30 posts tagged "Suzy Menkes"
Alta Roma, Italy’s answer to haute couture, is currently under way in Rome. And yesterday, the winners of this season’s Who Is On Next design competition were announced. It was judged by an esteemed panel that included Saks Fifth Avenue’s Terron Schaefer, Suzy Menkes, and Harrods’ Marigay McKee. The initiative supports independent designers who produce their labels in Italy. The top talents will receive an area to show their collections to buyers during next September’s Milan fashion week (courtesy of Vogue Italia), and they’ll also create an exclusive look, which will be stocked on Yoox.com.
This year, Arthur Arbesser, a Viennese designer who spent seven years working with Giorgio Armani before launching his own line last fall in Milan, co-won the grand prize. He shared the spotlight with Julia Voitenko and Daria Golveko, the Russian duo behind Esme Vie. Continue Reading “Guess Who’s Next? Alta Roma Honors Emerging Talent” »
At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana held a press conference at which attendance had been all but mandated weeks in advance. The early, un-Italian hour was no doubt meant to indicate the seriousness of the occasion, as was a lineup of speakers that included Patrizio Bertelli, Diego Della Valle, and Gildo Zegna, all of whom have joined the organization’s new board. Essentially, these captains of one of Italy’s most important and cherished industries have banded together to reinvigorate Milan’s increasingly hidebound fashion weeks. “I’ve heard the word boring,” Zegna acknowledged, though he insisted that wasn’t the case. The speeches were heavy on sweeping statements and light on concrete details, which provoked the assembly of sleep-deprived journalists into a volley of probing questions. Bertelli had earlier compared his fellow board members to “senators of fashion,” and he might have been thinking, Et tu, Suzy? as the International New York Times‘ Suzy Menkes led a round of interrogation into everything from Milan’s inhospitality to young designers to its perceived shortcomings on the digital front. Bertelli is no pushover, and he gave as good as he got. When a French journalist asked why we were only hearing from old men (Angela Missoni was a mostly silent presence on the board today), the Prada CEO told him he’d be a dangerous old man himself if he didn’t change his attitude, and then unexpectedly pointed out that Italy was the first country to abolish slavery, in the 1300s. By the end, one attendee was muttering, “Business as usual,” but if the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, then today’s announcement should be welcomed as a positive development. Certainly there is enough firepower and entrepreneurial know-how on this new board to solve world peace, let alone bring new energy to a fashion week. Zegna stressed that the process would be a dialogue and said suggestions would be encouraged. In that spirit, here are seven modest proposals for improving Milan fashion week.
1. Lure young, international designers to Milan.
Menkes wondered how Milan would be replacing Burberry and Alexander McQueen, two brands that have recently decamped back to their native London. But the city’s relatively uncrowded schedule could be one of its biggest assets. Given how ridiculously packed the New York and, increasingly, London and Paris schedules have become, you would think any number of hot young brands could be persuaded to believe that they’d have a better chance of standing out in Milan. If access to Italy’s unparalleled production expertise were thrown in as part of the deal, who could resist?
2. Take the show on the road.
The British Fashion Council and, to some extent, the U.S.-based CFDA have done a good job of promoting their designers abroad. As part of the London Showrooms events, a dozen young U.K. talents have even careened around Hong Kong together on a bus. While there are barely enough young Milan-based designers to fill a Smart car let alone a minibus, and its more established designers are already well known internationally, it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with the right kind of touring exhibition. Picture a mix of up-and-comers such as Umit Benan, Andrea Pompilio, and Fausto Puglisi; some cult brands like MP Massimo Piombo and Aspesi; and a couple of designer offshoots like Versace’s Versus line and Lapo Elkann’s highly covetable new made-to-measure collaboration with Gucci—all introduced by a charming, high-profile figure (yes, we’re talking to you, Lapo). That would go some way to showing the rest of the world the extent of Italy’s ambitions. Continue Reading “Seven Suggestions For Improving Milan Fashion Week” »
With her signature hair flip and authoritative pen, Suzy Menkes, who was appointed as the international fashion editor of the new International New York Times last Wednesday, epitomizes “one of a kind.” However, while there is, and always will be, only one Ms. Menkes, this summer, some ambitious bidders will have the chance to dress like her. On July 11, Christie’s will launch a twelve-day online auction of over eighty pieces from Menkes’ wardrobe, including a custom Chanel clutch boasting a gold “Suzy” in the place of the house’s double Cs, as well as vintage wares from Yves Saint Laurent (like a cocktail jacket from 1980 and an ivory pantsuit), Emilio Pucci, Ossie Clark, Christian Lacroix, Dior, and more. Menkes, who reportedly hasn’t purged her closet since 1964, says she initiated the auction because “…there is something sad about clothes laid in a tomb of trunks. They need to live again, and this auction provides the opportunity for them to walk out in the sunshine, to dance the night away, and to give someone else the joy that they gave to me.” While Ms. Menkes is, of course, priceless, most of the auction items will start at under 1,000 pounds.
