101 posts tagged "Michael Kors"
China has emerged at the forefront of the fashion conversation with major brands such as Burberry, Dior Homme, and, most recently, Michael Kors hosting blowouts in Shanghai to build their respective presences in the region. Over the past few days, however, the country has earned negative attention after a group of more than sixty foreign models were taken into custody by officials for working illegally under tourist visas (as opposed to obtaining correct Schengen or working permits). Four people were confirmed to have been arrested, and the others will most likely face deportation. The crackdown occurred following a fake casting the Beijing police staged at Chinese agency M3, which presumably represents several of the suspected offenders. Breaking news suggests that additional models have been arrested in Guangzhou after disclosing the addresses of model apartments to authorities in efforts to cooperate. Since then, models have been advised to keep a low profile and avoid walking around in public with their portfolios and comp cards.
All of this speaks to larger problems the model industry faces, and China isn’t the only place where models run into paperwork problems. Here in the U.S., many fresh faces have gotten their big breaks during New York fashion week before having acquired proper working visas. But those types of girls are often placed with major agencies of international repute, which generally go the extra mile to ensure their models are accounted for with appropriate international visas. And so, most likely those indicted models belonged to comparatively shady agencies (that might take a shortcut and opt for easier-to-obtain tourist visas). Many suffer through professional issues, not unlike those depicted in the gripping documentary Girl Model. These are often young Eastern European girls who don’t speak a word of Chinese (or English, for that matter) and are struggling to make ends meet by stringing together jobs and staying in the country longer than their contacted period of time. You’re not about to see someone like Karmen Pedaru getting arrested. Still, these girls should have a voice, too, and it’s organizations like the Model Alliance that are making it a point to educate models about their rights and raise awareness for these issues.
Michael Kors staged a “Jet-Set Experience” at Shanghai’s Hongqiao International Airport on Friday, complete with a runway show of one-off pieces designed to convey the designer’s glamorous style and a crowd that included house favorites like Freida Pinto, Hilary Swank, and Camilla Belle. The collection was divided into three very Kors-ian groups: big city, mountain retreat, and beach resort, each of which was accompanied by high-def video projections on multiple surround screens. To drive home the jet-set message and heighten the immersive experience, there was a private jet parked smack-dab in the middle of things. (The plane belonged to John Idol, chairman and CEO of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.—talk about high-flying.) The evening followed a Thursday night party for Kors’ recently opened Shanghai flagship in the city’s Jing An Kerry Centre; it is the brand’s largest to date in China and brings its tally there to about forty. Sixty more are planned for the next five years. Model Karmen Pedaru, who wore the show’s finale gown, a slinky plunge-front number in cherry red with a matching fox fur stole, shares some photos from the Shanghai event. Click for a slideshow of her snaps.
Considering creative culture’s recent obsession with vintage America (Western films are taking over this year’s Cannes Film Festival, everyone is still talking about Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show in Dallas, and our sixth issue of Style.com/Print was all about “American Spirit”), the time felt ripe to revisit Michael Kors’ Fall ’99 “Millennium Cowboy” collection. “I’m a real American boy, so why not use that?” he told Tim Blanks in today’s Throwback Thursdays video.
Instead of campy cowboy boots and 10-gallon hats, the collection, which Blanks called “quintessential luxury,” featured plush furs, hand-knits, and body-skimming silhouettes. “No one wants to wear a costume,” Kors pointed out. “One of the most enduring, iconic things is the cowboy, so you want to take all of the good things from that and lose everything that’s hokey.” See the entire collection in today’s video, here.
“Now, I know that Anna hates being the center of attention, so this all is probably killing her—but we love it,” said Michelle Obama as she took the stage at the ribbon cutting of the Metropolitan Museum’s new Anna Wintour Costume Center this morning. The first lady, sporting a green floral Naeem Khan, was speaking to a crowd of—as she put it so accurately—legends, including the likes of Marc Jacobs, Alber Elbaz, Donatella Versace, Olivier Theyskens, Alexander Wang, Ralph Lauren, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, and many more. “The truth is, I’m here today because of Anna. I’m here because I have such respect and admiration for this woman whom I am proud to call my friend,” said Obama. Adding, “thanks to Anna and so many other dedicated individuals, the Met will be opening up the world of fashion like never before.”
The new world at the Met was brought to life by the soon-to-open Costume Center and its inaugural exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion—a preview of which was given to guests after the first lady’s opening remarks. Wandering through the near empty (and Met Gala prepping) wings, the attendees made their way to the exhibition space. (Not without pausing to view the towering Charles James dress constructed entirely of roses in the lobby —“I have Michael Kors in my picture! Photo-bombing,” exclaimed Sarah Jessica Parker as she snapped away—and getting a bit lost along the way. “This is a sitcom. And a divine one at that,” narrated Kors.)
The exhibition, in contrast to those of recent seasons’ past, is decidedly pared down. The emphasis is clear: The viewer is here is to see the dresses—James’ elaborately constructed ivory silk satin ball gowns, famous (or perhaps infamous?) little wrap “Taxi” dresses, and the voluminous “Tree” dress created for socialite Marietta Tree being just a few. Rotating X-rays, developed by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, allow the viewer to thoroughly examine the inner workings of many of James’ painstakingly created works. Original sketches and (some rather punchy) writings add further reference. “James was someone who engineered the hidden physics of a dress even though he is remembered for the loud surfaces of his designs,” explained head curator Harold Koda. “He is an artist who just happened to work in fashion. We believe that the public will leave this exhibition with an understanding of his great innovations.”
This exhibition and space will see “hundreds of thousands of visitors, many of them students,” said Obama. “That’s really who I think about. Fashion isn’t an exclusive club for the few who can attend a runway show or shop at certain stores. This center is for anyone who is curious about fashion and how it impacts our culture and our history.”
The Anna Wintour Costume Center and Charles James: Beyond Fashion will open May 8.