17 posts tagged "Natalie Massenet"
Considering that, in the past few seasons, such brands as Pierre Balmain, See by Chloé, ICB, and Peter Som have all experimented with showing online rather than on the catwalk, Diane von Furstenberg’s recent hypothesis that physical fashion shows may be made “extinct by digital substitutes within the next few years,” doesn’t seem too far outside the realm of possibility. This London fashion week, Clements Ribeiro—the Natalie Massenet-mentored ready-to-wear brand designed by Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro—will be joining the crop of labels that are debuting their collections via the Internet.
On Saturday at 2 p.m. GST, Clements Ribeiro’s Spring ’14 range goes up digitally, coinciding with the launch of its new Web site, which comes with bells and whistles that cater to industry insiders and fashion fans alike. The buyers can fill their orders (the financing of which will be neatly handled by clever software), the press can view lookbooks, and fiercely loyal customers can buy online.
“It is unquestionable that fashion shows are a powerful tool for many brands—but there are just too many shows,” offered Ribeiro. “We found there is a better way to serve the entire chain. Yes, for sure, there is less adrenaline than a live runway show, but also less pressure. And from experience, this is how our clients want it—steady as she goes.” The Clements Ribeiro model is one of the first case studies for the British Fashion Council’s new digital department, and will also include a social media element. The designers will be available for a live Q&A via Twitter during the presentation, using the hashtag #CRSS14LIVE, and will be chilling in a Google hangout. For the brand, going online was a logical next move, since 60 percent of its sales were from the Internet anyway.
The label’s latest offering, an exclusive preview of which debuts here, is inspired by Ribeiro’s native Brazil. Spring ’14 is all about monochrome meeting pattern—the Girl from Ipanema turned bookish. The models featured in the designers’ Spring lookbook are pictured leaping barefoot, which, to Ribeiro, is a perfect representation of the brand. “I feel that we too are jumping—in leaps and bounds—to our next steps.”
At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana held a press conference at which attendance had been all but mandated weeks in advance. The early, un-Italian hour was no doubt meant to indicate the seriousness of the occasion, as was a lineup of speakers that included Patrizio Bertelli, Diego Della Valle, and Gildo Zegna, all of whom have joined the organization’s new board. Essentially, these captains of one of Italy’s most important and cherished industries have banded together to reinvigorate Milan’s increasingly hidebound fashion weeks. “I’ve heard the word boring,” Zegna acknowledged, though he insisted that wasn’t the case. The speeches were heavy on sweeping statements and light on concrete details, which provoked the assembly of sleep-deprived journalists into a volley of probing questions. Bertelli had earlier compared his fellow board members to “senators of fashion,” and he might have been thinking, Et tu, Suzy? as the International New York Times‘ Suzy Menkes led a round of interrogation into everything from Milan’s inhospitality to young designers to its perceived shortcomings on the digital front. Bertelli is no pushover, and he gave as good as he got. When a French journalist asked why we were only hearing from old men (Angela Missoni was a mostly silent presence on the board today), the Prada CEO told him he’d be a dangerous old man himself if he didn’t change his attitude, and then unexpectedly pointed out that Italy was the first country to abolish slavery, in the 1300s. By the end, one attendee was muttering, “Business as usual,” but if the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, then today’s announcement should be welcomed as a positive development. Certainly there is enough firepower and entrepreneurial know-how on this new board to solve world peace, let alone bring new energy to a fashion week. Zegna stressed that the process would be a dialogue and said suggestions would be encouraged. In that spirit, here are seven modest proposals for improving Milan fashion week.
1. Lure young, international designers to Milan.
Menkes wondered how Milan would be replacing Burberry and Alexander McQueen, two brands that have recently decamped back to their native London. But the city’s relatively uncrowded schedule could be one of its biggest assets. Given how ridiculously packed the New York and, increasingly, London and Paris schedules have become, you would think any number of hot young brands could be persuaded to believe that they’d have a better chance of standing out in Milan. If access to Italy’s unparalleled production expertise were thrown in as part of the deal, who could resist?
