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August 23 2014

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38 posts tagged "Karen Elson"

How Sui It Is

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Anna Sui is a fashion lifer, with a 20-year career in the industry and, now, a 300-page retrospective coffee-table book to show for it. “As a designer, you never have time to look back because you’re always looking six months forward to next season,” Sui said at a signing of the book in New York last night. “To be honest, I’d completely forgotten about so much of the good stuff.”

Anna Sui, penned by the designer’s close friend Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, goes collection by collection through Sui’s label, interspersed with the many fashion editorials and boldfaced friends who’ve made her a force to be reckoned with from the start. After all, before she ever sent her first collection down the runway for Fall 1991, the Biba-wearing club kid was already dressing Madonna up in baby dolls. (A few of those boldfacers also contributed to the text: Jack White of the White Stripes—husband of Sui’s longtime muse Karen Elson—contributed a preface, where he notes that his favorite of his wife’s dresses always turn out to be Sui’s; Steven Meisel wrote the introduction)

Bolton wades through Sui’s wide-ranging fonts of inspiration, which include everything from Marie Antoinette to rococo pirates to Andy Warhol’s Factory parties—not to mention Sui’s greatest inspiration, music. “Watching one of Anna’s collections is like watching MTV,” Meisel writes. “You see the Clash, Nirvana, the Sex Pistols, the Smashing Pumpkins, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” You also see, in Anna Sui, the procession of fashion greats from the nineties, as in the iconic finale of Sui’s 1994 grunge collection: the supe trifecta of Christy, Naomi, and Linda, strutting down the catwalk in feathered headpieces.

PLUS: For more Anna Sui, check out our video of Sui chatting with Marc Jacobs on the occasion of her CFDA Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award.

Photo: Courtesy of Anna Sui

A Big Sister, Maybe, But Never A Nag

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The gilded elevator gates that divide the bar from the dining room at the back of the new Lower East Side restaurant Mary Queen of Scots are retractable. It’s a feature the guests at the AllSaints-sponsored launch party for Agyness Deyn’s new fashion site, Naag, discovered at the dinner Aggy threw with editor Fiona Byrne, Coco Rocha, Karen Elson (both pictured, left, with Deyn), Zachary Quinto, and SNL‘s Seth Meyers. Guests invited to the rocking after-party (where, later, Miike Snow singer Andrew Wyatt deejayed and an all-but-incognito Marion Cotillard danced) but not to the dinner peered through the grate, like visitors at a couture safari.

Naag is the brainchild of Deyn and veteran journalist Byrne, who serves as its editor in chief. It covers fashion, food, and culture, with an eye to up-and-coming young talent. “It all started with me and Fiona at a music festival. It was raining and we were in the tent waiting for the music to start. And I was scanning the Internet,” Deyn explains. “We were like, we should do a site that has all the stuff that we think is rad. We want it to be kind of like a big cultural sister.”

And, it goes without saying, a fashionable sister, too. “It’s funny—at my job I managed to get the one position where you have to wear a suit and tie,” says Meyers, SNL‘s head writer who also helms the Weekend Update segments. “I’d like to think that if I was so far out of bounds fashion-wise, Fiona or Aggy would tell me. But now this site saves me the awkwardness of their having to do that to my face.” For the record, he was wearing a plaid shirt and baggy pants. If Big Sister minded, she didn’t let on.

Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

The Gang’s All Here At Balenciaga, Taylor’s On Her Own, Wang Takes His Show On The Road, And More…

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MObama hosted a party for this year’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards at the White House, honoring the year’s best in design (though the fashion design award winners, Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, didn’t attend.) The FLOTUS wore Isabel Toledo for the occasion. [WWD]

Balenciaga’s Fall campaign is out, and the multi-girl spreads star reigning catwalk queens Freja Beha Erichsen, Mirte Maas, and Valerija Kelava, but also gorgeous-as-ever Stella Tennant and Karen Elson (pictured). Who’s your favorite? [Fashionologie]

Taylor Momsen fired her stylist. Now she’s got nobody but herself to blame for those raccoon eyes. [NY Mag]

