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April 16 2014

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22 posts tagged "Vionnet"

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

Art and Fashion Meet in Milan

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Vionnet’s Goga Ashkenazi and W‘s Stefano Tonchi hosted an opening party in Milan last night for Thayaht: Between Art and Fashion. Ashkenazi recently acquired a collection of illustrations Thayaht made of dresses designed by Madeleine Vionnet between 1919 and 1925. Famous for inventing the bias cut, the French couturier never sketched; rather, she draped all of her pieces on eighty-centimeter mannequins. Originally hired to design the house’s logo, Thayaht, an Italian futurist artist and industrial designer, born Ernesto Michahelles (he liked the palindromic qualities of his nom de paint brush, apparently), became her collaborator and documentarian. “There’s nothing more graceful than seeing the garment float freely on the body,” Vionnet once said. Thayaht’s drawings would seem to confirm that; some of the dresses look startlingly modern, despite being made nearly a century ago. Among the sixty sketches in the collection, a few include the name of the client for whom the dress was made. “They put the idea of body types in perspective, because the drawings were about the client, not about the idealized woman,” Tonchi told Style.com. “One of Vionnet’s big revelations was to eliminate the waistline,” he added. There’s some debate about who, exactly, freed women from the corset—Poiret, Chanel, or Vionnet—but Ashkenazi has her answer. “Vionnet—she made us all comfortable.”

Thayaht: Between Art and Fashion is open at Milan’s Museo Poldi Pezzoli until February 25.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Fashion And Furniture Meet In Milan

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Today in Milan, the annual Salone del Mobile kicks off—the Milan furniture fair to me and you. And once again, fashion labels from both home and abroad and using the gathering to extend their reach from their clients’ clothes to their living spaces, debuting new collections and pieces.

Donatella Versace is one of Milan’s hometown heroes breaking out new wares for the occasion. “I think this is our ultimate home collection since it’s the perfect blend of fashion and design,” she told Style.com of the new offering. “It’s pure fashion in 3D! I wanted to make my outfits live in the homes of people and I think I finally succeeded. I love it because it is so direct and powerful that people will have no doubts when they see it: they’ll know it’s Versace.” It’s hard to imagine who else would combine leopard print, gold, heraldic crests, and crowns—on a single chair (left). But there’s subtler charm, too, in Versace Home’s gold-detailed leather sofa and undulating coffee table, debuting exclusively here.

If there’s no mistaking Versace, it’d be hard to mistake Maison Martin Margiela, either: the Maison has once again created a temporary apartment at the fair to showcase its furniture, produced by Cerruti Baleri. New for the season is the Lazy console table, scaled-down to off-kilter smallness, and a “shrinking” upholstered headboard, the Lolo (below). Continue Reading “Fashion And Furniture Meet In Milan” »