2. Take the show on the road.
The British Fashion Council and, to some extent, the U.S.-based CFDA have done a good job of promoting their designers abroad. As part of the London Showrooms events, a dozen young U.K. talents have even careened around Hong Kong together on a bus. While there are barely enough young Milan-based designers to fill a Smart car let alone a minibus, and its more established designers are already well known internationally, it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with the right kind of touring exhibition. Picture a mix of up-and-comers such as Umit Benan, Andrea Pompilio, and Fausto Puglisi; some cult brands like MP Massimo Piombo and Aspesi; and a couple of designer offshoots like Versace’s Versus line and Lapo Elkann’s highly covetable new made-to-measure collaboration with Gucci—all introduced by a charming, high-profile figure (yes, we’re talking to you, Lapo). That would go some way to showing the rest of the world the extent of Italy’s ambitions. Continue Reading “Seven Suggestions For Improving Milan Fashion Week” »
After parting ways with Emanuel Ungaro back in 2009, Esteban Cortázar revived his namesake line with the help of Net-a-Porter‘s Natalie Massenet and co. They gave him the opportunity to create an exclusive capsule that launched last September, and now they’ve invited him back for a second season. At a preview of the sophomore range, which will be available beginning July 3, the Colombian-born designer explained, “I’m putting all of myself and my past experiences into this new journey, and [Net-a-Porter has] given me all the freedom and confidence to experiment.” Cortázar created eighteen pieces (maxing out at $1,900) that explore the lines and the curves of the female form via body-con silhouettes and architectural cutouts. A stretchy double-faced cady sheath came with a capelet that bisected and highlighted the décolleté (Shala Monroque debuted the look at the Chloé party earlier this week), for example, while long-and-lean jumpsuits featured stingray details reportedly inspired by a migration of manta rays. There were several sportier pieces, like a deconstructed tunic that had a sweatshirt-like ease and a dramatic stone-colored gown with a stretchy, armor-esque bodice and a structured skirt that flowed into a cascading train. The jewelry here, which was done in collaboration with Alican Icoz, completed the total look. Gold contour collars that wrapped around the nape were reminiscent of stingray barbs, while knuckle rings and chokers could’ve passed for medical equipment.
The images from Cortázar’s second capsule for Net-a-Porter debut here on Style.com.
Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-Porter, and the new chairman of the British Fashion Council, was in a justifiably good mood after three days of men’s shows in London. We were talking about the factors that contributed to shows’ success, and one thing that was instantly obvious was how the established and the edge have come together under one umbrella: Savile Row and…well, whatever Aitor Throup is.
Throup’s presentation in a gallery in King’s Cross (above) was titled New Object Research, but the parentheses were more significant: (The full reveal of the first complete ready-to-wear collection). Twenty pieces arranged in four looks is scarcely complete in any traditional sense, but it was the culmination of six years of work, and six years of intense optimism on the part of industry insiders who’ve patiently clung to the conviction that Throup brings something unique to fashion. It was certainly on display here in the extraordinary construction of the clothes and the stark beauty of their presentation. Throup is a man obsessed. All he wants is a new way to do things, and once he has mastered that way, he would love it to become an industry standard. You haven’t appreciated a buttonhole until you’ve heard him detail the process with which he closes his garments. And to hear him talk about the perfect shoulder is surely a glimpse of what Cristobal Balenciaga’s acquaintances must have endured as Cris nattered on about sleeves.
But a similar fixation on detail has been the fundament of British menswear since Beau Brummell first went to his military tailor in 1790-something and said, “I want you to make me this.” Richard James’ presentation on Tuesday (left) made it quite clear that he is Throup’s diametric opposite, but maybe they’d recognize the subversion in each other. James is dressing men of power and industry (David Cameron, the prime minister, wore a James suit at his Downing Street reception for the men’s collections) but the press notes for his Fall presentation quoted lyrics from the Small Faces’ acid fantasy “Itchycoo Park.” Yes, the collection was inspired by London’s parks, but Itchycoo was a very special one. It’s always been part of James’ charm that he insinuates left-field references into his work. Here, there was tailoring in the blue of sky, the green of grass, the maroon of a Kray’s night out—not quite psychedelic, but bright nonetheless. And he had the best front row of the week: Magic Mike‘s Alex Pettyfer, The Hobbit‘s Martin Freeman, Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes, and everyone’s Tinie Tempah. Now there’s a dinner party. And that’s London now.