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July 30 2014

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88 posts tagged "Rihanna"

BREAKING: Beyoncé Is Not a Fashion Icon

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Beyonce

A stellar story by The New York Times‘ fashion director, Vanessa Friedman, popped up on my news feed this afternoon, and it led me to a startling revelation: Beyoncé is not a fashion icon. Friedman’s article was spurred by a fashion exhibition dedicated to Queen Bey in the Legends of Rock section of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which, having opened last week, features the gold Thierry Mugler bodysuit from 2009′s “Sweet Dreams,” the superstar’s black leather and lace 2013 Super Bowl look, and the metal glove from 2008′s “Single Ladies” video, as well as the violet feather-embellished Givenchy Haute Couture gown Mrs. Carter donned to the 2012 Met Gala. To be sure, most of these wares are showstoppers. But are they iconic? Not so much.

What’s more, Friedman notes, is that despite her mega following, Beyoncé hasn’t spurred a bevy of trends or launched the careers of young designers, like Rihanna or Lady Gaga have. Furthermore, aside from booty-baring bodysuits, I can’t even think of how one might describe Beyoncé’s signature offstage style because she doesn’t really have one. She hasn’t truly demonstrated any evolution in her wardrobe or her taste since her Destiny’s Child days. And even scrolling through the exhibition images online, the majority of the included pieces have an overly chintzy-meets-not-quite-street aesthetic, as if Bey were stuck in the days of “Bills Bills Bills.”

But that’s not to say Beyoncé isn’t a cultural icon (and I’m not just saying that for fear of Beygency retaliation). She has a body like a rocket, she’s broken every record in the book (like that time she released 17 videos overnight on iTunes), and she’s got moves and a voice most performers would kill for. However, as a voice for feminine empowerment in the public eye, it would be exciting if she stepped up her day-to-day sartorial game just a smidge. And for that matter, it would have been nice to have seen the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fete a real fashion tastemaker (ahem, Rihanna) instead.

Dressing for Fame: Versace, J.Lo, RiRi Gone Rogue, and More Career Tidbits from Stylists Mariel Haenn and Rob Zangardi

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If celebrity status is conferred in red-carpet appearances, then no actress today can compete without the help of just the right stylist. As Kerry Washington once told Glamour after she noticeably upped the sartorial ante, “There were a couple of actresses whom I felt were having the upper hand careerwise—because they knew how to work that red carpet.” A carefully crafted collaboration between stylist and client, the perfect look can create an indelible impact on agents, casting directors, and those of us watching from the sidelines. Straight from the epicenter of all things celebrity, we’ve asked some of the industry’s top stylists to share their experiences and impressions from their perch above Tinseltown. With our Dressing for Fame series, we bring you an exclusive, insider look at everything it takes to create those iconic moments captured by a million photo flashes.

Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn

Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn

It takes quite the fashion force to dress J.Lo for the stage, Rachel McAdams for the Cannes red carpet, and Pharrell for his many (sartorially daring) public outings, but the powerhouse styling duo of Mariel Haenn and Rob Zangardi have proved they’re nothing if not up to the task. Whether they’re commissioning original pieces to bring an idea to life, going back to their roots on music video sets, or forging relationships with up-and-coming talent, their scene-stealing tastes draw a uniquely diverse client mix that includes the abovementioned stars and beyond. Here, the duo talks exclusively to Style.com about going rogue with RiRi (they worked with the songstress for four years), being equal-opportunity stylists, and why women are more complex to style than men.

How did you both begin styling?
Rob Zangardi: I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated with a fashion merchandising degree from Ohio University. After college, my twin brother was working in NYC as a casting director, casting the audience for the VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards. He knew I would love it, so I stood in the pit to watch the show and ended up meeting a stylist who worked at MTV. I had no idea what a stylist was until then, but it sounded like my dream job. Because of her, I ended up getting hired at MTV to help with their New Year’s Eve show, which turned into a full-time job—right place, right time. And the rest is history.

Mariel Haenn: I was in school at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale for fashion design and I met someone who introduced me to the music video world. I started as a seamstress on videos, and then was assistant-styling while still in college. Once I graduated, I was fortunate enough to keep getting called to assist, but in the back of my mind, I was focusing on working at a design studio. I considered styling my means of making a living until I found the job I really wanted. Cut to 13 years later, turns out this is the job I wanted.

