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July 29 2014

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16 posts tagged "Jennifer Lawrence"

“RuPaul Is Kind of the Ultimate Supermodel,” and More Musings From Parsons Honoree Jason Wu

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Jason Wu

With his Hugo Boss debut and thriving eponymous line, Jason Wu is having a banner year. So it comes as little surprise that the 31-year-old Taiwanese-Canadian designer is picking up the top honor at Parsons’ 2014 Fashion Benefit, which is set for tomorrow evening. Ahead of the festivities, Wu, who’s both a Parsons alum and—fun fact—a former toy designer, took time away from wrapping his forthcoming Resort collection to speak with Style.com about his secrets to success, New York fashion’s changing landscape, and his obsession with RuPaul.

Congratulations on the Parsons honor. Considering you studied at the school, do you feel you’ve come full circle?
I’ve kind of come full circle because I moved here in 2001 for my first year at Parsons. So it’s nice to go back and be a part of this new generation of the school, which has taught me a lot and done so much for me. It’s a very nice honor and I’m very proud. But I don’t think I’ve made it—at all. I think I’ve hit a nice moment in my career and it feels great to have your peers and people in your industry acknowledge your work. But that’s not to say that there’s not much more work to do.

Between your debut at Hugo Boss, the success of your own line, and now this award, it seems that you’ve really hit your stride this year.
I don’t know. I always think there’s more to do, so I never think I’ve hit my stride. I always want more and want to do more, but certainly I think it’s been a great year so far, having done two shows in New York for the first time, and then getting this award. I guess that comes with age and experience and just doing it for a while. And I guess I’m getting a little better at it.

Do people look at you differently now that you’ve become the big man at Boss?
I don’t know if I’ve knocked it out of the park yet, but I think we had a really successful first show and I guess people look at me a little more like a grown-up, a big person.

Do you feel like a grown-up?
Yeah, I feel a little older. I guess that means grown-up. Definitely achier.

Jason Wu

Your Boss show was quite the star-studded event, and Jennifer Lawrence just wore a gown from your Fall collection to the world premiere of X-Men: Days of Future Past. What role does celebrity dressing play in a designer’s success?
Having people you admire wear your clothes in a very public way is inspiring, and it’s also a great way to get your work out there. It’s a great form of advertising. But for me it’s always about quality, not quantity, and it’s about dressing the few girls that I love. I’ve always been very loyal to Diane Kruger, Reese Witherspoon, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Kerry Washington—those are girls I dress over and over and over again. And you really develop a rapport and a friendship and a relationship. It goes back to the days when Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn, and Catherine Deneuve and Yves Saint Laurent, had those relationships that went [beyond commerciality]. Those were true relationships. It’s great to continue that tradition.

Can a young designer make it these days without a celebrity bump?
Everyone does it differently. There are some people who make clothes that are more appropriate for a red carpet and there are some people who don’t. I’m not sure if it’s a do-or-die situation, but you do have to seek exposure in your own way, in a way that’s right for your brand.

Jennifer LawrenceHow did you come to dress Jennifer Lawrence for her X-Men premiere? Was that a big moment for you?

Yeah. Actually, we just found out [the day before]. I had no idea. I think there’s something so incredibly human about her. That’s why people love her so much—she’s so relatable. She shows a little imperfection—which we all have—and still looks stunning.

You mentioned that people like seeing imperfection in public figures. With that in mind, people seem to like you a lot. What’s your imperfection?

My imperfection is that I’m not as perfect as people seem to think I am. There’s a sense of controlled, sophisticated ideas in my clothes that are quite neat, and I think people sometimes think I’m that, but I’m not.

Are you messy?
I’m actually not messy. I’m terrible at waking up early. I’m terrible at a lot of things. I’m terrible at technology—anything computer-oriented. And I’m terrible at making anything on time, which I’m really working on. Actually, at Parsons, I was always really late, and you can’t be late at Parsons. You really get into trouble.

You, along with Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, Joseph Altuzarra, etc., are part of New York’s new guard. How do you think the creative climate here is changing?
Right now, New York fashion week is at its best. We have the most young talent [succeeding] at the same time for the first time in a long, long while, and this is the first time that we’ve really been acknowledged on an international level in a long time. That has to do with the fact that our generation’s outlook is global, rather than local. If you look at Style.com, you can read that anywhere in the world. That certainly helps. Having that kind of recognition all over the world is something that is quite rare. We’re experiencing something of a moment, a movement.

Why is that, do you think?
It is, in so many ways, New York’s time. All [of the young designers] in New York come from different international backgrounds. I think that’s a very nice representation of what New York fashion is about—it’s about diversity; it’s about fresh ideas; it’s about making its own statement, because we don’t have the hundreds of years of history. We’re really still, as a whole, quite new at it.

Jason Wu Fall 14

Do you remember how you felt when you were designing your Parsons graduate collection?
It’s so funny because I went to Parsons and my major was menswear, yet I make the most fit-and-flare dresses you could possibly imagine. I guess after going to the very masculine side, I felt like I was much more comfortable in the very feminine side, and eventually the combination of the two became my work as we know it today.

