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August 21 2014

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9 posts tagged "Downton Abbey"

Jeffrey Kalinsky Cares a Whole Lot

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Jeffrey KalinskyJeffrey Kalinsky cares. One need only look to his annual charity events in New York and Atlanta—which, aptly dubbed Jeffrey Fashion Cares, raise money for HIV/AIDS and breast cancer research and LGBTQ organizations—to see that. But does fashion care? Considering the stereotype that the industry’s concerns never reach beyond silhouettes, vanity, and wow! factor (thank you, Prêt-à-Porter and Zoolander), we felt this was a pertinent question. “I think it does care,” answered Kalinsky. “I mean, Michael Kors recently made a $5 million donation to God’s Love We Deliver. Diane von Furstenberg does so much good work, as does Robert Duffy from Marc Jacobs,” he reasoned. “The list goes on. You’re never going to find a profession in which everybody cares. But yes, there are a lot of people in fashion who care.” Glad we could put that debate to rest.

Kalinsky, known for his Jeffrey boutiques in downtown Manhattan and Atlanta, launched his philanthropic gala twenty-two years ago in Georgia. In 2003, after opening his New York store on 14th Street, the retailer brought his charitable evening to the Big Apple. This year’s event, scheduled for Tuesday, April 8 at the 69th Regiment Armory (get your tickets here!), will donate 80 to 90 percent of the funds raised to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Lambda Legal, ACRIA, and the Point Foundation.

While the 2014 Jeffrey Fashion Cares board includes such bold-faced names as Prabal Gurung and Mickey Boardman, the real star of the benefit is honoree Rob Smith, a tireless gay rights activist and fashion executive. “I feel it’s important for me to honor the real volunteers out there,” said Kalinsky of his choice to highlight Smith, who recently traveled to Russia with Athlete Alley (where he currently serves on the board) to help further LGBT efforts on the ground at the Olympic Games in Sochi. “There are a lot of ‘famous people’ out there who do a lot of good, but Rob is a guy who has worked so hard for charity just because.”

We should also mention that the evening will feature an enticing auction. A trip to Paris, Maggie Smith’s Downton Abbey choker, a Suno tunic, and an Alexander Wang handbag are just a few of the carefully considered items up for grabs. You can get a head start and bid now at GavelAndGrand.com.

The impressive selection of auction pieces shouldn’t be surprising, considering the top-notch mix of wares available in Kalinsky’s stores. His latest find? LVMH Prize finalist Simon Porte Jacquemus, whose brand Kalinsky picked up for Fall. “I loved it because it didn’t seem like it was looking back—it was looking forward,” offered Kalinsky, adding that he both stocks and admires newcomers like Simone Rocha, J.W. Anderson, and Yang Li. So what does it take for a newbie to catch the retailer’s eye? “I have to see the right blend of art and commerce,” he explained. “And I just know it when I see it. I can hear the cash registers ringing.”

Photo: Courtesy Photo 

Eddy Anemian Wins the H&M Design Award

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Eddy Anemian's winning collection at the H&M Awards

The winner of the third annual H&M Design Award was unveiled today at Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week. The initiative was founded to support and celebrate fashion at its earliest stages and provide mentorship for young designers. This year’s contestants, who represent thirty-two schools across Europe and America, competed for a 50,000 euro cash prize, the chance to develop a collection for H&M, and the opportunity to show their collection to an audience of international press and buyers. Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative head of design and a member of the jury, offered, “It is a very inspiring process to work with the Design Award. It’s a difficult decision for us, as we have such a strong start field with such great students. To choose just one of them was very hard. You really have to go with your gut and see who gives you the most wow factor.” The jury—also consisting of fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu, fashion editor of Vogue Italia Sara Maino, Downton Abbey actress Michelle Dockery, executive fashion editor of BritishVogue Serena Hood, H&M’s creative advisor Margareta van den Bosch, and style star Michelle Violy Harper—finally chose the 24-year-old Belgian talent Eddy Anemian from La Cambre in Brussels.

