122 posts tagged "Valentino"
“Viva Italia!” says London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. For its latest exhibition, The Glamour of Italian Fashion: 1945-2014, the institution has embraced la dolce vita, filling its hallowed halls with all things Italiani. The show charts Italy’s growth as a fashion powerhouse, from the first fashion shows at the Sala Bianca in the 1950s through the symbolic development of the Made in Italy label, and into the 21st century via a dazzling array of new designer names.
The exhibition endeavors to shed light on how Italian glamour first came to be. And while Italy might not now have the same clout on the global fashion scene as it did in the late 20th century, the exhibition explores the transformative power Italian glam has always held and—via video interviews with Angela Missoni, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino, and Vogue Italia‘s Franca Sozzani—hints at what the country’s sartorial future may hold.
While Milan’s big hitters (like Valentino, above) obviously get their deserved time in the spotlight, it’s heartening to see the likes of Fausto Puglisi and Stella Jean in the installation, too, especially considering Milan’s tough reputation for emerging designers. Here, Style.com speaks with curator Sonnet Stanfill, herself wearing a modern design from Fausto Puglisi, about Italian fashion’s humble beginnings, the evolution of Milan fashion week, and the power of glamour.
Why was now the right time to look at Italian glamour?
I think we’re opening at a really interesting time. The Camera Nazionale della Moda recently appointed a British female executive, Jane Reeve, to the new position of CEO, indicating their own awareness that they really need to shake things up. There’s been a lot of anxiety-ridden self-examination within the Italian fashion industry about its own future. We wanted to bring that debate within the four walls of the museum, so that’s why we ended the show with those filmed interviews with designers responding to questions about the future, about the difficulties of doing business in Italy today. Opening now feels timely because Italy is at a crossroads.
What makes Italian fashion so distinctive?
It’s multilayered. One key aspect is the strength of the country’s production, which is a unique feature of the Italian fashion system—you have whole valleys of the countryside dedicated to one kind of product. Silk in Como, leather goods in Tuscany, wool in Biella. That specialism has resulted in products of an extremely high quality. So that emphasis on materials, specialization, and techniques runs right throughout the exhibition.
Do you think there is a need for new energy and fresh talent within Italy?
I absolutely do. If we had more space, I would have included more young names. We’ve been able to include designers like Stella Jean, whose Haitian-Roman parentage makes her Italian, but she sources textiles from Burkina Faso. And we’ve got Fausto Puglisi, whom I admire very much and who is a passionate supporter of Made in Italy. He sources his leather from Tuscany, his silk from Como. He’s obsessed about the craft. And that’s the type of voice that Italy needs for its future: that passion and dedication to materials, excitement, an original voice. I think he’s got a great future ahead of him.
What do you think Milan fashion week can do to reassert itself on a global stage?
Milan itself recognizes that it has to do more to support young designers. Franca Sozzani and her talent contest, Who Is on Next, in collaboration with Altaroma, does quite a bit to scout and mentor young designers. Stella Jean is a product of that contest. But more needs to be done in that area, and it’s still notoriously difficult to break into the Milan calendar. Fausto Puglisi describes breaking into the Milan fashion industry as going into battle.
The V&A’s exhibitions often like to put things into a broader context. Was that important in the making of The Glamour of Italian Fashion?
You can see that from the first moment you walk into the show, with a large photograph of Florence bombed in 1946 after the war. The easy thing to do would have been to launch into the Sala Bianca and its beautiful gowns, but I really wanted our visitor to understand what Italy looked like then. It was poor. It had only 50 percent literacy at that time. Most people worked as farmers, and in order to understand the true glamour of the Sala Bianca catwalk and what that meant for Italy, you really had to know that it was coming from a place of near despair. It’s a powerful contrast.
Why do you think we are so drawn to glamour?
I think fashion is a very optimistic enterprise. Because when you are buying a dress or choosing elements for your wardrobe, there is an act of self-creation involved, and with fashion itself, there is a dynamic of optimism with the changes involved. You’re thinking, If I just buy this one dress, I might look completely different! The word optimism is very apt for a lot of the fashion stories told here. There’s a lot of entrepreneurship involved—these are designers who start from nothing and can create fashion houses from nowhere.
What are some of your favorite pieces in the exhibition?
One of my favorites is the design by Mila Schön for Lee Radziwill to wear to Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball. It has long sleeves and silver sequins in a beautiful meandering pattern. We have a photograph of her dancing with Truman Capote on the catwalk, which shows that she has already checked her coat, but I think that evening coat and dress combination feels very 1960s. But what I really love is that the dress tells a wider story. It was worn by a woman who was known for her French couture wardrobe, and she chose an Italian to dress her for what Gloria Steinem described as “the party of the year” in Vogue. So only fifteen years after the first Italian fashion show in 1951, we have one of the best-dressed women in the world choosing a designer like Mila Schön for a party as grand as that. I love it on many levels.
The Glamour of Italian Fashion: 1945-2014 runs at the Victoria & Albert Museum through July 27.
