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September 1 2014

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144 posts tagged "Opening Ceremony"

EXCLUSIVE: Scott Sternberg Spills About Canceling His Spring ’15 Show

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ScottIt’s no secret that fashion week is jam-packed, and the conundrum of New York’s hectic, often overlapping schedule has been at the center of industry conversations. Brands have begun to switch it up—Oscar de la Renta last season cut his invite list in half; Rag & Bone hosted a photography presentation in lieu of a runway event to debut its Spring ’15 menswear range; Gareth Pugh is this season “disrupting” New York fashion week with a secret extravaganza; and Opening Ceremony is putting on a play instead of sending models down the runway. Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg is the latest designer to take the road less traveled, this morning announcing that he won’t be showing at all. Instead, he’ll be focusing his attentions on the September 7 launch of his first New York flagship. “I mean, literally, I thought nobody would notice,” laughed Sternberg over the phone from L.A. “I just figured we’d fly under the radar and focus on the store this season,” he added. Naturally, however, his choice to forgo a runway romp instantly made headlines, in part due to comments the designer made last season condemning the “dog-and-pony show” that fashion week has become. Here, Sternberg speaks exclusively with Style.com about why he’s skipping the catwalk; his new store and collection; and why, in reality, he doesn’t mind the “dog-and-pony show” so much after all.

So why did you decide to skip the show this season?

You know, to us here in L.A. who are sort of living in our own bubble, it was so obvious. We’ve been thinking about it for a while. Somehow it became a news item. Fashion week is a platform to put ideas out there and be part of the fashion dialogue. But it’s also a really, really dense platform now. If you look at that calendar, there are a million shows a minute. What are we ultimately trying to do when we step back and think about it? We’re trying to convey a message about the brand and where the brand’s at. Normally, that’s through a collection, but it felt like this season, even just from a clarity-communication perspective, we wanted the message to be about the store. I didn’t think it was a big deal to not have a presentation. Once we started talking about it with our PR and other people in New York, they were like, “Really? Huh. OK. Maybe we should rethink this.” But ultimately, the collection’s really strong. It stands on its own, even on a rack. We’re opening a showroom behind the store, and when we have the opening event a week from Saturday, the showroom will be open as well and the collection will be in there.

So editors will still be able to go into the showroom and touch, feel, and experience the clothes?

Oh, yeah. The collection has a rich narrative behind it just like anything else we do. The beauty of me not sitting in castings and fittings and going through this laborious process of putting on a show is that I can really focus on the store and focus on the business aspects. I’m both the creative and the business leader of the company, so there’s a lot to do there. Beyond that, I’ll actually be able to take a lot of press appointments and do what we do with the pre-collections, which is talk people through the pieces.

Do you find that one-on-one experience with editors and buyers more beneficial than a show?

Yeah. For me, I think it’s more about you guys. It’s about an editor or a reviewer or a stylist. And you know, there’s always an opportunity to tell the story in a different way. I think if I just sat in a showroom season after season, holding items up and having a model walk in a look or two, that wouldn’t be so compelling. But if you look at the totality of how many collections we’ll be putting together and how many we’ve shown over the years, it seems this is a valid way to do it one season. Then, another season, we can have a rock-ish runway show and another season it can be a straightforward presentation. With menswear, we’ve tried to redefine what a fashion show is and engage editors and consumers directly during fashion week in a way that’s not so reliant on the typical format of a presentation or a runway show. I think [all these methods] are effective, and I think it’s really the totality of the message over time and the story of the brand and how all those pieces sort of play together.

Do you think that you’ll show next season, or will you try to do something a little bit different?

We’ve done shows for men where I put a model in a gallery window in Paris for three days and filmed him changing into 32 looks. We had a scavenger hunt one season. I’m a Hollywood guy, so I’ve always felt that a show, no matter if it’s a static presentation or something else, it’s gotta be a show! And listen, you don’t want to make it difficult for everybody. There are a lot of people showing, there’s a lot of great stuff out there—you guys are all busy. Ultimately, it should be convenient, for lack of a better term. Easy, but certainly not always reliant on the same format. Who knows what we’ll do next season. I’m sure it’ll be much more straightforward.

Last season, in an interview with Apartamento, you spoke about the “dog-and-pony show” that fashion week has become. Do you have any thoughts on what we can do to make fashion week more user-friendly and less manic?

Oh, the Apartamento me-in-a-bad-mood-giving-an-interview piece. Yes. Note to self: Don’t take interviews when you haven’t slept the night before. That all came across a little harsh. I actually think the dog-and-pony show at its best is pretty great! I mean, what a great opportunity to be wildly creative in front of all these wildly receptive, creative people in their own right! I do think it’s a bit of a grind season after season if you can’t open yourself up and have the confidence to say, “OK, I’m going to do it a little differently this time.”

