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15 posts tagged "Andrew Bolton"

The Met Gala For 2011: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

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Samantha Cameron, or “SamCam” as she is affectionately known in the U.K., is one busy lady. In addition to her duties as wife of the Prime Minister, and mom, she’s also taken on the role of ambassador to the British Fashion Council. It’s in this role that the former head of Smythson and recent appointee to Vanity Fair‘s Best-Dressed List arrived at the Ritz bright and early this morning (despite last night’s party at 10 Downing Street) to introduce the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s director, Thomas P. Campbell, and Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton. The Met brass were on hand to lay out further details of the Met 2011 spring gala: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, chaired by Mr. and Mrs. François-Henri Pinault. (That Mrs. is, of course, otherwise known as Salma Hayek-Pinault.) Also in attendance were two of the ball’s co-chairs, Anna Wintour and Stella McCartney; the third, Colin Firth, is attending to awards season duties this week.

Sarah Burton, McQueen’s creative director and his right-hand woman for 14 years, was clearly emotional at the event—and understandably so. Not only was the venue the site of McQueen’s first post-graduate show, but the handful of pieces on display, including his calf-hair horned jacket and a gilded feather jacket (left), reminded everyone why McQueen was such a national treasure. SamCam gave McQueen his due gravity introducing the event: “We are so happy that one of America’s great institutions is supporting one of the U.K.’s most deeply talented designers, Alexander McQueen,” she said from the podium. Bolton, for his part, agreed wholeheartedly; McQueen, he said, was an “easy sell” for the theme, especially given the late designer’s tremendous body of work. Click at left to see more pieces from the show’s catalogue, shot by Sølve Sundsbø. Continue Reading “The Met Gala For 2011: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” »

McQueen’s Moment, Cocktail Karl,
A Wu Wedding, And More…

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The Met’s Costume Institute will stage a full-scale exhibition in tribute to Alexander McQueen next year. Curator Andrew Bolton prefers not to call it a “retrospective”: The show will look at the themes underlying the late designer’s work, from his earliest pieces, created at Central Saint Martins, through his tenure at Givenchy, to the heyday of his own house. (Pictured above: Alexander McQueen Fall ’06, Fall ’08, and Fall ’09.) It will open in May and be the focus of the annual Costume Institute Gala. [WWD]

At the IHT Luxury Conference in London, Suzy Menkes posed a searching question to Karl Lagerfeld: “Who is Karl Lagerfeld?” The answer: “I am a cocktail.” One that includes Diet Coke, presumably. [@TheMoment]

The bride wore Wu—or she will soon. The much-lauded designer is launching a capsule collection of bridal looks on Net-a-Porter in January, with prices starting at around $800. [WWD]

At Lanvin’s Spring ’11 show, the models wore flats, because, Alber Elbaz said, the heels were too torturous. If the catwalkers got let off the hook, the celebs haven’t been. Gwyneth Paltrow tried a pair of the spikes on the red carpet and confirmed: They’re like “a torture vice,” she said. It goes without saying, of course, that they’re gorgeous, painful or not. [People StyleWatch]

Photos: Marcio Madeira

How Sui It Is

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Anna Sui is a fashion lifer, with a 20-year career in the industry and, now, a 300-page retrospective coffee-table book to show for it. “As a designer, you never have time to look back because you’re always looking six months forward to next season,” Sui said at a signing of the book in New York last night. “To be honest, I’d completely forgotten about so much of the good stuff.”

