26 posts tagged "Cynthia Rowley"
Style.com contributing editor and party reporter Darrell Hartman circles the city and, occasionally, the globe in the line of duty. In a regular column, he reports on the topics—whatever they may be at whatever given moment—that are stirring the social set.
“Yes, the lad was premature,” goes a line from The Picture of Dorian Gray. “He was gathering his harvest while it was yet spring.”
I doubt I’m the first person who has, upon meeting Dorian Grinspan, thought of Oscar Wilde’s fable about precious youth. This Dorian is real. The 20-year-old founder and editor Out of Order magazine, he’s been sowing his seeds early—and some of the fashion world’s biggest influencers are taking notice.
Grinspan was born in Paris and came to the U.S. to study at Yale. But while an earlier generation might’ve chosen to wait for a diploma before launching into the world, Grinspan didn’t see the point. “I didn’t come [to the U.S.] wanting to do a magazine. I arrived at Yale and I was really, really bored,” he told Women’s Wear Daily. [Full disclosure: this reporter spent four years at Yale, and did not find it boring.] Grinspan will start his senior year in the Fall, majoring in American Studies, but he recently took an apartment in New York, and says that thanks to some Franco-esque schedule jiggering will be spending just three days a week in New Haven.
Youth these days! Grinspan is already a darling of the industry. WWD is only one of several publications to anoint him an up-and-comer, and his biannual is already carried by the likes of Opening Ceremony and Colette, and the second issue, which Grinspan launched last week, boasts the sort of top-shelf contributors of which many start-up outlets dream. Among the photo credits and profile subjects are Larry Clark, Ryan McGinley, and Olivier Theyskens. These are gets worth bragging about, even if Grinspan is modest, or at least PR-savvy, enough not to. “It’s actually funny to see how accessible these people are and how much they want to help,” he told me at last week’s launch party at Fivestory, an uptown boutique. (His fashion-model looks—literally, as in repped by DNA—aren’t the reason, but surely they can’t hurt.) Gus Van Sant, he added, had been “really interested, and we almost shot something,” but the scheduling hadn’t worked out.
Grinspan has plenty more influential supporters, including fellow editors. “Stephen Gan has been amazing to me,” he said. And after meeting Stefano Tonchi at a party in Cannes last year, Grinspan appeared in W this spring. Starting in the fall, he said, he’ll be writing for the magazine’s website. Quick work. For a moment, Grinspan did pay some dues—as an intern for Carine Roitfeld. Among the people met while working there was photographer Michael Avedon, who shot a story for the new issue. (Avedon is just a year older than Grinspan, and the great-grandson of Richard.)
Grinspan holds himself well—and tends to do so in the right company. Cynthia Rowley, who hosted an after-party of sorts for the magazine at her boutique-cum-sweet-shop, Curious, couldn’t exactly remember how she’d first met him. She was pretty sure his boyfriend had interned at her husband’s gallery. In any case, Rowley said, she’d gotten to know him through “the Brant kids.”
How has Grinspan done it, in an industry with fewer and fewer footholds for young talent? “I don’t think there’s a secret. I feel like everything is so circumstantial,” he explained. When pressed, he added, “Both my mom and my dad have a lot of connections in fashion, I guess.” His mother, a graphic designer, got him interested in clothes and style early on. His father, a lawyer, worked “for a long time” with BCBG. And there’s his godmother, Numéro editor–in-chief Babette Djian. “She’s been great,” Grinspan admits. “We go to fashion shows together if we both have an invite. But I would never call her up and say, ‘Please take me to Jean Paul Gaultier!’ That’s not what I want our relationship to be.”
If things keep going the way they’re going, the occasional missing invite won’t be an issue. And why shouldn’t they? Grinspan has a way about him, evident in the manner in which he politely escorted Clark up the stairs at Rowley’s party and posed with him for photos. Clark, like Rowley, couldn’t recall how he and Grinspan had first started talking, but he did remember meeting Grinspan face to face. “He’s very enthusiastic, but not overbearing at all—just a nice young man,” he said. And one more likely to make a splash than all the others.