Why were you initially drawn to menswear?
I always liked the idea of tailoring. I always felt making a jacket was the most difficult thing, and it is still the most difficult. Sometimes the cleanest things with the least amount of details are the most intricate.

What do fashion students need to know that isn’t necessarily taught in school?
It’s that the fashion industry isn’t by-the-books. It’s not about following one specific route, it’s about paving your own way and making it your own. That’s what makes fashion interesting—individual visions—and not one person breaks through in the same way. We all get into it slightly differently—I worked in toys first.

Speaking of toys, I read that back in the day, you did a RuPaul doll?
I worked with RuPaul once! It was a long time ago. We made a RuPaul doll and it was wildly successful and that’s how I met him. Of course, RuPaul’s Drag Race is my favorite show ever. It’s like the best show on television. RuPaul is kind of the ultimate supermodel, and I have an obsession with supermodels.

Jason Wu RuPaul

Does your former life as a toy designer ever inform your fashion designs?
Attention to detail is what links my work as a toy designer and a fashion designer. Most people say I went from dressing toy dolls to real dolls. That’s kind of the press-y version of it. But in actuality, I did everything from designing the sculptural form of the dolls to the industrialization of the molds to the manufacturing. I always knew how to create a really good product, and I think that experience primed me for this industry.

How important has business savvy been to your success?
The balance between creativity and business-savvy is something that every young designer needs to be aware of, because it’s the reality of our industry. Having that balance is something that my generation of New York designers really thinks about.

What is your advice to fashion students who want to be the next Jason Wu?
I don’t know if they do want to be the next Jason Wu! But my advice is seize every opportunity and work hard. It sounds so obvious to say that, but the glamour of the industry can get distracting sometimes, and at the end of the day it’s about the work. I work weekends all the time—there’s no such thing as overtime for me because my own time is overtime. And I don’t have any vacations, so cancel those family plans.

Photo: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigitalimages.com; Leandro Justen/BFANYC.com; FilmMagic; Alessandro Garofalo / Indigitalimages.com; Getty Images

Twenty-Four Years Later, Amanda Wakeley Gets Her Mayfair Dream Store

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Elizabeth Hurley and Amanda WakeleyOne of the few who has dressed both Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, never mind a passel of stars including Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Florence Welch, and more, Brit designer Amanda Wakeley is a twenty-four-year veteran in the business. At her celeb-dense shop opening last night on London’s Albemarle Street, she described how she’s seen the fashion landscape in The Smoke change over the years.

“It is very competitive now, and there is a much greater choice of outstanding products at all levels of the market—plus the customer is far more discerning.” Wakeley also believes designers have stepped up their marketing game. “There is much more awareness of brand DNA—an integral part of building a successful business.”

Despite having a career and longevity most designers could only dream of, Wakeley insists that now is the most exciting time for her, especially with achieving a lifelong ambition of opening a Mayfair shop. This one is even Grade 2 listed, which means, in Brit speak, that it has historical significance. “It is such a privilege to be in a building with such heritage and structure…the staircase was put in by a couturier in the twenties, and I just knew this was the space for us.”

Tracey Emin, Liz Hurley, Elizabeth Saltzman, the BFC’s Caroline Rush, and more crushed into the shop that Wakeley says is representative of the “beginning of a new era for us.” Next on the docket is a return to the London fashion week schedule after a few seasons’ hiatus.

So after dressing the crème de la crème, who is left on her wish list? “Well, I do think Jennifer Lawrence has a wonderful look.” We have a sneaking suspicion the star will be wearing Dior to the Oscars, but who knows what the red carpet may bring.

Strike Up the Band

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Fall '14's Banded looks

Almost anything Jennifer Lawrence does gets picked up by the Internet, GIF-ed, reblogged, tweeted, and shared twice over. When the Golden Globe winner showed up on the red carpet last Sunday in all her photo-bombing glory, her black banded Spring ’14 Dior Haute Couture gown garnered so much attention that it evolved into a meme overnight. Dubbed “Lawrencing” (though we’d easily have called it something like “Simonsing”), the meme saw online viewers take to social media to showcase their DIY belted creations fashioned from bed sheets, duvets, and, in instances where cats and dogs were involved, “Lawrenced” towels.

While we typically see garments cinched to accentuate the curves of a female body, the Fall menswear collections are proof that holding it together is no longer just a womenswear tactic. Unconventionally placed belts first showed up at MAN when up-and-coming designer Craig Green sent out leather harness-like apparatuses over his languid wares. And when Miuccia gave vests a similar bi-banded treatment on her Prada menswear runway, we couldn’t resist turning on to this unexpected trend. Rick Owens, too, sent suspendered, strap-detailed tunics down his Paris catwalk yesterday. Will fashion-forward gents jump on the bandwagon when fall rolls around? We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled.

Photos: Getty Images; Indigital Images

Which Oscar Nominee Will Steal the Red-Carpet Spotlight?

