99 posts tagged "Balmain"
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.”
The Fall ’14 menswear collections have marched down the catwalk in London, Florence, and Milan, and are now under way in Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Fall ’14 previews is available here.
WHO: Balmain, designed by Oliver Rousteing
WHEN: Thursday, January 16
WHAT: “The Balmain man seamlessly mixes the most diverse influences–from ’90s hip-hop to classic Parisian luxury. Fall ’14 is a celebration of that.” — Oliver Rousteing. The designer sent us a snap of his Fall ’14 mood board, above.
The fashion biz has had quite a year. 2013 was jam-packed with major designer shake-ups, groundbreaking ad campaigns, celebrity collaborations, and pop-star performance wardrobes filled with custom-made designer duds. In the final days leading up to 2014, we’re counting down Style File’s most popular twenty stories of the past year. So sit back, relax, and relive 2013′s unforgettable moments. Read our top five stories, below. To see all of our most popular posts from 2013, click here.
5. Diamond Girl: Behind the Scenes of Rihanna’s World Tour Wardrobe
Rihanna had a banner year when it came to fashion, culminating in becoming the face of Balmain’s Spring ’14 campaign. Back in March, the star kicked off her Diamonds world tour, and thanks to her stylist, Mel Ottenberg, her onstage wardrobe, which was comprised of mega-watt looks by Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Dior’s Raf Simons, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, and her River Island co-designer, Adam Selman, had just as much sparkle as the tour’s title would suggest. Style.com’s Katharine K. Zarrella spoke to Ottenberg about all seven of the singer’s custom costumes and what it takes to dress the pop-culture force that is RiRi.
4. Marc Jacobs Bids Adieu to Louis Vuitton
After sixteen years at the helm of Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs stepped down from his post as creative director following his Spring ’14 show for the storied house. Following his epic Spring presentation, whose all-black set incorporated pieces from his most memorable shows (remember the escalator? that carousel? the baroque elevator? they were all there), LVMH announced that Nicolas Ghesquière will be filling his shoes come Fall ’14. Jacobs, in turn, will be taking his eponymous company public and further expanding the MJ empire. As the news of his departure broke, Style.com took a look back at Jacobs’ greatest hits for Vuitton.
3. A.P.C.’s Jean Touitou on His New Collaboration With Kanye West
What a year it has been for Kanye West—a new album, a baby, a fiancée, a cornucopia of Margiela masks…but his most notable contribution to the fashion biz in 2013 was no doubt his collaboration with cult favorite French label A.P.C. The range of sweatshirts, tees, and denim sold out in a matter of hours and caused a veritable frenzy of discussion on the Internet. Style.com’s Matthew Schneier broke the news of the team-up in July and interviewed A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou about working with Yeezy and the “Kingdom of Dopeness.”
2. Roller Girl
In May, L.A.-based jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth enlisted actress Alison Brie—of Mad Men and Community fame—to put on some roller skates and show off her bohemian-luxe wares in a short film. Shot in a roller rink in New Jersey, the flick features a cameo from the designer (who admitted that her skating skills are a little shaky) as well as an original song by electro-pop trio Au Revoir Simone. The video debuted exclusively on Style.com.
And the number-one story of 2013 is…
1. Erykah Badu Fronts Givenchy’s New Campaign
Riccardo Tisci surprised and pleased us all when he chose neo-soul singer Erykah Badu to front his Mert & Marcus-lensed Spring ’14 Givenchy campaign, which debuted exclusively on Style.com. Matthew Schneier spoke to Tisci about the new ads, why Badu is “an icon,” and the presence of women of color in fashion.
In 2013, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented convergence of hip-hop and art. First there was Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby” music-video shoot this summer; then came Kanye West’s experimental Yeezus tour de force; and last night the two communities came together yet again, at NeueHouse in Manhattan, for a panel talk in celebration of the Wu-Tang’s twentieth anniversary, with Clan architect Oliver “Power” Grant and sculptor Tom Sachs. The latter is a longtime Wu disciple, who recalled listening to their records as a kid after Hebrew school in the nineties. Although the two couldn’t possibly be more different—Power was raised in the projects of Staten Island, a.k.a. “Shaolin,” while Sachs grew up in wealthy Westport, Connecticut—they found surprising common ground in “bringing the ruckus.” For example, they were both mischievous as kids. Sachs keyed his father’s BMW to make one of his first statements about consumerism, while Power ultimately decided to assemble and launch Wu-Tang because group leader RZA was locked up in jail and needed bail money, and he was on probation himself. According to Power (it’s worth noting that he never rapped with the group, focusing on business instead), “it was a form of desperation and inspiration” that caused them to “get past the corner” and start creating. Sachs agreed, saying that fear is the only thing that stops people from “creating your own reality and writing your own rules.”
Later in the evening, the conversation turned to consumerism, which remains a particular source of fascination for Sachs and informs many of his most famous works, such as Chanel Guillotine and Prada Deathcamp. Power quickly related: “I think that consumerism dictates what rap is and what it’s going to be, because that’s what it’s been doing.” He continued to discuss the origins of the Wu-Tang phoenix logo (“RZA was like, ‘Yo, I want my shit like Batman.’”) and the brand expansions that he has helped bring about, including Wu Wear clothing, the Wu-Tang video game, and even Wu Nails on Victory Boulevard, in Staten Island, which closed a few years ago. “Wu-Tang is forever going to be culturally relevant,” he said. “Even if we don’t have a record out, our brand is for real. This shit is like Coca-Cola now.”
In addition to their forthcoming album and reunion tour, the Clan’s major news is their Wu-Tang Hybrid Arts initiative, a.k.a. Wu Ha, which features works inspired by the Wu-Tang’s history (during the talk, several artists were live-painting portraits of different members such as Raekwon, ODB, and RZA), including Sachs’ combination ode to Wu-Tang Ladurée macarons. It will be displayed in a larger exhibition that opens at the Japanese American National Museum, in September 2014.
“It was heaven,” said Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing of shooting with Rihanna. The pop star is the face of the house’s Spring ’14 campaign, two images of which debut exclusively here. But Rousteing, who spoke to Style.com from Paris this morning, insists the ads weren’t the result of a PR push or a marketing strategy—rather, they were the product of he and Riri’s budding friendship. “I met her six months ago, when she came to the studio during her Diamonds Tour, and I just loved her,” the designer recalls. “She invited me to her concert, and I invited her to my show, and she started to become a good friend of mine. Obviously, we text all the time, and at one point, when I was working on the Spring collection, I told her she was the inspiration and that I wanted her in the campaign. It all started like that.”
Styled by Rihanna’s own stylist Mel Ottenberg and lensed by Inez & Vinoodh, the ads, which will hit magazines in January, were apparently shot to the tunes of Prince. “We listened to it super loud, and she was dancing in the clothes—but she really owned them. She tweaked everything. She chose what she wanted to wear, she had a great vision, and that’s what I love about her,” Rousteing said, stressing that he feels Rihanna is the ultimate icon for this generation. “I wanted the campaign to be about Balmain, but I didn’t just want a model—I wanted a strong, real woman in the clothes. For me, Rihanna is a power. And she pushes boundaries on everything.
“Sometimes,” Rousteing added, “fashion is all about a big machine. And we forget about emotions, and realness, and dreams. But dreams do come true, and this came from something really simple, and easygoing, and real.”
So what’s Rousteing’s favorite Riri song? “I have to be honest. I love the new one, “Monster,” but I think “Stay” is one of the best songs ever. I fell in love listening to this song. And that’s something I’ll always remember.”