18 posts tagged "Creatures of the Wind"
The “future of fashion” was the topic last night at the 92Y, where our editor in chief Dirk Standen hosted a panel discussion with Leandra Medine, of Man Repeller fame, and Lizzie Tisch and Kim Kassel, cofounders of Suite 1521, a luxury shopping destination that allows its members to meet up-and-coming designers like Mary Katrantzou, Rodarte, and Creatures of the Wind and shop their collections in an intimate setting. The evening’s wide-ranging discussion took in the pros and cons of fast fashion, the feasibility of wearable technology, and the ever-expanding influence of platforms like Instagram. “If the metric of success was once measured in dollars, in 2014 it’s measured in social following,” noted Medine, who was, it turned out, quoting her dad.
Perhaps the liveliest part of the conversation came after Standen suggested that women were still underrepresented in the ranks of designers and wondered when that would change. “I don’t feel like we have more men than women [designers]. I think we’re divided. But I do find that with men, the skirts are up to here, the pants are a little too long,” said Tisch. “And, well, what about if fabric is itchy? I don’t think [a male designer] cares, but if a woman puts it on, she could be like, ‘Oh, get this off me immediately.’”
The evening concluded with a question from the audience about a more immediate future concern: What one item did the panelists want for fall? Kassel said she was in the market for a cape, while Tisch was on the lookout for a great pair of boots. Medine, meanwhile, had something even more essential on her wish list: “A Vitamix.”
Three cheers for Joseph Altuzarra! The talent won Womenswear Designer of the Year, the top honor at the CFDA Awards, which just wrapped at Alice Tully Hall. Altuzarra, who secured an investment from Kering last year, had some stiff competition in fellow nominees Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs, but we’d have to say the honor is much deserved. Public School’s Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow won Menswear Designer of the Year, beating out Thom Browne and Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, and The Row’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen took the Accessories Designer of the Year accolade, triumphing over Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough.
The third time was a charm for Creatures of the Wind’s Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters, who won the Swarovski Award for Womenswear after being nominated in 2012 and 2013—bravo, boys! And to round things out, Tim Coppens and Irene Neuwirth earned the Swarovski Award for Menswear and Accessories respectively. The big winners were in good company, and shared the stage with such honorees as Tom Ford, Raf Simons, and a crystal-clad Rihanna. As host John Waters put it, “Fashion is power.” Tonight’s celebrated designers and icons certainly have a lot of it. Congratulations to this year’s victors and honorees, all of whom are listed below. Don’t forget to check out our complete coverage of the CFDA Awards, here.
WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Joseph Altuzarra for Altuzarra
MENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow for Public School
ACCESSORIES DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen for The Row
SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR WOMENSWEAR
Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters for Creatures of the Wind
SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR MENSWEAR
SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR ACCESSORIES
GEOFFREY BEENE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Raf Simons for Christian Dior
FASHION ICON OF THE YEAR AWARD
THE MEDIA AWARD IN HONOR OF EUGENIA SHEPPARD
THE FOUNDER’S AWARD IN HONOR OF ELEANOR LAMBERT
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ TRIBUTE
Without a doubt, Creatures of the Wind is one of the industry’s buzziest emerging labels. Known for their imaginative, slightly offbeat collections that fuse esoteric references with innovative fabrications, designers Shane Gabier and Chris Peters quickly became critical darlings following their official New York fashion week debut just over three years ago. In 2011, the duo were named runners-up for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and honored as Fashion Group International’s Rising Stars. Since then, they’ve been finalists for the International Woolmark Prize and nominated for multiple CFDA Awards—COTW is currently up for the Swarovski Award for Womenswear, to be announced in June. Furthermore, the brand recently received an investment from L.A.’s Dock Group, presented its premiere Pre-Fall lineup, and relocated its studio from Chicago to Manhattan a few months back. Clearly, Gabier and Peters are firing on all cylinders. To boot, COTW is releasing its first-ever fashion film to illustrate the Spring ’14 collection, titled “Hail, Hyperborea.” The new video—which corresponds with a print campaign that ran in Dazed & Confused—has a decidedly trippy vibe and stars veteran supermodel Kirsten Owen. Here, Style.com speaks with Gabier and Peters about their new short, balancing creativity with commerce, CFDA Award jitters, and more.
Congratulations on your first fashion video! Can you tell me about the concept and mood you were trying to achieve here?
Shane Gabier: The theme of the collection was Hail, Hyperborea, and to us, Hyperborea is this magical land where the sun is always shining and there is eternal light. We did want to have an element of something untraceable and not totally placeable. There is something familiar about it, but you can’t quite say what it is.
Chris Peters: One of the things we’re trying to build with the video is the idea of this internal paradise. So it’s a little hallucinatory and captures an otherworldly state.
Did the film medium help you to better express your message?
CP: I think one of our biggest issues is that a lot of our talking points are pretty nebulous and about trying to convey a sense of atmosphere. With this video, we really got the opportunity to create that atmosphere directly and show it in a much more straightforward way. So for us, doing a video clarified a lot of the more difficult aspects of discussing the collection.
