8 posts tagged "Julien Macdonald"
Curator Alistair O’Neill only met the late Isabella Blow once. He was at an art opening with designer Julien Macdonald, one of the late, great Blow’s charges, whom he studied with at the Royal College of Art. “Isabella was wearing a famous Philip Treacy hat, which is in the exhibition. It had feathers around the eyes, which covered her nose and her mouth and her forehead,” he recalled. “I spent the evening talking to her and was completely fascinated. But all that I could concentrate on were her eyes, because I couldn’t really see her mouth. I could only just about listen to what she was saying, and I was just mesmerized by this image of these eyes being framed by the feathers. The combination of her intelligence and her laughing was really intoxicating,” he continued. “I’ve never forgotten that.”
On November 20, O’Neill, along with Shonagh Marshall and Central Saint Martins, will aim to bring the editor, patron, and muse’s work and wardrobe to life with the opening of Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at the Somerset House in London. Before her tragic suicide, in 2007, Blow was a pillar of London’s emerging fashion community. Having worked everywhere—from British and American Vogue to The Sunday Times to Tatler—Blow is credited with discovering such designers as Alexander McQueen (as the story goes, she bought his entire graduate collection after it walked down the Central Saint Martins Runway in 1992), milliner Philip Treacy, Jeremy Scott, and Hussein Chalayan, as well as models Sophie Dahl (whom she once described as a “blow-up doll with brains”) and Stella Tennant.
Aside from being a steadfast supporter of young talents (Treacy and McQueen both lived with her at one point, and she not only gave the designers financial and editorial support but also fed them ideas from her wealth of historical knowledge—fashion and otherwise), Blow, who came from a complicated aristocratic background, was known as a great eccentric—both in her behavior and her dress. Her infamous wardrobe comprised the most extreme pieces by all of the conceptual up-and-comers she helped along the way. And, of course, Treacy’s hats were her screaming signature. Following her death, her sartorial collection was to be sold at Christie’s to settle her estate, but Blow’s friend Daphne Guinness swooped in at the last minute and purchased every piece, because that’s how Isabella—or Issy, as she was known—would have wanted it.
O’Neill, however, did not want to simply paint Blow as an eccentric. “I thought it was important to distance Isabella from those literary ideas of the English eccentric, because they’re often quite tragic,” he explained. “And I’m not sure Isabella was fully tragic—she was quite brave, and very funny. She had a very bored and black humor.” Furthermore, Blow always wore her outfits—whether it be a metallic McQueen corset or an ensemble crafted from brightly hued garbage bags—in a deeply considered manner. “Isabella used her clothes, her hats, and her accessories as a means to modify and transform herself,” said O’Neill. “She had a great eye for silhouette, and her hats were almost a means of plastic surgery for her face, without going under the knife,” added Marshall. “She said they can lift you, they can make you look different, and I think that was something that she really indulged in.” Continue Reading “Isabella Blow: Beyond the Eccentric” »
There’s no shortage of deejays on the fashion scene, with your Misshapes and your Harleys and your Alexas and what have you. But Mimi Xu—who goes by the name of Misty Rabbit when she’s on the decks—has a particularly impressive knack for blending unexpected musical genres (think Berlin’s ambient electro mixed with classical jazz fading into a cool spin of disco-funk) into cohesive and oh-so-catchy sets. She’s an eager bunny, and knows just how to get the party going for the likes of Miu Miu, Prada, Fendi, Acne Studios, and too many others to name. This season, the Shanghai- and Copenhagen-raised but London-based sound designer is as busy as ever. She mixed the soundtracks for Yigal Azrouël, Catherine Malandrino, Tome, and Ostwald Helgason in New York, developed runway music for Topshop, Julien Macdonald, and Emilia Wickstead in London, and dropped a special Fall/Winter mix for Mytheresa.com just last week. Next up? A hotly anticipated party for Moncler’s Pharrell Williams collaboration in Paris this evening, and a personal design project, which will undoubtedly become the requisite accessory for music-loving cool girls come holiday season. Here, Xu talks to Style.com about her Mytheresa.com mix, the difference between playing parties and runways, and her favorite new artists.
