44 posts tagged "Christian Lacroix"
Finally, something’s happening at Schiaparelli. After the house’s current owner, Diego Della Valle, announced his plans to reopen the storied maison last year, there had been no news about a creative director, or even a launch date. Until yesterday, when it was revealed that the Schiap revival is set for July, with a fifteen-piece capsule collection of Couture by Christian Lacroix. The 61-year-old, Paris-based couturier’s homage to Schiaparelli—which will go on display in her original salon at 21 Place Vendôme—will be the first in an annual series of collaborations in which artists will interpret the iconic designer’s wares. The house’s permanent creative director, however, has yet to be named. Here, Lacroix, who has largely been working on costume projects for operas and ballets around the globe since his departure from the couture catwalk in 2009, discusses the Schiaparelli revival and his forthcoming collection.
Schiaparelli is a legend, yet also mysterious; you referred to her as a sphinx. Are you at all intimidated by the undertaking?
This will perhaps sound pretentious, but this seems natural to me, almost obvious—let’s say logical. I do feel a link with her through many signs since I was a child. I’ll face her glance on a portrait and try to guess what she thinks…and I’ll tell you yes, she’s goddamned intimidating!
How did Mr. Della Valle approach you for this project?
We have known each other for more than thirty years. [We met] when I was working for Guy Paulin and Byblos in Italy. Later, he made my first shoes for the first Lacroix ready-to-wear show. And we have friends and collaborators in common.
Why were you drawn to this collaboration?
I’ve adored Schiap since my childhood. This kind of project that falls in between the history of costume and fashion was impossible for me to refuse [particularly because] I planned to be a fashion museum curator and became a stage designer after twenty-five years of couture.
Do you see any similarities between your and Schiaparelli’s aesthetics?
Of course I was very inspired by her work, mixing past and modernity, high and low, elegance and eccentricity. We are both Mediterranean characters inspired by Paris’ special flavor and style.
While many are excited to see new life breathed into Elsa Schiaparelli’s house, some are wary of the revival and feel her legacy should be left untouched. What is your response to this and what are your feelings on the revival?
When you enter 21 Place Vendôme, the place which never stopped being “her” home since the thirties, you feel something alive, far from nostalgia. Everything screams, “I’m still here, alive.” I think this is good timing and momentum [as long as] we don’t copy her but try to extract the quintessence of her style. Her heritage is too often reduced and simplified to only the crazy, surrealistic, and caricatural side of her clothes. [People] ignore how close to the practical, modern, pure aspect of a wardrobe she was, especially during the war. We have to epitomize this image of her. Continue Reading “Christian Lacroix Talks Schiaparelli” »
Last May, Diego Della Valle announced that he would be reviving the house of Schiaparelli. Today, after a year of speculation about who would design for the revived brand, Schiaparelli has announced that Christian Lacroix will pay homage to the house with a fifteen-piece capsule couture collection. The looks will be displayed at Schiaparelli’s original salon at 21 Place Vendôme in Paris this July. “In this persona incarnating a true aristocrat, one finds a spirit where mathematics and literature as well as poetry coexist: Elsa is a sacred sphinge [sic] who never ceases to interrogate us while offering us new enigmas as answers. Art, theater and cinema…my wish is to reposition Elsa at the center of her maison and on the stage from which she once seduced the world,” said Lacroix in a press release. Going forward, the maison will tap top names in the contemporary art world to interpret Schiaparelli’s designs. The future projects will be revealed at an annual rendezvous at the house’s Place Vendôme salon.
Camilla Morton’s new book Diane von Furstenberg and the Tale of the Empress’ New Clothes landed on our desk today, a holiday gift from von Furstenberg herself. And what a tale it is! Morton is well practiced at translating fashionable lives into fairy tales—she’s already done it with Manolo Blahnik and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker and Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty—but von Furstenberg’s fairy story needs less fictionalizing than most. Consider the evidence:
The heroine’s royal pedigree: von Furstenberg is actually a princess, thanks to her previous marriage, to Prince Egon of Furstenberg.
