25 posts tagged "Anna Sui"
“You never leave Parsons,” Simon Collins said from his perch onstage at Wednesday’s fourth annual Parsons Fashion Show. His statement rang true, because yesterday’s show was just as much about the Parsons family as it was about showing off the graduating seniors’ final collections. Editors, photographers, and an endless wave of students crowded into the school’s state-of-the-art University Center at 63 Fifth Avenue, where Milk Studios’ Mazdack Rassi and Parsons alum Chris Benz spoke about their experiences with the school, the importance of having a point of view, and how the brand-new facilities are far superior to the “dump” Parsons used to occupy in Midtown. A series of videos also played in between mini fashion shows, with cameos from Donna Karan, Anna Sui, and Style.com’s Dirk Standen.
“Parsons is all about collaborating,” Collins said. He was referring to the school’s own collaborations, which range from an Allen Edmonds capsule collection to the Parsons/Kering “Empowering Imagination” Competition, which is featured on Style.com this week. “If you’re a brand or you work for a brand, you know you can’t really guarantee being on the homepage of Style.com,” Collins said. “But Parsons can.” You could tell that these BFA students are born collaborators, too. They showed a firm grasp of the current market, sending out boxy coats à la Proenza Schouler; layered knits that called to mind Burberry’s Fall ’14 show; and even Fendi-inspired luxe fur accents, like those on Wenqi Wu’s covetable sheared tunic. We would wear those pieces tomorrow. Each student had a defined point of view—Ximon Lee cites the clothes of Russian street children as his starting point—but at the same time, the show felt cohesive. Not an easy feat. These students spent four years (or more) playing off of each others’ ideas and aesthetics to finish with a range of high-quality, very impressive final projects. You could picture them being an asset to any design team—although many dream of becoming the next Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, or Anna Sui, all Parsons alums who are still very connected to the school. Following the students’ upcoming graduation, we can see why they won’t want to leave the clan.
In the end, perhaps fashion isn’t so complicated. It boils down to this: How do I find my signature and how do I develop it over time? Three things that people have said to me on this subject have stuck in my mind:
Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele (stylist): “I get inspiration from Mr. Alaïa, Mr. Lagerfeld. They know, you know? They know. They are not like all these young designers who change every six months. I think this is strange, because when you have talent inside, you never really change.”
Azzedine Alaïa (designer): “It’s inconceivable to me that someone creative can have a new idea every two months. Because if I have one new idea in a year, I thank heaven.”
Riccardo Tisci (designer), speaking approvingly of Hedi Slimane’s tenure at Saint Laurent: “I think Hedi, he wrote his first chapter [i.e., at Dior Homme] in a capital of fashion, and then he took his time off, and then he started from the same page. It’s like when you go to bed and you’re reading a book: You do the little corner, and then the night after, you start from the same page. And the aesthetic that he does really belongs to him. For sure, it is something that doesn’t look like anybody else, and that’s what I like.”
These thoughts were thrown into particularly sharp relief during a busy day of shows in New York yesterday.
What’s more remarkable about Kors: the fact that he’s now worth a billion dollars or the fact that, after three decades in business, he isn’t resting on his laurels? With his last two collections, he has brought his vision of American luxury into razor-sharp focus.
A very different designer from Kors, of course, but in his own way as American as apple pie or Pop Art. Scott has done what you do if you have your own signature: lived through a few seasons where he enjoyed the support of the faithful—and it’s some faithful; he draws the liveliest crowd in town (hey there, Jared Leto)—but didn’t have the full attention of the fashion press. Thanks to his recent appointment as creative director of Moschino, he’s firmly back in the media spotlight. He didn’t waste the opportunity, delivering a collection that riffed confidently on two great American pastimes: sex and sports.
How do you define the signature of a commercial juggernaut, best known for its menswear, which is now making a serious push into womenswear? That’s Jason Wu’s brief at Hugo Boss. He’s started to do it with the collateral: an Inez and Vinoodh-shot campaign; Gwyneth Paltrow as the face of the fragrance. And his debut collection? As Nicole Phelps said in her review, “Wu’s challenge going forward will be to maintain the Boss polish while figuring out ways to loosen up and have a bit more fun.”
