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Dress for wedding - صفحه 5

Donatella Versace: "My brother was the king, and my whole world had crashed around me”

[ پنجشنبه 6 مهر 1396 ] [ 6:41 ] [ neda ] [ ]

Donatella Versace: "My brother was the king, and my whole world had crashed around me”

Men – particularly wealthy, powerful ones – are often described as becoming more attractive as they get older. You rarely hear it said of a woman, but it is true of Donatella Versace. I am watching her sit for her portrait and marvelling at a face that has the bones of a Roman emperor and the lashes of a Fellini leading lady. Her three-quarter profile could – should – grace a stamp, or a gold coin, or a slope of Mount Rushmore. Her skin, the colour of the terracotta rooftops of Milan, spread out outside the window, is luminous. Vanilla-blond hair falls in a soft wave, lopped off at shoulder blade height. The high slit in her floor-length black dress reveals legs toned so taut that they ripple as she moves. I am watching from the back of the room and when she breaks from posing to greet me, she moves with a lissom grace that belies the seven-inch platforms on which her tiny frame is jacked up.

At 62, Donatella Versace is artistic director and vice-president of a company with an annual revenue of £592m. Perhaps, then, it is sexist to focus on how she looks. But she brings it up herself, when the photographs have been shot and she and I are sitting on plump sofas in her elegant all-white office. I ask her where her aesthetic came from and she says, “I was not born fantastically beautiful, but I always wanted to be impressive. So I bleach my hair blond, I wear high heels. I am 5ft 2in – me and Bruno Mars, the same – so I wear high heels all the time, to be tall.” Donatella knows it is not trends that drive the fashion industry, but the eternal obsessions of women as they look in the mirror: looking better, getting noticed, feeling good. The visceral, primal stuff. This is why the Versace brand still has potency, 40 years after Gianni Versace opened a first boutique on Via della Spiga, a half mile from where his sister and I are sitting now.

The Donatella who sits opposite me today in her light-filled office is a very different looking woman from the Donatella I first interviewed a decade ago. Her hair then was twice as long and twice as thick, with a heavy fringe that obscured half her face. Her skin had reached that point of mahogany where the glow seems to dim. She was still smoking then, lighting successive Marlboro Reds with hands that trembled a little, so that there was a soft clatter every time she replaced her espresso cup in its lacquered saucer. She was already in her 50s, but I remember thinking that she seemed like a little dauphin prince, dwarfed by the gilt grandeur of her private apartment.A decade later, she seems so much younger than she did then. The Versaceopulence is as deep-pile as ever, with armfuls of peonies and high-end scented candles flickering on every side table. Donatella’s handbag sprawls its contents across a large desk behind her, and the energy around those who work with Donatella is infinitely more relaxed. Sipping water through a straw from a glass etched with a Medusa head, she seems a sunnier person. Only the distinctive rasp of a voice is the same, despite almost a decade as a non-smoker.

Donatella Versace has proved a lot of people wrong and not least, one suspects, herself. “When my brother was murdered, I had the eyes of the whole world on me and 99% of them thought I wasn’t going to make it. And maybe I thought the same, at first. My brother was the king, and my whole world had crashed around me.” But two decades after the murder of her brother placed Gianni’s sister and muse unexpectedly at the head of the Versace table, she helms a business that, since creaking close to bankruptcy in 2004, has been nursed back to health. A British CEO, Jonathan Akeroyd, was hired from Alexander McQueen last year. The Versace family still owns 80% of the business, with most shares in the name of Donatella’s daughter Allegra, who is now 31. (Allegra’s brother Daniel inherited Gianni’s art collection, which is now worth a good deal more than the £37m it was valued at then.)

The Donatella Versace story began on 2 May 1955, when she was born in Reggio Calabria. Her mother, a dressmaker, would let her baby daughter play in the basket of fabric in the middle of the room as she worked. Her brothers, Santo and Gianni, were 10 and eight when she was born, but her bond with Gianni defied the age difference. “I was his doll and his best friend. He dressed me up in cool clothes, took me out to discos and clubs from when I was 11. I loved it. It was the best time of my life,” she says. Donatella left home for university in Florence, but was soon back by Gianni’s side, and remained there throughout his 90s glory days – supermodels singing George Michael’s Freedom on the catwalk in 1991, Liz Hurley in that safety pin dress in 1994, Madonna shot by Steven Meisel and Mario Testino in 1995 – while Santo ran the business. “There was Santo, the calm one; Gianni, the enfant terrible, and me – Gianni’s accomplice” was how Donatella described the dynamic at the time. She had sole creative responsibility for Versus, the diffusion line launched in 1989.

