August 23 2014

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2 posts tagged "Tommy Perse"

James Goldstein: The Man, The Legend, The Designer?


James Goldstein

If you’ve been attending fashion shows these past few decades—or even have just been spectating along as others have—you will have noticed James Goldstein. It’s hard to miss a man dripping in python, always in his signature hat. He visits maybe a dozen fashion weeks a year—a practice he began at the encouragement of his close friend Tommy Perse, owner of Los Angeles’ Maxfield—and has been on the kind of fashion-buying binge for the last twenty-five years that would do Buzz Bissinger proud. He goes for the boldest and most extravagant pieces, including that famous [hyperlink] red leather safety-pin jacket from Balmain (“the most sensational piece I’ve ever owned,” he says). At the time of my visit he was debating the camo moto jacket in python that Alexander McQueen sent him, thinking he might like it, but ultimately he decided on the iridescent silver version Belstaff made especially for him. He also likes the work of his close friend Gaultier. His custom closet, with a dry cleaner’s mechanical revolving rack, holds a collection the Met might like.

This season, Goldstein is making the leap from customer to designer with the launch of his line James Goldstein Couture, which will be revealed in Milan this week (though an exclusive sneak peek debuts below). stopped by his astonishing space-age house—designed by John Lautner, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright—to hear a little bit about why he’s throwing his famous hat in the ring.

Before we begin, I have to say that this house is extraordinary. Had you been a Lautner fan and enthusiast before you bought it?
Because I grew up in Wisconsin, my parents made me very aware of Frank Lloyd Wright. They were big fans of his. On top of that, one of my best friends in school lived about a block away from me in a Frank Lloyd Wright house—I was there all the time. As a teenager I was immersed in that kind of architecture. At a pretty young age I was living in a high-rise apartment, here in L.A., and I started looking for a house because I’d gotten an Afghan dog who needed lots of room to run. My dream was to find an attractive modern house with a view and a pool. After a long search I found this house, which was in horrible condition at the time.

James Goldstein CoutureHas your interest in fashion been there as long as the appreciation of modernist architecture?

It has. My father owned a department store in Racine, Wisconsin, so he was clothes-conscious, even though he didn’t take it in the direction that I personally have gone—he was a really well dressed, conservative businessman. He tried to start me at a very young age wearing things like that. He took me to New York when I was 6 and I had an overcoat and a hat, you know. When I got to high school I was always trying to be the leader of my class when it came to dress. Everyone would jump on the latest trend and end up wearing the same thing. I would try to be one step ahead. When everybody started getting pink shirts, I got a pink suit. Though I was pretty limited at that age in terms of what was available in Wisconsin. But I tried to stay aware of everything, reading magazines. Then in my early twenties I started going to Europe and that really changed my whole mentality.

You’ve certainly become a presence on the fashion week scene, such as it is.

For years now I have been attending all the fashion weeks and doing what I have always done: trying to find unique pieces to wear every season. I try to get a whole new wardrobe for each season. I like to be seen in unusual, high-quality, well-designed pieces no one else has. For years I have been wearing those to the shows…As a result of that I have gotten, not by design, pretty well known in the fashion world. For years people have been coming up to me and telling me I should start my own line. I would say, at this point in my life, I don’t want to start a new career; I don’t have any formal training in design… Continue Reading “James Goldstein: The Man, The Legend, The Designer?” »

“Biblical, Brutalist, Bauhaus, And Bakersfield”


For the L.A. debut of his mammoth furniture designs, Rick Owens called on his longtime supporter, Maxfield’s Tommy Perse, to collaborate. “We have this strong relationship with Rick where we sell his fashion, we were the first one to sell his fashion when he started, and we were the only one to sell his fashion when he lived in L.A.,” Perse said of the artist, whose inaugural exhibition Turbo-L.A.-Monumental runs through January 7, 2012, at Maxfield’s Gallery space. “So we’ve really been together from the beginning.”

The limited-edition pieces echo 20th-century masters like Le Corbusier, who is also housed in the Maxfield Gallery archive, a space that showcases exhibitions of furniture curated by Perse. “It’s perfect because Rick’s stuff is equal to or above the level that we like to operate on to begin with,” Perse said. “When I first saw some of the furniture he was doing, it kind of slid by me. But it really turned a corner for me.”

Owens describes himself as “Biblical, Brutalist, Bauhaus, and Bakersfield.” That goes for his fashion, too, and even more for his furniture, with solid, seemingly immovable bulk (one bed he created weighs more than a ton) and otherworldly, almost Old Testament materials (carved bone, moose antler). It left Perse, for one, nearly speechless. “I am still completely taken aback,” he said.

Maxfield is located at 8825 Melrose Ave., L.A.,

Photos: Courtesy of Maxfield Gallery