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August 30 2014

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15 posts tagged "Diego Della Valle"

A 280-Heel Salute to Roger Vivier

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Vintage Vivier boots

Count on Paris fashion week to end on a high note with a retrospective exhibition dedicated to the inventor of the stiletto heel: Roger Vivier. Set to open at the Palais de Tokyo on October 2, the show, dubbed Virgule, etc… in the Footsteps of Roger Vivier , will give viewers the chance to examine a comprehensive range of the late designer’s fancy footwork. Curated by the Musée Galliera’s Olivier Saillard, the exhibit will display 140 pairs of Vivier shoes—including his famous comma heel (or virgule in French, hence the title).

Vivier, who was once Dior’s star shoemaker, died in 1997, but his legacy lives on. Diego Della Valle revived the brand in 2000, and Bruno Frisoni has been creating dreamy, feminine wares for the house since 2002. His work, too, will be celebrated in the show.

Photo: Keystone-France/ Getty Images

Seven Suggestions For Improving Milan Fashion Week

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Gildo Zegna, Patrizio Bertelli, Cav. Mario Boselli, and Diego Della Valle during the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana press conference in Milan

At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana held a press conference at which attendance had been all but mandated weeks in advance. The early, un-Italian hour was no doubt meant to indicate the seriousness of the occasion, as was a lineup of speakers that included Patrizio Bertelli, Diego Della Valle, and Gildo Zegna, all of whom have joined the organization’s new board. Essentially, these captains of one of Italy’s most important and cherished industries have banded together to reinvigorate Milan’s increasingly hidebound fashion weeks. “I’ve heard the word boring,” Zegna acknowledged, though he insisted that wasn’t the case. The speeches were heavy on sweeping statements and light on concrete details, which provoked the assembly of sleep-deprived journalists into a volley of probing questions. Bertelli had earlier compared his fellow board members to “senators of fashion,” and he might have been thinking, Et tu, Suzy? as the International New York Times‘ Suzy Menkes led a round of interrogation into everything from Milan’s inhospitality to young designers to its perceived shortcomings on the digital front. Bertelli is no pushover, and he gave as good as he got. When a French journalist asked why we were only hearing from old men (Angela Missoni was a mostly silent presence on the board today), the Prada CEO told him he’d be a dangerous old man himself if he didn’t change his attitude, and then unexpectedly pointed out that Italy was the first country to abolish slavery, in the 1300s. By the end, one attendee was muttering, “Business as usual,” but if the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, then today’s announcement should be welcomed as a positive development. Certainly there is enough firepower and entrepreneurial know-how on this new board to solve world peace, let alone bring new energy to a fashion week. Zegna stressed that the process would be a dialogue and said suggestions would be encouraged. In that spirit, here are seven modest proposals for improving Milan fashion week.

1. Lure young, international designers to Milan.
Menkes wondered how Milan would be replacing Burberry and Alexander McQueen, two brands that have recently decamped back to their native London. But the city’s relatively uncrowded schedule could be one of its biggest assets. Given how ridiculously packed the New York and, increasingly, London and Paris schedules have become, you would think any number of hot young brands could be persuaded to believe that they’d have a better chance of standing out in Milan. If access to Italy’s unparalleled production expertise were thrown in as part of the deal, who could resist?

2. Take the show on the road.
The British Fashion Council and, to some extent, the U.S.-based CFDA have done a good job of promoting their designers abroad. As part of the London Showrooms events, a dozen young U.K. talents have even careened around Hong Kong together on a bus. While there are barely enough young Milan-based designers to fill a Smart car let alone a minibus, and its more established designers are already well known internationally, it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with the right kind of touring exhibition. Picture a mix of up-and-comers such as Umit Benan, Andrea Pompilio, and Fausto Puglisi; some cult brands like MP Massimo Piombo and Aspesi; and a couple of designer offshoots like Versace’s Versus line and Lapo Elkann’s highly covetable new made-to-measure collaboration with Gucci—all introduced by a charming, high-profile figure (yes, we’re talking to you, Lapo). That would go some way to showing the rest of the world the extent of Italy’s ambitions. Continue Reading “Seven Suggestions For Improving Milan Fashion Week” »

Christian Lacroix Talks Schiaparelli

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Finally, something’s happening at Schiaparelli. After the house’s current owner, Diego Della Valle, announced his plans to reopen the storied maison last year, there had been no news about a creative director, or even a launch date. Until yesterday, when it was revealed that the Schiap revival is set for July, with a fifteen-piece capsule collection of Couture by Christian Lacroix. The 61-year-old, Paris-based couturier’s homage to Schiaparelli—which will go on display in her original salon at 21 Place Vendôme—will be the first in an annual series of collaborations in which artists will interpret the iconic designer’s wares. The house’s permanent creative director, however, has yet to be named. Here, Lacroix, who has largely been working on costume projects for operas and ballets around the globe since his departure from the couture catwalk in 2009, discusses the Schiaparelli revival and his forthcoming collection.

