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August 21 2014

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5 posts tagged "Johnson Hartig"

Breast in Show: For Better or Worse, Nipples Are Having a Moment

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Kendall Jenner, Michelle Harper, and Anja Rubik

Well, well, well. It looks like we have some exhibitionists turning out for Fall ’14. There’s always a nipple here or there come show season, but in the past month, we’ve seen a bevy of naked bosoms proudly on display. While Jeremy Scott and Libertine‘s Johnson Hartig both put bare-chested models in sheer shirts at their Fall shows, the fuss really began (as it so often does) at Marc Jacobs. In her runway debut, Kendall Jenner floated down the catwalk in a transparent, nipple-flaunting sweater and the Internet went wild. Next came Malaika Firth, who walked braless in a see-through jumper at Fendi. And yesterday, Anja Rubik closed Anthony Vaccarello in a skirt slit up to here and a black point d’esprit blouse that left nothing to the imagination. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), the model created a series of T-shirts that read, “Don’t Fear the Nipple” to celebrate the latest issue of her erotic magazine, 25, back in November.

To be honest, these brazen nipples wouldn’t be so newsworthy if they popped up in the Spring collections. On more than a few occasions, designers have sent sheer tops down the runway that clients will layer with a tank or playful brassiere. But something about these pieces suggests that they should be worn as shown. Not to mention, this is Fall/Winter 2014. Sure, we’ve seen fur (faux and real) chubbies and coats aplenty, but I’m not sure I’d want to brave the Polar Vortex 2.0 with an exposed chest—even if I were enveloped in a cozy topper.

“Oh, this is just some crazy catwalk trend,” they’ll say. “We’ll only see it in artsy editorials,” they’ll claim. False. Always ahead of the curve, Michelle Harper attended New York fashion week, during which the temperatures maxed out at a whopping 32 degrees, in a pink-skirted frock with a totally translucent bodice and not much else. Yes, this craze has hit the streets.

Not surprisingly, Fall’s nipples have been raising eyebrows. (To that point, Instagram was apparently deeply offended by Henry Holland’s Fall ’14 inspiration image—a vintage photo of a woman in a diaphanous white top and no bra—that we posted as part of our Split-Second Preview series. The platform removed the snap just hours after it went up.) And even I, a strong proponent of boundary-pushing attire, have to wonder, are these sheer shirts a celebration of female anatomy and feminine power, or are they examples of vulgarity and objectification? (It’s worth noting that all the brands mentioned above are designed by men—not necessarily straight men, but men nonetheless.) Did each designer watch Free the Nipple before editing his collection? Did Femen have a hand in this? Is everyone just pandering to Miley Cyrus? I suppose the message these looks sends really depends on how, and in what context, they’re worn. Speaking of which, come Fall ’14, are women actually going to ditch their bras, slip on a thin veil of chiffon, and flaunt their breasts with gusto? I guess we’ll have to wait until the clothes hit stores to find out.

Photo:IndigitalImages.com; Tommy Ton

In L.A., Fashion Meets Art

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Wear LACMA

After two successful seasons, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is set to release its latest Wear LACMA campaign, with resident L.A. talents Greg Chait of The Elder Statesman and Jennifer Meyer (past designers include Gregory Parkinson, Libertine’s Johnson Hartig, Juan Carlos Obando, and NewbarK’s Maryam and Marjan Malakpour). The initiative conceived of by Katherine Ross, wife of LACMA director Michael Govan, and member of the museum’s Director’s Circle, challenged the two local designers to create limited-edition wares based on the museum’s permanent collection. “The goal of this initiative is to present works of art from the collection in a new way,” Ross said. “Through this partnership we are able to highlight extraordinary works in the museum’s encyclopedic collection seasonally.”

Of his contributions, Chait told us, “I love the spirit behind the project most.” After experiencing the museum’s James Turrell exhibit, he felt compelled to create six custom cashmere tees and scarves boasting abstracted Native American motifs. Meanwhile, Meyer, Chait’s fellow CFDA/Vogue Fashion Funder, was drawn to Ed Ruscha’s painting Made in California. With the artist’s express permission, Meyer created two nameplate necklaces bearing the moniker “Made in California” in 18-karat yellow gold and 18-karat gold with white diamond pavé. “I think LACMA is incredible, one of the best museums around,” the designer said of the institution that’s been enjoying a resurgence of late. “It’s incredibly exciting that LACMA chooses to partner with designers rather than “artists,” so to speak…combining those two worlds.” It would seem Net-a-Porter agrees with that sentiment, as the e-tailer will, for the first time, sell a selection of the Wear LACMA offering on its Web site. Proceeds from the collection, which ranges from $180 to $6,450, will benefit the museum.

