26 February 2010
Mr. Leon Talley was characteristically attired in a large black (weatherproof?) caftan, a fur ushanka-looking cap, burgundy velvet pants and duck boots. Ms. Coddington, ever her demure self, wore a black sweaterdress, black tights and flats, conservative silver jewelry, and - the only color besides her famed hair - a classic red manicure.
Mr. Norwich began by asking Mr. Cutler if he'd had any trepidation about making The September Issue, and if at any time during the filming he had been afraid there was no story to tell. Mr. Cutler assured the audience that he was certain "at every moment" of the process that there was no film, and he acknowledged that he had been "driven by the terror" that he'd find no narrative within the over three hundred hours of footage he captured. He never gave up, though, because he found himself so taken by the meticulous dedication of his subjects to their work. He found that the Vogue executives were "people who care about what they do, do it extremely well and they do it under high stakes." Using a baseball analogy to describe the caliber of work he saw, he likened going into the Vogue headquarters to "walking into the clubhouse of the 1927 Yankees."
Mr. Norwich then asked the resident Vogue royalty if they were hesitant to appear in the documentary, given the recent democratization, corporatization, and some might say bastardization of fashion. He made reference to the slew of fashion-oriented reality TV shows, and the overwhelming number of new "celebrity designers" each season that seem to cheapen the art and process of fashion.
Ms. Coddington replied, with much conviction, that the speeding up of fashion necessarily dilutes its quality. She expressed dislike for the frenzied push for a constant flow of new product and said in no uncertain terms that this hysteria was complicit in the recent and tragic death of Alexander McQueen.
Mr. Leon Talley agreed, saying he missed the old school way of doing things: "New school is good but old school is better." (Interestingly, he made no mention of his upcoming appearances on America's Next Top Model, but took a jab at reality TV stars-cum-designers, saying, "Keeping Up With The Kardashians? Why would I want to keep up with a family that looks like that?")
Mr. Cutler said, and his fellow panelists agreed, that his film successfully shows the connoisseurship at Vogue, and how to take a slow and deliberate approach to the creative process. Apparently the mutual appreciation for this deliberate, artful approach has paved the way for future collaboration: Ms. Coddington and Mr. Cutler acknowledged that they're working together on a upcoming project that will put her book, Catwalk Cats, to film.
Mr. Norwich finished the Q&A by asking each panelist to comment on personal style. Ms. Coddington said a person's personality should be reflected in his or her style and emphasized that "it's hopeless to dress like someone else." Mr. Leon Talley agreed and said, "Your personal style should remain with you; it shouldn't come from the pages of Vogue."
The September Issue is now out on DVD. Included in the DVD set is special behind the scenes footage of The Met Ball, and also footage of Anna Wintour's preparation for her touching eulogy to Isabella Blow.
17 February 2010
There was a sporty, baseball tee-inspired sweater. Slick leather skirts tied snugly at the waist were reminiscent of welders' or woodworkers' aprons.
But in the midst of all this utility, there were hints at luxury. I wrote earlier about anticipating a fundamental Americanness in Reed Krakoff's design, and the history of America is not complete without the history of the fur trade, specifically beaver fur. Its presence on the runway recalled the New World's rugged past and exoticism. In combining this with Krakoff's utilitarian tailoring, the collection successfully drew together two ends of America's vast sartorial spectrum.The result of this melding is a wardrobe for a feminist fatale, and considering the reception the collection has received, it's a look we can expect to see more of.
15 February 2010
These boots were lovely and glossy when I bought them yesterday, but I wore them all around town today (to Ellis Island and back!) and they're already getting a worn-in look. I feel more SWAT team in them than Euro, but that's okay with me.
12 February 2010
Yigal Azrouël. Booties continue to be big, as do menswear-inspired looks.
BCBG Max Azria. Asymmetry is everywhere. (P.S. That's Sophie Srej!)
Ruffian. Mid-calf boots also remain through Fall.
This dress would work with a pair of Mrs. Obama's ever-present flats and J.Crew cardigan. I can even envision her wearing it with her Alaia belt.
This mustardy-gold color has been lovely on Mrs. Obama in the past, and the off the shoulder asymmetry would show off her famous biceps.
This dress would be a riskier move for Mrs. Obama, but it's not riskier than the Narciso Rodriguez dress she wore on election night 2008. Besides, the conservative silhouette makes the gilding a lot easier to pull off.
