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August 21 2014

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69 posts tagged "Christian Louboutin"

Is India The Next Big Player in Luxury Retail?

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Prada is reported to be in talks for an India entry. Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, and Stella McCartney are exploring real estate for stand-alone stores. After opening his first boutique in New Delhi last year, Christian Louboutin is readying himself for a Mumbai launch. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Louis Vuitton’s presence in India—it was the first luxury brand to set foot in the country. Is India finally reawakening to luxury? Historically, it’s a country familiar with all things luxe. After all, in 1925, India’s Sir Bhupinder Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala, granted Cartier its single largest commission: the remodeling of his crown jewels, a collection that included an exquisite 234.69-carat De Beers diamond. Vuitton’s gilded links with India go back well over a century, when the Maharajas of Jammu and Kashmir, Bikaner and Baroda, ordered customized trunks from the company.

Then came freedom. For almost forty-four years after Independence, socialist India snapped all ties with luxury. It’s only in the last decade that the romance has rekindled. And it has to do with math. With a population surpassing 1.22 billion, and 81 million households falling into the upper middle class and high-income bracket, India is a serious market for luxury players. In fact, statistics show that India is one of the fastest-growing and largest luxury markets, with sales expected to touch $15 billion by 2015—nearly double what they are today. In November last year, Gucci opened its fifth and largest India store, spanning 4,220 square feet across two floors in Gurgaon, Delhi’s satellite city. Patrizio di Marco, president and CEO, noted, “The flagship store underscores Gucci’s commitment to India. This is our fifth store in this unique country, where we have been operating directly since the end of 2009, and it is a testament to the importance that we are placing on this fast-growing and competitive market.”

But Kalyani Chawla, vice president of marketing and communications at Christian Dior, insists India is taking baby steps. And she is right. The Western notion of luxury hit Indian shores only ten years ago. It’s still a country of salwar kameezes and saris. But the Indian buyer has grown interested in fashion, investing small but precious sums in brands. “Dior has seen a steady and encouraging growth. As is the case globally with most brands, accessories are doing very well [and] clothing is picking up,” she says, noting that this is partly due to the fact that Western wear has finally slipped into a bride’s wedding trousseau. And for Indians, marriage is the occasion for which discerning buyers splurge. Dior launched in 2006, and has three stores across the country. Continue Reading “Is India The Next Big Player in Luxury Retail?” »

Shop The Look: Earn Your Stripes

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These days, leopard print is practically a neutral. But Technicolor zebra stripes? Not so much. This spring, designers are offering a chance to stand out with zebra-patterned wares in shocking hues. Separate yourself from the fashion tribe and shop our looks from By Malene Birger, Current/Elliott, Kenzo, and more, below.



1. By Malene Birger sweater, $445, available at www.net-a-porter.com

2. Current/Elliott jeans, $235, available at www.stylebop.com

3. Pierre Hardy backpack, $2,070, available at www.colette.fr

4. Christian Louboutin shoes, $1,995, available at www.net-a-porter.com

5. Kenzo shoes, $295, available at www.net-a-porter.com.


To view more looks, click here

FIT’s Foot Fetish

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What is it about women and shoes? According to Dr. Valerie Steele, the director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT and the author of Shoes: A Lexicon of Style (among many other fashion books), the fixation dates back to Cinderella and her glass slippers. But that doesn’t necessarily explain women’s willingness to defy death, gravity, and blisters with the super-stacked platforms and needle-thin spikes of modern day. Shoe Obsession, The Museum at FIT’s upcoming exhibition (which, running from February 8 through April 13, was curated by Dr. Steele, Colleen Hill, and Fred Dennis), explores the female shoe fetish via some of the most iconic, outrageous, and exceptional styles that have come out this century.

Including shoes from established houses (Christian Louboutin’s Pigalle stilettos, Roger Vivier’s feather Eyelash pumps, Prada’s flame shoes, and Chanel’s gun heels), up-and-coming talents (Nicholas Kirkwood’s graffitied Keith Haring platforms, Charlotte Olympia’s Kiss Me Dolores pumps), and experimental designers (Masaya Kushino’s sculptural human hair, Cyprus wood, and lace platforms; Noritaka Tatehana’s eighteen-inch ballerina shoes), Shoe Obsession presents every type of high heel you can imagine—and several that you can’t. Here, Dr. Steele talks to Style.com about the fascination with extravagant shoes, the evolution of contemporary footwear, and the upcoming exhibition.

