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July 30 2014

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122 posts tagged "Valentino"

DJ Chelsea Leyland Spins For Fashion, But It’s The Artists Who Really Dance

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“I don’t really feel like I am a nightlife person, actually,” Chelsea Leyland says. Could’ve fooled us—the English transplant is one of the most-requested DJs on the fashion scene, spinning at everything from Valentino’s Fashion Night Out Charity Poker Tournament to Paper magazine’s annual Beautiful People bash in March. “I had hardly been deejaying for very long and then all of a sudden I was opening for Duran Duran,” she says of the Paper party. “Yeah, that was pretty cool.” Not bad for a girl who counts last year’s FNO as her DJ debut.

It can feel like Leyland is everywhere at the moment, and the DJ herself has a pretty good idea why. “Everyone loves girl DJs right now,” she says. (She’s candid enough to acknowledge that spinning skills alone aren’t enough. “With Valentino, they are hiring me not just to be the DJ but wear the clothes and be a face,” she says. “In fashion, they want to see someone looking the part.”)

You can expect to see even more of Leyland soon; she revealed to Style.com that she’s in the midst of filming a documentary with MTV, out this fall, about the lives and careers of three girl DJs. Here, Leyland tells Style.com more about the project, why she’s not in the Gaga fan camp, and the fashion endeavors she has yet to live out.

So, you’re about to be an MTV star?
They were making a documentary and they wanted to do it on three female DJs, each representing something different. The other two are DJ Diamond Kuts, who is a really cute DJ from Philly who is very technically skilled, and DJ Jessica Who?—she does these big clubs in Miami, and I am the fashion DJ. We are all so totally different.

How do you feel about being branded the “fashion” DJ?
Well, I don’t like the whole club scene, it’s not my thing…Musically, with fashion, you can be a little more adventurous. They always want to be educated and they want to hear obscure things, like old English things that are wacky. I don’t like Top 40, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj things. There is something civilized about fashion and art. I actually prefer art events. They are so kooky and really know how to have fun. Everyone is less concerned with what they are wearing and they will let loose. Artists aren’t too cool to dance.

People have been saying recently that a certain fun factor is missing from the New York party scene—even The New York Times recently piled on. Do you agree?
Yes, I feel like New York is lacking a certain coolness in nightlife. Everyone is so worried about being cool that it has lost its authentic coolness—it’s not organic anymore. It’s not about the place, it’s got to be about the vibe. I would have loved to be here back in the day—the Andy Warhol times. I think I’m in the wrong generation. London nightlife is so cool and refreshing because it’s based around music. You go out with friends to see a singer, or a band, and it’s a very cool scene. Continue Reading “DJ Chelsea Leyland Spins For Fashion, But It’s The Artists Who Really Dance” »

A Dress Fit For A Fairy-Tale Princess—Courtesy Of Donatella Versace

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Cheburashka. Bremenskie Muzikanti. If you have a hard time pronouncing the table names at Natalia Vodianova’s White Fairy Tale Love Ball, you won’t be alone. “Natalia is driving the calligrapher crazy,” Giancarlo Giammetti said yesterday at his Left Bank home. The Russian supermodel is, as she put it, “in the last few hundred yards of a marathon,” preparing for the fundraiser for her Naked Heart Foundation being held at Valentino’s Chateau Wideville outside Paris tomorrow night. Vodianova’s kids’ favorite Soviet-era cartoons (Google the Russian names above for vintage clips) partly inspired the gala. “A charity fashion show isn’t a new idea; it’s been done by many people,” she said. “But I thought fairy-tale dresses—the ultimate Cinderella dresses—by the world’s top designers would be something interesting.” Forty-five of fashion’s finest agreed to create gowns for the evening’s auction. Vodianova thinks Donatella Versace’s kokoshnik dress (pictured) will be a hit. “She went for it,” she said. The funds raised will go to Naked Heart’s new efforts to support children with special needs. And what is the fairy-tale spinner herself wearing for the occasion? Valentino red, of course, “like Little Red Riding Hood.”

Photo: Courtesy of Paolo Roversi for the Naked Heart Foundation

In Paris, Flower Children On Parade

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Hothouse blooms and leafy plants are springing up everywhere at the Paris men’s shows (and not just because Louis Vuitton showed Kim Jones’ first collection in their usual sultry greenhouse space in the 15th). Bold print has been one of the hallmarks of the season since Prada, Versace, and D&G went maximal in Milan, but here in Paris, there’s a floral cast. For their second men’s collection for Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli reimagined camouflage as an army green palm tree print—a Hawaiian in disguise, literally. (It fit in nicely with the odd resurgence of tropical chic, from Opening Ceremony and Reyn Spooner’s new collab to Stella McCartney’s Resort womenswear to Jean Paul Gaultier’s floral bermuda shorts and full-on Hawaiian tux. Christophe Lemaire, too, screened oversize flowers, borrowed from a midcentury print, on blouson jackets and slouchy pajama-style pants. It remains to be seen whether the purple blossoms Riccardo Tisci grew for Givenchy’s Fall ’11 womenswear collection will reappear tonight at his men’s show, or whether Lemaire’s new green thumb will carry over into his second Hermès collection.

