April 20 2014

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8 posts tagged "Vanessa Seward"

Waist Management


A.P.C.’s raison d’être is denim; its new guiding spirit is Vanessa Seward. The former Azzaro designer focused on cocktail dresses for her capsule collection for the label, but now that the collaboration is continuing into the future, she’s applying herself to the house’s bread and butter, too. Her second capsule collection for A.P.C., for Spring ’13, includes her first takes on denim, in exclusively high-waisted styles. Given the cuts of her skirts and trousers, A.P.C.’s traditionally steely raw denim wasn’t an option. A suppler version keeps the goods wearable, and during a preview, founder Jean Touitou peered inside a waistband to reveal one of the collection’s secrets: expandable chain stitching to prevent any potential disagreements between fabric and the human form.

“It’s good for me because my life is changing,” Seward said last week at the New York leg of A.P.C.’s 25th anniversary party tour. “I was always in cocktail dresses and high heels. Now I’m a mother of a 2-year-old and I have a different life. I’m now obsessed with a type of casual chicness.” She’ll have more time to ply said obsession. “We started off to do one collection; then we said, OK, let’s do two.” She added, “Now I’m working on the third one.”

A.P.C. x Vanessa Seward denim arrives at A.P.C. stores early next year.

Photo: Ezra Petronio/Courtesy of A.P.C.

A.P.C. X Vanessa Seward: A Cure For The Common Collaboration


Collaboration fatigue is an affliction that’s been making the rounds among fashion folk for some time. But the collection that ex-Azzaro designer Vanessa Seward has done for A.P.C. is quite darling enough to pierce the haze. For starters, there’s the happily un-corporate, très A.P.C. way it came together. “We’ve all known each other for quite some time. Then Vanessa, how do you say, had some free time, and the will to do something with us. That was it,” explained A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou, in his usual puckish manner, at the label’s Left Bank showroom a couple days ago.

But mostly there’s the clothes, which take A.P.C.’s essential nature and give it a pretty upgrade in couture fabrics, some from the archive of storied Swiss mill Abraham. The bronze-y gold lamé, however, is a new version that’s far less itchy than the old stuff, and thanks to Touitou’s knack for navigating production, the prices are still right. A sweet pale golden jacquard lamé dress tops the line out at around $700, while a pair of hot pants in the same fabric rings in at around $325. In the navy and red floral silk, the frill-necked dress is about $590, while a flippy skirt is about $400. The capsule is tightly edited, but these seem like clothes that you can wear for seasons to come without feeling like you’re in that piece. Getting your hands on them is another issue. At least A.P.C.’s new West Village store is finally open, after a few landmark-driven delays—another place to line up.

Photo: Ezra Petronio

The Dos And Don’ts of A.P.C.’s Jean Touitou


Having made his name on some of the planet’s best jeans, A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou is expanding into the glamour business. In December, he tapped former Azzaro designer Vanessa Seward for a capsule collection of high-end womenswear that the two will debut in Paris during the upcoming fashion week. All this as he continues to expand his global retail empire: He was in New York last week to preside over the opening of his third NYC store, in the West Village, before jetting to L.A. to continue his search for space. At A.P.C.’s Soho showroom, Touitou sat down with to discuss the things he won’t do (red-carpet dressing, celebrity shilling, open in Abu Dhabi), the things he will (keep his clothes largely logo-free), and why everybody should stop dressing like a rock star already.

A.P.C.’s West Village store is open now at 267 W. 4th St., NYC, (212) 755-2523.


During Paris fashion week, you’ll show your upcoming capsule collection with Vanessa Seward. Will it be an ongoing collaboration?
We’ve been thinking about it a lot. It’s a lot of work, and it’s too [much] for us. So I’m really happy I did that, but I think it’s going to be one thing. I might have the will to do more, to ask my studio to do more—it’s delicate—feminine pieces. Because our trademark for women is a bit of frigidity of design. Don’t get me wrong—it’s an idea of frigidity.

It’s a strictness.
It’s a strictness, which I believe is sexy, but you might want to play with sexiness in a different way, like the way we did with Vanessa. And maybe when it’s over, maybe we’ll continue to have some dresses like this. Continue Reading “The Dos And Don’ts of A.P.C.’s Jean Touitou” »

Proenza Schouler On The Hunt For Its First Retail Space, Louis Vuitton’s Spring ’12 Ad Campaign Revealed, Vanessa Seward X A.P.C., And More…


Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are set to open their first Proenza Schouler retail space next year. Reportedly, they have their eyes on a Madison Avenue space. [WWD]

Louis Vuitton’s new Spring ’12 campaign is very pretty in pink. The Steven Meisel-lensed ads feature Daria Strokous and Kati Nescher in “candy-colored shifts, pastel suits with white-lace collars, and powdered croc bags.” [Hint]

In other Louis Vuitton news, the house has collaborated with La Fabrique du Temps on a new 18-karat white gold timepiece. The Tambour Minute Repeater displays “one time while being able, upon request, to chime an alternative ‘home’ time.” [Nowness]

Vanessa Seward, the former creative director of Azzaro, has created a capsule collection for A.P.C. The collection is set to launch in Paris during fashion week this spring. [WWD]

Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Designer Firings: A Silver Lining?


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 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 /