RihannaWhat’s the most memorable moment you’ve created thus far?

RZ: Rachel McAdams in the red Marchesa at the Cannes Film Festival was pretty memorable. She just looked like a movie star—you couldn’t take your eyes off of her. That train added the perfect amount of glamour and drama but didn’t overpower the woman wearing it. It was definitely a moment.

MH: Rihanna in the Dolce & Gabbana tux at the [2009] Met Gala. That was a special moment because we went completely rogue. It was a Marc Jacobs year and we got a call 30 minutes prior that so-and-so was wearing the same boots we’d planned on putting Ri in. So last minute, we went for plan B, and plan B ended up being this complete outlaw moment for both Rihanna and in Met history. It was something special.

RZ: Working with Versace to re-create Jennifer Lopez’s iconic Grammys dress for her most recent performances was also huge. It was pretty unbelievable to see her in the print that started it all.

How do you find working in New York different from working in L.A.?
MH: Styling-wise, New York tends to be much more avant-garde and fashion-forward. L.A. is a bit more risk averse and tends to focus on glamour more so than experimentation. There’s also a different level of polish. In L.A., you never want to look like you’re trying too hard—it’s almost as if people put even more effort into looking “effortless” than anything else—while in New York, there’s a broader range in dressing up and down.

RZ: It might sound cliché, but New York’s pace and tone also feels a lot quicker and has this undeniable sense of purpose. The way people walk in New York is representative of how they are. There’s a bigger hustle. It feels more natural for us, honestly, since we are always on the move and juggling multiple projects. The collaborations in L.A. tend to also be more commercial. New York is a greater creative playground. We get to be more forward-thinking and innovative.

What’s your favorite event to dress clients for and why?
RZ: Working on tours and music videos is definitely something we both really enjoy because there is more storytelling involved. There’s an entire arc that goes beyond a broad theme, so to speak. The looks have to work together with different elements to communicate so much. It’s not simply a supplement or continuation of the story, it’s a significant part of it.

MH: Collaborating with designers on custom pieces is a big thrill for us, too. Red carpet is fun, but there’s something to be said for bringing an idea to life rather than plucking from what already exists. A great example is having had the honor of working with Versace for Jen [Lopez]‘s stage looks in NYC. The experience itself was pretty surreal and the end result was nothing short of exceptional.

How do you manage to juggle multiple clients with multiple obligations and aesthetics all at once?
RZ: This is where it’s great to have two people rather than one. We like to joke that we are carbon copies of each other, so it’s like being in two places at once.

MH: The reason we started working together to begin with is because Rob was the only one I trusted to hand my clients over to if I wasn’t available for a job. The partnership was very organic. In terms of balancing the different aesthetics, you sort of train your mind to understand each client and their personality. There’s a lot of relationship-building there. After that, it’s almost impossible to mix aesthetics because you associate the person with the look so instantly.

How do you think working as a pair strengthens your styling? What has this relationship been like?
RZ: Our taste is practically the same, yet we complement each other well in terms of workflow and personality. The relationship is like an old married couple meets brother and sister, if that makes sense.

MH: For lack of a better phrase, two heads are truly better than one. It’s great to have someone else to bounce ideas off of, especially when in a more risk-taking scenario. It’s also great to have someone challenge you or ask the right questions when you’re dead set that something might look great but it could actually be better.

How do you balance dressing clients in looks by emerging designers as well as clothes by respected, longstanding favorites?
RZ: We try to be “equal opportunity” stylists and simply pull what we think will work best for the client in that particular scenario, despite notoriety. The designers we have relationships with always end up in that mix because we sincerely admire their work. That relationship is built from using their pieces over and over as opposed to an obligation.

MH: Plus, we know which clients love which designers and will want to try their pieces no matter what, like Jen with Zuhair Murad, for example.

Do you approach styling men and women differently?
MH: Men usually go one of two ways: very classic or completely modern. You have someone like Will Smith, who is just dapper Old Hollywood movie star head to toe, and then on the flip side, somebody like Pharrell, who loves to play with fashion and sees it as an extension of his art. Styling women has a much greater spectrum, and there are many more shades of gray. It’s equally important to understand the client’s personality and experiences, regardless of gender, and women, by nature, tend to have more complexity. This reflects in how many different ways you can go with a look.

