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24 posts tagged "Vionnet"

Bouchra Jarrar Makes the Couture Cut

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bouchra jarrarIn less than four short years, designer Bouchra Jarrar has quietly accumulated a major following. Last year, she received the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal for her contribution to the French arts. No less an expert than Olivier Saillard has likened her to a “modern Vionnet.” And, as those who are smitten by Jarrar’s take on urban dressing (a killer Perfecto, a mean pair of trousers, an understated dress that needs no further embellishment) can attest, the designer is truly a couturière at heart.

Today, the Commission de Classement Couture—the body in charge of deciding who makes the grade as a Couture house—made it official: Jarrar is now a member of the Couture elite, and, it’s worth emphasizing, she’s the only female designer in the bunch. Indeed, her presence is a welcomed one in this male-dominated class of masters, and we can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Photo: Patrick Swirc

Jean Paul Gaultier: “My Purpose Is Not To Shock”

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Jean Paul Gaultier by Andy WarholThough perhaps an enfant no more, Jean Paul Gaultier’s long-standing reputation as one of fashion’s enfants terribles hardly jives with the concept of a traditional museum retrospective. In fact, Gaultier himself finds it hard to imagine his designs in such a setting. “I am from the generation where, when I saw an exhibition of someone’s work, they were dead!” he told us. “I think I am still alive, and I never in my dreams thought that a museum could be interested in the work I’m doing.”

However, judging by the buzz around The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, both museums and the masses are keen on a comprehensive showcase of the designer’s work. And, having bowed in 2011 at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, this traveling exhibition is, of course, anything but ordinary. Set to make its East Coast debut at the Brooklyn Museum this Friday, the Thierry-Maxime Loriot-curated show offers a look at Gaultier’s career through the lens of his fixations, from punk rock to corsetry to his many muses. Animated faces (including the visage of Gaultier himself, which is paired with his signature Breton shirt) are projected on many of the show’s mannequins. Elsewhere, S&M-inspired gear is shown in stacked booths reminiscent of a red light district. Ahead of the New York opening, Style.com caught up with the master himself to talk reality television, haute couture, and his career as an accidental provocateur.

When you were initially approached about having an exhibition, did you ever feel any reluctance?
At the beginning, yes. I refused. For me, it was truly for dead people. But after meeting the team at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, I thought, “Ah! Maybe we can do something that is not dead.” It’s nice because it’s a new adventure and it’s not one fixed, chronological exhibition. I did not want it by color or year. I prefer to group the clothes by the things that I’m obsessed with, or the things that are important to me, with different periods mixed together.

Your Spring ’14 runway show took inspiration from both Dancing With the Stars and Grease. Has your relationship with pop culture changed over the years?
I have always been impressed by rock culture, rock shows, people like Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and the New York Dolls—all that influenced me. I look a lot at TV, even trashy programs, reality TV sometimes, and love the contests like Dancing With the Stars. I think I am a little American that way! It’s super interesting, psychologically, and I love performance. Continue Reading “Jean Paul Gaultier: “My Purpose Is Not To Shock”” »

The Past Is Present: Azzedine Alaïa and Carla Sozzani on His New Store, His Forthcoming Fashion Foundation, And Their Decades-Long Friendship

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Azzedine Alaia and Carla Sozzani

They say that behind every great man is a woman. In Azzedine Alaïa’s case, that woman is 10 Corso Como’s Carla Sozzani—the designer’s friend since 1979, and business adviser since 1999. Sozzani joined Alaïa for the opening of his striking new three-story Paris boutique this weekend. Set in an eighteenth-century maison on Rue de Marignan in the eighth arrondissement, the shop is nothing less than we’d expect from Alaïa: clean and minimal, with paintings by Christoph von Weyhe and luxe decor by the likes of Charlotte Perriand, Angelo Mangiarotti, Marc Newson, and Pierre Paulin. Indeed, bringing the shop to life was no small feat. But even though he’s had a busy Paris fashion week (in addition to the store opening, Alaïa is the subject of a retrospective at the Musée Galliera, which opened on September 28), Alaïa shows no signs of slowing. Instead, he’s looking to the future and planning to launch a foundation to help preserve and celebrate fashion history. Here, Sozzani and Alaïa speak to Style.com about their relationship, the designer’s expansive vintage collection, and the new boutique.

Can you tell us a bit about your relationship?

Carla Sozzani: For me, there are two Azzedines. There’s the one who’s my chosen family—we’ll be friends all our life. And then there is the artist, the master. I love them both, for different reasons.

Azzedine Alaïa: Carla was behind this boutique; it’s thanks to her. But putting fashion aside, she is a great friend and a rare woman.

