13 posts tagged "Undercover"
To infinity and beyond! The new Fall collections found designers thinking intergalactically. Who could’ve guessed that we’d see Star Wars motifs at not one, but two shows? Rodarte’s Laura and Kate Mulleavy revisited their favorite childhood films with a buzzy finale of gowns featuring familiar characters like Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and even Yoda. Just five days later, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi crossed over to the dark side with Darth Vader-printed looks and an entourage of stormtroopers who mingled with the models backstage. Others weren’t quite so literal with their outer space references. At Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld sent out a series of sheared fur coats and floaty silk velvet maxi dresses that resembled celestial charts. Elsewhere, Coach’s Stuart Vevers whipped up an Apollo sweater that echoed the one worn by Danny Torrance in The Shining. And Albert Kriemler, working closely with the German photographer Thomas Ruff, incorporated up close surface shots of Mars into several looks at Akris. Meanwhile, our award for the cleverest take on the cosmic trend goes to Undercover’s Jun Takahashi, who printed tiny UFOs on the borders of his Delft-china-patterned pieces.
Fetish has long been a favorite fashion influence: Alexander McQueen’s Spring ’98 metal-spine corset, Louis Vuitton’s Fall ’11 Night Porter collection, and Azzedine Alaïa’s iconic eighties bondage dresses come to mind. Considering its prominence over the decades, it’s perhaps no surprise that the trend has surfaced again for Spring ’14, only this time around, it’s a bit more subtle—particularly in the collections that have employed plastic or leather shoulder-length gloves.
Thom Browne turned out an haute American Horror Story: Asylum take on the trend, of sorts, in New York, replete with second-skin white latex options. These mitts featured glued-on nails, which lent a synthetic perverseness to the designer’s vision. In London, Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff of Meadham Kirchhoff hit their stride in a mashed-up collection of Jacobean flair and East London kook. Here, too, bicep-brushing gloves appeared (in python, no less). Looser than Browne’s, MK’s proposal suggested something a butcher or welder might don. And in Paris, Jun Takahashi showed a patent black pair at Undercover, which he styled with an anagrammatic top trimmed in a swath of matte black leather. That interplay suggested a charged message: The wearer of these defiant accoutrements is powerful, and entirely uninterested in conformity. Call it sartorial dominance.
Hedi Slimane sent out dresses that called to mind the “kinderwhore” fashion pioneered by Courtney Love and company during grunge’s nascent years. But the Saint Laurent designer wasn’t the only one who embraced baby dolls for Fall. At Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli updated the youthful silhouette with couture-level craftsmanship, while Emilio Pucci’s Peter Dundas and Undercover’s Jun Takahashi showed wispy lingerie-inspired takes on the trend. For proof that the abbreviated shape has legs off the catwalk, look no further than Alexa Chung, who can rock a mini like no other—those pins! Sky Ferreira, meanwhile, could’ve passed for Love’s sophisticated little sis in the sparkly Saint Laurent number she wore to the Met Gala.
Thom Browne is on a roll. The FLOTUS favorite received a nomination for the CFDA’s Menswear Designer of the Year Award last night, and today, WWD announced that Browne is bowing a flagship in Tokyo. Slated to open on Saturday, Browne’s new boutique is set in the Aoyama district, in the same building as the recently launched Acne store (less immediate neighbors include Prada, Undercover, and Marc Jacobs). Being Thom Browne, the designer wanted his 4,500-square-foot space to be a full-on experience, and to seem as “non-retail as possible.” As for his Japanese fans, Browne says they’ve been some of his strongest supporters from the start. “They understand what I do better than most people around the world,” he told WWD. The boutique marks Browne’s second stand-alone store—the first being in Tribeca.
“I like the residential feeling of the neighborhood,” said Acne’s Jonny Johansson, standing outside his new Tokyo flagship yesterday. “We wanted to build a house.” As they say in real estate, location, location, location. The Swedish label’s first sally into Japanese retail could hardly be better situated, amid not only residential buildings but also nearly every designer store in Christendom: around the corner from Herzog & de Meuron’s famous Prada store, Marc Jacobs, Cartier, and neighboring Jun Takahashi’s sublimely weird Undercover shop. The Aoyama space was formerly the home of Carla Sozzani’s 10 Corso Como. Acne now occupies half of the double-wide concrete building; Thom Browne is coming soon to the other half.
The store, some six months in the planning, increases Acne’s global footprint and joins its stores in New York, London, Berlin, and throughout Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Menswear occupies the basement; womenswear and accessories, the ground floor and the salonlike second level. For the space, Johansson and architect Andreas Fornell sourced materials from around the world—blue granite from Italy, stone from Brazil, rugs custom-cut to resemble fabric swatches—and created metal-mesh partitions that will become a prominent feature of brand stores going forward. (It creates “almost a lace situation,” Johansson said.) Johansson has a stickler’s—to put it politely; “obsessive’s” might be closer to the mark—eye for every detail and designed all of the furnishings inside with his team, from the three-legged marble stools to the fiberglass armchairs. If he can perfect the designs, he added, they could one day become part of the Acne offerings, too.
Acne’s new berth in Japan owes something to the label’s partner in the venture, Tomorrowland Ltd., the Japanese company that maintains both its own stores and franchises and partnerships in the area with labels like Isabel Marant and Dries Van Noten. The partnership, Johansson said, was the result of three years of romancing one another; Japan doesn’t want for corporations to franchise stores, but the right relationship couldn’t be rushed. “There are a lot of big companies here that do everything, from tractors to Mitsubishis,” he said. “But Tomorrowland is a family, which we like. They were very Japanese, but they understood us.” Judging from the throngs that mobbed the store opening last night, including everyone from top Japanese actors to photographers to boy-banders, the Tomorrowland family won’t be the only Japanese to get it.