Titled, “They Can Cut All Flowers, They Cannot Keep Spring From Coming” Anemian’s collection was inspired by Tilda Swinton’s character in Luca Guadagnino’s film I Am Love, as well as the French painter Ingres. The range was made up of long strips of floral-print upholstery fabrics that were reconstructed and sewn together into elegant and fluid shapes. This was contrasted with waterproof fabrics cut in flounces to give the effect of marble and ceramics. The silhouettes, meanwhile, were elongated with a strong influence of couture. “I am very happy and very excited to be here, and also looking forward to working with H&M’s very professional team in how to develop my designs into garments for the H&M stores,” Anemian told Style.com post-presentation. “We have only started this process, but I think you will see some of the patterns, fabrics, and shapes translated and developed into new pieces.” We’ll be keeping an eye out for his H&M capsule, which is set to hit stores this fall.

Photo: Courtesy of H&M

Caroline McCall Talks Dressing Downton Abbey for the 1920s

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The Ladies of Downton Abbey

Who’s ready for a glam-packed trip back to 1922? This Sunday, Downton Abbey—the British series that explores the dramatic lives of the well-to-do Crawley family and their staff—returns for its fourth season on PBS. And as the cast of lords, ladies, cooks, maids, and butlers enters into the 1920s, they experience a bona fide fashion revolution. With the exception of Maggie Smith’s uppity character, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, the “upstairs” ladies begin to slip into the loose, beaded, embellished, and sometimes skin-baring designs of the pre-flapper age. Emmy Award-winning costume designer Caroline McCall is responsible for it all.

Many would argue that the elaborate period costumes worn by the show’s aristocratic characters, like the rebellious Lady Edith (who experiences somewhat of a coming of age this season), Lady Mary Crawley (who spends the entire season mourning the loss of her husband, Matthew, and thus exclusively wears frocks in mauve, black, and purple), Cora Crawley, and her mother, Martha Levinson, are one of the series’ biggest draws. “I think the romanticism and the glamour of the show attracts people,” offered McCall of Downton‘s international success. “Of course, the clothing helps with all that. The costumes help you understand who each character is, but would people still enjoy it without the costumes? I think they probably would.” Maybe so, but certainly not as much. Here, McCall talks to Style.com about how icons Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet, and Paul Poiret influenced Downton‘s looks, the perils of working with vintage clothes, and why she chose to dress Maggie Smith in the image of a queen.

Seeing as this season is set in the twenties, the characters are experiencing a fashion revolution. How are the new costumes different from what we’ve seen in the past?
Downton began in 1912, and now we’re in 1922 and 1923. In terms of fashion for women, that’s probably the most change we’ve seen in any single decade. It’s quite extraordinary to see the transformation from how covered-up women were, how uncomfortable and corseted they were, to how completely different they’re dressed in season four. I always tell the actresses that their characters would never have imagined in 1912 that they’d be able to go out like this. We’re not in the flapper period yet, but there are all sorts of designer influences going on in the early twenties. A lot of Lady Mary’s [played by Michelle Dockery] wardrobe is inspired by Vionnet. Lady Rose MacClare [played by Lily James] has a lot of knitwear because the argyle craze was beginning due to the fact that the Royals were starting to wear their knits in day-to-day life, instead of just for sport. Then there’s a lot of Lanvin-influenced dresses. And Edith [played by Laura Carmichael] has all sorts of influences, because of her being in London. She’s a journalist and she’s trying to be more sexy and womanly, so for her, I looked at lots of illustrations by George Barbier. Poiret has also been an influence throughout.

Lady EdithIt sounds like Lady Edith’s wardrobe changes pretty drastically this season.

Yes, it’s really the arc of her story. When you come back in series four, Matthew has been dead for six months, and it feels like the house hasn’t moved on. The whole house has been in darkness since his death, and Edith is desperate to get out. And when she returns to London, boy does she go for it. She’s decided that she’s a new, independent woman of the early twenties, so her wardrobe has changed to reflect all that.

Are any of the characters’ wardrobes inspired by historical figures?

Well, for Violet Crawley—she’s played by Maggie Smith—we looked a lot at Queen Alexandra and what she was wearing. She was the same age as Maggie Smith’s character in the same time period, and she was very glamorous. But she had a particular style. Queen Alexandra was an Edwardian woman, and her wardrobe and her silhouette remained as such during the twenties, but she still had a little pizzazz about her. That’s what I’ve tried to give Maggie. Alexandra always had stunning hats, and she always wore a high collar. Maggie’s silhouette has been more or less the same throughout the whole series—the fabrics and the trims have changed, but the silhouette of her clothing will not. However, a character like Martha Levinson [played by Shirley MacLaine] is desperate to keep up with fashion, even if she’s slightly older in years. She wants to stay young.

