6 posts tagged "Michelle Harper"
There’s a trace of irony in the fact that at last night’s CFDA Awards—a ceremony honoring clothing and accessory design—the standout red-carpet wares were those that were barely there. Skin was in, in a very big way—namely via torso and dorsal cutouts (and in one precariously tall model’s case, a seriously plunging halter). Swarovski Award for Womenswear nominees Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs (of Cushnie et Ochs) led the bare-bodied pack, the former arriving in a vermillion gown with an abdominal diamond-shaped cutout, and the latter donning a dress with oblique accenting slashes across the front (naturally, both wore their own designs). “Michelle and I are big fans of the upper midriff, and always have been,” Cushnie told Style.com. “It tends to be an area that a lot of women can feel comfortable showing.” Their date, Karlie Kloss, left little to the imagination—her outfit careened from plexus to navel. All in all, the trio formed a sinewy vision of primary colors, smartly balancing peekaboo highlights with diving cuts.
And while the Cushnie et Ochs train didn’t stop there (Jenné Lombardo also appeared in a hip-bone-underscoring number from the pair’s Spring ’13 collection), a slew of ladies in other labels turned up with their dermises out. Linda Fargo gunned for a racy noir Michael Kors column cut with triangles across the bust and body. Erin Wasson wore a linear, sheer striped Spring ’13 Alexander Wang piece, and Jessica Hart carried a waist-flaunting Rachel Roy frock to fun and flirty effect. Michelle Harper simply chose to eschew midriff dressing entirely—the provocateur pulled off a vintage Yves Saint Laurent look comprising an ornate black skirt and what we can only describe as a glorified collar.
Yaz Kurhan, better known as her nom de jewelry Yazbukey, is not one to hide her light under a bushel. For her “Fabulous African Saga” accessories and new home decor, Kurhan took over Tigersushi in Paris’ Marais neighborhood for a collection launch party with her likeminded friends, including stylists Catherine Baba and Elisa Nalin (above left, with Kurhan), Purple‘s Caroline Gaimari, Lanvin’s Elie Top, Sarah Lerfel from Colette, and Michelle Harper, in town from New York for Couture week. Fancy friends, however, doesn’t make for a stuffy hostess: Kurhan comfortably installed herself on a throne made of plastic grocery-store crates (made for the occasion by Diplomates, the Paris art collective) and greeted her guests.
Kurhan chose Africa as the theme for her Fall collection, based on childhood memories growing up in Saudi Arabia. “My dad was part of the Turkish embassy there and he organized the Islamic conference for many years,” she said. “I remember playing with the children of all the African dignitaries at the conference, and although I’ve never visited Africa, I got a feeling for its diversity from that experience.” Kurhan, who divides her time between Paris and New York (where she dreams up accessories for Zac Posen’s Z Spoke line), continues to work in Plexiglas, creating flattened versions of everyday Africana, including flora, fauna, and everything in between. Case in point: There are tiger’s paw necklaces with scratch-mark traces, snake sunglasses, and banana hair pins—as well as a ghetto blaster bag. And for the first time, plastic wall decals join the wearable offerings, including a portrait of Naomi Campbell and a lion’s head.
The weekend before the kickoff of New York fashion week, up-and-coming jewelry designer Bliss Lau threw a small dinner to toast her Fall ’11 collection of feudally inspired chain and leather body jewelry—or “sensual armor,” as she calls it. (She often takes design inspiration from the arms and armor wing of the Met.) “I like the idea of covering the body,” Lau says of her long, draped pieces. “It’s the suggestion of clothing.”
Sunday night, that suggestion was being made by a troupe of six ballerinas, each modeling a piece, who dipped before guests to a somber Philip Glass soundtrack. Lau’s fellow jewelry designer, Bijules’ Jules Kim—herself wearing a Bliss Lau “Kill Joy” vest—looked on approvingly. “Every season, designers want new ways to display their goods,” Kim said, “and it doesn’t necessarily have to be on models standing against a wall. Dancers are emotive.”
The emotions they stirred were a bit different from those felt at sports bars all over town, as the Packers bested the Steelers, but Lau’s guests didn’t seem to mind. “Thank God we live in New York,” opined Michelle Harper, in a Rudi Gernreich top and vintage white mink vest. “You can Super Bowl Sunday all you want and eat like a million chicken wings—or you can have oysters with caviar and ballerinas prancing about you.”