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August 23 2014

styledotcom Are designers running out of ideas? Or are straightforward clothes a sign of times? stylem.ag/1uSNUd5 via @CathyHorynNYT

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141 posts tagged "Diane von Furstenberg"

Elie Tahari, The CFDA Do Right By Humanity

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It was chilly in New York last night, but the welcome couldn’t have been warmer at Diane von Furstenberg’s studio for Gohar Rajabzadeh, the first-ever winner of the CFDA’s Liz Claiborne Scholarship (pictured, left, with DVF and Art Ortenberg, Claiborne’s husband and business partner). Rajabzadeh, a senior at the Miami International University of Art & Design, is of Persian descent and grew up in Sweden. Inspired by both places, her designs are all about easy sportswear and outerwear, and she, fittingly, cites Liz Claiborne as a major influence. “I also love texture and playing with fabric. The one piece I think everyone should have is a great coat with a big hood and deep pockets.”

The deep-pocket appreciator now has a deep-pocketed benefactor. The $25,000 scholarship prize is endowed by Ortenberg in his late wife’s memory. “There’s nothing like being accepted by your peers,” the dapper Ortenberg told the crowd. “There were 20 finalists, but Gohar stood out.” The judging panel—which included Van Lupu, Dana Buchman, Andrew Rosen, Vena Cava’s Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock, Victoria Bartlett, and Ortenberg himself—agreed. “For a young designer, this is like winning the lottery,” said Elie Tahari. But there’s more than mere money at stake. “To support young designers is just a great thing for humanity,” he added. What could be warmer than that?

Photo: Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan

DVF, Kors, Cornejo, And More Rally For Garment Center

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With the wind of Marc Levin’s HBO documentary Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, which aired Monday, at their backs, supporters of NYC’s shrinking Garment District gathered today at noon for a Save the Garment Center rally. There was a sizable turnout for the event at the corner of 39th Street and Seventh Avenue, which was organized by a mix of city officials and led by designers Nanette Lepore and Yeohlee Teng. The crowd spanned the entire northeast side of the block reaching to 40th Street. “The Garment Center is the lifeblood of New York City…and we need to preserve it,” said Lepore, standing on a small stage, to the assembled fashion students, designers, and Garment District workers. “The city has already lost enough of what keeps us unique,” she added.

Designer and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg turned up to lend her considerable support, as did Michael Kors, Victoria Bartlett, Maria Cornejo, Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright and Chris Benz. “I produce my entire collection here,” said Benz. “For a young designer, the quantities for production lots overseas are enormous. They ask for 1,000 pieces at a time.” Erin Fetherston, who was part of the cause but was out of town filming a broadcast for her line with QVC, had similar thoughts. “The Garment District is so important to New York and New York fashion,” said Fetherston, before the rally. “Big American brands and young designers alike all have access to the same great resources for making clothing.” Or as one of the posters cheekily but effectively summarized, “It’s Sew N.Y.”

Photo: Courtesy of Save The Garment Center

Are Parties The New Shows?

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This season, New York fashion week is all about the parties. Of course, some people—yes, Olivier Zahm, I’m talking to you—might say every season is about the parties. But this time around it feels like the extracurricular activities are threatening to become the main event, with the collections relegated to the role of warm-up act. We may still be in a recession, but apparently there are few more cost-effective brand-building strategies than persuading a celebrity to put her name on the invite and plying a thirsty crew of hipsters and editors with a few hours’ worth of free booze and maybe even some food. Tonight, for example, there is an Agent Provocateur dinner, a launch for Anna Sui’s Target line, a book party for Amanda Brooks given by Diane von Furstenberg, a pair of competing model bashes (courtesy of Women & Supreme and Ford Models, respectively), and the unveiling of Saks’ new designer floor hosted by Charlize Theron and featuring the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang, and, of course, Christian Siriano. And fashion week doesn’t even officially start until tomorrow.

Over the coming nights, all the cool indie mags are throwing the sort of events carefully calibrated to reinforce their status as cool indie mags: the talented and slyly industrious Zahm is ascending to the Standard’s new lounge in the sky for his Purple magazine party; Jefferson Hack’s Another magazine bash is at the Jane; and Dasha Zhukova is unveiling her version of Pop at a location too cool and secret to mention (think the home of a big-shot art dealer). Love‘s Katie Grand, meanwhile, is ganging up with Alexander Wang to take over a gas station on Tenth Avenue (Love‘s owned by Condé Nast so not strictly indie, but you get the point). And here’s the proof that parties are the new shows: None of these London- and Paris-based publications are blowing their carefully husbanded budgets here because they think New York is the fashion capital of the world; they know it’s the buzz capital of the world, the city of eight million paps, bloggers, and Twitpicers. Further proof: Whereas even the most boosterish editor looks at the fashion calendar and feels her steely heart sink a little (20-plus back-to-back shows a day), planning your after-hours schedule is potentially a more rewarding experience (did I mention the free drinks?). Let’s see, it’s Tuesday the 15th, how can you get from the Sartorialist book signing (hey, Scott) to the Coco Before Chanel screening (bonsoir, Audrey), while looking in on the Ron Arad/Notify party at MoMA (hi, Linda Evangelista) and the Dsquared² eyewear launch waythehellover on the West Side Highway (big kiss, J. Lo), and still have enough energy left over for Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld’s shindig at Indochine (bisous, Carine)? This is where Red Bull comes in. Well, Red Bull and other things.

And I haven’t even mentioned half the designer parties (Marc’s doing a little something, of course, with or without Lady Gaga; Gareth Pugh’s hosting a dinner at Milk Studios and he’s not even based in New York; Calvin Klein, whose overachieving PR department may be more responsible than most for making the party as big a deal as the show, is doing dinner at the Standard Grill). My advice to any designer showing between 9 and 11 a.m. on a fashion week morning? Don’t bother stuffing those silly cosmetic freebies in the goody bag: Two Alka-Seltzers will do just fine, and, please, keep the music low.

Photo: Nicola Kast

Up For Discussion: The Future Of Fashion Shows

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Fashion power players including Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein and Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, along with a slew of top editors and retailers, joined CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg and executive director Steven Kolb this morning at FIT’s Katie Murphy Amphitheatre to discuss the future of New York fashion shows. “Are they relevant as we know them?” was the question at hand, and on the table were concerns about the timing and deliveries of collections and the money spent on expensive runway shows vs. the money made on less flashy, more lucrative pre-collections. Among the most contentious issues raised was what Donna Karan called a “white sale” mentality that’s training customers not to buy clothes and accessories at full price. In the spirit of problem solving, Vogue‘s Anna Wintour suggested that stores get together and set ground rules about when the discounting can start. When she was informed by von Furstenberg that that’s illegal, she replied: “Is that something we can change? We have friends in the White House now.” One topic that we’ll be keeping close tabs on for all of you Style Filers is the potential of fashion shows for consumers, in addition, that is, to shows for editors, buyers, and designers’ celebrity pals. Betsey Johnson, for her part, announced she’d be the first to sign up: “I would love to show at Madison Square Garden,” she said.

Photo: Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

Video: When Gloria Met Diane

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“Sometimes people will see me on the street and say, ‘Hi Gloria!’ ” So revealed Diane von Furstenberg when we stole the designer and her good friend Gloria Vanderbilt away from last week’s book party for Gloria’s new erotic novella, Obsession, to have a little on-camera chat. On first glance, it seems laughable to those of us in the know that DVF might be mistaken for Vanderbilt. But if you stop to consider, the two women’s lives do have a mirrored quality that makes it a forgivable error for the casual observer. They are each responsible for an iconic (and sexy) piece of clothing that turned their aristocratic names into household brands and really resonated with a wide swath of women. And neither is shy about her long and interesting list of husbands and lovers. Curiously, they never became friends at Studio 54; it was only after Anderson Cooper, Gloria’s son and DVF’s hiking buddy, introduced them a couple of years ago. Although after their first lunch, it was “immediate intimacy,” as DVF puts it. Click here to see the pair in the designer’s glamorous Meatpacking District office discussing sex, friendship, and, of course, Gloria’s latest book.

Photo: Sherly Rabbani and Josephine Solimene