12 posts tagged "Valentino Garavani"
Following last year’s much-touted Chloé Attitudes retrospective in Paris, not to mention the world tour of its 60th anniversary book, Parisian house Chloé has achieved yet another milestone, or rather, its founder, Gaby Aghion has. The 92-year-old Egyptian-born designer, who launched Chloé in 1952, will receive France’s prestigious Legion of Honor in Paris on December 17, reports WWD. Previous recipients of the award include Azzedine Alaïa, Cecil Beaton, Josephine Baker, and Valentino Garavani.
When Giancarlo Giammetti first met Jerry Hall, the supermodel told him that she was a cowgirl. However, to Giancarlo’s ear, her Texan twang made it sound like she said “call girl.” “I was really shocked…So I very shyly ask whether she arranged to meet her clients by phone or in person. She say, ‘What clients?’ I say, ‘You say you are a call girl.’ And she say, ‘No, no, no! I am a cowgirl!’ We became great friends.” Giammetti—the ultra-tan Italian force who’s served as Valentino Garavani’s business partner for 45 years—discusses this, his relationship with Valentino (occupational and otherwise), the influence of stylists, and more in the latest installment of Vanity Fair‘s “Out to Lunch” series. Apparently, Giammetti dined with journalist John Heilpern via Skype. Naturally, the former was stuck on Valentino’s yacht on the Aegean sea, and couldn’t make it for an IRL meal.
As industries go, fashion may be the least closeted there is: No one can deny the massive impact made by men and women who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered in the history of fashion and costume. Fashion historian Valerie Steele addresses the contributions made by LGBT people in a new exhibition, A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk, opening this week at the Museum at F.I.T. It includes pieces ranging from designs by Jean Paul Gaultier and Gianni Versace to Edwardian suits and nineteenth-century finery; clothing made by gays and for gays; as well as those items and styles co-opted and fetishized by gay audiences, and from gay audiences. (See, for example, Versace’s adaptation of leather fetish regalia into his women’s haute couture.)
As the exhibition makes clear—not that it wasn’t out, as it were, already—the gay contribution to fashion is beyond doubt. The question that’s much harder to answer is why. Shortly after the show was announced last year, I sat down with Steele, who co-curated the exhibit with Fred Dennis, to try to tease out the curious correlation and connection between gayness, politics, fashion, and style.
It goes without saying—but let’s say it—that many, many fashion designers and professionals are gay. Is gayness fashion’s default position?
I don’t know if it’s the default position, because there are heterosexual men, and there are women of all different sexualities, straight, gay, and bi, in fashion—though fewer of them have come out than gay men. But I think it’s not just a stereotype to say that there’s a lot of interest in fashion and style among a lot of gay men. What we’re interested in doing with Queer History is, if you can get beyond saying it’s just a stereotype, maybe you can start exploring why it might be the case that there’s this interest in fashion and style. You’re not pathologizing it; for one thing, most people like fashion now. You could explore, is there a kind of gay sensibility that would be drawn to issues of style and fashion?
And is there?
We tend to think yes. But we think there’s not one gay aesthetic, but at least a couple of different gay aesthetics. Several, probably: One that would tend to be more idealizing, and the other that would be more disruptive and gender-fuck.
But that idealizing aesthetic could be a kind of misogyny, no? You have male designers creating designs for women’s bodies that aren’t necessarily forgiving, or even possible…
If you go online, this is the vox pop: Do gay men hate women? You saw that [first] in the fifties, when you had all these very homophobic commentators, like the psychiatrist Bergler, who said that gay men hate women and therefore they make weird clothes for them to wear. But the point is, gay men have made all different types of clothes. It’s not just that they like girls to look like teenage boys, or they like girls to look like a caricature of women. It’s all different styles. And you find that straight men and women of different sexual persuasions also doing those, too. It’s much more related to their individual aesthetic and their time period than it is to their sexual orientations. So I think you have to confront that. Some people who don’t like fashion are going to say that it’s gay men making things for putatively straight women. But I think you can’t be held back by homophobic complaints. I think it’s more important to try and explore where things might lead you and not be constrained by irrational homophobia—and irrational fashion phobia, too.
