7 posts tagged "Cher"
The work of Stephen Burrows is as much about fun as it is about fashion. And that message shines through in a retrospective of the designer’s early creations, which opens at the Museum of the City of New York tomorrow. Burrows and the show’s curators, Phyllis Magidson and Daniela Morera, gave Style.com a sneak peek of the exhibition, which features more than fifty garments created between 1968 and 1983. “I didn’t think of it as history-making or anything,” says Burrows of his early, flowing garments made to be worn with ease on the dance floor until 4 a.m. “I just did what I wanted to see in front of me.”
Intentional or not, Burrows’ clothes were history-making. At the beginning of his career, fashion’s status quo was old-world, and generally French. It wasn’t until the fabled “Battle of Versailles”—a decadent 1973 fund-raiser for the then-decaying palace during which American designers Burrows, Halston, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Anne Klein outshined elite French talents Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Emanuel Ungaro—that American designers became truly respected. Burrows’ fresh, fun, and wildly colorful Versailles collection—shown on video in the exhibition—was all about a free-spirited aesthetic. His presence at “The Battle” also made him the first African-American designer to rise to international acclaim. Continue Reading “Stephen Burrows, Still Dancing” »
“I can get out of a lot of things, but this dress is not one of them,” said burlesque star Dita Von Teese of the gown she donned to last night’s party at the Ace Hotel. The dress in question was the first fully articulated 3-D printed garment, which was conceptualized by designer Michael Schmidt. And the party, which drew the likes of Debbie Harry, Bob Gruen, and Andrej Pejic, served to toast its unveiling. “I was interested in finding the middle ground between the world of mathematics and the world of ephemeral beauty,” Schmidt told Style.com. The L.A.-based designer, who has crafted looks for stars like Madonna, Cher, and Lady Gaga (the latter wore his glass-bubble costume on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2009), conceived Von Teese’s frock with Fibonacci’s Golden Ratio in mind.
With the help of computational designer and architect Francis Bitonti, Schmidt used 3-D software to realize his space-age gown (think cinched waist and steroidal shoulders). The dress began as a digital rendering, which was then engineered in powdered nylon by high-tech collaborator Shapeways. “As an architect, it’s all about dealing with facades, and this was just about making a curvy one,” mused Bitonti. The body-skimming dress featured an undulating mesh silhouette of three thousand articulated joints fashioned out of layered nylon powder. As if that weren’t complicated enough, it also boasted twelve thousand Swarovski black crystals, which were painstakingly placed by hand after printing. “It’s obviously very futuristic, but I tried to retain a level of old-world glamour that was befitting of Dita,” added Schmidt. Indeed, the Blade Runner-meets-Bettie Page ensemble was worthy of the millennial pinup. “It’s superlight,” Von Teese mused later that evening after slipping into a demure Roland Mouret shift. But was it comfortable? “The only uncomfortable part is that I needed to be very cautious about how I walked. I had to make sure my heels wouldn’t get stuck in the hem.” Even in the future, glamour’s got its obstacles.
“Wearing a bikini is the most naked we ever are in public, so I wanted to create a palette of classic silhouettes that make it easy for women to enjoy that experience,” says swimwear designer Matthew Zink. “I think the swimwear market was missing a brand for the ultimate bikini lover. There didn’t seem to be a provocative swimwear outlet for the gal that wanted a simple approach to feeling sexy.”
Zink certainly knows a thing or two about designing for the almost-naked body—he spent five years at the helm of Victoria’s Secret as the lingerie powerhouse’s design director. During that time, he fell in love with swimwear and eventually departed to launch his line, Charlie by Matthew Zink, in July 2010. “I had so many girl friends that couldn’t seem to find a classic, simple, sexy bikini, so I wanted to create a brand that celebrated the golden era of swimwear that represented the joyful sexuality of the seventies and eighties,” Zink (who also had stints working under Stefano Pilati and Carolina Herrera) tells Style.com, naming the likes of Jerry Hall, Stephanie Seymour, Gianni Versace, and Roy Halston as muses and mentors for his work. “I want to capture that effervescent glamour of these icons of the past.”
Cher, in particular, was his icon of choice for his latest retro collection of swimwear and cover-ups. “I tried to imagine Cher bursting into the Rainbow Room with its arresting rainbow-lighted, oval-shaped ceiling and countless palm plants reaching high above the tables filled with guests that seem to go on forever.” In swimwear terms, that translated into barely-there bikinis in varying bright shades of blue and green, offered in zigzag and dot prints, and cover-ups to match. And it appears retailers like what they see—the line is already available on Net-a-Porter, but Zink’s latest collection ($190 to $375) has also been snatched up by the likes of Barneys (hitting stores later this month), TheCorner.com, and the Webster. Coming soon to Charlie by Matthew Zink: shoes.
The look in Burlesque may be all rhinestones, all the time—thanks to a little help from Swarovski, of course—but the look at Burlesque‘s London premiere was a hint more demure. Cher may have gone all-out for the London carpet with a bright orange wig and lacy, black Julien MacDonald, but co-star Kristen Bell played a more ladylike card: this sweet, back-pleated, floral-print dress from Stella McCartney’s Resort ’11 collection. With stick-straight hair and satin Ferragamo pumps, Bell lets the print do the work. We’d say the shift is a little short for January temperatures—it’s been hovering around 30 degrees Fahrenheit in London—but she’s putting on a brave face. What do you think of her blossoming look: yea, nay, or eh?