Photo: Courtesy of Valentino

Andrea Dellal Gives Back—With An Epic Party, Naturally

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The Brazil Foundation gala won’t be until the fall, but the buzz began yesterday night at Fatima Otero’s marvelous town house in the West Village. Olivier Theyskens, Shala Monroque, Adam Lippes, Luigi Tadini, and more were there to celebrate the gala’s just-announced honoree, Andrea Dellal. Dellal (above left), the London-based social and matriarch of the large Dellal clan—her daughters are Charlotte Olympia designer Charlotte Dellal and model Alice Dellal; her son, Alex Dellal, runs the iPad magazine POST—is one of the most visible Brazilians on the social scene. After so many years living outside her country, Dellal said, it was time to give it back. “Brazil is a rich country, but the gap is still huge between the upper and lower class,” she explained. “It’s time to join forces, between all of us, and give back to those who need most.” One way to give, of course, is by buying a ticket to the September 19 event, which takes place at the New York Public Library. Expect plenty of Valentino: label heavy and jewelry designer Carlos de Souza (above center, with Otero, right) is doing the list this year, and the house is co-sponsoring the event. A hot list of Brazilian artists will be donating art to be auctioned, too. Last year’s $2.5 million raised could even be topped this year—especially if, as last year, Brazil’s most visible fashion plate, Gisele, takes to the mic to sell the dress off her back.

To find out more and purchase tickets, visit www.brazilfoundation.org.

Photo: Courtesy of the Brazil Foundation

Designer Firings: A Silver Lining?

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There’s another seat open at the designer fashion table. News broke today that Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi (above), creative directors of Gianfranco Ferré, are out at the Italian house (no word on their namesake collection, which presumably will continue for the present). Reports blame dwindling sales for the duo’s departure. But they’re only the latest in a string of designers who have left or been ousted from their positions at major European labels: Milan Vukmirovic at Trussardi 1911; Clare Waight Keller at Pringle of Scotland; Vanessa Seward at Azzaro. (Christophe Decarnin is out at Balmain, though under murkier circumstances; and of course, John Galliano has been let go from both Christian Dior and his namesake label. Although Chloé’s Hannah MacGibbon has been signed for another season, some industry observers are speculating that her time at the label is nearing a close—a speculation not necessarily refuted by the terse statements label CEO Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye has been giving the press.)

No one would argue that getting fired is fun. But it’s worth remembering that, in fashion at least, many of those who have been removed from their posts—either gently (with contracts not renewed) or not so gently—have gone on to bigger and better. The classic example is Yves Saint Laurent. The young designer took the top spot at Christian Dior when Dior himself died suddenly in 1957. Saint Laurent created a few headline-making shows, but soon after ran afoul of the management and was summarily dismissed. The result? His own label, founded in 1961. The rest, as they say, is history.

In more recent years, there’s the famous story of Marc Jacobs, fired from Perry Ellis after his seminal Spring ’93 grunge collection—too hot for the American label’s taste, but seen in retrospect as enduringly influential. (Patrick Robinson also got the axe at Perry Ellis before landing at another American sportswear legend: The Gap.) Both Peter Dundas and Giambattista Valli exited the house of Ungaro under dark clouds; today, their collections (for Emilio Pucci and for Valli’s namesake line) are among the most admired in fashion. Olivier Theyskens has gone from Rochas to Nina Ricci to current acclaim at Theory, and Alessandra Facchinetti, formerly of Gucci and Valentino, has found new life working on Tom Ford’s womenswear. As for Ford, he has seen both sides: famously losing his Gucci crown before starting his own empire, while also electing not to retain Alber Elbaz at YSL in the late nineties. “From every place or everything you do, you learn what to do and also you learn what not to do,” Elbaz told Style.com of the experience in an interview last year. “I would not change anything if you would ask me. I would still go through the experience I went through. I learned a lot from it. I went through a certain experience that wasn’t easy, but guess what? Nothing is easy anyway, so I’m fine with that.” As the creative director of Lanvin, Elbaz has brought the label back to relevance and racked up success after success; it may not be easy, but he sure makes it look that way.

What will the future hold for Aquilano and Rimondi, Decarnin, or even Galliano (whose own rather more complicated situation is discussed at length in WWD today)? Too soon to tell. Some will argue that in today’s economic climate opportunities will be fewer and corporate titans more inclined to pick low key, perhaps unknown designers. But to judge from the past, fashion is a merry go-round (or should that be rollercoaster?), and for some of these designers at least, it’s entirely possible that the best is yet to come.

Photo: Marcus Tondo / GoRunway.com