When Cacharel announced that Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto of Eley Kishimoto had been appointed as the company’s new design directors, it was a case of two similarly inclined aesthetics coming together: Both brands are known for their pretty prints and lighthearted styles. Following in the footsteps of another London-based couple, Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro of Clements Ribeiro, Eley and Kishimoto are Cacharel’s second husband-and-wife design team. In fact, the twosome are so inseparable that when they took time out to talk to Style.com about their new gig, they insisted on answering all the questions together.
You’ve worked for Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, and now you’re going to head up one of France’s most beloved fashion companies. Are you feeling the pressure?
The pressure is immense! We were only appointed a few weeks ago, so we started late for the Fall collection. And now we have to manage two collections and two teams in two different cities. But it’s all very exciting. This is why we’ve worked so hard for the last 15 years. In a way, we feel that we’re beginning again and that we hopefully have a further 15-year cycle to go through and experience in a new way.
You’ve mastered the art of the quirky print—how does your style mesh with that of Cacharel’s feminine aesthetic?
We feel that the points of difference between our styles are bold for Eley Kishimoto and delicate for Cacharel. We’ll apply our identity in a softer, easier way and respect a certain feeling that we have for Cacharel but still remain brave.
Can we expect to see your trademark Harajuku-meets-Portobello style in your Cacharel work?
It’s too early to say—it’s still at the drawing/building stage. We just try to create pretty, wearable items that creative, intelligent, and whimsical women feel naturally drawn to.
Paris’ gain, London’s loss—will you be leaving the UK?
We’re not leaving—London is where we live, where we have our studio, where our children go to school. And we’re fortunate to have great teams in London and Tokyo and are building a team in Paris. We’re excited.
Cacharel seems to have a thing for husband-and-wife design duos. Why is it a winning formula?
Double the energy! For us, it’s our day-to-day existence—we don’t know any other way. We see it as having the chance to make creative decisions and work with our friends and family. We feel very lucky.
Will the Eley Kishimoto brand continue to live on?
Of course it will live on. Until we die or split up, perhaps.
As she’s already famous for frolicking in martini glasses, it’s no surprise that Dita Von Teese has struck up a partnership with martini glass-filler Cointreau. In town to promote the brand, the burlesque star—in Louboutins, bien sur, and a gold frock by Tiia Vanhatapio—took some time off yesterday to chat with Style.com. We caught up with Von Teese at the Ritz, where we gave her our own fashion-friendly version of the Proust Questionnaire. Here’s what she had to say.
What is the worst fashion faux pas?
Trying to be of the moment.
What is your favorite film? “Cover Girl,” with Rita Hayworth.
What is your most treasured possession? My house, not the house itself, but everything I have in it and the feeling of comfort I have when I?m surrounded by my pets and the things I love.
What is your most marked characteristic? I believe in fairness and in seeing both sides.
What do you most value in your friends? That they see me for me.
What is your favorite city? Paris.
What do you like the most about your appearance? That it is created by me. When people admire me they admire me for what I have painted and styled.
What do you dislike most about your appearance? A lady should never point out her flaws.
What is the quality you most like in a man? Honesty.
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Eccentricity.
Who is your hero? The burlesque performers of the thirties and forties, especially Gypsy Rose Lee, for finding ways to evolve.
What is the worst thing a woman can wear? Something highly stylized that took a long time to come up with that is supposed to look like you didn’t try at all.
What is your greatest shortcoming? My shyness.
What is your favorite food? The île flottante (floating island) dessert at Brasserie Lippe in Paris.
What are your guilty pleasures? Shopping. Spending an extravagant amount of money on something.
From today through Saturday, Miami will be injected with a dose of fashion fever when the Arts of Fashion Foundation comes to Miami International University of Art & Design. Now in its fifth year, the Arts of Fashion is a nonprofit organization bringing international designers, scholars, and students together for workshops, lectures, and exhibitions. The International Student Fashion Design and Accessories Competition is the highlight of the event, and this year’s honorary judge is Veronique Branquinho, who just happens to be celebrating her ten-year anniversary in the business. Asked what attracted her to the foundation, Veronique told us, “It’s a great event and it stimulates talent. That’s what these young designers need—support and visibility.” Branquinho does have an ulterior motive for attending the event, however: “Last year’s winner interned at my studio and she was amazing. I’m hoping to find a new one while in town.” For more information on the Arts of Fashion, see www.af-competition.com.