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Donatella Versace: "My brother was the king,

[ سه شنبه 4 مهر 1396 ] [ 6:14 ] [ neda ] [ ]

Donatella Versace: "My brother was the king,

Donatella Versace: "My brother was the king, and my whole world had crashed around me”

and my whole world had crashed around me”

Men – particularly wealthy, powerful ones – are often described as becoming more attractive as they get older. You rarely hear it said of a woman, but it is true of Donatella Versace. I am watching her sit for her portrait and marvelling at a face that has the bones of a Roman emperor and the lashes of a Fellini leading lady. Her three-quarter profile could – should – grace a stamp, or a gold coin, or a slope of Mount Rushmore. Her skin, the colour of the terracotta rooftops of Milan, spread out outside the window, is luminous. Vanilla-blond hair falls in a soft wave, lopped off at shoulder blade height. The high slit in her floor-length black dress reveals legs toned so taut that they ripple as she moves. I am watching from the back of the room and when she breaks from posing to greet me, she moves with a lissom grace that belies the seven-inch platforms on which her tiny frame is jacked up.

At 62, Donatella Versace is artistic director and vice-president of a company with an annual revenue of £592m. Perhaps, then, it is sexist to focus on how she looks. But she brings it up herself, when the photographs have been shot and she and I are sitting on plump sofas in her elegant all-white office. I ask her where her aesthetic came from and she says, “I was not born fantastically beautiful, but I always wanted to be impressive. So I bleach my hair blond, I wear high heels. I am 5ft 2in – me and Bruno Mars, the same – so I wear high heels all the time, to be tall.” Donatella knows it is not trends that drive the fashion industry, but the eternal obsessions of women as they look in the mirror: looking better, getting noticed, feeling good. The visceral, primal stuff. This is why the Versace brand still has potency, 40 years after Gianni Versace opened a first boutique on Via della Spiga, a half mile from where his sister and I are sitting now.

The Donatella who sits opposite me today in her light-filled office is a very different looking woman from the Donatella I first interviewed a decade ago. Her hair then was twice as long and twice as thick, with a heavy fringe that obscured half her face. Her skin had reached that point of mahogany where the glow seems to dim. She was still smoking then, lighting successive Marlboro Reds with hands that trembled a little, so that there was a soft clatter every time she replaced her espresso cup in its lacquered saucer. She was already in her 50s, but I remember thinking that she seemed like a little dauphin prince, dwarfed by the gilt grandeur of her private apartment.A decade later, she seems so much younger than she did then. The Versaceopulence is as deep-pile as ever, with armfuls of peonies and high-end scented candles flickering on every side table. Donatella’s handbag sprawls its contents across a large desk behind her, and the energy around those who work with Donatella is infinitely more relaxed. Sipping water through a straw from a glass etched with a Medusa head, she seems a sunnier person. Only the distinctive rasp of a voice is the same, despite almost a decade as a non-smoker.

Donatella Versace has proved a lot of people wrong and not least, one suspects, herself. “When my brother was murdered, I had the eyes of the whole world on me and 99% of them thought I wasn’t going to make it. And maybe I thought the same, at first. My brother was the king, and my whole world had crashed around me.” But two decades after the murder of her brother placed Gianni’s sister and muse unexpectedly at the head of the Versace table, she helms a business that, since creaking close to bankruptcy in 2004, has been nursed back to health. A British CEO, Jonathan Akeroyd, was hired from Alexander McQueen last year. The Versace family still owns 80% of the business, with most shares in the name of Donatella’s daughter Allegra, who is now 31. (Allegra’s brother Daniel inherited Gianni’s art collection, which is now worth a good deal more than the £37m it was valued at then.)

The Donatella Versace story began on 2 May 1955, when she was born in Reggio Calabria. Her mother, a dressmaker, would let her baby daughter play in the basket of fabric in the middle of the room as she worked. Her brothers, Santo and Gianni, were 10 and eight when she was born, but her bond with Gianni defied the age difference. “I was his doll and his best friend. He dressed me up in cool clothes, took me out to discos and clubs from when I was 11. I loved it. It was the best time of my life,” she says. Donatella left home for university in Florence, but was soon back by Gianni’s side, and remained there throughout his 90s glory days – supermodels singing George Michael’s Freedom on the catwalk in 1991, Liz Hurley in that safety pin dress in 1994, Madonna shot by Steven Meisel and Mario Testino in 1995 – while Santo ran the business. “There was Santo, the calm one; Gianni, the enfant terrible, and me – Gianni’s accomplice” was how Donatella described the dynamic at the time. She had sole creative responsibility for Versus, the diffusion line launched in 1989

.
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How fashion's new obsession with office dressing made me feel like an 80s throwback

[ جمعه 31 شهريور 1396 ] [ 6:21 ] [ neda ] [ ]

How fashion's new obsession with office dressing made me feel like an 80s throwback

It’s a normal Tuesday morning in the office and people are staring at me. They look me up and down as I fill my water bottle. They give me side eye in the lift. This is not an anxiety dream. This is real life. My appearance is inspiring unspoken questions in my colleagues. Namely: what on earth is she wearing? And why?

