April 21 2014

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12 posts tagged "Cristobal Balenciaga"

Did You Get The Memo? Diana Vreeland In Her Own Words


Memos: The Vogue Years

“Our cover situation is drastic…We are on the verge of a drastic emergency.” So reads the first entry in the latest Diana Vreeland tome, Memos: The Vogue Years. Compiled by Vreeland’s grandson Alexander (the husband of Lisa Immordino Vreeland, who directed The Eye Has to Travel), the book features more than 250 of Vreeland’s infamous notes from her time at Vogue, which she’d dictate over the phone to her secretary while puffing on cigarettes in a wicker chair in the bathroom of her Park Avenue apartment. This, Alexander told us, was her preferred mode of communication. “She didn’t believe in meetings,” he said. His assertion is backed up by Diana’s memo to the Vogue team on page fifty-nine, in which she considers holding a meeting about the “controversial” topic of dress lengths, but resolves, “Usually, when we have meetings, we don’t get ideas and views from people.”

But it wasn’t just her staff whom she’d confront about everything from the importance of pearls and bangles to her annoyance with the mistreatment of her initials in her editor’s letter (above), to the necessity that Vogue‘s spreads “never, ever copy…any kind of coiffure that is reminiscent of the 30s, 40s, 50s,” via her rapier dictations. The book—which is available now from Rizzoli—also includes her correspondences with the likes of Richard (or Dick, as she called him) Avedon, Irving Penn (to whom she complains about lackluster tulips), Cecil Beaton, Cristobal Balenciaga (above), Halston, Veruschka, and beyond. Continue Reading “Did You Get The Memo? Diana Vreeland In Her Own Words” »

Aitor Throup’s “Deeply Charged Art” Is Coming to a Store Near You


Aitor Throup's "On the Effect of Ethnic Stereotyping"
It’s been seven years since he graduated from the Royal College of Art—seven years of mind-bending manifestos, endless obsessive sampling, teasers, feints, and false starts, and God knows there were times when it seemed like the day would never come. But at last it’s here. On Thursday, Aitor Throup, the philosopher king of London menswear, released his first complete collection to a handful of stores around the world: Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, Atelier in New York, H. Lorenzo in Los Angeles, I.T. in Hong Kong and Beijing, and Rail in Brescia, Italy. In typical Throup style, leaving nothing to chance, the launch is supported by a full platform of explanatory visuals, exclusively revealed here on

It’s probably fairer to call New Object Research a project rather than a collection, although it does in fact collate items from the four concepts Throup has been evolving over the years—like the Skanda jacket from When Football Hooligans Become Hindu Gods, or the riding jacket from Mongolia, or the Saxophone shirt from The Funeral of New Orleans—into one seamless group. “Evolution” is an appropriate catchall. “Even since we showed in January, we’ve taken it to another level with production,” the designer enthused the other day in an East End studio teeming with assistants packing up clothes for shipment.

But nestled inside his evolution is a revolution in construction and fabrication, all of it produced right downstairs in that teeming studio (which is remarkable enough itself, given that some of the fabrics sound like purest science). To see it all, he’s worked with a design firm to create rotating, 360-degree views of the pieces on his Web site, like the one below. And what to see? There’s a new zipper system, new buttonhole technology, the signature trousers that don’t finish where the ankles finish, seams like you’ve never seen before, and, my personal favorites, Throup’s ergonomic sleeves, which have an internal elastic articulation that anticipates movement. However it works, it feels better than any sleeve I’ve ever had on my arm. Cristobal Balenciaga, fashion’s most famous sleeve-obsessive, would be green with envy. Continue Reading “Aitor Throup’s “Deeply Charged Art” Is Coming to a Store Near You” »

Guess Who’s Next? Alta Roma Honors Emerging Talent


Looks from Arthur Arbesser and Esme Vie

Alta Roma, Italy’s answer to haute couture, is currently under way in Rome. And yesterday, the winners of this season’s Who Is On Next design competition were announced. It was judged by an esteemed panel that included Saks Fifth Avenue’s Terron Schaefer, Suzy Menkes, and Harrods’ Marigay McKee. The initiative supports independent designers who produce their labels in Italy. The top talents will receive an area to show their collections to buyers during next September’s Milan fashion week (courtesy of Vogue Italia), and they’ll also create an exclusive look, which will be stocked on

