58 posts tagged "Chloe"
You probably don’t know Hélène Nepomiatzi, but you’ve certainly seen her work: She was the hand behind Céline’s Boogie Bag back in the Michael Kors era. She’s also worked with Balmain. But it was Karl Lagerfeld who gave the designer her first break. “He asked me to make a hat out of a handbag for a show [of his eponymous line],” Nepomiatzi recalled yesterday over a coffee in Paris. “I had no idea how I was going to do that, but I said yes.” Other Lagerfeld projects, including a flower bouquet bag and a dog carrier, followed. The art world took note, too: A telescoped python bag Nepomiatzi crafted under her former brand, 31 Février, was snapped up by Pamela Golbin for the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. And the rigid one-off with an inside light she did with Ron Arad for Notify jeans in 2008 touched down at both the MoMA and the Centre Pompidou.
If there’s something a bit otherworldly about Nepomiatzi’s signature style, there’s a good reason for it. The designer happens to know a thing or two about dream interpretation, and symbols tied to money are common currency for her namesake brand. “In France, money is kind of taboo—sort of the way sex is in the U.S.,” she observed wryly. “I thought it would be fun to play with that [notion] in a humorous, provocative way.”
For fall, she’s turned out her now-classic Fort Knox model with tricolor strips of leather anchored by bolt clasps, an homage to her grandfather, who fashioned such hardware.
On a more surreal note, there’s her matchbook purse, as well as a clutch made to look as though it’s dripping in blood. But if that’s a bit strong, there’s another that’s drizzled with gold.
Speaking of coin: Argent, the French word for money, also means silver. In a neat piece of symmetry, the silversmith Christofle recently tapped Nepomiatzi to craft a little passport cover in mirrored leather. Come September, you’ll be able to see how she’s spun that bright idea into the house’s first collection of leather goods.
For more information, visit helenenepomiatzi.com.
It takes a lot of balls to leave a gig at Calvin Klein Collection to start your own brand—especially when you’re a 25-year-old fresh out of grad school. But that’s precisely what Beckett Fogg, one half of new line Area, did. And if the innovative first collection that she and design partner Piotrek Panszczyk whipped up is any indication, she made the right move.
Fogg, a Kentucky native, and Panszczyk, a Polish-born 28-year-old who previously worked at Chloé, met at Parsons the New School for Design while pursuing their MFAs in fashion. “We started talking about teaming up a year before I graduated, but it was really just for LOLs,” offered Panszczyk. However, a pair of ribbon-trimmed shorts he stitched up, which, worn by Fogg, got rave reviews in the Hamptons, pushed the designers to make their pipe dream a reality. “Every single person was like, ‘I have to have them!’ So we thought, Maybe this is something we should actually consider doing,” recalled Fogg.
While their backgrounds differ drastically (Panszczyk is a die-hard fashion head, while Fogg studied architecture before heading to Parsons), the talents share a unique, unified vision. Inspired by fragments, transformation, and mind-boggling experiments with texture, their debut lineup expands upon unexpected techniques we saw in each of their graduate collections. For instance, while at Parsons, Fogg used a method of embossing that’s usually reserved for car interiors. Area employed it to bring new dimension to the sleeves of a metallic silver velvet tunic, the body of a handsome steel coat, and the skirt of a burgundy silk lamé slipdress. Meanwhile, the studied pleating Panszczyk featured in his graduate outing provided a sculptural edge to creased trousers and elegant coats.
Most interesting, however, is the pair’s obsession with textiles. The designers worked a heavy mohair—typically reserved for luxury upholstery—into an easy gray shift (above), which was made all the more special via organic patterns created by shaving. Another standout was their stonewashed velvet denim. “It didn’t exist,” said Panszczyk, pulling at a shearling-lined jacket, “so we just made it up!”
Walking me through their sundrenched, whitewashed Canal Street studio, Panszczyk in a frayed Jil Sander suit, Fogg in her own designs, the duo discussed their simultaneously cerebral, sexy, and commercial aesthetic. “We want to see people actually wearing our clothes,” said Fogg. “So I don’t think commercial needs to be a dirty word.” Panszczyk elaborated, explaining how a second-skin velvet jumpsuit (shown with leather chaps) or fluid shift could be sultry one moment and sophisticated the next. “Our work specifically focuses on manipulation. We like to take something and change it.”