I would be remiss not to mention Sui in this recap. She is one of the treasures of the New York calendar. Here’s Tim Blanks on what made her latest collection such a decadent delight.
Krakoff has been giving this subject a great deal of thought lately. After a few collections that felt the anxiety of European influence, he is now focused on creating his version of American luxury. Read Nicole Phelps’ review here.
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez were part of a pack of young New York designers who broke through in the last decade. When they celebrated their tenth anniversary a couple of years ago, they decided to drill down on their label’s identity, starting with a powerful but understated new logo. Their aesthetic, now reliably their own, is rooted in the contemporary New York art world. It’s no coincidence that yesterday’s show took place at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, a gallery in the West Village.
IT’S RALPH, THOUGH
As it happens, I’m writing this after seeing Ralph Lauren’s show on this snowy Thursday morning. Lauren showed looks from his Polo line alongside his top-end collection today, and the move invigorated him. These clothes were as clear and direct as a Hemingway sentence. If America didn’t exist, Ralph Lauren would have had to invent it.
Bonnaroo, one of the summer’s hottest music festivals (literally), takes place this weekend in Manchester, Tennessee. Year after year, the fest hosts some of the best artists around, everyone from Lil’ Wayne and Eminem to Florence + the Machine to The Strokes (and that’s just this year). As they head down south, Style.com checked in with a few of our favorite artists to see what they’re packing to beat the heat in style.
Karen Elson plays her first-ever Bonnaroo appearance this year, but she’s no stranger to the fest—so she knows firsthand what to expect. “You either rock the sweaty look or you try your very hardest to look like it’s not sweltering outside,” the model-turned-musician says. “I am not going to accept the sweaty look, so I am doing everything in my power to be the opposite.”
Since the release of her debut album, The Ghost Who Walks, in 2010, Elson has been performing in Southern Gothic-style frocks (often sourced from her own Nashville vintage shop, Venus & Mars.) “I am still trying to figure out my stage style,” she says, citing the Coen brothers’ films as a current source of inspiration. “I was always wearing long things last year. As I’ve kept performing, I have realized it’s really important to have a look.” Here’s what Elson will be bringing to Tennessee to make hers one to remember:
A custom, vintage dress by Anna Sui. “I almost always wear vintage Anna Sui to perform in. I just saw her last night and she gave me a couple of beautiful dresses to potentially wear. Or, there might be a little romper in the works.”
Nine West boots from her capsule collection for the brand. “I usually wear my custom Tabitha Simmons heels. Wearing a pair of beautiful high heels in a club is relatively pain-free, but it’s Bonnaroo and it’s muddy, so I am thinking boots.” (Above: In the Dirt boots from Elson’s collection for Nine West, in stores this August.)
Vintage sunglasses from Fabulous Fanny’s in New York City. “I lost my favorite Marc Jacobs tortoiseshell glasses! I shouldn’t be allowed to buy anything expensive because I lose or break them. I have to buy the cheap ones.” (Above: Vintage Norma Kamali sunglasses from Fabulous Fanny’s. For more information, visit www.fabulousfannys.com.)
Clinique Pore Refiner. “It’s my current obsession. It’s so smooth and I am really going to need it for the festival.” (Above: Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector, $18, available at www.sephora.com.)
Nars Highlighting Blush Powder. “I actually had dinner with François Nars last night. I just love his highlighter—the light one.” (Above: NARS Highlighting Blush Powder, $27, available at www.narscosmetics.com.)
Last night, Maria Cornejo and husband Mark Borthwick hosted an event at Cornejo’s Bleecker Street store for the T-shirts and tanks they created together to benefit Japan. They’re far from the only ones. Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, Anna Sui, and Opening Ceremony have all created for-the-cause tees, too, proceeds from which go to Japanese relief and rebuilding. Spend generously.
Top: Tory Burch tee, $29, ToryBurch.com; Opening Ceremony tee, $30, OpeningCeremony.us.
Bottom: Anna Sui tee, $20, AnnaSui.com; Ralph Lauren polo, $98, RalphLauren.com.