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April 24 2014

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7 posts tagged "Hannah MacGibbon"

ChloƩ Surveys Its History At Sixty

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Sixty years ago, Gaby Aghion founded Chloé, the French label instrumental in the inception of ready-to-wear. Not only did the brand help launch the careers of Karl Lagerfeld, Martine Sitbon, Stella McCartney, and Phoebe Philo—all of whom took their turn at the house’s creative helm—but it revolutionized women’s relationship with luxury clothing.

In celebration of Chloé’s six-decade milestone, the brand has unearthed its archive (which was only developed after current designer Clare Waight Keller took the reigns last year) for Chloé Attitudes, a retrospective at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. Curated by Judith Clark, the show—the first exhibition dedicated entirely to Chloé in the brand’s history—will feature 80 dresses by each of the house’s nine designers; sketches by Lagerfeld and Antonio Lopez; and photographs captured by the likes of Helmut Newton and David Lynch.

“I thought the exhibition needed to surprise the visitor as much as I was surprised looking at the archive,” Clark says of her approach, which plays vintage pieces off inspirations and influences to offer context: Floral looks will be displayed against a backdrop of the floral yellow tiles from Saint Germain’s Brasserie Lipp, where Aghion held the first Chloé fashion show and went often, for example, or Lagerfeld’s beaded shower dress installed beneath an actual silver showerhead, which, spouting crystals, magnifies the surreal nature of the design. Naturally, Lagerfeld’s famed violin dress, as well as Lopez’s iconic rendering of the frock, is included, along with Stella McCartney’s racy 2001 pineapple-print bathing suit, Hannah MacGibbon’s popular leather shorts and cape ensemble, and a selection of headpieces Clark had borrowed from the late Anna Piaggi. Unexpected elements of the past, like afro hairstyles that Angelo Seminara pulled from a seventies-era runway show or a wheat display case inspired by the Fall 2009 ad campaign (left), run throughout, offering a comprehensive glance into the house’s legacy.

The celebration will also have legs online with Chloé Alphabet, a digital interface that showcases select images from the archive, as well as five short films by Poppy de Villeneuve, Julie Verhoeven, Kathryn Ferguson, Stéphanie Di Giusto, and Mary Clerté. And come February, the brand will be reissuing limited editions of 16 iconic pieces, like the abovementioned violin dress and the Paddington bag.

Chloé Attitudes runs September 29 to November 18 at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, www.palaisdetokyo.com.

Photo: Francois Goize/WWD.com

MacGibbon Out, Waight Keller In At Chloé

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Despite weeks of protestations to the contrary, Chloé announced today that Hannah MacGibbon, who has been creative director since 2008, is leaving the brand. Stepping into the role: Clare Waight Keller, the British-born designer who stepped down from Pringle of Scotland earlier this year. Waight Keller worked under Tom Ford at Gucci and helmed Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label menswear before arriving at Pringle, where she was credited with expanding the knit label into a full-fledged luxury brand. In particular, Tim Blanks commended her as “quietly iconoclastic,” and able to reach back into the archives while updating and modernizing the Pringle offerings. Waight Keller’s specialty is knitwear (in addition to her time at yarn-happy Pringle, she received an M.A. in fashion knits from the Royal College of Art) and craft. How will that translate at Chloé? In a statement, Waight Keller praised the label’s “beautiful sense of effortless femininity and vivacious sophistication that I look forward to continuing into the next era.”

Photo: Courtesy of Chloé

Designer Firings: A Silver Lining?

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There’s another seat open at the designer fashion table. News broke today that Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi (above), creative directors of Gianfranco Ferré, are out at the Italian house (no word on their namesake collection, which presumably will continue for the present). Reports blame dwindling sales for the duo’s departure. But they’re only the latest in a string of designers who have left or been ousted from their positions at major European labels: Milan Vukmirovic at Trussardi 1911; Clare Waight Keller at Pringle of Scotland; Vanessa Seward at Azzaro. (Christophe Decarnin is out at Balmain, though under murkier circumstances; and of course, John Galliano has been let go from both Christian Dior and his namesake label. Although Chloé’s Hannah MacGibbon has been signed for another season, some industry observers are speculating that her time at the label is nearing a close—a speculation not necessarily refuted by the terse statements label CEO Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye has been giving the press.)

