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April 19 2014

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232 posts tagged "Alexander Wang"

Required Reading: Parsons The New School for Design Releases Its First Book

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Mazdack Rassi, Simon CollinsNostalgic Parsons designers rubbed elbows among alumni old and new at Milk Studios last night in celebration of the design school’s first book. One would think that all those featured in The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers were star pupils, but Anna Sui wasn’t one of them. Inside the crowded room, the designer confessed to her less-than-scholarly ways. “Being 18 and living in New York City with no parental guidance, I wasn’t a good student,” confessed Sui. But it was a fun time, she admitted.

Working her way around the room, Behnaz Sarafpour correctly named all of the designers whose sketches hung along the walls—including her own, drawn on a cocktail napkin. Sarafpour later reunited with fellow alum Reed Krakoff who, like her, once interned with Narciso Rodriguez. The two stood in front of a wall of black-and-white portraits opposite Proust questionnaires that asked designers Alexander Wang, Derek Lam, and Jason Wu the following: “What fictional character do you most identify with?” and “Who are your heroes in real life?” For Chris Benz, who was in attendance, the answers included Tom Sawyer and Martha Stewart, respectively.

“When I realized there hadn’t been a book written, I figured it’d be crazy not to,” said Simon Collins, the school’s dean of fashion, who hosted the event along with Milk’s Mazdack Rassi. The new tome includes thirty designer-dedicated chapters with a host of vibrant illustrations, photographs, and introspective quotes taken from exclusive interviews conducted over the past year. Part of the proceeds from sales will benefit scholarships for Parsons students.

While upping the school’s fashion cred ranks high on Collins’ to-do list, the dean was quick to boast that crafting the book was good for all involved. “I mean, the designers loved it,” offered Collins. “They can show their mums.”

The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers is published by Assouline. Available at select bookstores or online at assouline.com.

Photo: Lola Haze/BFAnyc.com 

Dior Decamps to Brooklyn

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Dior

Move over, Alexander Wang. There’s a new must-see designer taking over the Brooklyn Navy Yard. WWD reports that Dior has opted to show its Resort ’15 collection at the outer-borough venue (taking place on May 7). “We wanted the show to feel very New York, and the Navy Yard’s view and space captures the city,” explained a spokesperson for the quintessentially French house. Having flashbacks to the post-Wang traffic jams? Don’t fret. Dior will be offering round trips via car and—quite appropriately—ferry. Nothing says “resort” like cruising across the East River after a can’t-miss runway romp.

Photo: Getty Images 

Alexander Wang Is H&M’s New Designer Collaborator

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Alexander Wang X H&M Coachella PartyTonight at Coachella, H&M announced that its next designer collaboration will be with Alexander Wang. Wang is the first American designer to partner with H&M in the ten years the company has been doing these capsule collections, and at 30, he’s the youngest. Stella McCartney was 34 when she teamed up with the Swedish fast-fashion chain in 2005. Karl Lagerfeld, Versace, Lanvin, and Isabel Marant number among H&M’s previous designer collaborators. The announcement was made at a party hosted by Alexander Wang and H&M, where Major Lazer, Just Blaze (Jay Z’s tour DJ), and Iggy Azalea performed. Invites went out to two separate events hosted by each brand; when guests arrived at the venue (a local youth center) via two separate entrances, they realized the parties were, in fact, one.

“We’ve always liked Alexander’s designs,” explained H&M’s creative advisor, Margareta van den Bosch. “He’s very contemporary. It’s very young, but it’s also things that can be worn by any age because of his influences in tailoring and sport. He’s very much today.” Wang, for his part, said he was honored to have been chosen, not only because he’s the first American, but also because it’s the tenth anniversary. “The idea of collaborations isn’t new anymore, they’ve been done from all angles,” he began. “When they approached me, I wanted to do something different. It will be a new take on a lifestyle offering. It’s a little early [to talk about it], but it’s a completely new take on how they do collaborations.” Wang also expressed relief that the news is finally being made public. “It’s been hard keeping it hush-hush and confidential. I’ve never had to work on something where I’ve not been able to share it with my team. Now I can finally work on it openly.”

Wang will design collections for women and men. They will be sold in 250 H&M stores worldwide, and online starting November 6, 2014.