When I look at a European show calendar, it definitely seems a little more sane and certainly less democratic, but probably more palatable for an editor. But look at how much fashion images have proliferated into mainstream culture. Social media is the platform—the content is so ripe, it’s so out there, and it’s great for all of us. It’s taken the exclusivity out of what this world used to be, and I think that’s for the betterment of the business. So it’s not such a bad thing, but it’s also tough when you see young designers getting trapped in the cycle and spending a lot of time and resources on a show and not backing up to think about the bigger picture.

Are you worried at all about the repercussions of not showing?

No. Listen, I’m going through the process with Elisa, our stylist. We’ll spend our Labor Day weekend creating the looks out of the products that we’ve been laboring over for months. We’re still doing the looks and we’re still shooting them. When we do the looks, we take them just as seriously—it’s the same conversation as if you’re having a runway show or a presentation or whatever it is. It’s sort of that final step before the campaign. Honestly, the images will still be on Style.com and on our social media. They’ll be as accessible as any show. People will come to the store. And in terms of the images you want out there in the world-world, the store’s the news.

You mentioned you have done some experimental presentations, and now we have Opening Ceremony doing a full-on play, Gareth Pugh coming to New York for a big production, etc. Do you think this is the new way to do things—these off-the-beaten-path presentations?

I hope so. The reality is this: Originally, the purpose of showing was for press and buyers. It was for the market. It wasn’t for the world. And now, inevitably, it’s for everyone. So I think a brand like Opening Ceremony or a brand like Band or somebody who’s not a serious European fashion house can really take this awesome platform—the world’s attention is on New York for a week—and try to do something different. But again, the flip side is there’s a wholesale business. You’re selling a collection and you’ve got to do that within a short period of time. How much time do editors have? If everybody went outside the box, nobody would be inside the box. It would be a very long fashion week with lots of commutes to, like, far out in Brooklyn.

Are there any hints you can give us about the store or the upcoming collection?

The collection is tight. The inspiration started with these graphics taken from Brazilian jazz records from the mid-’60s. They’re so rad. They’re a Tropicália-inspired world of graphics, and I took those and did a lot of research on Brazil and Tropicália in that time period. I looked at all these Louise Dahl-Wolfe photographs. It’s cool. And then the store’s just awesome. It’s like everything I want my store to be. Milk Bar is opening up in front, although that won’t be officially open for probably another week and a half, after the health department does all the things they need to do. But it’s crazy. It’s Band. You’ll see. We tried not to do any retail clichés. Not for the sake of just being different, but to try and have this clean slate in people’s heads about what a store could be. I think it should be cool.

Photo: Stefano Masse / Indigital Images

Humberto Leon Weighs In on Natasha Lyonne’s Custom OC Emmy Awards Dress

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NBC's "66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards" - ArrivalsRed dresses flooded the red carpet at the Emmy Awards on Monday night, but Natasha Lyonne’s ocean blue, mermaid-shaped number stood out. Lacy, long-sleeved, with a hint of ’80s prom, the dress looked stunning on the Orange Is the New Black bad girl and was one of our top picks of the night. The piece was custom-made by Opening Ceremony, so we asked cofounder and designer Humberto Leon to tell us a little about it.

How did you decide on the silhouette of the dress?Natasha originally fell in love with a dress from Opening Ceremony’s Pre-Fall 2013 runway, and we worked with Karla Welch, her stylist, to adapt it for the Emmys.

Tell us about making the dress.
The process of designing the dress for Natasha was really organic and felt natural. We’ve been friends for a long time and were so excited to have her wear Opening Ceremony at the Emmys.

Anyone else you thought looked particularly great Monday night?
We loved Mindy Kaling in Kenzo, of course! Carrie Brownstein also looked amazing.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/NBC

Editor Obsessions: Wanda Nylon Sasha Parka

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wanda-parka-sizedEvery day, Style.com’s editors reveal their current obsessions—and where to buy them. Check out today’s pick, below.

Try as I might, I just can’t buy basics while knowing that items like the Wanda Nylon Sasha parka exist in the world. I don’t own a black sweater or a white T-shirt, but this magical, iridescent piece seems like a necessity. I’m not sure what was applied to the fabric to make it look like a space alien-slash-oil spill, but I know that I can’t stop staring at it. Especially with fall on the horizon, what could keep me better protected from a hurricane than this space-age rain gear? Also, this might be the kind of item that’s so crazy it actually goes with everything, redefining the closet staple one outrageous rainbow jacket at a time.

Wanda Nylon Sasha parka, $1,645, Buy it now

Photo: Courtesy of Opening Ceremony

Telfar Clemens Pops Up at Opening Ceremony and Hints at His Plans for NYFW

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telfarPeople poured into Opening Ceremony last night for a preview party to celebrate Telfar Clemens’ new pop-up in the store on Howard Street. The vodka flowed and a smiling life-sized sculpture of the designer sat in the window. “I want to be a new kind of American designer,” Clemens said over the noisy party din. If Clemens is consistently anything, it’s exactly that—new.

