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August 1 2014

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2 posts tagged "Original Penguin"

“Preppy With A Wink” At Richard Chai For Original Penguin

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There seems to be a new high-low collaboration announcement every week, but while most designers go the way of capsule collections for mass fashion retailers, Richard Chai for Original Penguin has morphed into a longer relationship. After a set of ten pieces for Spring 2011 that was incorporated into Chai’s eponymous men’s runway, the pairing was back for Fall 2011 with a full collection. “Penguin is an iconic brand and it has this all-American, preppy-with-a-wink look to it,” Chai explained at the collection’s presentation at the Hotel Griffou late last week. “I wanted to work with that image, but also make it edgier.” Penguin’s creative director Ann Payne who worked with Chai on the designs chimed in: “There’s an undercurrent of speakeasies and private men’s clubs.”

The design marriage resulted in something between collegiate and grunge insider. Plaid was the pattern of choice in button-down shirts styled under classic crew neck sweaters and tied around the waist, while trousers were more tailored-in than your usual contemporary fare. Outerwear was the strong suit including a black wool melton number with toggle buttons and a wool herringbone double-breasted coat standing out. A recurring theme was texture play—popcorn knit beanies, corduroy accents, and chunky shawl collar cardigans—that mostly worked. A sole exception was one button-down shirt that was distracting with its leather collar, cotton body and wool herringbone accents.

Overall, the fashion-minded updates were nicely executed and subtle, which in the end is what the continuing collaboration is all about. “It’s a challenge to design great pieces that are accessible and a greater population can wear,” Chai said. “In my usual design world, being approachable is sometimes looked down upon. But at the end of the day, the ultimate compliment is spotting somebody wearing something you designed on the street.”

Photo: Courtesy of Original Penguin

Who’s Up For The British Fashion Awards,
Who Wants Klaus Kinski Front-Row,
Who’s Rethinking Khakis, And More…

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The British Fashion Award nominations are in! For designer of the year, Phoebe Philo (pictured) faces off with Christopher Kane and Erdem Moralioglu; for designer brand of the year, it’s Burberry and Mulberry vs. Pringle of Scotland and Victoria Beckham; and for menswear designer of the year, Christopher Bailey, Margaret Howell, Paul Smith, and the Savile Row label E. Tautz. Meanwhile, Nick Knight, Nicola Formichetti, and Rankin are all up for the Isabella Blow award for fashion creator—at least two of whom are Gaga besties. Now who will she root for? [WWD]

Richard Chai, who nabbed the CFDA Swarovski Award for emerging menswear designer last year, has announced he’ll debut his capsule collection for Original Penguin at his runway show this season. [WWD]

Steven Alan’s memories of Dockers center on “a 1970s math professor.” Let’s hope he chooses a different inspiration when he designs a few styles for the historic khaki producer. [NYT]

You probably aren’t washing your jeans as thoroughly and lovingly as Levi’s creative director Carl Chiara. But if you want to start, clear a few hours, a bathtub, and a sachet of potpourri, and follow these 14 or so simple directions. [WSJ]

For the latest issue of Interview, Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquière sits down with legendary editor and style maven Polly Mellen, who’s full of great reminiscences about working in fashion in the era of Vreeland. Vreeland, the late Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue editrix, apparently had navy blue hair—chic! [Interview]

And Hint Mag puts several New York designers to the Mad Libs test. Read on to learn who wants Klaus Kinski in his front row, who wants the naked and blood-spattered cast of True Blood in his, and who aspires to “create a duplicate of himself, and then again and again until the entire world was Scott Sternbergs.” (One guess on that one.) [Hint Mag]

Photo: Courtesy of Celine