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April 21 2014

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7 posts tagged "Camilla Al Fayed"

Draw Something: Fashion Illustration Takes the Spotlight

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Illustrations by David Downton, Gary Card, Zoe Taylor, and Antonio Lopez

Last night in London, Christie’s South Kensington auction house played host to an exhibition and discussion orchestrated by the Fashion Illustration Gallery (FIG). And while the audience sat through the Issa London-sponsored talk, whose panel included Christie’s Meredith Etherington-Smith, illustrator David Downton (whose work is pictured above, top left), and Style.com’s Tim Blanks, they were left wondering: Should astute art investors buy up fashion illustration in the same way the world should have snatched up early Basquiat or Koons? “Before Andy Warhol was Andy Warhol, he was a fashion illustrator,” said Etherington-Smith. “Fifty years ago, the art world debated whether photography was a bona fide art form, and the same is happening now with fashion illustration. I believe there is no doubt fashion illustration is an art, but a vastly underappreciated one.”

The art on display last night represented the old guard like Cecil Beaton, Antonio Lopez (above, bottom left), and Andy Warhol, as well as such new talents as Gary Card (above, top right), Zoë Taylor (above, bottom right), and Tanya Ling. Strange bedfellows? Not according to Downton. “Some of the younger fashion illustrators out there are the most skilled draftsmen,” he said. “They very much should take their place alongside the great artists of days gone.”

Among the questions thrown out to an audience that included Suzy Menkes, Camilla Al Fayed, and Susie Bubble: Will fashion illustration ever be accepted as an art form? And will magazine editors ever replace celebs for illustrations? Downton, perhaps, answered these queries best. “The illustration I did a few years back of Cate Blanchett for Australian Vogue was, against all odds, the fastest-selling issue of the year. It also won the Maggie’s Magazine Cover of the Year. After that, there was no doubt for me that there is a place in the art world for fashion illustration.”

FIG’s exhibition at Christie’s South Kensington runs through December 19.

Illustrations: David Downton, Gary Card, Zoe Taylor, and Antonio Lopez

Gurung And Ginger Spice, Together At Last

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The Himalayas? The Alps? They’re both pointy piles of rock with snow on top. That was Elizabeth Saltzman’s irresistible logic for her choice of an Alpine lodge as the venue for the dinner she hosted in London on Wednesday night for Kathmandu’s favorite son, Prabal Gurung. Of course, it wasn’t any old Alpine lodge. Bodo’s Schloss is the latest addition to Piers Adams and Nick House’s portfolio of William ‘n’ Harry-endorsed nightspots. It’s so new that the place still refreshingly reeked of the pine-planked floors, walls, and ceiling. In keeping with the theme, there was schnitzel and glühwein and pretty servers in lederhosen and dirndls, and an oompah band playing chart hits.

Nepal? Hardly. But there were echoes of other chapters in the Gurung saga. The Spice Girls, for instance. Once an ardent fan, Prabal was parked next to Geri Halliwell during dinner. It was a pinch-me moment for him, and it’s one of his most endearing characteristics that he is endlessly appreciative of the turns his life has taken.

It’s no wonder the energy in the room was a little skittish. Saltzman claimed she’d worked 38 hours straight. And the guest of honor only made it by the skin of his teeth, due to a visa issue. We know Prabal knows how to party, but the last-minute triumph over bureaucracy sure fanned the disco inferno ignited by KCD’s Alex Malgouyres from his chairlift-cum-DJ-booth for a crowd that included such stalwarts of Saltzman’s clique as Gwyneth Paltrow, Camilla al-Fayed, Natalia Vodianova, Elle Macpherson and Cameron Diaz, fresh from the London premiere of her latest movie Gambit. If it was Prabal’s first trip to London in well over a decade, the evening also gave locals a chance to familiarize themselves with PR titan KCD, which has just opened a London office. As far as introductions go, the titan left a pleasantly pine-scented pawprint.

