August 22 2014

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4 posts tagged "Donna Summer"

Drawing the Bold and the Beautiful


An Illustration by Tony Viramontes

In September, just before Milan fashion week, 10 Corso Como’s Galleria Carla Sozzani will pay tribute to Tony Viramontes, one of the most revered fashion illustrators of the seventies and eighties. Hailing from Los Angeles, Viramontes worked with everyone from Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, and the House of Dior to Donna Summer, Duran Duran, Janet Jackson, and Paloma Picasso. His high-impact drawings—a product of what the artist, who died of AIDS in 1988, once described as “a state of creative anxiety and insecurity”—stood out for their sassy, sensual punch, and his images’ vivid palettes, moody shading, and extreme expressions seamlessly captured the glamour of the era. Titled “Tony Viramontes: Bold, Beautiful, and Damned,” the exhibition will run from September 6 to November 3, 2013.

Photo: Tony Viramontes, courtesy of Galleria Carla Sozzani

Kim Of The Jungle


Before Kim Jones was a fashion designer, he had an eye on zoology. “I was going to be a zoologist, and then I thought, It’s too much work. I opened The Face magazine and thought, Who are these cool people?”

So began a career in fashion that wended its way through a namesake label, Umbro, and Dunhill before landing Jones as menswear style and studio director at Louis Vuitton. Which may be the perfect place for an armchair zoologist. Travel is in Vuitton’s bones—the maison began as a trunk-maker in the nineteenth century—and remains central to the brand’s image of itself. To celebrate the spirit of luxury travel, last night the house brought Jones together with one of his musical idols, the disco producer Giorgio Moroder, the producer and photographer Daniela Federici, and Condé Nast Traveler‘s Mark Connolly for a conversation about travel and luxury at its Soho store.

Luxury may have taken a shred too much of the spotlight—”If there is not a five-star hotel, I just don’t go,” Moroder admitted, and first-class airfare and top-quality accommodations were mentioned often—but Jones’ passion for the globe’s farthest reaches was the real point of interest. He lived, as it turns out, in Africa from age 3 to 14, going back for summers and continuing to travel there twice a year. But that’s only a sliver of his globe-trotting. After the panel wrapped up, Jones confessed he was jet-lagged from a just-finished trip to New Zealand to see rare parrots. The animal kingdom and travel go hand in hand for him: His Fall men’s collection was inspired in part by the snow leopards he saw in Bhutan, and he said his bucket-list trip would be India in December to see the tigers—tricky, since menswear shows in January.

As for Moroder, who scored Jones’ Fall ’12 show, he is less interested in exotica than the human animal. He shared a gem about his time working with the force of nature that was Donna Summer. Their first hit together was “Love to Love You, Baby.” “I played the song to some publishers, and they were happy, but they thought she should moan,” he recalled. They went back to the studio; “I said, ‘Let’s hear it,’ but she couldn’t open her mouth.” He dismissed everyone but Summer, and lo and behold, a moan was born. She moaned for about ten minutes straight, as he remembered it. To say they got it would be an understatement: extended cuts of the single now run to sixteen-plus minutes long.

Plus: Jones recently shared his other obsession—the over-the-top club regalia designed by Leigh Bowery and London’s eighties designers—with Here, his collection of Bowery, Rachel Auburn, Andre Walker, and more, styled by Jones himself.

Photo:Billy Farrell/

In Memoriam: Remembering Those Who Died In 2012


The New Year is just around the corner, but before we move on to 2013, we pause to celebrate a few of the fashion-world innovators who passed away this year. Below are some of the legends to whom we said goodbye.

Anna Piaggi
A muse to many (Karl Lagerfeld, for instance) and a source of intrigue for all, Anna Piaggi, with her Stephen Jones hats and endless, eccentric ensembles, was the original street-style star. A contributor to the former Vanity magazine and a presence for decades at Vogue Italia, Piaggi lit up the fashion scene with her signature gloves and cane, sometimes blue, sometimes violet hair, maquillaged face, vast knowledge, and unstoppable wit. Piaggi died in August at the age of 81.
Related: Remembering Anna Piaggi and Tim Blanks on Anna Piaggi’s Legacy

Vidal Sassoon
Having coined the phrase “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good,” Vidal Sassoon revolutionized the world of coiffure with his five-point haircut—the one worn by a young Grace Coddington, and that helped make Mia Farrow famous. An enduring force in fashion, Sassoon died in May at the age of 84.
Related: Beautiful Lives: Vidal Sassoon

Donna Summer
There are few who didn’t love to love, or at least love to dance to, Donna Summer. Forever a disco queen, the star churned out hits like “Last Dance,” “I Feel Love,” and, of course, “Love to Love You Baby.” We lost the legend to cancer last May. She was 63.
Related: She Loved To Love You, Baby

Helen Gurley Brown
At the age of 90, Helen Gurley Brown, the world’s most famous Cosmo girl and the woman who helmed the title for three decades, passed away this summer. Her frank discussion of sex within the magazine’s pages forever changed the face of Cosmopolitan, and her editorial work, as well as her then-risqué 1962 book Sex and the Single Girl, helped to shape a generation.
Related: Helen Gurley Brown, Magazine Innovator, Dead At 90

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston, the six-time Grammy Award-winning superstar, died tragically in February. Though in later years her personal struggles with husband Bobby Brown and drug abuse tended to eclipse her work, her chart-topping hits, like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” helped to define R&B for a generation.
Related: Whitney Houston, R.I.P. and Beauty Icon: Whitney Houston

Tony Scott
English director Tony Scott, famed for blockbusters like Top Gun and Enemy of the State, died in August after an apparent suicide. As our editor in chief, Dirk Standen noted in his farewell piece, his moody film, The Hunger, was a constant source of inspiration for the fashion set.
Related: R.I.P. Tony Scott

Photo: All images courtesy of Getty Images

She Loved To Love You, Baby


A disco queen has died. “Last Dance” quips may be expected. But Donna Summer’s influence was great. She didn’t just have a moment—she had 17, the epic length of “Love to Love You, Baby,” the track she recorded with Giorgio Moroder, the Italian producer with whom she helped to shape the entire genre of dance music. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, borrowing may go one better—and everyone from Madonna to Whitney to Diana to Beyoncé has sampled Summer. Several generations of one-namers recognize her as one of their own.

Summer’s onstage style may not have been as influential as some of her fellow seventies dollies. But her music gave the beat to the better part of a generation. She had a catalog of hits nearly unrivaled among disco divas, and continued well into the pop/R&B of the eighties: In addition to “Love to Love You, Baby” and “Last Dance,” there were “I Feel Love,” “MacArthur Park,” “Bad Girls,” “On the Radio,” and “She Works Hard for the Money.” She won five Grammys and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The fashion world has long appreciated Summer. In 2010, she and Marc Jacobs duetted on “On the Radio” at the opening of Louis Vuitton’s New Bond Street maison. (Kim Jones, Vuitton’s menswear designer, later called on Moroder to create and spin the soundtrack to his Fall ’12 men’s show, too.)

Summer died this morning, following a private battle with cancer. She was 63.

Photo: Echoes / Redferns / Getty Images