The OC pop-up from the ever-emerging designer includes soft, Snuggie-shaped tunics: “I’m all about using comfort fabrics and applying them to luxury clothes, which is a hard concept for anyone to get. They’re like, ‘But this is my bathrobe?’” It also includes leather bags emblazoned with the Telfar logo—in both full and miniature sizes—and T-shirts printed with images from the lookbook video that played overhead.

It was all very meta, and Clemens’ role shifted from the DJ throwing the party to the designer for whom the party was thrown throughout the night. “I’m about leveling the playing field between what’s fashion and what’s normal, what’s taste and what’s classic” he said. “I like mixing high-end and lowbrow and equalizing them. Not that one is good and one is bad. It just is what it is.”

Clemens is known for launching clothing collections alongside innovative, thought-provoking “projects.” Last season he created a crowdsourcing app in which the public was invited to submit looks for consideration on the runway. “The community styled my show,” he said. In February, he teamed up with Kmart for a collection presented at the New Museum.

So what’s the new, crazy concept for this Fall’s New York fashion week? “This season is all about owning my own concepts,” Clemons said. “We will be referencing ourselves in everything. Like when you see our belt loops or pockets, you know that is Telfar. We’re calling the theme ‘Patent Pending.’”

Photo: Rosalie Knox

Three’s a Trend: Tavi Gevinson, Anna Wintour, and Opening Ceremony All Make a Play for the Theater

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10356422_453478591456179_8704378194508384963_n.jpg  ANNA WINTOUR MUSICALTavi Gevinson swapped blogging for Broadway. Anna Wintour is in a new musical. (Well, to be exact, a Wintour impersonator is onstage singing about Kim K. and flats. The Vogue editor in chief, on the other hand, is sticking to her day job.) And now Opening Ceremony’s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are staging a play of their own.

If three’s a trend, then the theater is having a very stylish moment. We can only wonder who will be next to turn to thespian pursuits. Until then, we have the breakdown on the three fashionable fall shows, where to get tickets, and what you need to know about each of them.

Anna Wintour

Title: Ryan Raftery Is the Most Powerful Woman in Fashion

The CliffsNotes rundown: The musical about Anna Wintour, by Ryan Raftery, is centered around Vogue‘s Kim Kardashian and Kanye West cover. For the first time in her career, Wintour’s decision-making skills are questioned after the issue’s release. Of course, Raftery (who plays Wintour) took a lot of creative license with this one, basing most of the character around YouTube videos and The September Issue. This show is not sanctioned by Wintour.

Noteworthy: There is a rewrite of “Let It Go,” and Kim Kardashian is the main subject. “Let It Be” is now reportedly “Let Her Die,” nymag.com reports. There’s also a rewrite of the Chicago song “Class,” which is now called “Flats,” where Wintour and André Leon Talley are in fits about the world’s turn toward more casual dressing.

Where: Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, New York City.

When: It already showed once in July (Wintour did not attend, but her daughter, Bee Shaffer, did), and there will be another showing on Friday, September 5 at 11:30 p.m. (right after the Suno NYFW runway show) and Friday, September 12 at midnight.

Tickets: $20; click here

Tavi Gevinson

Title: This Is Our Youth

The CliffsNotes rundown: Directed by Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro, the Kenneth Lonergan comedy, starring blogger extraordinaire-turned-actress Tavi Gevinson, Kieran Culkin, and Michael Cera, “follows three wayward young people as they navigate 1982 New York, re-creating their broken homes in both their dysfunctional friendships and their bungled attempts at love.” In case you missed the memo, the Rookie online mag founder started acting and singing long before she started talking Comme and Kawakubo.

Noteworthy: Before coming to Broadway this fall, the play had a successful run in Chicago. Also, for those unfamiliar with Lonergan’s 1996 classic, it’s not the first time big-name actors like Cera have stepped into these roles. Back in the early 2000s, the play had a run at London’s Garrick Theatre, featuring Anna Paquin, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Hayden Christensen.

Where: Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th Street, New York City.

When: The show officially opens September 11, and tickets are on sale through January 4, 2015.

Tickets: $35 to $135; tickets are available online or by phone at (212) 239-6200.

Opening Ceremony

Title: (The project has not been officially titled yet)

The CliffsNotes rundown: Director Spike Jonze and actor Jonah Hill are cowriting the one-act play, starring actresses and models, for Opening Ceremony’s September New York fashion week show. According to WWD, the story line is “still being finalized,” but Hill will not be acting in it.

Noteworthy: As we reported earlier today, the play will be in lieu of the fashion brand’s normal runway show format. Jonze has previously done capsule collections coinciding with his movies for OC, including one for Where the Wild Things Are and another for Her.

Where: New York City, exact location TBD.

When: The one-time event will take place September 7.

Tickets: Not open to the public. Editors and maybe a few theater critics will be the only people lucky enough to catch this show live. Stay tuned for the YouTube replay.