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August 30 2014

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15 posts tagged "Ming Xi"

Alexander Wang Takes Balenciaga to Beijing

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Balenciaga

Cristóbal Balenciaga reputedly made only three journeys afield in his lifetime and certainly never traveled anywhere as far-flung as Asia. However, forty-odd years after his passing, the house of Balenciaga, with Alexander Wang at the helm, staged its own intrepid China expedition, bringing forty-eight archive pieces to Beijing.

Handpicked by Wang, the selection from Cristóbal Balenciaga’s Parisian years (1937 to 1968) highlighted the key pieces in his oeuvre. “I think it would be doing an injustice for everybody not to see it,” Wang explained. Enshrined at the center of the exhibition, therefore, was the famous Infanta dress (1949), which shows the unremitting influence of Balenciaga’s Spanish heritage on his work; the Babydoll dress of 1958; and the famed wedding dress from his last collection presented in 1967.

Though he epitomized that old world of couture, Balenciaga was the greatest pioneer of them all. Blockbuster pieces aside, the Fishnet dress (1964), an overlay of net upon a black sheath inspired by the fishermen in his hometown of Getaria, and a reversible fur-lined silk-nylon coat (1959) were just a few examples of the utterly modern. A little-known fact about the famously reticent designer was his penchant for filming his presentations in the last decade of his career, and the videos provided illuminating glimpses of “the master of us all” at work. A suit worn by Marlene Dietrich in the 1950s and the Sari dress, a design owned by Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, and Dodie Rosekrans, also served as a reminder of his legendary clientele.

The venue, the China Academy of Oil Painting, was chosen for the church-like structure in its midst (actually the school’s lecture hall), where Balenciaga’s SS’14 collection was presented. “We could have easily shown the Fall collection,” Wang explained before the show, “but I wanted something that would penetrate immediately.” Along with the existing outfits, therefore, the models (Shu Pei, Ming Xi, Xiao Wen Ju, Hanne Gaby Odiele, et al.) sported fifteen new looks from a capsule collection released exclusively in Balenciaga’s China stores immediately following the show.

Click for a slideshow of Balenciaga’s extensive Beijing exhibition.

Photo: Courtesy Photos

Charles James Then and Now: An Artistic Interpretation

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Modern Day Charles James
Eight models wearing Charles James gowns, in French & Company's eighteenth century French paneled room

Not everyone at last night’s Met Gala knew the story of Charles James—not by a long shot. “He’s a new person for me,” admitted Hailee Steinfeld, who was utterly adorable in Prabal Gurung. “He’s someone I don’t know. I’m 25!” laughed a Michael Kors-clad Ming Xi when quizzed on the couturier. The evening’s DJ, Diplo, referred to Charles James: Beyond Fashion as “Fashion and the Thingamajig.” And when we asked Katie Couric about James, she jokingly replied, “I think he’s from the forties, isn’t he? Don’t ask me any more hard questions!” However, while not everyone was familiar with the details of James’ career, most everyone had seen the iconic 1948 Cecil Beaton photo, which features eight women in pastel James gowns. Or, as Hedwig and the Angry Inch‘s Lena Hall called it, “that Cecile photograph.” She made up for the slip with her charm, and by looking divine in a Jamesian Zac Posen number. “I’ve seen that photograph a lot. In fact, I think my mother has it on her wall. So when I saw that, I was like, ‘Oh, I guess I know more about him than I thought.’”

Gala chair Aerin Lauder had an even more personal story about the famed snap. “I own the Cecil Beaton photograph, but I didn’t know much about [James] before working on the event for a year.” It would seem many a starlet and socialite looked to said image for sartorial inspiration—so much so that we were able to re-create the photograph with some of the ladies from yesterday evening’s red carpet. Here, for your viewing pleasure, we give you a modern-day mockup of Beaton’s photo, starring TV chef and girlfriend to Governor Andrew Cuomo Sandra Lee’s gargantuan dress (a questionable blend of a James ball gown and his Butterfly design), Hall, Amy Adams, Katie Holmes, Liu Wen, Sarah Silverman, and more. You’re welcome.