What I am wearing is an Isabel Marant suit. It is woollen, grey and double breasted, with burgundy stripes and softly padded shoulders. In the Guardian’s proudly dressed-down environment, where jeans and T-shirts are practically compulsory, I am an aberration.

It’s not just scruffy journalists who don’t wear suits in 2017. The world of work is in flux, and the world of workwear with it. In an age of telecommuting and the gig economy, the old rules are eroding. Formal attire is not extinct, quite yet, but it is endangered. MPs are no longer required to wear ties in the House of Commons; titans of industry wear hoodies as often as pinstriped suits.

As we face these anxieties, trust the fashion industry, in all of its contrariness, to back the corporate look in a big way, with designers from Céline to Calvin Kleinsending suits down the catwalk. Meanwhile, a wonkier take on office wear – shirts spliced with blazers, herringbone jackets fashioned into strapless dresses – has become the calling card of brands including Palmer//Harding and Monse. Menswear has gone managerial, too. At Balenciaga the concept has spread from the clothes to the entire brand aesthetic, with business cards used as show invitations and boardroom carpet providing the backdrop for ad campaigns.

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Fashion’s corporate fascination has piqued my own interest in trouser suits for the first time since graduation. My usual work clothes are – and I deliberately employ a fancy word here to make this seem more aspirational – deshabille. The hard-cornered boardroom aesthetic isn’t part of my fashion vocabulary for the same reason that I don’t have a LinkedIn profile. Working in the dressed-down media is a big part of my identity, as is the lack of delineation between office and weekend clothes. On the moodboard in my mind’s eye is Kate Moss’s bedhead hair and the tousled insouciance of Carine Roitfeld’s casually misbuttoned silk blouse. Sadly, crumpled chic is rather less iconic the way I wear it – not least because I’m 5ft tall – but I’d rather be a bit of a mess than look as though I’m trying too hard.

Wearing a suit feels physically weird. It’s a lot more fabric than I would usually put on my body. I’m hot. So hot that I tug at my collar like a dodgy banker in a movie about insider trading. Meanwhile, my colleagues appraise me, coolly. “It’s a conspicuous look,” one says. Another adds that I look “intimidating” and “a bit like a carpet”. “You look fucking powerful,” another says. He is smiling, but I sense a chasm between us. The stiff wool boxes me in, surrounds me completely. I feel weirdly isolated, as though I have set myself up in opposition to the tribe.

The next day I trot into the office in high heels and a Stella McCartney checked coat-dress and one co-worker trills: “Oh, here she is, executive realness has arrived.” This phrase, well-known to viewers of Paris Is Burning and RuPaul’s Drag Race, is pertinent. Wearing double-breasted power tailoring does feel like a form of drag; a fantasy and a performance. It’s also screamingly 80s – other colleagues compare me to David Byrne and Working Girl – harking back to an era when power dressing manuals such as John T Molloy’s The Woman’s Dress For Success Book advised females to smash the glass ceiling with their shoulder pads. Molloy’s manifesto makes exhausting reading. Blouses should not be too high-necked or too revealing. Haircuts should not be too long or too short. Suits should ape men’s tailoring but femininity should be subtly preserved. Women should avoid sweaters and floral patterns “which say ‘lower class’ and loser,” he writes, charmingly. The history of women getting dressed for the office is so fraught that it almost feels as though somebody didn’t want us there.

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Still, power dressing has its benefits. I don’t feel small any more. The finer details of my body shape feel irrelevant, which brings with it a sort of confidence. Occasionally, I interpret my own behaviour differently. After work, during my customary sprint from the tube station to my son’s childminder, I feel less like an utter failure for resorting to running and more like a high-flying, productive individual for whom walking is not sufficiently quick.