No one would argue that getting fired is fun. But it’s worth remembering that, in fashion at least, many of those who have been removed from their posts—either gently (with contracts not renewed) or not so gently—have gone on to bigger and better. The classic example is Yves Saint Laurent. The young designer took the top spot at Christian Dior when Dior himself died suddenly in 1957. Saint Laurent created a few headline-making shows, but soon after ran afoul of the management and was summarily dismissed. The result? His own label, founded in 1961. The rest, as they say, is history.

In more recent years, there’s the famous story of Marc Jacobs, fired from Perry Ellis after his seminal Spring ’93 grunge collection—too hot for the American label’s taste, but seen in retrospect as enduringly influential. (Patrick Robinson also got the axe at Perry Ellis before landing at another American sportswear legend: The Gap.) Both Peter Dundas and Giambattista Valli exited the house of Ungaro under dark clouds; today, their collections (for Emilio Pucci and for Valli’s namesake line) are among the most admired in fashion. Olivier Theyskens has gone from Rochas to Nina Ricci to current acclaim at Theory, and Alessandra Facchinetti, formerly of Gucci and Valentino, has found new life working on Tom Ford’s womenswear. As for Ford, he has seen both sides: famously losing his Gucci crown before starting his own empire, while also electing not to retain Alber Elbaz at YSL in the late nineties. “From every place or everything you do, you learn what to do and also you learn what not to do,” Elbaz told Style.com of the experience in an interview last year. “I would not change anything if you would ask me. I would still go through the experience I went through. I learned a lot from it. I went through a certain experience that wasn’t easy, but guess what? Nothing is easy anyway, so I’m fine with that.” As the creative director of Lanvin, Elbaz has brought the label back to relevance and racked up success after success; it may not be easy, but he sure makes it look that way.

What will the future hold for Aquilano and Rimondi, Decarnin, or even Galliano (whose own rather more complicated situation is discussed at length in WWD today)? Too soon to tell. Some will argue that in today’s economic climate opportunities will be fewer and corporate titans more inclined to pick low key, perhaps unknown designers. But to judge from the past, fashion is a merry go-round (or should that be rollercoaster?), and for some of these designers at least, it’s entirely possible that the best is yet to come.

Photo: Marcus Tondo / GoRunway.com

Natasha Ties The Knot, Hannah Stays The Course, At Home With Reed Krakoff, And More…

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It’s wedding bells for Natasha Poly: The Russian supe married businessman Peter Bakker in Saint-Tropez. The dress? Thank a few friends in high places—it’s Givenchy (left). [Vogue Italia]

The rumors were flying earlier this year, but apparently Hannah MacGibbon is at Chloé to stay—for another season, at least. Her contract has been renewed, and label CEO Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye told WWD, “Hannah is still with us, that’s all I can say.” [WWD]The New Yorker looks in on Reed Krakoff, appraising not only his upstart, eponymous fashion line—”I’m the oldest young designer,” Krakoff jokes—but also his enviable collection of art and design. Take it from design guru Jonathan Adler: “This is some next-level shit.” [TNY]

And the latest fashion issue of T hit stands this weekend, bringing with it the latest news from Cate Blanchett. Consider it confirmed: The woman can do no wrong. [T]

Photo: vogue.it

Elie Tahari Lives Large, Menswear Bulks Up, Ladies Shop Online, And More…

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It’s a big day, quite literally, for Elie Tahari: The designer opened a new 2,250-square-foot shop in Saks Fifth Avenue, the largest on the retailer’s fourth floor. “I thought Ron [Frasch, Saks’ president and CMO] was going to give me my own zip code,” Tahari said. [WWD]

And it’s about to be a big week for menswear. According to a rough count, there are 42 men’s presentations and shows scheduled for New York fashion week (not counting coed presentations), making this season the largest for menswear in memory. [WWD]

What do girls want? To shop online for designer clothes. Nothing too strange about that. What is strange is that designers and their reps don’t seem to understand why. [NYT]

Racked applies itself to some heavy-hitting investigative journalism and discovers that the mysterious @FashionWeekNYC Twitterer is…some guy named Nathan Stobezki. Case closed, probably. [Racked]

Good news from fashion’s revolving doors: Vogue‘s Ethel Park has been named T‘s new senior fashion director. [NYT]

Bad news from fashion’s revolving doors: Chloé CEO Ralph Toledano has left the company; designer Hannah MacGibbon is said to be “devastated.” ]Fashionologie]

Photo: Andrew Thomas