How did you choose this space?

CS: Azzedine wants to make his home in the Marais a foundation and museum for his clothes, his work, and his collections. He has compiled a huge amount of Vionnet, Balenciaga, Margiela, Comme des Garçons, African art. He agreed to this space, which is really like a house, because there are no shop windows. There’s a garden. It lets him be free. Azzedine always says that the best thing France ever gave him was citizenship, so he’s always happy to give back.

Alaia store

How did you begin collecting?
A.A.: In the beginning, I never considered myself a collector. It’s just that when I discover something I like, I want to learn more about it. It just so happened that when Balenciaga closed [in 1968], I realized that, for fashion’s sake, I had to do something. Everything was being marked down and sold, people were leaving. And I thought it was just stupid that this heritage would disappear and be lost. That’s when I started making a selection of pieces in function of whom I like, and I still do. Always. I pick things from each of Rei [Kawakubo]‘s collections. I have Vionnet, Dior. But Rei stands apart. Continue Reading “The Past Is Present: Azzedine Alaïa and Carla Sozzani on His New Store, His Forthcoming Fashion Foundation, And Their Decades-Long Friendship” »

At Milan’s Salone del Mobile, Furniture Fit for a Medusa

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Next week’s Salone del Mobile, the annual Milanese furniture fair, will include plenty of Italian labels, as usual. Marni is releasing the latest of its colorful chairs, as well as hosting a workshop with the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, where visitors can create “Abi-tante,” which the label describes as “small objects in the form of humanoids/robots made out of industrial waste.” Vionnet’s Goga Ashkenazi has blessed a variety of Italian designers with her patronage, and they’ve responded in kind with pieces like Nacho Carbonell’s chandelier inspired by the Maison.

But the festival queen may be Donatella Versace, who takes the occasion of the fair to show off Versace Home’s latest OTT wares. This year, she teamed up with the young L.A.-based Haas Brothers (their other brother, Lukas, is a sometime actor and rocker), who have already contributed one-off pieces to Mario Testino shoots and been commissioned by Peter Marino. For Versace, they created pieces like the Honeycomb club chair and the demurely named Bondage bench (above). “The process is very important to us,” Nikolai and Simon Haas told style.com. “It starts with a spark of inspiration and then becomes a tangible form. Donatella was the spark, and this furniture collection is our interpretation of the legend and the house of Versace.”

The spark herself had this to say: “I love the new iconic pieces the Haas Brothers have created for Versace Home. They have captured the essence of Versace today, with pieces that are grounded in tradition while also looking fearlessly to the future. It’s amazing how they have taken elements from Versace’s fashion DNA and remixed them to make pieces for the home that are fresh and new. I enjoyed working with the Haas Brothers so much, they also created some special graphic animal prints for my recent Fall 2013 womenswear show.”

Keep reading for a special video teaser of the collaboration coming together >

Continue Reading “At Milan’s Salone del Mobile, Furniture Fit for a Medusa” »

Haute History: Paris Celebrates Couture’s Legacy

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It’s ready-to-wear time, but the fashion set will fete made-to-measure clothes tonight when Paris Haute Couture opens at the Hôtel de Ville. The Swarovski-sponsored exhibition showcases one hundred pieces from the Musée Galliera’s archives and a few loans from private collections. According to curator Olivier Saillard, the Galliera’s director, it tells a chronological story, starting with Charles Frederick Worth at the turn of the century (the show’s first dress was owned by the Comtesse Greffulhe, who inspired Marcel Proust’s Duchesse de Guermantes) and ending with one of the final pieces Cristóbal Balenciaga made before he shuttered his couture business in 1968.

Many of the dresses are juxtaposed with contemporary pieces; “For me, haute couture is not a discipline slave to the present,” Saillard explained. A Galliano-designed Dior, for example, is matched with Paul Poiret, while a 1920s Chanel is paired with a dress from Bouchra Jarrar’s latest couture collection. Saillard has affection for every piece in the show, but he’s partial to the 1930s. “The thirties is the most elegant period. There were a lot of women designers: Vionnet, Chanel, Schiaparelli—that means something,” he said. “They didn’t see back to the past, they see only the future.” As for couture’s future, Saillard says it’s not dead. “There are a lot of designers interested in haute couture: Raf Simons at Dior; Comme des Garçons is doing another kind of couture; Nicolas Ghesquière was, for me, a good designer who could make haute couture.”

Paris Haute Couture is free to the public from March 2 through July 6, at the Hôtel de Ville.

Photo: Courtesy of the Musée Galliera