21 posts tagged "Selfridges"
“Real life is very different than being a student,” offered Sara McAlpine, an undergraduate at London’s Central Saint Martins and the editor of the college’s magazine, 1 Granary. “You hit roadblocks—you have to worry about financing and about people with whom you want to collaborate with saying no,” she continued. The second issue of 1 Granary, a publication which was founded by its current editor in chief, Olya Kuryshchuk, in 2013, is about celebrating the pure creativity that comes with studying at CSM. Thus, the sophomore effort is aptly titled “Age of Innocence.” “It might seem a bit kitsch, but we felt it described the time that we’re in,” explained McAlpine. “This is our time to be creative. And as naive as we are, we decided to ask anyone who’s anyone if they want to work with us. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
Smart cookies, those CSM kids, and their no-holds-barred attitude resulted in an issue filled with 240 pages of content (not ads, mind you) that most fully financed titles would struggle to get. Alongside shoots and stories that champion CSM student work, there are interviews with Christopher Kane and Ai Weiwei, as well as striking photographs by Rachel Chandler Guinness and SHOWstudio’s Nick Knight. But these heavy hitters didn’t agree to work with the 1 Granary crew out of charity. “It’s not the Bucket Challenge or anything like that,” McAlpine laughed. “The magazine is a space where established names can let loose. [These people] remember that time when they had to jump hurdles and make themselves known straight out of university. And we’re not tied to advertisers—we’re not dependent on them—so I think they actually found that refreshing.”
A handful of the insiders in Issue 2 reminisce about their time of “innocence” at Saint Martins, a sentiment that’s beautifully illustrated by the above Johnnie Shand Kydd-lensed photo of a young Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo (both CSM alums). But the issue also addresses the future—for instance, budding menswear star and CSM grad Craig Green gives an interview, and the cover features student Louisa Ballou surrounded by her peers. Ballou also appears inside the issue wearing Christopher Kane (below). The abovementioned images debut exclusively here.
The past few years have marked a time of transition for Central Saint Martins: In 2011, the college moved from its storied, dilapidated fashion building on Charing Cross Road to a shiny new campus at King’s Cross, and earlier this year, the Fashion MA program, which launched the careers of designers like Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane, mourned the passing of its beloved course director, professor Louise Wilson. (It’s worth noting that she was a staunch supporter of 1 Granary). Mix in the fact that university fees in the U.K. are higher than they’ve ever been, and one has to wonder: Can CSM continue to be the creative petri dish that birthed the likes of Katie Grand, Hussein Chalayan, and John Galliano? “I think one of the great interviews in our magazine is with [GQ's] Dylan Jones,” said McAlpine, when asked this particular question. “He [recalled] how he walked through the art studios of the new building, and he said it felt exactly the same [as when he was a student in the '80s]. He said the feeling was still there. I think it’s quite poignant for someone like him to walk through 20 years later and say that.”
1 Granary‘s second issue is set to hit SHOWstudio’s London shop on August 28, and will later hit British and international retailers including Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Colette, Bookmarc, and more. The magazine will also be available at 1granary.com for £6.90. So what does McAlpine hope readers take away from the 15,000 copies that will be distributed worldwide? “I want [readers] to realize that London is an incredibly exciting place. That CSM is an incredibly exciting place. I want them to know that there are young people banding together, doing something great for the sake of being creative. I want them to know that creativity isn’t dead, basically. It’s not been killed by commercialism.” Considering what these students have achieved—and how hard they’ve worked to achieve it—they seem well on their way to succeeding in the “real world.” And perhaps we’d all benefit from embracing some of our own youthful innocence.
Thank you, David Bailey, for offering an affordable option for the skint art lover. “Not everyone can afford a print, so this is a nice way of making my work available for everyone,” the famed photographer told Style.com. “What’s the difference between putting it on a canvas and putting it on a T-shirt that everyone can afford? I think it’s quite nice that everyone can have a T-shirt with an image that has some history behind it.”
Bailey is referring to his debut collection of six tees, which launches today exclusively at Selfridges. The tops are printed with some of his most iconic portraits, including those of Michael Caine, Mick Jagger, Boy George, and Grace Jones. Bailey collaborated with the edgy East London creative group The Bleach Room to update the images with a cool collage effect.
The collection is a clever way to reach art collectors and distant admirers alike, especially as his new exhibition, Bailey’s Stardust, is set to open at the National Portrait Gallery next week. At £70 a pop, this is a prime chance to grab an authentic Bailey—while the getting’s good.
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.