What do you think of the “stylist as celebrity” trend?
RZ: In a more open, share-friendly, social-media-driven world, anyone can be a “celebrity” for their craft or, in some cases, their lifestyle. The definition of celebrity has shifted in that regard. From a creative standpoint, that’s a great thing, because regardless of what you do, you can be found and your work can be followed, admired, and act as inspiration for somebody else. This creates an elevated benchmark for everybody and their work, and in turn, much more interesting, provocative, and creative end products.

Photos: Courtesy Photo; Wireimage 

Emerging Talents Give Dover Street Market New York a New Beginning

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DSM

On Saturday, after a two-day closure, Dover Street Market New York, Rei Kawakubo’s seven-floor multibrand fashion wonderland open since last December, celebrated its inaugural “new beginning,” with just-arrived Fall ’14 merchandise and fresh shop-in-shops. Melitta Baumeister, whose career was catapulted when Rihanna wore her oversize black biker jacket in Paris back in March, and Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver are two new additions to the store’s fourth-floor DSM Showroom, which is devoted to emerging designers. They join a roster that includes Craig Green, Jacquemus, Phoebe English, KTZ, 1205, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Proper Gang, Shaun Samson, and Sibling. We checked in with the new recruits and a quartet of the floor’s returning talents to talk about Kawakubo’s lasting influence, their new installations, and the “beautiful chaos” that is DSM.

Melitta

MELITTA BAUMEISTER
“The Comme des Garçons campaign collaboration with Cindy Sherman in 1994 stopped me in my tracks. I remember being completely blown away,” Baumeister recalls. “So I’m very happy to be with a group of creators [now] that have a mutual understanding on fashion, to be part of a showroom that believes in the importance of creating new experiences of how fashion can be consumed, in a world of beautiful chaos. To be in an environment where the brand is understood will no doubt give [me] the confidence to go further with bigger dreams.”

HOOD BY AIR (SHAYNE OLIVER)
“Going to the Comme des Garçons flagship for the first time here in New York changed my life, and molded my thought process on creating a fashion brand that is meant for you, and only you,” Oliver remembers. “The shopping experience at Dover Street Market is [likewise] unique and special. I think it really works well with the HBA concept and vibe. We want to make people feel immersed in our world, in the whole experience of the brand. [Our shop-in-shop] is a conversation with our customers outside of the traditional realm of fashion.”

Craig Green

CRAIG GREEN
“All the Dover Street Market stores have a totally stand-alone and unique way of working. The amazing and forever-changing interiors make for a dynamic and exciting space and experience,” Green says. “The main idea behind our new Fall ’14 space was to put the highly detailed, hand-painted pieces against the raw quality of untreated wooden structures. We used large hand-painted fabric rugs as hangings to demonstrate what the garments themselves have been cut from.

Phoebe

PHOEBE ENGLISH
“DSMNY is different to other stores as it’s not really just a store, it’s a destination and an environmental experience, which heightens, celebrates, and elevates the incredible stock they hold,” English says. “In many ways it’s also a mecca for young creatives justifying and contextualizing the work they’re making; [that's what] the London store was for me when I was studying at Central Saint Martins. We wanted this space to [feel] unexpected, sort of like a surprise or a bit of drama injected into a retail environment. The raw naturalism of the collapsed cliff face against the clothes hanging on the suspended rails—something beautiful and refined in a broken space. I [also] wanted it to represent the dialogue of material, which informs each collection. I worked with art director Philip Cooper. It was about balancing the ethos of how I work creatively with the reality of shopping.”

Lee RoachLEE ROACH

“The opportunity to completely change the space seasonally allows us to truly represent the season’s ideas and concepts,” Roach says. “Our Fall ’14 space remains minimal with the introduction of new square metal fixtures. We’ve introduced stand-alone, industrial two-arm rails to highlight the collection’s fabrication and construction, which remain fundamental. I would like people to touch and try on the clothes.”

