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12 posts tagged "Catherine Deneuve"

“RuPaul Is Kind of the Ultimate Supermodel,” and More Musings From Parsons Honoree Jason Wu

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Jason Wu

With his Hugo Boss debut and thriving eponymous line, Jason Wu is having a banner year. So it comes as little surprise that the 31-year-old Taiwanese-Canadian designer is picking up the top honor at Parsons’ 2014 Fashion Benefit, which is set for tomorrow evening. Ahead of the festivities, Wu, who’s both a Parsons alum and—fun fact—a former toy designer, took time away from wrapping his forthcoming Resort collection to speak with Style.com about his secrets to success, New York fashion’s changing landscape, and his obsession with RuPaul.

Congratulations on the Parsons honor. Considering you studied at the school, do you feel you’ve come full circle?
I’ve kind of come full circle because I moved here in 2001 for my first year at Parsons. So it’s nice to go back and be a part of this new generation of the school, which has taught me a lot and done so much for me. It’s a very nice honor and I’m very proud. But I don’t think I’ve made it—at all. I think I’ve hit a nice moment in my career and it feels great to have your peers and people in your industry acknowledge your work. But that’s not to say that there’s not much more work to do.

Between your debut at Hugo Boss, the success of your own line, and now this award, it seems that you’ve really hit your stride this year.
I don’t know. I always think there’s more to do, so I never think I’ve hit my stride. I always want more and want to do more, but certainly I think it’s been a great year so far, having done two shows in New York for the first time, and then getting this award. I guess that comes with age and experience and just doing it for a while. And I guess I’m getting a little better at it.

Do people look at you differently now that you’ve become the big man at Boss?
I don’t know if I’ve knocked it out of the park yet, but I think we had a really successful first show and I guess people look at me a little more like a grown-up, a big person.

Do you feel like a grown-up?
Yeah, I feel a little older. I guess that means grown-up. Definitely achier.

Jason Wu

Your Boss show was quite the star-studded event, and Jennifer Lawrence just wore a gown from your Fall collection to the world premiere of X-Men: Days of Future Past. What role does celebrity dressing play in a designer’s success?
Having people you admire wear your clothes in a very public way is inspiring, and it’s also a great way to get your work out there. It’s a great form of advertising. But for me it’s always about quality, not quantity, and it’s about dressing the few girls that I love. I’ve always been very loyal to Diane Kruger, Reese Witherspoon, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Kerry Washington—those are girls I dress over and over and over again. And you really develop a rapport and a friendship and a relationship. It goes back to the days when Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn, and Catherine Deneuve and Yves Saint Laurent, had those relationships that went [beyond commerciality]. Those were true relationships. It’s great to continue that tradition.

Can a young designer make it these days without a celebrity bump?
Everyone does it differently. There are some people who make clothes that are more appropriate for a red carpet and there are some people who don’t. I’m not sure if it’s a do-or-die situation, but you do have to seek exposure in your own way, in a way that’s right for your brand.

Jennifer LawrenceHow did you come to dress Jennifer Lawrence for her X-Men premiere? Was that a big moment for you?

Yeah. Actually, we just found out [the day before]. I had no idea. I think there’s something so incredibly human about her. That’s why people love her so much—she’s so relatable. She shows a little imperfection—which we all have—and still looks stunning.

You mentioned that people like seeing imperfection in public figures. With that in mind, people seem to like you a lot. What’s your imperfection?

My imperfection is that I’m not as perfect as people seem to think I am. There’s a sense of controlled, sophisticated ideas in my clothes that are quite neat, and I think people sometimes think I’m that, but I’m not.

Are you messy?
I’m actually not messy. I’m terrible at waking up early. I’m terrible at a lot of things. I’m terrible at technology—anything computer-oriented. And I’m terrible at making anything on time, which I’m really working on. Actually, at Parsons, I was always really late, and you can’t be late at Parsons. You really get into trouble.

You, along with Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, Joseph Altuzarra, etc., are part of New York’s new guard. How do you think the creative climate here is changing?
Right now, New York fashion week is at its best. We have the most young talent [succeeding] at the same time for the first time in a long, long while, and this is the first time that we’ve really been acknowledged on an international level in a long time. That has to do with the fact that our generation’s outlook is global, rather than local. If you look at Style.com, you can read that anywhere in the world. That certainly helps. Having that kind of recognition all over the world is something that is quite rare. We’re experiencing something of a moment, a movement.

Why is that, do you think?
It is, in so many ways, New York’s time. All [of the young designers] in New York come from different international backgrounds. I think that’s a very nice representation of what New York fashion is about—it’s about diversity; it’s about fresh ideas; it’s about making its own statement, because we don’t have the hundreds of years of history. We’re really still, as a whole, quite new at it.

Jason Wu Fall 14

Do you remember how you felt when you were designing your Parsons graduate collection?
It’s so funny because I went to Parsons and my major was menswear, yet I make the most fit-and-flare dresses you could possibly imagine. I guess after going to the very masculine side, I felt like I was much more comfortable in the very feminine side, and eventually the combination of the two became my work as we know it today.

Why were you initially drawn to menswear?
I always liked the idea of tailoring. I always felt making a jacket was the most difficult thing, and it is still the most difficult. Sometimes the cleanest things with the least amount of details are the most intricate.