I like this feeling of pulled-together efficiency. But the exaggerated lines of this outfit – the shoulder pads – are making me self-conscious. I feel like a throwback to an era when a different battle was being fought. Power dressing is still fraught with difficulty for women, of course, as the furore caused by Hillary Clinton’s scrunchies and Theresa May’s leather trousers proves. But the suit is not the neat solution that it pretended to be in the 80s. Author and editor Tina Brown, a keen suit wearer until recently, says: “When I look back I see how very overdressed we were with bigger shoulders. There was a sense that we had to be almost aggressively put together to make a statement, which is not where we are now or where we want to be.”

The next outfit on my agenda is very different: a wilfully anti-fashion fitted shirt, tie and tie clip, inspired by the menswear catwalks of Balenciaga, Martine Roseand Gosha Rubchinskiy. This looked achingly cool on the catwalks. Recreated via an M&S shirt and Acne Studios trousers because my body is not long enough to do menswear, it does not look cool on me. Alistair O’Neill, professor of fashion history and theory at Central Saint Martins, reminds me that this trend is all about context. Fashion designers have long been fascinated by workwear – think of the lumberjack shirts worn in city centres, not forests. This time it’s white-collar work being mined for inspiration. True Gosha disciples, he points out, would wear this “to a club, or to go shopping, or when off to the skate park. The dissociation from office culture is what will make the clothes so enjoyable to wear by those who will consume them as fashion.” Sadly, I am not hip enough to make this look work. I feel a bit like Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, with a touch of Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer, brisk and no-nonsense, as though I am holding an invisible clipboard. Or, as a co-worker says: “I’m scared that you’re about to make us do a team-building exercise.”

The fourth and final look is a breeze, literally and figuratively. It’s a billowing take on a striped shirt from Palmer//Harding. For the first time in days, I am not overheating. When I walk into the office my colleagues seem relieved. “I’m into it,” our stylist says – the ultimate compliment. Then she strokes the fabric of the cuff, appreciatively. I am approachable, again.

The shirt is the perfect soft power garment. I also love the bag I carry with it: a huge Balenciaga tote with corporate-style logos running across it diagonally. The logos bring to mind the branding of desk phones and photocopiers; the unglamorous insignia that permeated our lives before the sleek black and grey lines of iPhones and iMacs took over. It is these details – the little logos, the business cards and tie clips – that are so evocative. They remind me of how much has changed in office lives, in the 15 years since I started working, and how much will continue to change. You know, when the robots take over. Against this context, the mundanity of an office – its paperclips, staplers and tea runs – has become a source of nostalgia, something to be cherished.

Meanwhile, I’m glad that, for the most part, shoulder pads have gone the way of fax machines and Filofaxes. But I would wear a suit again.
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Is there a protest message in your new jacket's pocket? You've been shop-dropped

[ چهارشنبه 29 شهريور 1396 ] [ 10:50 ] [ neda ] [ ]

Is there a protest message in your new jacket's pocket? You've been shop-dropped

This London fashion week, shoppers might find themselves pondering something a little more sobering than which bar does the most Insta-worthy Louboutin-inspired pop-up cocktail menu, or how to get front-row tickets to the House of Holland show. Craftivist Collective is a group of “gentle activists” that protests against injustices in a quiet, non-confrontational manner involving pretty, handcrafted gestures of defiance. In an attempt to shine a spotlight on the ethics of the British fashion industry, its members will be spending the four-day clothing festival in high-street stores near LFW’s Somerset House base engaged in “shop-dropping”. This involves creating messages of protest, taking them into retailers and planting them inside the pockets of clothing for consumers to find. The name stems from the fact that it involves adding extra items into stores, thus making it the antithesis of shoplifting – although retailers are unlikely to appreciate the additions.

“The shops have no idea we’re doing it at all, but I can’t imagine they’d be happy if they knew,” says Sarah Corbett, the founder of Craftivist Collective, which previously convinced M&S board members to pay the living wage by stitching messages on to hankies. “We’re targeting fast fashion shops that put profit over people and the planet, so I don’t think they’d be keen on us encouraging their customers to ask questions about how their clothes were made.”

The messages take the form of “fashion statements” that are neatly handwritten on miniature scrolls. These are tied shut with a ribbon bow and contain phrases such as: “Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder ... It is woven into the very fabric of the cloth. Our clothes can never be truly beautiful if they hide the ugliness of worker exploitation.” On the outside, they say: “Please open me.”

Corbett started shop-dropping at Stockholm fashion week in 2014, in collaboration with Fashion Revolution, a campaign group opposing worker exploitation that launched in the wake of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,135 garment workers in Dhaka, Bangadesh. For the past three years, she has been running workshops that teach craftivists how to make the fashion statements. She brings a rail of clothing that lets them practice looking natural while sneaking scrolls into pockets; as a rule, it’s not a form of protest that works in large numbers.

