Maniamania’s darkly elegant baubles are about to find luxe new life as the brand branches out with Immortalia, its first fine-jewelry effort, set to launch on themaniamania.com on March 10. Fans of the five-year-old line’s quietly macabre aesthetic will no doubt delight in Immortalia’s jumping-off point: Victorian and Georgian memento mori (from the Latin meaning “remember you will die”) trinkets. Here, though, the ghoulish 19th-century wares have been stripped of more literal motifs like skulls, withering blooms, et al., in favor of sophisticated styles that should please a variety of customers. Pieces range from Equinox, an upscale take on the knuckle ring featuring a delicate crescent moon with a pavé of gray and white diamonds, to Mineralia, a whopping cocktail ring in white gold, rutilated quartz, and champagne diamonds. For those with marriage on their minds, there are both an engagement and wedding band on offer. All nine of the collection’s styles, which are priced between $1,180 and $8,200, are handmade to order in New York using only ethically sourced and certified gems. The release also reunites Maniamania with Lindsey Wixson, who lends her otherworldly pout to the campaign. As designer Melanie Kamsler tells it, “We haven’t deviated too far. Our muse and inspirations are the same, it’s just a more sophisticated interpretation.” Have a first look at the collection here, exclusively on Style.com.
Since September, Belgian designer Glenn Martens has been carrying on in the spirit of Y/Project founder Yohan Serfaty, who passed away last April. But whereas Serfaty specialized in a mostly leather menswear line, Martens has, in addition to designing menswear, been spinning out his late mentor’s style into a full-fledged women’s collection. On the docket for Fall: easy, urban pieces such as elegant but streetwise leather coats made of wide, vertical sweeping panels that sway with its wearer’s gait (or, as Martens put it, “They explode when you walk.”). Serfaty was a strong tailor, and that influence is evident in sharp, menswear-inspired suits with raw cut finishes; oversize blazers; jackets with clever zip work; and wide, comfortable silk pants. Elsewhere, there were thoughtful multifunctional pieces such as a top run through with vertical drawstrings that can do double duty as a dress. “I love that duality. When you’re running around and your day is never-ending, you have to be prepared,” the designer said. “You can make it work to your body.” Judging by the early response (the line has already been picked up by a bevy of retailers, including ØDD in New York), it won’t be long before bodies stateside will be working that vibe.
If you’ve ever fallen hard for a piece of high-fashion costume jewelry, chances are good that it has passed through Edgard Hamon. Founded in 1919, the atelier was the first to create belts for Chanel, and decades later, it was the first to thread strips of leather through metal chains.
Today, the Edgard Hamon archives scan like a who’s who of couture’s glory days: Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Nina Ricci, Chanel, Givenchy, Thierry Mugler, Balenciaga, and Christian Lacroix have all called on Edgard Hamon at some point.
Which is why Lacroix, along with Elie Top, Paris Vogue jewelry editor Franceline Prat, and various other experts all gathered today at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Their mission was to elect the winners of the two first-ever Edgard Hamon awards: the Edgard Hamon Prize for Costume Jewellery, which goes to a designer under 30 years old who has worked in fashion jewelry in France, and the 3,000-euro Edgard Hamon Future Hope Prize for Costume Jewellery, which goes to a student in his or her last year at a European school of fashion.
The contestants were challenged to design pieces based on the work of a chosen architect, and tonight, Style.com can exclusively reveal the winners. Century Xie took the 15,000-euro Edgard Hamon Prize for Costume Jewellery, and Yao Yu won the Edgard Hamon Future Hope Prize for Costume Jewellery.
“We had a great time, they were incredibly creative,” said Lacroix of the selection process. “It was really beautiful. Many of them referenced Gaudí or Prouvé, for example. And many of them were influenced by Elie [Top].”
Top, the self-taught talent behind Lanvin’s fabulous baubles, replied that he was flattered to hear it. “Everyone’s always talking about bags and shoes, but costume jewelry really deserves attention. It’s so closely linked with fashion’s silhouettes, color, and what you want now—that’s the magic of it. There’s so much more to it than silver and gold.”
Xie’s line will be produced and displayed at Le Bon Marché; Edgard Hamon will produce three of Yu’s prototypes and she will receive an internship. The winners’ collections will be presented at an official ceremony at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs on July 4.
Karolina Kurkova was recently snapped in London sporting a white Steven Tai dress with navy floral appliqués—a pick that definitely helped edge him further onto the global fashion radar.
Tai, 29, who was born in Macao and mostly raised in Canada, belongs to a brand-new generation of designers who found their passion thanks to Style.com. “I remember being a geek in high school, becoming interested in how dress indicated belonging and how to look the part,” he recalled. Around his senior year, someone introduced him to Style.com. “It opened up a whole new world for me,” he said in his Paris showroom the other day. “It really turned me into a fashion person.”
For Fall-Winter, Tai’s story revolves around “a girl who broke up with her boyfriend but kept all his clothes”—which means tailored coats with a masculine vibe and slightly bigger, tomboyish silhouettes. Texture is a big focus for Tai, so he’s been developing techniques using laser-cut nylon, a raincoat material he works into flowers or uses as fringe, and sparkling tweed stitched in layers on jackets and coats. “We measure by the number of movies we watched while we are sewing,” he said, indicating one fringed trench. “This one is eight movies for four people.” He’s also been developing jacquards, which he uses in columns and cuts into fringe. “Jacquard is such a traditional fabric, it’s fun to be unsentimental about it,” he joked. Those flowers on Kurkova’s dress are another invention: They may look and feel like velvet, but in fact they are made of finely detailed, sliced embroidery.
Alix Thomsen likes going her own arty, eclectic way, opting for street casting and contemporary galleries over models and catwalks. She’s also recently dipped into an opera collaboration and signed on to do the decor of the Hôtel du Temps in the ninth arrondissement.
For Fall, the Thomsen collection took over the sprawling Emmanuel Perrotin art gallery in the Marais, where the designer presented living tableaux based on an ever-so-slightly-twisted art school theme. “They’ve had a really strict, theoretical education and they’ve been shut off from the world for a long time,” she explained of models who drifted dreamily among the installations, speaking to themselves or maybe no one in particular. In just five short years, Thomsen has grown from a capsule of shirts and jackets into a full-blown line. This season, the line gave us such unconventional options as a Perfecto dipped in pink paint, tie motifs recast onto a wrap dress, and a pinstripe suit turned into a coatdress. The hand behind the prints belongs to the Parisian artist Rafael Alterio, whom Thomsen met while working on the hotel. Colorful and graphic knits round out a pretty, feminine collection that’s still in close touch with its masculine side.