34 posts tagged "Sarah Jessica Parker"
I sincerely hope the rumors that broke today about Harvey Weinstein’s plans to revive the house of Charles James are just rumors. According to Page Six, the movie mogul is in talks with James’ children to buy and “breathe new life into the Charles James name.” If the publication’s unnamed sources are to be believed, Weinstein aims to create an “exclusive couture house,” and will bring his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, on as a “creative consultant.” At press time, Weinstein could not be reached for comment.
No one is more thrilled than I that last night’s Met Gala and the Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibition have helped the public to discover the late great couturier, and given him the recognition he so deserves. And my reservations have nothing to do with Chapman’s skill as a designer—everyone she dressed for the Met bash looked lovely. Rather, my concern is that this will not celebrate, but muddy James’ legacy. James was of a certain era, and if some of the throwback styles we saw on the red carpet yesterday evening are any indication, his aesthetic does not easily translate to modern day. His gowns were works of sculpture, and I fear that if someone were to re-create them—or create wares “inspired” by them—the results will be cartoonish (or worse, mediocre) rather than respectful.
Look at Halston, which was also revived by Weinstein. (He invested in the brand along with Sarah Jessica Parker, but sold his share back in 2011.) Once the go-to label for the crème de la crème of New York’s seventies party scene, Halston’s new age incarnation is but a mid-market mockery of its former glory. Please, Mr. Weinstein, don’t let the same thing happen to James. Allow his brilliant, singular designs to be appreciated for the works of art that they truly are, and don’t attempt to transform his revolutionary mid-century vision into a 21st-century cash cow.
“Now, I know that Anna hates being the center of attention, so this all is probably killing her—but we love it,” said Michelle Obama as she took the stage at the ribbon cutting of the Metropolitan Museum’s new Anna Wintour Costume Center this morning. The first lady, sporting a green floral Naeem Khan, was speaking to a crowd of—as she put it so accurately—legends, including the likes of Marc Jacobs, Alber Elbaz, Donatella Versace, Olivier Theyskens, Alexander Wang, Ralph Lauren, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, and many more. “The truth is, I’m here today because of Anna. I’m here because I have such respect and admiration for this woman whom I am proud to call my friend,” said Obama. Adding, “thanks to Anna and so many other dedicated individuals, the Met will be opening up the world of fashion like never before.”
The new world at the Met was brought to life by the soon-to-open Costume Center and its inaugural exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion—a preview of which was given to guests after the first lady’s opening remarks. Wandering through the near empty (and Met Gala prepping) wings, the attendees made their way to the exhibition space. (Not without pausing to view the towering Charles James dress constructed entirely of roses in the lobby —“I have Michael Kors in my picture! Photo-bombing,” exclaimed Sarah Jessica Parker as she snapped away—and getting a bit lost along the way. “This is a sitcom. And a divine one at that,” narrated Kors.)
The exhibition, in contrast to those of recent seasons’ past, is decidedly pared down. The emphasis is clear: The viewer is here is to see the dresses—James’ elaborately constructed ivory silk satin ball gowns, famous (or perhaps infamous?) little wrap “Taxi” dresses, and the voluminous “Tree” dress created for socialite Marietta Tree being just a few. Rotating X-rays, developed by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, allow the viewer to thoroughly examine the inner workings of many of James’ painstakingly created works. Original sketches and (some rather punchy) writings add further reference. “James was someone who engineered the hidden physics of a dress even though he is remembered for the loud surfaces of his designs,” explained head curator Harold Koda. “He is an artist who just happened to work in fashion. We believe that the public will leave this exhibition with an understanding of his great innovations.”
This exhibition and space will see “hundreds of thousands of visitors, many of them students,” said Obama. “That’s really who I think about. Fashion isn’t an exclusive club for the few who can attend a runway show or shop at certain stores. This center is for anyone who is curious about fashion and how it impacts our culture and our history.”
The Anna Wintour Costume Center and Charles James: Beyond Fashion will open May 8.
It’s been a decade since the ladies of Sex and the City last kicked off their stilettos. But even after all these years; a pair of blockbuster films; and a very real re-examination of what it means to live, date, and shop in New York, few women define our relationship with shoes like Sarah Jessica Parker’s Manolo-sporting Carrie Bradshaw. This week, the actress will launch a line of her very own with (who else?) Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus. The wares are simple, single-soled, everyday pumps, flats, and sandals that will retail in the $300 range at Nordstrom starting February 28. No sky-high spikes or flame-embellished mules here. Just Italian-crafted (save the Spanish-made espadrilles), warm-hued basics meant for the women looking for a taste of Carrie’s sartorial adventures. We sat down with Parker and Malkemus to talk about why color is the new neutral, what it takes to design the perfect—and not too cheap, not too pricey—heel, and how the SJP shoe philosophy has evolved over the years.
How did the collection come about?
Sarah Jessica Parker: The opportunities had been orbiting and I kept having a hard time saying yes—and that puzzled me. I would honestly lay in bed at night and think to myself, “What is the problem?” And I went to lunch one day with a group of successful women, and they were encouraging me to do a shoe line. They said, “Well, what’s the problem? You have all this money and all these opportunities.” And I said, “It’s just not about that, obviously. Do you know what? To be honest, what I would really love is to be a partner with George.” I didn’t know him super well, but we had spent the past twelve years working together on Sex and the City and I certainly admired his business and the way he conducted his relationship with Pat Field and me. And they said, “Why don’t you call him?” And I said, “You know what? Screw it. I’m just going to be brave. Because the worst he can say is ‘no.’”
George Malkemus: Which I didn’t!
SJP: And so began this thrilling conversation.
Can you tell me a bit about the concept behind the collection?
SJP: We wanted to revisit the single sole—where did it go? We found, much to our delight, that our reference points are the same, and we had an idea of this particular woman in our head. She wears color as a neutral and doesn’t think black totally is necessary. “Appropriate” footwear was not something that we were interested in. And we thought of all those great shoemakers from the late seventies, all those wonderful shoe stores…that’s how it all began. George found us a great shoemaker in Tuscany.
GM: Third generation.
SJP: We found a great person in Spain to make our espadrilles—to really make the shoes the way we wanted at a price point I felt comfortable with.
The shoes are an investment, but they’re not unobtainable.
GM: That’s the key word! Investment. That’s the thing we want to have. If you have a pump from Sarah Jessica’s collection, five years from now that pump will still be in our collection in many different colorways.
SJP: You shouldn’t feel regretful when you look in your closet and think, “Boy, that feels out of fashion.”
Well, these shoes are simple. There’s nothing super-trendy about them.
SJP: That wouldn’t be something I would do well.
GM: And I don’t think that’s what I would want us to do. I take personal offense when a woman spends huge amounts of money, and then after a certain amount of time, feels like she can’t wear it. Or, if she walks into a party and someone says, “Oh, my God! You wore those last wedding when so-and-so got married for the first time! And now they’re getting married for the second time and you’re still wearing the same shoes…and you’re still not married! Because you bought those shoes!”
SJP: Wow! What an amazing leap to those connections!