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April 19 2014

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8 posts tagged "Grace Jones"

Arise and Conquer: Nigeria’s New Fashion Glossy

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They say there’s strength in numbers. And Friday night, the Arise African Fashion Collective, a runway show in four parts, proved to be just that. It was a celebration of the launch of Arise magazine, which is published out of Nigeria. The oversize glossy covers fashion, music, and art, and it appears to be Nigeria’s answer to Interview magazine. It’s also snagged Naomi Campbell, Liya Kebede, and Alek Wek as covergirls. The show kicked off with Xuly Bet’s latest collection. For those of you who can’t place the name, he’s been at it for 15 years. He’s still going strong with trademark streetwear—red trapunto stitching over rubberized body-hugging dresses and oversize club-kid pants (see: early nineties skater, Kids, Neneh Cherry). Models from all over the globe—Liya, Lara, Behati, and Alek—flew down the mirrored runway to Grace Jones’ “Corporate Cannibal.” Which brings us to the lady of the hour. Have you ever seen Grace Jones in the flesh? Talk about presence. Watching her catwalk leaves you awestruck. The way she swaggers, demanding you lose the fashion manners and stand up and cheer? Never mind she’s an icon and muse, lady’s got some serious legs. Tough act to follow, but the other three African designers managed to hold their own. Tiffany Amber embellished classic feminine silhouettes with intricate bead work and traditional Ankara fabrics—a standout being the colorful hand-beaded belted trench on Chanel Iman. Stoned Cherrie had a girlie forties feel with chiffon bowed shirts, ruffled skirts, and jacquard capes in pinks and blues. If the former is Africa’s answer to Nanette Lepore, then Momo’s Fati Asibelua could easily be compared to Calvin Klein. Minimal silk and cashmere silhouettes in blacks, grays, and bronze metallics felt incredibly modern. While the designers hail from Nigeria, Mali, and South Africa, all fabrics were sourced from Africa and Europe. And we hope to see them all over the globe.

Photo: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for IMG

Sessilee = Grace: More Eighties At Couture

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With Jean-Paul Goude doing the rounds this week and Inès de la Fressange at Gaultier Paris, it seems like a full-on eighties couture revival is upon us. Alexandre Vauthier, former first assistant to Gaultier and a veteran of Thierry Mugler’s atelier, narrowed his vision on Grace Jones. A pointy shoulder formed the main silhouette story and Vauthier took it to extremes, sending out the kind of sharp angles that of course recall the decades-old heyday of Mugler and Gaultier (well, actually, also Gaultier’s current day) as well as the more recent revival kick-started by Martin Margiela. Still, it was somewhat of a time warp. Sessilee Lopez with an ultra-cinched waist and shoulders out to there was pure Grace incarnate. Not that we minded. When it comes to full-on fashion drama, we’re slaves to the rhythm.

Photo: Courtesy of Alexandre Vauthier

Blasblog From Miami: What’s The Difference Between Art Basel And Fashion Week?

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So, in the world of one-of-a-kind female performers, last night could have been great. It should have been great. Deitch Projects had invited Beth Ditto from the Gossip to shimmy her business in the Oasis of the Raleigh and Grace Jones was making a one-night-only appearance at the Mondrian hotel. Unfortunately, however, I missed them both because of prior commitments that ran late. It reminded me of the time I found a fashion editor bawling outside a Catherine Malandrino show when she missed Mary J. Blige’s surprise performance because some appointment for a keychain line went long. (I didn’t cry, but I did think about it.) This of course begs the question: What is the difference between fashion week and Art Basel Miami? The answer: about three days. To be honest, when it comes to the late-night happenings here during this “art” fair, there’s not much difference. (And I’m not saying this in a good way.) Store parties, book signings, fashion dinners, and more designers than you can shake a stick at. Heck, even Naomi Campbell is in town, methodically working the party circuit like a show schedule. She swooped into the Puma dinner last night for a grand total of ten minutes. And like Beatrice Inn, the West Village hangout that turned into the late-night catchall last fashion week, the Raleigh hotel is fast becoming the after-after-party hot spot. At least that’s where I went when I missed Jones and Ditto last night, to sulk among three Schnabels (patriarch Julian, daughter Lola, and son Vito), Benicio Del Toro, and more hipsters than you can throw a sand castle at.

Photo: Nick Hunt / PatrickMcMullan.com