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April 20 2014

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4 posts tagged "Charlie Le Mindu"

Christie’s Hosts Old Queens and New

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Alexander McQueenIn the age of Middleton mania, there’s no shortage of mythology (or obsession) surrounding what it means to be a queen.

On June 4, Christie’s will unveil a preview of new exhibition, A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, Fashion, and Chess, which, opening in October at the World Chess Hall of Fame in Saint Louis, examines the principal monarch from a freshly cerebral perspective.

“It all started with the chess museum in Saint Louis,” relayed Swedish curator Sofia Hedman of the impending preview. “The idea is that each piece on the chessboard can be seen as a different personality, and the queen incorporates the different personalities a woman can have—the enchantress, the explorer, the ruler, the mother, and others.”

Rare pieces—Hussein Chalayan’s iconic bubble dress from Spring 2007, Maison Martin Margiela’s Spring 2001 vest made entirely from baseball gloves, and more than a few ornately embroidered gowns by Alexander McQueen (left)—are placed among lesser-known new works from “very, very unpredictable and very experimental” designers, like Charlie Le Mindu and Jordan Askill. Each touches on a different element of the regal persona, with plenty of reference to royal Dutch portraiture from the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Continue Reading “Christie’s Hosts Old Queens and New” »

Charlie Le Mindu: From Coiffure to Couture

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Is the world of Haute Couture ready for London-based bad boy Charlie Le Mindu? We’re about to find out. The French hairstylist-cum-designer (who’s probably best known for Lady Gaga’s electric dye jobs and sculptural coifs) will show his first couture collection during Paris’ upcoming Haute Couture week. But don’t expect mousseline or brocade to make appearances in Le Mindu’s Spring ’13. Since he began designing clothes in 2009, the designer has favored a more unconventional material, one that’s near and dear to his heart—human hair. Le Mindu has used the stuff to create everything from ball gowns to circle hats (although, it should be noted, he’s also crafted looks out of synthetic nails). “It takes me up to five hundred hours to finish each piece. I put so much time and energy into my designs, so it made sense to show during Haute Couture,” says Le Mindu, who previously debuted his collections via theatric Paris presentations during ready-to-wear.

Named Metal Queen (for his muse Lee Aaron’s eighties heavy-metal hit) the predominantly black-and-white collection will fuse human hair and Japanese leather (which Le Mindu says “feels like skin.”). “The hair just looks like textured leather,” says the designer, who has shared some exclusive sketches of his upcoming collection with Style.com. “It’s very organic, but also kind of fetishistic.”

In the name of fun—another Le Mindu signature—the designer has enlisted performers from Crazy Horse, as well as bearded New York personality Andre J, to model in his presentation, which will be held at RA on January 21. Haute Couture clichés (think strong poses and jutting hips) were also a focal point of the collection, and the presentation will have lots of them. “We’re going to do things in a really exaggerated, over-the-top way so that people can laugh about it. I take fashion very seriously. But when you’re at a show, you just want people to react and enjoy it.”

Arrrgh, Real Monsters!

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Next February, ARRRGH! Monstres de Mode, an exhibition presented by Greek collective Atopos CVC that highlights designers who distort and mask the human form with their fantastically frightening, sometimes grotesque garments, will land in Paris. Having debuted in Athens last year, the Vassilis Zidianakis-curated show is an extension of the book, Not a Toy, Fashioning Radical Characters, and highlights such shocking shape-shifters as Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Maison Martin Margiela, Charlie Le Mindu, and Walter van Beirendonck, as well as lesser-known young talents like Alex Mattsson and Leutton Postle. Emerging British menswear designer, Craig Green—who’s set to show his second collection in London next month with the MAN initiative—was tapped to create the identity of the exhibition. Green brought Atopos’ definition of monsters—described as “everything strange”—to life with four green and yellow figures that vaguely recall Pac-Man. “I wanted to make something that resembled a lo-fi graphic,” explained Green. The designer, who’s begun to make a name for himself with his art-meets-fashion concoctions, crafted his curious critters from wooden frames and stretched canvas. “They’re meant to be a family,” says Green. “So they fit together like male and female forms; they’re couples in love,” he explains.

Twenty-six-year-old Green, a Central Saint Martins graduate, has pieces from his 2012 M.A. collection, as well as a sculptural garment from his upcoming Fall 2013 collection, in the show. “I feel very fortunate to be featured alongside these mega designers, as well as small ones that I greatly respect.”

ARRRGH! Monstres de Monde opens on February 13 at La Gaîté Lyrique, located at 3bis, Rue Papin in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement.

Photo: Daniel Daniel Lillie and Panos Kokkinias

The Only Way Is Ascot

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No hat, no entrance. Such are the rules of the Royal Ascot, the U.K.’s most prestigious horse race, sartorially and otherwise, and the functional English equivalent of the Kentucky Derby. Founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, the meet, which runs from June 19-23, attracts everyone from Liz Hurley to the Royals for five days of celebration, steeds, and, of course, spectacular headgear. “I couldn’t have imagined it in my wildest dreams. It’s sort of like heaven!” says up-and-coming English milliner Noel Stewart, who, along with Piers Atkinson, Charlie Le Mindu, J. Smith Esquire, and William Chambers, will showcase his hats at the races in the Stephen Jones-curated Headonism exhibition, sponsored by the Royal Ascot and the British Fashion Council. “It’s the highlight of a milliner’s year and crucially important from a business standpoint. It’s Christmas and Thanksgiving and everything else all rolled into one!” adds Jones, who, in addition to crafting a slew of Ascot hats, is in the midst of creating headpieces for Raf Simons’ debut Dior Couture show.

However, due to a few subpar skin-baring ensembles from years past, Ascot has tightened up its 2012 dress code. Fascinators have been banned in the Royal Enclosure, the race’s most exclusive viewing section (according to Ascot, they’re a “convenient way out” and not in line with formal daywear), and ladies must wear headpieces no smaller than four inches in diameter, as well as day dresses of “modest length” whose straps are at least one inch wide. (The powers that be have suggested the look at left as an example of race-appropriate garb: dress by Nicholas Oakwell, shoes by Bally, and hat by Stephen Jones.) Gents are required to turn up in a top hat and tails. “The new rules are about being more ‘English summer party’ than ‘pop star fleshy,’ ” says Atkinson, who designed a special Racing Collection (below), each hat from which adheres to Ascot’s regulations. His strawberries-and-cream-inspired toppers will be on sale at his pop-up shop at London’s Saint Martins Lane Hotel, open from today until the end of June. Continue Reading “The Only Way Is Ascot” »