19 posts tagged "Selfridges"
Alessandro Dell’Acqua isn’t one to wax nostalgic. “For me, designing is all about a new story and a modern attitude,” the designer said before a cocktail party in honor of his ready-to-wear label, No. 21, at the New York residence of Valentina Castellani on Friday night. The soiree celebrated a new push for the brand, which, founded in 2010, gained financial backing from Gilmar in 2012. And the evolution of his label is evidence that Dell’Acqua’s forward-looking philosophy applies not only to his clothes, but to his life, too. Fall ’14 will bring plenty of new adventures for Dell’Acqua, now 50. He’s launching menswear under the No.21 moniker, as well as presenting his first collection for heritage French house Rochas, where he was appointed creative director in October after Marco Zanini announced that he was leaving to head up Schiaparelli. “I’m not a young designer, so when they called, I said, Are you sure?” Dell’Acqua laughed, noting that other storied houses (like Balenciaga and Loewe) have opted for younger creative directors (like Alexander Wang and Jonathan Anderson, respectively). Sometimes, however, it helps to have a talent who knows the ropes.
Indeed, Dell’Acqua is no up-and-comer. In 1996, before stints at Malo and Les Copains, the designer launched his successful, hyper-feminine namesake line, known for its whimsical yet seductive allure and lingerie accents. Two years later, he started an eponymous menswear range. But his story is all too familiar—Dell’Acqua lost the rights to his name after a dispute with his parent company, Cherry Grove (who also owned Malo), in 2009. He made a comeback a year later with No. 21—a ready-to-wear label named for his birthday (December 21) and his lucky number. “It’s about real women,” he told Style.com during that first show in 2010. Now, three years later, the brand, which is carried in stores like Selfridges and Matches, independent boutiques, and at such e-tailers as Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi, delivers just that—smart staples (think: embellished separates, slick blazers, and crisp overcoats) that cater to real-world women with a penchant for luxury. “No. 21 was born out of a horrible moment for me,” recalled Dell’Acqua. “I wanted to do a little line that was completely different, but still had my DNA.”
Long before there was the red sole, there was the “comma” shoe—also known as Roger Vivier’s Virgule. Launched in 1963, the shoe, famous for its curved heel, is the stuff of fashion lore. Last week, a major Vivier retrospective opened at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Virgule etc.…In the footsteps of Roger Vivier, and yup, the shoe earned top billing out of the immense body of work from the man who considered himself an architect and an inventor first, and a shoemaker by happenstance. Vivier and his Virgule’s world tour stops in London tomorrow at Selfridges Shoe Galleries—the largest shoe department in the world and an undisputed mecca for shoe lovers. It is here where the house will open its first shop in an event hosted by Inès de la Fressange, current creative consultant for Vivier, and designer Bruno Frisoni. It is all part of an international expansion of the brand, which has already seen shops opened this year in Japan and China.
The Vivier house has deep roots in Britain. In 1953, its namesake designer created the royal shoes for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation. After that, he shoed the Duchess of Windsor—not to mention his laundry list of iconic non-British patrons, like Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Jeanne Moreau, and Brigitte Bardot. Today, the house’s fan base is made up of the “elegant” types—Cate Blanchett, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman—but that doesn’t mean the label can’t have a rebellious edge. For tomorrow’s Selfridges launch, the Virgule will be reissued in a punk-tinged tartan; the updated classic debuts exclusively above. Later that night at Le Baron, a party hosted by pop progeny Atlanta Cadenet-Taylor will introduce a new generation of fans to Vivier’s work, though one wonders if his shoes have ever danced to strains of EDM. In any event, it shows that the house isn’t just living on past glory—it’s looking ahead.
Watch out, Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt. For their latest project, the Fashion East crew has given fantasy characters their own, very East London treatment, and the results are filled with quirky tongue-in-cheek charm. Ever After High is the recently released Mattel line of dolls that—meant to be the children of famous fairy-tale characters—are creating a buzz among kids 10 and under. To its credit, Mattel is doing a pretty good job of including mom in the party: It’s asked Fashion East alums Ashley Williams, Claire Barrow, Ryan Lo, and Bobby Abley to give their take on the toys via a handbag.
