13 posts tagged "Stefano Tonchi"
Style.com contributing editor and party reporter Darrell Hartman circles the city and, occasionally, the globe in the line of duty. In a regular column, he reports on the topics—whatever they may be at whatever given moment—that are stirring the social set.
“Yes, the lad was premature,” goes a line from The Picture of Dorian Gray. “He was gathering his harvest while it was yet spring.”
I doubt I’m the first person who has, upon meeting Dorian Grinspan, thought of Oscar Wilde’s fable about precious youth. This Dorian is real. The 20-year-old founder and editor Out of Order magazine, he’s been sowing his seeds early—and some of the fashion world’s biggest influencers are taking notice.
Grinspan was born in Paris and came to the U.S. to study at Yale. But while an earlier generation might’ve chosen to wait for a diploma before launching into the world, Grinspan didn’t see the point. “I didn’t come [to the U.S.] wanting to do a magazine. I arrived at Yale and I was really, really bored,” he told Women’s Wear Daily. [Full disclosure: this reporter spent four years at Yale, and did not find it boring.] Grinspan will start his senior year in the Fall, majoring in American Studies, but he recently took an apartment in New York, and says that thanks to some Franco-esque schedule jiggering will be spending just three days a week in New Haven.
Youth these days! Grinspan is already a darling of the industry. WWD is only one of several publications to anoint him an up-and-comer, and his biannual is already carried by the likes of Opening Ceremony and Colette, and the second issue, which Grinspan launched last week, boasts the sort of top-shelf contributors of which many start-up outlets dream. Among the photo credits and profile subjects are Larry Clark, Ryan McGinley, and Olivier Theyskens. These are gets worth bragging about, even if Grinspan is modest, or at least PR-savvy, enough not to. “It’s actually funny to see how accessible these people are and how much they want to help,” he told me at last week’s launch party at Fivestory, an uptown boutique. (His fashion-model looks—literally, as in repped by DNA—aren’t the reason, but surely they can’t hurt.) Gus Van Sant, he added, had been “really interested, and we almost shot something,” but the scheduling hadn’t worked out.
Grinspan has plenty more influential supporters, including fellow editors. “Stephen Gan has been amazing to me,” he said. And after meeting Stefano Tonchi at a party in Cannes last year, Grinspan appeared in W this spring. Starting in the fall, he said, he’ll be writing for the magazine’s website. Quick work. For a moment, Grinspan did pay some dues—as an intern for Carine Roitfeld. Among the people met while working there was photographer Michael Avedon, who shot a story for the new issue. (Avedon is just a year older than Grinspan, and the great-grandson of Richard.)
Grinspan holds himself well—and tends to do so in the right company. Cynthia Rowley, who hosted an after-party of sorts for the magazine at her boutique-cum-sweet-shop, Curious, couldn’t exactly remember how she’d first met him. She was pretty sure his boyfriend had interned at her husband’s gallery. In any case, Rowley said, she’d gotten to know him through “the Brant kids.”
How has Grinspan done it, in an industry with fewer and fewer footholds for young talent? “I don’t think there’s a secret. I feel like everything is so circumstantial,” he explained. When pressed, he added, “Both my mom and my dad have a lot of connections in fashion, I guess.” His mother, a graphic designer, got him interested in clothes and style early on. His father, a lawyer, worked “for a long time” with BCBG. And there’s his godmother, Numéro editor–in-chief Babette Djian. “She’s been great,” Grinspan admits. “We go to fashion shows together if we both have an invite. But I would never call her up and say, ‘Please take me to Jean Paul Gaultier!’ That’s not what I want our relationship to be.”
If things keep going the way they’re going, the occasional missing invite won’t be an issue. And why shouldn’t they? Grinspan has a way about him, evident in the manner in which he politely escorted Clark up the stairs at Rowley’s party and posed with him for photos. Clark, like Rowley, couldn’t recall how he and Grinspan had first started talking, but he did remember meeting Grinspan face to face. “He’s very enthusiastic, but not overbearing at all—just a nice young man,” he said. And one more likely to make a splash than all the others.
“It’s considered something that’s for and about women…I think all of those things kind of conspired to keep fashion from being given the same kind of respect.” So says Robin Givhan—famously the only fashion critic ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for her efforts—during a panel discussion this week on the place of fashion criticism. Givhan was joined by The New York Times‘ Guy Trebay and W‘s Stefano Tonchi on the panel, hosted by Fashion Projects, a magazine from Parsons professor Francesca Granata that covers the industry from a critic’s perspective. Agree or disagree? In the yea column: Trebay was careful to make the distinction that he’s an “urban ethnographer,” not a fashion critic. Hmm. In the nay column: Well, the whole thing was covered by the Columbia Journalism Review.
Vionnet’s Goga Ashkenazi and W‘s Stefano Tonchi hosted an opening party in Milan last night for Thayaht: Between Art and Fashion. Ashkenazi recently acquired a collection of illustrations Thayaht made of dresses designed by Madeleine Vionnet between 1919 and 1925. Famous for inventing the bias cut, the French couturier never sketched; rather, she draped all of her pieces on eighty-centimeter mannequins. Originally hired to design the house’s logo, Thayaht, an Italian futurist artist and industrial designer, born Ernesto Michahelles (he liked the palindromic qualities of his nom de paint brush, apparently), became her collaborator and documentarian. “There’s nothing more graceful than seeing the garment float freely on the body,” Vionnet once said. Thayaht’s drawings would seem to confirm that; some of the dresses look startlingly modern, despite being made nearly a century ago. Among the sixty sketches in the collection, a few include the name of the client for whom the dress was made. “They put the idea of body types in perspective, because the drawings were about the client, not about the idealized woman,” Tonchi told Style.com. “One of Vionnet’s big revelations was to eliminate the waistline,” he added. There’s some debate about who, exactly, freed women from the corset—Poiret, Chanel, or Vionnet—but Ashkenazi has her answer. “Vionnet—she made us all comfortable.”
Thayaht: Between Art and Fashion is open at Milan’s Museo Poldi Pezzoli until February 25.