What do fashion students need to know that isn’t necessarily taught in school?
It’s that the fashion industry isn’t by-the-books. It’s not about following one specific route, it’s about paving your own way and making it your own. That’s what makes fashion interesting—individual visions—and not one person breaks through in the same way. We all get into it slightly differently—I worked in toys first.

Speaking of toys, I read that back in the day, you did a RuPaul doll?
I worked with RuPaul once! It was a long time ago. We made a RuPaul doll and it was wildly successful and that’s how I met him. Of course, RuPaul’s Drag Race is my favorite show ever. It’s like the best show on television. RuPaul is kind of the ultimate supermodel, and I have an obsession with supermodels.

Jason Wu RuPaul

Does your former life as a toy designer ever inform your fashion designs?
Attention to detail is what links my work as a toy designer and a fashion designer. Most people say I went from dressing toy dolls to real dolls. That’s kind of the press-y version of it. But in actuality, I did everything from designing the sculptural form of the dolls to the industrialization of the molds to the manufacturing. I always knew how to create a really good product, and I think that experience primed me for this industry.

How important has business savvy been to your success?
The balance between creativity and business-savvy is something that every young designer needs to be aware of, because it’s the reality of our industry. Having that balance is something that my generation of New York designers really thinks about.

What is your advice to fashion students who want to be the next Jason Wu?
I don’t know if they do want to be the next Jason Wu! But my advice is seize every opportunity and work hard. It sounds so obvious to say that, but the glamour of the industry can get distracting sometimes, and at the end of the day it’s about the work. I work weekends all the time—there’s no such thing as overtime for me because my own time is overtime. And I don’t have any vacations, so cancel those family plans.

Photo: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigitalimages.com; Leandro Justen/BFANYC.com; FilmMagic; Alessandro Garofalo / Indigitalimages.com; Getty Images

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

Marc’s Louis Vuitton Farewell, Part 2

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Sofia Coppola, Catherine Deneuve and Edie Campbell for Louis Vuitton

For those who didn’t get their fill after Marc Jacobs’ decadent, retrospective farewell show in October, the designer today presented a bonus swan song for Louis Vuitton: the Spring ’14 campaign. Lensed by Steven Meisel, the ads pay tribute to Jacobs’ Vuitton muses, including Catherine Deneuve, Sofia Coppola, Caroline de Maigret, Gisele Bündchen, Edie Campbell, and Fan Bingbing. They may have been Jacobs’ inspirations, but we have a feeling these leading ladies will stay in the Vuitton family under Nicolas Ghesquière’s reign.

Photo: Steven Meisel

LVMH Saves the Rainy Day

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LVMH is helping to bring a hint of vintage French flare to the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 15. WWD reports today that the luxury conglomerate is helping to fund the digital restoration of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a 1964 Jacques Demy-directed musical film that starred Catherine Deneuve. The film will screen in the festival’s Cannes Classics component—and we expect to see more than a few Vuitton and Givenchy frocks in the arrivals snaps.

Photo:Photo: RexUSA

Renaud Pellegrino: Thirty Years of Technicolor

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“My aesthetic is about motion that creates…attitude,” says handbag designer Renaud Pellegrino. Considering that his signature Sac Danseuse features multicolored satin panels and two pairs of golden ballet slippers that seemingly kick out of the base, we’d say that’s a pretty apt analysis. Pellegrino may not be a household name, but the Paris-based designer, who counts Catherine Deneuve, Paloma Picasso, and Lauren Bacall as fans of his hyper-luxurious handmade clutches, evening bags, and minaudières, has been catering to the haute set for decades. In fact, 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of his eponymous range. And it’s a particularly sweet birthday, too, since he recently opened a plush new boutique on rue Saint-Honoré after nearly shuttering for good in 2009 (long story, his former parent company got into a financial kerfuffle, but L’Atelier du Maroquinier scooped him up). “I do feel happy to see that shapes that I created 30 years ago are still relevant,” says the designer. “My warmest memories are precious moments shared with [pleased] customers—famous or not.”

According to Pellegrino, who actually got his start designing handbags for Yves Saint Laurent in the mid-seventies, “lightness, functionality, and proportion” are the three most important qualities in a handbag. A more visible focus, however, is his vivid use of geometric blocks of color. For instance, his Fall ’13 palette ranges from fuchsia, moss, and lemon to burnt orange, lavender, and champagne. “I swim in [colors],” he tells Style.com. “For me, the most exciting thing in a collection is when I have to choose the colors and decide how to mix them—when all the colors are like explosions for your eyes.” His graphic wares, many of which were snapped on the street by Tommy Ton during the recent Paris shows, are of the timeless variety. With its clean lines, Pellegrino’s Fall ’13 satin box clutch—each side of which is shown in a different hue—feels like a modern burst of energy. However, his Sac Danseuse and equally classic Sac Cardinal—both of which have been reissued in celebration of the anniversary—feel fresher than ever.

Renaud Pellegrino is located at 149, Rue Saint Honoré, 75001, Paris; +33-1-42-61-75-32.

Photo: Courtesy of Renaud Pellegrino