“We want people to discover the scrolls later on so that it’s intriguing. We hope that it might create genuine curiosity about how their clothes have been made,” says Corbett.

“I genuinely love fashion, and during fashion week there’s a spotlight on the industry. I’d like to use that so we can think about how fashion could be beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.”

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Hats off: why the beret is back on the frontline of fashion

[ دوشنبه 27 شهريور 1396 ] [ 11:05 ] [ neda ] [ ]

Hats off: why the beret is back on the frontline of fashion

The beret is… divisive. I know this first-hand, as I wear them regularly, in black, grey and raspberry. And while much discussion may be found online as to the angle at which one should be worn (pulled forward, or jauntily to the side, or covering your whole head, your hair croissanted up inside), of more help I think is the following tip. The trick to wearing a beret is to avoid eye contact with strangers. Then, when they shout something at you such as, “Bonjour!” (you’re from Hove) or, “Ooh Betty!” (you’re too young to get the reference), it’s far easier to pretend you haven’t noticed and carry on walking. Because in your head you’re Marlene Dietrich, as opposed to “all French people”. You’re Faye Dunaway. You’re Debbie Harry, pretending she’s Patty Hearst, pretending she’s a leftwing terrorist called Tania, with a machine gun and a cosy head. You’re Rembrandt, idiot.It slides in and out of favour, the beret. The first examples were found by archaeologists in bronze age tombs, with berets also seen on sculptures in 12th-century Europe. Some were bigger, some floppier, but all were made of felt, the oldest form of cloth, created by pressing wool, hard. Shepherds used to fill their shoes with tufts from the sheep; as they worked and sweated, felt was made. Berets were adopted by peasants, then royalty, then the military, then artists. But in 2002 the market had all but dried up – 40 years earlier there had been 15 beret factories in Oloron-Sainte-Marie (France’s beret capital); by then there was just one. “We suffer from the savagery of fashion,” said Bernard Fargues, head of Beatex, the last beret maker in town. Which means today their luck could be changing. The beret is back.In Maria Grazia Chiuri’s A/W 17 collection for Dior, every look came topped with a beret – the models were styled as romantic revolutionaries – and Rihanna wore hers in the front row, too. Vogue said the beret is “shaping up to be one of Fall 2017’s most ubiquitous items for gals and guys”. Which of course I applaud. Because there are few accessories as odd as the beret, few that signify conservative uniform as well as revolution and rebellious rock’n’roll. I mean, my dad has a beret. No, he has two, one French, after Picasso, one Spanish, like a Basque separatist. I’ve worn one since I was a child, photographed gazing wistfully out across a reservoir, then at art school, and on days when it rains. I lean towards a beret worn with buoyancy, after Princess Diana, and one fitted snugly, like Eddie Izzard protesting against Brexit.To list famous beret wearers is to moodboard the entire 20th century: Benny Hill, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Spencer, Ernest Hemingway, Che Guevara. It’s hard to make a list like this and not imagine the dinner party, and the absolute laugh they’d all have. Jean-Paul Sartre, Monica Lewinsky, Johnny Rotten, the Pink Panther, posh schoolgirls, Edith Piaf, the Black Panthers, Beyoncé, mime artists, all of them balancing a nippled plate of felt on their head as if marching off to battle.A beret is perceived as a hat with power, whether the power to remain poised in a storm or to keep your hair on tight while you change the world. Today, with all that baggage, it is also perceived as a bit mannered. A bit whimsical. For example, a lot of Tesco’s fancy dress costumes come with a small polyester beret. We once bought a beret the size of a Pringle for my late cat (RIP). So, much as I love them, I understand the desire to roll an eye at the sight of one approaching on an urban street. For a hat that can fold up to the size of an Oyster card, this one comes with a lot of crap to carry around. But it’s worth it, as long as you realise that by wearing a beret, you’re always on the frontline.

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Things that go vroom! Fashion and Ferraris at Ralph Lauren

[ جمعه 24 شهريور 1396 ] [ 10:23 ] [ neda ] [ ]

Things that go vroom! Fashion and Ferraris at Ralph Lauren

Please use the sharing tools found via the email icon at the top of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be

