If the first two days of fashion week are any indication, we’re pleased with the focus on new girls who look like they arrived in NYC with a bit of life experience. Karolin Wolter has already popped up at several shows—including such blue-chip castings as Rag & Bone and Ohne Titel—and the German’s mature confidence gives her the air of a runway vet. There’s also Dari Maximova, who took turns on the catwalk for Ralph Lauren way back in ’03, but appears poised for a comeback in ’09. Check back for model missives in the days to come.
Why: The Guardian has an interview with master hatmaker Stephen Jones today, who, besides providing headgear for Rei Kawakubo and John Galliano, has outfitted plenty a posh head in his day—Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé Knowles, Dita Von Teese, etc. The accompanying DIY video got us thinking: Why should good millinery be the first thing to go in a down economy? We can’t think of anything more uplifting than a beau chapeau. And plus, did you see the fringe on this thing?
Where: At the bodega nearest you.
How: Watch the clip.
This isn’t exactly breaking news, but life is just not fair. The point was reinforced at last night’s party at Kowloon for Bar Refaeli, who landed the cover of this year’s edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The Israeli glamazon, who dates Leonardo DiCaprio and will be the host of MTV’s relaunched House of Style (and did not appear to be wearing a lick of makeup), didn’t have to think twice when asked how she prepared for her all-important SI shoot. Crunches? Bikram? One of those crazy detox diets Gwyneth writes about in GOOP? Uh, no. “They told us to eat a lot,” Refaeli said. “Hamburgers, hamburgers, hamburgers. I was really enjoying myself.” Sigh. Refaeli went on to note that the eating continued even on the set, where all the models were encouraged to dig in to every catered feast. “It’s not about that fashion look,” Refaeli noted. “They want curves. They want you to fill out the suits.” Speaking of “that fashion look,” let it also be noted that, as Refaeli was talking, Eliza Cummings was tucking into a serving of fried rice in the corner. The U.K.’s new It girl and a proper hipless androgyne, Cummings confirmed that she’s in New York to walk at the fashion week shows. “And then in London,” she added, “I’m doing practically everything. I’m really excited about walking at Vivienne Westwood.” And with that, Cummings popped a dumpling in her mouth, and proved there is no such thing as justice.
When I moved to New York, my mother gave me one piece of professional advice: Work begets work. I blew that off with the rest of her metropolitan tips. (She once bought me one of those tourist money belts for Christmas. Can you imagine?) Still, speaking to the most recent face of United Bamboo, Terence Koh, proved she might be right with that other dictum. So, how did Koh land this latest campaign? “Thuy [Pham, United Bamboo co-designer] was in Hong Kong and saw my face plastered all over billboards for an ad campaign I did there for Lane Crawford,” the artist explains. “He didn’t know I could strike a pose like no other.” (We of course knew that, having seen him work a Fendi fur and Balenciaga robot leggings like it was his job.) Not that he was unfamiliar with the clothing: He’s been a fan of the collection for his daily studio wear for years. “I think it’s a great puts-you-in-the-mood-to-make-art clothes look,” says Koh. “You just feel elegant and creative in it, like one of those preppy hot Catholic school boys.” Koh also says he took the modeling job very seriously, even agreeing to grow back his eyebrows for the shoot. He may even be contemplating a career change. “I would like to be a male model,” he says with a smile. “I think I might give up being an artist. That’s hard work.” He might just be his own best agent. He says he’d like his next job to be shot as the face of Comme des Garçons, but to hawk the women’s collection—not the men’s. It’s not a total stretch for the whippet-thin artist. “I have always had a dream to be in a custom-made Comme des Garçons white wedding dress shot by Jean-Paul Goude.” From what we know of those visionaries, it might not be a bad collaboration. Koh definitely knows his way around the fashion-as-art lingo: “Honestly I just like looking at clothes which I don’t perceive as fashion,” he explains. “It’s like shapes and surfaces you put over your body so you become a living sculpture.” You can see Koh’s ads, shot by Marcelo Krasilcic in the Spring issue of Fantastic Man magazine.
It’s not often a new face catches the eye of Kanye West before our own, but such is the career trajectory of Major’s Daniela de Jesus, who confusingly also goes by the name Daniela Cosio. The exotic Mexican beauty has enjoyed a steady presence in the lad mags— hence Kanye’s effusive shout-out in his blog—but this long-limbed looker is poised for a high fashion run. On the heels of a Bruce Weber-shot editorial for Vogue Italia comes an appearance at last week’s Giambattista Valli pre-fall show in Florence. Could she be next season’s Arlenis Sosa? Stay tuned to find out.