7 posts tagged "Sass & Bide"
Soho is officially experiencing an Aussie takeover. Last night, Zimmerman fêted its new Mercer Street store, and today, Sass & Bide opened the doors to its first international flagship around the corner, at 480 Broome Street. According Heidi Middleton, who co-founded S&B with Sarah-Jane Clarke, “It was a feeling—or an energy—that really pulled us back to New York.” (It’s worth noting that, in September, the brand brought its show back to New York fashion week after a five-year stint on London’s runways.) “We have strong sales in the U.S. and thought it was about time that New Yorkers got to experience the brand in a retail environment. We want our customers to really feel the spirit of the brand from the moment they walk in the store,” Middleton continued. The S&B team worked with architect Kelvin Ho and Brooklyn-based design collective Guild to realize their ideas for the 2,000-square-foot space, which was previously an art gallery. “The concept was based on four key elements: beauty, strength, modernity, and spirit,” Middleton said. They brought that vision to life by creating a tree-like sculpture that winds throughout the shop. It was inspired by the pieces of natural driftwood that Middleton collects, and was constructed from sheets of cloth dipped in resin that were mounted on fiberglass and then painted white. The sinuous sculpture ties together the stark room and provides an elegant backdrop for the racks of clothing (the label also developed several styles exclusive to New York) and cubbies stacked with jeans. “We’ve created a space that captures who we are,” Middleton said.
The Spring ’14 collections are under way in New York, and will be followed by the shows in London, Milan, and Paris. Before their new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length previews at 140 characters or less. Our entire selection of Spring ’14 previews is available here.
WHO: Sass & Bide, designed by Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton
WHERE: New York
WHEN: Tuesday, September 10
WHAT: “Spring ’14 is underpinned with a strong sense of spirit. Embellishments celebrate the female form while modern lines honor the masculine.”— Heidi Middleton. The designers sent us a look at their Spring ’14 embellishments, above.
Sheers were regulars on the trend circuit long before Beyoncé appeared at the 2012 Met Gala wearing a diaphanous Givenchy gown. The look’s staying power comes from its versatility. “Unlike other fabrics,” explained fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell, “a single layer allows a designer to explore possibilities in depth and illusion.”
A quiet translucence has taken effect on the womenswear front. Sass & Bide (above, center) showed a Resort ’14 collection with long, sheer panels over simple skirts. Vera Wang traded minimalism for romance by piling on the sheer layers. In one instance, a delicate dot-pattern shift appeared underneath another shift embroidered with matte paillettes. Known for his cool and straightforward aesthetic, Phillip Lim (above, right) produced sheer shorts in white and blue for his latest play-while-you-work collection.
When it came to sheers in menswear, London-based designers were among the first to experiment. The various incarnations were far more structured, referencing traditional tailoring. Meadham Kirchhoff (above, left) offered a lineup of translucent jackets crafted from yellow-tinged and cloudy green rubber. Benjamin Kirchhoff denied any sort of deeper meaning in its use, but he did confess to being moved by the fabric’s texture. Christopher Shannon (above, center) went so far as to wet sheer nylon in an effort to capture an out-all-night-clubbing vibe. “I’d never want it to look too soft, so we used some really fine nylons as layers this season,” Shannon told Style.com. “It’s something that felt modern and sporty but had fluidity.”
After the excess of dizzyingly colorful digital prints we’ve seen the last few seasons, Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2013 collection was like a breath of fresh air. Most of his streamlined pieces featured checkerboard, chevron, and striped patterns in a strict black-and-white palette. While we might not step out in a version of look one’s T-shirt and micro boy-short, we are inspired to add a similarly graphic punch to our spring wardrobe. Shop our bold looks from Equipment, Proenza Schouler, Nicholas Kirkwood, and more, below.
1. Equipment shirt, $288, available at www.equipmentfr.com
2. Sass & Bide shirt, $180, available at www.net-a-porter.com
3. Marni skirt, $760, available at www.net-a-porter.com
4. Proenza Schouler bag, $1,725, available at www.proenzaschouler.com
5. Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, $720, available at www.colette.fr
To view more looks, click here.
