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August 22 2014

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56 posts tagged "Nicola Formichetti"

With Strip Shows and Shibari, Diesel’s Nicola Formichetti and Brooke Candy Take Tokyo

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Brooke Candy

Does Nicola Formichetti ever miss Mugler? “No, I don’t,” he said from the back of a chauffeured car in his native Tokyo last week. And why would he? In his new job as Diesel’s artistic director, Formichetti is not only allowed, but encouraged, to let his signature freak flag fly. “Before Diesel, people used to tell me to turn down the volume,” he recalled. “But [Diesel founder] Renzo [Rosso] always tells me to go crazier. No one’s ever said that to me before.”

Formichetti has scores of potentially crazy upcoming projects for the brand, like capsule denim and leather collections and his very first Diesel runway show, which will be held in a yet-to-be-determined city this March. But his latest efforts—a Japanese Shibari rope bondage-inspired accessories collection and a burlesque-style ad campaign staring rebel rapper Brooke Candy and model Tessa Kuragi—are easily his craziest to date. Featuring Kuragi and Candy, a former stripper, flexing round a silver pole while showing off Diesel’s Spring ’14 wares, the Inez & Vinoodh-lensed images and corresponding film are bound to raise some eyebrows. But on Friday night, Formichetti firmly asserted his role as fashion’s primo provocateur with an X-rated launch party at Tokyo’s Tabloid. Upon entering, guests were ushered through a bona fide sex shop stocked with handcuffs, pearl-studded ball gags, fringed whips, and various other erotic toys. Beyond the accessories installation, which included Diesel’s leather-cage booties, harness-embellished bags, bullet-studded totes, and metallic brogues, were rooms peppered with exotic dancers in black lace lingerie. Meanwhile, in a red-lit space downstairs, nearly nude experts demonstrated the aforementioned art of Shibari to the sound of a harpsichord. Their colleagues, dressed in bottom-baring gowns, lace-up boots, or hot pants, watched on their hands and knees from locked cages.

It was a night that we won’t soon be able to forget, but considering the controversial reputation that Candy has built since commencing her career two years ago, the explicit event felt apropos.

Brooke Candy and Tessa Kuragi

I first met Diesel’s new face at dinner on Thursday night. She descended the stairs of the Park Hyatt’s Kozue restaurant about an hour late, wearing a neon fuchsia wig, the label’s Spring stilettos, black arm-length gloves, and pair of latex thigh-high stockings. All this was topped with a poufy hot pink frock, which would have been positively princesslike were it not completely sheer. Accompanied by her best friend and personal designer, Seth Pratt (having also worked with Azealia Banks, he’s created Candy’s outré ensembles from the beginning), the 24-year-old musician had just flown in from L.A., where she was shooting her new Diesel-funded music video. “It’s a period piece that taps into politics, religion, and female oppression,” said Candy the following day, explaining that the narrative film follows a gang of sister wives who shed their clothes, rise up against their husband, and fight for freedom. “I’m a feminist,” she added. “Any woman who says she’s not doesn’t know what’s happening.”

With a look akin to a post-apocalyptic sex robot (not to mention song lyrics like “I wanna fuck right now”), Candy isn’t your average feminist. But her fearless aesthetic, and often shocking sexual expression, are at the center of her quest for girl power. “You have to have a message when you’re doing it,” she said, referring to her penchant for nudity. “I have an agenda. I’m queer, I’m a feminist, and I’ve said that from the beginning. But once you’re a product of the [music] industry, and you’re getting naked for no reason, then you become an object.”

“She’s speaking the language of now,” said Formichetti, who discovered Candy while watching her dance in Grimes’ Genesis video. “She looks like a creature from another planet, which is kind of my thing, and I love the fact that she raps and dances like a pole dancer—she’s fresh, she’s very smart, and she knows what she’s doing.”

Flanked by two acrobatic strippers, Candy took the stage two hours into Diesel’s raucous fete. She donned little more than a black leather harness and heels (which she kicked off halfway through the set), and screamed obscenities at the audience while flipping her pastel dreads. No doubt, she’s her own woman, and proud of it. Continue Reading “With Strip Shows and Shibari, Diesel’s Nicola Formichetti and Brooke Candy Take Tokyo” »

Diesel Wants Candy

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Diesel Campaign

If you didn’t catch her flipping her pink cornrows in Grimes’ Genesis music video, perhaps you’ve heard her single, I Wanna Fuck Right Now, or seen her posing in gilded chains and breast-baring tees. Move over, Miley—rapper Brooke Candy is the latest controversial femme to hit the music scene, and Diesel’s artistic director and resident rebel, Nicola Formichetti, has tapped her to star in the brand’s sexed-up Spring ’14 accessories campaign. “As a rapper, performer, muse, and stripper, Brooke Candy is an artist who has unique access to every social level,” said Formichetti. “She traverses class systems and defies racial and sexual stereotypes.”