Let’s cut to the chase. Why are so many women obsessed with shoes?

Well, I think there are a couple of layers. First off, shoes are an intimate extension of the physical body. And they seem to say a lot about our personality, our sexual attitudes, and our social status. And high heels in particular seem to be the focus of a lot of our thoughts about gender, sexuality, eroticism, and femininity. I think there’s definitely an element of sexual fetishism involved in men’s fascination with women’s high-heel shoes. But for women, I think it’s not fetishism so much as it is an obsession with fashion and with shoes as the ultimate sartorial symbol of erotic femininity.

Have women always been obsessed with shoes, or was there a point in fashion history when the infatuation really took off?

It goes way back to Cinderella. Shoes have played an important role in cultural thought for a long time. In Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?, a film from the sixties about French fashion, there’s a wonderful scene when a TV reporter is interviewing some pompous French sociology professor who says that the Cinderella story is all about the importance of tiny feet and beautiful shoes. Then he says, “So there you are: fetishism, mutilation, pain. Fashion in a nutshell.” [Laughs] But I do think that our show is unique, because we’re not just looking at the social and psychosexual reasons why we all love shoes. We’re focusing on the twenty-first century and calling attention to the fact that in the last twelve years or so, after the end of Sex and the City, the obsession with high-end designer shoes has spread from something that only a few people were really obsessed with to being something that everybody’s obsessed with.

Why have heels risen to such hilariously high heights in the past few decades? And what dictates heel height?

I think the key element there is the acceptance of hypersexual shoe design as part of fashion, as opposed to just a corner of the pornographic industry. Before he died, Helmut Newton said in an interview that in the seventies, you had to go to fetish and porn stores to get the kind of shoes he wanted for his fashion photographs. But by the early nineties, he could go to any high fashion designer—Chanel, Dior, they were all doing fetish-y shoes. So that’s one thing, which I think is crucial to the recent growth of heels. Another is the popularity of platforms on shoes. If you’ve got a two-inch platform, automatically your heel can go from three to five inches, or from four to six, or whatever you want.

What makes women willing to shell out so much money for a pair of shoes that they may or may not be able to walk in?

Part of it is that shoe shopping is probably the highest form of fashion shopping. It’s the most pleasurable. I mean, who doesn’t look good in a pair of beautiful shoes? And compare it with something like bathing-suit shopping, which is the nadir of horror. Also, you can get a lot more fashion bang for your buck with a pair of shoes. You know, it might be a thousand dollars, but if you’re going to buy a jacket or a dress by that same or a comparable designer, you’d be talking three, four thousand dollars or up. And right now, people are, in a way, dressing in more of a uniform. For instance, many people just wear a well-cut pair of jeans and a great black jacket. But with shoes, they can play and transform themselves—they can change the style image that they’re creating. Continue Reading “FIT’s Foot Fetish” »

Crazy Horse Gallops Into London

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“Azzedine Alaïa used to come and study the dancers’ bottoms,” says Crazy Horse’s Andrée Deissenberg. “He wanted to see how the dancers moved; it was a design starting point for him. Plus, he just loved the show,” she said of Alaïa, who has famously attributed part of his fashion education to a very close examination of the Crazy Horse dancers‘ physiques.

The legendary Parisian cabaret, beloved by the fashion set (Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Louboutin, and Jean Paul Gautier have all collaborated with Crazy Horse over the years), landed in London last night with a VIP crowd that included some of rock’s most famous progeny, including Amber Le Bon, Daisy Lowe (pictured, left), Kelly Osbourne, Tali Lennox, and Alison Mosshart.

“When there is so little fabric to work with, you have to look at things in minutiae. Every stitch has an impact,” said Marios Schwab, who dressed the dancers in lingerie from his brand-new Kallisti for ASOS line. To which Deissenberg added, “When we first approached Mark Fast, who is famous for his barely-there work, he was thrilled because usually the buyers tell him to cover things up, while our marching orders were ‘take it off!’ “

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Haute Chicks

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What girl wouldn’t love a Cartier diamond necklace or a pair of Van Cleef earrings? Few that we know. For his latest project, photographer Peter Lippmann, who counts fashion brands ranging from Cartier to Christian Louboutin as clients, toyed with that concept and dressed a slew of chicks (literally, chicks) in haute bijoux from high-end jewelry labels, including Van Cleef & Arpels, Buccellati, and more. Here, for your afternoon pick-me-up, check out these blinged-out birds dripping in diamonds and rubies for his new Luxury Chicks photo series.