39 posts tagged "Central Saint Martins"
Han Chong, the former creative director of contemporary British line Three Floor, feels there is somewhat of a white space between fast fashion and high-priced luxury wares. And this September, the designer decided he was going to do something about it by way of his new line, Self-Portrait. “It was important for me to launch Self-Portrait and create something that is sophisticated but still attainable for customers,” the Central Saint Martins-trained, London-based talent told Style.com. His eighteen-piece debut collection is all that and more. Priced between $97 and $423 at current exchange, the range fuses painstaking details (like the lace appliqués on trumpet-skirt frocks) and streetwear styles (think laser-cut tees and oversize bombers) to fresh and luxurious effect.
“I like to deconstruct classic shapes and develop these into new, more playful and mischievous designs,” Chong explained, noting that he is often inspired by the mix of visual cues he experiences outside the fashion realm (innovative industrial design and cinema, for example). The Spring ’14 outing boasts unexpected uses of sequins, mesh, and lace; a smart faux leather; and silhouettes that are both relaxed and hyperfeminine. And each garment, whether it’s a python-textured crepe skirt, a louche pair of trousers, or one of the designer’s intricate, geometric, multi-material dresses, receives the same amount of attention and care. “Most labels in our price point are based on rather minimal designs,” Chong said. Self-Portrait, however, is anything but.
Last year, Gill Linton launched Byronesque.com, a comprehensive Web site that, backed by Andrew Rosen and the late Marvin Traub, offers high-end vintage wares and sharp editorials. The online platform boasts a veritable treasure trove of rare, authenticated vintage designs, like an azure Jean Paul Gaultier frock, an asymmetrical Yohji Yamamoto dress, and a bevy of Thierry Mugler and Alaïa. And while it all looks spectacular in one’s browser, Linton felt she should create an IRL experience with the digital destination’s best stock.
Enter the site’s first brick-and-mortar venture, Byronesque.com//Offline, an exhibition and boutique housed in the dilapidated annex of the James A. Farley Post Office in New York City. Offline is complete with video installations, melancholic wall art by Craig Ward, and a vault of approximately forty impeccably dressed mannequins. Yesterday evening, insiders gathered to fete the project, which was punctuated with a live Polaroid photography session by the inimitable Michèle Lamy. “It’s difficult to [decide] what is mainstream or not…but being here feels real, and what they are trying to do is very important,” Lamy said of the site.
“There’s so much potential in vintage fashion,” said Linton. “It’s made better, there’s a story behind it, and there’s a history behind it. The way I merchandise the store is through storytelling—there’s a curve of Vivienne Westwood from Pirate to Seditionaries, for example—but it’s not that it has to be a linear progression. It’s about the energy of stuff.”
The stuff on display includes a 1984 John Galliano men’s kimono coat from his graduate Central Saint Martins collection, Les Incroyables (not for sale); a burlap Alexander McQueen look from F/W ’02; a 1986 Azzedine Alaïa leather zip dress; and a Katharine Hamnett allover marijuana-leaf-print bodysuit.
Glenn O’Brien lent his support by co-hosting the affair. “Everybody mixes vintage in,” he said, “I can’t tell you how long I’ve had this Kilgour, French, & Stanbury coat; it must be twenty years since I bought it at Barneys. Vintage is kind of where the next ideas come from. You can be a step ahead by wearing something that’s so out that it’s just about ready to come back.”
Byronesque.com//Offline will open to the public on December 12 and run through the 15th. Located at the James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue at West 31st Street, the show will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fashion East, Lulu Kennedy’s London-based young designer initiative, announced its Fall ’14 lineup today, and the Topshop-sponsored platform is adding two new up-and-comers to the mix. Helen Lawrence (who was featured on Style.com for Spring ’14) and Louise Alsop will join Fashion East veteran Ashley Williams in presenting their collections this February. Lawrence (left), a graduate of Central Saint Martins’ MA program, is best known for her vibrant knitwear, and for the past few seasons, has been working with much-touted rising menswear designer Craig Green. Alsop, meanwhile, graduated from the University of Westminster in 2013, and boasts an intriguing dark, grungy, layered aesthetic. The pair of talents replaces Fashion East grads Claire Barrow and Ryan Lo, who completed their third and final season with the initiative in September.
