8 posts tagged "Kering"
Shu Pei working a trim merino tuxedo is a sight for sore eyes—and it’s one that we were privy to last week when Joseph Altuzarra invited Style.com to his fourth-floor studio in Tribeca. The occasion was the lookbook shoot for his International Woolmark Prize capsule, which he’ll present to an esteemed panel of judges (including Franca Sozzani, Frida Giannini, and Style.com’s Tim Blanks) during Milan fashion week on February 21. As the victor of the national competition, which he won with a baby pink wool suit back in July, Altuzarra will represent the U.S. in the final round and compete against the U.K.’s Sibling, India’s Rahul Mishra, Australia’s Christopher Esber, and China’s ffiXXed for a grand prize of 100,000 AUD. “It’s an incredibly prestigious award,” said the designer, who recently sold a minor stake of his company to Kering. “Winning would be a great accomplishment for my team and me—and obviously, the cash prize would be very helpful.” He told us that the spoils would go toward expanding fabric production and development.
Judging by the woolly looks we saw on the designer’s rolling racks, he’s got a fighting chance. Comprising of clever knit dresses, a fit-and-flare black coat, layered skirt and sweater ensembles, and Pei’s tux, the mini collection is simultaneously signature Altuzarra and not, mainly because he experimented with a new (for him) method: needle-punching, a practice that seamlessly bonds two fabrics together via a gradual woven transition (see a sneak peek of the effect, above). “It’s not normally a technique I would use because it has a very different association than what the Altuzarra world is,” he explained. “It’s a bit crafty, and almost a little hippie in spirit.” However, there’s nothing “hippie” about Pei’s tux (or the rest of the collection, for that matter), which boasts the flippy little peplum we’ve often seen from the designer. In this instance, the needle-punching was used for the jacket’s fuzzy back panel. (It looks deceptively like fur.) Elsewhere, it was employed to create a degrade effect on frocks that are fuzzy on top and sheer on the bottom, and fuse bulky, textured knits with smooth, solid fabrics.
As for inspiration, Altuzarra ended up doing some thorough historical research. “Obviously, we were thinking about wool,” said the designer of the 100 percent merino collection. “But we wanted to work inside the Altuzarra vernacular, which is quite sexy, sensual, and seductive. I started thinking about how iconic wool garments were, and how they’ve been staples over time.” His key references were fishermen’s knits; 1950s skirt suits; and Brigitte Bardot’s soft, saucy sweaters (see his mood board, left). The latter motivated him to include a soft pink in his palette. Black, gray, and neutral hues are also in the mix. “I wanted to focus on technique, and the colors are quite pale so that you could really see what’s happening,” he said.
Altuzarra offered that he’s looking forward to meeting Woolmark’s other four finalists. Competition is bound to be fierce, but Altuzarra is hoping Pei, who will be accompanying him to Milan, turns out to be his ace in the hole. “When I first started and did my very first show, I cast her,” said Altuzarra. “She was the biggest model we had, so I was very, very, very excited. And I actually realized three seasons ago that I haven’t had a show without her since. She’s my good-luck charm.”
Check back next month to see Altuzarra’s exclusive diary from the competition.
It’s a good day to be Tomas Maier. This morning, Kering announced that it was entering into a joint venture with the designer in order to further develop his namesake label, which he founded in 1997. “I could not imagine a better partner than Kering for the Tomas Maier brand,” said Maier, who is perhaps best known for his role as the creative director of the Kering-owned Bottega Veneta, a post he’s held since 2001. “We speak the same language and have a mutual understanding of how to take this business we started fifteen years ago to new heights.”
Kering—the French fashion corporation that recently invested in Joseph Altuzarra and serves as the parent company to Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Christopher Kane, and Stella McCartney—has branched out into publishing with a new weekly online magazine that’s aptly dubbed K. Having debuted on Tuesday, the first issue offers everything from an in-depth story on Palais Galliera director Olivier Saillard, to an interview with Boucheron president Pierre Bouissou, to a write-up by skateboarder Remy Stratton about growing up in California and his unorthodox career, to industry news. WWD reports that the next issue will feature an article on Vogue Italia‘s editor in chief, Franca Sozzani. But considering Kering’s roster, we’re rooting for some interviews with its star designers. Share the wealth!—editorially speaking.
It’s a big day for Christopher Kane. Not only did the designer unveil his Spring ’14 collection (left) this morning at London fashion week, but the house also announced that it will open its first flagship store in London’s tony Mayfair neighborhood before the end of 2014. This is the second notable development for the brand since it sold 51 percent of its business to Kering earlier this year—the first having been the appointment of Alexandre de Brettes as CEO this past July. “To have our own retail space gives us the chance to showcase our collections and to really express our vision,” offered Christopher and Tammy Kane in a press release. “To open in London first was really important to us as this is where our label was born.”