36 posts tagged "Manolo Blahnik"
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” »
Footwear designer Sarah Flint may very well be the only 25-year old who can offer this sort of reveal: “at our factory in Vigevano, Italy, they produce Manolo Blahnik, Oscar de la Renta, and Sarah Flint…” Then, she takes a deep breath.
Flint–who launched her eponymous line for Fall ’13 following an education at FIT, an internship at Proenza Schouler, and a technical program at Milan’s Ars Sutoria–is no doubt in good (albeit understandably daunting) company. She wrangled the factory connection through an ex-teacher who once worked as a patternmaker for Blahnik. The old masters certainly rub off on the youngster, too; her shoes are decidedly grown-up and, for the most part, gimmick-free, informed by “the idea of returning to where a design’s basis is the integrity and shape of its materials, rather than the big buckle or the all-over studs.” That focus on form and material is most evident in her charming origami-inspired styles, which feature leather fold-overs along the tips of slippers and peep-toes alike.
Flint also has another big name in her orbit: Heidi Klum. After the designer gifted Klum a pair of booties, the model came back and ordered two more–one in a color not yet in production. “Of course, we made them,” says Flint.
Starting at $545, Sarah Flint is available online at www.sarahflint.com, and at Edon Manor in New York City.
Francesco Russo left Sergio Rossi in February, but he hasn’t spent the six months between then and now kicking back. Today, he unveiled the new shoe label that bears not only his name, but also the address of his new Paris shop, 8 rue de Valois, across the street from the Palais Royal. “I want to do beautiful shoes, above the sense of time, above the sense of fashion,” Russo told Style.com. “It’s like Manolo. Manolo did the stiletto from the eighties until today. There was the time of the platform, he didn’t do platforms. He just did whatever he feels. I try to have that luxury. And the fact that I have my own name now, I can have that luxury.” True to his word, there are no platforms among the 25 styles in his Spring debut. Russo has done flat gladiator sandals and a 25-millimeter leopard print not-quite-kitten-heel pump; for the most part, though, he’s a stiletto man. His anti-trend stance means the palette and materials are quite restrained. Black, brown, shades of nude, and metallic silver encompass the color range, and the materials include leather, pony hair, and crocodile. Classic doesn’t mean conventional, however. Many of the shoes incorporate extraordinary work, a pump stitched together from small arches of crocodile being a prime example. As for the shop, it ‘s housed in what is said to be the city’s first restaurant, which went by the rather fitting name Boeuf de la Mode in the 18th century. The boutique will open for business during the couture shows in January. This week it’s acting as a showroom for appointments with big department stores.
It’s a season of debuts for Wes Gordon. Later today, the designer will present his first fully staged runway show at New York fashion week—no small feat for a young label. And atop that catwalk, Gordon will also unveil his freshman foray into handbags, thanks to a new partnership with accessories designer Fiona Kotur.
“We came up with this seven-inch-by-seven-inch square box clutch,” Gordon told Style.com. “It’s bigger than you’d expect.” He and Kotur developed an “abstract leopard” motif, which is rendered in ebony, with mirror inlays along the bags’ enamel casings. “The effect is fresh and unexpected, and it felt like the perfect time to do it,” added Gordon. The bags debut exclusively above.
The material-play apparent with these pieces will be echoed in Gordon’s Spring ’14 collection. He mentioned that he’s focusing solely on “textures,” eschewing “digital or graphic prints.” This season also marks his fifth go-around with Manolo Blahnik on footwear. Together they’ve developed a patent-and-clear-plastic bootie, and a “simple, clean patent sandal.” Given all of the above, it’s safe to say we can expect Gordon to create quite a rumble in the concrete jungle come show time.
After winning a British Fashion Award in 2012, and creating a host of illustrations to promote London fashion week last season, Manolo Blahnik is, for the first time, officially joining the LFW schedule. The Spanish-born, Somerset, U.K.-based purveyor of chic-for-your-feet will debut his Spring ’14 collection during a presentation on September 15.