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July 31 2014

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9 posts tagged "Slow and Steady Wins the Race"

Slow And Steady Wins The Race Takes Spring To The Streets

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Since launching her cult label Slow and Steady Wins the Race in 2002, designer Mary Ping has often fielded requests from devoted clients to hold a formal presentation during New York fashion week. “For me, there was always something too commercial about doing a traditional runway show,” Ping told Style.com. “I wanted to take my time in terms of rethinking and recontextualizing the idea and ask, ‘If we were to do a live format, what would it be?’ ” The answer: a three-minute, postmodern film starring a gang of female skateboarders decked out in Slow and Steady’s trademark minimalist, architectural duds.

Lensed by director Christelle de Castro of Stoneman Creative, the video, which debuts exclusively here, marks the first time Ping has used live models (previous endeavors have included a still life installation at Saatchi & Saatchi gallery and collaborations with artists Andrew Kuo and Miranda July). The short features real skaters who board their way past city landmarks from the Gretsch Building in Williamsburg to Lever House in midtown Manhattan.

“I didn’t want it to be a straight-up athletic skate video,” explained Ping, whose fans include Taylor Tomasi Hill and Terence Koh. “But there’s something about the skateboarding culture that embodies a cool grace and attitude, which is what we hope for with the clothes.” To that end, Ping’s androgynous models carve and ollie to the sounds of Riot Grrrl band the Julie Ruin while donning Ping’s “wardrobe building blocks,” which include oversize white oxfords, gray sweatshirt ponchos, and leather T-shirts. The flick highlights new Spring ’14 additions, too, such as Yves Klein blue baseball caps and fresh iterations of Ping’s covetable backpack. To coincide with the video’s unveiling, the designer will hold a live skate parade today at noon from West 25th Street to Milk Studios. “The goal has always been, how can we take a standard format and reinvent it?” said Ping. “With this project, we wanted to literally take fashion to the streets and activate the street as the runway.”

Slow and Steady Wins the Race is available at Creatures of Comfort and Opening Ceremony.

The Green Scene

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About those real, cherry-pit buttons that Behnaz Sarafpour has been using in her collection: “It’s not from me baking cherry pies in the summer,” the designer said with a laugh at last night’s CFDA & Lexus Hybrid Living Eco Fashion Challenge. “We found someone professional who gets the pits, cleans them, and turns them into buttons.”

It may not be the work of her own hands, but it is environmentally friendly, one reason among many that Sarafpour found herself up for a $25,000 award from the CFDA and Lexus last night, alongside Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra of Costello Tagliapietra, Marcia Patmos of M. Patmos, Maria Cornejo, Monique Péan, John Patrick of Organic, Mary Ping of Slow and Steady Wins the Race, and Justin Giunta of Subversive. The criteria: Collections had to be at least 25 percent organic and, of course, 100 percent stylish. Péan, for example, uses recycled gold and sustainable buffalo horn; Costello Tagliapietra create the dyes that color their collection in an ecologically friendly way; and Cornejo emphasizes sustainable manufacturing practices and the use of fabrics like cupro, which are typically discarded during the production of cotton.

Péan, Costello Tagliapietra, and Zero + Maria Cornejo won the day, but Cornejo was quick to note eco-friendliness is a work in progress. “We are trying, and it’s an ongoing process. Every season we try to bring more and more of that into the collection,” she said. “We have gotten creative within those parameters of 25 percent organic. 100 percent is hard, but this we can do.” Robert Tagliapietra (pictured, with Jeffrey Costello) agreed with the Chilean-born designer’s do-what-you-can ethic. “For us, it’s always been about introducing things that felt organic to the brand,” he said. “We are not using organic as a branding tool—just as something you should be doing.”

Photo: Last Night’s Party/Courtesy of Lexus

To The Spinner Go The Spoils

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At last night’s Brooklyn Ball at the Brooklyn Museum, the mood was properly medieval: In an enormous rotunda, heaping platters of meat (whole beasts, really) were the dinner for those brave or strong enough) to saw into them: 150 rabbits, nine legs of beef, two whole pigs, a host of turkeys. And this was after the dripping cheese-head hors d’oeuvres, drinks dispensed via taps installed on painted canvases, carrots to be pulled from soil beds in one room and washed in water-filled vats in another. And there were Chloë Sevigny, Patrik Ervell, Philip Crangi, John Currin and Rachel Feinstein Currin, and DVF chowing down.