You’ve done a lot of shows this season. How does deejaying a fashion show differ from deejaying a party?
Deejaying is about a spontaneous, fun, and playful way of sharing music. It’s about getting the party going. When you do a soundtrack, it’s very nerdy and unglamorous—you’re behind the scenes, you’re really working with the designer, and you’re creating something with the designer to really reflect his collection. It’s not about what I like. Of course, it’s about my influences and my take on music. But I’m there to showcase the collection. I love doing both, but they’re very different. Show soundtracks take a lot longer. It’s a much more technical process—it’s much more creative, and it’s more intellectual. And with soundtracks, everything’s set in stone previously. On the day of the catwalk, you don’t have to do anything besides cuing the show. But when you deejay, things never go to plan. Anything can happen on the dance floor. I can fill up the stage—who knows?
What have designers been asking you to play this season?
There are no specific trends this season. Each designer had their own inspirations. Musically, I went from Mississippi blues to Brazilian seventies experimental Tropicalia movement to psychedelic rave to classical theatrical to French electro. It’s a big range, so you need to be very erudite in your music knowledge. Designers need that.
What are you going to play for the Moncler-and-Pharrell Williams party?
I’ve been thinking today that we’re gonna do something quite hip-hop-y. But I don’t know! You can’t play Pharrell Williams tracks. I’d be embarrassed to play someone’s track when they’re in the room. So I’m not sure yet…. Obviously, I’m gonna have a lot of R&B and hip-hop, but it’s gonna go into disco and a few electronica-sounding tracks, too. I need to get people dancing, so I’ll see tonight how it will go. Continue Reading “Misty Rabbit Talks Spinning Fashion’s Soundtracks” »
Fashion Feed brings you the best of the news around the Web and on Twitter, and ranks the most-discussed designers, labels, models, and celebrities. In our weekly series, we call out the top five designers of the previous week (with our handy gloss on the hows and whys).
1. Stella McCartney (pictured; last week: N/A)
Good news traveled fast. The entire blogosphere, more or less, joined together to congratulate Stella McCartney, who, it was revealed last week, is expecting her fourth child.
2. Julien Macdonald (last week: N/A)
Turns out bad news travels pretty quick, too. English designer (and Britain’s Next Top Model judge) Julien Macdonald found himself in hot water when he called plus-sized models “a joke.” Plus-size poster girl Crystal Renn even took to The Independent for an op-ed rebuttal.
3. Alexander McQueen (last week: 2)
Daphne Guinness made headlines (but what else is new?) for privately purchasing Isabella Blow’s entire fashion collection, which included 90 McQueen outfits. Meanwhile, the style set spent the last week awaiting the runway debut of McQueen’s successor, Sarah Burton, at the label’s Spring ’11 menswear show. (See the entire show here.)
4. Jil Sander (last week: N/A)
House creative director Raf Simons ramped up anticipation for his Spring ’11 Jil Sander collection showing at Pitti Uomo with a Q&A with Style.com; late in the week, he delivered a wild, fluorescent presentation. (See the entire show here.)
5. Marc Jacobs (last week: 1)
Even in an action-packed week, Marc Jacobs stays in the news. Resort collections for his namesake line and Marc by Marc Jacobs kept him top of mind.
More London shoe news! Turns out the footwear on the Julien Macdonald Fall ’10 runway represents the debut of accessories for the brand. According to a Macdonald rep, the idea—for now at least—is to keep the shoe collection tight, and focused on styles that set off the runway looks. The debut collection comprises five styles, including a shearling-trimmed knee-high boot, the Fenella, and a bondage-inspired suede sandal, the Perdita (pictured), both of which feature a new, horse leg-shaped heel designed by Macdonald. The names of all the shoes, in fact, are taken from the novels of the blockbuster English romance novelist Jilly Cooper, who chronicled the life of the wealthy, adulterous, and equestrian. Hot to trot, indeed.