183 posts tagged "Alexander McQueen"
Although you’ve definitely seen her influence, you may not have heard of Katy England. She isn’t one for the street-style paps or the blogosphere—probably because she’s too busy styling the collections of such talents as Riccardo Tisci, Tom Ford, and Marios Schwab to stop and strike a pose. During her twenty-year-and-counting career, England has built close relationships with Dazed & Confused and AnOther magazines (she previously held the role of fashion director at the latter), and served as the creative director of Alexander McQueen’s studio from the mid-nineties to the mid-naughties. If you’re still not impressed, we should tell you that she’s styled covers and spreads with photographers such as Rankin, Nick Knight, and Willy Vanderperre, and currently works with one Kate Moss on her much-talked-about Topshop range.
England has just released Made in England, a short film, created in collaboration with Vauxhall, that focuses on the many facets of contemporary British youth culture. Here, the stylist talks to Style.com about her directorial debut, McQueen, and why fashion is for the young.
Your film is all about British youth culture, which has historically played a huge role in British fashion. Do you think that youth culture now is equally as influential as it was during the punk or New Romantic/club kid eras?
I don’t feel there’s the same energy. It’s just so different, but I’m not young anymore. Teenagers today think they’re doing the most exciting things, just like we did at our age. It’s all relative. But I think designers—all of us—get inspired by young people and what they’re doing. I certainly do. Real fashion, high fashion, is from the kids and for the kids. We can all look stylish, and we can all dress really well and be on trend, but real fashion, as I would call it, is for the young. I work with Riccardo Tisci on his menswear collections; he is so inspired by what young kids are doing worldwide. And I’m sure Marc Jacobs does as well. I think there’s a certain bunch of them that are really young at heart.
What do you think of the increasing focus being placed on London’s young talents?
I used to work for Alexander McQueen, and when he took his position at Givenchy many, many years ago, it was the beginning of designers being approached by big houses. We were just kids—new kids on the block at the house of Givenchy—and we didn’t know what to do, and we didn’t get much support. I think now it’s become much more familiar—it happens all the time. And it’s great, but [the young designers] all need to have support around them, whether it’s great stylists, great people helping them research, great technicians…. I think these jobs are huge, and they’re a lot of pressure for the kids. If they’re supported, they’ll be fine, because they have a huge amount of energy, but it’s so tough. I did it with Alexander McQueen, unsupported. And it was harsh—really harsh.
Do you think it’s a positive thing that big houses are tapping young talents, and that these important companies are investing in new designers?
Sometimes I think it’s too much too soon, and I think there’s a huge value in learning in a smaller way. I work with Marios Schwab, who has a very small company in London. He’s been doing it a long time, and he’s such a talent. Bit by bit, he keeps going, and I hope that it will happen for him in the end. And when it does, my god will he be set up and ready for it, because he’s learned his craft. You have to learn your craft. You can’t just catapult. You’re going to be better for it if you learn the hard way.
Would you prefer to have youth or wisdom?
I’d love the energy of youth. I love being around people with that energy. I really feed off of that. But it’s tough for kids now. When I started in the fashion industry, it was so openly creative and you were not restricted in any way. Kids don’t have that opportunity so much anymore, because fashion is much more of a business now. Even with photo shoots, the clients are so much more powerful, because of digital photography—they can watch the shoot taking place. That was never the case before, and they had to put trust in a team of creatives to book the right people and get on with it. It was literally so free, and you would hope that you captured it, and you’d be so excited to see the film in the end. The creative process is very spontaneous, and it needs to be spontaneous. I think that we’ve lost a lot of that spontaneity. Continue Reading “Katy England Would Rather Just Get on With It” »
On November 15, Alexander McQueen will unveil a thirty-piece limited-edition collaboration with the artist Damien Hirst. The subject of the project? The brand’s most recognizable asset: the skull scarf.