Candy, who features alongside brooding beauty Tessa Kuragi in the Inez & Vinoodh-lensed images, strikes a racy pose while clutching Diesel’s studded black leather tote. Meanwhile, Kuragi arches against a stripper pole, showing off a pair of leather booties and a harness-embellished bag.

“Sexiness is one of Diesel’s most iconic attributes,” said Formichetti of Spring’s severe, heady look. “There’s something industrial about Diesel that is also very erotic, so it makes sense to push eroticism aggressively. It’s leather, so it’s tactile, sensual, and strong. It’s physical and also an attitude.”

The range’s wares (which will hit stores in November) were inspired in part by Shibari—a form a Japanese rope bondage. With that in mind, it’s only sensible that Diesel would plan an all out bash (complete with a performance by Candy) in Formichetti’s native Tokyo to celebrate the launch. Check back next week for a rundown of Friday’s party. In the meantime, take a peek at the new accessories ads, which make their debut exclusively above.

Photo: Inez & Vinoodh, Courtesy of Diesel

Margiela Teams Up With an All-American All-Star

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Nicola Formichetti

It takes a lot for anything to stand out in fashion week’s frenzy of parties and press releases. But a collaboration between Converse and Maison Martin Margiela does just that. The classic All-Star and Jack Purcell kicks have been generously coated in Margiela’s iconic white paint. With time, the paint wears away to expose the color beneath.

Last night, despite the general sense of fatigue permeating every single human interaction, a crowd turned out to fete the marriage of the all-American and the French avant-garde at the Swiss Institute. Guests snacked on Brooklyn’s Dough doughnuts and spring rolls—served in appropriately irreverent Chinese takeout containers—and danced to the deejay beats of Glenn O’Brien. The downtown paragon clued us in on his playlist: Jean-Michel Basquiat with Rammellzee, Spoonie Gee, and Naughty By Nature’s “O.P.P.”—a crowd favorite.

Across the space, Nicola Formichetti marveled at one of the many pieces of installation art: Converse All-Stars floating in a canal of white paint, laces frozen midair. “I was like, How did they do that?, so I touched it…I thought they chopped the shoes [off]. You don’t get surprised so often. We see so much stuff online and at shows and events, and I really get like—whoa!—but they’ve still got it, the house of Margiela and Converse. They’ve still got it.”

Photos: Neil Rasmus/BFANYC.com
Photos: Neil Rasmus/BFANYC.com

Diesel Takes It to the Streets—Cyber-Style

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Diesel's new campaignDiesel's new campaign

When Nicola Formichetti stepped into his role as Diesel’s artistic director back in April, he told us that he’d be making some big digital moves. “I want to crowdsource using social media and start getting the armies together, because I can’t do this alone,” he explained, citing Reboot, Diesel’s ongoing Tumblr project, as the first step. Today we learned that the social media maven turned to the micro-blogging site to cast his first ad campaign for Diesel. “I wanted to find people who reflected the diversity of the creative community today and not just the typical model,” Formichetti told WWD. The denim label’s artistic director chose twenty creatives—from graffiti artists to teenage film students—to star in the Inez & Vinoodh-lensed fall adverts. There were, however, a few familiar faces, among them game changer Casey Legler, the first female model to be signed to a men’s division.

Photos: Inez & Vinoodh

At Gary Card’s Amusement Park, More Freaks, More Fun!

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Gary Card's new solo show

Gary Card is a master at making other people’s visions a reality. He’s become the go-to set designer/prop maker/illustrator/artist for the likes of Lady Gaga, Nicola Formichetti, and Nick Knight, and has worked with such top-tier publications as AnOther Magazine, Dazed & Confused, i-D, and T magazine. (Perhaps you saw the flaming, ten-foot-tall, wicker T he built for the latter back in 2009?) But last night in London, Card took a little “me” time and opened his first solo show, Abandoned Amusement Park, at Dalston’s Eternal Youth gallery. “I am used to building things based on the tastes of other people, and it was quite nice to do something for me for a change,” offered the artist.

The exhibition features strange cartoonish figures created with wire and tape, then papier-mâchéd into ghostlike figures. They each have bulbous noses and a look of horror on their faces. “The idea of something like an old relic being rediscovered fascinated me,” explained Card. “This is meant to represent something that has been left to rot, melt, and die, and the tragedy of that is shown in their faces. Yes, it’s cartoonish, and there are definitely sinister undertones, but that is perhaps the way life should be seen.”

The opening was a significant milestone for Card, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Next on the docket are a project with Roksanda Ilincic; a film with Chris Sutton, for SHOWstudio; and a trip to New York to work with Spring Studios. “It is looking to be a very exciting fall,” he said.