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Cate BlanchettAfter watching the Golden Globes last weekend, the Oscar nominee list feels a bit like déjà vu. American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Blue Jasmine, and Her, all of which won big at the Globes, might be adding a few more golden statues to their collection. Christian Bale and Amy Adams are both up for Best Actor and Actress for American Hustle, while Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Actress. 12 Years a Slave, which won the Best Motion Picture, Drama, at the Globes, will be stiff competition for its fellow nominees that also include Gravity, Captain Phillips, Nebraska, Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Of course, we’re even more anxious to see who wins on the red carpet. After an exciting Golden Globes turnout, we’re hopeful that the Oscars will inspire some similar sartorial risk-taking. Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence both looked stunning in Dior—Watson in a backless dress over cigarette pants, Lawrence in an ethereal white strapless gown—and Amy Adams stole the show in a plunging crimson Valentino. (She said she was inspired by her American Hustle character’s wardrobe.) Rising star Lupita Nyong’o made several Best Dressed lists in her bright red caped gown by Ralph Lauren (red was a big color at the event), and Cate Blanchett, who won Best Actress, Drama for Blue Jasmine, wore a divine black lace Armani Privé number. The stars looked forward-thinking and modern—there wasn’t a mermaid silhouette or overembellished prom dress in sight. Can they keep it up on Oscar night?

See below for a list of the most competitive categories’ nominees, and tune in to ABC on March 2 to watch the ceremony.

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Director
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club Continue Reading “Which Oscar Nominee Will Steal the Red-Carpet Spotlight?” »

Keep Your Eye on Style.com’s 2013 Look of the Year Winner, Sara Nicole Rossetto

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Sara RossettoSara Nicole Rossetto is proof that you don’t need to be famous or have an expensive wardrobe to become a street-style star. The 20-year-old Italian communications student was snapped by Tommy Ton during the Spring ’14 shows in Milan wearing a crisp white button-up, gold Zara skirt, and Miu Miu shoes. Her image earned the most votes—she beat out paparazzi fixtures including Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Giovanna Battaglia, and more—in Style.com’s 2013 Look of the Year poll. Of course, Rossetto’s model-good looks helped. Playing volleyball on the national level, her tall, thin physique recently landed her a spot on IMG’s local “development” board. While her dream is to work in fashion advertising, Rossetto wants to do more runway and editorial first, and loves dressing up for street-style photographers. Here, Style.com talks to Rossetto about her personal style, modeling career, and winning Look of the Year.

Congratulations on winning our Look of the Year poll.
I’m really happy about it! Everybody else was so famous, and I’m a nobody compared with them. I didn’t hear about the poll because I was vacationing in Switzerland for New Year’s and didn’t have any Wi-Fi, so it was a terrific surprise to learn that I’d won.

I have to admit that I didn’t know who you were before researching this picture. You do some modeling?
I am a model, but nobody knows me yet—I’m still “development.” Last year I started doing some modeling in Milan. I’ve always played volleyball and am quite tall and thin, so everybody told me I should try to do something in fashion, which has always been my passion. After high school, I sent some photos to IMG and they told me that I could go and visit them, and I actually signed with them! I’ve done a little runway and would love to go to London and New York. The thing is that I’m really Mediterranean-looking, and in Italy and Milan, that’s not so wonderful because they like blond hair and blues eyes, and I look Sicilian or Arab…

What are you studying at university?
I’m studying media and advertising. My ambition is to do a course in fashion communications, and then hopefully work in fashion advertising. They told me that it’s a hard industry, but I think I can manage that, and maybe modeling will help.

So you go to shows during Milan fashion week?
I really love going to the shows. A couple months before, I look for tickets. My dad used to do loads for shows, so he helped, and I’ve had the opportunity to see Emilio Pucci, Max Mara, Dolce & Gabbana…my favorite show last season was Pucci.

Who are some of your favorite designers? And how would you describe your personal style?
I love Miuccia Prada and the Valentino designers because of their elegance. Personally, I like to be quite simple when I get dressed up, and Valentino is sober but always elegant. Pucci isn’t quite my style because I’m quite sporty, but Peter Dundas knows how to make a woman look sexy, and the colors are amazing for the summer.

Do you dress differently for fashion week?
While I love fashion, I’m not trying to show off when I get dressed for university, so I usually keep it sporty in white T-shirts and jeans. During fashion week, I work on preparing my outfits and wear the clothes I like the most then—I’m already thinking about what I’ll wear next month. What I wouldn’t wear on a normal day I can wear to the shows. I love street-style photographers because they make me feel so important when they ask me, “Can I take your photo?” I’m not the kind of person who would say, “No.” But I don’t actually spend too much on what I wear. I mix Zara—my absolute favorite—with nice accessories.

Who are some of your style icons?
I like the simplicity of Audrey Hepburn and think Ulyana Sergeenko is so elegant—I love her couture line. The Russians are popular, and I like Elena Perminova as well because she’s tall like me, and Karlie Kloss, too.

Photo: Tommy Ton