As for why they named the brand Area, Fogg told me, “It’s clean, simple, and inclusive.” Never mind that the iconic nightclub was once housed mere blocks from their studio—a fact they didn’t learn until a few friends of a certain age clued them in. “It’s all about serendipity,” mused Panszczyk.
“We had to start with the basics,” explained FIT graduate student and curator Kristen Haggerty. She’s talking about the origins of the university’s just-launched exhibition, Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket, a study of the motorcycle jacket’s evolution from a utilitarian Schott Bros. basic, to a symbol of post-WWII rebellion, to the modern-day fashion staple. “The first Perfecto was made in 1928 and was sold by Harley-Davidson—it’s really what everyone thinks of when they think of a biker jacket,” said Haggerty, gesturing to a 1980 replica of the late twenties belted classic with an exposed zipper. “Yes, it’s a very stylish garment, but every one of those elements means something.”
The show, which opens with an in-depth examination of the iconic Perfecto, combines documentary photography, press clippings, and a tightly curated collection of original pieces to shed light on the now 80-some-year history of the moto. Wares by Helmut Lang, Rick Owens, and a particularly memorable tutu moto jacket from Comme des Garçons’ Spring 2005 outing display the many ways in which fashion designers have appropriated and interpreted the garment. “Over the years, the Perfecto became something much more than a utilitarian biker jacket,” Haggerty told Style.com. “There were times when it was pretty subversive. Modern designers [have also] really gone above and beyond. It’s a garment that can exist in two different places at the same time, and have meaning for both of them.” All one needs to do is browse a rack at Versace, Chloé, Balmain, or Saint Laurent to see what she’s talking about. The exhibition, however, will help you understand and, dare we say, appreciate it.
Beyond Rebellion will be on view at The Museum at FIT, Tuesdays through Fridays, through April 5.
Anyone who knows me knows that I get pretty excited about all things fashion, whether it’s a shoe, a bag, a dress, or beyond. (I am a market director, after all!) I’m always looking for the next item, the next trend, or simply what I must have. From here on out, I’ll be offering a regular rundown of what I’m crazy about, and sharing my wish list with you. Of course, we’re excited to hear what you’re crazy for, too, so please share your favorite new designers, trends, and products with us in the comments.
1. Now that I’m a mother of two, I’ve found myself carrying more and more things in my handbag. Chloé’s Baylee bag looks professional and, thanks to its cross-body strap, is also a practical, hands-free weekend option. It’s been on my wish list for a while, so I think it might be time to give in.
Chloé Baylee bag, $2,250, Buy it now
2. Thanks to Isabel Marant, we have all been wearing high-top wedges; thanks to Phoebe Philo, we’ve been addicted to slip-ons. Now comes Karl Lagerfeld, changing the high-fashion sneaker game with his Spring ’14 couture trainers. After last week’s Chanel Couture show, we all wanted to go back to the nineties. If you too were inspired by the runway and are looking for a (slightly more affordable) pair now, check out Lanvin’s holographic kicks, which retail for $695.
Lanvin holographic leather sneakers, $695, Buy it now
3. By January, my skin is so dry, even with all the extra moisturizer I insist on using. I’ve found that fashion-friendly sweatshirts are softer on my skin than any cashmere. It’s also been a uniform around the Style.com offices—everyone is wearing their sweats to work.
Être Cécile sweatshirt, $148.50, Buy it now
4. It’s freaking cold in New York. It’s never been this cold as long as I’ve lived here. That being said, a great snow boot is a necessity. O Jour’s furry-lined pair is all I want to wear. Charlotte Casiraghi was spotted wearing them last week.
O Jour Red Hare boots, $1,070, Buy it now
5. While trying to decide who did the best job staying warm and looking chic during the Couture shows in Paris, Emmanuelle Alt stood out. Thanks to her, I’m now craving Isabel Marant Étoile’s quilted kimono coat.
Isabel Marant Étoile quilted coat, $745, Buy it now