16 posts tagged "Victoria Bartlett"
With the wind of Marc Levin’s HBO documentary Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, which aired Monday, at their backs, supporters of NYC’s shrinking Garment District gathered today at noon for a Save the Garment Center rally. There was a sizable turnout for the event at the corner of 39th Street and Seventh Avenue, which was organized by a mix of city officials and led by designers Nanette Lepore and Yeohlee Teng. The crowd spanned the entire northeast side of the block reaching to 40th Street. “The Garment Center is the lifeblood of New York City…and we need to preserve it,” said Lepore, standing on a small stage, to the assembled fashion students, designers, and Garment District workers. “The city has already lost enough of what keeps us unique,” she added.
Designer and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg turned up to lend her considerable support, as did Michael Kors, Victoria Bartlett, Maria Cornejo, Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright and Chris Benz. “I produce my entire collection here,” said Benz. “For a young designer, the quantities for production lots overseas are enormous. They ask for 1,000 pieces at a time.” Erin Fetherston, who was part of the cause but was out of town filming a broadcast for her line with QVC, had similar thoughts. “The Garment District is so important to New York and New York fashion,” said Fetherston, before the rally. “Big American brands and young designers alike all have access to the same great resources for making clothing.” Or as one of the posters cheekily but effectively summarized, “It’s Sew N.Y.”
At the VPL show almost two weeks ago, many of the models came down the runway with abstract, hand-crocheted accessories by the young designer Aran Baik. Based on anatomical drawings, the accessories served to outline and extend the skeletal lines of the models’ bodies—ribcage, hip bone, shoulder blade. The pieces spoke to the collection’s theme, Atlas of Anatomy, but they also worked as an elegant summary of the obsessions VPL designer Victoria Bartlett has nurtured since she launched in 2003. Bartlett’s fascination with the body is frank. Her collections have often seemed like the product of a dialogue between a choreographer and an X-ray technician. Bartlett has opened that conversation up to a variety of collaborators. Baik was one of several designers who participated in VPL’s recent Spring show. And over the years, she has worked closely with many artists, most of whom delivered work to VPL UNHINGED, a retrospective opening on September 27 at the Dopolavaro Gallery in Milan. The show will feature new work from some—including Mark Borthwick, Jack Pierson, and Jessica Metrani—while others, like Steven Klein and Collier Schorr, are contributing iconic pieces from their archives. Here, Bartlett talks to Style.com about tap-dancing twins, time capsules, and exposing what lies beneath.
VPL UNHINGED opens toward the end of fashion week in Milan. Was that timing coincidental, or did the gallery intend for the show to find a place on the calendar?
Actually, they invited me to do an exhibition in June, around the time of the men’s collections in Milan. But I was just too busy, so we pushed it back. The intention was never to be part of fashion week, but more like something at the edges of it. We also felt like the show couldn’t just be about clothes. This is more like a dialogue with VPL, in different mediums—photography, painting, etching, sculpture, film. We’re going to have a performance, too, the night of the opening. Everyone in the group will be wearing one-of-a-kind showpieces.
The hybrid shoe is here to stay. A brief recap: open-toe, high-heeled hiking boots at Rag & Bone, where Marcus Wainwright and David Neville are busily expanding their accessories business, including footwear. Alexander Wang: clog brogues, open-toe, high-heeled motorcycle boots; peep-toe dual animal-print wedge booties. Preen showed a pair of platform sandals with a bootlike cuff around the ankle as part of its debut collection of shoes; as an aside, it’s also worth mentioning that the Preen shoes ratified the continuing relevance of the cone heel, albeit in a blockier shape than for Fall. And then there is the thong boot, back with a vengeance for Spring 2010. Victoria Bartlett sent toe-ring thong boots down the VPL runway on Saturday, and two hours later, Richard Chai showed every look at his show for his new Love label with a pair of wedge-heeled thong boots that came up to low calf. What’s the deal? Are women keen to go pantless and afraid to show their ankles? Is this trend—and its longevity—the result of designers observing girls on the street wearing boots and brogues all summer long, and then thinking, I bet they’d like to aerate their feet? No complaints, just asking. Comments, please. Also, a word about the shin guards at the Alexander Wang show: This is a look that’s been rolling around the Lower East Side for a few months; this writer always assumed it had something to do with kickball leagues. Any takers for a shin-guard trend?
Why: Bathing suits are a nightmare to shop for, for lots of reasons—that yearly encounter with pale winter flab is no fun, for one, and before you even broach the question of taste, there’s the tricky matter of support and coverage to be considered. In a word: bleah. But the icing on the cake, as far as I’m concerned, is the way so much swimwear seems to have been designed on the assumption that women undergo a style lobotomy when they book a trip to the beach. Why are normally thoughtful, fashion-forward types suddenly expected, come summer, to want to look like porn stars? Victoria Bartlett comprehends that a girl doesn’t leave her brain on the floor when she puts on a bikini. Her new range of VPL swimwear packs the clean, graphic punch of the line’s trademark, frill-free lingerie, and even the two-pieces are cut with a welcome sense of modesty. I’m no prig—I own my fair share of string bikinis—but this season, I think I’d rather be seen in VPL’s one-shoulder maillot, which comes in the same shocking pink Marc Jacobs put on his Fall ’09 runway. It’s a swimsuit that will make people look twice, for the right reasons.
Where: $195, at Saks Fifth Avenue.