Italo Zucchelli, the creative director of Calvin Klein Collection’s menswear, was unexpectedly enthusiastic about a subject in fashion—at least in men’s fashion—that most prefer to ignore: pre-collections. “It’s kind of new for men,” Zucchelli said. Not long ago, the situation was much the same for womenswear: Pre-collections were commercial lines, meant to bolster store buys (in practice, they often make up to 70 percent, or more, of many retailers’ annual purchases) and distill the themes of the mainline “editorial” collections presented on the runway into more wearable, salable form. But anyone reading Style.com over the past few years has seen pre-collections boom, often into runway shows of their own. (See our complete coverage if you disbelieve.)
ould the same happen for menswear? Zucchelli, for one, makes such a thing seem possible. (His sales, he reports, are split fifty-fifty between pre-collections and Spring and Fall collections.) “The pre-collections became bigger and bigger,” he said. “Now I’m injecting fashion.” The Pre-Fall 2014 collection, debuting here, makes the point. The airy palette of the Spring ’14 collection, inspired in part by the work of James Turrell, turned darker, but blue remained dominant. Makes sense: Navy is a color no man is afraid to buy. But Zucchelli made good on his promise of more fashion in this traditionally sales-friendly offering. A bonded flannel car coat, easy and approachable, was spliced together with a panel of contrast fabric. “Techy” was Zucchelli’s word for it. That future-leaning, technological bent, which has characterized many of his collections for the label, was evident throughout: In the moire jacquard motif on suits and jackets, the slash details worked into the seams of tailored garments, and, most of all, the printed graphic sweatshirts and tees that the designer said were already attracting significant sales attention. They featured blue-tinted aerial illustrations of one of the world’s techiest cities: Tokyo.
An army of mannequins clad in vibrant plaids, masks, and cowboy hats. A cherry-red assemblage fashioned from a Coca-Cola cart. A photograph of a giant ear. These are just a few of the works one encounters while touring German artist Isa Genzken’s new show at the Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition marks Genzken’s first retrospective stateside, presented with support from Céline. (Creative director Phoebe Philo is a huge Genzken fan, and flew to New York to toast the opening with a party.) “It’s past time,” says MoMA curator Laura Hoptman. “It’s a goldmine of innovative work by a strong woman artist that had never been seen in the United States. It was kind of a curator’s dream.” Indeed, visitors unfamiliar with Genzken who, now 65, has been producing art for the past forty years, are given much to explore, from the artist’s minimal wooden Ellipsoids to her unsettling found-object sculptures to her imposing comments on metropolitan architecture.
“Genzken has a broad brush. She’s moved from one language to another with alacrity,” says Hoptman. “There’s a seamlessness to how she looks at how we live every day—the junk we see on Canal Street, the construction sites, the cool clothes, the beat of techno music—that’s embedded in this very lofty ideal of what culture is. For me, that is the future of contemporary culture—it’s high, low, and everything in between. She’s very much a banner woman for that.”
Isa Genzken: Retrospective runs through March 10 at the Museum of Modern Art, moma.org .
There’s another rapper falling into fashion’s favor. Today, WWD reports, Alexander Wang has teamed up with Dr. Dre to turn out a pair of limited-edition black and gold Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. It’s been a rap-filled year for fashion, what with Kanye West’s A.P.C. collab, A$AP Rocky’s cameo on the Hood by Air runway, and Jay Z’s Picasso Baby shoot, but for Wang, it would seem, it’s all about the D.R.E.
The exhibition Cartier: Le Style et l’Histoire opens tomorrow in the freshly restored Salon d’Honneur at the Grand Palais in Paris, and to say it’s dazzling would be a gross understatement. Overwhelming is the only fit description for the show’s richness and scope.
Upon entering this low-lit exhibit, the diamonds on which the jeweler built its reputation hit you between the eyes. Slowly spinning on a column is a remarkable display of tiaras worn by such royalty as Princess Marie Bonaparte and American high-society figures including Mary Scott Townsend, whose headpiece prompted one onlooker to comment, “But she wasn’t even royalty!”
Yet however regal Cartier’s origins, the purpose of this 600-piece exhibition is to show its evolution from “jeweler to the kings” to inventor of modern, radical style. Two early twentieth-century examples: the bold graphics of diamonds paired with onyx, and daring to show color combinations that were previously considered in poor taste (think sapphires and emeralds). The idea of shaking up the fine jewelry palette started when Cartier developed close ties with fashion, notably with the original haute couturier, Charles Frederick Worth. It further gathered momentum many years later, when Coco Chanel began mixing Cartier’s wares with semiprecious stones. A Deco evening dress by Jérôme, on loan from the Palais Galliera, adds further texture to an impressive array of everyday objects small and large, from cigarette cases and lighters to opera glasses, handbags, and clocks.
Two cornerstone gems are the 478-carat Sri Lankan sapphire, one of the largest in the world, which once belonged to Queen Marie of Romania, and the Berenice, a carved emerald of Mongol origin, which was mounted into a necklace for the International Exhibition of 1925.
And then there were Cartier’s clients, A-listers all. A rogues’ gallery of Café Society figures, loyal customers, and style-makers begins with major collector Daisy Fellowes, whose favorite tutti-frutti Hindu necklace was renegade in its day, and includes Marjorie Merriweather Post, Gloria Swanson, Elizabeth Taylor, and the original panther client, Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, as well as Barbara Hutton (who preferred tigers). Special displays pay tribute to Maria Félix, who is said to have brought live baby crocodiles into the Cartier shop to illustrate her commission. The jeweled result is on display.
Also shown are more familiar pieces, such as the Halo tiara, which the Duchess of Cambridge wore on her wedding day in 2011. The crown was originally commissioned in 1936 by the Duke of York, the future King George IV of England. So opulent is Cartier’s display that, by the time you catch Grace Kelly’s practically perfect 10.47-carat diamond engagement ring, it seems like the most demure piece in the world.
Baby, what’s your sign? Even if you aren’t an astrology junkie, we can all agree that star-and-moon motifs have a universal appeal this season. Maybe it began with the fuzzy Saint Laurent cardigan from Fall ’13, which turned up on off-duty models and actresses alike, or perhaps it was Gravity, the blockbuster film set in the stunning Milky Way Galaxy. Slip on a pair of star-studded heels for a ladylike take on the trend, or opt for a glint-y clutch for a night on the town. However, if you’re into horoscopes, you can always just wear a zodiac charm and let destiny take care of the rest. Shop our favorite cosmos-inspired pieces by Khai Khai, Jimmy Choo, and more, below.
1. Khai Khai diamond moon and star earrings in 18-karat rose gold, $1,225, available at bloomingdales.com.
2. Chinti and Parker moon intarsia cashmere sweater, $327, available at
3. Jimmy Choo The Candy printed acrylic clutch, $995, available at net-a-porter.com.
4. Kate Spade New York Lela pump, $328, available at piperlime.com.
5. Brooke Gregson Aquarius 14-karat-gold diamond necklace, $2,970, available at net-a-porter.com.