This year, Arthur Arbesser, a Viennese designer who spent seven years working with Giorgio Armani before launching his own line last fall in Milan, co-won the grand prize. He shared the spotlight with Julia Voitenko and Daria Golveko, the Russian duo behind Esme Vie. Continue Reading “Guess Who’s Next? Alta Roma Honors Emerging Talent” »

Goossens Goes Back To The Classics


Robert Goossens launched his jewelry house in 1950 and was quickly tapped to create couture fashion jewelry for Paris’ biggest houses. Cristobal Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Yves Saint Laurent all enlisted Goossens’ talents, although his most famous works are easily the gilded bronze and rock crystal sautoirs, large Byzantine cuffs, and pearl brooches he created for Chanel. “The house was always a bit atypical. My father and Mademoiselle Chanel really created the concept of vrai/faux fashion jewelry together,” explained the house’s current creative director, Robert Goossens’ son, Patrick. (Patrick’s sister, Martine, is the hand behind the furniture and other decorative objects you see in Chanel’s flagship stores.) “The thing about [our approach to jewelry] is that it’s not a matter of price: you can go to the Place Vendome and see not-so-great expensive things, or you might find something fabulous at Monoprix,” he adds.

This season, Goossens has decided to reimagine some of its iconic styles (think braided metal belts, triple-strand necklaces with semiprecious stones, and chain-link chokers), and offer them at approachable prices (about $200 for a ring, up to about $1,300 for a heavy stone and pearl piece). “I want to make sure the Goossens signature is recognizable,” said Patrick. “Both for customers now, but also for customers’ granddaughters one day.”

Goossens’ Fall 2013 collection will be available at the house’s Paris flagship at 42 avenue George V, and online at

Photos: Courtesy of Goossens

Letter From London: Aitor Throup and Richard James


Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-Porter, and the new chairman of the British Fashion Council, was in a justifiably good mood after three days of men’s shows in London. We were talking about the factors that contributed to shows’ success, and one thing that was instantly obvious was how the established and the edge have come together under one umbrella: Savile Row and…well, whatever Aitor Throup is.

Throup’s presentation in a gallery in King’s Cross (above) was titled New Object Research, but the parentheses were more significant: (The full reveal of the first complete ready-to-wear collection). Twenty pieces arranged in four looks is scarcely complete in any traditional sense, but it was the culmination of six years of work, and six years of intense optimism on the part of industry insiders who’ve patiently clung to the conviction that Throup brings something unique to fashion. It was certainly on display here in the extraordinary construction of the clothes and the stark beauty of their presentation. Throup is a man obsessed. All he wants is a new way to do things, and once he has mastered that way, he would love it to become an industry standard. You haven’t appreciated a buttonhole until you’ve heard him detail the process with which he closes his garments. And to hear him talk about the perfect shoulder is surely a glimpse of what Cristobal Balenciaga’s acquaintances must have endured as Cris nattered on about sleeves.

But a similar fixation on detail has been the fundament of British menswear since Beau Brummell first went to his military tailor in 1790-something and said, “I want you to make me this.” Richard James’ presentation on Tuesday (left) made it quite clear that he is Throup’s diametric opposite, but maybe they’d recognize the subversion in each other. James is dressing men of power and industry (David Cameron, the prime minister, wore a James suit at his Downing Street reception for the men’s collections) but the press notes for his Fall presentation quoted lyrics from the Small Faces’ acid fantasy “Itchycoo Park.” Yes, the collection was inspired by London’s parks, but Itchycoo was a very special one. It’s always been part of James’ charm that he insinuates left-field references into his work. Here, there was tailoring in the blue of sky, the green of grass, the maroon of a Kray’s night out—not quite psychedelic, but bright nonetheless. And he had the best front row of the week: Magic Mike‘s Alex Pettyfer, The Hobbit‘s Martin Freeman, Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes, and everyone’s Tinie Tempah. Now there’s a dinner party. And that’s London now.

Photo: Aitor Throup—Courtesy of Aitor Throup; Richard James—Mike Marsland/ WireImage via Getty Images