Style.com

April 17 2014

styledotcom The best and brightest GIF you'll see all day: stylem.ag/1kFxv5j cc @soojoo pic.twitter.com/8qsj61k8D2

Subscribe to Style Magazine
3 posts tagged "Padma Lakshmi"

In Chelsea, Portraits Of The Artist And The Primate

-------

Anh Duong was in Chelsea last night, surrounded by a gallery full of Anh Duongs. The painter’s new show, at New York’s Sonnabend Gallery, was devoted exclusively to self-portraits. “I decided I’m going to paint myself because I’m always available and on time,” Duong deadpanned. “So it started as an excuse, basically, and then it became a sort of diary. I’ve been painting myself for the last 20 years.” The portraits, which have the slightly off-kilter fluidity of Alice Neel’s (and the liquid eyes of Margaret Keane’s), show the artist nude and clothed, outdoors and in, with cameo appearances by dogs and stuffed toys. They also offer Duong an ample opportunity to dress up for her sittings, spotlighting a killer collection of frocks, accessories, and jewels. “I think they are also great excuses to use a color or shape or to add something to the painting, to the composition,” she explained. “That’s why I’m interested in painting objects, the bag, the shoes, whatever. I think also the clothes have a personal significance. As I child I would always dress up; I felt like it was some sort of make-believe world, where if the clothes were perfectly put together, then I was safe. It was a response to a chaos around me…I felt like it was this ideal world, so it came naturally that I would use that in my portraits.” A fashion-heavy crowd, including Barry Diller, Carlos de Souza, Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa, and Phillip Lim, came by for a look. Lim, a friend of the artist, found an especially good reason to keep a sharp eye open. “I think one of our trenches is in here,” he said, before spinning off to have a look. But Duong herself said she preferred to see her paintings as expressions of emotion and technique, rather than portraits, per se. After all, she added, “I really think that every work of an artist is a self-portrait—I just push it further.”

At Paul Kasmin Gallery nearby, the new show by Walton Ford was testing that hypothesis. Ford is known for his large-scale watercolors inspired by the animal paintings of J.J. Audubon and others, but several of the enormous pieces in the new show had no history at all: wall-sized paintings of gorillas mid-scream, without the context of time or place. A portrait of the beast within? The gallery was as thronged with stampeding visitors—Daphne Guinness, Salman Rushdie, Padma Lakshmi, and Olivia Wilde among them—but the artist himself was the picture of civility in a sharply tailored three-piece suit.

Photo: Patrick McMullan/ PatrickMcMullan.com

A Diet Of Seventies Baubles And Berardi

-------

The activity inside Padma Lakshmi’s airy East Village test kitchen-slash-jewelry studio and showroom last week covered the gamut of its proprietor’s range of talents. There were offers of a delicious-smelling lentil stew and a cocktail of Champagne and pineapple juice, as well as a gentle insistence to try on various earrings, bracelets, and necklaces from her new Spring 2011 collection.

“The whole thing is very late sixties, early seventies,” explained Lakshmi, sipping a Diet Coke. “I was looking at old pictures of a very young Cher”—something in the air, perhaps?—”and also old pictures of my mother because I just had a baby and was working on photo albums.” Indeed, you could easily envision a young former Cherilyn Sarkisian in one of Lakshmi’s long, multi-strand beaded bibs that recall Masai neckpieces (left) or a pair of hoops strung with a fringe of pink opals. The soft blues, she explained, are inspired by the decade’s denim icon, Steve McQueen.

It’s actually a coincidence that the new line dovetails with the Me Decade bohemia on the Spring runways. Lakshmi rushed to finish the collection after wrapping Top Chef All-Stars in October. “Then I started going through the shows on Style.com to see, ‘Oh, does any of this make sense?’” she said. “And then luckily, it did. I think it’s going to look great with Marc Jacobs—those lovely bohemian blouses.”

As for her wardrobe on the show, Lakshmi requires a bit more structure. “I’ve learned over the seasons. Things that are blousy, like this,” she said, gesturing to her pajamalike black silk jumpsuit, “make me look fat and flabby. You don’t see depth on TV, and in HD, it’s worse.” Her on-air fashion diet is heavy on Antonio Berardi. “As I gain weight in the season, it just sucks you in,” she explained. “I think half my dresses are Antonio Berardi. I love him.”

And of course, her own jewelry, having started the collection almost two years ago because she couldn’t find what she needed: delicate yet impactful pieces that weren’t too jangly or noisy to wear while shooting. Bergdorf Goodman bought the first season, and it’s now at about ten retailers including Bergdorfgoodman.com and Neimanmarcus.com. She just added Saks Fifth Avenue for next spring.

As for what’s next, Lakshmi says, “I don’t have any big plans for world domination. I don’t want to make shoes, or anything. Maybe evenings bags, but I’m really thinking about it just because you asked. I’m happy doing what I’m doing.”

Photo: Courtesy of Padma Lakshmi

India’s Next Top Model?

-------

India’s modeling industry has given the world some notable exports, including Ujwalla Raut and Padma Lakshmi and most recently, Lakshmi Menon. After snagging starring roles in Givenchy and Hermès campaigns, Menon walked a full slate of top-tier shows at the Spring collections and posed for lensman Mario Testino in a recent issue of Paris Vogue. There’s a new girl, though, who might be the country’s next big thing: Kangana Dutta. Recently signed by IMG, she walked for Vivienne Westwood and Kris Van Assche and had a major editorial in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar, shot by Oliviero Toscani. As emerging markets become more and more important for luxury brands looking to meet their bottom lines, the trend toward increasingly diverse models starts to make sense. As Dutta says, “Indian women stand out, from the color of their skin to their features. Without us, fashion isn’t complete.”

Photo: Courtesy of IMG