Photo: Angela Pham / BFAnyc.com

Jeffrey Kalinsky Cares a Whole Lot

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Jeffrey KalinskyJeffrey Kalinsky cares. One need only look to his annual charity events in New York and Atlanta—which, aptly dubbed Jeffrey Fashion Cares, raise money for HIV/AIDS and breast cancer research and LGBTQ organizations—to see that. But does fashion care? Considering the stereotype that the industry’s concerns never reach beyond silhouettes, vanity, and wow! factor (thank you, Prêt-à-Porter and Zoolander), we felt this was a pertinent question. “I think it does care,” answered Kalinsky. “I mean, Michael Kors recently made a $5 million donation to God’s Love We Deliver. Diane von Furstenberg does so much good work, as does Robert Duffy from Marc Jacobs,” he reasoned. “The list goes on. You’re never going to find a profession in which everybody cares. But yes, there are a lot of people in fashion who care.” Glad we could put that debate to rest.

Kalinsky, known for his Jeffrey boutiques in downtown Manhattan and Atlanta, launched his philanthropic gala twenty-two years ago in Georgia. In 2003, after opening his New York store on 14th Street, the retailer brought his charitable evening to the Big Apple. This year’s event, scheduled for Tuesday, April 8 at the 69th Regiment Armory (get your tickets here!), will donate 80 to 90 percent of the funds raised to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Lambda Legal, ACRIA, and the Point Foundation.

While the 2014 Jeffrey Fashion Cares board includes such bold-faced names as Prabal Gurung and Mickey Boardman, the real star of the benefit is honoree Rob Smith, a tireless gay rights activist and fashion executive. “I feel it’s important for me to honor the real volunteers out there,” said Kalinsky of his choice to highlight Smith, who recently traveled to Russia with Athlete Alley (where he currently serves on the board) to help further LGBT efforts on the ground at the Olympic Games in Sochi. “There are a lot of ‘famous people’ out there who do a lot of good, but Rob is a guy who has worked so hard for charity just because.”

We should also mention that the evening will feature an enticing auction. A trip to Paris, Maggie Smith’s Downton Abbey choker, a Suno tunic, and an Alexander Wang handbag are just a few of the carefully considered items up for grabs. You can get a head start and bid now at GavelAndGrand.com.

The impressive selection of auction pieces shouldn’t be surprising, considering the top-notch mix of wares available in Kalinsky’s stores. His latest find? LVMH Prize finalist Simon Porte Jacquemus, whose brand Kalinsky picked up for Fall. “I loved it because it didn’t seem like it was looking back—it was looking forward,” offered Kalinsky, adding that he both stocks and admires newcomers like Simone Rocha, J.W. Anderson, and Yang Li. So what does it take for a newbie to catch the retailer’s eye? “I have to see the right blend of art and commerce,” he explained. “And I just know it when I see it. I can hear the cash registers ringing.”

Photo: Courtesy Photo 

Maximum Utility: Workwear-Inspired Gear on the Fall Runways

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Tommy HilfigerThe long and bitter winter we’ve endured has brought out the inner survivalist in we editors at Style.com. And based on the influx of updated utilitarian gear we noticed on the Fall ’14 runways, the extreme conditions got designers thinking more practically, too. Alexander Wang made references to hunting, mountain climbing, and other outdoor sports with his new collection, which featured functional pockets of all sorts. His Brooklyn Navy Yard show was a parade of cargo pants, suede workwear jackets, canteen bags, and efficient shifts featuring individual compartments for Moleskine notebooks, smartphones, lipsticks, and lighters—everything his downtown customer needs to pound the pavement in style. Olivier Rousteing, meanwhile, transported us to a different kind of jungle (one stalked by Amazonian supermodels, no less) with his glam safari-inspired wares at Balmain. Surplus details also turned up at Rag & Bone, Isabel Marant, Acne Studios, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Elsewhere, Tommy Hilfiger put his own all-American spin on the industrial trend by whipping up a series of raw denim pieces and “Marlboro Man” coats that suggested, as he told Style.com, the “real heartland America.”

These fashion-forward riffs on blue-collar uniforms will appeal to girls who’ve been rocking Carhartt jackets lately. At the very least, the spacious pockets will give us reason to forgo a purse. We’ll be ready to drop everything and run when the zombie apocalypse (or the next Polar Vortex) strikes.

Here, a slideshow of Fall’s utilitarian highlights.