Alexander Wang is known for his downtown-NYC cool, so when he began the trunk-show circuit—heading first to Canada’s Holt Renfrew—he boxed it up and brought it along with him. Or, we should say, tented it up. Wang’s been traveling with a custom-made tent, complete with fluorescent lights, TV screens, and inflatable furniture to replicate his Tribeca studio. [WWD]

A new Web site, SixItemsOrLess.com, encourages users to wear a combination of only six items every day for 31 days. We’re all for getting back to basics, but this is one fad diet we’ll be passing on. [NYT]

Photo: Steven Meisel/Courtesy of Balenciaga

Vodianova, Elson, Turlington Primp For LV

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For Fall ’10, Marc Jacobs sent out a sophisticated, elegant-lady collection of dresses that seems a world away from the edgy, Sprouse-inflected and tribal referencing collections of seasons past. So how to do justice to it in a campaign? With three of the modeling world’s most elegant ladies, of course: Natalia Vodianova, Karen Elson, and Christy Turlington, shot by Steven Meisel.

Photos: Steven Meisel/Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Karen Elson, The Ghost Who (Cat)Walks

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Many of Karen Elson’s fans are more used to seeing than hearing the redheaded stunner: in countless editorials and campaigns, and on runways all over the world. But that changes tomorrow, when the multitalented English beauty (don’t call her a “model-slash”) releases her first album, The Ghost Who Walks. Her countrified ballads—recorded in her adopted city of Nashville and produced by her husband, Jack White—should earn her a whole new set of devoted admirers. Below, Elson spoke to Style.com about mournful music, onstage fashion, and her vote for the most heartbreaking sound there is. And click here to check out her acoustic video performance of “Cruel Summer” and hear her sound for yourself.

Your first album, The Ghost Who Walks, is out tomorrow. What sound were you going for with it?
I have a real love for melancholy songs that express the everyday—what’s the word? What’s the right one without sounding too depressing? Honestly, I like songs that are mournful and express heartache and longing. They just feel right to me. It feeds me in a very strange way. I’ve always had a long love of Hank Williams and Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline, and even Nick Cave and PJ Harvey and Mazzy Star. They all—in varying degrees of mournful—they all represent that. It just moves me, that’s all. When I started writing the record, it came out. I think every woman in the span of her life, even me in my thirties, I’ve experienced a lot. I’ve experienced all sides of life. I feel like I’m putting all of those experiences out in my songs, as a way of purging myself of things that maybe I’ve held on to for too long.

You mention country legends like Hank Williams and Patsy Cline, and the record has a very country feel. You and your family live in Nashville, one of the great country-music capitals—how did your surroundings contribute to that sound?
Naturally, being in Nashville, it’s hard not to have a somewhat country-esque vibe. Carl Broemel from My Morning Jacket played the pedal steel on the record, and when he came into the studio and started playing, I was just in love. Pedal steel with reverb is just the most heartbreaking sound to me—it’s just so gorgeous, I wanted it on every song. There’s definite country leanings, and that’s definitely a byproduct of living in Nashville. But at the same time, I liked those songs even before I moved to Nashville; I had a love for Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris. It just feels good to me.

You’re part of a musical family, and this record is something of a family affair—your husband Jack White [also of the White Stripes and the Dead Weather] convinced you to record, your brother-in-law plays in the band. Did working with them introduce any complications?
It was just what it was. Everybody in our life, we all just sort of contribute any way we can. I’ve been in the studio with Jack before, contributing some backing vocals on a song. Or Jackson [Smith], Meg’s husband, has come into town to play guitar on other projects Jack’s working on. Friends of ours just pop in and do that—it was really quite natural. It wasn’t this thing where it was all of a sudden, Shit, it’s my turn! Damn, better bring the family in. That’s just life down here. We all just chip in and make music and occasionally pat each other on the back and help each other out.

But Jack was incredibly supportive and is incredibly supportive of my record. I feel really lucky to have his support. It was essential to get me over myself—I had to get over myself big time—and have confidence. I was nervous about putting my music out there. “Model-slash-anything”—I cared too much about that. Once I stopped caring, I could get out there and sing my songs, but it took a lot. Continue Reading “Karen Elson, The Ghost Who (Cat)Walks” »