Photos: Getty Images; Cecil Beaton, courtesy of the Met

Chanel Is a Fashion Machine. Literally.

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In addition to Lindsey Wixson, Jamie Bochert, Ming Xi, Soo Joo Park, and Nadja Bender, the star of Chanel’s Lagerfeld-lensed Pre-Spring ’14 video is a literal Chanel fashion machine, which gobbles up said models, and then releases them dripping in tweed and pearls. Could this magical mechanical contraption be a metaphor for the house’s designer-cum-filmmaker? Lagerfeld’s ability to churn out one lust-worthy collection after another is superhuman, at the very least. What would Freud have to say about this? Have a gander at Chanel’s new short, above.

An Early Glimpse at Tonight’s Secret Victoria’s Secret Model Lineup

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Victoria's Secret rehersal

Walking the annual Victoria’s Secret extravaganza is a milestone in any model’s career. After all, it’s as much about lighting up the stage with your personality (not to mention dance moves—who could forget Jourdan Dunn doing the robot last year?) as it is about having a killer body, and being able to smile while strutting with a pair of thirty-pound wings on your back. While there’s no way to confirm exactly who will be appearing on the VS catwalk this evening alongside Taylor Swift, we’ve come up with an educated guess based on social media clues gathered over the past week, as well as shots from yesterday’s rehearsal (like the one above, featuring Sara Sampaio, Martha Hunt, Jasmine Tookes, and Leva Laguna working the runway).

Victoria's secret

Of course there are bound to be appearances by veteran Angels such as Adriana Lima (it will be her fourteenth time participating in the show), Candice Swanepoel, Alessandra Ambrosio, Behati Prinsloo, Doutzen Kroes, Lily Aldridge, Karlie Kloss, and Cara Delevingne. [Regrettably, Miranda Kerr announced she will be ending her contract with the lingerie megalith to pursue other projects.] Those aforementioned supers are all but givens at this point, and so it’s the remaining twenty-plus coveted slots—selected by casting director John Pfeiffer—that really get us excited. Style.com has learned that several high fashion runway regulars will be making their VS debuts tonight: Sigrid Agren and Josephine Skriver (both posted snapshots of themselves sporting the official Angels bomber jacket on Instagram), as well as Ming Xi, Maria Borges, Kasia Struss, and Jac. We were even more thrilled to hear that some our top Spring ’14 newcomers including Malaika Firth, Devon Windsor, Cindy Bruno, and Sara Sampaio also beat out dozens of more established girls to earn their first pair of wings.

Photos: Courtesy of Victoria’s Secret; Instagram

Nicopanda Parties at The Standard

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Nicola Formichetti

As if Nicola Formichetti didn’t have enough on his plate, what with reimagining the face of Diesel and throwing parties in Tokyo and all, he has now added another title to his long list of professional expertise: jewelry designer. Last night, high atop The Standard Hotel in New York, the likes of Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Ming Xi, and Lindsey Wixson joined Formichetti to celebrate the Stateside launch of his latest project—a capsule collection for French (but Korean owned) jewelry house Didier Dubot. Naturally, the collaborative range features none other than his signature Nicopanda cartoon character.

“It’s a new company that they’re reinventing,” Formichetti told us of Didier Dubot. “So it’s totally fresh.” The team invited him to Korea this summer to debut the line, which was well received by the K-pop crowd. “I love working with Asians,” he remarked of his Eastern home (he was born in Japan). “Asia feels so natural. I feel no fear when I’m there.”

To help introduce the lineup, Nicola chose French starlet Léa Seydoux to star in the campaign. “We wanted someone with international appeal who wasn’t too commercial,” he explained. “Lea is such a cool actress with her own personal style…we didn’t have to do too much.”

Next on Formichetti’s docket? He hopes to continue onward with Didier Dubot, looks forward to shooting his next Diesel campaign, and aims to launch a Nicopanda emporium sometime next year. “Watch out, Hello Kitty!” he exclaimed. However, before heading home, he had a confession to make. “I have to admit,” he said, rather embarrassed, “pandas aren’t my favorite animals. Dogs are. I have to go see my two Pomeranians, Tank and Bambi. They are my love.

Photo: Courtesy Photo