“It’s like my wedding day!” exclaimed Palter DeLiso cofounder and president Lauren Bruksch. “Except in this case, I’m the groom, watching Karen [Elson] walk down the aisle.” Bruksch is talking about the recently relaunched luxury shoe brand Palter DeLiso’s premiere millennial campaign—a retro-futuristic vision of a woman (fiery-locked Elson) embarking on a rather glamorous excursion from JFK’s currently out-of-commission Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Flight Center, all the while wearing some very cared-for pumps. Along with her cofounder, creative director Taz Saunders, Bruksch’s been planning and anxiously awaiting the campaign shoot day for months now, and it’s here at last. Elson, who is being shot by fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth, is decked out in a fifties-style Roland Mouret dress and cherry-red Valentino cape, preening and waving as the camera clicks. Her feet, of course, slide into Palter DeLiso’s Fall ’14 heels—first, an ink-drop-stained pair of slender pumps and, later, a classic nude heel.
“I think the thing that we immediately realized is that [ours] is such an authentic story,” said Bruksch of the brand, which was initially founded in New York, in 1927, and later credited with inventing the peep-toe slingback. “I feel like there are so many brands that pop up and say, ‘Luxury this’ or ‘American heritage.’ Palter DeLiso has such a clear tie to the heritage, and it’s remaining really true.”
For Ellen von Unwerth, reviving—and modernizing—the Palter DeLiso image was all about creating a story of stylized adventure. “You know, this is an old brand from the fifties, so we decided to find a location that has a little bit of that aspect, but is also photogenic and interesting and can create a story—the woman traveling,” explained von Unwerth between shots. “So we pulled pictures from the fifties, of Avedon or Marilyn—you know, the pictures that make us dream. [For] me at least.”
In its first life, Palter DeLiso was photographed by Richard Avedon, Richard Rutledge, Karen Radkai, and others. The behind-the-scenes images from the new campaign debut here. Bruksch and Saunders hope the final products will embody the spirit of the original ads. That said, Bruksch insists, “Now, it’s less about looking to the past and more about, had the brand never gone away and never eclipsed, who would Palter DeLiso be today?”
Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of number crunching that goes into creating our top ten new models list. Each season, we go through the crop of fresh faces and break down each girl’s show list. We consider the quantity and quality of shows she walked and factor in exclusive appearances (yes, going the selective route can still pay off) as well as all-around buzz. One part of the equation that requires a bit more deliberation is deciding just who qualifies as “new.” Take Lexi Boling, for example. Technically, it was the Chicago-born catwalker’s sophomore season; she did Alexander Wang and several big shows in Paris during Spring ’14. But she didn’t pop up in all four cities last September and we couldn’t deny the impact she made this season, so we included her in our Fall ’14 roundup. On the other hand, someone who didn’t make the cut because we felt she had a tad too much experience was icy blond Nastya Sten. With sixty-three Fall shows under her belt, the Russian model was the most in-demand girl of the entire season. Meanwhile, we’re positively smitten with Natalie Westling’s flame-red hair and tomboyish appeal, but she simply didn’t stomp enough catwalks to qualify as a top newcomer. But that’s not to say that these ladies don’t deserve shout-outs. Below, we bring you the stats for Sten, Westling, and more noteworthy runners-up for Style.com’s top ten new models list.
Name: Nastya Sten (THE SOCIETY), middle right
Shows Walked: 63
Highlights: Opened Vera Wang, Tory Burch, Peter Pilotto, Chalayan. Closed Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg. Walked Altuzarra, Calvin Klein Collection, Proenza Schouler, Christopher Kane, Fendi, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Céline, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Saint Laurent.
Name: Natalie Westling (THE SOCIETY), top right
Shows Walked: 13
Highlights: WalkedMarc Jacobs, Giles, Fendi, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Valentino.
Name: Kate Grigorieva (THE LIONS), top left
Shows Walked: 17
Highlights: Opened Donna Karan, Barbara Bui. Closed Giambattista Valli. Walked Gucci, Versace, Isabel Marant, Céline, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen.
Name: Iana Godnia (MAJOR), middle left
Shows Walked: 24
Highlights: Exclusive Calvin Klein Collection. Walked Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Céline, Chloé, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Nina Ricci, Valentino.
Name: Kasia Jujeczka (IMG), bottom left
Shows Walked: 22
Highlights: Opened/closed Aquilano.Rimondi. Walked Calvin Klein Collection, Alexander Wang, Prada, Marni, Dior, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Sacai, Valentino.
Name: Larissa Marchiori (THE SOCIETY), bottom right
Shows Walked: 14
Highlights: Opened Dries Van Noten. Walked Prada, Emilio Pucci, Alexander McQueen, Miu Miu, Sacai, Saint Laurent, Valentino.
Fashion is dead set on fixing up Rome. The Eternal City has seen some wear and tear over the past few millennia, and last year both Fendi and Tod’s stepped in, vowing to restore the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum, respectively. Jewelry house Bulgari is the latest Italian brand to jump on the save Roma bandwagon, announcing today that it is donating 1.5 million euros to facilitate the restoration of the iconic Spanish Steps, an 18th-century landmark in the center of the city. The pledge is meant to commemorate Bulgari’s 130th anniversary. It’s fairly admirable that the three abovementioned houses—each of which has Roman roots—are working to better the ancient metropolis. Your move, Valentino.