7 posts tagged "Perry Ellis"
As the self-proclaimed “first weird-looking model,” Kristen McMenamy has broken just about every rule there is during her thirty years (and counting) in fashion, which exactly is why we chose to profile her in the new issue of Style.com/Print. Throughout her career, the irreverent icon became renowned for her androgynous appeal, eccentric personality, madwoman-on-a-mission runway walk, and willingness to sacrifice life and limb in pursuit of the elusive perfect picture.
McMenamy was a fixture in the glossies during her nineties heyday (back then, her cropped hair, shaved eyebrows, unconventional features, and sinewy frame made her an ideal poster girl for the grunge movement); she has shot with the likes of Steven Meisel, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Juergen Teller, and Nick Knight, who took the pared-down portraits of her that run in Style.com/Print. Along the way, she has cultivated a support system of designers. “If fashion is her family, then Donatella Versace is her big sister,” writes Jo-Ann Furniss in her profile. That makes Karl Lagerfeld McMenamy’s proverbial father. Lagerfeld did, after all, walk her down the aisle at her ’99 wedding to photographer Miles Aldridge, in addition to casting her in a multitude of campaigns and runway shows.
See them all in our slideshow roundup of McMenamy’s career highlights >
In fashion years, when something is two decades old, it’s officially “vintage,” meaning that Marc Jacobs’ now-infamous 1992 grunge collection for Perry Ellis (i.e., the collection that made flannel shirts and ripped jeans a look) is officially ripe for reinterpretation. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), Phillip Lim and Dries Van Noten both turned out fresh takes on layered plaids and florals for Spring 2013, inspiring us to lace up some combat boots (we’ll take a heeled version these days) and cue up some Mudhoney. Shop our grungy gets from Alexander Wang, Ksubi, Rag & Bone, and more, below.
1. Rag & Bone jacket, $795, available at www.net-a-porter.com
2. Ksubi jeans, $292, available at www.ksubi.com
3. Eugenia Kim hat, $143, available at www.forwardforward.com
4. Alexander Wang boots, $825, available at www.net-a-porter.com
5. Steven Alan shirt, $198, available at www.stevenalan.com
To view more looks, click here.
For all its incredible history (the path-breaking work of its founder and namesake; that old chestnut about one Marc Jacobs and his legendary and firing-worthy grunge collection), Perry Ellis had gone stale in recent years. But the announcement several months ago about the appointment of a design team has brought buzz back to the American label. Its new creative directors, Steven Cox and Daniel Silver (pictured), the partner-duo behind Duckie Brown, surprised many. Including the designers themselves.
Cox and Silver are the first to admit they came to Perry Ellis from a distance. “I have never been inspired by Perry Ellis in a Duckie Brown collection,” Cox said at a preview at their West Village studio. “Now, go on a few months, having looked at the videos and researched quite heavily into Perry Ellis, I feel it was a really good match. Perry Ellis was considered a little bit kooky, a little bit strange. He had this odd match, that doesn’t look as odd now.”
Kooky is a word often applied to Cox’s Duckie Brown collections, which don’t shy away from dramatic statements. The contemporary perception of Ellis, by contrast, is—to use a phrase the designers don’t much care for—”American sportswear.” “American sportswear seems to me, like, 1960-something,” Cox said. “I am American now, but I was born in England. I don’t have that root in me that is growing up as a teenager with that heritage Ralph Lauren preppy thing. I don’t know about cheerleaders, I didn’t go to a prom. I have no references that a lot of American designers do that are truly American.” His Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown collection will be “transatlantic sportswear”: beholden to the American tradition but with a more studied design flair.
While the Perry name has plenty of purchase, the designers actually began with a blanker slate than many realize. Ellis himself never did a men’s-only show in his lifetime. The label has no archive; Cox and Silver bought some pieces on eBay, but for the most part, they’re starting fresh. (They’ve been playing video of old Ellis shows on loop in the studio for osmotic effect.) The label as they envision it has a feeling of their own line—and many of the same suppliers and factories—with a more commercial aesthetic, something they say has enabled them to push Duckie even farther, too. Now the question that looms over their debut tomorrow is, will the old Ellis legions approve?
“We’re a little damned if we do, damned if we don’t,” Silver said. “People are going to go ‘it’s very Perry, where’s Duckie?’; people are going to go, ‘it’s very Duckie, where’s Perry?’ I think we did it very successfully; it’s got a real sensibility.”
They, at least, are confident. “I always worry about Duckie Brown; I don’t know if it’s right or wrong,” Cox said. “With this, it’s the opposite.” A preview suggests he’s right to be confident, and Perry may be the latest label fashion’s go-to fixers—who have already helped to revive the fortunes of Florsheim shoes with their Florsheim x Duckie Brown collections—bring back from the beyond. Before tomorrow’s show, the designers shared an exclusive video of the work in progress, below.
Rumor has it that top model Karlie Kloss will be absent from runway shows during New York fashion week. CNN’s fashion reporter Alina Cho tweeted that Kloss is skipping New York for a “big opportunity.” [Racked]
Kate Moss is the cover star of W‘s March issue. The Steven Klein-lensed images show “Good Kate” and “Bad Kate.” [W]
Duckie Brown has joined forces with Perry Ellis on a designer collection set to debut at fashion week in September. Of the partnership, Duckie Brown designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver tell WWD, “Perry Ellis is synonymous with classic-yet-updated men’s apparel and the brand has a vibrant legacy. This opportunity has enormous potential and we are looking forward to bringing a new articulation of that legacy to retail.” [WWD]
In an effort spearheaded by Diane von Furstenberg and the CFDA, designers are pledging not to cast models under age 16 to walk in their runway shows. The initiative has gained some momentum, but model agencies and designers alike acknowledge that there is still some progress to be made. [NYT]
A trip down memory lane today had me thinking about punk and grunge in the early nineties. Following the spate of designer departures, we at Style.com were remembering one of the nineties’ most trumpeted (after the fact, at least) layoffs: Marc Jacobs’ firing from Perry Ellis, following his grunge-inspired Spring ’93 collection. Hindsight’s 20/20: Today, Jacobs is near-untouchable, and that particular collection has gone down in history (or is it infamy?) as one with enduring appeal. Of course, as much credit as Jacobs deserves, he had a little help. I’m thinking of his friends in the actual grunge scene at the time, the ones whose thrifted-or-lifted, tattered-and-layered sensibility helped refine his vision. People like Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon (above, with Courtney Love) and Thurston Moore—longtime friends of Jacobs—as well as legendary grungesters like Kurt Cobain and J Mascis. They all make up the cast—if you can call it that—of the groundbreaking music doc 1991: The Year Punk Broke, which has, somehow, never made it onto DVD. That is, until this coming fall. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dave Markey’s documentary, about Sonic Youth and Nirvana’s 1991 European tour, the film will finally make its way to DVD in September (with extras including commentary by Markey and Moore and a 42-minute film of SY/Nirvana performances). It’s about time. 1991 has long been VHS-only, sending appreciators without VCRs (myself included) to YouTube for our fix. Until the DVD does hit stores this fall, that’s still your best bet, and where you’ll find SY’s performance of “Teenage Riot” from the movie or Gordon and the gang mugging for TV and fooling around (“You promised me there’d be no interesting people in the front row!”). Twenty years on, nineties style is having something of a moment. Once today’s designers get their Netflix queues around this one, can a New Grunge look be far behind?