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July 30 2014

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72 posts tagged "Saint Laurent"

Art and Commerce: On Christopher Bailey’s New Dual Role at Burberry

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Christopher Bailey

This week Christopher Bailey officially assumed his joint position as both chief creative and chief executive officer of Burberry. The move has been hailed as revolutionary in some quarters. It’s rare for someone from the design side of things to be given so much responsibility for business decisions. But in fact this turn of events speaks more to evolution than revolution. It’s a reflection of the way that the role of the creative director has changed in the last decade. The notion of the designer as an artistic genius who spins brilliant collections from his own turbulent emotions and who flourishes best with a fierce protector at his side (Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé being the obvious paradigm) exists only in the memory. Or on the screen—two new YSL biopics are being released this year.

Today, fashion is big business on such a global scale that creative directors are expected to have as much of a grasp of the bottom line as of a hemline. Bailey, a talented designer who also happens to be levelheaded and exceptionally well-organized, is more in the mold of a Ralph Lauren, less focused on inventing a new silhouette than in keeping a brand both consistent and constantly refreshed. It’s not that monumental a leap for him to take control of the balance sheets. In other words, there are no more ivory towers. Hedi Slimane, to my mind an artist, is also incredibly disciplined and clear-eyed about the strategic direction of Saint Laurent as a whole. Nicolas Ghesquière’s debut at Louis Vuitton, meanwhile, seemed to suggest he has an eye on reality as well as experimentation. One of the reasons the young New York designers who emerged in the last five years have stolen a march on their contemporaries in Europe is that they have a well-defined sense of where they fit in the commercial space. But even in London, once the bastion of wayward visionaries and even more wayward bank balances, the talk is of how fledgling labels are setting themselves up to succeed as real businesses. When Natalie Massenet took over as chairman of the British Fashion Council, one of her first acts, I’ve been told, was to limit the champagne intake at the London Showrooms event in Paris. At this seasonal showcase, which allows a group of emerging British designers to present their wares to visiting press and buyers, it used to be that the bubbly would start pouring at 10 a.m. and by noon the process of writing down orders had become somewhat hazy. These days they wait till 5 p.m. to pop the cork.

That represents progress of a sort, I suppose. And yet, as the Met gets ready to commemorate Charles James, a designer who had little interest in commercial obligations but made a couple of indelible contributions to fashion history, it’s hard not to be a little nostalgic for the mad, bad creators of yore. After all, can you really come up with the next big idea if you have one eye on how it will play from Dallas to Dubai? Much of the commentary around Bailey’s appointment has centered on whether he has the chops to handle the business complexities, but going forward, his bigger challenge may be deciding when to pursue a design impulse just because it feels right rather than appears to make immediate sense for shareholders. How he negotiates that balance will ultimately dictate the success or failure of his intriguing new role.

Photo: Getty Images

Shop The Look: Light Bright

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shop the look

Neon has been “on trend” for a while now, but it wasn’t until recently that we saw a clear distinction between smart neon and rave-wear. If you aren’t heading to an electronic music festival but want to brighten up your summer wardrobe, opt for sleek, minimal shapes in super-saturated hues that beg for zero accouterments. Whether you go with a single flash of color on a pair of earrings or brights from top to toe—a look we loved at Sydney fashion week—the final result is clean, graphic, and, best of all, easy. Shop our favorite new neon pieces from Valentino, J.Crew, Dannijo, and more, below.

1. Preen by Thornton Bregazzi multicolor tile Shelton top, $625, avenue32.com

2. Dannijo Lizabeth crystal earrings, $605, mytheresa.com

3. Valentino floral lace skirt, $2,190, farfetch.com

4. J.Crew Kiki ballet flats, $150, jcrew.com

5. Saint Laurent Sac Du Jour small neon leather tote, $2,650, net-a-porter.com

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Marina’s Must-Haves: Saint Laurent’s Black Cat Boots

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Saint laurent

I find it interesting that a shoe can change an entire outfit. There is no news here, of course. The same outfit worn with flat sandals or high heel pumps has a totally different look, and I want to incorporate a little bit of that magic into my spring wardrobe. I want a shoe that will bring instant pizzazz to skinny jeans and day dresses alike. That shoe is Saint Laurent’s lace-up patent leather boot. These kicks will look supercute with white jeans, a party dress, or a white leather skirt. I can’t wait to have them in my repertoire.

Saint Laurent cat boots, $795, Buy it now

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Fashion Over Function: Why Wearable Tech Is the Worst

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Google GlassNews broke yesterday morning that Google has enlisted Luxottica—the company that crafts eyewear for such brands as Prada, Ray-Ban, Chanel, Versace, and beyond—to make Google Glass less hideous. That’s all good and fine—at least the Internet giant is placing an appropriate amount of importance on aesthetics. But I have to be honest: I am deeply tired of hearing about, writing about, and thinking about wearable tech. I have no desire to be hooked up to a device all day. The nonstop e-mail-induced vibrating of my iPhone already gives me heart palpitations, and I don’t need my rings, bracelets, and specs incessantly nagging me, too.