The Rodarte sisters are probably feeling pretty proud about now. After only eight years on the scene, Kate and Laura Mulleavy have officially been deemed industry legends by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which, WWD reports, will honor the Rodarte designers with its Legend of Fashion award on May 3. Previous recipients include Ikram Goldman and Cynthia Rowley.
Watch out, Willy Wonka. You’ve got some competition in Cynthia Rowley. The designer will show her Fall ’13 collection later today. In lieu of parading her wares down the catwalk, she’ll debut them in her new clothing boutique-cum-candy shop: opening for business later this week, CuRious Candy will house Rowley’s collection of conceptual confections. (The store will also be linked to a new space for husband Bill Powers’ Half Gallery.) Now, this is Cynthia Rowley we’re talking about, so don’t expect your average chocolate bark and truffles. While the four-story town house will offer classics like Sour Patch Kids, pecan-covered caramels, and chocolate bars (“People would go berserk if we didn’t have those!” says the designer), it will also include edible silverware and teacups, “storm cloud” black licorice cotton candy, and sugary figurines that look like glass sculptures. “It can be the centerpiece of your dinner party, and then at the end of the night, you can surprise everyone by smashing it and eating it,” laughs Rowley.
In order to get the word out, Rowley teamed up with Red Bucket Films’ Josh and Benny Safdie to create a surreal, candy-centric video. The short debuts exclusively on Style.com (above) and will be on Taxi TV from tomorrow. Rowley makes a quick cameo, but the film focuses on Hailey Gates and Hannah Gross as they sit in the Maritime Hotel’s La Bottega restaurant and begin to eat everything from the flower vase to the table. Naturally, they’re dressed in looks from Rowley’s Fall collection, which was heavily inspired by her sweet endeavors. Like the store, Rowley’s Fall clothes merge the “pretty” and the “dark”—qualities that are ever-present in the designer’s dreamy world. For instance, there will be leather-quilted accessories, stretch crocodile trousers, leather hats, and giant lockets with mother-of-pearl faces. All of this will be presented amid an installation by Raul Avila, which will remain in the new store. “We spend so much time on the sets for our runway shows, and a few hours later it’s over,” says Rowley. “This way our set can live on and everyone can enjoy and experience it.”
Cynthia Rowley’s CuRious Candy shop and new boutique will open later this week, located at 43 East 78th Street, New York, NY.
The marathon of runway romps, presentations, and designer fêtes that is New York fashion week will come to a close on Thursday. And after the editors have flown to London and the dust has cleared, what will we have left? The obvious answer is the clothes, of course, but it’s the images of the Spring collections that will remain in our memories and, more importantly, on the Internet for years to come. This is the thinking behind Cynthia Rowley’s new approach to the fashion show. Ms. Rowley, who will debut her Spring looks tomorrow, explains, “As a designer, you work so hard for so long to create a specific look. And it takes a huge budget to put on a show with a set. So I was thinking, if you were going to do a shoot with models and hair and makeup, would you tell the girls to just run past the photographer and hope that you get a shot? Because, with a fashion show, that’s basically what you’re doing.”
Well, when you put it like that, it does sound a little ridiculous. Thus, the designer says no more. After extensive talks with editors and stylists, Rowley has decided to approach her presentation just as she would a photo shoot. Held in a beautifully dilapidated old hotel at 5 Beekman Street, complete with a grand glass atrium (“I couldn’t imagine that something like this still exists in New York!” says Rowley), the “show” will take place on two levels. On the top floor, models will be able to interact with documentary, fashion, and art photographers to create editorial-quality images. These photographs will then be projected into the main space where editors and guests can view the shoot in real time, view the clothes up close on models, and as Rowley puts it, “drink a cocktail and have a little fun, too.”
“I try to push ahead to see how fashion can evolve, and how I can evolve,” says the designer, noting that her Spring collection was, in part, inspired by her show space. “The building is so decrepit and there are layers of paint and wallpaper peeling off the walls, so we’ve kind of echoed that feeling in the clothes with a foiling technique,” she explains, telling Style.com that the high-polish look of the foil will create an interesting contrast against the decaying space. Rowley’s fashion week experiment sounds promising, but will it be a success? We’ll have to wait for the photographs to find out.