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April 19 2014

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5 posts tagged "Martine Sitbon"

Tilda Swinton: Fashion’s Muse for Eternity

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Tilda Swinton

Olivier Saillard—author, poet, star fashion curator—tends to prefer a contemplative moment over a grand event. He is also fond of saying that, had he ever studied fashion design, he would have done “just one dress” and then retired his tape measure.

Last night in Paris, he offered both. Eternity Dress, a fifty-one-minute performance starring Tilda Swinton, sponsored by Chloé, and staged at the École des Beaux-Arts this week as part of the city’s fall festival, has been sold out for months. In it, Saillard and Swinton explore the art of dressmaking, starting with lines and measurements (waist: 28 inches, and so forth) working up through flat patterns and the beginnings of a dress, which Swinton took a moment to sew on herself. As the dress took form, Swinton recited a litany of collar styles in French and released a world of emotion in the turn of a sleeve, finally draping herself in rich-hued chiffon and velvet unfurled from bolts lined up on the floor.

Ultimately, The Dress—a black sheath with long sleeves and an open back—was a stand-in for a century of fashion history, from Paul Poiret to Comme des Garçons. One of the show’s high points, as well as its biggest laugh, showed Swinton striking a series of emblematic poses for houses from Poiret to Yohji Yamamoto, by way of Chanel, Dior, Mugler, YSL, and Jean Paul Gaultier. Among a roomful of designers including Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Bouchra Jarrar, Martine Sitbon, and Clare Waight Keller, Haider Ackermann was first on his feet for the ovation. “It’s absolutely a piece of my life,” said Waight Keller. “They’ve taken everyday materials like tape and chalk and elevated them to an art form about designing a dress from scratch. It’s about craft, measuring, and a considered approach. It’s poetry.”

Tilda Swinton

“One of the things about Tilda is that she can do anything,” noted Saillard after the performance. “She’s not a ‘fashion girl,’ so she can be a sculpture, an actress, a woman, a man, she can be 18 or 75 years old. It was like we were in a bubble, and the experience gave us lots of new ideas. Fashion has to be surprising.”

At the small cocktail party held afterward at Lapérouse, Swinton added, “Olivier is a playmate. We work and play together and come up with crackers ideas for some other time—it’s wonderful to be able to play off of someone like that.” Asked whether she realizes that she would be any designer’s dream to work with, Swinton let loose a small bombshell: “Maybe it’s because I know nothing about fashion!”

Photos: Vincent Lappartient

Take Five: C├ędric Rivrain’s Antique Medical Instruments

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Fashion folk are a curious bunch, and we’ve found that they tend to collect equally curious things. In our new “Take Five” feature, we get the lowdown on our favorite industry personalities’ most treasured trinkets.

Cedric Rivrain's Antique Medical Instruments

Best known for the eerie, expressive fashion illustrations he’s done for the likes of Martine Sitbon, John Galliano, Lanvin, Hermès, and Maison Michel, Cédric Rivrain lives in a Paris flat filled with curiosities. Among them are piles of anatomical figures, containers filled with unusual drawing tools, and stacks of Hermès boxes. But most intriguing is his collection of over fifty vintage medical instruments—some of which date back to the early nineteenth century—which are displayed proudly on his glass coffee table. “Some people are scared of them, but they know that I’m not a mean person, so it’s fine,” said Rivrain. “And everybody is always trying to guess what they were used for. I actually don’t even know myself!”

He doesn’t really want to know, either. Left to Rivrain by his late father—a general practitioner who had a large practice in Brittany—the drills and breathing masks look more like implements of torture than a doctor’s paraphernalia. “I was obsessed with them as a kid,” remembers Rivrain, who, along with his brother, would play with the unsettling antiques when his parents were out. “That’s why I never really wanted to know what they were used for. In my memories, they were never for medicine. They were for magic and fun.”

Here, Rivrain, who divulged that he’ll be launching his first T-shirt collaboration this fall, discusses his favorite contraptions with Style.com.

1. “This one is a total mystery to me, but I think it’s a weird old mechanism for cutting. I know it was for surgery, and you’re supposed to fix different instruments to it, and then it rotates. I used to play with it and pretend it was a pistol.”

2. “This is a mask that was used for anesthesia. It’s quite rare to still have the bubble attached. I think it’s made of something awful, like a dried organ—but not a human organ, of course. I wasn’t allowed to play with this one when I was a kid, because it’s super fragile, but it goes over your mouth and nose.”

3. “This is a little spoon with a hole. I have no idea what it’s for. I have a few of them, and I love the big handle. When [my brother and I] would play, in our heads, it was a spoon for magic potions.”

4. “This is a knee hammer, for testing reflexes. When we were kids, we’d pretend to have trials, and we’d use this for a judge’s gavel.”