Aston Martins! Bugattis! Ferraris! Ralph Lauren staged his AW17 collection in his garage, in Bedford, New York, a mere two-hour drive from the city. This was no house of oily rags and tool kits, though. The building houses some of the best known and collectible cars in existence: a 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic that won best in show at the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy. A vintage Aston Martin. He drives them all too. David Lauren, Ralph’s son, looked fondly at the tan leather exterior of a 1955 Mercedes Gullwing: “I remember as a kid we used to go on summer trips in this car.” Each had a special place in his memory. For Top Gear fans, this was payday, a spectacle of world-class supercars over which to salivate. Sadly, the subtler majesties of the motors were a little lost on some of the fashion front row, like myself, who have difficulty even identifying the prancing horse insignia of Ferrari. Walking around the showroom, just before the show, I tried to channel my inner Jeremy Clarkson, but truthfully I was far more excited to see Diane Keaton in full Annie Hall guise talking to Jessica Chastain. For a brand such as Ralph Lauren, which evokes a very traditional brand of glamour, the show served to realise the designer as an exceptional vintage in his own right. Sure, the concept of cars as luxury items might seem a little old-fashioned — the millennial market is moving away from car ownership as part of an aspirational life choice — but these motors are more than just status symbols; they are players in Lauren’s “rags to riches” tale about a boy from the Bronx now worth an estimated $5bn, who keeps his garage out of town. Lauren celebrates his 50th year in business this year, and while the company has been undergoing some managerial turbulence of late — the new chief executive Patrice Louvet (from Procter & Gamble) has enjoyed just eight weeks in the job — Lauren’s achievements can’t be underestimated. Watching him shuffling around the room in a mechanic’s suit and neon trainers to greet the good and the gracious, you couldn’t help but salute him.

Please use the sharing tools found via the email icon at the top of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be The clothes were pretty decent as well. Shown as an AW17 collection, as the whole lot went on sale straight after the show, the collection, which mixed men’s and women’s, was a pretty clear split between day and evening with a focus on some classic Lauren looks. The blazers and suiting in heritage checks looked as good as any options out there, and oftentimes better; the lines were sophisticated, the shoulders bold. There was an excellent long crystal beaded dress. Even the racing red glossy overcoat looked convincing. Less successful was the menswear, which looked a little more constricted and fussy than its female counterpart. It looked like it needed a little wind in the hair. But the two collections held together reasonably well.

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W Anderson: ‘We have to democratise fashion’

[ چهارشنبه 22 شهريور 1396 ] [ 10:19 ] [ neda ] [ ]

JW Anderson: ‘We have to democratise fashion’

There is an unnerving busy-ness to Jonathan Anderson: his daily schedule planned six months in advance, the small mountain of iPhones beside his coffee and the way his conversation slips from business ethics to the history of Japanese ceramics in the same sentence. But this is how the 32-year-old fashion designer, who oversees his own label as well as the Spanish luxury brand Loewe, thrives: leaping from one idea to the next – from Paris to London to Madrid, to his country retreat near Norfolk. He spends a lot of time mid-air. You get the sense he would really, really like a cigarette.

He is at Tate Modern today, caffeinated and well-lit in this small room up near the roof. Earlier, as a Uniqlo exec presented Anderson’s first collection for the brand, the designer stood slightly hidden in a crowd, and blushed to be described as “an artist”.

Anderson, who last year put on an exhibition of fashion, art and sculpture at the Hepworth Wakefield, doesn’t even call himself a designer. What is he then? A rare pause. “What I think I ultimately do,” he says, taking a huge sip from his tiny coffee, “is curate. I’m curating people, curating campaigns, curating stores, curating collaborations. It is about taking all these components and arranging them in a way that makes sense. It’s like doing brain zen: you have to arrange objects into a certain configuration that feels… right.”

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He’s as notorious for his near-obsessional collecting of art and craft as he is for the “challenging” (he called them “ugly”) gender-unspecific clothes he first showed in 2008, including the 2013 bustiers for men, worn with ruffle-topped riding boots on hairy legs. But listening to him talk, even in this PR-ed environment, even about things as mundane as sock design, it becomes clear that both are part of some larger vision, some grand project of living, created through careful juxtaposition of teapot, or sleeve, or antique nutcracker. “I do have a compulsion about owning certain things,” he says, “because I have to look at it to actually work out why, or how.”

Like what? What things?

“I’m obsessed by damask napkins at the moment from the 14th, 15th, and 16th century in Great Britain and Ireland.” His grandfather worked for a textile company in Northern Ireland that specialised in camouflage and at home his grandmother would turn the camouflage scraps into ornate bedspreads. “So I think there’s always been this obsession with fabric. There is something that is so magical about it because it lasts for ever.”

