On Saturday, after a two-day closure, Dover Street Market New York, Rei Kawakubo’s seven-floor multibrand fashion wonderland open since last December, celebrated its inaugural “new beginning,” with just-arrived Fall ’14 merchandise and fresh shop-in-shops. Melitta Baumeister, whose career was catapulted when Rihanna wore her oversize black biker jacket in Paris back in March, and Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver are two new additions to the store’s fourth-floor DSM Showroom, which is devoted to emerging designers. They join a roster that includes Craig Green, Jacquemus, Phoebe English, KTZ, 1205, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Proper Gang, Shaun Samson, and Sibling. We checked in with the new recruits and a quartet of the floor’s returning talents to talk about Kawakubo’s lasting influence, their new installations, and the “beautiful chaos” that is DSM.
“The Comme des Garçons campaign collaboration with Cindy Sherman in 1994 stopped me in my tracks. I remember being completely blown away,” Baumeister recalls. “So I’m very happy to be with a group of creators [now] that have a mutual understanding on fashion, to be part of a showroom that believes in the importance of creating new experiences of how fashion can be consumed, in a world of beautiful chaos. To be in an environment where the brand is understood will no doubt give [me] the confidence to go further with bigger dreams.”
HOOD BY AIR (SHAYNE OLIVER)
“Going to the Comme des Garçons flagship for the first time here in New York changed my life, and molded my thought process on creating a fashion brand that is meant for you, and only you,” Oliver remembers. “The shopping experience at Dover Street Market is [likewise] unique and special. I think it really works well with the HBA concept and vibe. We want to make people feel immersed in our world, in the whole experience of the brand. [Our shop-in-shop] is a conversation with our customers outside of the traditional realm of fashion.”
“All the Dover Street Market stores have a totally stand-alone and unique way of working. The amazing and forever-changing interiors make for a dynamic and exciting space and experience,” Green says. “The main idea behind our new Fall ’14 space was to put the highly detailed, hand-painted pieces against the raw quality of untreated wooden structures. We used large hand-painted fabric rugs as hangings to demonstrate what the garments themselves have been cut from.
“DSMNY is different to other stores as it’s not really just a store, it’s a destination and an environmental experience, which heightens, celebrates, and elevates the incredible stock they hold,” English says. “In many ways it’s also a mecca for young creatives justifying and contextualizing the work they’re making; [that's what] the London store was for me when I was studying at Central Saint Martins. We wanted this space to [feel] unexpected, sort of like a surprise or a bit of drama injected into a retail environment. The raw naturalism of the collapsed cliff face against the clothes hanging on the suspended rails—something beautiful and refined in a broken space. I [also] wanted it to represent the dialogue of material, which informs each collection. I worked with art director Philip Cooper. It was about balancing the ethos of how I work creatively with the reality of shopping.”
“The opportunity to completely change the space seasonally allows us to truly represent the season’s ideas and concepts,” Roach says. “Our Fall ’14 space remains minimal with the introduction of new square metal fixtures. We’ve introduced stand-alone, industrial two-arm rails to highlight the collection’s fabrication and construction, which remain fundamental. I would like people to touch and try on the clothes.”
SIBLING (SID BRYAN, JOE BATES, COZETTE MCCREERY)
“DSMNY feels like being in an interactive art space but without any of the pretense,” the Sibling trio says. “It’s been fantastic to see how artists and creatives interpret the Sibling vision each time. We loved collaborating with Uncommon Projects [on the leopard shelving and screen unit], Richard Woods [using the catwalk recolored version of his iconic wood print as wallpaper], and now with artist James Davison. We saw James’ work recently via the journalist Charlie Porter. He’d uploaded a video of James’ window display with moving parts and amazing color. It also felt like he’d had fun doing it. All of which is very much what Sibling is about, so we didn’t think twice about working with him and sent him catwalk pictures and a very relaxed brief. Relaxed because we always like collaborative works to come more from the artist.”
