8 posts tagged "Derek Blasberg"
To make a star, or perpetuate one? That was the question the judges of this year’s Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize asked themselves as they deliberated over a list of 77 contending designers at New York’s Le Bernardin on Wednesday afternoon. After two hours of discussion, this year’s panel of judges, which included Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa (pictured, right), Thom Browne, Marchesa’s Keren Craig, Giovanna Battaglia, Elizabeth Saltzman Walker, Derek Blasberg, Shala Monroque, and Lauren Santo Domingo, had whittled the list down to five names in a miraculously seamless manner.
“Let me tell you, last year it was not that easy—there was definitely shouting,” said Bronwyn Cosgrave of the panel she assembled last year. (The group included the likes of Manolo Blahnik and Daphne Guinness, and gave the top prize to Thomas Tait.) “I’m excited by this year’s list because at the end of the day, I started this project to help young designers get their name out there and to support them.” That mission became a clear group initiative after judges repeatedly brought up familiar names like Cushnie et Ochs, Ohne Titel, and Jen Kao, and then eventually removed them from the running for the $40,000 prize and the opportunity to show during Paris Fashion Week. Instead, the group chose lesser-known names like jewelry label Anndra Neen, Sofia Sizzi’s womenswear line, Giulietta, Siki Im (pictured, left), and Setareh Mohtarez (an unknown who judges repeatedly mentioned for the beautiful sculptural work). The only debatable exception to the rule was the fifth finalist: Julian Louie. “He interned for me at Calvin and he’s extremely talented,” Costa said of the designer. In addition to working with Costa, he’s received guidance from Santo Domingo, and recently finished a shoe collaboration with Aldo. The winner will be announced in late October.
“Those outfits would have been great for someone for the Met ball,” Shala Monroque said as she eyed Thomas Tait’s collection, which stood on display last night at the Palace Hotel. “It feels like a cross between Celine and vintage Balenciaga.”
Tait won the first Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize last year, awarded by a panel that included Manolo Blahnik, Stephen Jones, and Daphne Guinness. Monroque—who we wouldn’t be surprised to see stepping out in one of Tait’s two-tone multi-pleated leather skirts—is one of the judges for this year’s competition. Joining her on the panel (and at last night’s event) were some of her fellow jurors, Giovanna Battaglia, Francisco Costa, Thom Browne, and Derek Blasberg.
The designer who takes the prize this year has a lot to live up to. Tait’s modern, sleek aesthetic was the talk of the evening, inviting comparisons with designers like Costa. The Calvin Klein Collection creative director himself admitted as much. “I am so very impressed and excited by such young talent,” Costa marveled. “You don’t see this often.”
Canadian-born Tait remained modest. “I just want to be happy and keep my hands in the work that I’m doing as I expand my business,” he said, sipping the namesake cocktail Belvedere created for the occasion, an electric blue blueberry concoction. Expanding is what he’s doing, both with his own collection and a new leather capsule range with retailer ASOS. “It’s nice to be reaching an audience that might be familiar with my work, but they might not be able to afford it,” he told Style.com.