Anna Sui, penned by the designer’s close friend Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, goes collection by collection through Sui’s label, interspersed with the many fashion editorials and boldfaced friends who’ve made her a force to be reckoned with from the start. After all, before she ever sent her first collection down the runway for Fall 1991, the Biba-wearing club kid was already dressing Madonna up in baby dolls. (A few of those boldfacers also contributed to the text: Jack White of the White Stripes—husband of Sui’s longtime muse Karen Elson—contributed a preface, where he notes that his favorite of his wife’s dresses always turn out to be Sui’s; Steven Meisel wrote the introduction)

Bolton wades through Sui’s wide-ranging fonts of inspiration, which include everything from Marie Antoinette to rococo pirates to Andy Warhol’s Factory parties—not to mention Sui’s greatest inspiration, music. “Watching one of Anna’s collections is like watching MTV,” Meisel writes. “You see the Clash, Nirvana, the Sex Pistols, the Smashing Pumpkins, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” You also see, in Anna Sui, the procession of fashion greats from the nineties, as in the iconic finale of Sui’s 1994 grunge collection: the supe trifecta of Christy, Naomi, and Linda, strutting down the catwalk in feathered headpieces.

PLUS: For more Anna Sui, check out our video of Sui chatting with Marc Jacobs on the occasion of her CFDA Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award.

Photo: Courtesy of Anna Sui

American Women, Then And Now

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Oprah Winfrey, who is a co-host of tonight’s Costume Institute Party of the Year with Vogue‘s Anna Wintour and Gap’s Patrick Robinson, wasn’t in the house, but the American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity preview and press conference at the Met this morning drew a big crowd nonetheless. Explaining the genesis of the exhibition, curator Andrew Bolton said, “Our original focus was American women of style—Rita Lydig, Lauren Bacall, Gypsy Rose, and other women who’ve donated their clothes to the Met. But the Brooklyn Museum collection [which the Costume Institute recently acquired and which forms the basis of this show] reflects more powerfully on ideals of femininity and how they echo the American woman’s gradual emancipation.” Not only the physical emancipation of the Gibson girl, but also the political emancipation of the patriot and the sexual and economic emancipation of the flapper. Still, there’s no resisting assigning icons to the show’s six archetypes, and the last room features over 200 still and moving images of famous American females from 1890 to today. For Bolton, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer is the modern heiress, Serena Williams today’s Gibson girl, Lady Gaga our bohemian (her predecessor—Mrs. Philip Lydig, as shot by Edward Steichen, left), Michelle Obama a contemporary patriot, Beyoncé a latter-day flapper, and Angelina Jolie a twenty-first-century screen siren. Many, if not all, of those women will be in attendance at the gala tonight.

What might prove to be most compelling about the show, however, are the fairly unknown French and American designers it showcases—Weeks, Simcox, and Madame Eta, among them. In Costume Institute chief curator Harold Koda’s estimation, that has a lot to do with the nature of the Brooklyn Museum’s collection. “They were more focused on addressing the American design community, and how the collection would inspire other designers.” Indeed, there are plenty of frocks, in the Flapper and Screen Siren rooms in particular, that wouldn’t look out of place at “the party of the year.”

PLUS: For more on the American archetypes, check out our American Woman feature.

Photo: Edward Steichen/Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Blasblog: Baby Jane Reveals Her Great Walls

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Eight Warhols, a little Elizabeth Peyton drawing, and a Keith Haring sculpture. That’s what I espied within one step into Jane Holzer’s Upper East Side townhouse. It’s clear from the absolute get-go that when it comes to collecting, Jane Holzer—or Baby Jane (seen here in 1967), as Andy Warhol famously nicknamed her, as one of his first Superstars—isn’t messing around. But as the Costume Institute’s Andrew Bolton pointed out, “She doesn’t boast. Which is infuriating.” At a little get-together on Monday night, organized by the Met’s Friends of the Costume Institute, the walls did enough boasting. Up the steps from the stocked foyer was a Richard Prince joke painting made especially for her, with a backdrop of her Warhol portraits. Brace yourself for the second floor, which housed some Christopher Wools, Cindy Shermans, a Jim Hodges spiderweb on the staircase, a few Terrence Kohs and Dan Colens, and an Ed Ruscha. Two giant gold Keith Harings stood across from a couple Jackie O Warhols and an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus.

Continue Reading “Blasblog: Baby Jane Reveals Her Great Walls” »