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April 18 2014

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3 posts tagged "Sam Gainsbury"

Where Marc Jacobs And Louis Vuitton Meet

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This year, Marc Jacobs celebrates 15 years as the creative director of Louis Vuitton. And today in Paris, Louis Vuitton—Marc Jacobs, a comprehensive exhibition that explores two innovators and their roles in Vuitton’s 143-year history, opens to the public at the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs. (If you can’t make it to Paris before the September 16 closing date, Rizzoli’s accompanying tome, with historical and critical essays by curator Pamela Golbin and Jo-Ann Furniss, a look back through the collections organized by Jacobs and Katie Grand, and more, arrives in April; it can be preordered here.)

“When we were talking through the project, what came out was we really wanted to portray Louis almost like a black and white picture, whereas Marc is like a Technicolor film,” said curator Pamela Golbin, a celebrated author, fashion historian, and the Chief Curator of Fashion and Textiles at Les Arts Décoratifs. The exhibition is divided between a historical view of founder Louis Vuitton himself and a contemporary view of Jacobs’ creation of the house’s ready-to-wear, which he founded in 1997 and has stewarded since. Here, Style.com talks to Golbin about creating the exhibition and the history of the influential house.

What does this exhibition say about the development of Marc’s career at Vuitton?

First of all, what’s so interesting about this exhibition is that it follows two men, so it’s about Louis and he has a whole floor, and then also a second floor is dedicated to Marc. When it came to Marc, it was important for him to be very involved in the project. I did not want this to be a retrospective; it’s more a celebration of what Marc has done in the last 15 years at Vuitton. And it’s incredible that it has already been 15 years. The exhibition is more about the vision that he created for the brand than anything else. And that vision is quite large. It’s not just about designing clothes. Obviously accessories are important, but so is advertising, his artistic collaborations, and just his overall cultural vision. So Marc’s floor begins with Marc’s World. We essentially opened up his head and we did a self-portrait of Marc through all of the cultural influences that he’s had and that he uses for his design process. So it’s like a giant Tumblr page with still images and video images of everything and anything that has influenced him over the years. It’s not at all chronological. It’s thematic. And he even came up with the titles for each of the cases.

Why did you want to steer away from doing a retrospective?
The idea was by no means to say, “OK, in 1997 he did this and he did that.” His story is not chronological. His story is really about an energy and an attitude. He turned Louis Vuitton from a brand into a house. And so what we tried to get across were the steps that he took to get there and important moments. And more importantly, just really his fashion vision for Louis Vuitton that, when he arrived, was already 143 years old. He really created a fashion entity within a luxury brand. Continue Reading “Where Marc Jacobs And Louis Vuitton Meet” »

Some Enchanted Eveningwear:
Magic, Models, And More At Stella McCartney’s London Presentation

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“I wanted to show English humor and irreverence,” said Stella McCartney, so demure that butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, even though, minutes before, she’d proved that unleashing mass hysteria in an audience is a talent that clearly runs in the family. To launch her exclusive London Evening collection for Fall 2012 (slideshow here), McCartney threw a black-tie bash at One Mayfair, a soaring neoclassical space that used to be the church where Led Zeppelin played its first London gig in 1968. At the beginning of the evening, when show producer Sam Gainsbury cryptically promised “something big,” there was a millisecond or so when I imagined a Led Zep reformation. One could but dream. Father Paul in a reprise of his Grammy performance? That, at least, would be easier to swing.

The crowd—including Rihanna, Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, Mario Testino, Juergen Teller, the Le Bons, the Driver sisters, Stella Tennant, Bianca Jagger, and belle of the ball, Shailene Woodley—was well seeded with models in Stella dresses. Not, they insisted, the clothes we had come to see. “We’re just guests,” said Kinga Rajzak, dazzling in a black sheath with a white contoured effect. She was one of the new guard of girls on hand. Shalom Harlow, Amber Valletta, Yasmin Le Bon, and Anouck Lepère were also wearing Stella gowns, ranging from variants on the contouring to marble-printed bubble dresses to confections spun from vibrant orange or electric blue lace. Lucie de la Falaise brought daughter Ella on her first big fashion night out. Appropriate, then, that they’d be staying over at godmother Moss’ London pad.

After guests chomped through a veg feast of five small but perfectly formed courses, Dutch illusionist Hans Klok, World’s Fastest Magician, took to the stage. He laid a hypnotized Alexa Chung across three huge scimitars and left her essentially floating in mid-air, balanced on the sword on which her head rested. Trance state or not, she claimed she could still feel the point of the blade an hour later. Childlike glee is always my default position with magic tricks, but surely this was not the “something big.” Suddenly, there was an almighty shriek from a nearby table, where it seemed like a scrap had broken out between a guest and a waiter. Then Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” came walloping over the sound system, and all hell broke loose. Models, waiters, and Shailene Woodley flew hither and yon in a breathtakingly tight dance routine choreographed (in 24 hours, apparently) by Blanca Li, a fierce-looking but funny Spanish woman who was sitting at my table quietly chatting with Pedro Almodóvar’s costume designer Paco Delgado one minute and whirling through space like a dervish the next. But in amidst the physical frenzy, there was the elegantly precarious image of Shalom, Amber, and Yasmin parading around the room on catwalks improvised from chairs placed under each foot as they took a step.

“Something big” it was, indeed. And thrilling and surprising. Even Simon Le Bon had no idea what his wife was about to do. It was all a remarkable testament to timing, pluck—and the remarkably pliable properties of Stella’s eveningwear.

CLICK HERE for the complete Fall ’12 eveningwear collection, plus pictures from the party and performance >

Photo: Courtesy of Stella McCartney

Tim Blanks On Alexander McQueen’s London Memorial Service

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“There was no comfort zone with Alexander McQueen,” said Anna Wintour during her address at the designer’s memorial service in London this morning. But you’d imagine that even someone as intractable as Lee McQueen would be able to draw some succor—spiritual at least—from the chilly magnificence of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the venue for the event. If your soul didn’t soar when organist Donald Hunt sent Barber’s Adagio for Strings swelling into the cathedral’s mighty dome, maybe you haven’t got one.

There were plenty more soul-stirring moments, from the poignant memories of McQueen’s close friends Annabel Nielsen and Shaun Leane, to Michael Nyman’s performance of his theme from The Piano, to the London Community Gospel Choir’s exultant “Amazing Grace.” But nothing could match the perversely pulse-quickening (we were in church, after all) impact of Björk’s elegantly spare rendition of Billie Holliday’s “Gloomy Sunday.” She was dressed in a McQueen flight of fancy, the wooden wings from “13,” his unforgettable girl-and-the-robot show. Among the many others in the 1,500-strong crowd wearing the designer’s clothes, Naomi Campbell and Daphne Guinness (pictured) were especially striking.

Sam Gainsbury, who produced all of McQueen’s epics, also produced this sendoff. Her years of experience with the boy genius paid off in a service whose solemnity and ritual—right down to the solitary piper playing Braveheart at memorial’s end—would’ve pleased the designer. “But where was the punch-up?” Gainsbury wondered later. “There was always a punch-up.” Not in this cathedral.

Photo: Tim Rooke / Rex / Rex USA