Schiaparelli is a legend, yet also mysterious; you referred to her as a sphinx. Are you at all intimidated by the undertaking?
This will perhaps sound pretentious, but this seems natural to me, almost obvious—let’s say logical. I do feel a link with her through many signs since I was a child. I’ll face her glance on a portrait and try to guess what she thinks…and I’ll tell you yes, she’s goddamned intimidating!

How did Mr. Della Valle approach you for this project?
We have known each other for more than thirty years. [We met] when I was working for Guy Paulin and Byblos in Italy. Later, he made my first shoes for the first Lacroix ready-to-wear show. And we have friends and collaborators in common.

Why were you drawn to this collaboration?
I’ve adored Schiap since my childhood. This kind of project that falls in between the history of costume and fashion was impossible for me to refuse [particularly because] I planned to be a fashion museum curator and became a stage designer after twenty-five years of couture.

Do you see any similarities between your and Schiaparelli’s aesthetics?
Of course I was very inspired by her work, mixing past and modernity, high and low, elegance and eccentricity. We are both Mediterranean characters inspired by Paris’ special flavor and style.

While many are excited to see new life breathed into Elsa Schiaparelli’s house, some are wary of the revival and feel her legacy should be left untouched. What is your response to this and what are your feelings on the revival?
When you enter 21 Place Vendôme, the place which never stopped being “her” home since the thirties, you feel something alive, far from nostalgia. Everything screams, “I’m still here, alive.” I think this is good timing and momentum [as long as] we don’t copy her but try to extract the quintessence of her style. Her heritage is too often reduced and simplified to only the crazy, surrealistic, and caricatural side of her clothes. [People] ignore how close to the practical, modern, pure aspect of a wardrobe she was, especially during the war. We have to epitomize this image of her. Continue Reading “Christian Lacroix Talks Schiaparelli” »

Schiaparelli Taps Christian Lacroix

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Last May, Diego Della Valle announced that he would be reviving the house of Schiaparelli. Today, after a year of speculation about who would design for the revived brand, Schiaparelli has announced that Christian Lacroix will pay homage to the house with a fifteen-piece capsule couture collection. The looks will be displayed at Schiaparelli’s original salon at 21 Place Vendôme in Paris this July. “In this persona incarnating a true aristocrat, one finds a spirit where mathematics and literature as well as poetry coexist: Elsa is a sacred sphinge [sic] who never ceases to interrogate us while offering us new enigmas as answers. Art, theater and cinema…my wish is to reposition Elsa at the center of her maison and on the stage from which she once seduced the world,” said Lacroix in a press release. Going forward, the maison will tap top names in the contemporary art world to interpret Schiaparelli’s designs. The future projects will be revealed at an annual rendezvous at the house’s Place Vendôme salon.

Photo: Courtesy of Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Reborn

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Farida Khelfa, the newly installed ambassador at the house of Schiaparelli, held 58 appointments at the company’s freshly renovated Place Vendôme atelier yesterday. There’s no new designer at the brand that Schiap built—Diego Della Valle of Tod’s is reportedly taking meetings with candidates and an announcement is expected to be made in September—but there’s plenty of curiosity around the label’s rebirth. “All the great couturiers know about Schiap,” Khelfa said. “Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Azzedine Alaïa, they’ve all come to see the place.”

In fact, Alaïa was still lounging in the atelier’s white salon (pictured) when this reporter arrived, sharing a story about a letter given to him by one of Schiap’s former lovers. Alaïa, who was friends with Schiaparelli, was supposed to deliver it to her, but he never did out of shyness and fear. Asked if he still has the letter, nearly 40 years after her death, he nodded yes. It would make a smart addition to the refurbished space, which already includes Giacometti pieces found in the Schiaparelli archives, eyeglasses by Man Ray, and a Dalí sculpture, as well as furniture designed by Vincent Darré.

Come the Couture shows next January, the brand will show its first new collection here. For now, though, the hunt is still on for a designer. “Schiaparelli was not about good taste, she was about having an opinion,” Khelfa said. “It doesn’t have to be jolie, it has be strong. It has to be forte.”

Photo: Courtesy of Schiaparelli