Which go hand in hand.
Which often do go hand in hand.
Where does this connection between gay men and fashion come from?
I think it’s partly a kind of self-selection early on that gay boys, maybe before they know they’re gay, are interested often in artistic pursuits. “Artistic” was always a kind of euphemism for being gay. Lots of gay people talk about, “When I was four, I was telling my mother how to dress. When I was four, I was doing elaborate drawings of ladies’ costumes.” That’s before you have much of a sexual identity, but there’s already possibly something there that’s attractive about artistic and transformative fields like fashion. Fashion is about artifice and transformation and fantasy and a certain idea of beauty. I think it’s intrinsically very appealing to a lot of people, and it may just be that, at least in certain cultures—and there’s been so little cross-cultural work done, it’s hard to tell—that may be something that’s part of a gay male sensibility. Continue Reading “Glitter and Be Gay? Addressing the LGBT Influence in Fashion” »
“I am a great fan of the ballet, and it has always been my dream to design costumes for the New York City Ballet and to work with Peter Martins, who has been a friend for over 30 years,” Valentino Garavani tells Style.com. “I was used to working with the same people for decades, so this collaboration is a new experience for me, and it has been fantastic.” Tomorrow night, with the ballet’s fall gala, the iconic designer’s dreams will come to life on stage at Lincoln Center. He’s spent months creating roughly 25 costumes for four out of the five ballets, two of which are set to make their world premiere tomorrow night. Before the curtain goes up, Valentino gave Style.com an exclusive look at the making of the dramatic organza pieces he’s made for the dancers. Watch the video above.
Music and fashion go hand in hand, particularly during New York fashion week, which consistently boasts performances that can make or break the showgoing or after-party experience (we’re still reminiscing over Valentino Garavani’s karaoke rendition of “I Did It My Way” a year ago). True to form, there will be a mix of acts both familiar and brand-new this week. Cyndi Lauper, for example, will be keeping the energy up with hits like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” on the Betsey Johnson runway and at the designer’s 70th birthday bash, while the 17-year-old vocalist Alexandra McDermott will make her live debut at Erin Fetherston’s presentation tomorrow evening. Fetherston discovered McDermott, who has been described as having “the attitude of Fiona Apple with the voice of Adele,” at a casting and was taken with her beauty (she also stars in the new collection’s lookbook) and talent.
Rebecca Minkoff’s Friday show will feature performances by husband-and-wife indie pop duo Tennis as well as DJ Cassidy. Speaking of turntable sets, Brendan Fallis (a.k.a. Theophilus London‘s manager and Hannah Bronfman’s boyfriend) will spin at Jill Stuart’s Saturday show, where his soundtrack will include “moody and ethereal” tracks like Grimes’ “Vanessa” and Purity Ring’s “Odedear.” On Thursday morning, ?uestlove (pictured) of The Roots (not to mention Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) will be providing the beats at Dannijo’s brunch presentation, hosted by Brooklyn Decker.
Some designers are thinking out-of-the-box when it comes to entertainment. Following up its burlesque Fall presentation, Erickson Beamon is re-creating the iconic opening scene of the 1960s French film Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? by bringing members of the audience into the action, while Concept Korea‘s Friday morning show will offer a special performance by the Martha Graham Dance Company. Rising designer Mandy Coon commissioned Miike Snow’s Pontus Winnberg to create an original song for her new collection. In addition to playing the track at her Monday show, Coon also incorporated the track’s midi file as a digital print.
Other noteworthy concerts include Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the Converse by John Varvatos shoe launch party on Saturday night plus Three Six Mafia at Supreme’s shindig at the Westway on Thursday. There will undoubtedly be a few surprises along the way. Azealia Banks is in town for Fashion’s Night Out at the MAC store, and a performance at Alexander Wang’s notorious after-party doesn’t seem out of the question, right?