25 posts tagged "Elizabeth Taylor"
Cristóbal Balenciaga reputedly made only three journeys afield in his lifetime and certainly never traveled anywhere as far-flung as Asia. However, forty-odd years after his passing, the house of Balenciaga, with Alexander Wang at the helm, staged its own intrepid China expedition, bringing forty-eight archive pieces to Beijing.
Handpicked by Wang, the selection from Cristóbal Balenciaga’s Parisian years (1937 to 1968) highlighted the key pieces in his oeuvre. “I think it would be doing an injustice for everybody not to see it,” Wang explained. Enshrined at the center of the exhibition, therefore, was the famous Infanta dress (1949), which shows the unremitting influence of Balenciaga’s Spanish heritage on his work; the Babydoll dress of 1958; and the famed wedding dress from his last collection presented in 1967.
Though he epitomized that old world of couture, Balenciaga was the greatest pioneer of them all. Blockbuster pieces aside, the Fishnet dress (1964), an overlay of net upon a black sheath inspired by the fishermen in his hometown of Getaria, and a reversible fur-lined silk-nylon coat (1959) were just a few examples of the utterly modern. A little-known fact about the famously reticent designer was his penchant for filming his presentations in the last decade of his career, and the videos provided illuminating glimpses of “the master of us all” at work. A suit worn by Marlene Dietrich in the 1950s and the Sari dress, a design owned by Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, and Dodie Rosekrans, also served as a reminder of his legendary clientele.
The venue, the China Academy of Oil Painting, was chosen for the church-like structure in its midst (actually the school’s lecture hall), where Balenciaga’s SS’14 collection was presented. “We could have easily shown the Fall collection,” Wang explained before the show, “but I wanted something that would penetrate immediately.” Along with the existing outfits, therefore, the models (Shu Pei, Ming Xi, Xiao Wen Ju, Hanne Gaby Odiele, et al.) sported fifteen new looks from a capsule collection released exclusively in Balenciaga’s China stores immediately following the show.
It should be a riveting auction season for those in the market for vintage fashion mementos. First, Christie’s announced that it will be putting unique items and designs from Elsa Schiaparelli’s estate under the hammer on January 23, and today The Telegraph reports that in Florida (of all places) there will be a little something for Karl Lagerfeld fans. Come January 11, Palm Beach Modern Auctions will offer up original sketches from Lagerfeld’s days as a designer for the house of Tiziani. Lagerfeld worked for the Rome-based brand (which was actually founded by American designer Evans Richards) in the sixties, and his designs attracted clients such as Elizabeth Taylor (whose letters and photos are also included in the sale), Principessa Borghese, and Doris Duke. Those who can’t make it down south for the festivities can view the one-of-a-kind sketches on Palm Beach Modern’s Web site.
Private No More: Giancarlo Giammetti on Life With Valentino, Elizabeth Taylor’s Expensive Taste, and Lauren Hutton’s Tantrums-------
Many of fashion’s great performers have benefited from great showrunners—those unsung partners who protect and guide from offstage. The line you hear about Giancarlo Giammetti, then, is that he allows Valentino to be Valentino. What that means exactly can be hard to explain. Suffice it to say that what began as a mutual attraction turned into one of the most fruitful collaborations the fashion world has ever seen. In helping to build up the legendary label, Giammetti also laid the groundwork for the industry as it is today. His relationship with his partner is as moving as it is complicated—or so it appears in Valentino: The Last Emperor, the acclaimed documentary that ushered Valentino vividly back into the spotlight in 2008, at a time when the pair behind the famous name might have retreated into relative (but impossibly opulent) obscurity. Now, with Private: Giancarlo Giammetti, Giammetti offers another peek into the Valentino world. Published by Assouline, the twelve-pound tome is a compendium of reflections and photos, nearly all of them snapped by Giammetti himself, of the long, enviable life he’s led—one that has contained so many royals, Hollywood idols, and pharaonic fashion types that it more or less functions as an illustrated social history of the latter half of the twentieth century. Giammetti spoke with Style.com about fashion then and now, the glamorous “tribe” with which he’s always traveled, and the “diva fits” he’s come to take in stride.
In his foreword to the book, Valentino writes that he learned some things about you that he did not know before. Is that even possible?
It’s true. Everybody has secrets, no? It was easier to tell them to the book than to him! He would have reacted, probably. At least the book was silent.
The Last Emperor made your life public in a way that it never had been before. Could you have done this book without that movie?
You’d always guarded your privacy. Tell me about how the movie changed that.
The movie was a surprise. The first time we went to see it, we came out of the room so shocked that I called the lawyers. I felt so violated. I expected a documentary about fashion, the beautiful girls, the runways, the parties. I didn’t expect to feel so naked. Continue Reading “Private No More: Giancarlo Giammetti on Life With Valentino, Elizabeth Taylor’s Expensive Taste, and Lauren Hutton’s Tantrums” »
These days, you’re nobody unless Google decides to honor you on its home page. And this morning, the tech company gave Edith Head its stamp of approval. Today would have been the Hollywood costume designer’s 116th birthday, so Google posted an illustration of the legend posing in front of six of her iconic looks. Spanning fifty-four years, the costumer’s career saw her create outfits for stars like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and Funny Face, Elizabeth Taylor in A Place in the Sun, and Tippi Hedren in The Birds, among many more. Her work at Paramount and Universal Studios earned her thirty-five nominations from the Academy and eight Oscars for Best Costume Design. She died in 1981 at the age of 83, having left a glamorous and indelible mark on Hollywood fashion.
Long before there was the red sole, there was the “comma” shoe—also known as Roger Vivier’s Virgule. Launched in 1963, the shoe, famous for its curved heel, is the stuff of fashion lore. Last week, a major Vivier retrospective opened at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Virgule etc.…In the footsteps of Roger Vivier, and yup, the shoe earned top billing out of the immense body of work from the man who considered himself an architect and an inventor first, and a shoemaker by happenstance. Vivier and his Virgule’s world tour stops in London tomorrow at Selfridges Shoe Galleries—the largest shoe department in the world and an undisputed mecca for shoe lovers. It is here where the house will open its first shop in an event hosted by Inès de la Fressange, current creative consultant for Vivier, and designer Bruno Frisoni. It is all part of an international expansion of the brand, which has already seen shops opened this year in Japan and China.
The Vivier house has deep roots in Britain. In 1953, its namesake designer created the royal shoes for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation. After that, he shoed the Duchess of Windsor—not to mention his laundry list of iconic non-British patrons, like Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Jeanne Moreau, and Brigitte Bardot. Today, the house’s fan base is made up of the “elegant” types—Cate Blanchett, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman—but that doesn’t mean the label can’t have a rebellious edge. For tomorrow’s Selfridges launch, the Virgule will be reissued in a punk-tinged tartan; the updated classic debuts exclusively above. Later that night at Le Baron, a party hosted by pop progeny Atlanta Cadenet-Taylor will introduce a new generation of fans to Vivier’s work, though one wonders if his shoes have ever danced to strains of EDM. In any event, it shows that the house isn’t just living on past glory—it’s looking ahead.