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36 posts tagged "Christopher Bailey"

Spin Cycle: Tie-Dye Emerges as Resort’s Runaway Trend

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now-trending-faustoThis August marks the 45th anniversary of Woodstock. Tie-dyed T-shirts have remained a mainstay for jam-band fans and festivalgoers ever since. But the Resort ’15 collections are shaking the psychedelic swirls from their hippie-dippy connotations. Designers including Michael Kors, Fausto Puglisi, and Burberry Prorsum’s Christopher Bailey gave dip-dyed looks a sophisticated rinse-and-spin—Kors’ wisteria leather bell-bottoms are already at the top of editors’ wish lists. At Bottega Veneta, Tomas Maier experimented with bleach effects on long T-shirt dresses, while Gucci’s Frida Giannini showed a cool, faded cable-knit pullover and matching stonewashed jeans. Even Alexander Wang gave the emerging trend his stamp of approval, proposing tie-dye as the downtown alternative to camouflage.

Here, a slideshow of our favorite new tie-dyed looks.

Photo: Courtesy of Fausto Puglisi

Art and Commerce: On Christopher Bailey’s New Dual Role at Burberry

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Christopher Bailey

This week Christopher Bailey officially assumed his joint position as both chief creative and chief executive officer of Burberry. The move has been hailed as revolutionary in some quarters. It’s rare for someone from the design side of things to be given so much responsibility for business decisions. But in fact this turn of events speaks more to evolution than revolution. It’s a reflection of the way that the role of the creative director has changed in the last decade. The notion of the designer as an artistic genius who spins brilliant collections from his own turbulent emotions and who flourishes best with a fierce protector at his side (Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé being the obvious paradigm) exists only in the memory. Or on the screen—two new YSL biopics are being released this year.

Today, fashion is big business on such a global scale that creative directors are expected to have as much of a grasp of the bottom line as of a hemline. Bailey, a talented designer who also happens to be levelheaded and exceptionally well-organized, is more in the mold of a Ralph Lauren, less focused on inventing a new silhouette than in keeping a brand both consistent and constantly refreshed. It’s not that monumental a leap for him to take control of the balance sheets. In other words, there are no more ivory towers. Hedi Slimane, to my mind an artist, is also incredibly disciplined and clear-eyed about the strategic direction of Saint Laurent as a whole. Nicolas Ghesquière’s debut at Louis Vuitton, meanwhile, seemed to suggest he has an eye on reality as well as experimentation. One of the reasons the young New York designers who emerged in the last five years have stolen a march on their contemporaries in Europe is that they have a well-defined sense of where they fit in the commercial space. But even in London, once the bastion of wayward visionaries and even more wayward bank balances, the talk is of how fledgling labels are setting themselves up to succeed as real businesses. When Natalie Massenet took over as chairman of the British Fashion Council, one of her first acts, I’ve been told, was to limit the champagne intake at the London Showrooms event in Paris. At this seasonal showcase, which allows a group of emerging British designers to present their wares to visiting press and buyers, it used to be that the bubbly would start pouring at 10 a.m. and by noon the process of writing down orders had become somewhat hazy. These days they wait till 5 p.m. to pop the cork.

That represents progress of a sort, I suppose. And yet, as the Met gets ready to commemorate Charles James, a designer who had little interest in commercial obligations but made a couple of indelible contributions to fashion history, it’s hard not to be a little nostalgic for the mad, bad creators of yore. After all, can you really come up with the next big idea if you have one eye on how it will play from Dallas to Dubai? Much of the commentary around Bailey’s appointment has centered on whether he has the chops to handle the business complexities, but going forward, his bigger challenge may be deciding when to pursue a design impulse just because it feels right rather than appears to make immediate sense for shareholders. How he negotiates that balance will ultimately dictate the success or failure of his intriguing new role.

Photo: Getty Images

Anti-Freeze: Pre-Fall’s Polarwear

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Acne Studios“Polar Vortex” was the phrase on everyone’s blistered lips this week during a bitter cold spell that sent most of the U.S. into a deep freeze. As we learned firsthand while trudging to and from appointments on the city’s icy sidewalks, even the most thermodynamic winter coat (plus a hat and gloves) wasn’t enough for bone-chilling temperatures like these. Did designers divine this subzero weather? The new Pre-Fall collections offer plenty of fresh ideas for bundling up in style. Blanket dressing, in particular, has emerged as one of the season’s most welcome trends. Labels including Acne Studios, Chloé, Vionnet, and Chanel featured soft wraps made for swaddling. For the finale at his Burberry Prorsum menswear show in London yesterday, Christopher Bailey draped heritage plaid blankets over each model’s left shoulder. Geraldo da Conceicao at Sonia Rykiel, meanwhile, struck a similar cozy note with piled-on sweaters draped around the neck like stoles.

Here, a slideshow of winter-worthy blankets and wraps.

The British Fashion Awards’ Big Winners Revealed

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Chris Kane and Donatella Versace

Pillars of the British fashion industry gathered at the London Coliseum tonight for the British Fashion Awards—an annual ceremony that honors the crème de la crème of the country’s creative talents. In addition to much-coveted honors such as Womenswear Designer of the Year (which Donatella Versace presented to Christopher Kane), Brand of the Year (won by Burberry, whose Christopher Bailey also took the Menswear Designer of the Year title), Accessories Designer of the Year (won by Nicholas Kirkwood), Model of the Year (Edie Campbell), and the International Designer of the Year Award (Miuccia Prada), there were a few special prizes to bestow. i-D magazine’s founders Terry and Tricia Jones earned a standing ovation when they picked up their Outstanding Achievement Award, Marc Jacobs turned up to hand Kate Moss her Special Recognition Award, and Samantha Cameron presented a deserving Suzy Menkes with her Lifetime Achievement honor. As for the up-and-comers, J.W. Anderson took the New Establishment Award, while Simone Rocha and Agi & Sam won the emerging womenswear and menswear categories, respectively. Finally, the Emerging Accessories Designer Award fittingly went to Nicholas Kirkwood’s protégée Sophia Webster. Tune in tomorrow for complete coverage of the ceremony, as well as Kate Moss’ undoubtedly raucous after-fete. To see all the winners, visit the British Fashion Council’s Web site.

Burberry Gets a New Chief of Design

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Christopher BaileyIn his first big move since taking on the role of chief executive officer at Burberry, Christopher Bailey has introduced the brand’s new chief design officer, Luc Goidadin, reports Vogue U.K. The designer has been with the British company for more than twelve years, and was described by Bailey as “one of my most experienced, trusted, and talented colleagues.” Under the watchful eye of Bailey—who, in addition to his new corporate role, retains his title as Burberry’s chief creative officer—Goidadin will oversee all aspects of the house’s designs. “This will allow me to remain fully involved in setting the creative direction and vision for the brand,” Bailey said.

Photo:Yannis Vlamos/ Indigitalimages.com