Using dolls like Apple White (Snow White’s daughter), Blondie Lockes (Goldilocks’ offspring), Raven Queen (the Evil Queen’s wee one), and Madeline Hatter (the Mad Hatter’s little girl) as references, the designers were certainly not at a loss for inspiration. Abley’s gym bag boasts a hapless bear, Lo’s oh-so-sweet pompom-embellished offering is sure to be a conversation starter, and Barrow’s lush purple velvet creation is embellished with a smashed mirror that reads, “Who is the fairest of them all?” The kicker is the plush raccoon bag envisioned by Williams (who, it should be noted, sent shark purses down her Spring ’14 catwalk). With its little mask and multicolored tail, it’s instantly covetable: Better keep it on the highest shelf in your closet, where daughters cannot reach.
Each handbag comes in a limited edition of three and will be available at Selfridges in London from October 18.
By now, the Linda Farrow story is one of lore. Ten years ago, Tracy Sedino and her boyfriend, Simon Jablon (Linda Farrow’s table tennis-champ son), were redecorating an old warehouse that belonged to his designer mom. And by pure fortune, they discovered a box filled with old sunglasses that Linda had created for Balenciaga, Dior, and YSL in the seventies. The rest is history.
Ten years on and happily married to Jablon, Sedino has been busy fulfilling her mother-in-law’s design dream that was put aside for love, marriage, and children. In the past decade, with Jablon quarterbacking the business angle, Sedino has developed the Linda Farrow brand to an extreme: Their stand-alone products have drawn a legion of fans (think Rihanna, Gaga, Queen Bey, Madonna), and their collaborations have raised the bar even higher. Jeremy Scott, Erdem, Dries Van Noten, Oscar de la Renta, The Row, and Matthew Williamson are just a few designers with whom the brand has worked hand in hand.
To fete their ten-year diamond anniversary, Sedino is taking the brand and its muse—a giant doe-eyed raven-haired doll called Penelope—on a whirlwind road show. First stop was Colette, where Penelope wore Sedino’s Alexander McQueen wedding dress, and now, to Selfridges, where the brand has a “shop-in-shop”—the new parlance for pop-up shop. Sedino and Jablon have called upon ten brands, including Nicholas Kirkwood, Mawi, Falke, and Agent Provocateur to come up with a limited-edition selection of goodies (which will be available until October) to celebrate. And these products are not your typical eyewear. A gold detailed heel from Nicholas Kirkwood, some very naughty bow-detailed pantyhose from Falke, a super-sexy aromatic candle from Cire Trudon, and a Lycra playsuit-cum-harness from Agent Provocateur (which reminds us of something out of Fifty Shades) gives us a clue as to what is on the couple’s minds as they commemorate ten years of marriage and business. A clutch from Bottega Veneta PT 1 and a fur from Saga give the collection just enough grown-up veneer to sugarcoat the boudoir naughtiness. Good to know the flame hasn’t gone out—all ten-year anniversaries should be like this one.
Few brands command such a cult following as New York-based Hood By Air. Helmed by Shayne Oliver, the label has acquired such a cool crew of fans that the mighty retailer Selfridges cherry-picked it to be one of the twenty brands featured in the department store’s new men’s contemporary concept floor, which, opening this week, will offer plenty of street, skate, and attitude.
By way of celebration, then, last night the Selfridges parking garage was transformed into a skate-park-cum-nightclub, and on display were pieces from HBA’s Spring ’14 collection with an Anglo twist. The label partnered with British heritage knitwear brand Corgi to create some sumptuous one-offs. “I wanted to collaborate with a brand that was steeped in tradition,” explained Oliver. “The idea was to pull together a contrast between that and our rebellious nature. You know, that old craftsmanship and handmade stuff. That’s something that we lack a little bit in America, and I wanted to work with a brand that represented the opposite of fast fashion. It was a little tribute to our coming to the UK and to Selfridges.” Continue Reading “Hood By Air Hits the UK” »