For the past two seasons, Jason Wu’s ads have explored New York’s most iconic eateries. With Inez & Vinoodh behind the lens, he took Stephanie Seymour to La Grenouille for Spring ’13 and dined with Christy Turlington at Mr. Chow last Fall. The restaurant tour continues for Spring ’14, as Wu’s latest campaign depicts show opener Karen Elson posing against the famed leafy wallpaper at Indochine. “There is something so unapologetically glamorous about these images that seem to embody everything that I adore and want to express through my clothes,” said Wu of the ongoing narrative.
The restaurant, which has hosted more art and fashion fetes than we have room to list since opening in 1984, is a fitting backdrop for Wu’s moody Spring snaps. And the designer has some particularly fond memories of the enduring hot spot. “I first went to Indochine when I was a student at Parsons. I snuck into a party there during fashion week and met Cindy Crawford. I was so starstruck!” Wu recalled. “As a child of the 90s, I’ve always idolized supermodels, and that was the first time I had ever met one. It was a religious experience.” The insider mainstay has since become one of Wu’s favorite places to grab a bite. “There’s never a dull night there! I always meet the most interesting people,” he said. These days, it’s safe to bet that Wu is always on the list.
Take a first look at Jason Wu’s Inez & Vinoodh-lensed Spring ’14 campaign here, exclusively on Style.com.
“It was heaven,” said Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing of shooting with Rihanna. The pop star is the face of the house’s Spring ’14 campaign, two images of which debut exclusively here. But Rousteing, who spoke to Style.com from Paris this morning, insists the ads weren’t the result of a PR push or a marketing strategy—rather, they were the product of he and Riri’s budding friendship. “I met her six months ago, when she came to the studio during her Diamonds Tour, and I just loved her,” the designer recalls. “She invited me to her concert, and I invited her to my show, and she started to become a good friend of mine. Obviously, we text all the time, and at one point, when I was working on the Spring collection, I told her she was the inspiration and that I wanted her in the campaign. It all started like that.”
Styled by Rihanna’s own stylist Mel Ottenberg and lensed by Inez & Vinoodh, the ads, which will hit magazines in January, were apparently shot to the tunes of Prince. “We listened to it super loud, and she was dancing in the clothes—but she really owned them. She tweaked everything. She chose what she wanted to wear, she had a great vision, and that’s what I love about her,” Rousteing said, stressing that he feels Rihanna is the ultimate icon for this generation. “I wanted the campaign to be about Balmain, but I didn’t just want a model—I wanted a strong, real woman in the clothes. For me, Rihanna is a power. And she pushes boundaries on everything.
“Sometimes,” Rousteing added, “fashion is all about a big machine. And we forget about emotions, and realness, and dreams. But dreams do come true, and this came from something really simple, and easygoing, and real.”
So what’s Rousteing’s favorite Riri song? “I have to be honest. I love the new one, “Monster,” but I think “Stay” is one of the best songs ever. I fell in love listening to this song. And that’s something I’ll always remember.”
Earlier this week, the Spring ’14 Givenchy ad campaign debuted on Style.com, inciting a storm of clicks and commentary for its all-women-of-color cast. It turns out, Givenchy is not the only label to take that step this season. Swiss label Philipp Plein has just released its own Spring campaign, shot by Francesco Carrozzini and styled by Patti Wilson, featuring a cast of black models. As the saying goes, two’s a coincidence, but three’s a trend—time will tell if diversity on the page continues. For Plein in particular, at least, it’s more than a passing fancy: The designer cast his Spring ’14 show in Milan with exclusively black models.
As if you’d expect anything else, expert equestrienne and winner for the 2013 British Fashion Award for Model of the Year, Edie Campbell, rides in style. Last weekend, the catwalker mounted her chestnut steed, Tabriz de Labarde, and flew over some frightfully tall fences at the Gucci Paris Masters charity show-jumping tournament. Pretty impressive, if you ask us, but not quite as impressive as her riding gear. The model forwent her boring old jodhpurs for a black feather coat and giant black tutu. Apparently, she and Jessica Springsteen (yes, Bruce’s daughter) were representing team Gucci and settled on a Black Swan theme. The latter rode in a white feathery look, but Campbell’s noir, avian eye makeup and runway-ready garb really deserved the blue ribbon.
When Tamara Mellon decided to get back into the fashion action after leaving Jimmy Choo, it wasn’t going to be business as usual. In hopes of bringing the thrill back to shopping (she blames fashion fatigue on universal access to runway photographs as well as the months between the shows and the arrival of clothes in stores), Mellon has opted out of the catwalk. More importantly, she’s opted out of the idea of selling winter coats in July and bikinis in January. The plan is to make bimonthly shipments of buy-now, wear-now clothes to department stores (we have it on good authority that her first delivery to Bergdorf Goodman is selling at a brisk clip), and to very quickly ramp up her own boutiques and e-commerce platform. By way of introduction, she’s just produced a short movie, enlisting model-turned-filmmaker Rie Rasmussen to direct Karlie Kloss. “We had so much fun shooting High Heels & Sharp Knives with Rie and Karlie,” Mellon told Style.com. “Both are incredibly talented and completely capture the spirit of my woman. I cannot wait to see the reaction from the twist at the end.” No spoilers here. Visit Mellon’s Web site tomorrow to discover the twist for yourself, and watch an exclusive teaser only on Style.com.