September 1 2014

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15 posts tagged "Liz Goldwyn"

An Old-School Skate Fan Tries Her Hand


First things first: “I don’t skate, ’cause I wear high heels and fifties dresses and can’t even recall a point in my life when I wore jeans, unless you count the dead-stock black and yellow Gianni Versace cheetah-print, high-waisted ones that I will definitely be rocking come fall,” says Liz Goldwyn, the L.A.-based filmmaker, writer, historian of burlesque, and now, skateboard designer. “So me on a skateboard would only work in theory…”

But theory vs. practice didn’t stop her from designing a new skate deck, which is now available exclusively at Opening Ceremony. The limited run grew out of a commission by an art collector, who wanted a deck. Goldwyn settled on a pair of legs in homage to burlesque, and in particular the late Rex Huntington, whom she calls “one of the greatest burlesque costume designers of the 20th century.” (He’s profiled in her book Pretty Things: The Last Generation of American Burlesque Queens.) Huntington designed for all of the most famous strippers of his day (with a sideline business making wardrobes for drag queens), and at his death, bequeathed Goldwyn his archive of designs, sketchbooks, and even celebrity measurements. The legs on her deck were inspired by an “American Girl” pinup of Huntington’s—complete with red-white-and-blue star pasties.

And while she may not be a skater herself, Goldwyn is every bit the fan (and a big collector of decks, too). “I am a Cali girl and grew up skate-obsessed,” she says. “I read Thrasher and Big Brother (which was the coolest, defunct San Francisco magazine—very punk anti-authority, and every issue was a different size, super-collectible). I had pictures of Salman Agah and Jay Adams pasted into my journals. I collected Vision and Bones Brigade, T-shirts and stickers. There used to be the raddest skate paraphernalia you could buy—that kids could actually afford! Now it’s pretty commercial, and I think it’s time to bring back those great graphics, so thought I would try my hand at it, as a fan of the sport and the culture that has surrounded it.” Her handiwork will run you $200 at Opening Ceremony’s L.A. and NYC stores.

Photo: Courtesy of Liz Goldwyn

The Lady Is A Teese


Dita Von Teese
Decades owner Cameron Silver led a delegation of L.A. fashion types to see his friend Dita Von Teese debut her Live at the Crazy Horse act in Vegas last night. He was kind enough to send back his report on the evening. Some bugle beads, alas, were harmed in the making of this production.

A Dita Von Teese performance may appear to be all about the art of stripping, but it’s just as much about the art of dressing. Dita wears—at the beginning of her act, at least—couture costumes by Elie Saab and John Galliano, and her fan base is equally fashion-conscious. I flew in from L.A. for her Vegas opening last night with a crew of style mavens—Susan Casden (in Alexander McQueen), Rose Apodaca (in a Thomas Wylde kimono), British burlesque star Immodesty Blaize (in Jil Sander), and Michael Schmidt. We were all wowed by the spectacle—not to mention the Crazy Horse dancers, who, with their precise moves and perfect bodies, look like a living embodiment of Guy Bourdin’s seminal Charles Jourdan ads from the seventies. (“Those dancers are hot stuff, and really can inspire a girl to try some new tricks!” filmmaker Liz Goldwyn told me.) I must say, though, as someone who deals day in and day out with immaculate couture, I winced a little each time one of Dita’s shucked-off pieces hit the floor. “Well, that’s an element of the decadence of burlesque,” she told me. “Dropping, flinging, tossing aside these beautiful things. It always hurts me a little to hear the bugle beads and Swarovski crystal crashing to the floor, but that is part of the fantasy, the excessiveness of the show. And anyway,” she added, “we just send it off to repair, and trusted cleaners.”

Live at the Crazy Horse runs through April 7. For more information and tickets, visit




Photo: Denise Truscello / WireImage / Getty Images


The Stylists Take The Stage


Stars like Ginnifer Goodwin, Christina Hendricks, Abbie Cornish, Marisa Tomei, and Perrey Reeves kicked off Oscar week last night in L.A. at a private reception, sponsored by Dior and Vanity Fair, for artist Kimberly Brooks’ (pictured, with Tomei) exhibition The Stylist Project. Call it a favor returned—the subjects of Brooks’ oil portraits are the men and women who spend their days making sure the celebs look good. And since those stylists—Arianne Phillips, Liz Goldwyn, Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant—most often spend their time behind the scenes (well, all except Rachel Zoe, another sitter), it was their night to shine. That’s not to say, of course, that the stylists are all retiring types. “I love that he’s talking and holding court,” said Tracee Ellis Ross after surveying the portrait of her friend, Decades’ Cameron Silver. Spoken like an actress. The man himself had professional concerns of his own. “All I cared about was looking young and skinny,” joked Silver, dressed in Alexander McQueen.

The Stylist Project runs through April 3 at Taylor De Cordoba, 2660 S. La Cienaga Blvd., L.A., (310) 559-9156,

Photo: Charley Gallay / Getty Images

Yea, Nay, Or Eh: Chloë Sevigny and Liz Goldwyn Razzle-Dazzle ‘Em


Spotted: Partners in scene-stealing, Chloë Sevigny and Liz Goldwyn. The pair turned heads at back-to-back events in L.A. this weekend in some straight-from-the-runway Miu Miu and (we’re guessing here) trademark quirky vintage. At Friday night’s Prada book launch, Sevigny’s Fall ’09 Miu Miu navel-plunger with exposed bra (see here on how to rock the lingerie trend) would be an obvious choice for most daring ensemble, but Liz’s fully covered cat-print dress is just as sexy—the red lip and tousled hair don’t hurt. The next night, at MOCA’s 30th anniversary party, the duo both showed more skin. Goldwyn’s flamingo pink harem pants ensemble drew attention to her, um, palm trees, while Sevigny’s Spring ’10 Miu Miu look was all about her California tan and long gams. (Ed.’s note: Both of Sevigny’s Miu Miu looks were number 34 on the runway. Coincidence?) What do you think of the friends’ attention-grabbing looks? Leave your comments below.


Photo: Andreas Branch / Patrick McMullan

Peggy Moffitt Celebrates William Claxton


With the Met’s Costume Institute gala nearing, its theme—the role of fashion models as muses—has become party talk even on the West Coast. Last night, at a memorial celebration for legendary lensman William Claxton, who died a day shy of his 81st birthday last October, it was abundantly clear that no subject offered more grist for the photographer than wife Peggy Moffitt. While working with Peggy on planning this event for the past few weeks, I discovered that Peggy’s own muse had become a life of 48 years with her husband, lived to the max.

Before hundreds of friends that ran from James Galanos and Vidal Sassoon (above, with Moffitt) to Liz Goldwyn and Sandy Schreier to Greg Gorman and Matthew Rolston, the Claxtons’ collaborations were on vibrant display last night inside the Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Following a comedic series of tales from Bernie Taupin, a self-avowed fanatic of Bill’s work, Burt Bacharach’s tender “Alfie” turned up the waterworks. Peggy art-directed every ebb and high of the evening, from pal Benedikt Taschen’s opening words to the rousing New Orleans band that capped the night and had us all dancing up a storm in the museum courtyard. No one better than Bill knew the seamless synergy between muse and artist, and how one breathes life into the other until it’s impossible to tell them apart.

Photo: Tyler Boye