5. “I always thought this one was really scary. It’s a very complex syringe of some sort. It’s made of glass and leather and steel. I never played with this as a kid, because I was so afraid of it, but now I think it’s such a beautiful object.”

Photos: Lauren Fleishman

Two Centuries Of Fashion History, Starring Tilda Swinton

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Christian Lacroix, Haider Ackermann, Martine Sitbon, Bruno Frisoni. They all gathered at the Palais de Tokyo last night for a one-of-a-kind, one-woman fashion show: The Impossible Wardrobe, conceived and curated by the Musée Galliera’s Olivier Saillard and starring none other than Tilda Swinton. The performance lasted nearly 40 minutes, or about four times the normal length of a fashion show. No one minded. On the contrary, the crowd gave the duo a standing ovation.

Wearing white gloves, a lab coat, and beige suede pumps, Swinton variously carried, clutched, and presented vintage clothes and accessories up and down the runway, making eye contact with the audience along the way and pausing in front of a mirror to measure up how she might look if she was allowed to put them on. “It’s not possible to wear the clothes in a museum,” Saillard said, by way of explaining the show’s concept and name. “If Tilda hadn’t accepted our proposal, we wouldn’t have done it.” Above Swinton, a news ticker spelled put the pieces’ provenance, and there were some truly special items here: a 1968 Paco Rabanne dress worn by Brigitte Bardot, Elsa Schiaparelli-designed gloves with built-in gold talons from 1936, an embroidered top that belonged to Isadora Duncan in the 1920s, even a tailcoat covered in gold bullion worn by Napoleon. The Oscar winner actually sniffed the collar on that one, as if to get a sense of his essence. “C’est sublime,” said Bouchra Jarrar afterward. “A new way to talk about the history of fashion. One must never forget history.” In the history of this season, this will rank as one of its most fabulous moments.

CLICK HERE for a slideshow of Swinton wearing some of the pieces from the Musée Galliera collection >


Photo: Piero Biasion

Yazbukey’s Cult Dance At Le Baron

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Sometimes all a party needs is a girl in a corset who can dance. That was the case last night when, around midnight, jewelry designer Yaz Kurhan of Yazbukey christened her Fall collection, Cult, with a sexy dance atop a shrouded piano at Le Baron. The soundtrack was French heartthrob du jour Sébastien Tellier’s hit “Roche.” After her sultry gymnastics, we grilled Yaz about this season’s goods (Spring’s line includes mice coin purses, vintage plastic telephone bags, and a hotdog necklace with all the fixin’s). “It’s all about Sébastien Tellier,” she cooed, holding up the giant mirror-and-Plexi pendant bust of the long-haired, bearded crooner she was wearing. Besides a black lace push-up bra, nude bustier (a forties relic she discovered in an Istanbul souk for €20), and silver spike pumps, the oversize accessory for Fall was about all Yaz had on. “I love how he looks, I love how he sings, and I love all that hair,” she gushed. “Even if you don’t know Sébastien, my pendant also looks a lot like Jesus, don’t you think?” Around 2 a.m., Malcolm McLaren—an intime of Yaz’s—showed up, along with art director Marc Ascoli and his wife, Rue du Mail designer Martine Sitbon. “Yaz was my design intern when she was about 20,” Sitbon said. “She had short, spiky, tomboy hair, and she looked like an Egyptian punk back then. She has the same wicked energy now, only it’s so much more feminine.”

Photo: Courtesy of Yazbukey

Fashion Says Merci

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One of Paris’ most ambitious openings of late, Merci is the concept-meets-charity store brainchild of Bonpoint founder Marie-France Cohen. Located in a two-level reconverted textile factory in the Marais, this carefully curated space links high fashion with philanthropic ideals. Products on offer include vintage finds and contemporary designs; custom creations and re-editions for men, women, and children; accessories; a secondhand book corner; a gourmet café; a flower shop; Merci Annick perfumes from Le Laboratoire Goutal; and a gallery. The retail therapy feel-good factor? Profits are earmarked for charitable associations, starting this season with orphanages in Madagascar. To help the effort, many designers made donations of seasonal pieces and best-sellers, and by opting for Goutal perfumes in déshabillé bottles, clients can save up to 40 percent. Rifling through the racks, Osman Yousefzada emerged with a vintage black Thierry Mugler jacket with knit lapel and sleeves (€310, or around $390), then stopped to admire vintage trenches by Burberry (€290, or $366) and YSL (€700, or $885) before moving on to the high-fashion corner, where selections include pieces from Martin Margiela, and Stella McCartney. Participating designers Martine Sitbon, Vanessa Bruno, Isabelle Marant, and Alexis Mabille were on hand to toast the project. “I loved the idea and the name,” commented Mabille. “It’s a way to say thank you to everyone—designers, clients, suppliers—as well as in the charity sense. It’s really important, and ultimately complètement normale. We need to help wherever we can!”

Merci, 111 boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris 75003, closed Sundays.