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6 posts tagged "Claude Montana"

Vibrant Viramontes



Few people captured the zeitgeist of the 1980s fashion and club scene as expressively as fashion illustrator Tony Viramontes. His work explodes off the pages of an extensive new monograph, Bold, Beautiful and Damned – the World of 1980s Fashion Illustrator Tony Viramontes, which, authored by Dean Rhys Morgan, will be released by Laurence King Publishing on October 7. Viramontes—who was educated in fashion illustration under Steven Meisel at Parsons, was mentored by Antonio Lopez, and made his debut in The New York Times in 1979—had a firm grasp on the eighties fascination with the androgynous, transgressive, and performative. He drew male and female models with wide shoulders, large mouths, marked eyebrows, and empowered stances in a constant state of vivid expression. The artist worked for and with everyone from The Face, Vogue, Yves Saint Laurent (above, top right), Valentino (above, top left), Chanel, Claude Montana, and Jean Paul Gaultier, who wrote the forward to Rhys Morgan’s tome. Viramontes’ models included the likes of Naomi Campbell (above, bottom left), Isabella Rossellini, Rene Russo, and Janice Dickinson (below), and he even did the album covers for Arcadia’s So Red the Rose and Janet Jackson’s breakout Control (above, bottom right). Sadly, though, Viramontes’ work was largely forgotten after his passing in 1988. Continue Reading “Vibrant Viramontes” »

Spring ’13: A Season On The Fringe


Fringe has circled in and out of fashion since at least the Great Gatsby era, and the shaggy stuff materialized once again at some of Spring’s most memorable shows. Joseph Altuzarra, Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier, and Nina Ricci’s Peter Copping took silk tassels in a glam direction; their slinky looks shook with each step down the runway. And speaking of glitz, how about those metallic tinsel-covered numbers from Versace? We’ll be seeing those on a red carpet sooner rather than later. The Rodarte girls went rock star, whipping up Claude Montana-esque leather biker jackets that are sure to be popular with the street-style crowd, while Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane created a crocheted leather duster-length cape that complemented the covenlike look of the overall collection.

CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of our favorite fringed looks for Spring.

Photo: Gianni Pucci /

Claude Montana, Fashion Radical, Resurfaces


It’s been nearly two decades since the fashion world has caught a glimpse of Claude Montana. But the reclusive designer showed up and lingered last night at Didier Ludot’s cocktail party in the Palais Royal, where the vintage guru is now displaying his private stash of Montana pieces. The idea to showcase Montana came naturally, Ludot noted. “He lives in the neighborhood so I see him every day, and it occurred to me that it would be an interesting switch from what I usually show—the Dior, Balenciaga, and Schiaparelli.” Montana’s recasting of sporty pieces in hyper-luxury materials was revolutionary at the time, he added, recalling a purple mink tracksuit from one show. Among Ludot’s treasures: a one-off absinthe and mustard-colored mink coat Montana designed for his late wife Wallis, a be-gloved and be-feathered black bodysuit, and a short, Lesage-embroidered couture dress from his controversial stint at Lanvin in the early nineties, a piece that Ludot scored only last Friday.

Montana, who recently published a retrospective of his career, recalled the agony of designing that couture dress: “The studio director didn’t understand what I wanted, so there was lots of back and forth,” he said. “There are so many memories in these windows, it’s touching.” Ludot concluded, “I think of Montana’s place in fashion as a bit like what Hervé Van der Straeten is to design now—extremely refined but also modern.” As to potential Montana heirs among fashion’s current crop, Ludot said, “I’m keeping an eye on Alexandre Vauthier and Maxime Simoens because they have the sensibility and they can do couture. And I saw something by Gareth Pugh the other day and I thought, ‘That could have been Montana.’ “

Photo: François Gozé

Montana Returns, David Dithers, Kim Covers Up, And More…


Fashion recluse Claude Montana returns—in print, at least. A new coffee-table book about the haute eighties designer (pictured, left, with haute eighties clothes hanger Cher) is due out in the U.S. next year. [WWD]

Japan fashion week kicks off in Tokyo today, but it’s not all sunny in the land of the rising sun: Some are already grumbling about disorganization, and several major brands have opted out of participating. [WWD]

Dolce & Gabbana favorite David Gandy may be a top male model, but apparently it hasn’t made him any more suave around the ladies—he says he’s still shy and awkward around girls. If only there were an iPhone app for that! [Vogue U.K.]

And Kim Kardashian, fresh from posing nude for W, vows she won’t pose nude again. We’ll believe it when we (don’t) see it. [Us Weekly via Gawker]

Photo: Richard Young / Rex USA

Seventies Chic, Eighties Excess—Here’s Where It All Started


Fashion wasn’t built in a day. The industry obsessed with what’s new and what’s next has, of course, a long history, and no one knows it better than Olivier Saillard, curator at the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs. (In May, he’ll decamp from the Louvre to take a post at the Musée Galliera, Paris’ museum of fashion.) Saillard’s latest show presents “an ideal history of contemporary fashion” of the seventies and eighties, seen through films of the era’s shows and television reports. The curator spoke to about the scandals and successes of the period, as well as the holy grail of eighties shows—the Paris debut of Comme des Garçons, of course.

What was going on in fashion in the seventies and eighties?
The exhibition starts in 1971 with Yves Saint Laurent’s collection Hommage aux Années 40 [Homage to the Forties, pictured]. It caused a scandal in France. The short skirts, broad shoulders, and platform shoes [of the 1940′s] were a reaction to the Nazi occupation of Paris during WWII. Frenchwomen made skirts out of their curtains, wore men’s tailored jackets, and put their hair in turbans. The look was arrogant, rather than the neutral style one would expect from the women of an occupied country.

The collection was scandalous in France because YSL’s couture clients in ’71 did not want to remember what they had lived through and the clothes they had worn. It was their daughters, young women like Paloma Picasso, who had started wearing forties clothes from the flea market and turbans, that inspired Saint Laurent. This show went on to inspire Jean Paul Gaultier, who turned the forties into eighties style, and [later] Maison Martin Margiela, who evoked the forties in the nineties. Yves Saint Laurent’s 1971 collection was the first time the forties had been revived in fashion, although Karl Lagerfeld at Chloé was doing collections inspired by thirties Art Deco.

Do you have favorite shows from the time period?
My favorite show from the seventies is the Spring 1972 group show with Kenzo, Dorothée Bis, and Chantal Thomass for Ter et Bantine. Jacqueline Jacobson of Dorothée Bis and Chantal Thomass were both immensely popular designers at the time. The show was held at Salle Wagram, an old Paris dance hall, staged by Argentinean director Alfredo Arias with Donna Jordan [a seventies model and Warhol superstar] as the guest star. The fact that these designers showed together was amazing—I don’t think that could happen today. And my favorite from the eighties is Marc Audibet’s Fall 1986 show. Audibet introduced elasticity in clothing. He perfected the use of Lycra and put stretch into the fashion vocabulary. His vision was romantic and completely different than the S&M hourglass chic of Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana, which reigned at the time. And Audibet’s show featured a new soundtrack for fashion, the spellbinding, repetitive music of contemporary composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich.

Continue Reading “Seventies Chic, Eighties Excess—Here’s Where It All Started” »