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April 21 2014

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13 posts tagged "Keith Haring"

Vicki Sarge Is A Detroit Gal At Heart

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Vicki Sarge Few designers can list the struggling metropolis that is Detroit among their muses. Vicki Sarge is one of them. “You can take the girl out of Detroit, but you can’t take Detroit out of the girl!” quipped the jewelry designer, a Motown native, by phone. Though she decamped to London circa 1985 (and to New York before that), Sarge spoke to us during a recent visit to her mother’s Detroit abode. “I never wanted to live here,” she admitted. “But the amazing roots that I have here from my youth have stayed with me the whole time.”

While you may not know her name, you’ve most certainly seen the over-the-top, often dark-tinged baubles Sarge designed during her nearly 40-year tenure at celebrated bijoux brand Erickson Beamon. Together with her co-founders, Karen and Erik Erickson and Eric Beamon, Sarge adorned countless celebrities (Madonna, Beyoncé, Kate Moss, and Lady Gaga among them), collaborated with a bevy of designers (like John Galliano and Dries Van Noten), and transformed “costume jewelry” from a dirty secret to a coveted accoutrement.

But four decades in the same gig is a long time—especially for someone like Sarge, whose colorful path to accessories stardom included a job as the coat-check girl at New York’s Mudd Club (Keith Haring was the creative director at the time), spells as a regular at both Studio 54 and London’s Taboo, and a stint working in the Jim Henson Company creative department, where she got to do some “Muppet stuff.” So last year Sarge struck out on her own to begin a new chapter.

Vicki Sarge Fall '14

The resulting collection of costume jewelry is an intriguing fusion of the designer’s tongue-in-cheek approach to opulence, and her memories of the Motor City. “In the sixties and seventies, Detroit was a really great rock ‘n’ roll place,” Sarge recalled. She credits Iggy and the Stooges—who used to play at her high school dances—with making it as such. “My girlfriend had sex with Iggy after a concert once,” she mentioned casually. “But the music was just this raw sound that could only come out of Detroit. It was really great.”

Sarge explained that the “cool casualness,” and rocker vibe of her line—now in its second season—come from her hometown. But what about Fall 2014′s vibrant red flowers, shimmering crystals, and tribal ear cuffs? “Well, there are glam-rock bits there, too,” Sarge conceded. Surely her wilder days in Eighties London, during which she partied with John Galliano and her close friend Stephen Jones, have wiggled their way into her subconscious, too. “But it all comes from my soul, so it’s authentic me: bold, clean, beautiful, and a little edgy.”

In addition to Sarge’s sophomore solo effort (above), which made its debut during London fashion week, the designer crafted jewelry for Erdem’s Fall show and is working on an upcoming project with hairstylist Sam McKnight. She also hints that a second store (her first is on London’s Elizabeth Street) might be on the horizon. As far as stateside stockists go, the collection was picked up by Net-a-Porter right off the bat (it should be mentioned that Sarge also worked with Mario Testino on his Peruvian capsule for the e-tailer), but the designer hasn’t officially introduced her range to the U.S. market. That unveiling is reserved for a forthcoming spring event with Birmingham, Mich.-based retailer Linda Dresner and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. “Detroit has given me a hell of a lot—at the very least, my attitude comes from Detroit—and I want to give something back,” offered Sarge. What’s more is that a few of her fancy London friends might tag along for the party. “Stephen’s always telling me he wants to come to Detroit,” she said. Looks like the hatter finally has a good excuse to make the trip.

Photos: Courtesy photos

EXCLUSIVE: Olivia Kim Brings Brite Lites, and Plenty of Gifts, to Nordstrom

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Olivia Kim's product selection for Nordstrom

“Not many retailers are willing to disrupt their business,” said Nordstrom’s director of creative projects, Olivia Kim. “But Nordstrom is, and to me, that’s what makes this job so fun and exciting.”

Kim, the former VP of creative at Opening Ceremony, has now graduated to her second full-fledged pop-in installation at the behemoth department store, where she injects equal parts cuteness, quirk, and novelty. Aptly titled 4U: Brite Lites_Gift City, the pop-in, as Kim put it, is “Santa’s Workshop for the twenty-second century.”

“I wanted the design to be cold, austere, and metallic, but referential to holiday,” she said. To help bring her vision to life, Kim solicited the help of her dear friend Rafael de Cárdenas of Rafael de Cárdenas Ltd. / Architecture at Large. “He and I have this incredibly in-tune sense of environment,” she proclaimed. It’s a creative partnership that goes back to her time in New York.

As for the concept behind the staggering high-low product selection, Kim considered, “What do you get someone who has everything?” She wanted to offer those hard-to-find discoveries—and she’s succeeded. The democratically priced range of gifts includes Keith Haring skis by Bomber Ski, charity RxArt’s collaborative gifts designed by notable artists like Ryan McGinley, Vanessa Arizaga jewelry, tomes from Abrams Books, Illesteva eyewear, black-out Bamford Rolexes, Chinti and Parker knits, and much more.

Brite Lites_Gift City is the next step in an overarching plan for Nordstrom, where Kim has worked since early 2013. She aims to educate, engage, and inspire Nordstrom’s large customer base by introducing plenty of buzz-worthy merchandise. “I want to be able to create something sexy, and I want people to get excited about shopping again,” she explained.

But are customers responding in kind? “Yes,” Kim confirmed with confidence. “It’s exciting for us as a brand to be able to say we’ve got a customer who is interested in niche products and young designers. I’m here to take risks. I’m here to push something new and adventurous in front of the company, and in front of our customers.”