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Pierre Bergé obituary

[ دوشنبه 20 شهريور 1396 ] [ 10:14 ] [ neda ] [ ]

Pierre Bergé, who has died aged 86, was crucial to the 20th-century change in couture from a craft enterprise to an international megabusiness. His Napoleonic belief in his destiny was not focused on fashion until, at 29, he met at dinner Yves Saint Laurent, the fragile prodigy aged 22 who had suddenly inherited the house of Christian Dior. It was love at first conversation, about everything but fashion, so intense that Bergé forthwith left the artist Bernard Buffet, whose amanuensis he had been for years.

From then on, it was all about Yves. When Saint Laurent broke down during a rough first month as an army conscript, Bergé tracked him to a military hospital, and used his formidable energy and social aptitude to gain access. He became Saint Laurent’s support, suing the house of Dior for damages (Marc Bohan had taken Saint Laurent’s job) to fund an independent YSL atelier to which Dior personnel defected.

Bergé grasped that Paris couture was ailing, its houses’ commercial ventures too tentative when demographic and economic forces were opening up markets. He persuaded, or browbeat, Saint Laurent (Bergé alternated as hard and soft cop) into ready-to-wear in 1966, a financial and critical success.

Perhaps their compatibility – also combatability, given their opposite temperaments – came from outsidership. Saint Laurent was from Algeria, Bergé from the Île d’Oléron, an offshore island in the Bay of Biscay. Both had scant formal education and dreamed of Paris. At 17, Bergé left his father, Pierre, a civil servant, and mother Christiane (nee Sicard), to make his fortune in the capital. His accounts of his rise sound like a young-man-on-the-make from a Balzac novel; he traded in old books (collecting rare volumes all his life) and at 19 founded a shortlived anarchist magazine, La Patrie Mondiale.

However, Bergé’s gift lay in meeting persons of consequence, by contrivance or accident: he claimed that the poet Jacques Prévert fell out of a window on to his head, that he shared a cell with the writer Albert Camus after a demo. Through Buffet he knew Jean Cocteau, through Cocteau Dior – et voilà! – Saint Laurent.

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YSL ready-to-wear was merely Bergé’s initial bold move; as company president, he sold its rights in 1971 for capital to invest in a different way of staging couture shows, more like rock concerts, with clothes as loss-leaders to promote licensed accessories and perfumes. (YSL made enough to buy back the rights in 1973.) Bergé made complex deals when the luxury conglomerates of today had not yet managed their first merger; in 1986 he sold 25% of YSL for enough to buy Charles of the Ritz, which owned rights to Saint Laurent perfumes and cosmetics.

In 1989, the YSL group, with its Bergé–generated internal synergy, was the first designer house listed on the Paris Bourse, oversubscribed by 27 times. Those who got shares did exceptionally well for a while, but Bergé did better. He was fined 1m francs for insider trading, selling shares just before an announcement of plunging profits, while the pharmaceutical company Elf Sanofi paid over the market rate for the 44% of the capital held by Saint Laurent and Bergé before purchasing the group in 1993. Sanofi sold it on to Gucci in 1999, still with the vestigial involvement of Saint Laurent and Bergé, who did not leave as president until 2002.

While together, the couple created museum-like apartments in Paris and New York, a Normandy chateau with every room named after a Proust character, a villa and the glorious Jardin Marjorelle in Marrakesh. They split personally in 1976, when Saint Laurent’s perma-depression veered towards drink, drugs, and seclusion, although Bergé, patient with Saint Laurent despite being a prowling, growling panther, claws out, towards everyone else, kept his faith as well as the business going. They lunched daily, and Bergé, who respected Saint Laurent’s creativity, if not his metier (“a man of exceptional intelligence practising the trade of an imbecile” was his description) used his arts network to promote exhibitions of Saint Laurent. Showcasing a living designer was a novelty, and Bergé went wide with it, to museums in Beijing, Moscow and New York.

Bergé never ceased buzzing around the arts, owning the Théâtre de l’Athénée-Louis Jouvet, with weekly recitals by the best voices in town. As a lifelong socialist, albeit of the “caviar left”, supporting François Mitterrand, he refused a Mitterand cabinet post but accepted the presidency of the Paris Opera, in charge of the new Bastille Opera House, Palais Garnier and Salle Favart, from 1989 to 1994. There he vented even more ferocious temperament than he had in fashion, sacking musical director Daniel Barenboim for “too little work for too much reward”, and disputing with ballet director Rudolf Nureyev over his international schedule. Leading conductors refused to enter the Bastille, senior staff escaped it; the theatres were in turmoil. Bergé delivered far fewer productions than promised, and most were failures.

Mitterrand, a close friend of Bergé, appointed him an officer of the National Order of Merit (1987) and he was later appointed a grand officer of the Légion d’Honneur (2015). In 2010 he was one of the new investors who bought a controlling stake in the newspaper Le Monde.