As purchases, the works of art on offer at London’s recent Frieze Art Fair could make a collector appear sophisticated, smart, and art-market savvy, but apart from Poppy King’s contribution to Rob Pruitt’s flea market at the Gavin Brown’s Enterprise booth, none of them were guaranteed to make them look pretty. The Melbourne-born, New York City-based makeup artist is the founder of Lipstick Queen, a collection of 1940′s-inspired lip colors, which she classifies as Sinner, Saint, or Oxymoron. After she advised us on a berry stain during Frieze, we started an e-mail exchange about color theory and the significance of finding the right lipstick. For more information on Lipstick Queen, including where to purchase, see www.lipstickqueen.com.
How did you get involved in showing at Frieze?
Corrina [Durland]—who saw my lipstick line in a store—from Gavin Brown’s Enterprise asked me to join them and explained the concept to me. I would have swum the Atlantic to do it! An artists’ flea market at Frieze is a great idea, and lipsticks are a form of art.
Are they art or more like art supplies?
It depends on the woman wearing them. Some women use lipstick, and indeed makeup, as purely a means to an end, and other women take it that step further and make their lips part of their art of being female. Again it comes down to confidence, and lipstick is both an expression of confidence and a tool to achieve it.
How do you assess which colors work for which women?
I look at the whole person from shoes to hairstyle to assess who they are first. It’s not just about their skin, hair, and eye color—it’s about what they want to project to the world. For example, if I’m talking to a blonde, fair-skinned woman who is dressed in a rocker way, then I would recommend a red lipstick for her. But with the same coloring on a woman who is dressed very delicately, I’d recommend a rosebud, romantic color. A lipstick choice is like the cherry on top of your image.
Do you think a woman ought to pick a color and stick to it, as a signature, or are you more in favor of flirting with different styles?
I’m old-fashioned; I love signatures! It doesn’t have to be the lipstick, but something on you that is a consistent signature is very expressive and a sign of confidence. Lipstick is an excellent way to achieve that. So is fragrance. Both are very sexy and feminine.
Tell me about color theory and some of your research materials.
My theory is that color and your color choices are directly linked to your personality, which is why I don’t try to dictate to women what lipstick they should wear but instead look at how they can best express their own personality through color. My research materials range from books on icons like Louise Brooks and Tamara de Lempicka to psychological studies into color theory. But the best research material is the woman herself, the everyday customer. She is fascinating.
Wherever Victoria Beckham goes, rubbernecking fans wielding camera phones follow—a phenomenon that held true for her personal appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York yesterday afternoon to promote dVb, her new line of jeans and sunglasses. Prior to the pandemonium, we caught up with the surprisingly approachable former pop tart to discuss her personal couture collection, what inspires her, and why she won’t be doing a runway show anytime soon.
How does it feel to be designing?
I couldn’t be the best singer, dancer, actress, but I’m actually good at this. I’m fanatical about rivets and things that most people don’t even pay attention to.
What do you think every girl should have in her wardrobe?
The reason that I started on denim is that every girl should have a good pair of jeans.
Do you aspire to have a fashion show one day?
I’d love to. But I’d have to come out with more than just jeans, or there would be a lot of toplessness going on.
What item do you still wear that has been in your wardrobe the longest?
A Dolce & Gabbana pinstripe corset dress that I bought when I first got together with the Spice Girls, so it’s actually vintage now. And I’ve also got some vintage James Galanos, Claude Montana, Azzedine Alaïa, and Thierry Mugler.
With Alaïa you can’t really go wrong.
He’s genius. I get along very, very well with him. This year my husband took me to Paris as a surprise, and he took me to the Alaïa showroom, where I was fitted for a dress. That was great.
Have you learned anything new in the design process that you didn’t know before?
How quickly you have to think ahead. I get inspiration from everywhere and everything—it’s not always fabrics. I found these genius lilac trees when I was in L.A., and I took photos of them and sent them on to people. Everyone got pictures of these trees and was like, “What’s going on?” You never know where you’re going to get your inspiration from. —Sarah Cristobal
Photo: Jemal Countess/WireImage.com