After four years heading up womenswear at Hermès, Christophe Lemaire is leaving the French heritage house to focus on his eponymous label. Spring ’15, which will walk down the runway in Paris this October, will be his final collection for the brand. “Working for Hermès has been a great pleasure, a profoundly enriching experience on both a human and professional level. I am proud of what we have built together. My own label is growing in an important way, and I now really want and need to dedicate myself to it fully,” offered Lemaire, who replaced Jean Paul Gaultier when he took the reins in 2010. “I am very grateful to Christophe for the passion with which he has addressed and enriched the expression of our house in women’s ready-to-wear. Under his artistic direction, the métier has renewed its aesthetic and produced very satisfactory financial results,” said Hermès CEO Axel Dumas in a statement.
Now, of course, the guessing games will begin as to Lemaire’s successor. Hermès might argue that its brand is less dependent than most on having a “star” designer, and in recent months the house has been increasingly keen to raise the profile of Bali Barret, who, as artistic director of the women’s “universe,” oversees a number of the métiers, including the womenswear. Still, it’s intriguing to think what would happen if certain big-name designers took the helm or if Hermès was to go the route that Loewe recently took of hiring an up-and-coming talent like Jonathan Anderson. On the other hand, there were always those in the industry who felt it was Helmut Lang’s ultimate destiny to alight at the French luxury firm. That seems unlikely, but stay tuned.
Marc Jacobs International has tapped a new CEO this morning, WWD reports. Sebastian Suhl, who has served as the chief executive of Givenchy since 2012, will succeed Bertrand Stalla-Bourdillon. During his stint at Givenchy, Suhl spearheaded ambitious retail efforts that have left the house poised to open roughly twenty-five new boutiques in the remainder of the year. Suhl’s appointment comes at a crucial moment for Marc Jacobs, as the designer refocuses efforts on his namesake brand and prepares for an initial public offering. Before heading to Givenchy, Suhl helped stage Prada‘s IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2011. He will be succeeded at Givenchy by Philippe Fortunato, another LVMH vet and Vuitton’s former North Asian president and CEO.
Fendi’s Karlito is about to get a new (though not as furry) friend. WWD reports that as part of its Barbie Collector series, Mattel has teamed up with Karl Lagerfeld—arguably the most-buzzed-about designer in the biz—to create a limited-edition doll. This pretty much keeps Karl in his natural habitat—that is, surrounded by a bevy of leggy beauties. We can only wonder if Barbie Karl will be accompanied by a Mattel iteration of Choupette? Or perhaps a St. Tropez vacation villa in lieu of Barbie’s Malibu Beach House? What we do know is that the Chanel-certified doll, which hits stores this Fall, will keep to Karl’s iconic aesthetic—fingerless gloves and powder-white ponytail included.
“Hopefully, this time my film won’t be banned for being too sexy,” actress and director Penélope Cruz tells Style.com of her latest short for her lingerie line, L’Agent by Agent Provocateur. “But I doubt it, because this one is even sexier.”
Her last directorial outing for the range, which she designs with her sister, Mónica, proved too racy for the Web, and YouTube ended up taking it down. That didn’t stop Cruz from laying on the sex appeal in the newest Fall 2014 film—she turned the heat up to full blast.
“I am a perfectionist, and I obsess about it in the months while I’m working,” she says of the filmmaking process (which included a collaboration with her brother on the music). “I’m involved in every single step. I do the casting myself for every single character, I spend a few months in preproduction and a long time in the editing process.” Cruz not only directed it, she even appears in the film wearing a red leopard-print bra, along with a host of ladies in their underthings dancing across the desert.
That was nothing for this seasoned vet, who once told press that the most interesting love scene she has ever done was with Meryl Streep for an AIDS campaign shoot. She counts her scenes with Scarlett Johansson in Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona as a close second. “Kissing Scarlett in Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona…it was funny for us to see the faces of all the men on set,” she says. “They were all acting very weird.”
Here, an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the film before it’s unveiled in its entirety August 1 on lagentbyap.com. Plus, a first glimpse at the lookbook images of the new collection.