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27 posts tagged "Cynthia Rowley"

Rowley Reinvents The Runway


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 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.

Best In Class


With the school year around the corner, budding young fashion designers and journalists—the scholars of the 75th edition of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund—wrapped up a summer in the city last night with a panel of headlining speakers: Alexis Bittar (pictured, left), Lori Goldstein (pictured, center), Cynthia Rowley (pictured, right), Michael Bastian, Terron Schaefer, and the affable moderator Mickey Boardman who opened with the line, “I started at Paper 20 years ago. With luck, you’ll make it to the middle, as I have.” Much of the panel’s discussion, titled “The Future of Fashion, Starting Out: What I Wish I Knew Then and Other Insights from Fashion Leaders’ Early Years,” was centered on advice for surviving the industry. With the summer heat, the conversation at FIT flowed loose and unedited. For one, Bastian emphasized putting in the grunt work and warned, “Our industry is littered with these people who think they’re born to be only number-one.” The menswear designer was echoed via confirming nods from his colleagues.

Goldstein, meanwhile, pointed out the various strong personalities in the industry, admitting that she was something of a control freak. That wasn’t necessarily a negative, though; as it turned out, direction and execution apparently produced results. The award-winning Schaefer also professed to hold the reins close. “I’m often wrong but never in doubt,” Schaefer said.

And for those looking for a shortcut (a.k.a. the next young YSL), better to look elsewhere. It seemed there was more than one path to fashion stardom but the road was at best murky. “My first job, I was a bartender,” Rowley said. “I was a total dropout,” Bittar, who began hawking antique jewelry on St. Marks Place while still in elementary school, added. But for overcoming roadblocks and to pursue success, Bittar recommended, “Be really honest with yourself about what you want to be. What are your ethics? Your aspirations? And if you don’t love it, then get out.”

Photo: Laila Bahman / KSW

Baby Beyoncé Was Born, Cynthia Rowley And Olaf Breuning Collaborate On A Damien Hirst Dress, Tom Ford’s Spring ’12 Campaign, And More…


Beyoncé finally gave birth to a baby girl over the weekend at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital. There have been numerous names floating around, but Gwyneth Paltrow confirmed the name is Blue Ivy Carter. [Styelite]

In her new book, Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch, Sally Bedell Smith reveals a completely different side to Her Royal Highness than most are familiar with. The book, in stores Tuesday, includes stories of the Queen blowing bubbles at a birthday party, using a toolkit to decorate diamond tiaras, and crawling on her stomach to stalk stags in the Scottish Highlands. [WWD]

In celebration of the Damien Hirst retrospective, The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011, which opens January 12 at all 11 Gagosian galleries, Cynthia Rowley and artist Olaf Breuning created a Damien Hirst-inspired dress. The silk jersey T-shirt dress, available exclusively at Colette, has a screen-printed image of a nude figure with Hirst’s signature colorful spots, which Breuning portrayed in his recent exhibition The Art Freaks. [@Cynthia_Rowley]

Tom Ford decided to get behind the camera again to shoot models Mirte Maas and Mathias Bergh in Palms Springs for his Spring 2012 ad campaign. The “playful, ubeat images” will be in magazines in March. [WWD]

Photo: Tom Ford

Good Or Bad, They’re Bringing Sexy Back


Nobody forgets their first time. But not everybody feels compelled to recall it in print. Credit where credit’s due, then, to the contributors to the latest issue of Dossier, Skye Parrott and Katherine Krause’s glossy biannual, which rounded up a cast of characters—from Alexis Bittar and Cynthia Rowley to Miranda July and arty nouveau-pornographer Richard Kern—to muse, in pictures and text, on their first forays in the bedroom. (One brave soul even conducted a phone interview with his deflowerer, who estimated that they’d last spoken their junior year of college.) Was anything too raw to see the light of day? “We have a policy of printing everything we like,” Parrott said with a laugh at the packed launch party last night, which drew Rogan Gregory, Monique Péan, Timo Weiland, and Suno’s Max Osterweis to the New Museum.

Cobbled together in updated-zine style—with help from Buero’s Alex Wiederin, the magazine’s recently appointed creative consultant, who co-founded Another Magazine and revamped Ten and Vogue Hommes International—it’s a testament of sorts to letting it all hang out. And letting it all hang out is exactly what Andrej Pejic does in an editorial shot by Collier Schorr (who, Parrott says, is planning to use some of the images in an upcoming show). The androgynous beauty, shot in various states of undress, is in good company among the magazine’s cover girls. The previous issues have featured Freja Beha Erichsen and Daria Werbowy, and while the three aren’t the strangest of bedfellows, Pejic is definitely a departure of sorts. “We had Freja and Daria,” Parrott said of the decision. “As far as models go, how could you go bigger than that?” As any of the issue’s contributors could tell you, there’s a first time for everything.

Photo: Courtesy of Dossier

Rowley Gets Penny Wise, Stephen Colbert Fights Denim Shrinkage, Saskia Soars, And More…


Cynthia Rowley—whose brand extensions have run the gamut from Band-Aids to diapers—sits down to discuss her latest venture, Pretty Penny, which basically seeds funding to organizations she and her advisers think worthy. Their first beneficiary? Exhibition A, the online art-sale site created by her business manager, Laura Martin. [WWD]

The latest issue of Glamour names the mag’s 50 most glamorous celebrities of 2011, a list topped by Kate Winslet. Ms. W may be plenty glam, but she’s got no problem roughing it, either: “I love it when a character requires me to look less than my red-carpet best,” she said. “It’s more fun playing a character that requires you to look like dog shit.” [Glamour]

Stephen Colbert is Wagging His Finger™ at (his words) “the skinnification of the American jeanscape.” Catching his particular ire? Levi’s new “ex-girlfriend jean,” the male equivalent of the boyfriend jean, an ultra-skinny style that looks borrowed (or, as Colbert imagines, robbed) from his ex. [Racked]

Dutch beauty Saskia de Brauw (left) has been around the block once or twice, but she’s certainly having a moment now: The beauty landed not one but two international Vogue covers for March, Paris Vogue and Vogue Italia. [Fashionologie]

And famously reclusive Azzedine Alaïa emerges to interview famed stylist Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, a woman who helped mold the image of the nineties supermodel, in this month’s Interview. Don’t expect her to take too much credit. “Stylists should remain behind the scenes,” she says. “A great stylist, like a great designer, lets the work speak for itself.” [Interview]

Photo: Luca Cannoniere /