Wear LACMA will be available beginning November 19 on net-a-porter.com and beginning November 20 in the LACMA store.

Photo: Courtesy of net-a-porter

LACMA Fuses Fashion and Art

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After the success of its debut Wear LACMA range last fall—which featured designs by Gregory Parkinson and Libertine’s Johnson Hartig—the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is set to launch round two of the project. This time around, Juan Carlos Obando, NewbarK’s Maryam and Marjan Malakpour, and L’Oeil du Vert Fragrances’ Haley van Oosten have created limited-edition designs inspired by the museum’s permanent collection.

NewbarK’s designers were drawn to Félix Edouard Vallotton’s La Manifestation (1893) because of his use of black and white. “Black-and-white is my personal favorite, and a signature to NewbarK designs,” Malakpour told Style.com. The duo (whose Wear LACMA pouches are pictured, above) was also influenced by the exoticism and primitivism in Henri-Charles Guérard’s Monkey’s Hand (1888).

Obando, an L.A. native, pulled inspiration from Willem Danielsz van Tetrode’s sculpture Mercury for his bold bronze and gold jewelry, while van Oosten was moved by Antonio Montauti’s bronze relief The Triumph of Neptune and Europa. The perfumer created an exclusive new botanical fragrance, TONAE, which, of course, comes in a bronze bottle. “TONAE celebrates our yearning to be transported by divinity—as immortalized by Montauti’s Neptune conducting a swirl of coupling sea nymphs,” van Oosten said.

Wear LACMA is available, starting tomorrow, at LACMA and online at thelacmastore.org

Photo: Stuart Pettican.

Sustainable Design Gets A New Home

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Steven Kolb was at breakfast this morning at the place he called “the best store in the city”: ABC Carpet and Home. As of now, the furniture and housewares landmark will offer a curated selection of sustainable pieces by CFDA designers, including those who have won the annual CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge, which awards $25,000 prizes to selected designers whose businesses are at least 30 percent sustainable. “Fashion is about change, and these designers are at the forefront of this idea that eco-fashion doesn’t have to be branded independently,” Kolb said today, toasting the 2011 and 2012 winners: Marcia Patmos, John Bartlett, Johnson Hartig of Libertine, Pamela Love, Melissa Joy Manning, and Victoria Bartlett of VPL. Their collections were on display alongside those of Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, and Loomstate’s Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay Hahn.

Sustainability tends to flow in and out of the fashion conversation—”People don’t realize that we manufacture in New York City with stones that are sourced ethically, because it’s not really part of our branding,” Love said, “but I started my jewelry line in my house in Brooklyn because I didn’t realize there was any other way to do things”—but the CFDA is hoping to bring it to the fore. For that, Patmos said, “The shop is really great because it makes the whole thing tangible.” She was so excited at winning the award, she added, that she’d wanted to jump up and down. “But I was at my desk when Steven called me with the news, so I had to contain myself.”

Photo: Warwick Brown

Orbs And Philosophers

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Johnson Hartig lives in L.A., so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that something filmic would be part of his repertoire. All Angelenos seem to be somehow involved in the film industry (even the Pasadena-based Mulleavy sisters have an agent). In fact, the designer has been playing director in his house-cum-studio for years now, so making a video presentation, which will be shown only on Style.com, for his new collection was a natural next step, he says. Spring not only marks the first Libertine lineup designed by Hartig alone—after many years of collaboration, Cindy Greene decided to pursue other projects—but also a return to the line’s reworked vintage roots. “My heart was never in production,” Hartig admits. “It feels so good to be cutting things up again and printing and making discarded things covetable again.” The designer took inspiration from a book on the history of philosophers—hence the acid burnout name pieces—and also from a road trip to Death Valley with the Mulleavys, during which they stayed in a haunted hotel and Hartig became a believer in orbs. Talk about getting by with a little help from your friends: The video was shot by David Mushegain; the casting of Newport Beach surf kids was done by a teenager named Little Nate; Jane Adams happened to stop by during filming, resulting in a cameo; and two September Issue alums, Margaret Yen and Azin Samari, were responsible for the music and editing, respectively. As for the lyrics, credit those to Hartig, who made them up as he was singing.