But at the Opening Ceremony sponsored after-party on the museum’s ground floor, the atmosphere was carnivalesque. Barkers manned booths set up by designers chosen by OC’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. Band of Outsiders sponsored face-painting. Slow and Steady Wins the Race had marshmallow target-shooting; the reward, a pair of binoculars (to improve one’s aim, I guess). 3.1 Phillip Lim had fashion drag queens dispensing advice: Drag king Karl Lagerfeld seemed more approving than the real Karl might’ve been, but a drag Donatella pronounced the buttons on my tuxedo shirt too shiny and remedied the problem with a smart leather Lim bow tie, the label’s limited-edition party favor (pictured, left). And following a why-not striptease performance by three burly guys set to a Nate Lowman DJ set, I had my chance to spin the Opening Ceremony prize-granting wheel of fortune. Through providence or prowess, I came away with the top prize: a Rodarte pencil set, complete with Cobain erasers and Cecil Beaton case (pictured, right). School’s in! (And, in case you’re wondering, Chloë got a travel toiletry kit.)

PLUS: Click here for our complete coverage from the Brooklyn Ball.

Photo: Steven Torres

Smells Like Dree Spirit, Uniqlo Hits Fifth, And More…

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Was this the face that launched a thousand ships? Ferragamo’s just hoping it’s the face that’ll move a couple thousand bottles. The label has just announced that Dree Hemingway will be the face of its upcoming fragrance, to be shot by Craig McDean. [Modelinia]

Midtown Manhattan just got a little more dangerous—for us, at least: Uniqlo has officially announced what’s been suspected for weeks. It will open a second Manhattan flagship at 666 Fifth Avenue, a stone’s throw from our office. [WWD]

At this week’s Brooklyn Museum High Style gala, Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have enlisted six labels—Band of Outsiders, Philip Crangi, Patrik Ervell, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rodarte and Slow and Steady Wins the Race—to create carnival activities or special souvenirs to give to guests, ranging from a ring-toss station to a fortune teller’s booth. Let us guess—our future includes a quick trip to OC? [WWD]

And in unsurprising news: Estrella Archs has left Emanuel Ungaro. The path’s been cleared. Is Giles en route? [Vogue U.K.]

Photo: Amanda Schwab / Startraks Photo

Mary Ping Says No To The Pop-Up

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We’ve written here before about our disaffection for pop-up shops, so it’s nice to report that at least one designer is attempting to answer back to the trend. Mary Ping’s Slow and Steady Wins the Race installation, which opens to the public tomorrow, uses the idea of the still life to, as Ping puts it, “react to the temporality of the pop-up, and go back to an older tradition of talking about objects.” Readers can parse that statement for themselves; we take it to mean that Ping has grown impatient with the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ethos of contemporary retail, the perfect symbol of which is the pop-up. Slow and Steady Wins the Race does, after all, have “slow” in its name, and Ping has made it a practice of her brand that once an item is introduced into the line, it’s there for good. She is anti planned obsolescence. This season, Ping is adding three categories of product to Slow and Steady: “The Bag Shoe” category comprises six styles of shoe, each incorporating design elements from bags—drawstring, topstitched canvas, backpack snap buckles. “Young Bag” includes three black leather bags—a backpack, a duffel, and a bucket bag—scaled down to pocketbook size. And the “Untouchable Bag” category returns Ping to Slow and Steady’s roots remaking iconic designer handbags in natural canvas, only this time Ping has played with the proportions and scale of the bags, making the reference all but unrecognizable. The wares are displayed at the installation alongside works on the “still life” theme by artists such as Andrew Kuo, Miranda July, and Tauba Auerbach. The Slow and Steady Wins the Race exhibition is open at the Saatchi & Saatchi gallery space on the corner of Hudson and King through the 18th. Just don’t call it a pop-up.