98 posts tagged "Balmain"
“We had to start with the basics,” explained FIT graduate student and curator Kristen Haggerty. She’s talking about the origins of the university’s just-launched exhibition, Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket, a study of the motorcycle jacket’s evolution from a utilitarian Schott Bros. basic, to a symbol of post-WWII rebellion, to the modern-day fashion staple. “The first Perfecto was made in 1928 and was sold by Harley-Davidson—it’s really what everyone thinks of when they think of a biker jacket,” said Haggerty, gesturing to a 1980 replica of the late twenties belted classic with an exposed zipper. “Yes, it’s a very stylish garment, but every one of those elements means something.”
The show, which opens with an in-depth examination of the iconic Perfecto, combines documentary photography, press clippings, and a tightly curated collection of original pieces to shed light on the now 80-some-year history of the moto. Wares by Helmut Lang, Rick Owens, and a particularly memorable tutu moto jacket from Comme des Garçons’ Spring 2005 outing display the many ways in which fashion designers have appropriated and interpreted the garment. “Over the years, the Perfecto became something much more than a utilitarian biker jacket,” Haggerty told Style.com. “There were times when it was pretty subversive. Modern designers [have also] really gone above and beyond. It’s a garment that can exist in two different places at the same time, and have meaning for both of them.” All one needs to do is browse a rack at Versace, Chloé, Balmain, or Saint Laurent to see what she’s talking about. The exhibition, however, will help you understand and, dare we say, appreciate it.
Beyond Rebellion will be on view at The Museum at FIT, Tuesdays through Fridays, through April 5.
We can always count on Paris for high-wattage casts, but we never expected to see so many supermodels this early in the week. None other than Gisele Bündchen kicked things off today by closing Balenciaga (the last time she set foot on a runway was Alexander Wang’s Fall ’12 show two years ago), where she was notably joined by familiar faces Mariacarla Boscono and Natasha Poly. Several hours later, Balmain continued to raise the bar with a lineup full of A-listers, including Angela Lindvall, Anja Rubik, Emily DiDonato, Izabel Goulart, and closer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (who also walked in the label’s Spring show). Compared to those all-stars, the other major girls in the mix—Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, Jourdan Dunn, and Edie Campbell—all but faded into the background. And then leave it to Rick Owens to throw a wrench into the works. Following his step dancers last season, the designer turned heads again by interspersing old-school veterans such as Kirsten Owen and Diana Dondoe with real, mature women (many of whom, we’re happy to say, were not sample size). But this was no street-casting job. Rather, Owens’s casting directors, Angus Munro and Noah Shelley, told Style.com that “most of the ‘women’ were part of the Owens organization.” Owens kept it fresh by keeping it in the family. Speaking of keeping it in the family, we were pleasantly surprised to see Harry Brant follow supermodel mom Stephanie Seymour when he made his runway debut at IRFE. Sadly, his older brother, Peter Brant Jr., didn’t make the cut. There’s always next season, Peter.
Twenty-five years after the opening of its flagship on London’s Fulham Road, Joseph is finally staging its first runway presentation on London Fashion Week’s official schedule. Next week’s presentation just one component of the quarter-century birthday celebration—another crucial part is the launch of a capsule collection that fetes all things Joseph. With contributions from six designers, the range will be available at the Fulham Road store starting February 15.
Balmain, Jil Sander, Giles Deacon, Jonathan Saunders, Rupert Sanderson, and Joseph creative director Louise Trotter all hit the drawing board to create limited-edition pieces, which debut exclusively here. “We wanted to focus on designers both past and present that reflect the Joseph ethos,” Trotter said, explaining how the company whittled down the list to six, she included. “Everyone was thrilled to be asked, and thankfully most people could make the time!”
The designers also fell into line when it came to conveying the ethos of the brand. “The guiding spirit behind each piece came from the Joseph DNA: black and white. My idea of the leather tote began with one of our most iconic pieces—the stripe carrier bag,” explained Trotter. Also included in the mix are a black-and-white dress from Jonathan Saunders, a crisp white clutch from Jil Sander, and a roaring lion’s head from Balmain.
Fashion is a notoriously unforgiving business—consider each fashion year like a dog year, so for Joseph to hit twenty-five is a watershed moment that few retailers have achieved. How does Trotter account for the popularity, never mind longevity, of the brand, given the crowded retail market? “Joseph [Ettedgui, the founder] himself was a curator of new talent. His taste and spirit are still evident in the combination of designers we offer and the unique way we buy and showcase our collections,” she said of the vision of the charismatic Ettedgui, who died in 2010. “The basic principles that Joseph set out from the beginning, which are the perfect wardrobe essentials translated into luxury fabrics, is still as relevant today as when he started. We have tried to stay true to his philosophy whilst looking forward.”
Mention Los Angeles-based designer Brian Lichtenberg and two things come to mind. The first, of course, is his line of cheeky, logo-tweaked T-shirts, in which Hermès becomes Homiés, Celine transforms to Feline, and Balmain is swapped for Ballin’. Rihanna wears them. Miley Cyrus is a fan. And they’re sold at such highbrow retailers as Net-a-Porter, Colette, and Browns of London. For those with a slightly longer celeb-fashion memory, Lichtenberg is also a ready-to-wear designer known for some very high-voltage body-con dresses.
He let his ready-to-wear line go when the T-shirts picked up. “It’s a small team that I’m working with,” Lichtenberg explained. “It’s growing, but in the beginning, when it became all about the sweatshirts, the T-shirts, the beanies, the hoodies, it was like we really only had to focus on that or it wasn’t going to get made.” But this evening at The Hub at the Hudson Hotel, Lichtenberg relaunched his now-several-seasons-dormant luxury collection. “It was like, OK, I can keep doing this and not do any more dresses or leggings and just kind of be known as another L.A. sportswear designer,” Lichtenberg related from the couch in the Hudson’s lounge. “But I [wouldn't have been able to] live with myself. I want to do my dresses. I want to do the patchwork and the fun editorial moments. It’s in my blood.”
The collection, of which Lichtenberg gave us an exclusive preview, is a motocross-inspired compilation of mesh, spandex, and fishnet patched leggings; sexed-up bandage dresses; and lambskin leather drop pants (for both girls and guys). A fox fur taupe jacket and more than a few transparent lace and leather evening crop tops make it clear: This is not for a shy client.
The line—first inspired by a pair of vintage moto pants Lichtenberg found at a thrift store (“I love thrift shopping and I love just going to the Rose Bowl and shopping for ripped-up T-shirts,” he said)—is not without its tongue-in-cheek elements. A red-and-white men’s sweatshirt reads “Lichtenboro” in place of Marlboro, while a casual tee is printed with “Be Licked” as a stand-in for Bud Light. “It started with those pants, then it got me into the patchwork of the legs and doing the dresses and also kind of a white-trash element,” Lichtenberg said. “‘Be Licked’ is just a throwback to smoking and beer and all that kind of stuff.”
The designer hopes that fans of his T-shirts will embrace his ready-to-wear. It’s for somebody “who doesn’t take fashion too seriously, but loves to dress up,” Lichtenberg explained. “A free spirit.”