It’s that time of year again…no, we’re not talking about holiday cheer and cozy family get-togethers. We’re referring to the menswear collections, which will kick off in London on January 6. Today, Lulu Kennedy’s young designer platform Fashion East announced its Fall ’14 men’s lineup, which will feature returning talents Liam Hodges and Tom Ryling, as well as newcomers including jeweler Roxanne Farahmand, shirt-maker Massimo Casagrande, and Nicomede Talavera (left), a Central Saint Martins graduate who will present his ready-to-wear collection with the initiative. And this season the menswear platform, which was founded in 2012, will have a little extra kick, thanks to a new collaboration with Red Bull Catwalk Studio. Given the jet lag, sleepless nights, and general feeling of exhaustion that tend to accompany fashion weeks, we hope the sponsorship means complementary energy drinks.
Curator Alistair O’Neill only met the late Isabella Blow once. He was at an art opening with designer Julien Macdonald, one of the late, great Blow’s charges, whom he studied with at the Royal College of Art. “Isabella was wearing a famous Philip Treacy hat, which is in the exhibition. It had feathers around the eyes, which covered her nose and her mouth and her forehead,” he recalled. “I spent the evening talking to her and was completely fascinated. But all that I could concentrate on were her eyes, because I couldn’t really see her mouth. I could only just about listen to what she was saying, and I was just mesmerized by this image of these eyes being framed by the feathers. The combination of her intelligence and her laughing was really intoxicating,” he continued. “I’ve never forgotten that.”
On November 20, O’Neill, along with Shonagh Marshall and Central Saint Martins, will aim to bring the editor, patron, and muse’s work and wardrobe to life with the opening of Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at the Somerset House in London. Before her tragic suicide, in 2007, Blow was a pillar of London’s emerging fashion community. Having worked everywhere—from British and American Vogue to The Sunday Times to Tatler—Blow is credited with discovering such designers as Alexander McQueen (as the story goes, she bought his entire graduate collection after it walked down the Central Saint Martins Runway in 1992), milliner Philip Treacy, Jeremy Scott, and Hussein Chalayan, as well as models Sophie Dahl (whom she once described as a “blow-up doll with brains”) and Stella Tennant.
Aside from being a steadfast supporter of young talents (Treacy and McQueen both lived with her at one point, and she not only gave the designers financial and editorial support but also fed them ideas from her wealth of historical knowledge—fashion and otherwise), Blow, who came from a complicated aristocratic background, was known as a great eccentric—both in her behavior and her dress. Her infamous wardrobe comprised the most extreme pieces by all of the conceptual up-and-comers she helped along the way. And, of course, Treacy’s hats were her screaming signature. Following her death, her sartorial collection was to be sold at Christie’s to settle her estate, but Blow’s friend Daphne Guinness swooped in at the last minute and purchased every piece, because that’s how Isabella—or Issy, as she was known—would have wanted it.
O’Neill, however, did not want to simply paint Blow as an eccentric. “I thought it was important to distance Isabella from those literary ideas of the English eccentric, because they’re often quite tragic,” he explained. “And I’m not sure Isabella was fully tragic—she was quite brave, and very funny. She had a very bored and black humor.” Furthermore, Blow always wore her outfits—whether it be a metallic McQueen corset or an ensemble crafted from brightly hued garbage bags—in a deeply considered manner. “Isabella used her clothes, her hats, and her accessories as a means to modify and transform herself,” said O’Neill. “She had a great eye for silhouette, and her hats were almost a means of plastic surgery for her face, without going under the knife,” added Marshall. “She said they can lift you, they can make you look different, and I think that was something that she really indulged in.” Continue Reading “Isabella Blow: Beyond the Eccentric” »