Yesterday evening, 92nd Street Y hosted the latest installment of its ongoing Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis series. This time around, British journalist and International Herald Tribune fashion editor Suzy Menkes was in the hot seat, and the tone of her and Mallis’ conversation was appropriately outspoken. “Most designers can’t sleep after she sees their shows,” said Mallis. “She dares to say what she really feels and that is very rare.” Menkes more than illustrated this “rare” quality while opening up about her criticism of the Met’s Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibition (“It didn’t have enough of the sense of anger and freedom and drama that was punk”), her early fashion memories (“I made my own fashion newspaper at age 5—my mom still has it—with a page devoted to this glamorous person: me”), and her misadventures (sneaking into one of Karl Lagerfeld’s Chloé shows by pretending to be a cleaner with a mop).
Offering a detailed reflection on Menkes’ forty-some-year career, the Q&A took the audience through the highs and lows of the journalist’s life and work. It even touched upon Menkes’ personal tragedies, like the death of her husband (“My life is divided into before David and after David”). “I didn’t set out to be a pioneer [for female journalists],” explained Menkes. “I didn’t feel ambitious. I just wanted to have kids and a family, and I had my work, and I didn’t want to give it up.”
The conversation also examined some of Menkes’ more controversial stories and opinions. Of her much-buzzed-about T magazine article, “The Circus of Fashion,” she offered, “[The reaction] was surprising, because I’m so not condemning of blogging or any kind of social media.” Her feelings on John Galliano, who, it was announced today, will not be teaching a master class at Parsons, were discussed, too. “I would never say that I love Hitler, in any shape or form, ever,” she said. “But that is not to say that someone with such brilliant talent shouldn’t be given a second chance.”
“It was important for me to really open up,” said conceptual fashion designer Miguel Adrover at yesterday’s screening of Call It a Balance in the Unbalance—a documentary about the uncompromising talent’s meteoric rise and fall. The film—which made its U.S. premiere at the Pratt Institute last night—follows the career of the Majorcan-born talent, highlighting his now-legendary Lower East Side debut in 1999 and the conception of the many memorable pieces that followed (his infamous Burberry trench-turned-dress, a town coat hand-stitched from materials drawn from Quentin Crisp’s discarded mattress, and a pair of drooped trousers made from Adrover’s grandfather’s wardrobe all make cameos). “When you see a documentary of Marc Jacobs or Valentino [you never see them] wash their clothes,” Adrover told Style.com. “You saw my house. You saw my mom, my dad, my bathroom…you saw me pulling the clothes out of the washing machine,” he added.
The film details Adrover’s post-9/11 commercial descent and subsequent return to Majorca, and the designer’s friends and supporters, like Suzy Menkes and stylist Eric Daman, spoke candidly in on-screen interviews about his uncensored vision. Not surprisingly, so did Adrover. “I don’t give a shit about [money]; I don’t believe in Chanel; I don’t believe in Karl Lagerfeld; I don’t believe in Yves Saint Laurent; but I do believe you can change society,” he professed during a Q&A.
The screening comes on the heels of Adrover’s departure from organic German label Hessnatur after eight years as its creative director. What’s next for the outspoken rebel? “I have three shows already prepared,” said Adrover, whose designs will be featured in the Met’s upcoming Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibition. “Anytime. You give me the money, I will make it happen. I don’t need a big stadium or a lot of lighting or things. I can do it right here.”