How was working with Kirsten Owen?
SG: Hands down, she is the most magical person I have ever encountered in my life. She was somebody that we both had wanted to work with, I mean, forever.
CP: I actually cried watching her on set. It was like I was watching a butoh performance. She is the most transcendent sort of—I don’t even know that I’d say she’s a model because she’s really so much more than that. She just took on this whole other persona. It was epic and definitely a highlight of my life so far.
Creatures of the Wind isn’t your usual brand name. How do you feel it has defined your aesthetic, if at all?
CP: It’s funny, we were just talking about that. I think it made it really difficult for us for a really long time. Now it’s OK, but at the beginning, I think so many people were confused about what the name was. People kept thinking it had to do with birds or Chicago. We were like, “Oh, my God, it’s the lyrics of a really famous [Nina Simone] song.”
SG: That definitely speaks to how we often do these things that we think are quite clear, but then end up being really obtuse.
Speaking of having a somewhat obscure point of view, have you had to make a conscious effort to be a bit more commercial?
SG: When we started the company, it was just us making stuff in our basements, and we’re ultimately still a new label. As we grow, we’re learning about the client and who actually wears the clothes, and I think that’s kind of informing how we design now. The business side of it is really important, too. Now we kind of enjoy that side of it on some level.
CP: I think that’s really important because we’re not designing in a vacuum. We’re not making clothes for ourselves, although sometimes I feel like that might be easier.
What would you say it takes to really make it in this industry as a young brand?
CP: I would say that you need a ridiculous amount of luck and you have to work endlessly. It’s a really hard industry, and you can get burned. There were so many things that should have totally taken us down along the way, but somehow we made it through. I have never met anyone who did what we did in the way we did it.
You’re up for another CFDA Award, which you’ve been nominated for before but haven’t yet won. Do you feel like you need that kind of validation at this point, or does it feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel?
CP: It’s definitely taxing—emotionally, mentally, and sometimes physically—because you’re just doing so much more work with the extra projects and submissions on top of what’s already there, but that’s kind of what you have to do now.
SG: I don’t think we need the validation personally, but we recognize it as a part of the process and forward movement in general. We have to be involved in that stuff to participate on this level. We’d rather have that type of recognition than not have it.
As we’re sure you saw, the 2014 CFDA Award nominees and honorees were announced last night during a cocktail fete hosted by Nadja Swarovski and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg at the Bowery Hotel. During the soiree, it was revealed that Tom Ford and Raf Simons will both receive honors, and Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, and Joseph Altuzarra will duke it out for the Womenswear Designer of the Year title. (See the full list of nominees here.)
While the news that director John Waters would be hosting was pretty great, we were particularly thrilled to learn that Hood by Air—the streetwise anti-establishment luxury line whose Fall ’14 show featured old-school voguers—was nominated for the Swarovski Award for Menswear. It seemed to signify that the brand, which Style.com’s Maya Singer recently dubbed the most exciting thing happening in New York right now, had finally cracked, well, the establishment. “When you put commentary out there, you hope that people realize what’s going on and like your take,” offered designer Shayne Oliver. “I’m glad that they’re actually listening,” added the talent, who was just back from Paris, where he had presented his collection to a panel of judges during the penultimate round of competition for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. “We’ve been having some really cool meetings in Paris,” he later hinted. “I think there might be some European moves coming in the future.”
Tim Coppens, also just back from the LVMH event, stuck around for some revelry and received a nomination for the Swarovski Menswear honor, as well. “I’m excited,” he said. So excited, in fact, that he’s already started thinking about the June 2 awards ceremony. “What I’ll wear was actually the first thing that went through my head,” he laughed, adding that he’ll probably design something to don to the affair. Creatures of the Wind’s Christopher Peters, who, along with partner Shane Gabier, is up for the Swarovski Award for Womenswear, also pondered his ceremony attire. “I don’t have any formal clothes that don’t have food on them, so I might have to go shopping,” he deadpanned. “Last year, I wore this really insane Comme des Garçons jacket with embroidered music notes down the sleeves. I loved it more than anything, and then I wore it to a wedding in Texas and everyone thought I was with the band. So it was perfect.” When asked whether he was nervous about the competition, Peters replied, “We both feel extremely honored to be nominated, but we’re always nervous. About everything. I’m kind of, like, constantly panicked, so this is no different than my normal state.” Considering most of the designers in attendance last night were just back from sales in Europe and already working away on their next collections, we have to assume that Peters isn’t alone.
The Fall ’14 Ready-to-Wear collections kick off in New York on Wednesday, and will be followed by the shows in London, Milan, and Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Fall ’14 previews is available here.
WHO: Creatures of the Wind, designed by Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters
WHERE: New York
WHEN: Thursday, February 6
WHAT: “Fall ’14 is an examination of transcendence, moving through the earthly world and into the light.” — Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters. The designers sent us a close-up of a Fall ’14 look, above.