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April 19 2014

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10 posts tagged "Azealia Banks"

Ain’t No Party Like a Lingerie Party

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Natalia VodianovaEtam may be unfamiliar stateside, but the nearly century-old French lingerie company is a $1.65 billion heavyweight in Europe and Asia—and that’s not counting the sports line, a stocking collection, a range of knicker boxes, and a beauty line winging their way to stores from now through September. Reason enough to strut your stuff, which the brand did last night at the landmark Bourse de Commerce, where it debuted a new collection alongside its collaborative line with supermodel Natalia Vodianova. In addition to a saucy runway show, the extravaganza featured live performances by Eve, Azealia Banks, Cassius, Breakbot, Kavinsky, and 3D from Massive Attack that were enjoyed by guests including Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Seigner, Joséphine de la Baume, Vodianova’s partner Antoine Arnault, and more.

Of her feather-embellished, Peruvian-inspired lineup, Vodianova commented, “I went to see Mario Testino’s exhibition for the opening of the Mate museum. It was a beautiful show of local costumes. The colors, the feathers, the embroidery all became elements of my collection. Etam really let me be involved, which is fun—and I got to choose all the girls.” Vodianova, who is six months pregnant and expecting in May, has several other projects in the works, including the motivational film Never Stop for the upcoming Paralympic Games as well as the tenth anniversary of her foundation, Naked Heart, this spring.

Etam runway show

Many of Vodianova’s girls, along with performers Eve and Azealia Banks, joined a handful of VIPs for a postshow dinner at Brasserie Lipp. “[The show] was nerve-wracking and amazing,” commented Eve. “The girls were beautiful. As an artist I felt very secure—but if I’d had to walk that runway, I’d have put a bag over my head!”

Way past midnight, many drifted from the Lipp to the Montana across the street. But in an uncharacteristic twist, nightlife king André Saraiva called it an early night. “I’m growing up,” he quipped. That, and Paris fashion week has only just begun.

Photos: Courtesy Photos

With Strip Shows and Shibari, Diesel’s Nicola Formichetti and Brooke Candy Take Tokyo

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Brooke Candy

Does Nicola Formichetti ever miss Mugler? “No, I don’t,” he said from the back of a chauffeured car in his native Tokyo last week. And why would he? In his new job as Diesel’s artistic director, Formichetti is not only allowed, but encouraged, to let his signature freak flag fly. “Before Diesel, people used to tell me to turn down the volume,” he recalled. “But [Diesel founder] Renzo [Rosso] always tells me to go crazier. No one’s ever said that to me before.”

Formichetti has scores of potentially crazy upcoming projects for the brand, like capsule denim and leather collections and his very first Diesel runway show, which will be held in a yet-to-be-determined city this March. But his latest efforts—a Japanese Shibari rope bondage-inspired accessories collection and a burlesque-style ad campaign staring rebel rapper Brooke Candy and model Tessa Kuragi—are easily his craziest to date. Featuring Kuragi and Candy, a former stripper, flexing round a silver pole while showing off Diesel’s Spring ’14 wares, the Inez & Vinoodh-lensed images and corresponding film are bound to raise some eyebrows. But on Friday night, Formichetti firmly asserted his role as fashion’s primo provocateur with an X-rated launch party at Tokyo’s Tabloid. Upon entering, guests were ushered through a bona fide sex shop stocked with handcuffs, pearl-studded ball gags, fringed whips, and various other erotic toys. Beyond the accessories installation, which included Diesel’s leather-cage booties, harness-embellished bags, bullet-studded totes, and metallic brogues, were rooms peppered with exotic dancers in black lace lingerie. Meanwhile, in a red-lit space downstairs, nearly nude experts demonstrated the aforementioned art of Shibari to the sound of a harpsichord. Their colleagues, dressed in bottom-baring gowns, lace-up boots, or hot pants, watched on their hands and knees from locked cages.

It was a night that we won’t soon be able to forget, but considering the controversial reputation that Candy has built since commencing her career two years ago, the explicit event felt apropos.

Brooke Candy and Tessa Kuragi

I first met Diesel’s new face at dinner on Thursday night. She descended the stairs of the Park Hyatt’s Kozue restaurant about an hour late, wearing a neon fuchsia wig, the label’s Spring stilettos, black arm-length gloves, and pair of latex thigh-high stockings. All this was topped with a poufy hot pink frock, which would have been positively princesslike were it not completely sheer. Accompanied by her best friend and personal designer, Seth Pratt (having also worked with Azealia Banks, he’s created Candy’s outré ensembles from the beginning), the 24-year-old musician had just flown in from L.A., where she was shooting her new Diesel-funded music video. “It’s a period piece that taps into politics, religion, and female oppression,” said Candy the following day, explaining that the narrative film follows a gang of sister wives who shed their clothes, rise up against their husband, and fight for freedom. “I’m a feminist,” she added. “Any woman who says she’s not doesn’t know what’s happening.”