At dusk in Sydney’s Botanic Gardens, huge white cockatoos are still screeching around as the bats begin to stir, and the sky is momentarily filled with two winged species as different as day and night. It’s an amazing sight, perhaps not as charming as the lorikeets, the small parrots that settle to eat out of a visitor’s hand on the terrace of Heidi (Sass & Bide) Middleton’s house in Palm Beach just north of the city, but a reminder nevertheless that nature never stops putting on a show in Sydney. How can fashion compete, especially when it seems to flourish best in urban environments like Milan or Paris, where the spectacle comes courtesy of human beings?
Last week, the Australian fashion industry attempted to mount a persuasive alternative to nature’s charms, but when the most convincing designers seemed to be those who embraced and celebrated their environment, it was clear that you just can’t beat sun, sea, and sand. (All three were in full effect as Australia’s collections for next spring/summer were shown while this spring/summer dragged itself out in extravagant Indian style.) Seventh Wonderland (pictured, above left) and Zimmermann specialize in swimwear and, like designers in similarly blessed Rio, they take the bikini farther than you could imagine. Nicky Zimmermann in particular struck a sophisticated balance between form and function: Her retro references evoked haute Hollywood, but her prints were a contemporary blend of Spirographs and silvery black and white florals (above, right). And the cover-ups that accompanied the swimsuits (i.e., extended the brand) were sleekly glamorous in a way that seemed entirely natural for Sydney flesh honed, toned, and tanned by endless summers.
It’s a body-conscious aesthetic that has been successfully exported by Sass & Bide’s Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke, Kit Willow-Podgornik (whose new scuba dress with Lycra ruffles will spring from swimming pool to cocktail party missing nary a beat), and Josh Goot. Such is their international profile that these designers choose to spend their promotional dollars abroad. A shame, because the hometown program could have done with their gloss and focus. Although Goot, coming off his strongest collection yet, did concede, “Instead of trying to capture what’s over there, we should capture what’s over here, because what we have here is unique.”
Granted, the Sydney flora and fauna have a very particular quality, but Australian fashion week proved a point that is anything but unique. The concept of the fashion week has become a prime component in the cultural identity of cities all over the world (not just cities—Transylvania just rolled one out), and they all seem to feature the same cast of characters: the Local Hero, the Showman, the Avant-Gardist, the Next Big Thing, the Arty Duo, the Budding Supermodel, and so on. Sydney’s supe-in-the-making was 19-year-old aboriginal Samantha Harris. Its Showman was Alex Perry (1,000-foot catwalk, dressy glitz, sleb front row). The Avant-Gardist was Ben Pollitt, whose nom de mode is the more appropriately Teutonic Friedrich Gray (though it’s Rick Owens who deserves the royalties). Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales were the Arty Duo, cross-pollinating with Local Hero with their label Romance Was Born (pictured, below left). Hence, a late-night slot (made later by a 90-minute delay), a worshipful audience, and a collection that joyously erred on the side of delirious excess. (Dinosaurs mating with the Medicis under the volcano? The scenario could have been torn from Galliano’s back pages.) Or perhaps the Local Heroes were the Ksubi boys, George Gorrow and Dan Single, whose denim label hit the comeback trail after some business setbacks with a spectacle that was all crowd-pleasing style and precious little substance.
Next Big Thing? Undoubtedly Dion Lee (below right), 24 years old and already showing the kind of promise that slots him in alongside young Turk peers like Marios Schwab and Proenza Schouler. His clothes were precise and polished, his prints were extraordinary (ultraviolet Rorschach blots looking like eerie florals). And Lee’s show was perfectly edited and paced, qualities that were sorely lacking elsewhere in the week. It was also staged in the Sydney Opera House, a building that is still so breathtaking after nearly 40 years that it’s a reminder of what human beings can achieve even when the natural world on their doorstep conspires to distract them at every turn. And there’s surely some inspiration there for young hopefuls like Dion Lee.