Photos: Courtesy Photo

London Celebrates A Doggy Do

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“It’s not a dog-eat-dog world,” Kate Moss’ hairdresser, James Brown, said at James Purdey & Sons in Mayfair last night, as he was smothered by a very happy pooch. “It’s a dog-lick-human world.” The fashion set may be used to cattiness, but at the book launch for Dogs in Vogue: A Century of Canine Chic, by Central Saint Martins lecturer Judith Watt, the claws were retracted and there was nothing but puppy love.

As Vogue put it back in the thirties, “The next best thing to having the world at your feet is to have a dog at your heels.” And the guests in attendance, from Stephen Jones and Camilla Al Fayed to designers Christopher Kane, Erdem Moralioglu, and Roksanda Ilincic, seemed very much to agree. In honor of the occasion, the designers had even worked on a series of limited-edition doggy-themed T-shirts, the proceeds from which will go to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. (They’ll be available at John Lewis.)

Watt’s monograph collects work from some of fashion photography’s masters, including Cecil Beaton, Mario Testino, Helmut Newton, and Patrick Demarchelier, all of whom have turned their lens on the four-legged. But it was a little hard to focus on the printed page when there were so many adorable pups in the flesh, including Watt’s own dachshund, Wiggles (now immortalized on Erdem’s tee). She and her pals padded around a custom-made “hound’s-tooth” carpet, and the night passed, blessedly, with no accidents.

Photo: Camilla Al Fayed and Judith Watt, with Wiggles, at the Dogs in Vogue launch

Blasblog From Moscow: Pugh Times Three

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Remember back when we were little, that group of cool girls that would show up in homeroom all dressed alike? Maybe it was an I.O.U. turtleneck sweatshirt (or were those only big in Missouri?), or maybe it was a fancy pair of stonewashed jeans with a zipper at the bottom—which, strangely, is very Balmain Spring 2009, now that I think about it. Not that it was limited to the ladies. I can remember coordinating my fuchsia Umbro shorts with friends on more than one occasion. Well, this weekend in Moscow, three of London’s coolest broads brought back this dress-alike trend, albeit raising the bar on the chic factor. Instead of Z. Cavariccis, they were all in different variations of a Gareth Pugh Fall 2008 print. That’s jewelry designer Eugenie Niarchos in a minidress that has a smaller version of the black and white optical illusion pattern, artist Olympia Scarry in a larger version in leggings form, and Harrods brand ambassador Camilla Al Fayed in the same larger print, but cut into a minidress. Scarry mixed hers with a pair of Chloé boots, to which she seems awfully partial. Niarchos went minimal with a tiny belt. And Al Fayed blinged hers up with an oversize chain-link necklace covered in pavé diamonds. “We are the same, but very, very different, too,” Niarchos smiled, adding that they all picked up traditional Russian fur hats while they were in Moscow. So maybe the triplet look won’t end here.

Photo: Derek Blasberg

blasblog from frieze: supermodel, super birthday celebration

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Nicky Haslam wasn’t the only one celebrating a birthday in London last night. British model Jacquetta Wheeler rang in another year, too, but instead of asking friends to hightail it to the southern outskirts of the city (you might as well have been in Surrey, Nicky!), Wheeler invited pals like Natalia Vodianova and Camilla Al Fayed to Momo’s off Regent Street for a spirited night of dancing. Turns out this isn’t just a birthday for Wheeler, who’s keeping the celebration going this weekend at the pile of bricks her parents own in the Kentish countryside. On Tuesday, the catwalker will head to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, to do some Obama stumping in the swing state. “My little sister Charlotte has been there for six weeks already, and says they need all the help they can get,” Wheeler said in a moment when she wasn’t on the dance floor. “If Obama wins—no, when Obama wins and changes the world for the better, I’ll be able to say I had a part in that.”

Photo: Derek Blasberg