11 February 2010
06 February 2010
After Reed Krakoff's fashion week debut in less than two weeks, the fashion world may have a new American design pioneer. The level of anticipation surrounding his show is palpable, and the amount of press it's receiving is a testament to that fact. Once the reviews are in, critics may find themselves shouting a collective "Go West!", and New York could reclaim its place as the global fashion capital, paving the design path for the new decade. But there's no telling till the last model walks down the RK runway, so stay tuned.
"Art, design, and architecture influence everything I do... Right now, for me it's about re-embracing design that is unmistakably American—reimagining and reconfiguring it, while simultaneously elevating it, in a way." Regarding this image of a Lee Bontecou sculpture, Reed Krakoff said, "I'm really feeling for these kind of naive, industrial textures, but executed in a more refined, unexpected way." - Vogue
05 February 2010
Though her choices are interesting, more interesting is why she makes the choices she does. There is a particularly poignant moment in the film, in which she refers to the disparate career paths of herself and her siblings. Without ever changing her facial expression or tone, she seems to reveal a bitter sibling rivalry. She says, flatly and maybe sarcastically, that her siblings are saving the world, and they find her work vapid and meaningless.
I was stunned by her comment. As a middle child with five competitive siblings, this information was hugely revealing as it illuminated a great deal to me about Ms. Wintour's M.O.. But apparently it was not even slightly compelling to the director, R.J. Cutler, who let it come and go without comment and never returned to it. He seemed to find the dynamic between Grace Coddington and Ms. Wintour to be far more deserving of attention, and though it was interesting, how much more compelling would it have been if we were to have learned that Anna Wintour's decisions are influenced by a fierce desire to prove to her siblings, and the world, that fashion is neither vapid nor meaningless; or that it is, but who cares anyway when it is the source of her power?
I actually met her through mutual friends when she had only recently moved to New York and spoke just a few words of English. (Here we are in the Fall of 2008.)And look at her now, on Rodarte's runway! I was actually just flipping through the March issue of Marie Claire and came across a picture of her from this show. Keep your eye out for her! She's stunning, and clearly versatile.
03 February 2010
I was in Peru last year and found it absolutely breathtaking. It's no wonder people flock to it.During an interview with The Independent, Mr. Testino said, "I grew up in Peru in a very conventional Catholic upbringing, so sex was a taboo. But at the same time it was the 1960s; the sexual revolution. So I'm a contradiction."
Danish-Peruvian Helena Christensen was in Peru last year on behalf of Oxfam to document the effects of climate change in the country.Read more about it here.
30 January 2010
This morning I was having brunch with a friend at NoHo Star. I glanced at the table beside me and who should I see but Mario Testino. I became instantly giddy. I excitedly told my friend who was sitting nearby and she didn't know who he was, but she said, "Go say hi!"
Without really thinking, I walked up to him and, unabashedly gushing, said, "I'm so sorry to interrupt, I'm just a huge, huge fan of your work. You're amazing!" He smiled kindly and said, "Well thank you! And I'm a huge fan of your style!"
I nearly threw my arms around him, but I managed to maintain my composure and I left him to his brunch.
Oh Mario Testino, I love you even more now than I did before!
10 November 2009
Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, by Marcel Duchamp. Anyone else see the resemblance? When Duchamp debuted this painting, critics loathed it and said it looked like "an explosion in a shingle factory." But, it turned out that the world had never seen quite an explosion, and the painting stuck and became an iconic image of the 20th century. I cannot help but feel the designer of Rihanna's dress was inspired, either consciously or subconsciously, by Marcel Duchamp.
If given the opportunity, go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see this painting. It's even better in real life.
12 August 2009
I'll be vising friends and family in Seattle, and helping with a photoshoot. Then I'll head down to LA for a film premiere (and a total of thirty hours in LA). Then I fly back to New York, and six hours later take a train to New Haven, Connecticut. The next day I'll drive up to Montreal for a wedding, turn around the next day, and drive back to New York.
Then I move into a new apartment, and a few days later I leave for Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
I'm exhausted just talking about it. So, in order to cut back on things to think about, I'm requesting advice: what should I wear to the premiere?
Look forward to hearing feedback!
02 August 2009
On the train into midtown, I sat next to this charming transsexual, who looked exceedingly glamorous, waving her black lace fan and wearing gaudy rhinestones. I felt like even more of a schlub.
Boots: Festival by Hunter. Bag: Garnet XL with chain by Coach.
01 July 2009
Thank goodness my new boots arrived from Gilt Groupe. I jumped on them because they're so cheap off-season, but apparently, based on the ominous weather report, I won't have to wait till autumn to make use of them.
11 June 2009
What do you think? Could you manage, or would you get cabin fever in your dress?