Bergé went through a ceremony with Saint Laurent to become legal civil partners shortly before the designer died in 2008, and after disposed of their art collections, reserving only Jardin Marjorelle as their joint memorial, with a Saint Laurent museum.

This year Bergé married his long-term partner, the Jardin’s director Madison Cox, who survives him.
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PARIS HILTON'S FESTIVAL OUTFITS ARE EVERYTHING YOU'D HOPE FOR AND MORE

[ پنجشنبه 16 شهريور 1396 ] [ 11:00 ] [ neda ] [ ]

PARIS HILTON'S FESTIVAL OUTFITS ARE EVERYTHING YOU'D HOPE FOR AND MORE

It's hard to imagine Paris Hilton roughing it at a music festival; it would be out of keeping with her general princess vibe. So, naturally, the reality TV star-turned-businesswoman did it her way at Burning Man this weekend.

Unlike the rest of us who plump for wellies, denim cut-offs and band T-shirts, the heiress strolled round the desert in gold lamé, pink fur and early 00s fringing, presumably trailed by a professional photographer who captured the below moments.

For context, Burning Man attendees (aka Burners) are encouraged to wear glittery, brightly-costumed costumes. Rainbows and sequins are the festival's unofficial uniform.

Pleasingly, she also shared a few pictures from last year's Burning Man, in which she wore fur and spandex at the desert-based festival. Scroll through the gallery to see her costume in its full glory.

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Balenciaga reveals its golden touch with surprising takes on men's style

[ سه شنبه 14 شهريور 1396 ] [ 10:44 ] [ neda ] [ ]

Most representations of fatherhood in fashion fall into two camps: the musclebound, black-and-white ideal of an 1980s Athena poster, or the sartorial punchline of “Dad jeans” and the “Dadbod”. Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2018 men’s fashion show on Wednesday – inspired by office workers taking their kids to the park at the weekend – offered a more nuanced interpretation.

The catwalk was a tree-lined sunlight-dappled path in the Bois de Boulogne, a public park on the outskirts of Paris. Of 68 models, seven appeared with their children or their younger siblings: there were pigtailed little girls balanced on hips and kids holding models’ hands as they toddled down the runway.

Models wore elevated versions of diverse, urban weekend clothes: anoraks in raspberry, navy and teal; sports jackets in mustard and royal blue; black leather fringed coats. A few denim jackets were tightly covered in plastic, as though they had been vacuum-packed.

Some of the looks, such as a striped office shirt tucked into straight-leg jeans and worn with loafers, were eerily close to the sort of off-duty Apprentice contestant style that had been the brand’s inspiration. Many of the garments had been tweaked, painstakingly, for verisimilitude: jeans had been frayed – just a little – where the hem rubbed at the shoe; T-shirts had been stretched at the neck and had a soft, slouched shape, as though from regular use.

But the clothes were cut in unexpected ways – funnelling out at the neck or theatrically oversized at the shoulders – that made them feel more “high fashion” than “dog walk”. They were also emblazoned with opaque slogans, including motivational phrases: “think big!” and “the power of dreams”.

Balenciaga is the most influential label in fashion at the moment, seemingly able to predict the zeitgeist like no other. If you want to know what shoes you will be wearing a year or two from now, Balenciaga can offer significant clues. Trend-watchers would have noted, then, that half of the models broke that most basic of style rules by wearing office shoes with their jeans; others wore squidgy trainers that combined highlighter yellow mesh with a deliberately grubby grey plastic.

Much of Balenciaga’s appeal lies in its ability to take items without obvious fashion pedigree and imbue them with ironic appeal. The brand recently caused a furore by selling a £1,365 bag apparently inspired by an Ikea 40p carryall , and a similar exercise in postmodernism appeared on Wednesday: an “enhanced” interpretation of a supermarket shopping bag.

There was also a repeated use of modular trousers – full-length trousers that can be zipped apart at the knee and the mid-thigh to create varying lengths of shorts, surely one of the least cool garments of all time. That Balenciaga can make the fashion pack salivate over them, with all of their associations of men of a certain age on coach-tour holidays, proves the brand’s golden touch.

In its current incarnation, under recently installed creative director Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga has sparked a host of trends that have trickled down to the high street, including the current vogue for oversized beige trench coats. That look has often been compared to the aesthetic of Kyle MacLachlan as Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks. Not coincidentally, MacLachlan was in attendance at the show. When he congratulated Gvasalia backstage, Gvasalia told the assembled press that he had “always been on my mood board”.

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