8 posts tagged "Elizabeth Saltzman Walker"
We’ve already noted the influence Angelina Jolie had on this year’s Met ball red carpet. No less influential: Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow’s cape-and-gown Tom Ford look was Oscar night’s best, and it’s proven to have legs at the Met, too. Gwyneth’s stylist, Elizabeth Saltzman Walker, told me at an event in Paris that she was inspired by Jackie Kennedy’s timeless chic when working on Gwyneth’s Academy Awards look. Last night, some of those donning capes, like Maria Grazia Chiuri, in Valentino, went for classic, too. But there were just as many others who chased glitz and glam. Lana Del Rey sparkled in custom Altuzarra, and Bianca Brandolini d’Adda, in Dolce & Gabbana, reminded me of an Italian movie star from the sixties. Sally Singer was lacy in Nina Ricci, but the cherry on the surrealist cake goes to Linda Fargo in custom Naeem Khan. Shocking, Schiaparelli-style.
“Everyone involved in this was my A-list first choice,” Bronwyn Cosgrave declared of the panel of judges she assembled to select the five short-listed semifinalists for the first Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize at London’s Dorchester Hotel. That sentiment, one hopes, extends to said semifinalists, too. But Cosgrave could be forgiven for a little enthusiasm for the judging side of the table: It included Daphne Guinness, Manolo Blahnik, Giles Deacon, milliner Stephen Jones, Yasmin LeBon, Vanity Fair‘s Elizabeth Saltzman Walker, and ES fashion director Gianluca Longo. Despite the varied group, “it was a remarkably smooth decision process,” Blahnik said. “We saw the number of applications and hung our heads. But it turns out that we were largely unified despite our different personal aesthetics.” His co-panelist Guinness (pictured above with her fellow jurors) agreed heartily. “I take refuge in the arts,” she said. “It was wonderful to have us all agree so easily, so that I could realize that I am not crazy and my values are shared.”
The semifinalists are the English knitwear designer Louise Goldin; the Greek-born, London-based Mary Katrantzou; Hermione de Paula, who created a surprisingly dainty collection called “I Heart Elizabeth Berkley”; the sculptural footwear designer Chau Har Lee; and Thomas Tait, from Canada. The unifying factor—maybe the only one—is a commitment to craftsmanship and a preference for the conceptual (even, occasionally, at the expense of commercial viability).
But Guinness, for one, was all in favor. “Craftmanship needs to return,” she declared. “I am always overjoyed to see students who love to stitch their own seams. We need better things, not more. We should not pollute the world with meaningless, unused things when we can make and support things of rare and precious beauty.” As the only international fashion prize set to roam to a different fashion capital each year—at the site, not by coincidence, of a Dorchester Collection hotel; next year’s will be in New York—the award should do just that. The winner, to be announced in November, takes home a £25,000 prize and a free event at any of the Dorchester Collection’s properties.