With a look akin to a post-apocalyptic sex robot (not to mention song lyrics like “I wanna fuck right now”), Candy isn’t your average feminist. But her fearless aesthetic, and often shocking sexual expression, are at the center of her quest for girl power. “You have to have a message when you’re doing it,” she said, referring to her penchant for nudity. “I have an agenda. I’m queer, I’m a feminist, and I’ve said that from the beginning. But once you’re a product of the [music] industry, and you’re getting naked for no reason, then you become an object.”

“She’s speaking the language of now,” said Formichetti, who discovered Candy while watching her dance in Grimes’ Genesis video. “She looks like a creature from another planet, which is kind of my thing, and I love the fact that she raps and dances like a pole dancer—she’s fresh, she’s very smart, and she knows what she’s doing.”

Flanked by two acrobatic strippers, Candy took the stage two hours into Diesel’s raucous fete. She donned little more than a black leather harness and heels (which she kicked off halfway through the set), and screamed obscenities at the audience while flipping her pastel dreads. No doubt, she’s her own woman, and proud of it. Continue Reading “With Strip Shows and Shibari, Diesel’s Nicola Formichetti and Brooke Candy Take Tokyo” »

Kesh Goes All American

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Kesh at the launch of her collaboration with American Apparel

Downtown’s eager scenesters piled into the American Apparel on East Houston last night for the New York launch of the brand’s collaboration with U.K.-bred, L.A.-based artist Kesh. The twelve-piece capsule consists of American Apparel basics—tees, hats, panties, and the like—emblazoned with graphic black and white stripes and evil eyes. The motifs were all drawn from a wall in Kesh’s studio, in front of which she’s photographed visitors such as Azealia Banks, Dev Hynes, and Olivier Zahm.

“I want everyone to wear my clothes!” the artist told Style.com after posing for an Instagram. “Well, maybe not your average Joe walking down the street that has no idea who I am,” she joked. But I have a really diverse following, from high-end fashionistas to students in Michigan. That’s what I love most about my work.”

Kesh told Style.com that she’s worn American Apparel since she was 17, so to put her art on their clothes was a big full-circle moment—almost as exciting, she said, as showing for the first time at Art Basel Miami in December. “I also chose American Apparel because I’ve seen the workers in the factory making these clothes, and those workers are happy.”

Kesh’s collection for American Apparel is available in stores and online now. Prices start at $34.

Photo: Carly Otness/BFAnyc.com

Sophia Webster Plays With Pop

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Pieces from Sophia Webster's Resort '14

“I like to bring out the little girl who likes to dress up,” said Sophia Webster at her pre-spring ’14 presentation. Webster is the latest rising star from across the pond, and she has been gaining buzz among industry insiders thanks to her whimsical, oh-so-British shoe and accessories line. (Since launching in 2012, her cheeky girlish Aztec-print heels and candy-colored handbags have already won over fashion magpies like Anna Dello Russo and Miroslava Duma.)

Rather than tracking current trends, Webster—who studied fine art and apprenticed under Nicholas Kirkwood for two years—cites pop culture as inspiration, naming styles after personal fashion icons, like the RiRi (a lace-up bootie–sandal hybrid) and the Azealia (a glitter-adorned convertible box clutch). “I tend not to look to other designers as a source of inspiration; it muddies what you’re trying to do,” the 28-year-old designer told Style.com. “I’d rather look at an artist or listen to inspiring music.” To wit, the line, which ranges from $195 to $700, is chock-full of Zeitgeist-y references—from jelly sandals and a play on Destiny’s Child’s R&B anthem “Bootylicious” to cartoonish clutches emblazoned with rap lyrics by Nicki Minaj. Continue Reading “Sophia Webster Plays With Pop” »

Azealia Banks, Victor Of 2012, Takes Aim At 2013

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Fashion rallied behind the cause of Azealia Banks in 2012: There were the umpteen performances (the Chanel after-party, the Karl launch party, the Anna Dello Russo x H&M party, the Terryworld Art Basel party), the endorsements (Azealia for T by Alexander Wang), the collaborations (Azealia x MAC), the Fashion’s Night Out performance, the red-carpet walk at the Met Gala. Today’s forecast? Twelve more months to come. Now spinning: “BBD” (that’s “Bad Bitches Do It”), the latest Banks track, released via Twitter and laced with enough four-letter words to make earphones at the office a solid recommendation.

Photo: David X. Prutting / BFAnyc.com