August 30 2014

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32 posts tagged "Suzy Menkes"

School’s Out At The Royal College Of Art


Last night’s Royal College of Art gala brought out famous designers like Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, Nina Ricci’s Peter Copping, and Philip Treacy to gather and take in the work of the graduating M.A. course. Critics like Suzy Menkes and Hilary Alexander did their best to scrutinize looks and take notes, but the festive mood—end-of-term euphoria, plus a heady dose of Jubilee excitement—and almighty whoops rising from boisterous student tables made that a bit difficult. “Oh well, let them enjoy,” said Lucia van der Post, The Financial Times‘ “How to Spend It” columnist. “School’s out for summer, after all.”

Still, plenty saw promise in the graduating class. “We’re always excited to see how each young designer demonstrates the creative possibility of crystal in design,” said Nadja Swarovski, the evening’s benefactress, who donates crystal to students for their collections and bestows an annual award, this year to womenswear M.A. graduate Trine Hav Christennsen. “This year was no exception—the students took it to an entirely different level.” “I thought the menswear presentation was particularly strong,” added Erdem Moralioglu. “Alexander James was outstanding and I am sure he is going to be very well known, very soon.”

Photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Concerning The It Bag


This week’s New Yorker takes an in-depth look at one of fashion’s most intriguing (not to mention most tight-lipped) personalities: Tomas Maier, the German-born creative director of Bottega Veneta, who’s credited with bringing the label back from the brink of bankruptcy. How’d he do it? By embracing discretion and insider-style luxury when the world was still at the height of logomania-and its most visible avatar, the It Bag.

“There was a stage when, however unappealing something was, if it had enough logos written all over it, somebody seemed to buy it,” Suzy Menkes tells the magazine, calling the period “a worldwide aberration.” Maier is on the record as anti-It Bag, too: It is “totally marketed bullshit crap,” he says. His rejoinder to it: the woven, unfeminine Cabat bag, left, which is painstaking to craft (only one person can work on any single bag, because no two people pull the leather to the same tension). But of course, the Cabats are notoriously expensive-up to almost $80,000 for a special-order croc model and produced in limited quantities, so there’s frequently a wait list for one. Tom Ford-who hired Maier for the Bottega position when he ran Bottega’s corporate parent, Gucci Group-sums up the paradox in what could pass for a fashion-world Zen koan: “By not doing the It Bag, you do the It Bag,” he says.

John Colapinto’s full article is available to subscribers on

Photo: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

McQueen’s Moment, Cocktail Karl,
A Wu Wedding, And More…


The Met’s Costume Institute will stage a full-scale exhibition in tribute to Alexander McQueen next year. Curator Andrew Bolton prefers not to call it a “retrospective”: The show will look at the themes underlying the late designer’s work, from his earliest pieces, created at Central Saint Martins, through his tenure at Givenchy, to the heyday of his own house. (Pictured above: Alexander McQueen Fall ’06, Fall ’08, and Fall ’09.) It will open in May and be the focus of the annual Costume Institute Gala. [WWD]

At the IHT Luxury Conference in London, Suzy Menkes posed a searching question to Karl Lagerfeld: “Who is Karl Lagerfeld?” The answer: “I am a cocktail.” One that includes Diet Coke, presumably. [@TheMoment]

The bride wore Wu—or she will soon. The much-lauded designer is launching a capsule collection of bridal looks on Net-a-Porter in January, with prices starting at around $800. [WWD]

At Lanvin’s Spring ’11 show, the models wore flats, because, Alber Elbaz said, the heels were too torturous. If the catwalkers got let off the hook, the celebs haven’t been. Gwyneth Paltrow tried a pair of the spikes on the red carpet and confirmed: They’re like “a torture vice,” she said. It goes without saying, of course, that they’re gorgeous, painful or not. [People StyleWatch]

Photos: Marcio Madeira

Fortune Favors The Bold, Topshop Favors Chicago, CK One Expands, And More…


The secret to success for the new European collections? According to the IHT‘s Suzy Menkes, boldness. “Who dares, wins,” Menkes pronounces, and accordingly, loves Jil Sander (left) and Marni. [IHT]

Topshop is set to open its second U.S. store: The brand will bow in Chicago late next spring. That should help Windy Cityites weather the long, cold winter, but the brand has aspirations for sunnier climes, too—it’s reportedly investigated a location in Miami. [WWD]

CK One is about to be CK Many. Calvin Klein has announced that the iconic fragrance (eau de your editor for the entirety of seventh grade, but he digresses) is expanding into a full lifestyle brand, with jeans, swim, intimates, and more. Get ready for the teenage world order. [Vogue U.K.]

A Russian metals billionaire has bought a controlling interest in Ford Models. Is it just us, or does this sound like the plot point of a yet-to-be-written James Bond flick? [Page Six]

R.I.P. Catherine Walker, the late Princess Diana’s favored couturier, who passed away last week at the age of 65. [NYT]

Photo: Monica Feudi /

Klein For Gaga, Menkes For Cardin, Snakes For Natalia, And More…


The Gaga juggernaut rolls on: Word is that the Lady has commissioned Steven Klein to shoot her latest video, “Alejandro,” following the Jonas Akerlund-lensed “Telephone.” [WWD]

Suzy Menkes talks to Pierre Cardin in a new video, where she pays tribute to the designer’s 60 years as a fashion visionary. Looking back at six decades of Cardin, complete with space themes, pagoda shoulders, and piles of gold, we were put in mind of one thing: Fall 2010. Visionary indeed! [The Crane]

Natalia Vodianova is taking to the big screen in the upcoming action flick Clash of the Titans, where she’ll play the Greek monster Medusa. Leave it to the girl to make snake hair look chic—check it out, below. [Modelinia]

Marc by Marc Jacobs has opened its first shop in Milan, where it will house the label’s first combination boutique/café. [WWD]

And in similarly urgent Marc Jacobs news, we now know—thanks to a venturesome audience member at a Q&A yesterday—that the designer prefers briefs to boxers. When he’s not appearing naked, that is. [NY Mag]