18 posts tagged "VPL"
“Vegan. Vegan. Leather. Vegan. Leather. Leather.” That was Victoria Bartlett last night after dinner, playing show-and-tell over a small display of her Spring 2012 VPL shoes set up in the corner at Gemma’s Wine Room. However, it was the animal product-free portion of the collection that served as the reason for this happy and homey little get-together for friends like co-host Julie Gilhart, Hannelore Knuts, and dashing Last Magazine duo Magnus Berger and Tenzin Wild.
The designer has been a fur-free, vegetarian animal lover for almost three decades—despite her very English roots. “Oh, I grew up with my mum serving me liver, cow’s tongue, rabbit. You name it,” she said. (Though high fashion’s other purveyor of vegan accessories Stella McCartney is also English, and Bartlett noted that former McCartney BFF and fellow Brit Phoebe Philo was also vegan back in the day.)
Bartlett had long since made her peace with leather as a by-product but was spurred on by socialite and fashionable free spirit Arden Wohl to toss some non-leather options into the mix, and into an apparent market void. “Arden basically told me there’s not that much fashion stuff out there except for Stella,” said Bartlett. For Spring, Wohl and other conscious shoppers can choose between VPL’s strappy low wedges in faux leather—good solid Italian-made stuff that took Bartlett a year to find—in colors like putty, buff, and forest, and bright neoprene sandals with zips up the back.
This vegan venture is just a first phase. In the offing for VPL are fake leather bags and even coats. But don’t expect Bartlett to be flogging them as a marketing gimmick. The mix of cruelty-free and vero cuoio isn’t strict and neither is she. “It can be a selling point for people who want it,” she said. “But otherwise, it’s just fashion.”
Artist Orly Genger and VPL designer Victoria Bartlett have been collaborating for a while now: Genger, in conjunction with Jaclyn Mayer, creates much of the jewelry that Bartlett uses in her fashion show. Jewelry-wise, some of those pieces have been pretty large—nearly breastplate size, say. But that’s nothing compared to what Bartlett and Genger have in store now. This evening, the VPL shop opens Squat, a site-specific installation of Genger’s trademark knotted and painted rope, with two models woven into the design. “It’s literally miles of rope,” Bartlett says. “It’s like the girls are drowning in it.” This evening’s event is hosted by Clarissa Dalrymple, Yvonne Force Villareal, Rachel Chandler, and Arden Wohl, and kicks off at 7 p.m., when Genger will nestle the models into rope she’s pre-knotted up to that point. Bartlett notes that, aside from offering the space, the inclusion of the models in the installation represents VPL’s contribution to the concept of the piece. “I’m obsessed with the body; that’s been a theme for me all along,” she points out. “This is just another way of expressing that.”
Soho has been a shopping destination for so long, it hardly seems worth remarking that a new corner of the neighborhood has opened its arms to fashion. Nevertheless, something does seem to be afoot on the nabe’s downtown edge. Agnès B. is due to open soon on Howard Street. Just around the block on Grand Street, Alexander Wang is taking over the old Yohji space. And now Victoria Bartlett has opened her first-ever VPL store at the junction of Mercer and Howard. “So-Soho,” Bartlett suggests visitors call the area, tongue planted gently in cheek. There’s certainly nothing mediocre about her boutique, which she’s kitted out with vintage gym gear (gymnastic rings, a pommel horse, etc.) and filled with clothes from her main line and VPL Two collections, as well as a selection of the collaborative jewelry she shows on the VPL runway. “I didn’t want to do either the cliché white-on-white fashion store, or the filled-to-bursting boutique,” Bartlett said. “I just wanted the space to feel really VPL, an agglomeration of all my influences.” To wit, Bauhaus-inspired color-blocking here (reminiscent of her signature color-blocked underthings), and a model of a human spine there (homage to Bartlett’s fascination with human anatomy). Bartlett will be celebrating the store opening with a party this Thursday, by which point, the Mark Borthwick portraits of people wearing VPL will be up on the walls. “Lo-so? Do-so?” Bartlett continued, still brainstorming. “Eh,” she said, finally. “Just call it Soho.”
VPL opens Friday at 5 Mercer St., NYC, (646) 912-6142, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trunk shows have largely been the province of the designer floor. No more. Next week, Barneys’ Madison Avenue flagship plays host to Trunk-a-Palooza, a more-the-merrier trunk show and party featuring contemporary brands sold in the store’s Co-Op. Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright and David Neville (pictured), Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos, Alexander Wang, Richard Chai, Vena Cava’s Lisa Mayock, Victoria Bartlett, and more will be on hand to hawk their Fall collections, not to mention limited editions like S&H silkscreened posters, Vena Cava mix CDs, and the medal pendants Rag & Bone used for its Spring 2010 show. There’ll be a DJ on hand, too, but despite this, and the music-fest name, we’re pretty sure moshing is still frowned upon.
Trunk-a-Palooza runs from 2 to 8 p.m. (designer appearances from 5 p.m.) on Wednesday, April 21, at Barneys, 660 Madison Ave., 7th fl., NYC, (212) 826-8900, www.barneys.com.
PLUS: Don’t forget our interview with Barneys New York fashion director Julie Gilhart on the future of fashion.
Oasis’ Liam Gallagher (pictured)—better known for drunken brawls and fraternal strife—is launching a collection of womenswear. If his Brit pop experience is anything to go by, he’ll probably break it up and then rejoin it again several times just to keep things interesting. [NY Mag]
Apparently, not every label got on the whole dot-com thing fast enough. Several fashion brands don’t seem to own their own names, which is why a visit to RickOwens.com won’t turn up killer leather jackets—it’ll bring you to an ad for natural colon cleansers. (VPL.com? An aerosol thrush treatment for pets. GarethPugh.com? A construction company in Wales.) Luckily, if you’re looking for any them, Style.com is pretty easy to remember. [FWD]
Donna Karan isn’t into live streaming. But she’ll be live streaming on Friday. But it’ll be Spring merchandise, not Fall. She’s been a vocal advocate for demystifying fashion’s Spring-ahead/Fall-behind seasonal schedule, but to be honest, we’re kinda confused. [WWD]
There is a blog out there devoted exclusively to the fashion and style of The Nanny. And Roseanne. And Claudia from The Baby-sitters Club. Thank you, Internet. [Refinery29]