The linkage between the house and Hirst celebrates the accessory’s ten-year anniversary–it first appeared on McQueen’s Spring ’03 runway. Blending the house’s signature cranium with Hirst’s Entomology series (think: Morpho butterflies, lunar moths, and scarabs), the results are kaleidoscopic in aesthetic yet elegant in tone. And the wares will look just as smart around the neck as they might behind framed glass. To accompany the launch, Sølve Sundsbø shot a short film that combines models draped in the silk scarves, a gritty ambiance, and harrowing piano to romantic effect. Catch the film’s debut below, exclusively on Style.com.
Starting at $515, the Alexander McQueen x Damien Hirst scarves will be available at Alexander McQueen stores worldwide and at www.alexandermcqueen.com.
This morning, the British Fashion Council announced the nominees for the 2013 British Fashion Awards, to be held in London on December 2. The race for this year’s emerging talent awards will be especially exciting—while 2012 saw the comparatively long-established Jonathan Saunders and J.W. Anderson take the honors in the up-and-coming men’s and womenswear categories, respectively, 2013′s nominees include Marques’Almeida, Thomas Tait, Simone Rocha, Craig Green (left), Christopher Shannon, and Agi & Sam—the veritable new-new in London’s fashion pool. Green, in particular, has seen his star skyrocket this year, after peddling his unconventional take on menswear since his graduation from Central Saint Martins in 2012.
New in 2013: an International prize, for which Prada, Marc Jacobs, and Dior (Raf Simons) are named, and a Best Campaign award, the contenders for which have not yet been revealed. It’s sure to be a close race between Cara Delevingne, Edie Campbell, and Sam Rollinson for Model of the Year. Same goes for the womenswear designer of the year honor, for which Christopher Kane, Céline’s Phoebe Philo, and Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton have been named. For a full rundown of the 2013 nominees, visit the BFC’s Web site.
“Icon” is one of the most overused words in the fashion lexicon—in fact, it’s thrown around with such carelessness that one has to wonder if it still holds any meaning. This past Saturday, the Met attempted to restore some of the word’s significance with its all-day series TEDxMet: Icons. Through talks by choreographer Bill T. Jones, neuropsychiatrist Dr. Eric R. Kandel (who explained our often amorous relationship with art through science), and the Met’s medieval art curator Melanie Holcomb, the event—which, held in connection with the globally recognized TED organization, is the first TEDx talk ever to be hosted in a museum—aimed to both explore and challenge our understanding of icons. Curator Luke Syson explained he thought the Mona Lisa was the most iconic work of art in history—until he developed a love/hate relationship with a pair of pink, handcrafted seventeenth-century French elephant vases by Jean-Claude Duplessis. Later, Negin Farsad—a Muslim American comedian—did a thoroughly hysterical bit dubbed “I Used to Be Black: Notes From an Icon-Less American,” about her coming-of-age identity crisis and her difficulty in finding an Iranian American role model (“join me,” she pleaded, “and let’s bang out some new icons!”). And architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff explored how Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum building (which the Met is taking over when the Whitney moves downtown in 2015) could transform from a hated Bauhaus structure to a beloved landmark worth saving.
Unsurprisingly, however, this journalist was most excited about Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton’s discussion of his 2011 Alexander McQueen exhibition Savage Beauty. The show attracted 661,509 visitors during its seventy-seven-day run, but Bolton noted that neither he, nor the Met, had expected it to be such a success. “You need only look at how we handled the lines to see that,” he laughed. And while McQueen’s suicide played a somewhat macabre role, Bolton stressed that it was the “beauty and power of McQueen’s fashions” that made Savage Beauty the most popular fashion exhibition in the Met’s history.
Before his talk, which was punctuated by screens covered in images of Savage Beauty‘s installations and McQueen’s most memorable runways, came to a close, Bolton joked that he had asked those closest to McQueen—including Sarah Burton—whether the late designer would have approved of the exhibition. Apparently, everyone offered the same response. “He would have loved having his name above the museum, but would have been furious that fewer people had come to see his show than King Tut.” Before stepping off stage, Bolton added, that, after one of his last shows, McQueen remarked, “There is no way back for me now. I’m going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed were possible.” “This,” said Bolton,”was his legacy. And this is what it means to be an icon.” We have to agree that McQueen embodies the word—in its truest sense.