4U: Brite Lites_Gift City will be open at twelve Nordstrom locations nationwide beginning November 15. Merchandise will also be available online at www.nordstrom.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom

See and Be Scene: Jeannette Montgomery Barron on Her New Book

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Andy Warhol 
From Warhol’s Factory to Basquiat’s studio, throughout the eighties, downtown Manhattan was the place for young creative types to be. Photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron was there, and her new tome, Scene, is a sort of yearbook of the time, documenting the likes of Cindy Sherman, Keith Haring, Francesco Clemente, Willem Dafoe, and more early in their careers. “I was just a fly on the wall,” recalls Montgomery Barron, speaking at Indochine, one of her old haunts. (“It looks almost exactly the same, but there were a lot of drugs happening in the bathrooms back then.”) This afternoon, she’ll sign copies of Scene—which, in addition to the snaps, features personal anecdotes about each artist—at Bookmarc, and starting tomorrow, a select group of her black-and-white photographs will be on display in an exhibition at ClampArt. Here, Montgomery Barron discusses her book, and reminisces about shooting Warhol, working out with Bianca Jagger, and spending time with Basquiat.

 

How did you find yourself in the center of the eighties New York art scene?  

I was just lucky. It’s not that I went out and said, “I want to record every artist from A to Z.” It was more like I’d photograph Francesco Clemente, and he’d say, “You should really go photograph my friend Kenny Scharf.” It was very organic in that way. And, I mean, I knew I could drop a name. I’m sure I said, “Hey, I’m a friend of Andy Warhol. Can I shoot you?” I guess I’d get an adrenaline surge.

 

In the book, you mention that you could just call up Andy Warhol and ask to take his picture. What were those sittings like?  

The first time I photographed him was at the Factory in Union Square, and he wouldn’t even let me out of the outer lobby. When I met Bianca Jagger and we became friends, he warmed up. He never really talked much, but he always made you feel like you were the most brilliant person who said the most profound things. Continue Reading “See and Be Scene: Jeannette Montgomery Barron on Her New Book” »

Phoebe English’s Dover Street Galaxy

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Phoebe English's Spring 2013 collection and Dover Street Market installation 

From the Keith Haring installation to a giant Barbie display to entire worlds created by Tim Walker, Gilbert & George, Chanel, and Lanvin, the windows of Rei Kawakubo’s London concept boutique Dover Street Market (which is slotted to open in New York later this year) have become somewhat of an institution. So when the storefront is lent to a young designer, it’s a veritable rite of passage. Earlier this year, rising star Simone Rocha built an Irish wilderness behind Dover Street’s glass facade. And today, Phoebe English—a 27-year old Central Saint Martins graduate who won the coveted L’Oréal Professional award upon her graduation in 2011—takes the stage, mounting her first project for the shop. “They were my first stockist,” said English, who’s now been selling at Dover Street for four seasons. “We’ve been working on this for a long time. And it’s been very challenging because it’s such a different thing than putting together a collection.”

 
Phoebe English's Dover Street Market window 

English has a penchant for combining unexpected materials in her wares—synthetic hair and strips of rubber, for example. So naturally, her installation, a giant, ethereal icy-blue orb that combines shreds of fabric and glass beads from her Spring ’13 collection (above, left), follows suit. “It’s a bit of a play on contradiction. I liked that the solidity of the sphere contrasted against the irregular textiles and beads,” she explained, noting that her sculpture had an intergalactic inspiration (“I quite like planets and stars,” she giggled). As for why she decided to forgo a clothing-based display, English offered, “I felt that it would be too literal. Dover Street is such a creative garment-based space already, and it felt right to push my creative thought in a new direction.” English’s windows will be on view through May 29, and her Spring ’13 collection is available now at Dover Street Market’s London boutique.

Photo: Courtesy of Phoebe English (Spring ’13 collection and interior image); Courtesy of Dover Street Market (installation exterior)

Punk Resurrected, Again

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Between the Met’s upcoming Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibition and the rebellion-infused Fall ’13 runways, it’s no secret that punk is having a major moment. Resurrection New York—the Nolita vintage store known for its highly edited collection of sixties Pucci and seventies Halston—decided to celebrate the revival with What Are You Looking At, an in-store installation featuring pieces from Resurrection’s enviable archive. “The Met has their way—they feature certain things and have a lot of the high-fashion derivatives of punk rock and fashion—but we have our own approach [to punk] that’s really special,” explained Resurrection archivist and manager Maria Ayala. “We thought, This is all happening. Let’s show people where this actually came from.”

The pieces on view range from iconic King’s Road staples (polka-dot mini-crinis, Seditionaries’ Sid Vicious Chaos tees) to rare personal items like a pair of shredded bondage pants that Gaye Advert gave owner Katy Rodriguez in London. A selection of wares are for purchase—a pastel camo Stephen Sprouse blazer, for example—while others, like a Westwood x Keith Haring knit skirt and some original, and very ribald, Boy London T-shirts, are for ogling only. “We actually have a top like that, as well,” commented Ayala in reference to the Haring skirt. “But today, M.I.A. came in and rented it because she’s doing promo pictures for her album. Maybe we’ll see it on her album cover, maybe not. But that’s pretty exciting.”

What Are You Looking At is on view through May 8 at Resurrection New York, 217 Mott Street, New York, NY; (212) 625-1374.

Photo: Courtesy of Resurrection