Considering Apple’s recent hires—Saint Laurent’s former CEO of special projects Paul Deneve and Burberry’s former CEO Angela Ahrendts—and Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s partnership with Intel, wearable tech is no doubt about to explode. And it has the potential to generate big business among Millennials who are lost without their tablets, smartphones, and various other gadgets. I’m just not interested in participating in this particular big bang.

That’s not to say that wearable tech isn’t impressive from, well, you know, a tech standpoint. I find it mind-boggling that a Nike Fuel Band has the capacity to track your steps and calories burned, and then spit that information out into the World Wide Web. However, I’m unsure why the world (or the NSA, for that matter) needs to know your, or my, workout routine. Nor do I enjoy being bombarded on Facebook by everyone’s “humble brags” about how many miles they ran today. I’ve unfriended people for less. But I digress.

As someone who has dedicated my life to fashion, I refuse to compromise on the appearance of a garment or accessory. I’d much prefer to spend my wages on a decadent pair of low-tech vintage sunnies than on a mediocre style with Wi-Fi.

Furthermore, when is enough tech enough? Despite the fact that it doubles as my career, fashion is my escape—and I think a lot of people feel that way. When I slip on a new dress or place my favorite hat upon my head, I get butterflies in my stomach. All my troubles dissolve (if only for an instant), and it’s as though I’ve been transported to my own personal sartorial oasis. Why on earth would I trade in those moments of bliss for a flashing frock with 4G capabilities?

And what’s so great about being connected all the time, anyway? Forever burned in my mind is an election party I attended in 2012. The invitees were educated, opinionated, entertaining, and dynamic, but for a good portion of the evening, I had to check their Twitter feeds in order to get their thoughts on the polls. What could have been a riveting few hours of discussion was diminished to a silent, nonstop tweet-fest. While I sat there with my iPhone tucked in my handbag (my mother always told me that it was rude to stare at one’s phone in social situations because it makes your company feel as though they’re not important), mumbling to myself, all I could think was, What a waste. Can you imagine how much worse this will become if we’re not required to take the extra step of reaching into our pockets to tweet, Instagram, e-mail, Facebook, etc.? If the Internet is latched onto our wrists or eyes, will we even speak to each other anymore?

Perhaps I’m a Luddite. And you know what? I’m OK with that. I’d prefer to be stuck in the last century than to look and live like some kind of Star Trekkian android.

Even so, I wish nothing but the best of luck to Google and Luxottica in making high-fashion face computers.

Photo: Indigitalimages.com

Making the Cut: A Look at Our Top Ten New Models List, and a Shout-Out to the Runners-Up

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Model Runner Ups

Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of number crunching that goes into creating our top ten new models list. Each season, we go through the crop of fresh faces and break down each girl’s show list. We consider the quantity and quality of shows she walked and factor in exclusive appearances (yes, going the selective route can still pay off) as well as all-around buzz. One part of the equation that requires a bit more deliberation is deciding just who qualifies as “new.” Take Lexi Boling, for example. Technically, it was the Chicago-born catwalker’s sophomore season; she did Alexander Wang and several big shows in Paris during Spring ’14. But she didn’t pop up in all four cities last September and we couldn’t deny the impact she made this season, so we included her in our Fall ’14 roundup. On the other hand, someone who didn’t make the cut because we felt she had a tad too much experience was icy blond Nastya Sten. With sixty-three Fall shows under her belt, the Russian model was the most in-demand girl of the entire season. Meanwhile, we’re positively smitten with Natalie Westling’s flame-red hair and tomboyish appeal, but she simply didn’t stomp enough catwalks to qualify as a top newcomer. But that’s not to say that these ladies don’t deserve shout-outs. Below, we bring you the stats for Sten, Westling, and more noteworthy runners-up for Style.com’s top ten new models list.

Model Runners Up

Name: Nastya Sten (THE SOCIETY), middle right
Shows Walked: 63
Highlights: Opened Vera Wang, Tory Burch, Peter Pilotto, Chalayan. Closed Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg. Walked Altuzarra, Calvin Klein Collection, Proenza Schouler, Christopher Kane, Fendi, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Céline, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Saint Laurent.

Name: Natalie Westling (THE SOCIETY), top right
Shows Walked: 13
Highlights: WalkedMarc Jacobs, Giles, Fendi, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Valentino.

Name: Kate Grigorieva (THE LIONS), top left
Shows Walked: 17
Highlights: Opened Donna Karan, Barbara Bui. Closed Giambattista Valli. Walked Gucci, Versace, Isabel Marant, Céline, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen.

Name: Iana Godnia (MAJOR), middle left
Shows Walked: 24
Highlights: Exclusive Calvin Klein Collection. Walked Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Céline, Chloé, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Nina Ricci, Valentino.

Model Runners Up

Name: Kasia Jujeczka (IMG), bottom left
Shows Walked: 22
Highlights: Opened/closed Aquilano.Rimondi. Walked Calvin Klein Collection, Alexander Wang, Prada, Marni, Dior, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Sacai, Valentino.

Name: Larissa Marchiori (THE SOCIETY), bottom right
Shows Walked: 14
Highlights: Opened Dries Van Noten. Walked Prada, Emilio Pucci, Alexander McQueen, Miu Miu, Sacai, Saint Laurent, Valentino.

Photo: IndigitalImages.com