SIBLING (SID BRYAN, JOE BATES, COZETTE MCCREERY)

“DSMNY feels like being in an interactive art space but without any of the pretense,” the Sibling trio says. “It’s been fantastic to see how artists and creatives interpret the Sibling vision each time. We loved collaborating with Uncommon Projects [on the leopard shelving and screen unit], Richard Woods [using the catwalk recolored version of his iconic wood print as wallpaper], and now with artist James Davison. We saw James’ work recently via the journalist Charlie Porter. He’d uploaded a video of James’ window display with moving parts and amazing color. It also felt like he’d had fun doing it. All of which is very much what Sibling is about, so we didn’t think twice about working with him and sent him catwalk pictures and a very relaxed brief. Relaxed because we always like collaborative works to come more from the artist.”

Photos: Courtesy Photos

Runway to Red Carpet: Celebrity Fringe and Rihanna’s Latest Surprise

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When it comes to fashion, the red carpet can often be filled with the same old, same old. But now and again, some bold celebrities shake things up with experimental, next-level looks. Here’s what’s feeling fresh this week.

RihannaWe’re halfway through steamy July, and this week, A-listers were looking for ways to stay cool on the red carpet. Luckily, the Resort ’15 collections (which won’t hit stores until November but have been popping up on celebs since their Spring debut) offer some crafty cutouts. We noticed a few stars beating the heat with dresses boasting built-in air-conditioning, if you will. Kate Hudson and Allison Williams tried the trend at a screening of Wish I Was Here on Monday in New York. Hudson was statuesque in a black Michael Kors Resort ’15 column with a sequin bustier, and Williams chose a ladylike Altuzarra Resort ’15 sheath. On Wednesday, Nicola Peltz stepped out in an ebony ensemble with a keyhole cutout from Balmain’s Fall ’14 runway. She paired a gold-embellished crop top with a banded leather skirt for the Rio de Janeiro premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Elsewhere, two of our favorite redheads got on board with one of Spring’s hottest hair trends, turning up on the red carpet with freshly chopped bangs. Jessica Chastain’s fiery fringe perfectly complemented her navy lamé Mary Katrantzou Fall ’14 gown, and Emma Stone sported hers with a flowy purple Dolce & Gabbana Fall ’14 look.

Last, but certainly not least, RiRi, ever the daredevil, surprised fans by turning up in an Alexander Wang LBD and a gold Givenchy-esque septum ring at an event in Rio de Janeiro after Sunday’s final World Cup match. We have to hand it to her, just when we think we’ve (quite literally) seen it all, she manages to surprise once again. Here, a roundup of this week’s red-carpet highlights.

Photo: Gade / AKM-GSI

Amy Sedaris Dresses Like a Scarecrow, Looks Good Doing It

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Amy SedarisToday on Style.com, Amy Sedaris, author, comedienne, former Strangers With Candy star, and bona fide rabbit expert advises readers on how to care for their fashion bunnies. But when I spoke with Sedaris in her cozy Greenwich Village apartment, she had some fashion tales to share, too. For instance, last year, at her good friend Adam Selman’s debut presentation, Sedaris made an onstage cameo as a photographer (left), directing models as they posed in their silk shorts and swimsuits on set. “The other photographers thought I was a real photographer,” laughed Sedaris, who met Selman while the pair was working on a Dolly Parton video. “So they were mean to me—you know, pushy, bossy, aggressive. One photographer asked me what I was shooting for, and I was like, ‘Oh, there’s no film in this camera.’ Cuckoo!”

Selman, who made Sedaris’ late rabbit Dusty a custom awning to sleep under, designs a number of the actress’s dresses. “He’s great, and he’ll help me pick out shoes,” she noted. While her custom Selman wares are decidedly more demure than that infamous fishnet-and-crystal number Rihanna worked at the CFDA Awards, Sedaris insists that she wouldn’t shy away from a similar ensemble. “I’d do it for a laugh,” she chuckled. “I’d just wear it out every day. To the gym even. Everywhere.”

That would be a bold move (and one we’d fully support). But Sedaris admits that the other night, while preparing for an evening out on the town, she was at a loss for what to wear. “Adam was here, and I was being restless, so I Googled how you’re supposed to dress when you’re over 50. And it was, like, stuff I would never wear in a million years! Not ever!” So how does Sedaris, who at this particular moment was donning some Junya Watanabe-esque patchwork jeans and a white T-shirt, describe her personal style? “I usually dress like a scarecrow,” she deadpanned. Well, Ms. Sedaris, if that’s the case, it’s working for you.

Photo: Getty Images