scenes, and document the making of their Fall ’14 collection. Created in collaboration with Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, the experimental film, dubbed Proenza Schouler IS, debuts here, and it reveals not only the creative process behind McCollough and Hernandez’s latest outing, but a bit of insight into, well, what, who, and why Proenza Schouler is. While the short offers an artful and informative look at the designers’ lives, our favorite part may or may not have been watching passersby try (and fail) to pronounce the brand’s moniker, which is actually a hybrid of McCollough’s and Hernandez’s mothers’ maiden names. Watch the film here, exclusively on Style.com.
The panel of experts has spoken, the votes are in, and today we can announce the twelve talents who will move on to the final round of the heated LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers competition. Atto by Julien Dossena, CG by Chris Gelinas, Gabriele Colangelo, Shayne Oliver’s Hood by Air, Jacquemus by Simon Porte Jacquemus, Miuniku by Nikita and Tina Sutradhar, Thomas Tait, Tillmann Lauterbach, Tim Coppens, Simone Rocha, Suno by Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty, and Vika Gazinskaya will go head-to-head for the award’s 300,000 euro grant. A slideshow of the designers’ looks is available here.
But wait, you might be thinking. Weren’t there only supposed to be ten finalists? Yes, but LVMH’s team of forty industry insiders simply could not decide after surveying the work of the competition’s thirty semifinalists during an event at Paris fashion week. “It’s so hard,” offered Louis Vuitton’s executive vice president Delphine Arnault, who has been spearheading the initiative. “When we compiled the votes, four designers all had the same amount, so we let twelve in. I think it’s good.” We’re sure the finalists would agree.
The dozen men’s and womenswear designers, who hail from round the globe, will each have fifteen minutes to present their Fall ’14 collections at the LVMH headquarters in May. Judges including Karl Lagerfeld, Raf Simons, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Riccardo Tisci, and others will consider their efforts, and later choose a winner. “All the [LVMH Prize] designers are really enthusiastic,” offered Arnault. “I’m sure the contestants are nervous, but at the same time, it’s an amazing opportunity to meet all these people.” In a room filled with powerhouses like that, we’d be nervous, too, but the final twelve can take solace in the fact that at least one prestigious juror has been in their shoes. “Karl [Lagerfeld] started his career after winning a prize, but he told me there were 200,000 applicants, not 1,200 as we’ve had,” relayed Arnault. “Karl even had to sit and draw in front of the judges to prove that someone else hadn’t done his sketches for him.” As for the eighteen semifinalists who didn’t make the cut, they can take solace in the fact that they’re eligible to apply again next year. “I’m sure they must be very disappointed, but I hope they see it as an opportunity. And I hope we helped them to make some key connections in the industry.”
It takes a lot of balls to leave a gig at Calvin Klein Collection to start your own brand—especially when you’re a 25-year-old fresh out of grad school. But that’s precisely what Beckett Fogg, one half of new line Area, did. And if the innovative first collection that she and design partner Piotrek Panszczyk whipped up is any indication, she made the right move.
Fogg, a Kentucky native, and Panszczyk, a Polish-born 28-year-old who previously worked at Chloé, met at Parsons the New School for Design while pursuing their MFAs in fashion. “We started talking about teaming up a year before I graduated, but it was really just for LOLs,” offered Panszczyk. However, a pair of ribbon-trimmed shorts he stitched up, which, worn by Fogg, got rave reviews in the Hamptons, pushed the designers to make their pipe dream a reality. “Every single person was like, ‘I have to have them!’ So we thought, Maybe this is something we should actually consider doing,” recalled Fogg.
While their backgrounds differ drastically (Panszczyk is a die-hard fashion head, while Fogg studied architecture before heading to Parsons), the talents share a unique, unified vision. Inspired by fragments, transformation, and mind-boggling experiments with texture, their debut lineup expands upon unexpected techniques we saw in each of their graduate collections. For instance, while at Parsons, Fogg used a method of embossing that’s usually reserved for car interiors. Area employed it to bring new dimension to the sleeves of a metallic silver velvet tunic, the body of a handsome steel coat, and the skirt of a burgundy silk lamé slipdress. Meanwhile, the studied pleating Panszczyk featured in his graduate outing provided a sculptural edge to creased trousers and elegant coats.
Most interesting, however, is the pair’s obsession with textiles. The designers worked a heavy mohair—typically reserved for luxury upholstery—into an easy gray shift (above), which was made all the more special via organic patterns created by shaving. Another standout was their stonewashed velvet denim. “It didn’t exist,” said Panszczyk, pulling at a shearling-lined jacket, “so we just made it up!”
Walking me through their sundrenched, whitewashed Canal Street studio, Panszczyk in a frayed Jil Sander suit, Fogg in her own designs, the duo discussed their simultaneously cerebral, sexy, and commercial aesthetic. “We want to see people actually wearing our clothes,” said Fogg. “So I don’t think commercial needs to be a dirty word.” Panszczyk elaborated, explaining how a second-skin velvet jumpsuit (shown with leather chaps) or fluid shift could be sultry one moment and sophisticated the next. “Our work specifically focuses on manipulation. We like to take something and change it.”
As for why they named the brand Area, Fogg told me, “It’s clean, simple, and inclusive.” Never mind that the iconic nightclub was once housed mere blocks from their studio—a fact they didn’t learn until a few friends of a certain age clued them in. “It’s all about serendipity,” mused Panszczyk.
As we’re sure you saw, the 2014 CFDA Award nominees and honorees were announced last night during a cocktail fete hosted by Nadja Swarovski and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg at the Bowery Hotel. During the soiree, it was revealed that Tom Ford and Raf Simons will both receive honors, and Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, and Joseph Altuzarra will duke it out for the Womenswear Designer of the Year title. (See the full list of nominees here.)
While the news that director John Waters would be hosting was pretty great, we were particularly thrilled to learn that Hood by Air—the streetwise anti-establishment luxury line whose Fall ’14 show featured old-school voguers—was nominated for the Swarovski Award for Menswear. It seemed to signify that the brand, which Style.com’s Maya Singer recently dubbed the most exciting thing happening in New York right now, had finally cracked, well, the establishment. “When you put commentary out there, you hope that people realize what’s going on and like your take,” offered designer Shayne Oliver. “I’m glad that they’re actually listening,” added the talent, who was just back from Paris, where he had presented his collection to a panel of judges during the penultimate round of competition for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. “We’ve been having some really cool meetings in Paris,” he later hinted. “I think there might be some European moves coming in the future.”
Tim Coppens, also just back from the LVMH event, stuck around for some revelry and received a nomination for the Swarovski Menswear honor, as well. “I’m excited,” he said. So excited, in fact, that he’s already started thinking about the June 2 awards ceremony. “What I’ll wear was actually the first thing that went through my head,” he laughed, adding that he’ll probably design something to don to the affair. Creatures of the Wind’s Christopher Peters, who, along with partner Shane Gabier, is up for the Swarovski Award for Womenswear, also pondered his ceremony attire. “I don’t have any formal clothes that don’t have food on them, so I might have to go shopping,” he deadpanned. “Last year, I wore this really insane Comme des Garçons jacket with embroidered music notes down the sleeves. I loved it more than anything, and then I wore it to a wedding in Texas and everyone thought I was with the band. So it was perfect.” When asked whether he was nervous about the competition, Peters replied, “We both feel extremely honored to be nominated, but we’re always nervous. About everything. I’m kind of, like, constantly panicked, so this is no different than my normal state.” Considering most of the designers in attendance last night were just back from sales in Europe and already working away on their next collections, we have to assume that Peters isn’t alone.