How important is historical accuracy when you’re designing these costumes? Do you take any liberties?
We try to create something that’s as true to the time as possible. There are looks this season that people will think are not right, they’ll think they’re ahead of their time, but they’re not. We do a lot of research—I look at books and magazines from the time, and I visit Cosprop, a costume house in London where they have a museum of original clothes. Going through original pieces helps me understand the way things were constructed and the differences, the little nuances, that changed from one year to the next. But obviously you can’t be slavish to the period because you can’t only use original clothes. The fabrics are too fragile. However, when we make new costumes, we make them as closely as possible to what they would have been. Continue Reading “Caroline McCall Talks Dressing Downton Abbey for the 1920s” »

Dominic Jones Goes Back To The Beginning

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Dominic Jones Spring '14Antelope horns, fanged jaws, shark teeth, and manta rays—all cast in brass and dipped in various hues of gold—are the centerpieces of Dominic Jones’ Spring ’14 collection. Now in his ninth season, the 28-year-old designer, who counts the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna among his fans, was inspired by natural forms and evolution within nature. And while the London-based talent’s ability to constantly push his futuristic-meets-organic aesthetic forward is largely what editors and top-tier retailers (like Barneys, Net-a-Porter, and 10 Corso Como, among many others) find so appealing, his Spring lineup grew out of the past. In fact, it is a reimagining of his Fall ‘10 offering (his second ever), which he’s elevated by applying the technical skills he’s acquired over the years.

Jones is a hands-on kind of guy. “I design as I go. My brain works more traditionally, and I very much like my technique of working with my fingers, saws, and files,” he explained. But one of the “new skills” he utilizes for Spring is 3-D printing. For instance, he created his deadly but seductive ram’s-horn-shaped choker with a hand-carved mold, but he used 3-D printing to shrink it down and pop out frames for identical rings and bracelets. “3-D design can feel a bit soulless,” Jones said. “The products are often really interesting and intricate, but they lose the warmth you see in handmade pieces.” His 3-D printed baubles, however, are all finished by Jones himself rather than a machine. As he puts it, “It’s the best of both worlds. And it’s already triggered my brain into new ways of approaching design. It’s like finding a new door in your house that you’ve never walked through.” Continue Reading “Dominic Jones Goes Back To The Beginning” »

Runway to Red Carpet: Suited Stars and a Musical Hem

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Rachel McAdamsAlthough this proved to be a quieter week on the red carpet than most, those who did hit the town came out strong. As Beyoncé’s world tour pushes on, we’ve continued to envy her custom-made wardrobe. On Saturday, she added Gucci to the designer lineup, with a lust-worthy top-and-pants ensemble inspired by the Spring ’12 collection. Rachel McAdams looked stunning (as usual) at Thursday night’s London premiere of her film About Time. The copper-coiffed star chose a long-sleeve, floor-grazing Roksanda Ilincic gown from the Resort ’14 collection. It was nipped at the waist with an iridescent belt.

On-screen mother-daughter duo Amanda Seyfried and Sharon Stone continued their Lovelace-premiere circuit with Monday night’s L.A. screening. Seyfried shimmered in a metallic brown-and-gold Gucci mini while Stone opted for a sharp all-black Salvatore Ferragamo ensemble, pairing tailored pants with a tuxedo jacket and leather loafers. That same evening, across the pond, Chloë Moretz traded in her superhero cape for a striped Viktor & Rolf suit from the Resort ’14 lineup at the photo call for her film Kick-Ass 2. The 16-year-old finished off the look with a pair of black Mary Janes, which gave the grown-up outfit a fresh, youthful touch.

Laura Carmichael—or, as Downton Abbey fans might know her, Lady Edith—also embraced a playful look in L.A. On Tuesday, she wore a black Moschino Cheap and Chic shift with a piano-key hemline to PBS History’s photo call. We’re not sure the Dowager Countess of Grantham would have approved, but we sure do.

Here, more of this week’s red-carpet highlights.