The heroine’s trial and triumph: She did, as a young woman, consider and then reject a rival suitor: Fidel Castro. (“I didn’t,” she insisted at a talk this fall at the 92nd Street Y, “have an affair with him. I had this incredible idealistic image of him. And he was quite good looking. But after two days I must say I was very disappointed.”)
The happy ending: von Furstenberg has earned not only the keys to the kingdom—at least the kingdoms of New York and fashion, as the president of the CFDA and a friend of Mayor Michael Bloomberg—but also the crown jewels: She revealed at the 92nd Street Y talk that husband Barry Diller proposed with 26 diamond wedding bands—one for each year they weren’t married.
She also exhibits fairy-princess generosity: “Whenever a friend of mine is sad, I give her one,” she said.
You may not know Emmanuel Aubry’s name, but you’ve definitely seen his work. Throughout the eighties, the French jeweler was the hand behind Thierry Mugler’s outrageous accessories, like metal stilettos, gloves, and corsets. “Back then, fashion was a business, but it was just so much fun,” he recalls. “We were serious about what we did, but we never took ourselves too seriously. Things have changed since then.” His follow-up gig was a complete about-face, creating costume jewelry for Christian Lacroix. When the house shuttered, Aubry put himself on hiatus. His baubles, however, had other plans; the designer’s one-off accessories cropped up on the runway at Bouchra Jarrar and Alexandre Vauthier.
Earlier this year, Aubry resolved it was time for a comeback and launched A Fine Jewel, a streamlined collection of limited-edition jewelry. “My idea was to return to luxury in its original sense: something that’s finely made, discreet, and personal, something that you don’t see everywhere.” That might be a delicate gold chain with asymmetrical knots, a new twist on diamond studs, or the 38-carat cushion-cut smoked quartz necklace that’s already been snapped up by several style-setting Parisiennes (he also does private commissions, giving new life to heirlooms or creating one-offs). Aubrey usually works by appointment-only, but, just in time for the holidays, the designer is showcasing his wares in a pop-up shop in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. His price tags are less shocking then those in Place Vendôme (where he’s also done time), but luxury doesn’t come cheap. Rings run around $500, while more lavish pieces go up to $2,900.
Emmanuel Aubry’s pop-up is located at 9 Victor Hugo in the 16th arr., open Tuesday-Saturday afternoons through December 24.
Christian Lacroix, Haider Ackermann, Martine Sitbon, Bruno Frisoni. They all gathered at the Palais de Tokyo last night for a one-of-a-kind, one-woman fashion show: The Impossible Wardrobe, conceived and curated by the Musée Galliera’s Olivier Saillard and starring none other than Tilda Swinton. The performance lasted nearly 40 minutes, or about four times the normal length of a fashion show. No one minded. On the contrary, the crowd gave the duo a standing ovation.
Wearing white gloves, a lab coat, and beige suede pumps, Swinton variously carried, clutched, and presented vintage clothes and accessories up and down the runway, making eye contact with the audience along the way and pausing in front of a mirror to measure up how she might look if she was allowed to put them on. “It’s not possible to wear the clothes in a museum,” Saillard said, by way of explaining the show’s concept and name. “If Tilda hadn’t accepted our proposal, we wouldn’t have done it.” Above Swinton, a news ticker spelled put the pieces’ provenance, and there were some truly special items here: a 1968 Paco Rabanne dress worn by Brigitte Bardot, Elsa Schiaparelli-designed gloves with built-in gold talons from 1936, an embroidered top that belonged to Isadora Duncan in the 1920s, even a tailcoat covered in gold bullion worn by Napoleon. The Oscar winner actually sniffed the collar on that one, as if to get a sense of his essence. “C’est sublime,” said Bouchra Jarrar afterward. “A new way to talk about the history of fashion. One must never forget history.” In the history of this season, this will rank as one of its most fabulous moments.
CLICK HERE for a slideshow of Swinton wearing some of the pieces from the Musée Galliera collection >