“I’m literally here for a few hours,” said shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood, who flew to New York from London for a luncheon at Bergdorf Goodman yesterday. The occasion? The arrival of his new Spring collection, which, featuring pearl-soled pumps and swirling metallic sandals, was on display in the center of the department store’s famed shoe floor. “It’s nice to meet the customers and have lunch with some New York ladies,” laughed Kirkwood, who revealed that he’s opening a new store in the Wynn Las Vegas this June and hopes to launch handbags in the next year.
Indeed, he attracted quite a set of ladies—from New York and elsewhere. The likes of Shala Monroque, Suno’s Erin Beatty, Hannah Bronfman, and Julie Gilhart joined hosts Cecilia Dean and Leslie Fremar to fete Kirkwood. A five-months-pregnant Margherita Missoni took a break from renovating her and her husband’s New York pad to dine with the designer. “I have a harder time wearing very, very high heels now,” conceded Missoni, who’s working on a book to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of her family’s house. “I’m loving wedges, so I bought three pairs to wear over the summer. And I’m so over platforms.” If the Spring trend reports are any indication, she’s not alone. “I’ve been trying to do single soles since 2009,” said Kirkwood. “I would have been happy if they went out, like, two years ago.”
Valerie Steele, who included Kirkwood’s shoes in FIT’s Shoe Obsession exhibition and lauded him as one of the “emerging superstars of shoe design,” was skeptical. “There are a lot of people who have practiced very hard to wear their platforms, and who love the extra height it gives, so I think they’re going to remain an option,” she said. “And, of course, just because it’s swinging toward single sole now doesn’t mean that in eighteen months it won’t swing back.”
While it doesn’t quite feel like spring yet here in New York, the scene at last night’s Joe Fresh flagship anniversary bash sure looked the part. Celebrating one year at its Fifth Avenue post, the Canadian retailer synonymous with affordable fashion-forwardness brought guests a burst of summer fun via its new acid-pastel collection. But perhaps more colorful than the clothes—which boasted a palette of pink, green, yellow, and the label’s signature orange—was the kaleidoscope of twenty Manhattan personalities chosen to catwalk up and down an escalator runway (yes, à la Louis Vuitton). The ensemble cast included nightlife notables Steven Rojas and Dani Stahl, and Paper magazine’s Mickey Boardman, who strutted his stuff in head-to-toe electric rose. Styled by Zanna Roberts Rassi, the romp was set to the beats of Brendan Fallis and Hannah Bronfman.
Despite the vibrant nature of the fete, creative director Joe Mimran warns not to get too comfortable with the Spring color craze. “For the Fall collection, we did all black. The theme was ‘Paris is black, black is Paris.’ ” Pushing black on black to a bunch of New Yorkers? We think Mimran might be onto something.
Last night, Sergio Rossi gave Beijing’s design and fashion enthusiasts a thrill with the unveiling of its swank new store in the China World Shopping Mall. During the opening fête, which was hosted by CEO Christophe Mélard, guests perused the label’s vivid Spring Sergio Rossi Meets Memphis collection, which was inspired by the Memphis design movement—popular in Italy in the eighties.
The boutique, however, had a seventies aesthetic, and was complete with bronze shoe displays, plush blue carpeting, lots of velvet, mirrors, and a curvaceous couch designed by Vladimir Kagan.
After the in-store cocktail reception, a cozy mix of creative partygoers were ferried off to dinner at Yishu 8, a renovated Chinese courtyard and private art gallery near The Forbidden City. In addition to light fare and Franciacorta (Italy’s answer to Champagne), guests like artist and Sergio Rossi-collaborator Peng Wei and designer Masha Ma were treated to a small exhibition of original Memphis design items, all of which were loaned from the Memphis art gallery in Milan. Needless to say, Sergio Rossi succeeded in transporting its guests to another time and place entirely.
At last night’s Cinema Society screening of The Host, there were no questions about the caliber of Saoirse Ronan’s performance as a young woman overtaken by body-snatching aliens—everyone loved it. But there were some queries about how to pronounce the Oscar-nominated actress’ name. During the after-party at Jimmy in the James Hotel, which attracted the likes of Olivier Theyskens, Patti Smith, and Gabourey Sidibe, guests turned to Ronan’s fellow cast members for advice. “It’s Saoir-se,” said co-star Raeden Greer. “Sounds like inertia,” she stressed.
Diane Kruger plays the film’s supreme alien invader. The actress gave a cool performance as an emotionless villain, but what really stood out were her character’s white pantsuits. “It’s actually quite silly,” the actress told Style.com. “We filmed in New Mexico and it is impossible to keep a pristine white outfit clean in the desert.” So how did she do it? “I was forever being chased by some fluffer who dusted me off and prevented me from sitting down!” Jason Wu, in particular, expressed an appreciation for Kruger’s fine-tuned on-and-off screen aesthetic. “I really came out tonight for Diane,” said the designer. “She’s one of the chicest women in the world. She just has it—there are very few people like that out there.”
The Brits love their hats. But they love their Easter bonnets even more. Perhaps it stems from the fascination with the royals, whose Easter toppers always get front-page attention. Everyone’s already buzzing about what Kate Windsor et al. will be wearing at this weekend’s Easter church services. However, we can bet that the witty, whimsical, and totally outrageous hats on display at designer Fred Butler’s Easter bonnet competition last night aren’t in the running.
London talents like Piers Atkinson (left), Antipodium, Tatty Devine, Margot Bowman, Phoebe English, and Alex Noble, created wares for the event, all of which were judged by a panel that included Love magazine’s Alexander Fury and British Vogue‘s Emma Elwick-Bates. Magnificently festooned bonnets (think egg yolks, gingham, and bunny ears) made their way down a runway in the courtyard of London’s Sanderson Hotel. The spectacle was narrated by drag queen Jonny Woo (who donned a giant cherry blossom hat) and Butler manned the DJ decks.
Not surprisingly, milliner Piers Atkinson won the title of “Bonnet Master” with his “Double-Yolker Easter Egg Surprise”—a hat that depicted oversize eggs being hatched by tiny chicks. “I’m a big fan of a bit of insane millinery, and that’s really what this event ended up being about,” said Fury. “There’s always a touch of glamour and humor to Piers’ work—a whimsy combined with something a little provocative and exciting. His bonnets were hilarious. Plus, they’re in that amazing egg-yolk Louis Vuitton yellow that feels very right for spring.” Most importantly, Atkinson’s winning design best embraced the evening’s vibe—the rejuvenation of spring, the Easter spirit, and complete, wacky fun.
about this blog
- editor matthew schneier covers all the news in style, from high street to high fashion, with dispatches from new york, l.a., london, paris, milan, tokyo, beijing, and more