August 31 2014

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5 posts tagged "New Yorker"

Riding Dirty


Louise du Toit wearing a shirt from Acne's capsule collectionAcne Studios has rarely met an out-of-the-box idea it hasn’t liked. So though for most labels, publishing its own limited-edition collection of rodeo-rider portraits from a mid-century physique photographer wouldn’t be the first order of business, here it is. And so last night, with its usual clutch of models in tow—Hanne Gaby Odiele, Jacquelyn Jablonski, Ji Hye Park, et al.—Acne launched Rodeo, a hardbound book of photos from the collection of New Yorker critic Vince Aletti. Must be something in the air lately. As Hedi Slimane’s latest editorial suggested: Cowboys—they’re a thing.


Bruce of Los Angeles, little-known except among physique-photo aficionados, has nevertheless been influential among later photographers. Aletti traced elements of his style in the work of Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, and Bruce Weber. (The similarities were in some cases so striking, you could probably have bylined the book Bruce of Los Weber.) “It’s clear that he’s looked at it and had some appreciation of this period of work,” Aletti said between tête-à-têtes with Fran Lebowitz last night. “And I’d imagine he knows [of] some other photographer named Bruce.”


Unlike much of the photographer’s oeuvre, these rodeo shots are naturalistic, of real guys (rather than models) in their own clothes (rather than nude). Of course, exceptions apply. In any case, Acne took the opportunity to create a little capsule collection of clothes around them, too, for those who prefer to wear, rather than page through, their vintage beefcake. There are T-shirts, glammy cowboy boots stitched with appliqués of cowboys, and the traffic-stopping shirt modeled last night by the label’s Louise du Toit, available at Acne shops now.

Photo: Courtesy of Acne

Milestones In “Brooklyn Style,” Part MMDCLIX


Eustace Tilley, the New Yorker‘s monocled avatar, has traded in his dandy finery for beanie, beard, and visit to Smorgasburg. (Also of note: He and Kate Moss appear to have the same anchor tattoo.) “Brooklyn’s Eustace” is the cover star of this week’s anniversary edition of the magazine, the submission of artist Simon Greiner. Cries of Brooklyn jumping the shark to begin (again) in 3, 2, 1…

Suzy Q’s? We’ve got A’s


Front-row fashion-watchers tend to be in one season, out the next, but one woman is a fixture: Suzy Menkes. Anyone who’s been to a show has likely seen the International Herald Tribune‘s critic, her bangs flipped into that signature top-roll, typing away on her mini computer (long before any blogger picked up on the trend, it should be noted). She’s written over 1.7 million words for the Trib, where she’s served as fashion editor since 1988. She’s both a tough critic and a nurturing presence—or, to put it more bluntly, as Kate Moss did when speaking to the New Yorker, she’s “like a slightly mad auntie.” During the upcoming menswear shows at Pitti Uomo, Menkes will be awarded the Fiorino d’Oro, an honor given by the Municipality of Florence to individuals who have greatly contributed to social and cultural development. For anyone in need of a primer on Menkesism, a few key moments in her rise and illustrious career:

—Menkes attended her fist couture show—Nina Ricci—while living in Paris and studying dressmaking during her gap year between high school and university.

—While at university, Menkes would sneak into the Paris show venues at 5 a.m. and hide under the stage until she could creep out and watch the collections walk down the runway.

—In 1991, during a Michael Kors show in an apparently derelict loft, a piece of the ceiling fell on Ms. Menkes’ head. The mishap caused her to deem New York fashion week “second rate.” But there was a silver lining—the incident caused New York’s designers to show their future collections in a single, less dilapidated, location—Bryant Park.

—In the nineties, Menkes prompted what was, perhaps, one of fashion journalism’s earliest open letters when she declared that the classic quilted Chanel bag was “over.” The house took out a full-page ad in the Tribune in protest.

—In 2007, perturbed by Marc Jacobs’ infamously tardy Spring 2008 show (it began two hours late), and unimpressed with his collection, Menkes wrote a review titled “Marc Jacobs Disappoints With a Freak Show.” Naturally, a fashion feud ensued. Jacobs eventually attempted to make amends by leaving a Marc Jacobs T-shirt on Menkes’ seat at that season’s Vuitton show. The shirt featured a drawing of the designer and critic side by side, as well as a “love note.” The note she may have appreciated; the gift, maybe not. She famously refuses all gifts, saying, “I was brought up to believe a girl should never accept anything but flowers and chocolates.”

—In 2012, Menkes reached her latest pinnacle: animation. Disney artists created a cartoon Suzy to sit front-row for the festivities surrounding the Barneys New York and Disney holiday windows.

Photo:Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

The New Yorker Showcases Street Photography’s Greats


Though we’re avowed fans of street style at this Web site, we’re willing to concede that there can be more to street photography than documenting what Anna Dello Russo wore today. To coincide with an exhibition of the legendary Alfred Stieglitz’s work this past fall, the Seaport Museum commissioned photographer and filmmaker Cheryl Dunn to create a documentary, Everybody Street, about Stieglitz’s heirs, the many twentieth-century photographers who have used the city’s vibrant streets in their work. This week, The New Yorker is airing clips from the doc on its Photo Booth blog, featuring short interviews with Mary Ellen Mark, Bruce Gilden, and Joel Meyerowitz, all incisive observers of human behavior in public spaces. “The hardest photography to do is street photography,” Mark says in the clip below. Stieglitz, for one, would have agreed. “My picture ‘Fifth Avenue, Winter’ is the result of a three hours’ stand during a fierce snow-storm on February 22nd, 1893, awaiting the proper moment,” he wrote in 1897. Hey, at least he didn’t have to contend with the swarms of snaparazzi who surround ADR.

Concerning The It Bag


This week’s New Yorker takes an in-depth look at one of fashion’s most intriguing (not to mention most tight-lipped) personalities: Tomas Maier, the German-born creative director of Bottega Veneta, who’s credited with bringing the label back from the brink of bankruptcy. How’d he do it? By embracing discretion and insider-style luxury when the world was still at the height of logomania-and its most visible avatar, the It Bag.

“There was a stage when, however unappealing something was, if it had enough logos written all over it, somebody seemed to buy it,” Suzy Menkes tells the magazine, calling the period “a worldwide aberration.” Maier is on the record as anti-It Bag, too: It is “totally marketed bullshit crap,” he says. His rejoinder to it: the woven, unfeminine Cabat bag, left, which is painstaking to craft (only one person can work on any single bag, because no two people pull the leather to the same tension). But of course, the Cabats are notoriously expensive-up to almost $80,000 for a special-order croc model and produced in limited quantities, so there’s frequently a wait list for one. Tom Ford-who hired Maier for the Bottega position when he ran Bottega’s corporate parent, Gucci Group-sums up the paradox in what could pass for a fashion-world Zen koan: “By not doing the It Bag, you do the It Bag,” he says.

John Colapinto’s full article is available to subscribers on

Photo: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta